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The Ultimate 2 Days in Rome Itinerary

Are you looking for the ultimate 2 days in Rome Itinerary? Want to visit the most Rome has to offer in only two days? Don’t let a limited time-based schedule keep you from visiting some of the best and most famous sites Rome has! You will be wonderstruck by all that Rome has to offer, and we promise that you can accomplish a lot in just 2 days. Below we have selected some of the best things you can conquer in a short period of time– so make sure to follow this 2 days in Rome itinerary to ensure that your trip is filled to the brim with adventure. But please feel free to schedule our suggestions below in ways that fit best for you! 

For context, arrival day is not being considered a day in this two days in Rome itinerary. The afternoon of your arrival can be utterly exhausting, and it might be best to get rest up, as your next 2 days in Rome will be jam packed. But even if you arrive and aren’t super exhausted, you can always stroll the streets of Rome, stopping for Gelato and authentic pizza along the way as a way to ease yourself into your upcoming adventure. Either way, make sure you are excited and ready to explore! Conquering Rome in 2 days requires a lot of planning and preparation, so make sure to pace yourself and ensure that you and your travel group are ready to see the best Rome has to offer. And don’t forget to check out our 10 Things You are Forgetting to Bring packing list for Italy before you head out on your adventure! 

Rome is known for its stunning sites and architecture!

The Ultimate 2 Days in Rome Itinerary

Day 1: Begin Your 2 Days in Rome with Classic and Ancient Rome 

Stop 1: The Spanish Steps 

The Spanish Steps are a great place to start your 2 days in Rome itinerary, as they are considered a great gathering place for tourists and locals alike. Many individuals return to these steps with coffee, sitting on the cusp of these Roman Baroque Style stairs, and relax. The Spanish Steps connect the lower Piazza di Spagna and the upper Piazza Trinita Dei Monti and there are 138 steps in total, giving you lots of space to sit and relax, or climb and view. 

Because of the Spanish Steps’ unique design and elegance, many artists sit and paint at this beautiful location, which makes it a popular spot for both tourists and locals. Many claim that this is the best meeting spot in Rome, which is why we have put it on your first day of your 2 days in Rome itinerary. The spacial mixture of curves, straight flights, vistas and terraces give the Spanish Steps a great sense of atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Eternal City. Starting here can help you get a sense of what Rome is really like, all while relaxing in this famous meeting location. And if you’re lucky, you may even find the chips in the 200-year-old stairs from when a drunken young man tried to drive down them in a Toyota Celica! 

The Spanish Stairs are a great place to start your tours in Rome, as they are a fantastic and gorgeous meeting spot and have been throughout history.

Stop 2: Throw a Coin in the Trevi Fountain 

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the iconic Trevi Fountain, which is why we suggest it for stop number 2 during your 2 days in Rome itinerary! The Trevi Fountain is located in the Quirinale district of Rome and is known as being one of the most stunning fountains in the world. The fountain itself is one of the oldest water sources in Rome, and it is made of the same material as the Colosseum. 

Because the Trevi Fountain is 85 feet tall and almost 65 feet wide, it is hard to miss! Factoring in its large stature, the Trevi Fountain spills out over 2,000,000 cubic feet of water every day– but don’t worry, this water is recycled! We highly suggest getting to the Trevi Fountain early as it can get a bit crowded during the day– especially during Summer. And make sure to participate in the tradition of throwing a coin over your shoulder and into the Trevi! Not only does this make for a great instagram video, but rumor has it that participating in such tradition will encourage the gods to favor your journey– and who doesn’t want the gods on their side for their 2 days in Rome? And better yet? The coins that are thrown into the fountain are collected every night and donated to Caritas, which is an Italian Charity!

The Trevi Fountain is an iconic and historical monument of Rome and is a must see.

Stop 3: Swing by the Altar of the Fatherland 

The Altare della Patria, which roughly translates into the Altar of the Fatherland, is a large monument in Rome that was created to pay respect to Victor Emmanuel the second, who was the first king of Italy after the country’s unification. This large attraction is located in Piazza Venezia, which makes it hard to miss, and is why we recommend it as your third stop for your first day during your 2 days in Rome. Conquering Rome in 2 days can be difficult, but the Altar of the Fatherland is something you don’t want to miss!

Inside this building there is the Institute for the History of the Italian Risorgimento and the Central Museum of the Risorgimento, which means you can spend some time here! This monument also holds the tomb of the unknown solider, a place where an eternal flame shines. From the places to visit inside the Altar, to the panoramic terrace and breathtaking views this monument has to offer, we highly recommend stopping here and spending a few hours simply learning about Italy’s history. The Altar of the Fatherland is open Monday- Sunday 9:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m., with last admission at 6:45 p.m. It costs 7 euro to enter– but we promise this is worth every penny. The views and history alone are so important to see and understand while conquering Rome in 2 days. 

The Altar of the Fatherland has so many gorgeous nooks-- you'll want to explore them all!

Stop 4: Tour the Colosseum

The Colosseum is another iconic location in Rome, and thus, we have put it on your 2 days in Rome itinerary. The Colosseum is arguably one of the most recognizable of Rome’s classic buildings. Even 2,000 years after it was built, it is recognizable at first sight. Back in its day, this amphitheater could hold 60,000 seats, with room for 10,000 others to stand. It has 80 entrances, and was the first permanent amphitheater to be built in Rome. 

While it surprisingly only took ten years to build this arena, what is even more surprising is the mix of architectural styles this building holds: the three tiers of arcades follow the succession of architectural order– Doric on the first story, Ionic on the second, Corinthian on the third. The whole building covers six acres in total, and this place was historically popular for its hunting and gladiatorial games. This is a must see while you are visiting Rome in 2 days, but please know that this iconic monument does get busy. It may be smart to purchase tickets before hand and skip the long lines that tend to circle this building. And, lastly, it is important to note that large parts of the Colosseum are accessible to wheel chair users– there are lifts to take you to the upper levels! 

Book Tours Here: The Colosseum, Rome

The colosseum is an iconic monument in Rome, known for the Roman times of gladiator games.

Stop 5: Admire the Arch of Constantine 

The Arch of Constantine is situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, which is why we have it listed as stop number five during day 1 of your 2 days in Rome itinerary. This arch was originally created because the Roman Senate wanted to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. We put this on your list of things to see during your 2 days in Rome because the Arch of Constantine is the largest surviving Roman triumphal arch and the last great monument of Imperial Rome. Throughout history, it has been used for political propaganda as well, representing and sending messages about victory and leadership. 

This arch stands about 20 meters high, 25 meters wide and is about 7 meters in width. Three portals are carved into that width of these seven feet, and each are flanked by Corinthian columns. Moldings and Victoria features that occupy the spandrels above the central archway are breathtaking and worth every second spent looking at them. The variety in architectural styles is similar to that of the Colosseum, as the Arch contains relief sculptures with bold outlines, blocky figures, and some that even lack natural aesthetics or clear form. Ultimately, this arch represents power and leadership. Its location between the Colosseum and Temple of Venus and Roma help reinforce its symbolism, at it is the connective architecture that links the area of Forum Romanum, and this is why we have included it during your 2 days in Rome! 

Once a symbol of propaganda, Constantine's Arch now stands for symbols of power and victory for Rome.

Stop 6: Relax at Palatine Hill 

Referred to as “the first nucleus of the Roman Empire,” Palatine Hill is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome. It is one of the most ancient parts of the city, standing 40 meters above the Roman Forum, looking down upon the Forum on one side of the hill, while the Circus Maximums towers over the other side. Many tourists tend to over look Palatine Hill, as it is often overshadowed by the Colosseum. However, we are making sure to add it to your 2 days in Rome itinerary, because it is worth seeing! 

The ruins of ancient palaces on this hill are mixed in with a green haven. Wild flowers grow amongst the ruins. It is a beautiful spot to learn about the history of Rome, or to just simply sit back and relax, seeking shade beneath some trees. This area is very peaceful, and thus it might be nice to have it be your sixth stop of day one during your 2 days in Rome, as you can escape some crowds. But make sure you don’t miss the views from Palatine Hill: you can see the labyrinthine ruins, the Colosseum and Capitoline Hill from this fresh perspective!

The greenery of Palatine Hill is a wonderful, restful stop for tourists!

Stop 7: Finishing the Day at the Roman Forum 

For your last stop on day 1 of conquering Rome in 2 days, we recommend swinging by the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum is located at the center of Rome and was originally used as a public meeting place and marketplace around 500 B.C. The Forum eventually developed and expanded: statues, arches and other buildings were built to accommodate the growing crowds. Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus also added to the area! 

Some of the important sites you might want to see during your 2 days in Rome include the Senate House, The Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, and the Sacra Via. Although many of these buildings are now runs, the ruins and the Forum itself have continued to serve as a source of inspiration for artists. It is the perfect location to wrap up your day 1 in Rome, as it has a great dose of history (such as the main road that ran through the Roman Forum and connected the city to other important sites!). It attracts over 4.5 million visitor annually, and thus is a famous tourist site, making it a must see during your 2 days in Rome– especially if you love the history! 

The Roman Forum is full of ancient Roman Ruins but is still beautiful.

Day 2: Finishing Your 2 Days in Rome with The Vatican and Rome Favorites 

Stop 1: Starting at The Vatican Museums 

Vatican City is large and vast, and thus we recommend spending almost a full day exploring it! When you are on crunch time during your 2 days in Rome, we want to make sure you can see everything you want, but we highly recommend stopping at the Vatican Museums as your first stop during day 2. You will find lots of art and history in the Vatican Museums, including the iconic Sistine Chapel! But– warning– these museums are large and will take up a large chunk of your time during day 2! We promise it will be worth it! 

These museums contain roughly 70,000 pieces of work, of which only 20,000 are on display. Several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces are located here, and it is the 4th most visited art museum in the world. So, make sure to pace yourself and give yourself time to explore all that you can here! That’s why we are putting it on the list first, so you can take your time and not feel rushed while exploring the museums. We would also recommend getting tickets in advance, especially skip-the-line tickets, as you don’t want to waste time waiting to get inside these gorgeous museums. 

Recommended Vatican Museum Tour: Vatican Museums And Sistine Chapel Fast Track Entry

The Vatican Museums show 20,000 pieces of work attracting thousands of visitors a week.

Stop 2: Moving to Saint Peter’s Basilica 

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the world’s holiest Catholic shrines and is visited by thousands of tourists every month, so of course we had to add it to your 2 days in Rome itinerary. According to Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus’ apostles, and his tomb is supposedly directly below the high alter of the basilica. Arguably, this is the most prominent building in the Vatican City as it is the dominant feature of the skyline of Rome, covering 5.7 acres. 

Saint Peter’s Basilica is right by the Vatican Museums, so it seems logical for this to be stop two on your second day in Rome. But we would like to warn you that Saint Peter’s Basilica has a long line, no matter when you go! We highly recommend booking entrance in advance or arriving early to avoid the crowds. Combined with the Vatican Museusm, these two stops will take up most off your day– at least six hours or so– so make sure to plan accordingly! You don’t want to miss the beautiful art and architecture of Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Nave and North Aisle have chapels and statues that are breathtaking in photos– just imagine them in person! 

Recommended Vatican Tours And Resources:

Reserved Entrance For Saint Peter’s Basilica

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, And Saint Peter’s Guided Tour

Saint Peter's in Rome is beautiful and offers great views of the city.

Stop 3: Climb The Dome of Saint Basilica 

Not many visitors know that is possible to climb to the top of Saint Peter’s Basilica’s dome. Known as the “cupola,” this dome is 450 feet off the ground and stretches 129 feet in diameter, making it a hard-to miss part of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Getting to the top of the dome is a must do while you are conquering Rome in two 2 days, as it is a great opportunity to enjoy a dissing panoramic view of the city while also admiring a top down view of Saint Peter’s Basilica Nave. 

You are able to take an elevator to the roof if you are interested in saving 230 steps, but this costs you two extra euros. However, you can also walk the entire 551 steps up the dome for eight euros. Warning: during Summer the stairs can get stuffy, so avoid climbing during the hottest parts of the day! Once at the top of the dome, you’ll get a great view of the Sistine chapel and Vatican museums, as well as the Vatican gardens and St. Peter’s square. Even better? You can look down to absorb the beauty of the cupola from within– and trust us, it’s beautiful. Michelangelo designed it himself! 

You can climb up to the dome of Saint Peters and see the beauty Micheolagneo created!

Stop 4: Castel Sant’Angelo 

The Mausoleum of Hadrian, which is also known as the Castle Sant’Angelo, is the towering cylindrical building in the middle of Parco Adriano in Rome, and therefore is a must see during your 2 days in Rome. This building was originally commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Throughout history, the building was also used by popes and as a fortress and castle, but is currently a museum and that is why we have put it on your 2 days in Rome itinerary– it is beautiful and it is rich with history!

Castel Sant’Angelo is a fundamental part of history for Rome and the Vatican, as it once was used as a passage for the Vatican Palaces. Today it’s five floors are divided that can be accessed through spiral ramps, and you can even take one of these ramps to the entrance of a chapter of ashes and cells. The top of the castle has some rooms that were once used as Papal residence and are preserved well and you can also visit some of those, as well as the cells where the remains of Hadrian’s successors are. This place is truly filled with history and culture and you must see it during your 2 days in Rome!

Castle St. Angelo is now a museum rich with Roman history that you must see!

Stop 5: The Pantheon 

For your fifth stop of day 2 in Rome, we suggest stopping at the Pantheon. The Pantheon is another iconic monument of Rome, as it was once a Roman temple. Today it is a church, but the building still holds it symbolism as one of the most preserved and influential buildings of Ancient Rome. Originally, this temple was dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. 

Built in A.D. 118, the spectacular design, proportions and elegance are a must see while you’re conquering Rome in 2 days. As mentioned, it is the best preserved Ancient Roman monument, and although it is a master as to how the Pantheon managed to survive raids throughout time– especially when other monuments had been shattered– the structure of the Pantheon is ahead of its time. The exact composition of the material used to make the Pantheon is unknown. But between its dome, statues, and gorgeous design, this is something you don’t want to miss. 

The Pantheon is an iconic temple of Rome that was built for the gods

Stop 6: Piazza Navona 

Lastly, but certainly not least, we suggest stopping at the Piazza Navona on your 2 day in Rome. The Piazza Navona is a square in Rome that was built in the 1st century AD. It follows the space of the Stadium of Domitian, which is located right next to the square. Ancient Romans used to come here to watch games, but today it is a public space which exemplifies the Baroque Roman architecture due to the Fontana di Quattro Fiumi and Fountain of Four Rivers that are located in the square. 

We recommend stopping by here on your last stop of your 2 days in Rome itinerary because the Piazza has many monuments such as the Palazzo de Cupis and Sant’Agneses in Agone. It is also a familiar spot in literature and films, making it a popular destination location. It can been seen in films such as Angles and Demons and Catch-22. It is a must see during your 2 days in Rome, and is great to simply walk through the Piazza and relax while doing so as this is your last stop on the itinerary 

The Piazza Navona in Rome is a square with lots of monuments and true Roman architecture.

Where to Stay in Rome

1. Seven Suites 

Offering gorgeous contemporary rooms, Seven Suites is an awesome place to stay in Rome, both for the convenience and comfort! The closest metro stop is only a 10-minute walk away, and there is also a bus stop 50 feet away that can take you to Termini. The rooms are all stylishly designed, and some of them come with a balcony! If you are looking for where to stay in Rome with a balcony make sure to request one when booking here. It is located in Testaccio, which can give you the relief of not staying in a touristy area during your 2 days in Rome! 

Check prices: Booking.com

Seven Suites is a great place to stay when in Rome: comfy and affordable!

Photo credit: Seven Suites Via Booking.com

2. Relais Monti

Only 1,300 feet away from the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and 2,650 feet away from the Colosseum, Relais Monti is perfect for exploring some of Rome’s most famous sights. It is also only a 10-minute walk from the main train station, Termini, making it easy to see popular attractions outside of Monti. The hotel itself is comfortable and stylish- a perfect mix for where to stay during your 2 days in Rome!

Check prices: Booking.com

The Relais Monti offers free wine tasting at their location!

Photo credit: Relais Monti Via Booking.com

3. NH Collection Roma Centro

Even though NH Collection Roma Centro is a more affordable option in Rome, they do not slack on style or comfort. It is also incredibly convenient, with two metro stations only a short walk away. NH Collection offers luxury accommodations without the luxury price tag, making it one of the best options for those traveling on budget, and thus, we highly recommend it for when you are trying to conquer Rome in 2 days! Add it to your 2 days in Rome itinerary! 

Check prices: Booking.com

The NH Collection is another great stay while visit Rome!

Photo credit: NH Collection Roma Centro Via Booking.com

4. Radisson Blu Es Hotel

There is certainly no lack of entertainment at the Radisson Blu Es Hotel. With a rooftop pool, spa, and multiple restaurants, there is plenty to occupy your time at the hotel. The hotel is across from Termini, the main train station in Rome, so it is very convenient to explore Rome in two days!

Check rates: Booking.com

This hotel offers great rooms and wonderful rooftop spas and pools so you can relax when you're done exploring the city!

Photo credit: Radisson Blu Es Hotel Via Booking.com

5. Tree Charm

Not only is Tree Charme one of the most charming hotels in Rome, but it also has an awesome location. Set on the banks of River Tiber, it is a 15-minute walk to the Vatican, and Campo de’ Fiori Square is only 1,800 feet away from the hotel! The rooms are designed with both comfort and style in mind, and you can definitely tell. Despite some saying that it’s location on the other side of the river from Central Rome is a misstep, this close location helps avoid touristy attractions while exploring Rome in two days. 

Check prices: Booking.com

Tree Charm Bed and Breakfast is perfect for your stay and so charming

Photo credit: Tree Charm Via Booking.com

Read More: Where to Stay In Rome

Two days in Rome is ample time for you to visit many of their most iconic monuments, to enjoy the rich history, art and culture of the eternal city! Using this 2 days in Rome itinerary, we do hope you get the chance to visit everything you want to see, as Rome is a fantastic city. Rome will welcome you home with open arms, making your two days there special! And if you’re staying in Rome for more than 2 days, make sure to check out our detailed 10 Days in Rome Itinerary for other places to see! 

 

how to see rome in two days

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