What to See With Limited Time in the Historic City
Though Rome merits an extended visit, it’s possible-with a basic plan, some energy, and a good map-to see several famous and fascinating sites in just a couple of days. In order to experience everything that Rome has to offer, it’s necessary to visit for several days, even weeks. But with limited time, it is also possible to see several major tourist attractions and places slightly less well-known, especially by traveling on the metro.
At times it will be a somewhat fast-paced couple of days, of course, but even in a time crunch, it’s possible to appreciate the rich history of one of the world’s most incredible cities.
The Coliseum and Surrounding Area
It is possible to get a combination Coliseum and surrounding ruins tour for the same day; often there is a one hour break between the two, enough time to grab a quick lunch and explore the area near the Coliseum. Be wary, however, when looking for places to eat: Many cafes and restaurants hike up the prices in this area so frequented by tourists.
Metro stop: Colosseo on the Blue “B” Line
Fontana di Trevi
This ever-crowded attraction and work of art is a don’t-miss for romantics looking to experience all of the popular tourist sites in Rome. Making a wish in this fountain by tossing a coin over the shoulder is a favorite tradition for visitors. Within walking distance to other attractions, such as the Spanish Steps. Metro stop: Barberini on the Blue “B” Line
The Villa Borghese Gardens
Rent a bike; it is worth it for seeing more of the park in a short period of time. Prices are reasonable, especially when divided among a group of people. The sprawling gardens are exquisite, and attractions include an art museum called the Galleria Borghese.
Metro stop: Flaminio on the Red “A” Line
Piazza del Popolo
Not far from the gardens is the wide, cobblestone Piazza del Popolo, a wonderful place to take a break, do some people-watching, and relax. There are also some wonderful photo opportunities available here. Metro stop: Flaminio on the Red “A” Line
The Vatican and the Basilica di San Pietro
Though located somewhat far from some of the central tourist attractions, Vatican City is another major site to see for visitors, and is a prime pilgrimage destination for Roman Catholics. The centerpiece of this beautiful area is St. Peter’s Basilica, or the Basilica di San Pietro. Metro stop: Ottaviano or Ciprio on the Red “A” Line
A beautiful place to explore at night, the Spanish Steps are another trademark of Rome’s attractions. There are several restaurants in the vicinity, but again, beware of high, tourist-targeted prices. Several designer stores are also located nearby, for those looking for some haute-couture. Metro stop: Spagna on the Red “A” Line
Regardless of where you are in Rome, there is always somewhere to look: Ancient ruins tucked behind a Renaissance-era building, a cathedral dome that shapes the skyline, some sort of marble sculpture in the center of a piazza. And even with limited time, it is possible to enjoy at least a little bit of the rich layers of history that comprise Rome.