Rome Itinerary 4 days – How to Make The Most of Your Time In Rome & Vatican City

Colosseum Rome Italy

 

 

Spending 4 days in Rome? Not sure what to do? Well, I’ve got a fun-filled list of ideas for you for your trip to Rome. Unrivaled history, amazing cuisine and style, while 4 days in Rome are nowhere near enough hopefully, my Rome itinerary for 4 days of exploring the impressive capital gets you up to a great start.

 

Explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum, roam around Villa Borghese, and wine and dine in Rome’s trendy district. Whether you looking for what to do in rome in 4 days, taking on a Rome itinerary of 3 day,
Rome itinerary 2 days or even Rome itinerary of 5 days you can slice and dice the itinerary below to suit your tastes and time available to you. So let’s get lost in la bella citta di Rome!

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Rome Itinerary At A Glance

 

Only have 4 days in Rome? Not a problem, here’s  what to see in Rome in 4 days at a glance

  • Day1: The heart of Rome – Colosseum, Constantine Arch, Roman Forum and Giovanni in Laterano
  • Day 2: Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Galleria Alberto Sordi, Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna & Borghese Gallery
  • Day 3: Jewish Ghetto, Orange Garden and Trastevere
  • Day 4:  The Vatican Museums, The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica

 

The Perfect Itinerary For Rome in 4 Days – How to Make The Most of Your Time In Italy’s Capital

 

Rome is one of those cities with a rich story and thousands of years of history right at your fingertips. Now, I’ll admit that 4 days is not even close enough to see everything that Rome has to offer. But, it is more than enough time to get in some of the best sights and activities in Rome.

 

To make the most of you time you can also opt to add tours in Rome. There are plenty to choose from, from 1-day highlights tours of Rome for those hoping to do Rome in a day to 2 or 3 day Rome tour packages, food tours for the food and wine lovers as well as walking tours which will certainly help you work off the delicious food that is enticingly irresistible.

 

So, let’s run through what I call the perfect 4-day itinerary for an epic trip to Rome…

 

Day 1 – Exploring The Heart of Rome

 

For day 1, I found that I could comfortably fit in the following 5 sights without feeling too rushed, even better if you are able to do 7 days in Rome.

  • The Roman Colosseum
  • Constantine Arch
  • Roman Forum
  • Terrazza delle Quadrighe
  • San Giovanni in Laterano

 

You’ll, however, have to get an early start on the day if you want to do all 5. Most of these sights are in walking distance to each other except for the last one where you’ll probably want to catch a cab or the train.

 

Italy Rome Colosseum

 

As one of the most iconic sites in the world – it is after all one of the 7 wonders of the world – it’s only befitting to start off a trip to Rome with the Roman Colosseum.  Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it will leave you in awe just as it did me.

 

I started with the steps to the north side so that I could get photos in front of the exterior of the Colosseum. It is one of the most popular sites in Rome so if you go, just be prepared for a lot of tourists.

 

Inside Rome Colosseum

Rome

Rome Italy

Constantine Arch Rome Colosseum Rome  

 

After leaving the Colosseum, we headed down to the Constantine Arch. It’s just a 2-minute walk away from the Colosseum. From there it was on to the Roman Forum which is only a short distance from the Arch. This area was the social and political activity hub of the Roman empire so there is plenty to see here.

 

We enjoyed walking along the main street (Via Sacra), seeing the temples and other sights, and just imagining life during the Roman Empire.

After walking the streets of the Forum, the next thing was to get a fantastic view of Rome from the top terrace – Terrazza delle Quadrighe. Then, to finish off the day was a trip to the San Giovanni in Laterano.

 

Rome Italy

 

We had some time to spare later in the afternoon so made an escape of tourist attractions and when to explore the neighbourhood of Monti. The trendy quarter of Monti is home to Rome’s hip kids, with its quirky independent shops, and abundance of restaurants and numerous funky hangouts.

 

I would liken Monti to London’s Shoreditch. Every weekend, the suburb is home to a vintage market, held in the conference hall of Grand Hotel Palatino since 2009. The market is an eclectic ic of the old and new, merging vintage treasures with a mordern twist and contemporary creations with lots of sass.

 

 

 

Day 2: Exploring Rome’s Fountains & Gardens

 

Like Day 1, We choose attractions that are near each other to limit traveling time in between and so I could get in as much in the day.

  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona and the fountain of 4 rivers
  • Galleria Alberto Sordi
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Piazza di Spagna
  • Borghese Gallery

 

 

pantheon dome rome

Trevi Fountain In Rome

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy

Fountain of Four Rivers In Rome

 

We started off day 2 with a trip to the Pantheon, a former temple turned church which is another iconic Roman tourist attraction. After that, it was off to the Piazza Navona which offered a variety of spectacular sights including the Fountain of Four Rivers in the square.

 

Then, it was on to lunch and a bit of shopping at the Galleria Alberto Sordi. If you do like me, just make sure you don’t get carried away with the shopping and forget about the other locations I was able to visit on my day 2.

 

Fountain of Four Rivers Rome Piazza Novona Rome Italy

 

After lunch, we headed off to the Trevi Fountain. It certainly lived up to its description as one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome. Then, we hung out for a bit at the Pizza di Spagna (the Spanish steps) another famous square in Italy.

 

Finally, to top off my day, we stopped by the Borghese Gallery and Museum which closes at 7:30 p.m. we had to book in advance because of the demand for access but it was well worth it. No park in the city is as loved by Romans as Villa Borghese, with its grand manor and stunning gardens.

 

Inspired by the quaintness of English landscape design, it is built on the site of a former vineyard and features a number of heritage buildings. The curious thing about Villa Borghese includes the fact that the gardens feature in composer Respighi’s Pini di Roma and a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was built in the park in 2003. The on-site Galleria Borghese is well with a visit for its beautiful exterior and the variety of works featured inside the gallery.

 

 

Day 3 – A day in the Jewish Ghetto, Orange Garden(Giardino degli Aranci) and Trastevere

 

Despite the associations that are often made with the term ghetto, the Jewish Ghetto in Rome was a treat. From the synagogue to the ancient market and theatre and the Jewish Museum, there was just so much to do and see here that could easily take up more than half the day. There were also quite a few options for restaurants and cafes, so we stayed in the Jewish Ghetto for lunch as well.

 

The Orange Garden

 

For some secluded serenity, head to the Orange Garden on Aventine Hill. Not only will you wander through the picturesque gardens designed in 1932 by Raffaele De Vico, but you will get a mesmerising view of the misty dome of St Peter’s Basilica at the lookout.

 

After snapping some unforgettable instashots, a walk through the colourful Rose Garden(open only in Spring) is an absolute must. The garden is kept beautifully and offers an insight into the elegance of Italian landscape design.

 

Rome Itlay

Jewish Ghetto Rome Jewish Ghetto

 

 

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day exploring Trastevere. Some of the sights we enjoyed in Trastevere included the Basilica of Santa Maria, one of the country’s oldest churches, and the Santa Cecilia Church.

 

There were several squares where we hung out, and of course the Botanical Garden of Rome. Because of the bohemian nature of the district and that the streets are teeming with visitors until late, there are plenty restaurants and cafes in the area for a snack and late dinner.

 

 

 

Day 4 – Exploring The Vatican City

 

We capped off my 4-day trip to Rome with a stop at The Vatican. This site alone requires a full day to be able to see all the sights and just appreciate the beauty and power of the area. Some of the attractions that are a must in the Vatican were:

  • The Vatican Museum
  • The Sistine Chapel
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica
  • Climb The Cupula In St Peter’s Basilica
  • Explore nearby cafes and restaurants for a bite to eat

 

  Vatican City

 

To avoid disappointment make sure you check and book in advance for a visit to Sistine Chapel. It was closed during our visit.  I have a separate post with tips for visiting the Vatican City. Also, note that you can you can climb to the top of the Dome of St Peters Basilica. This is called the Cupola. When you are inside the Basilica there is an entry to the Cupola.

 

It’s a bit of a climb so you need to be reasonably fit or just really take your time. Also note, that there no wheelchair access. There is a charge of Euro 7 if you take the lift – It’s worth the money unless you want to do stairs all the way. If you visit in the morning there is hardly a queue. 

 

You can inside the dome at the top of the Basilica and then to the top and outside. The views are spectacular as you can see all of Rome – you straight down into St Peters Square. This is a must when visiting Vatican City.

 

Cupola Dome Climb Rome Italy

 

Map Of Rome’s Tourist Attractions

 

Many of the tourist attractions are just a short walk from each other. The Trevi fountain is less than a 1o minute walk from the Spanish Steps, and Pantheon is about an 8-minute walk from Spanish Steps and from Pantheon you can walk to Piazza Navona in just 5 minutes where you can find the Fountain of Four Rivers. Blow is a map showing many of what to see in Rome being only a short walk from each other.

 

 

 

Rome’s Restaurants and Food Scene

 

The itinerary about allows for some flexibility on things to do in the evening. This way you can check out as many restaurants and cafes. You can also simply buy gelato and chill by the Trevi Fountain or Spanish Steps and watch people go by.

 

For those that want to sample Roman gastronomy then head to Pigneto is Rome’s answer to London’s Shoreditch, with a bustling bar scene and colourful street art. This tasty gem is right smack in the middle of it all. Check out Pigneto 41 whose menu changes daily. They Serve amazing Roman cuisine based on whatever is available at the market that day.

 

If you like food with a view then check out Guida Ballerino. Here, you can enjoy the delicious cuisine of celebrity chef Andrea Fusco at this Michelin-star restaurant on one of the best terraces of Rome.

 

For a sweet touch, head to Gay Odin and sample the sweet splendor of chocolate from Naples. They have a variety of flavours and fusions to try, including handmade creations from their Maitre Chocolatier.

If you want sublime Italian Gelato then check out Pompi in Via Albalonga where pastries are baked fresh onsite. Matched with Italian coffee, this an authentic Italian cafe, serves up spritz and aperitivi with a variety of treats.

 

Getting Around Rome

 

Rome’s many attractions are around the famed historic district. You can easily travel around the city using the city’s metro. You get free transportation with Rome’s Omnia Card.  There are 3 lines that take you to various parts of the city.

 

Rome also has an extensive bus network and tram system. This public transport comes in handy, while you discover most of Rome on foot as we did. Ther are must-see places in Rome that require access by public transport, especially if you want to add day trips from Rome to your itinerary.. Station staff are always on hand to assist you if you are stuck but ticket machines are also multilingual. You can also ask your hotel reception or concierge for help or tips on getting around.

 

There are also plenty of taxis in Rome but just make sure you use designated taxi stands of which are many and dotted around Rome. You cannot hail a taxi in Rome.

 

 

Where To Stay In Rome

 

There are plenty of options for where to stay in Rome. I will be sharing a post with tips on the best areas to stay in Rome detailing the best neighbourhoods to stay in Rome. In the meantime check out my other post on the best hotels in Rome with balcony views of the city’s tourist sights. For hotels in Rome click here.

 

 

And that capped off an epic 4-day Rome itinerary. 

 

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