Rome in 3 Days: The Ultimate Rome Travel Itinerary (Day 1)

what to do in rome - ultimate rome travel itinerary

Rome is most certainly one of the most charming cities I have ever visited. The eternal city of Rome, today the capital of Italy, has been built between the seven hills, therefore rightfully referred to as “The City of seven hills”. The hilly terrain allows you to admire countless panoramic views. 

3 days in Rome are perhaps too little to see all the city has to offer without a proper travel itinerary. The city is gigantic and with all there is to see, it’s easy to lose track of time. That’s why I have prepared a 3 day Rome travel itinerary that plans your steps around the city of Rome.

I recommend to follow the guide in order not to miss on anything. You can of course tweak and turn activities around to your liking or switch between the days.

My Roman City Guide guide is spread through 3 different blog posts, one for each day in Rome. Happy reading!

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  • A list of things to do in Rome by day
  • How to reach Rome
  • How to move around rome
  • Where to stay and eat
  • Things you must have for your trip
  • Recap of important details


🚎 Guarantee skip-the-line shuttle bus tickets to/from Roma Fiumicino Airport

🏛️ Get your Tickets to Pantheon with free cancelation to avoid the long queue

🍕 Book a Food Tour for the ultimate experience of Roman cuisine

the ultimate rome travel itinerary


(Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo, Monti)


Start your day in the old city center of Rome. From your hotel, head to Piazza Navona, one of the nicest squares in Rome. Piazza Navona was built on the spot of a stadium where ancient Romans went to watch games.

Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona


Distance: 5min walk from Piazza Navona

Two streets away from Piazza Navona you will find the magnificent Pantheon. This former Roman temple and later also a church is one of the best preserved ancient Roman buildings in history. 

The line to enter the Pantheon often circles around the square (you can see it in the left corner on the photo below). Together with the heat in Rome, you for sure do not want to wait in the sun for hours. My suggestion is to purchase the tickets in advance.


Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon


Distance: 10min walk from Pantheon

Famous also for the scene from “La Dolce Vita”, Fontana di Trevi is a popular Roman attraction. It’s normally packed with people and impossible to see decently. If you want to take that perfect Instagram photo, I suggest coming by the next day early in the morning.

There are ancient ruins of a Roman aqueduct hidden right below the trevi fountain. Discover the ancient ruins through a guided tour.

But why is everyone tossing coins into Fontana di Trevi?

So it goes like: ” If you throw one coin into Fontana di Trevi, you will return to Rome. If you throw two coins: you will fall in love with an attractive Italian. If you throw three coins: you will marry the person that you met.”

You should throw the coin into Trevi Fountain facing the fountain with your back and toss the coin over your left shoulder.

Fontana di Trevi - Trevi Fountain Rome
Fontana di Trevi - Trevi Fountain Rome

Trevi Fountain


Distance: 10 min walk from the Trevi Fountain

The Spanish Steps connect Piazza di Spagna below with Piazza Trinità dei Monti with the equally named church on top of the stairs. There’s a total of 135 steps, which make a nice little climb (especially if you’re in Rome in summer).

Hint: Return back to the Spanish Steps to watch the sunset over Rome.

The Spanish Steps, Rome
The Spanish Steps, Rome

The Spanish Steps


Distance: 10 min walk from the The top of the Spanish steps

From the top of the Spanish Steps, head left towards Villa Borghese. The road is panoramic, with views on Rome on each step. On the way you will pass by Villa Medici, a beautiful 16th century villa surrounded by gardens, today also an art museum. Villa Medici makes a lovely pit stop if you enjoy art, or gardens really.

Make a note: Villa Medici is closed on Tuesdays, on other days, you can visit it between 10 am-6.30 pm

The name Villa Borghese is not an actual villa but 80 hectares (cca 197 acres) large public park, full of attractions and relaxing green areas. The entrance to Villa Borghese is free, yet you will need to pay separately to visit some attractions. The park is open 24/7 which gives you enough time to explore it on your own terms. 

Attractions to put on your list while visiting Villa Borghese Park:


Distance: 2min walk from Villa Borghese

Piazza del Popolo is a square right under Pincian Hill where Villa Borghese is. The name “Piazza del Popolo” literally translates into “People’s Square”, perhaps due to the area being closed for transport.


Distance: 30 min walk from Piazza del Popolo or 15min by metro A

From Piazza del Popolo, head back to the top of the Spanish Steps and admire the sun setting over the rooftops of Rome.

Since it’s time for aperitivo, it’s only right to have one. I suggest moving from the busy central area into the area of Monti. Monti is THE place to be for all things hipster, vintage, aperitivo, and food. Its cobblestone-paved streets are the usual hangout of both, expats and local people. 

If you’re hungry I recommend passing by Taverna Romana in Via della Madonna dei Monti. To explore Rome’s food choices in full, you can also go on a food tour.

Here is a link to a highly recommended street food tour in Rome.

Typical dishes to try in Rome

  • Caccio e Pepe
  • Pizza al Taglio
  • Supplì
  • Artichokes
  • Bucatini All’Amatriciana
Streets of Rione Monti, Rome
Dinner at La Taverna Romana

Streets of Monti neighbourhood (left) and dinner at Taverna Romana (right)


Monti neighbourhood is the perfect area to stay in Rome as a tourist. Not only is the area tourist-friendly and right by the city center of Rome, but it’s also close to Roma Termini train station and the shuttle bus stop to the airport. Moreover, you will find some great on-a-budget accommodation in Monti.

Book your stay in rome

I had my room booked with DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti Hotel. Super comfortable and amazingly looking hotel with 4 stars, a 24/7 desk, and an amazing rooftop cocktail terrace. The hotel is perfect for business or leisure travel and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys great comfort when traveling.


Please mind that I traveled for work and if I went to Rome for leisure travel I would have chosen something cheaper. If you’re looking for something more on a budget, I would recommend the following accommodations in Monti, Rome:

View Colosseo from Jacuzzi Apartments - Source:

BEST LOCATION: View Colosseo From Jacuzzi Apartment

  • 4 stars
  • 9.0/10 Booking rating
  • FREE Cancellation
Rione Monti Suites, Rome - Source:

BEST DEAL: Rione Monti Suites

  • 4 stars
  • 8.9/10 Booking rating
  • FREE Cancellation on all rooms
  • Optional breakfast 3eur
The Britannia Hotel, Rome. Source:

BEST TRADITIONAL STAY: The Britannia Hotel, Rome

  • 4 stars
  • 8.5/10 Booking rating
  • FREE Cancellation
  • Breakfast included

You can find a list of all hotels available in Rome for your dates of stay HERE.


From Rome Fiumicino Airport book either a shuttle bus or train to Roma Termini train station.

Book the shuttle but tickets here. No worries if you need to cancel the trip, the tickets include free cancelation

Book the train tickets to/from Roma Termini to Fiumicino Airport here.


9 am: Start your day in Piazza Navona and enjoy the calm morning

9.45 am: Head to the Pantheon and visit this magnificent Roman Temple (don’t miss out on the tickets and purchase them in advance)

11.30 am: Visit the Trevi Fountain and book a tour to the ancient ruins of a Roman aqueduct 

12.30 pm: Walk up the 135 Spanish Steps and admire the view of Rome

1.00 pm: Stop at Villa Medici on your way to Villa Borghese

2.00 pm – 5.00 pm: Enjoy all that Villa Borghese Park has to offer and don’t forget to stop by Galleria Borghese (skip-the-line tickets here) and the oldest Italian Zoo (get the tickets here).

5.30 pm: Walk to Piazza dell’Popolo and have a little break

6.30 pm: Head back towards the Spanish Steps to wait for the sunset, then continue your way to Monti for an aperitivo and dinner.

8 pm onwards: Have an aperitivo in the streets of Monti or book one of the Roman food tours to finish your day 1 in Rome in style!

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