Rome: One week itinerary

Rome Insider
Colossal masterpiece (Photo: LonelyPlanet Images)
"Browse in Via del Governo Vecchio's vintage shops, and finish up with an aperitivo (drink and nibbles) on the Campo de' Fiori."
Rome Insider

With a week to play with in Rome, you'll be able to see a substantial slice of Rome, though you'll still need a lifetime or two to see the rest.

Day one

Start at St Peter's and climb its dome for your first view over the Eternal City. Then visit the incredible wealth of the Vatican Museums (+39 06 698 84947), including the Sistine Chapel. You can book tickets online for the museums, which saves on queuing. Note also that the Vatican Museums have restarted late opening this Autumn, so on Fridays the museums open until 11pm.

Day two

Start at Capitoline Hill, visit its museums, then the Roman Forum (an audio guide's a good call here) followed by the Colosseum. Spend the afternoon picnicking and relaxing surrounded by the romantic ruins of the Palatine.

Day three

Start by the Tiber, with a quick peek at the Mouth of Truth (+39 06 678 1419), before walking to the top of Aventine Hill via the nearby cobbled path, Clivo di Rocca Savelli, to see Piranesi's mysterious Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta and peer though the hole-with-a-surprise in the Knights of Malta Priory door. Then visit the graceful church of Santa Sabina (+39 06 579 41) and neighbouring Parco Savello, a walled orange grove. Later head for the Spagna district to window shop or punish the plastic.

Day four

Start the day by throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain — according to tradition, this means you’ll return to Rome, so if you miss out on anything this trip, save it for the next. Explore in and around the Pantheon (+39 06 6830 0230) and Piazza Navona. Another nearby must-see is the church of San Luigi dei Francesi (+39 06 688 271), with its dramatic Caravaggios. Browse in Via del Governo Vecchio's vintage shops, and finish up with an aperitivo (drink and nibbles) on the Campo de' Fiori — don't miss the adjoining Piazza Farnese.

Day five

Spend the morning discovering the fuss about Trastevere, the "other side of the Tiber". Its major churches are Santa Maria in Trastevere (+39 06 581 4802), with its glinting exterior mosaics, and Santa Cecilia (+39 06 589 9289). Lunch in a local backstreet restaurant and then wander through Orto Botanico. Storm the steep hill of Giancolo for awesome city views.

Day six

First, pick up a picnic at one of Rome's divine delis. Then start at Piazza del Popolo and gaze at the Caravaggios in Santa Maria del Popolo (+39 06 361 0836). Meander uphill to Villa Borghese for your picnic and then hire bikes to whiz along evocative umbrella pine-lined paths. Visit the Museo e Galleria Borghese (pre-booking advisable), one of Rome's finest galleries, a baroque palace packed with ancient artistry.

Day seven

Take advantage of a traffic-free Sunday to visit Via Antica. This ancient road once stretched all the way to Brindisi in the south. You can hire bikes from the park information office on the road and cycle out into the emerald-green, ruin-dotted countryside. Leave time to visit the ancient Christian catacombs, and the nearby hulking Terme di Caracalla (+39 06 575 8626), vast Roman baths. Alternatively, have a relaxing day trip out to Ostia Antica, Rome’s astonishingly well-preserved, but often overlooked, Roman port to the south of the city.

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form below.

Next: Hotel reviews

Related video: An Eat Pray Love Roman holiday

User comments
i like to visit rome italy
Yes definately have to check out the trevi fountain.. and it wouldn't be a visit to Rome without the spanish steps?
We visited Italy May 2010 and Rome is a must see, but there is no need for 7 days - Trevi fountain was my highlight of Rome and most favourite fountain in the world! Florence (when you hit the Gelati festival) and Sienna are amazing and even Verona is great. Milan was nice but Como and the golden triangle were gorgeous too!
That's a pretty good list to start with but here's some more ideas, Save the cost and time of seeing Pompeii by going to Ostia Antica,Rome's well preserved ancient port. It's only 30 mins from Rome on the Ostense line, Eat dinner in Campo Dei Fiori where the Romans eat. A day trip to Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli (only a hour away by Atac bus from the Termini Railway Station) is well worth it. Grab a picnic and eat in the park on top of Nero's Domus Aurea adjoining the Colosseo. Learn to fight like a gladiator at the Ludus (school) on the Via Antica. Lastly, take an empty water bottle and fill up with icy-cold free water from Rome's fountains (Nasones) while you walk. Buon Viaggio!
Having been to Italy 7 times with an eighth visit coming soon I think doing 1 week in Rome in one go at anytime of the year is crazy but especially in July or August.Travellers or tourists would enjoy it more if they broke it up and missed lots of what has been mentioned. Walking on cobbled streets as suggested for so long is stressful to the body- get outside of Rome for a day or two or do another 2 days before you fly out. Delete most of the above and do Colosseum, Sistine Chapel and area, Catacombs,Piazza Navonna. Eat lots of Gelato and take it in slowly!! Yes and I am an art teacher- save the other art visits for Florence.
what about Trevi Fountain?! its gorgeous by day and night!
What about the Trevi fountain, it was one of the highlights, of my visit to Rome, 2008. The Vatican & Colasseum, were amazing, and everything else in Rome but the TREVI fountain, I will remember forever.***