24 hours in Rome

  • Written by  Irene Ramponi
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Coloseum Coloseum Photo by Jimmy Walker, via Flickr. Licence: cc-by-sa-2.0

 A common situation in which a common backpacker could find himself waiting for the next flight: 24 hours to stay in Rome; What to do?.

If you're on a budget, here's what you could do...

First of all, if you’re at the Fiumicino Airport, the less expensive way to reach the center of the city is the Terravision bus (for more checkout their WEBSITE: a 4€ ticket will take you to the central train station Roma Termini in 55 minutes. You'll find the tickets at the ticket corner at the Airport. If you feel like saving yourself about 20 minutes, you can buy a 14€ train ticket at the ticket office and take the Leonardo Express train to the same destination.

The Roma Termini station is the most comfortable place to start a 24h tour around the city, so it would be wise to find a good and cheap accommodation near here. There are hostels within 10 minutes of the station, so make your pick, take a quick shower and get rid of your bags.


After leaving your luggage, time to start the tour. You can go around walking or using the underground station Termini (in this case, we recommend purchasing a big integrated daily ticket for 6€). You can walk for a while or take the underground (Metro B, direction Laurentina), and stop at Colosseo.

ColosseumHere is the beating heart of the Ancient Rome, location of the Roman Forum, the Palatino Hill and the Colosseum. All of this is obviously a must-see, and likely Rome’s most iconic place. With one 9€ ticket, you can visit all three places. We recommend coming a bit early because the crowds could be overwhelming for a quiet visit! If, after this, you have some time to spare, we recommend visiting the Campidoglio Square, a beautiful place on the hill, designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti, where you will have a great view of the entire city.


PantheonFrom here you can continue your walk through Via del Corso (alternatively Metro B, direction Battistini, stop Spagna) through which you can easily reach the Pantheon (free entry for a very picturesque fusion of Ancient Times and Renaissance building, a really good preserved Roman temple from 27 BC, with a rounded dome, converted to a church afterwards), Piazza Navona with the Four Rivers Fountain, the Trevi Fountain, projected by Bernini, a miracle of Baroque sculpture, and, at the end, Piazza di Spagna, with the spectacular staircase of Trinità dei Monti Church.

One hint: One of the best ways to visit Rome without spending a fortune is to discover the places with no enter-fee, for example the unique squares of the city or the free entry buildings.)

By this time, you should really be hungry! The best option now is to take a break and have a nice lunch in the typical restaurant like Trattoria Da Tonino, called Er Pallucca, or Trattoria Bassetti, both very near to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. These places are well recommended by Romans! Here you can have the whole package for 20€, everything from appetizers to desserts, in a really traditional, Old Rome atmosphere. You won't be disappointed by the courses, varying from a lot of pastas, like Amatriciana, Arrabbiata, Carbonara. Gricia, Gnocchi alla Romana to fabulous meat like Coda alla vaccinara - oxtail stewed until tender and buttery and Trippa alla Romana - tender tripe in creamy, spicy tomato sauce, served sprinkled with pecorino cheese, and more. Don't forget to taste the home made Tiramisù too. Just remember to pay attention because there is no sign outside the restaurant.


If you prefer saving some money and time (and thus missing the opportunity to eat really good) and continue your run-arround, you can have an ice cream or the typical pizza al taglio. Both cheaper but valid solutions to eat (every pizzeria al taglio or ice cream shop is good and cheap in Rome, with prices between 2€ - 7€). In this case, you could visit the Park of Villa Borghese, one of the most beautiful green corners of Rome, where you can enjoy your ice cream or a slice of pizza sitting on a bench and observing the local talent, and then, making a trip into the green. Villa Borghese is near Piazza di Spagna. There is also Piazza del Popolo which is also a really nice place to see and without spending a cent.


Vatican CityIf you are still not tired, you can take the metro A, direction Battistini, stop at Ottaviano-San Pietro and spend your afternoon in Città del Vaticano, where you can observe the Vatican, St. Peter's Cathedral from the outside and walking through the imposing St. Peter's Colonnade. Before coming back, have a beautiful jump in Castel Sant'Angelo, walking around the monumental complex.


Even though now would be the time to get back to the, you could add a little something more to your visit. Hop on the Metro A again, direction Anagnina and stop at Repubblica: the location of the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the genius conversion of a ancient Roman thermal complex in a spectacular church by Michelangelo Buonarroti. In less than a kilometer, it depends if you're tired or not, you could find the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, on the top of the Esquilino Hill. I think that, even for a quick look, it could be a good and relaxing trip.


Now it's time to enjoy the night in Rome! The best way to do that is to have a walk in Trastevere, a must do in the nightlife of the city. If you’re too tired, you can use your daily ticket and take the bus line H, stop at Sonnino/San Gallicano and you will be in the heart of Trastevere quarter. At this point, try to just wonder through the little streets, full of pubs, restaurants, and picturesque corners; the central point of the quartier is Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, where you could find the homonymous and ancient church, well illuminated by night.

First of all, let’s find something to eat for a good price: if you want to try the adventure of an Italian aperitivo, well, go to Freni e Frizioni (Via del Politeama, 6). For 5 euro, you could taste a rich buffet with a drink; the food here is really healthy and the atmosphere is really vintage. If you want to enjoy your Roman dinner for the last time, you can choose between one of the typical trattoria, for example Roma Sparita, in one of the most quiet and nice squares of Trastevere, piazza di Santa Cecilia, Ristorante Forcantina (Via Portuense, 81), one of the best places for meat, or La Scaletta (piazza Santa Maria della Scala). In all of these trattorias, a big and complete menu goes for about 10-15 euro.

Italian trattoria signWell, after eating the best way to savor the joy of life in Rome is to wander through the animated lanes of Trastevere and to enjoy free street shows and live music everywhere, or to watch buskers, street artists and dancers and much more.

To plunge into the spirit of the old Rome, sit at Bar Calisto, in Piazza San Calisto, one of the ancient cafès of the city, a historical institution in Rome, and have a cheap beer, a coffee or a granita with fresh cream... A must here…Just to feel like a real citizen of Rome!


Last modified on Monday, 15 February 2016 22:53


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