3 DAY TRAVEL GUIDE OF ROME
Walk down to Piazza del Popolo where you will find two almost identical churches: Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria del Miracolo. In the middle of the Piazza there is a gigantic obelisk which was moved from the Circo Massimo in 1589 by order of Pope Sisto V. On the outskirts of this Piazza there is the Chiesa Santa Maria del Popolo, a church built over the tomb of Emperor Nerone. Alongside this last church there are some steps that lead to “Il Pincio” in Villa Borghese. From here you have an incredible panorama over Rome and it is definitely worth the hike ! There are some interesting things to visit in Villa Borghese such as Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia and Galleria Borghese.
If you return to Piazza Del Popolo you can take Via del Babbuino that leads you straight to the Spanish Steps of Piazza di Spagna ! The Spanish Steps were designed by Francesco De Sanctis and built around 1720. They lead to a French Church called Trinità dei Monti. In front of the steps there is the famous fountain "Fontana della barcaccia". This fountain has been destroyed several times, in 2007 by some drunk tourists and in 2015 by football hooligans. Now the fountain has finally been restored and is as beautiful as ever!
Lunch: If you are feeling healthy and fancy eating something light, there is one of my favorite restaurants called Ginger. This place has a variety of salads, cured meats, cheese platters, chicken dishes, burgers etc. It is a perfect choice no matter what you eat, it offers many vegan and vegetarian options too.
Ginger : Via Borgognona 43
Next stop is Fontana di Trevi and then the Pantheon. Fontana di Trevi has been recently refurbished and cleaned and now looks absolutely spectacular. To reach these two attractions you simply walk down Via Borgognona, and turn left down Via del Corso. You keep walking until on the left you will see Via dell’umiltà which leads to the Trevi fountain, and on the right hand side you will see Via del Seminario which leads to the Pantheon (there are always directions).
The Pantheon is a pagan temple dedicated to the God’s now become Christian church. At the top of the dome there is a hole with a 43cm diameter, which stays open even in the rain! The Pantheon is an incredible piece of architecture that must be seen!
Returning back on Via del Corso, carry on walking and you will see Piazza Venezia, a square which contains some very beautiful and important monuments. Infront of you you should have the monument dedicated to King Emanuele II, of the most one of the most beautiful buildings of Rome. There is also Palazzo Venezia, the first building of the Renaissance period in Rome and Palazzo Doria Pamphili, now holding an art gallery.
From Piazza Venezia, take Via del Plebescito which becomes Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, go down Via della Cuccagna on your right hand side (alongside the Palazzo Braschi [museo di roma]) and you will reach Piazza Navona.
This big square used to be an antique Roman Stadium and now holds some of the most beautiful baroque architecture. Noteworthy are the two fountains, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and Fontana del Moro. On the Left hand side of the square there is Palazzo Pamphilj, which contains Affreschi of Pietro da Cortona with stories from the Enea.
Circulating around this area by night is the best possible time as it is always full of life.
Dinner: La Focaccia is one of the best pizza restaurants you will find in the center. It may be in a tourist location but i assure you many Italians adore this place. I have been there on my anniversary meals and my parents always have dinner with their friends there. I usually go for a Pasta all'Amatriciana as it is my favorite dish but the pizza is exquisite. They also have a tasty selection of deserts.
La Focaccia- Via della Pace
If you have had a long, tiring day i would recommend going home and relaxing but if you are in the mood for a drink or two, from Via della Pace follow the directions to Campo de' Fiori. This square is filled with market stands during the day and is buzzing with nightlife in the evening. Filled with bars it is a perfect go to place for a couple of drinks.
Breakfast: Cantiani, a traditional "pasticceria, caffetteria, gelateria e bar". This café serves one of the best coffees in Rome and also has a wide selection of croissants and little "pasticcini".
Cantiani: Via cola di Rienzo, 234.
Follow Via cola di Rienzo until you reach Piazza Risorgimento. Turn left and follow the crowd, they will lead you to the beautiful Piazza San Pietro.
Here you can decide whether or not to enter the Basilica of San Pietro, which i would really recommend because the interior is stunning.
If you wish to visit the Musei Vaticani, you return to Piazza Risorgimento and follow the Vatican walls around until you reach the Museum, But I suggest this should be done very early in the morning as there is always a very long queue.
Lunch: There are quite a few restaurants around here but be careful not to be fooled into tourist traps! I would recommend going to either Ted, a restaurant that serves burgers, chicken dishes and salads or Porto, which has a fish based menu varying from pasta to fish and chips.
Ted: Via Terenzio 12
Porto: Via Crescenzio 56
After Lunch, just before visiting Castel Sant'Angelo I recommend you take a quick look at the incredible Royal Courts of Justice in Piazza Cavour. It is a spectacular building !
From here you should visit Castel Sant’Angelo, an old fort, prison and refuge for the pope. This is worth visiting as the tour is short yet very interesting. During the summer this tour is available at night, which is a very good idea for an evening expedition.
To reach Trastevere, a very popular area of Rome, you can either take a walk or take Bus n. 280 from Via Crescenzio to Piazza Trilussa. However I usually walk as it is quite easy and you can admire Rome in doing so.
Cross Ponte Sant’Angelo and turn right, and walk down Lungotevere dei Sangallo which becomes Lungotevere dei Tebaldi until you reach Ponte Sisto ( 4th bridge after you cross Sant’Angelo bridge). You will find yourself at Piazza Trilussa.
In this beautiful area you will find Villa Farnesina, Palazzo Corsini, San Pietro in Montorio (called Giannicolo you will have the most spectacular panorama over Rome), Santa Maria in Trastevere, considered to be one of the most antique churches in Rome and Santa Cecilia in Trastevere; (Cecilia is the patron of music and legend says it was her that invented the organs).
From Santa Cecilia in Trastevere if you walk up Via dei Vascellari you will find yourself by the Palatine Bridge with a view over the Isola Tiberina and Saint Bartholomew. The Latter is a church built in 1113 and again in 1624. It contains a church bell from the XII century and a baroque façade.
Dinner: Tacito 18 - This restaurant is amazing, they serve one of the best pasta dishes in Rome for 11/12 euros. If you haven't already tried i recommend Pasta alla Gricia or Pasta all'amatriciana.
Tacito 18 : Via tacito 18
Start off point will be at Piazza Venezia, so you will need to either take the Tube A to Spagna (Spanish steps) and walk down Via del Corso or take buses from Via Cola di Rienzo n. 81 – Piazza Venezia, Via Cicerone n. 30 – Piazza Venezia, Via Plinio n. 70, 81, 87 – Piazza Venezia
Arrived in Piazza Venezia, you take the road on the right (Via del Teatro di Marcello) which takes you to Piazza del Campidoglio by going up the Cordonata steps (on your left) which were designed by Michelangelo. In this square you can see the Palazzo Senatorio, the city hall. There is also Marco Aurelio’s statue – Roman Emperor. You must visit the Musei Capitolini.
Next you walk toward Via Dei Fori Imperiali, where you must visit the Forums: Fori Imperiali and Foro Romano, with all the beautiful remains of the Roman Emprie such as temples and basilicas. For many years the Roman Forum was the complete centre of Rome.
Following Via dei Fori Imperiali you will reach the magnificent Colosseum. Don’t forget once you’re here to take a look at the Arco di Costantino.
Dinner: If you fancy going somewhere exciting and super delicious I would recommend Dolce. It is a recently opened restaurant, cake factory, pizzeria, brunch, patisserie - Basically it has it all ! The prices are average but the quality is certainly worth the money!
Dolce: Via Tripolitana 4