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Roaming through Rome: A 48 Hour Guide

Italy's capital city is like the cool kid that invites you to all its haunts, hangouts, and hidden corners.


Roaming through Rome: A 48 Hour Guide

Rome is spectacular.

Italy's capital city is like the cool kid that invites you to all its haunts, hangouts, and hidden corners. It wants to be known, and explored. After all, every cobbled street and winding alleyway leads to a new, fantastic, and (probably) hundreds of years old landmark.

I was fortunate enough to spend two full days in the Eternal City. The person I was travelling with led me to have a more immersive experience as they wanted to try new places, bar-hop, and stroll around the city. Following suit, I was more open to the experiences the city had to offer than I might have otherwise been.

How to see Rome in 48-hours

So how do you make the most of two days roaming through Rome? You pick two main attractions, allow plenty of time to stroll around, and fully indulge in the local lifestyle. You can combine these three fairly easily by staying somewhere central like Trastevere or Ripa, where I stayed. It gives you both proximity to excellent local restaurants and bars while still being within walking distance of some of Rome's classics like the Roman Forum, or the Pantheon. I can't overstate it enough, walking is the best way to see the city.

Day 1: The Vatican

Despite a slow start, we left about noon and walked most of the way to the Vatican from the Ripa neighbourhood and through Rione VI Parione and the Campo de' Fiori market. We made it to the Vatican just after 1 and quickly entered, prepared to explore its museums.

Give yourself several hours to take it all in as there is so much to see you'll be left in awe with every step. Every surface, from the artwork to the buildings themselves are breathtaking. I didn't see St Peter's Basilica but my last and lasting impression is the Sistine Chapel. It's one of the most impressive sights you're likely to see and you'll want to spend at least 10 minutes just basking in its glory. They don't let you take any photos there so you're forced to be in the moment.

After parting ways with the Vatican, we opted for some aperitifs at a nearby bar which included a glass of prosecco, some wine and charcuterie with different kinds of cheese. We ended up having a starter there before taking a slow walk back to our hotel. After popping in and out of bars where we enjoyed further drinks, we passed through Trastevere and learnt about the neighbourhoods history thanks to the VoiceMap audio tour. Finally, and only 15 minutes from our hotel, we settled into a small bustling restaurant for thin-crust pizzas before calling it a night.

Day 2: The Colosseum and Roman Forum

The next day, after another slow start, I set off to Piazza Santa Maria to meet up with a colleague. After snapping a few pictures of the basilica and fountain, we set off to the Roman Forum. After taking in the view from spots around Campidoglio (a public square on Capitoline Hill), we discovered that I'd accidentally booked tickets to the Forum that included the Colosseum - a welcome surprise.

We walked around the Colosseum, taking in the colossal structure and marveling at its beauty. Eager to try out the VoiceMap tour of the Forum and escape the crowds, we didn't linger too long. Even though we struggled to navigate our way to the starting point after entering from the wrong side, the tour worked a treat and allowed us to discover fantastic vistas and interesting tidbits about the Forum.

Famished and tired from all our walking, we hopped in a taxi to Trastevere where we had lunch at the fabulous Ristorante Sottosopra. We sat upstairs, on the rooftop terrace and enjoyed views of the surrounding area. We both opted for their special, risotto with a generous helping of truffles which was exquisite.

After saying goodbye, I headed back towards the centre of town. I tried to use a route I hadn't walked yet, eager to take in new sites on my last day. As I walked, I noticed a beautiful russet colour-building and a winding path to its left. I decided to follow the path. It seemed interesting and as I wound my way up, I could hear music and people chatting jovially. I continued my assent and discovered Giardino degli Aranci, a beautiful garden filled with citrus trees. At the end of the garden was a small crowd enjoying a local busker and breaktaking views across the city.

I spent a few minutes enjoying the changing light before finishing my journey back to my hotel. After a quick shower and change, I was ready for dinner.

After an aperitif at the bar we found on our first night, we then walked around until we found a small unassuming restaurant called Ristorante Jole, La Cucina Romana di Nonna. The menu features a variety of dishes with quirky names and does little to prepare you for the delicious flavours that tantalise your tastebuds with their aromas and appearance. I enjoyed their artichoke flan and citrus spaghetti.

Italy fed me well, both body and soul.