The ongoing debate that has plagued Italian tourists for many years is how many days you should spend in Rome. Truly, there is no amount of time that would be enough to fully explore this city filled to the brim with culture, history, and art. Whether you spend a day or a month in the Eternal City, you’re guaranteed to leave wanting more. While we’d generally say that 2 days in Rome is not enough to do it fully justice, we at Tourist Italy believe that with the right itinerary, anything is possible.
With 2 days in Rome, Italy’s capital, you can explore the highlights of one of the world’s oldest cities, brimming with historic treasures. For many years it was a center of politics and power, and the epic structures from these eras live on today as popular tourist attractions. There is the Colosseum, which once held gladiatorial events and games as entertainment. There’s Vatican City, home to the famous Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. And don’t forget the Trevi Fountain decorated with fine sculptures of the Roman deity Oceanus.
Rome is also a city for ardent foodies, as you’ll see in our guide to Roman cuisine. Packed with bustling markets, tiny family-run trattorias, and hole-in-the-wall pizzerias, it’s a delicious city to explore through the palate! If you’re wondering what to see or do in Rome in 2 days, tours can help you get your bearings in a city overflowing with wonders. Here are our recommendations for your 2 days in Rome itinerary, ensuring an unforgettable experience!
Begin your 2 days in Rome with a delightful Rome Market Tour and Cooking Experience. Your tour starts at Campo de’ Fiori market. Here, you’ll meet a professional chef who will help you choose the best produce. After you’ve picked your ingredients, venture to a kitchen in the heart of the city and learn traditional tips and tricks from the chef as you prepare homemade pasta. This tour offers a wonderful introduction to Roman cuisine and you can try your new recipes out on friends and family when you return home!
Campo de’ Fiore is close to some of Rome’s most famous tourist attractions. After lunch, you can easily walk to the Spanish Steps or the Pantheon Temple which houses the tomb of Raphae. Also nearby is the ancient Roman Forum, once the heart of the Roman Empire, and the iconic Trevi Fountain. Have a local expert enrich each site with history, stories, and legends on this insider tour of Rome. Or take a more in-depth look at magnificent historical sites with the Colosseum Arena Tour.
If you don’t want to leave the city without visiting the Colosseum, you can enjoy a romantic or family dinner and drinks in a charming trattoria overlooking the illuminated structure. Check out our guide to Rome’s best restaurants and bars for more ideas on where to enjoy your evening. A wine-tasting experience at a local enoteca is the perfect way to round off an eventful first day in Rome. Then turn in for the night in one of Rome’s beautiful hotels. We’ve curated the highlights for you in our Where to Stay in Rome Guide.
Arise early and stroll to a local café to enjoy an early morning espresso as the city springs to life. We have a few of the best curated for you in this Rome Design Guide. Then it’s time to take your pick of delightful experiences in the city or beyond. The Rome Frascati Wine Tasting Tour takes you to the heart of Roman wine production and teaches you the secrets behind the local varieties. You’ll enjoy tastings paired with delectable local accompaniments, followed by lunch in a traditional trattoria. If you prefer to stay in the city, dig deeper into Roman cuisine with a cooking class with a local. And if you’ve become obsessed with Roman pizza, learn how to make it yourself with this Roman pizza class.
A short walk from Campo de’ Fiori is Castel Sant’ Angelo, an unusual 2nd-century cylindrical castle accessed via a bridge dotted with angel sculptures. It houses a unique collection of paintings and furnishings and is one of the lesser-known city highlights. While you’re across the river, you must see Vatican City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the smallest country in the world. St. Peter’s Square offers breathtaking views of St. Peter’s Basilica, where the Sistine Chapel houses Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes. The Vatican museums cover 9 miles of ground and boast some of the largest art collections in the world. Seeing them with a knowledgeable guide is key to getting the most out of the experience. Our Ancient Rome and Vatican Treasure tour and the Vatican, Catacombs and Sistine Chapel tour each offer a different spin on this mammoth institution.
Embark on an evening Rome Food Tour to become an expert on the city’s flavors. The tour takes you to the Trastevere neighborhood, a delightful locale with cobbled streets and vine-covered trattorias with checkered tablecloths. Dive into culture, architecture, and history as a chef introduces you to the Rome many tourists never see. You’ll stop at local shops to sample regional specialties and then head to an exclusive location for fresh homemade pasta. Finish a five-star evening with a stay at the five-star hotel, J.K. Place Rome. Immaculately designed and centrally located with all the luxury amenities one could ask for, it’s the perfect way to end 2 days in Rome.
Is 2 Days in Rome Enough?
Let’s be honest – while you may be able to see most of the highlights of Rome in 2 days on one of our best Rome tours, a city as jam-packed as Rome is likely to seduce you into staying longer. Furthermore, taking your time and spreading out the eateries and museums will give you time to really soak it all in. Tour packages like the Taste of Rome 5-day Food Tour will provide ample time to fall in love with Rome’s flavors. A longer trip will also give you an opportunity to take a guided tour from Rome to somewhere like Venice, Pompeii, or Naples. Browse through our Ultimate Rome Travel Guide to help you make an informed decision about your upcoming trip. Whether you’re in Rome for just 2 days or you slow down to savor the moments, this is one trip you’ll never forget.