How to Spend 24 Hours in Rome

rome in one day

Rome is one of those places that you dream about, and then it's even better in reality, and then you go back many times and it's just as amazing, if not more so, each time. Or at least this is my experience of it, and I hope it's your experience too :) If you can only visit Rome for 24 hours, I say do it - it's better than not visiting Rome at all!

Things to Do in Rome in One Day

In this post I'm going to be giving some unasked for advice on what the 'must sees' are in Rome in one day and (perhaps even more importantly), where to eat. This post is particularly relevant, and hopefully useful, if you are visiting Rome for the first time, because I assume if you've already visited Rome, then you're gonna already know what your favourite sites are and which restaurants you're going to if you're there for only one day. So without further ado, let's get started!

#1. The Colosseum

I thought long and hard about whether or not to include the Colosseum on this list. I visited it many times before I took a step back and was like 'wait, this is somewhere hundreds and thousands of humans and non-human animals died, isn't it creepy to romanticise this spot'? But ultimately, there are two key points here:

24 hours in Rome

1) you can still visit and not romanticise it, learn some history and consider all the ways we still commit atrocities on a mass scale today (e.g. meat and dairy industries) and 2) I've been there many times, I don't want to deprive you of that xx. Now, since you're a little bit pressed for time with your 24 hours, I think it's a good idea to go for priority tickets to skip the queue and get into the Colosseum quicker.

#2. The Vatican

If you're in Italy and want to hop on over to another country quickly, head to the Vatican! (So the fact that the Vatican is another country blew me away when I first found out about it. Granted I was seven at the time, although, to be fair, I think I'd also be blown away if I learnt this now, lol).

things to do in rome italy

Anyway, aside from it being another country, the Vatican is an important site to see for many reasons, one being the Sistine Chapel. There are lots of different Vatican tours to choose from, from semi-private to going underground to skipping the line and more - of course, for this one day case, we recommend skipping the line.

#3. Other Must Sees in Rome

I really recommend that you go by foot from the Colosseum to the Vatican, but that's not possible for everyone - if it's not possible for you, I recommend the 64 or the 81 buses which run very regularly. For everyone else, I recommend walking because there are so many things to see on the way like:

  • the Roman Forum with the Temple of Saturn;
  • Largo di Torre Argentina with a cat shelter (yes!) and further ruins;
  • the Pantheon, one of the earliest Catholic churces (since 609 A.D.)
  • Castel Sant'Angelo, originally Emperor Hadrian's (and his family's) mausoleum.

Rome is one of those places where beauty is everywhere, and so is history. Most random streets will take you to a random spot of ancient history or beautiful art - or, more often than not, both!

Food in Rome

best pizza rome

I purposefully only took one hour (to four hours, depending on how long you stop for photos), out of your 24 hours on sites, because if you're anything like me, you're probably going to want to spend the rest of your time stuffing your face with the best food in Rome, like:

#1. Best Gelato Rome

Only fifteen minutes from the Colosseum is the best gelato I've ever had: it was from a place called Grezzo Raw Chocolate. All their products are vegan and authentic af.

#2. Best Pizza Rome

Wani Vegan Bakery has been active since 2016 and they serve the best 100% plant-based pizzas in Rome. Their name could more properly be spelled W.A.N.I. because it is an acronym that stands for 'We Are Not Ingredient'. Plant power, people!

#3. Best Pasta Rome

I searched high and low for the best pasta in Rome, but nothing could come close to the home-cooked pastas I had there. And you can have some too! Bonappetour is kind of like Airbnb but for local meals instead of local beds. Enjoy an evening of food with your new friends :)

Wrap Up: How to Spend 24 Hours in Rome

So there you have it, some ideas about how to spend just twenty-four hours in Rome! If you're interested in authentic Italian snacks that you can try in Rome, here's a video we shot of doing that: trying popular savoury Italian snacks :) Enjoy!

What do you think? Have we convinced you to visit Rome? Or have you already visited Rome and if yes, was it a one-day trip? Let us know and please feel free to give us tips and advice!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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