Who doesn’t dream of visiting Rome? The eternal city of Rome is known for the world-famous Colosseum. The iconic structure was built 1951 years ago!
Italian cuisine is quite popular in India too. Everyone loves pizzas and pastas. Rome has hundreds of restaurants which serve the most authentic Italian dishes.
This article will have all the information you need to plan your Rome trip. It has been customized for Indian tourists.
Here is what the article will cover:
- Rome Itinerary for 1 day and 2 days. The itinerary is customizable if you want to stay longer.
- It will cover the must-visit places, along with information on how to book the tickets.
- Best Indian Restaurants in Rome.
- Best Pizza and Pasta restaurants in Rome.
- The best coffee shop in Rome.
- Most beautiful fountains in Rome.
- Tips to save money on your Rome trip.
- And much more. Make sure you read the article till the end.
Rome 1 Day Itinerary
1-day trips are hectic, especially in a city like Rome which has so many iconic places to see. We recommend a minimum of 2 full days to be able to cover the important places.
However, if you are short on time and only have a day. This itinerary will be perfect for you.
7:30AM Trevi Fountain: Visit the Trevi Fountain. It is one of the most iconic fountains in Rome. Best time to visit is early morning. The earlier you go, the less crowded it is. You will have the entire fountain all for yourself if you visit reach there before sunrise (around 6:30AM). The crowds begin to build up 7:30AM onwards, especially during summer. If you go later in the day, getting a decent picture for yourself will be a challenge. There will be hundreds of people around the Trevi fountain.
Breakfast: You can visit the nearby ‘Bar San Marcello’. Coffee shops in Rome are called ‘bar’, they are not the liquor serving bars of India. Expresso and cappuccino are available here, along with a variety of pastries. Do note, expresso is coffee without milk, cappuccino has milk. Indians do not usually like their coffee without milk.
If you are looking for Indian breakfast alternative, keep reading, it is covered towards the end of the article.
10AM Colosseum: The most popular destination in Rome is the Colosseum. It is listed under the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. Book your tickets in advance. Read our detailed guide on booking your Colosseum tickets. Only the official website (coopculture) will give you cheap tickets. Third party websites which sell Colosseum tickets are much more expensive. For example, an English guided tour purchased from the official website will cost you 34 Euros (free for kids below 6 years). Whereas tickets on other websites, will cost you 100 euros or more and they charge a fee for the kids too. The only problem is, tickets on the official website are very difficult to get.
Your Colosseum visit should take your approximately 90 minutes, you should be done by 12 noon.
After this, you should have your lunch before proceeding towards the next site of visit.
1PM Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: Access to these two places should be included in your ‘Colosseum’ ticket. You do not need to buy tickets separately. The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are open-air museums. You get to witness two of the most historic and influential areas of the Roman Empire. The Roman Forum was the heart of ancient Rome. It was here where politicians lived and held election rallies. It was the place of criminal trials and gladiatorial matches. A place definitely worth visiting, it takes you back in time.
3PM (Optional): You can visit the nearby Vatican, which is a different country and yet within walking distance (4 km) from the center of Rome. There are two places to see here, the Vatican Museum (better to book tickets in advance) and St. Peter’s Basilica (free entry, but long queue). Since you only have a day, you can do the Vatican Musuem – which should take around 2 hours of your time.
5:30PM Pantheon: After a quick coffee and snack break, you should get back to the center of Rome, to check out the stunning Pantheon. You can walk from Vatican City to Pantheon (2.5 kms), the walk is great as you get to see a lot. If you have kids or older people, catch a taxi (10 euros). The Pantheon is approximately 1900 years old and one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman buildings. This will be a quick visit, which should take you no longer than 30 minutes including time for photos.
6PM Piazza Navona: Next, walk from the Pantheon to one of the most beautiful squares in Rome – the Piazza Navona. There are fountains to see, you could also stroll through the square enjoying its ancient beauty. You could also take a coffee break.
If you are tired, you end your day here and go back to your Hotel. If you haven’t done the Vatican Museum and have energy left, you could get back to explore more of Rome. Walk from the Piazza Navona towards the Spanish Step.
If you missed out on the early morning visit to Trevi, you could make a stopover to check out the crowded but beautiful Trevi Fountain – before you walk towards the Spanish Steps.
We highly recommend a short walking tour here – which will start at Piazza Navona – Trevi – Spanish Steps – Via Margutta – Via del Babuino and ends at Piazza del Popolo.
You will find a lot of places to see, shop, eat and also drink. It is a nice 3 kms walk, which should take your around 45 minutes to cover.
That brings an end to the hectic 1-day Rome trip.
If you have more time, continue reading this article. More time in Rome would mean, a less hectic and more enjoyable trip.
Rome 2 Days Itinerary
When you have 2 full days, there is a little more time to explore more of Rome and also visit the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican city.
Let us get to the 2-day Rome itinerary.
First day (Rome)
Do note: If your Day 1 is a Saturday, then visit the Vatican City first – it remains closed for visitors on Sunday.
7:30AM: Visit the Trevi Fountain.
10AM: Visit the Colosseum. Book your tickets in advance.
2PM: Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
4PM onwards: Walk through the historic city center of Rome.
- Take a taxi from Roman Forum straight to Piazza del Popolo.
- If you have kids with you, the Villa Borghese park is a must-visit. It has lots of activities for both kids and older people.
- Next, set your Google Maps to walk through the following places – Piazza del Popolo > Via del Babuino > Via Margutta > Spanish Steps > Trevi Fountain > Pantheon > Piazza Navona > Campo de Fiori > Cross the Tiber River > Trastevere.
Through the walk, you will cover all the main points in the historic city center of Rome. You will find several restaurants, gelato (ice cream) shops, coffee bars, bakeries, and several places to eat and shop.
7:30PM onwards: Trastevere is a nice place to relax in the night. Some nice restaurants to have dinner, and plenty of places where you can sit down for a drink.
Day 2 (Vatican and Rome)
7:30AM: The earlier you start, the lesser the crowd and shorter the wait time in the queue. Most people who visit Rome, also visit the Vatican City. You would be surprised to know; Vatican City does not belong to Italy. It is a small country within Rome, the smallest country in the world. And it the center of Christianity, the Pope lives in Vatican.
There are only two places worth visiting in Vatican:
- The Museum (also includes the famous Sistine Chapel): You need to buy an entry ticket to visit the museum. The tickets go on sale 60 days in advance, and they sell out quickly. Buy it as soon as your trip is confirmed.
- St. Peter’s Basilica: Entry is free. Make sure you visit this place early in the morning, it can get very crowded after 10AM. At the St. Peter’s Basilica, you can climb the stairs to the top of the Dome, which has stunning views. You have two options, climb the 551 stairs for 8 euros (700 rupees) or pay 10 euros (900 rupees), take a quick elevator, and climb 320 stairs to the top. Older or unfit people cannot visit the top of the Dome. Kids above the age of 5 should enjoy the climb up. Is it worth the money and effort? It definitely is.
The museum visit will take 2 hours. And St. Peter’s Basilica could take around 60 minutes to 3 hours – depending on the length of the queues, which again depends on the time of the day you visit. If you make it early, there will be no queues, if you arrive when most tourists do, then you could have to wait 1-2 hours in the queue just to enter.
There are plenty of places to eat and find a cup of coffee near Vatican (we have some recommendations below; you can also use Google search for nearby restaurants once you are there).
2PM: A Vatican visit can be tiring; you could go back to your hotel and relax for a couple of hours. But if you have energy left, you should start your walk back towards Rome after Lunch. The Castel Sant’Angelo is worth visiting – even if you just see it from the outside. It is an ancient castle, which was built on the banks of the Tiber River. In front of it is another famous bridge – the St. Angelo Bridge. Crossing it takes you back into the center of Rome.
If you missed visiting Piazza Navona, you should visit the place today. The Pantheon is also close by. Campo de’ Fiori is a great place to visit too.
Spend the rest of the day, exploring Rome by foot. The city is best enjoyed by taking walks different roads. You will find ancient buildings, beautiful churches which are lesser known – which you can visit without any queues or crowds.
Step into a random Gelato shop, the ice cream you get here could be better than some of the famous Gelato shops in Rome.
There are several beautiful fountains in Rome, put the name of the place in Google Maps and see if you can visit them.
Most beautiful fountains in Rome
- Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)
- Fontana delle Tartarughe (The Turtle Fountain)
- Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers)
- Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune)
- Fontana della Barcaccia (Barcaccia Fountain)
- Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain)
- Fontana del Pantheon
We have some restaurant recommendations below, do check them out:
Best Indian Restaurants in Rome
- Krishna 13 Indian Restaurant
- Gandhi 2
- Saravanaa Bhavan (South Indian food)
- Kerala Restaurant (specializing in Kerala cuisine)
Best Pizza Places in Rome
- Piccolo Buco (near Trevi fountain)
- Pizza e Mozzarella (near Pantheon)
- La Prezzemolina (near Colosseum)
- Pizza Zizaa (near Vatican)
- Scialla The Original Street Food (near Vatican)
- PizzaRe (near Piazza del Popolo / Villa Borghese park)
Best Pasta Places in Rome
- Il Pastaio di Roma (homemade pasta)
- Trattoria Vecchia Roma (near Colosseum)
- al42 by Pasta Chef rione Monti (near Colosseum)
- Pasta e Vino Osteria (Trastevere)
Best Coffee Shop in Rome
- Sciascia Caffe 1919 (famous place, near Vatican)
- Faro Luminaries of Coffee (Coffee, Croissants, Sandwiches etc)
- La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro
Best Gelato in Rome
- Frigidarium (near Piazza Navona)
- Fassi Gelateria
- Come il Latte
- Brivido Gelateria
Tips to save money in Rome
- Book your Colosseum tickets only on official website (coopculture.it). This will save you a lot of money. Tickets go on sale exactly 30 days in advance. And they sell out very quickly!
- The same holds true for Vatican Museum tickets. They are cheaper on the official website. Here tickets go on sale 60 days in advance. And again, they sell out quickly.
- If you are on a long trip, book a room with a kitchen. You can visit a supermarket, buy basic grocery, and cook meals on your own. This will also save you quite a lot of money, as eating out in restaurants is quite expensive in Europe.
- Book your rooms well in advance, the earlier you book the more options you have. Remember, the cheap / value for money hotels or apartments, get booked quickly.
- The best way to explore Rome is to walk. The second-best option is to take the cab. Avoid buses, they aren’t on time, and it is difficult to know where to get down. If you are fit enough, walk!
- Avoid buying Rome city passes.
- Try to avoid third-party websites that sell tickets, they are very expensive. Buy everything from official websites, they are about 50% cheaper (sometimes more!).
- Do not buy drinking water bottles in Rome. Carry your own bottle and fill it up with fountain water, they are safe to drink and available all across the city of Rome.
We hope you found this article useful for your Rome tour. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. You can also drop a comment below.