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A trip to Rome is like a trip through world history. Locals laughingly describe it as a historical lasagna. Places and buildings have been reused, lost and found, ruined and rebuilt. It’s a metropolis unlike the world has ever seen before and definitely worth a visit for an extended weekend or even longer. Here are three perfect days in the Eternal City.

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day 1

The classics
There’s no better place to kickoff your Roman holiday than visiting the city’s most iconic historic sites. A good place to start is the world famous Colosseum. Just a few steps away from the modern subway, it will transport you back to the year 80 AD. Walk through the corridors and look out onto the field where the gladiators fought almost 2,000 years ago.

From the Colosseum make your way to the sprawling Roman Forum. For many centuries, the Forum was the center of Roman life. It was the main marketplace of the city and hosted grand processions along its elegant marble walkways. In modern times, even the ruins clearly show how grand a place this must have been when Rome was the heart of the empire.

Complete your trifecta of the ancient city and make your way to Palatine Hill. In close proximity to both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill is good to combine on a single day. The word Palatine equates to the word palace and this hill in the center of the city is home to some of itsoldest ruins.

Italian Espresso - Photo by Author

Italian Espresso – Photo by Author

Before continuing your tour of the city head to one of Rome’s classic cafes, La Tazza d’Oro. Its English translation means the cup of gold. Here you can find fresh roasted coffee beans and baristas pouring cup after cup of Italy’s famous espresso. Grab one for yourself and drink it as the locals do, standing up around tall tables, or to go.

For a less visited place to watch the sunset, head to Ascend Gianicolo for stunning city views at dusk.

day 2

The Vatican
Another major draw for visitors to Rome is actually the chance to experience a whole different country, the Vatican City. Inside the borders of this city state is the head of the Catholic Church, the Sistine Chapel, and the largest church in the world.

One of the best ways to explore the Vatican is to buy a Breakfast at the Vatican tour. This allows you early entry into the sites along with a nice breakfast in the gardens. If you are short on time this pass allows you to skip the massive lines that form during regular opening hours.

St. Peter's Basilica - Photo by Author

St. Peter’s Basilica – Photo by Author

After taking time to explore the architecture and beautiful facades of the Vatican’s many buildings, it’s time to head inside. Get ready to view the masterpieces hand painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Admire the details of Michelangelo’s years of work artistically depicting scenes from the Bible.

Next, save time in your day to properly visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the entire world. Admire the grand scale in which the church was built with its highest point being the 400-foot ceiling. People of faith could spend several hours inside, but outside is nearly as impressive including hundreds of columns adorning St. Peter’s Square.

day 3

The expansive city
For your third and final day, walk the peaceful gardensoutside the Borghese Gallery. Make your way inside to see an expansive collection of beautifully carved sculptures and centuries-old paintings. These works of art were collected by the Borghese family as early as the 1600s.

A short walk from the Borghese Villa is one of the cities most famous landmarks, and possibly the most famous set of stairs in the world. The 135 stone steps of the Spanish Steps fill the vertical gap between the Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti. While at the Spanish Steps make sure to see the beautiful Fontana della Barcaccia located at the base of the stairs.

Another short walk along the enchanting streets of Rome will bring you to another of the city’s most beautiful fountains, the Fontana di Trevi. While admiring the fountain, it’s almost obligatory to partake in the tradition of tossing money into the water. A local twist on the practice is to throw a coin with your right hand, over your left shoulder. It’s estimated thatmore than 3,000 Euros splash down into the fountain every day, the money is then used to feed Rome’s needy.

For an afternoon pick-me-up head to local favorite Corona Gelateria, for traditional Roman gelato. The sweet and cool treat will keep you exploring Rome and making the most of your time in this amazing city.

The Pantheon - Photo by Author

The Pantheon – Photo by Author

Finish your time in the city with a visit to the Pantheon, considered by many to be Rome’s best preserved ancient building. The structure escaped wars and destruction primarily because from the 7th century onward it was used as a church. The original purpose of the Pantheon was for the worshipof pagan gods, but was converted into a churchand still holds Catholic worship services.

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Tagged: Europe

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog GettingStamped.com.

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