Seeing Rome in A Day! The ‘Must-see’ Attractions in Rome if You’re Limited for Time
Is it really possible to see the best sites and places in Rome in just a day? The short answer to that question is yes! You can! But it’s going to be a really fast paced trip, started in the morning and finished in the evening. It’s best to split the time up into a few days if you have time. Really take in the sights, sounds, smells, history and glamor of it all. But, sometimes we have just one day.
Seeing Rome is on the bucket list of countless travelers, all over the world. There is so much to see, and if you sadly do not have enough time to spend in Rome as you would like, there are some sights that you simply cannot miss.
The Roman Coliseum
Seeing Rome must include seeing The Coliseum, which may be found east of the Roman Forum.
It was built for practical purposes, and includes 80 arched entranceways that allow 55,000 spectators to easily access the site. Originally, these spectators would be seated by rank. Outside the main coliseum is the Arch of Constantine. This monument was built in 315 A.D. as a tribute to Constantine’s victory over Maxentius, which occurred at Pons Milvius.
Imagine walking around this incredible feat of engineering, sitting in the spectator seats, and thinking back that they once flooded the entire arena and re-enacted famous naval battles!
The Fontana di Trevi
This lovely fountain, Trevi Fountain in English, is the largest of the Baroque fountains in Rome and considered to be one of the most beautiful fountains in the world. Local legend says that if you are visiting and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, that this will ensure you another trip for seeing Rome.
Oh, and make sure to stop at Bar Gelateria while you’re there for arguably some of the best Gelatto in the world.
This is the most influential and preserved building from ancient Rome. The temple is dedicated to the gods hailed by pagan Rome. It was built between 118 and 125 A.D., to replace a previous Pantheon that burned down in 80 A.D.
It is still used by The Church for official gatherings and meeting. Last time I was there, the Pope himself was due to be meeting several Bishops. Made for quite a spectacle with all the guards around the building. Unfortunately, we were all kept a distance away so seeing inside was difficult.
The Roman Forum
When I tell people that the Roman Forum is my most favorite place to visit in Rome, I’m often met with skeptical looks. I mean, down the block, literally, is the Coliseum. The highlight of any visit to Rome! Without question it is certainly the highlight and truly a world wonder to see. But the Forum was the seat of power of Rome, once the center of the world, the place where Ceasar himself was murdered by his trusted friends and colleagues. Legend has it that Romulus and Remus themselves founded Rome on that very spot. Pretty cool!
This was the showpiece center of ancient Rome. The district includes vibrant public places, proud basilicas and marble-clad temples. Today, you can only picture it as it was in ancient days, as you marvel over the impressive ruins. The landmark sites in the forum include the Curia and the Arco di Settimia Severo.
Basilica di San Pietro
St Peter’s Basilica is the largest Christian Basilica. It is found in the Vatican City heart, and fills 186 meters in its length. The Basilica is 46 meters tall in the center and the main dome is an astounding 136 meters in height. It has ample space for 20,000 worshippers.
Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti
The Spanish Steps are a wonderful place from which to watch people, and many tourists find themselves here at some point. Piazza di Spagna, at the base, takes its name from the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See. The church atop the steps, Trinità dei Monti, was actually commissioned by the French King Louis XII in 1585. It is a place of wondrous Daniele da Volterra frescos and memorable views of the city.
Be sure to take in the sights above the steps as well, some of the best cafe’s line the area, filled with great tasting foods. The art inside the Church’s is beautiful to see and worth a visit inside if time permit.
The Sistine Chapel was painted by 33-year old Michelangelo, who was much sought after as a painter and sculptor. He was ordered to work for Julius II in 1505, to create a tomb for the pope that rivaled anything created for any king, and even for Caesar.
The Circus Maximus
Did you know that the Circus Maximus is still used today? It is for huge crowds at rallies and music concerts. It was originally a chariot track, of course, for races in Rome after the 6th century B.C. It was used also for gladiator battles and the Roman Games. The last chariot race on record at Circus Maximus took place in the 6th century. In the 20th century, it was partially excavated and remodeled.
If you can’t extend your stay in Rome, at least be sure to visit these ancient sights, which are considered among the most important in Rome. And, the book saves me while there (he’s up to 2015): Rick Steves Rome 2015
Seeing Rome in a day is quite an adventure, but can you really see it all in just one day?
Well, it really depends on what you want to see, but you can see most of the major sites. Fortunately, most of the places here are fairly close to one another so moving from one to the next isn’t too difficult. Just remember your walking shoes when seeing Rome!