Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither has it ever been fully experienced in a weekend. However, two days is sufficient time in which to be utterly swept off your feet by this devastatingly handsome capital.
City breaks to Rome have the potential to deliver the perfect balance of ancient grandeur and romance to the traveler pushed for time. The key is simply to have a solid plan of attack, so tick off your sweet spots with this tasty itinerary for a weekend of indulgence…
Arm yourself with a Roma pass, make like a true gladiator and defeat the queues with an early morning trip to the Colosseum, or embrace continental convention and hire a Vespa to zoom through the busy streets and beat the traffic. The Colosseum is, of course, the first point on everyone’s agenda, so naturally, it’s swarmed, but the world’s largest amphitheater will more than remunerate the wait to get inside with its awe-inspiring architecture. Reward the morning’s traipse with a cool gelato, then hotfoot it to the Vatican City. Admire the frescoes adorning the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and if you’re feeling energetic, ascend the 320 steps to the roof (or take the elevator) for a bird’s eye view of the city. Descend the famed Spanish steps and dine somewhere near the lavish Piazza di Spagna. Nightlife in Rome starts late, so don’t hurry your meal. Head to the swish Alexanderplatz for some live jazz, or Big Mama if blues is more your bag.
Take a trip to the finest art museum in a city of fine art museums; the Gallery Borghese (but only if you have made a reservation first, or it’s hopeless). Not only are there famous works by Caravaggio and Titian to be ogled, the surrounding parkland is a magical setting for some quiet post-art contemplation. Grab a slice of pizza in the charming medieval neighbourhood of Trastevere in one of its many dinky trattorias. Spend the afternoon looking around the beautiful and imposing Castel Sant’Angelo, which dates back to A.D. 135, then unwind in Campo de’ Fiori with drinks, relaxed in the knowledge that you came, you saw, and you conquered.
Well, almost. Before you head back to your hotel, don’t forget to visit the famous Trevi Fountain. It’s less crowded at night, so you won’t have to jostle elbows to sling in a coin. Legend has it, those who lavish their cash on this Rococo water feature will swiftly return to Rome, to do it all over again sooner rather than later.