Do As The Romans Do: A 3-Day Itinerary For Rome, Italy - Updated 2021

Do As The Romans Do: A 3-Day Itinerary For Rome, Italy - Updated 2021

Rome, Italy is a beautiful city that receives plenty of tourists visiting it annually. It’s rich in both culture and history, but has adapted well into modern times with its vibrant city life. Known as the Eternal City, it definitely is an amazing capital.

However, one might ask, how can we explore this awe-inspiring city in just three days? We know, it seems relatively impossible! There are so many attractions and things to do in this rich city, but trust us, we think our itinerary will satisfy any tourist taking a short getaway to Rome.

From touring the historical sites, to visiting the smallest country within Rome, and dedicating an entire day to feasting, this 3-day itinerary is jam packed with a mix of traditional tourist fare to atypical activities. This itinerary is perfect for any tourist who’s visiting Rome for the first time, so strap yourselves in and read on to find out what we would recommend doing in Italy’s Eternal City!

Day 1: roam-in' holiday

Morning: tour Rome, on a vespa!

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on Vespa in Roman Holiday trailer
Source: Photo by user used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Vespas seem to be synonymous with Roman roads, and are an extremely iconic sight. This mode of transportation was made popular and chic because of the movie Roman Holiday, and is now considered to be the best way to get around Rome. However, if you’re afraid or don’t have a license, you can hop on board the back of a vespa with a designated driver and have a tour of some of the most famous sights in Rome. Featured below are some of the most interesting places that you’ll be visiting with Rome by Vintage Vespa.


0 Colosseum - Rome 111001 (2)
Source: Photo by user Jean-Pol GRANDMONT used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the main attractions on the tour is the Colosseum, an iconic Roman tourist attraction. It’s so popular that annually it receives millions of tourists from all over the world. It holds the record of being the largest amphitheatre ever built, and as you enter it, you’ll be in awe of the architectural marvel and its level of preservation.

Pyramid of Cestius

Pyramid of cestius
Source: Photo by user Francesco Gasparetti used under CC BY 2.0

Pyramids are iconic in Egypt, so the Pyramid of Cestius is an extremely unusual sight in Rome. However, it is worth a visit, which is why it will be included on your vespa tour. Compared to the authentic Egyptian pyramids, the Pyramid of Cestius is actually too steep and too pointed, and this is likely because of the inaccurate drawings from the past. However, it’s a rather interesting sight, and is actually well-preserved, so you can see the inscriptions on it.

Aventine Hill (from USD 162.0)

Aventine Hill is one of the Seven Hills that Ancient Rome was built on, but is now a great place to get away from the bustling city to a spot providing great views. A unique thing you could do here is to peek through a keyhole at the Piazza of the Knights of Malta. Also, if you pass through a lush green walkway, you’ll see St Peter’s Basilica. Many visitors line up their cameras with the keyhole to take an artsy photo, so how about joining in the fun?

Rome by Vespa: Classic Rome Tour with Pick up

Duration: 3 hours

103 reviews

Afternoon: learn to be a gladiator (from USD 102.0)

Most people would have heard of gladiators — who are considered fearless warriors — as they’re an iconic part of Roman history.They might not exist anymore, but it’s an interesting prospect to learn how to be a gladiator. Well, you can make your dreams come true with an entertaining visit to the Roman Gladiator School. At this fun and educational class, both children and adults alike will earn about gladiator fighting techniques from trained professionals from the Historic Group of Rome.

In this class, you’ll get the chance to wear traditional gladiator clothing and make use of their iconic weapons in a fight. At the end of your class, feel free to dress up in the traditional garb and pose for pictures to use them as bragging rights!

Rome Appian Way Roman Gladiator School and Museum Admission

Duration: 2 hours

868 reviews

Evening: make a wish at Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s most iconic sights and is also the largest Baroque fountain in the city. Trevi Fountain is one of the more well-preserved fountains, making it a must-visit! During the day, the Trevi Fountain looks absolutely marvelous, but it looks even more spectacular at night. It’s bright and radiant when the lights are turned on, which also makes the statues look hauntingly beautiful.

Legend has it that if you toss a coin into the fountain, you’ll be guaranteed to return to Rome, so how about partaking in this iconic activity? Fun fact: More than 3,000 euros are tossed into the fountain daily and that money is donated to subsidise a supermarket for Rome’s needy citizens, so you’ll be contributing to a good cause!

Trevi Fountain

Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma, Italy

Price: Free of charge.

Opening Hours: Open 24/7.

Website: Trevi Fountain

Day 2: spend the day in the Vatican City

Morning: marvel at all the galleries at the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums might seem like heaven on earth for an art aficionado, as it’s one of the largest museums in the entire world. It comprises 54 different galleries, so you can take at least the entire morning to explore them all. The Vatican Museums are a definite must visit because they have a large collection of many beautiful art works, and to think all of that can be congregated in one large museum! Even if you’re not that into art, you may have heard of the Sistine Chapel, the last gallery within the museum. It’s a spectacular room, and if you tilt your head up, you can admire the frescoes, the most iconic is entitled ‘The Last Judgment’ by Michelangelo.

Vatican Museums

Address: Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma, Italy

Price: from 17 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. (Ticket Office is open from 9 am to 4 pm)

Website: Vatican Museums

Afternoon: gape at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Another iconic attraction that should be visited in the Vatican City is St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy’s largest and richest basilica! Michelangelo acted as the main architect of this magnificent building, and it is just filled to the brim with history! If you think it looks amazing on the outside, wait till you actually enter the basilica! There are many intricate details carved into the walls and ceiling, making it look extremely gorgeous. St. Peter’s Basilica also contains many different but marvelous works of art, and one of the most famous statues on display is Michelangelo’s Pietà.

St. Peter's Basilica

Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

Price: Admission is free.

Opening Hours: 7 am - 7 pm (April to September) , 7 am to 6 pm (October to March)

Website: St. Peter’s Basilica

Evening: climb up the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica

Up the dome we go!

View from the dome.
Source: Pixabay

Something you have to do before you step foot out of the Vatican City is to climb up the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. A small fee is required to head up, but we believe it’s worth the price! We say that the fee and trip up St. Peter’s Basilica is worth it because of the view you’ll experience once you’re up there. You’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of the Vatican City and Rome, all illuminated by the sunset.

St. Peter's Basilica

Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

Price: from 8 USD (using lift), 5 USD (walking)

Opening Hours: 8 am - 6 pm (April to September) , 8 am to 5 pm (October to March)

Website: St. Peter’s Basilica

Dinner at Bonci Pizzarium

Day 3: devour your way through Italy

Morning: explore famous Roman food markets

Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio

Campagna Amica Market near Circus Maximus

Campagna Amica Market near Circus Maximus is yet another Roman food market, but what sets it apart is that it’s only open on the weekends. Many locals and tourists alike flock here to have a look or buy some goods.

This food market has a combination of both fresh produce and dishes that are prepared on the spot. So you could either grab some ingredients and cook something up for yourself, or munch on some delicious Italian dishes.

Mercato di Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo

Address: Via di S. Teodoro, 74, 00186 Roma, Italy

Opening Hours: 9 am - 4 pm. Only open on weekends.

Website: Mercato di Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo

Afternoon: delicious pasta and gelato

Have lunch at La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali

La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali is a small, family-run restaurant. It features a limited menu, but the dishes they offer are done extremely well. From its humble beginnings, it has grown to become a must-visit by both locals and tourists alike.

The main draw to the restaurant is definitely the iconic Italian dish, pasta, and La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali serves up some beautifully plated and delicious pasta dishes. You’ll probably find a dish that will suit your preferences, so come by for a true taste of Italian cuisine!

La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali

Address: Via della Madonna dei Monti, 9, 00184 Roma, Italy

Price: from 9 USD

Opening Hours: 12.3 0pm - 3 pm (lunch) , 7.30 pm - 10.30 pm (dinner). Closed on Tuesday.

Website: La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali

Gelato at Giolitti Gelateria

Family owned and operated since 1890, Giolitti Gelateria is considered the oldest gelateria in Rome. It’s, thus, famous amongst both locals and tourists because of their high-quality, delicious gelato.

There are a plethora of different flavours to choose from, and whichever flavour you choose, you’ll savour it and feel satisfied. There’s nothing more delicious than licking your gelato while strolling Rome’s ancient streets on a warm summer’s day.

Gelateria Giolitti

Address: Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, 00186 Roma, Italy

Price: from 3 USD

Opening Hours: 7 am - 1.30 am

Website: Gelateria Giolitti

Evening: cook with an Italian nonna

Many people who love to cook will attribute it to the influence of the women in their lives. Grandmothers tend to be the world’s best cooks, especially when it comes to authentic, homemade dishes. So consider joining the Cooking with Nonna cooking class and learn to cook with a real Italian grandmother!

Two Italian grandmothers, or ‘Nonnas’, alternate between teaching the cooking classes, and they’ve been housewives for most of their lives. Both of them only speak Italian but fret not, because there’s a translator that will help the class interpret Nonna’s directions.

Some of the dishes you’ll learn to cook in this class are classically Italian, like gnocchi and tiramisu. Also pay attention in the class and cook the dishes well, because you’ll actually get to eat the dish you prepared for dinner!

This cooking class is both educational and fun, so you’re bound to have an excellent time. The next time you’re missing Italy while you’re back home, you can whip up some authentic Italian dishes and indulge in them.

Cooking with Nonna

Price: from 105 USD

Opening Hours: from 4.30 pm

Duration: around 4 hours required.

Website: Cooking with Nonna

Have a roaring good time in Rome!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it can be hard to visit all of Rome’s places-of-interest in 1 day, or even 3 days! However, we hope we were able to help narrow down the choices you have to make with this 3-day itinerary. So book a trip to Rome and experience what this wonderful city has to offer!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Eunice is an introvert and is most comfortable snuggling in her bed and reading a book. However, mention travelling to her and she's always willing to jump out for a new adventure!

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