Perfect Rome itineraries

How to see the best of Rome in anywhere from half a day to two days.

What the grey and blue time bubbles mean

Since this itinerary takes into account travel time (walking, taking the Tube, driving, whatever),

  • The times in grey circles are the times by which you need to start moving in order to go to the next stop.
  • The times in blue circles are the times by which you should arrive at that stop to begin the fun.

How to get the most out of just half a day in Rome


How to get the most out of just 24 hours in Rome


How to make the most of 36 hours in Rome


How to get the most out of just two full days in Rome


How to get the most out of just two and a half days in Rome (that's three days, but you are arriving in town on the first day or leaving on the third)


How to get the most out of just three full days in Rome


How to get the most out of just three and a half days in Rome if you are just arriving


How to get the most out of just four full days in Rome

Activities, walks, & excursions links


These are merely blueprints

You really should spend your time on whatever catches your own interest.

Some people would rather get a root canal than spend several hours in the Vatican Museums, but for others an afternoon of Old Masters and antiquities would rank as the highlight of their trip.

Same goes for shopping, or cramming a dozen churches and museums into a single day: Heaven for some, hell on earth for others.

For some less-famous sights to visit, check out Reid's List: Rome.

Adjusting for Sundays and Mondays

Keep in mind that you may have to adjust these itineraries in case one of the days you're in town happens to fall on a Monday (when many museums—and restaurants—are closed) or a Sunday (when many things are closed and those that remain open tend to operate on shorter hours—for example, churches are often only open to tourists in the afternoon).

Don't try to cram in too much

Keep in mind that these are maximal itineraries, designed to cram as much a reasonably possible into the time allotted.

(Though you will notice I pad about 10–20 minutes between stops to give you time to get from place to place. That's why if, say, it says to arrive at Sight #1 at 9am and spend 45 minutes there, Sight #2 doesn't have you arriving until 10am—that "missing" 15 minutes is walking time.)

Aside from that, there is no down-time built in for relaxation—which you really should have.

You're on vacation, after all.

I suggest using these but maybe dropping a sight which interests you less (or curtailing your time at a couple of sights) in order to carve out from some free time to just sit at a cafe, writing postcards and watching the carnival of Italian life swirl past.

Get current hours

This is all meant to be ballpark. What is currently open in town (and those open hours) changes more frequently than you might think, so always make sure you get updated open hours and other intel at the Rome tourism information website.



 (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

Vacation blueprints for your trip to Italy so so you can get the most out of your trip, no matter where you want to go and how much time you have to see the best of Italy

Sometimes it's best to toss away the plans and just wing it

All about the itineraries: How they work, how to schedule your days, when to book things, tips, hints, and foolish assumptions we have made