48 Hours in Rome: What Dreams are Made of

Author: SDanck

Rome is one of those cities you could explore for a week.  Rome is also one of those cities you can do in less than 48 hours if you’re just as aggressive as KDanks and I.  Pack your bags for Rome and prep your heart for too many cappuccinos as we’re about to Rome in 48 hours.

For this guide, we’re going to assume that you have landed in Rome sometime between Tuesday to Saturday.  The Vatican museum is closed on Sundays and a lot of the other main museums have the schedule I want are closed on Mondays.

There are two airports in Rome (Leonardo da Vinci and Ciampino).  Either way, it’s roughly an hour on public transportation to get into the heart of Rome. Take the train to the Roma Termini (Rome’s main train station) and stay in one of the main hostels in the area.  I recommend getting to Rome in the early evening so that you can get lit plenty of rest prior to aggressively sightseeing.

Trevi Fountain

  1. Price: FO’ FREE
  2. Dress code: normal clothes
  3. Hours: all dayyyyy
  4. Gets pretty crowded during the day, but worth it. It’s all gorgeous at night so you can see it on your way to the bar. Preferably before the bar. We all look good in the photos on the way out to the bar, but no one appreciates the girl forcing us all to take sweaty, frizzy selfies at the end of the night (you know who you are). There are gelato shops and other little shops in the area, so there’s plenty to keep you entertained during the day as well. Hit us up if you find Paolo.  I threw a coin in and he did NOT show up to make me famous. #rude


Spanish Steps

  1. Price: freeeee
  2. Dress code: normal clothes
  3. Hours:  all dayyyyy
  4. Famous square with cafes, shops, etc, great for people watching. Don’t sit and eat your food on the steps. The locals will judge you and you literally could not be more in the way. Move it!


  1. Price: 13+ euros per person (You can order the tickets online).
  2. Dress code: normal clothes
  3. Hours: 8:30 AM to 7 PM
  4. There are several options from audio guides to actual tours so pick whichever tour suits your time frame. I had high expectations for the Colosseum.  I’m not saying I didn’t have the words and dance moves memorized for ;This is What Dreams are Made of,” but if an attractive Italian was looking for a powerful duet partner, I may have been available.  Though if that Italian man tried to make me a mockery, I would have stolen the show. NBD.


Roman Forum

  1. Price: This is actually covered with your ticket to the Colosseum.
  2. Dress code: normal clothes
  3. Hours: 9 AM to 7 PM
  4. Bring water and snacks as this is a deceiving large area and you will probably have to wait in line for a bit. Get the audio guide as without it, you’re just walking around staring at a few big old piles of rocks.


*actual footage of you trying to look like an intellectual. #proudofyou

Piazza Navona

  1. Price: freeeee (look at me saving you all sorts of money for booze. You’re welcome)
  2. Dress code: normal clothes
  3. Hours: 24/7
  4. Famous square with cafes, shops, etc, great for people watching (does this count as a sport? I’m an Olympic athlete if it does).


  1. Price: freeeee
  2. Dress code: normal clothes
  3. Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM
  4. We didn’t have a problem getting in and it’s located in Piazza della Rotunda which has a lot of little shops and cafes.  Raphael is buried here (not the Ninja Turtle.  The artist, you uncultured human).

Vatican City – be prepared to leave Italy (technically) for these two sites:

St. Peter’s Basilica

  1. Price: freeeee
  2. Dress code: no shoulders, hats, short skirts, etc. Try to not look like a heathen, as this is an active religious site.
  3. Hours: 7 AM to 7 PM
  4. You can climb to the top of the dome to get a full view of Rome.  Pack some water and snacks in your bag and wear comfy shoes as you will be standing in line to go through security (security is similar to that at the airport).  They will let you through security but stop you from entering the site if you are not dressed appropriately.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

  1. Price: 16 euros per person (try to buy these tickets in person otherwise you could be in line to buy the tickets for hours)
  2. Dress code: no shoulders, hats, short skirts. Look nice.
  3. Hours: closed Sundays but M-Sat 9AM to 4PM
  4. This is the last item on the list, as it’s probably the one item that will take the most time for you to see (I’d recommend reserving at least a half day for this place alone). Photos of the Sistine chapel aren’t allowed due to copyright reasons (fascinating story, I promise but is for another time) and try to get an audio tour as guided tours are expensive.

You won’t leave Rome with fond memories of selling out the Colosseum, but you’ll leave a little hung over with very sore feet. But isn’t that what dreams are made of?


rome map

Any other places worth checking out? Leave recommendations in the comments below

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