Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

3 days in Rome | Perfect city break itinerary

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Wondering how to spend 3 days in Rome? With its mix of ancient ruins, romantic cobbled streets, bustling piazzas, al fresco restaurants and world-class coffee, Rome is surely the ultimate city break?

My Rome city guide is full of tips to uncover the best things to do in Rome. This bumper guide also offers practical advice on where to stay, the best places to eat and the best Rome tours.

3 days in Rome

Rome in 3 days

Rome in 3 days is the perfect way to see all of the city’s highlights. It’s enough time to see all of Rome’s most popular attractions, as well as discovering some of the best tours in Rome.

If it’s your first time in Rome, then you need this Rome guide to help get the most out of your trip. Rome is a huge, bustling city and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with its beautiful chaos.

Nothing is as wonderous as your first visit to Rome. To me, Rome is a city with a little something for everyone.

Whether you love history, architecture, art, or you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie, there’s a huge range of things to do in this vibrant city.

Wondering how to spend 3 days in Rome? With its mix of ancient ruins, romantic cobbled streets, bustling piazzas & al fresco restaurants, Rome is surely the ultimate city break? #RomeClick to Tweet

Rome Day 1

Rome Colosseum

The first stop on your trip to Rome should be straight to Rome’s iconic amphitheatre. The Rome Colosseum is one of the most famous sites from Antiquity.

This famous site is located in the centre of Rome. It’s a whacking great bit of history located in the middle of busy traffic, selfie stick touts and overeager tour guides.

If you wish to reflect quietly on this magnificent site, I would advise arriving at dawn. This way you should hopefully avoid the crowds, relentless cacophony of car horns and throngs of persistent street traders.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Colosseum Rome tickets

If history is your thing, I would recommend booking a tour of the Colosseum that includes priority entrance. This is the quickest way of getting in and will save you a lot of time queuing.

Let a licensed and knowledgeable guide take you around the 2 floors of the iconic amphitheatre and bring history to life for you.

Tours range in price and you can pick a tour to suit your needs when booking online.

By booking a Colosseum tour online, you can save money and guarantee entrance to this famous site.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Visiting Rome Colosseum

As from 2018, all visits to the Colosseum must be scheduled. You need to select the day and time of visit according to availability.

It’s important to book your tickets in advance to ensure you get the day and time you want.

Tickets with a scheduled entrance cost €12,00 and € 2,00 for reservation online. This ticket can be bought at the Colosseum ticket office or you can book a Colosseum tour online.

Around the Colosseum, there are many peddlers who offer guided visits and skipping the queue etc.

Often, they are not licensed, professional guides and their prices will often be exorbitant. Always book a Colosseum tour with a professional guide to avoid getting ripped off.

Villa Borghese park

After the bustling atmosphere of the Colosseum, I would head to Villa Borghese park to relax. It’s one of the largest public parks in Rome and is a great spot to escape the city for a bit of relaxation.

There’s a range of eateries including restaurants, cafes and ice cream sellers.

There is a pretty boating lake, where you can hire a boat to paddle around and there are also bike hire stations.

Or, for the Instagrammers amongst you, why not pose for a perfect ‘cityscape selfie’ on the popular viewing platform in the park? It offers panoramic views of Piazza del Popolo.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Borghese Gallery

Not only is Villa Borghese an escape from the urban sprawl of the city, it also offers the perfect balance of Roman art, architecture and nature.

There are beautiful buildings, sculptures, fountains and cultural attractions . Some of these include the Pincio’s Water Clock, the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre and the Borghese Gallery. This impressive gallery contains pieces by Caravaggio and Raphael.

Book a Borghese Gallery entrance ticket online and get fast track entry to the Gallery. You can then explore the vast art collections at your own pace.

Rome Pantheon

This former Roman temple-turned-church is a popular spot for tourists. Thousands upon thousands come to marvel at its architectural brilliance and learn more about this history of this building.

The Rome Pantheon was once an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus.

It is the most complete ancient building in Rome and is beautifully decorated inside with a variety of artworks and alter arrangements.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Pantheon tour

The most intriguing aspect of the Pantheon is its giant dome, with its iconic hole located in the top. It is the largest unsupported dome in the world and the diameter is a whopping 142ft.

Lots of walking tours call into the Pantheon and if you have a knowledgeable guide, you should learn more about this historical and magnificent building.

You can also book a 35-minute audio guide tour of the Pantheon online for around £4.50 per person, to learn more about its fascinating history.

A Guide to exploring Rome - City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Food Tour

Finish up your first day in Rome with a food tour. I fancy myself as a bit of a burgeoning foodie, so I was very keen to sample some of the finest Italian foods during my visit to Rome.

But how do you know the difference between an authentic Italian food experience and a tourist trap?

I would recommend booking a food tour of Rome so that you can eat like a local and learn more about the cuisine.

The Roman Guy food tour

I went on a food tour with Roman Guy. These local experts are here to guide you through Rome’s gastronomic delights with their Local Rome Food Tour in Trastevere.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

The Roman Guy is a fabulous Italy-wide brand, offering expertly led tours. They also offer awesome experiences and trip planning services across the country.

The Roman Guy is made up of a team of travel-loving people from across the globe who have fallen in love with Rome and want to share their adoration for the eternal city with visitors.

Night food tour Rome

We were part of a small group led by the lovely Fiona, through Rome’s foodie neighbourhoods through the late afternoon and evening.

During the tour we were able to taste some traditional Italian foods and learn more about Rome’s culture along the way.

Our Rome food tour began by being led into the back of an Italian deli, to taste some Italian cheeses. Some of these local cheeses included pecorino romano, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

These delectable cheeses were also sampled with a lovely glass of fizz as Fiona explained the various cheese making processes.

I think I have waited almost my entire adult life to be backstage at an Italian deli discussing cheese and drinking prosecco. I have finally arrived darlings!

Guide to Rome

Food tours of Rome

We walked on through quaint cobbled streets to the tiny little restaurant of Filetti di Baccala, to sample their famed Roman baccalà.

I’ve only ever had baccalà, [which is salted cod], in Portugal before. Roman baccalà is fried in the most deliciously light batter imaginable.

We ate it the local way, straight from the wrapped paper, this was a true foodie find.

Guide to Rome

Rome food tour Trastevere

We then made our way around trendy Trastevere, a sort of Roman hipster paradise. It’s full of avant-garde cafes, bars and hip restaurants, populated by the uber cool.

We sampled delicious deli meats, classic and crispy Margherita pizza, before making our way to a gorgeous alfresco restaurant.

Here we got to feast on a typical Roman dinner, we sampled some antipasti, delicious pasta dishes and Roman-style artichokes.

Guide to Rome

Italian wine was generously poured as Fiona discussed the finer points of Italian cuisine.

After an entire evening of food and merriment, we were fast slipping into a food coma when it was announced we would be finishing up with Gelato.

We somehow managed to heave ourselves to a cute little gelato stop. Despite proclaiming myself ‘completely full’, I came around when offered ‘cioccolato fondente’. I’m only human right?

Rome food culture

The best thing about doing a Rome food tour is that it provides context to the foods you are enjoying. It’s bloody marvellous to be guided to the best gastro spots in the city.

You can also learn about Rome food culture, cooking processes, local produce and how history plays a part in changing tastes and culinary offerings.

Guide to Rome

Rome Day 2

Trevi fountain

On the second day of your Rome trip, you want to rise and shine early to catch an uncrowded glimpse of the magnificent Trevi Fountain.

No visit to Rome is complete without stopping off at the world’s most beautiful fountain.

The Trevi fountain is at the end of an ancient aqueduct constructed to bring water into Rome and is hugely popular with tourists.

Be prepared to battle against a sea of selfie sticks and large tour groups if you come during the day.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Trevi Fountain at night or day

The best thing to do if you want a ‘fountain selfie’ is to arrive extremely early in the morning or come during the off-peak season.

December can be a really quiet time to visit and should provide you with the opportunity to get the gram worth shots!

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Trevi Fountain coins

The iconic fountain dates back to the Roman times and acted as the end point of an aqueduct, that was at the junction of three roads (tre vie). This is what gives the fountain its name Trevi Fountain, [Three Street Fountain].

Make sure you do the Roman tradition of tossing a coin into the water over your shoulder. The money collected helps to subsidise Rome’s less fortunate inhabitants.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Spanish Steps

After visiting the Trevi Fountain, you might want to catch the famous Spanish steps early in the morning. The Piazza di Spagna is wildly popular with visitors and is often very crowded during the day.

Get your Instagram worthy shots of the 138 steps that are arranged in a mix of curves, straight flights, vistas & terraces by arriving very early in the morning. Or, consider visiting Rome during the winter season.

The steps are overlooked by the Trinità dei Monti church and were built in the 18th century to connect both the Spanish Embassy and the Trinita church [hence the name Spanish Steps].

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Spanish steps at night

The steps are located in one of the main shopping areas of Rome and there are several restaurants, cafes and bars nearby.

It’s always buzzing during the day but gets a bit quieter as the evening approaches. So you could always head back here in the evening for a drink and to soak up the night time serentiy.

There are also several hotels in the area but be warned, it’s an expensive area of Rome to stay in.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

For a fantastic view of the steps head to the il Palazzetto Wine Bar. It’s a lovely little rooftop spot to sit with a glass of red or three and watch the world go by as you overlook the iconic steps.

It’s quite pricey for their high-end cocktails, beers and wines but the views are fabulous and they will give you some complimentary nibbles.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Castel Sant’Angelo

Whilst walking around Rome, make sure to swing by Castel Sant’Angelo. It’s is a gorgeous and historic castle located on the right on the River Tiber and located near the Vatican.

Today it functions as a museum that houses beautifully decorated papal apartments. It also contains details of the history of the castle and its links to the Vatican.

The best part of Castel Sant’Angelo is the stunning panoramic views of Rome, perfect for those Instagram shots!

If you want to go inside the castle, it’s quite pricey for what it is but the first Sunday of the month you can enter for free!

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome walking tour

Why not do a walking tour in the afternoon of your second day in Rome? ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is a statement that can only be fully comprehended when you set foot in the city.

With its sheer breadth of history, architecture and culture, you really need an expert to guide you around to paint a picture of Rome through the ages.

I’m a big fan of walking tours as a way of covering a lot of ground and history in a short amount of time.

I would recommend booking a Rome walking tour online, to make sure that you are exploring the city with a professional guide.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Free Rome walking tour

Rome’s Ultimate Free Walks promised a casual walking tour with a maximum of 15 participants. This means that you can have a more intimate tour, rather than having to be in a huge group.

We were shown around the city by the funny and knowledgeable Jobe, a man whose enthusiasm for Rome’s history was infectious.

It’s not often I find myself thinking ‘I simply MUST know more about the Augustus dynasty’.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome tour

What was interesting about this free Rome tour was that we were not taken to all the usual landmark tourist spots.

Instead, Jobe explained the multiple layers of history and culture whilst we walked the lesser known streets, pointing to various statues, building inscriptions and the hidden architecture.

He managed to effortlessly link up Rome’s varying historical eras into an easily understandable timeline.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

The free walking tour lasts about 2.5 to 3 hours, covers about 3k and as it’s a free walking tour. You can pay what you think the tour is worth at the end.

Darling husband was so enthused by the end of the tour that he had to be reined in from giving Jobe the entirety of our holiday budget.

Rome tour with a local

For an intimate and in-depth experience of Rome, I would also recommend a Rome private customised walking tour with a local.

You can experience Rome like a resident on a flexible walking tour with a local host. We went on a superb guided tour with a local that we booked online.

Through hidden streets and cobbled lanes, our guide entertained us with funny stories. I particularly enjoyed the one about an 18th-century prostitute that had a square named after her.

We also had brilliant recommendations for places to eat in Rome, bars to go to and advice on Rome activities.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Highlights video

Cycling Rome

After becoming more familiar with the city after your walking tour, why not see the city by bike? You can rent bikes in Rome very reasonably or go on an organised Rome bike tour with a guide.

‘Cycling is a brilliant way of seeing a city’ I confidently announced to husband Luke, he looked somewhat apprehensive as a nearby car mounted a pavement.

Undeterred we went and rented city bikes online for around £14 each for the day.

Bike paths in Rome

It became apparent rather quickly that my optimism was entirely misplaced and that drivers in Rome have exactly zero patience for cyclists.

If you are wondering if Rome a bike-friendly city? It depends on how much value you put on remaining alive I suppose?

After a few horrifying near misses with irate drivers, we shakily regrouped with a large wine to plan our biking course of action.

Guide to Rome

Tiber river bike path

After studying a map we decided our best bet to stay alive was to utilise the cycling pathway that runs alongside the River Tiber. This pretty river runs right through the centre of Rome. Then we could have a leisurely cycle around the Villa Borghese park.

The cycle path descends a few meters below street level and as you cycle next to the water you can look up and marvel at Rome’s architectural wonders.

Just remember to glance forward every now and then so you don’t cycle straight into the river.

Our new route allowed us to explore the city safely and see some lovely green spaces at the same time.

Rome Day 3

Vatican City

Kick start your third day with a super early visit to Vatican city. The city within a city, and headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican is surely one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world?

The Museums are a colossal complex featuring numerous distinct collections, priceless works of art and the celebrated Sistine Chapel.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Vatican tour

I would advise you to book a tour of this fascinating place with a qualified and experienced guide.

You can book a skip-the-queue Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s tour online. The bonus to booking a Vatican tour in advance is no-wait access to the museums, Sistine Chapel and basilica.

You will also be in a small group and have an expert guide will bring the art and history to life in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more.

Vatican city tours and tickets

I went on a Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel with the Roman Guy.

Their Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour is a 3.5-hour tour with a professional English-speaking guide.

This tour allows you to enter the Vatican Museums with a guide just after 8 am.  A whole hour earlier than the general public are allowed in!

8 am Vatican tour

Our small group met the guide at 7:30 am and we were in the short security line for around 15 minutes.

During our short wait, we were given history and information about the Vatican, as our guide Jad prepared us for the sights we were going to see.

We got in just after 8 am and Jad power walked us through empty corridors to the Sistine Chapel.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

We were the first to arrive in the Sistine Chapel and it is one of the most magnificent sites I have ever seen.

It was so peaceful with only a few people in there and it was definitely worth the early start. The iconic artworks are Michelangelo’s most renowned masterpieces and draw thousands and thousands of visitors every year.

The chapel is also a gathering place for the cardinals of the Catholic Church and is where new popes are elected.

You can’t take photos inside the chapel and as it’s a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed.

The benefit of banning photos is that you spend more time admiring the artworks, rather than trying to get that perfect Instagram snap.

Vatican walking tour

After the Sistine Chapel, there is time to explore the galleries whilst they are still uncrowded. Jad pointed out various artefacts and artworks and added context and history to the pieces we were seeing.

At this point, you are welcome to take photos in the Vatican, but just be careful not to use your flash to protect the artworks and not to blind your fellow group members!

The bonus of being in a small group is that you don’t have to wait for ages for lots to get their perfect shot.

Vatican galleries

We explored several interesting galleries on the tour including Borgia Apartments, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and the Gallery of the Maps. Again, it was great to hear the stories behind the pieces.

If you want to experience the Vatican when it is this quiet, then I would recommend visiting during the off-peak season.

December appears to be quieter with fewer crowds. It’s a perfect time to enjoy the Vatican without wall-to-wall tourists.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

St. Peter’s Basilica tour

The last part of the tour is St. Peter’s Basilica, the centrepiece of the Vatican.

As we were on a Vatican group tour, we skipped the lines that are outside in St Peter’s Square and we accessed the basilica from the inside.

We were taken through a special side entrance that only guides can use. It’s another perk of being on a group tour in the Vatican!

St. Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest church and is full of sheer opulence inside with statues, mosaics and artworks.

The church has a 211.5-meter long nave and the dome is one of the world’s largest at 132.5 meters high and measuring 42 meters in diameter.

St Peter’s Basilica Michelangelo

There are lots to see in the basilica and you could spend hours wandering around admiring all the details.

One of Michelangelo’s most famous masterpieces, the Pietà resides here as well. It was carved by Michelangelo when he was just 24 years old and is now protected by bulletproof glass.

The Basilica was nowhere near as busy as I expected it to be. There were few crowds milling around compared to pictures I have seen of it utterly packed. It pays to visit popular places in the winter guys!

St Peter’s Basilica tickets

A trip to St Peter’s Basilica should be included in most Vatican tours. You can also book a self-guided tour of Saint Peter Basilica.

You can benefit from immediate entry to St. Peter’s Basilica and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace.

You can also learn more about the Basilica on this tour with an audio-guide that you access on your mobile phone.

Vatican group tour

The benefit of doing a Vatican group tour was that you spend a lot more time learning about what you are seeing rather than spending hours in queues.

The perks of skipping lines mean you can fully immerse yourself in the experience and you also have a guide who is on hand to answer any questions you might have!

Rome Cooking Class

After all the excitement of the Vatican, why not book a Rome cooking class for your last afternoon?

Booking a cooking class in Rome is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in local cuisine and culture led by an expert.

There is a huge range of cookery class options, from pasta making, wine pairing, private home cooking class and pizza making.

If you are visiting Rome with kids, this is also a perfect family Activity!

pasta cooking class experience in Rome

We did a Cooking Class in Mamma’s Kitchen that we booked in advance online.

The class costs £38 per person and includes a trip to a local market for cooking supplies and then pasta making with a cooking instructor. They also throw in a few bottles of vino, win!

The class starts with a trip to Nomentano Market. This covered market in Alessandria square is full of local producers, bakers and butchers selling reasonably priced produce.

We walked around the market and learnt more about Italian cuisine and the Italian method of queuing, [spolier alert, there isn’t one].

We picked up our ingredients and headed back to the kitchen with our Italian chef for the day Marco.

Pasta making Rome

As this cooking class is at the lower end of what you might expect to pay for a cooking class in Rome, the class was held in a youth hostel.

Whilst the kitchen was a fairly decent size, the problem is that our cooking instructor was constantly having to boot out backpackers from the kitchen, who wanted to “really quickly make a cup of tea”.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Despite the late start, backpackers and general disorganisation, the class got underway and those minor niggles just melted away. Probably several large glasses of red helped with that?

Once you start throwing flour around, getting your hands sticky with the dough, you eventually get into the swing of it.

It turns out that cooking whilst sipping local wine and discussing Italian politics is a fabulous way to unwind and gain an insight into life in Rome as well as its foodie culture.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome pasta making classes

Thanks to Marco’s enthusiastic demonstrations we learnt how to make several different types of pasta including Ravioli, Fettuccine and Pappardelle.

It turns out that pasta making is actually quite a refined skill. We kept dissolving into fits of laughter at Marco’s horrified face when we presented our misshapen efforts.

This was unfortunately whilst slightly slurring “Is this how it’s supposed to look?”

Booking a Rome Cookery class

We finally got round to dishing up our pasta dishes, despite the class having overrun by almost 3 hours.

This meant that lunch was eaten at 5 pm and we were frankly ravenous.

If you are prepared to overlook the slightly chaotic nature of the class and embrace Roman timekeeping, it’s actually a really good budget cooking class in Rome.

Our instructor was enthusiastic and friendly, there was plenty of wine and the pasta tasted incredible [If I do say so myself].

Of course, there are is a huge variety of cooking classes to suit all tastes and budgets.

I would recommend booking your Rome cooking class online to get the best deal and to secure your spot on the class of your choice.

Why not book a cookery class in Rome?


Where to eat in Rome

During your 3 days in Rome, you want to be sure that you are eating the best Roman food possible. Eating out in Rome is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures?

There is such a diverse range of eating places in the Italian capital, from fine dining to five euro pasta shops, gelato shops, cafes, bars and more.

The choice is dizzying and you could spend weeks trying to eat your way around the city.

The trick with Rome is seeking out authentic Italian cuisine. You don’t want to accidentally end up in an overpriced tourist trap, chowing down on frozen pizza.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

How to spot a tourist trap restaurant in Rome

Rome is sadly full of overpriced tourist trap restaurants. To avoid dining hell and to find the best places to eat in the city, try and get away from the tourist areas if possible? Wander down hidden side streets and look for restaurants full of locals.

Here are some tips to help you avoid tourist tap restaurants in Rome:

  • Look at the menu, is it phone book sized crammed with every Italian dish conceivable?
  • Is the menu in 5 different languages?
  • Is the restaurant right next to a popular tourist attraction?
  • Are the waiters trying to coax you in?
  • Does the menu outside have pictures of the food?
  • Are the menus laminated?
  • Are there any locals in the restaurant?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, turn around and run darlings. You are about to enter gastro hell.

Another great tip is to look for the places that are open later than other restaurants.

Romans usually don’t eat dinner until 8 pm or later, so chances are if the restaurant serves dinner late, it’s going to be an authentic one full of locals.

Foodie Rome

Another little insider tip we picked up on our foodie tour is to watch out for and asterisks on menus. This, unfortunately, means that the food is frozen.

Failing that, check Trip Advisor reviews, read quality travel and food blogs or book a foodie tour as a fail-safe against crappy food.

Much like Venice, there are tourist trap restaurants everywhere in Rome. The trick is to do your research and hunt down the authentic places.

Rome Pizza

Pizza in Rome is a popular food choice and comes in two completely different styles. Whole, round pizzas with thin crusts that you sit down to eat are known as ‘Pizza tonda’. ‘Pizza al taglio’ is served by the slice and is a cheaper way to get your pizza fix.

Check asterisks on menus so that you don’t get served up a frozen pizza, you can do much better than that in Rome.

For authentic pizza that the Romans eat try La Renella located in Piazza Trilussa in hip foodie haunt Trastevere.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Pasta

There is a huge variety of pasta in Italy and there are restaurants, cafes and pasta shops all over the city. These Rome Pasta joints are churning out dishfuls of the stuff every day.

For high-end pasta, try Flavio al Velavevodetto or Armando al Pantheon. These are authentic Italian joints that serve up remarkable pasta.

If you decide to chance it and wander around looking for a pasta place, try and avoid places near major tourist sites. Wander down side streets instead.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Where to eat in Rome on a budget

For those on a budget, head to Il Pastaio di Roma. Here you grab a box of homemade, fresh pasta for a mere €4. Your pasta can be eaten in for no extra charge or taken away.

Choose from a small selection of tasty portions of pasta, including classic offerings such as Fusilli al pesto and Fusilli all’ Amatriciana.

If you are feeling indulgent, you can also order a bottle of wine for just €5. It is an unbelievable value for fresh pasta and wine.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Gelato

There is an abundance of gelato shops in Rome, especially near the main tourist sites. The trick is to figure out if you are being served a scoop of genuine gelato, or a tourist trap cone of premix goop.

Real Gelato will be a lot more understated than the fake stuff. Fake gelato will have unnatural colours and an extraordinary amount of unnecessary decoration.

For authentic Gelato, try Neve di Latte on Via Luigi Poletti, or Fatamorgana in Campo dei Fiori.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Markets

You can find the freshest Roman foods in the many local across the city. Take a trip to Nomentano Market to find vibrant veggies, cheese, meats, pizza slices, bread and cakes where the locals’ shop.

You can also pick up a slice of pizza, or cappuccino for just 90 cents!

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

The market is full of locals buying their daily produce, having a gossip and talking to the producers.

There’s a real sense of community here and you can pick up some real foodie bargains. It’s also a fantastic place to practice your Italian

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Mercato Centrale Roma

Rome Central Market is located inside Rome’s main train station Termini.

This hip, 6,000-square-foot market has many artisan foodie stands as well as bars and foodie joints serving a selection of classic and modern Italian dishes.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

There are plenty of places to sit, enjoy a coffee and a plate of pasta and wait for your train or bus. You could even grab a delicious sandwich to take on your journey.

Whilst visiting the market you can sample foods and purchase products such as olive oils, dried pasta and jams to take back home.

Where to stay in Rome

If you are looking at 3 days in Rome, there are plenty of Rome accommodation options.

Where to stay in Rome depends largely on your budget, preferred accommodation type and whether you want to stay somewhere lively or quiet. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Rome Hotels

There is a hotel to suit any budget in Rome, ranging from small guesthouses right through to luxury rooms for those looking to spoil themselves.

is a great resource for finding hotels to match your requirements and budget. I recently stayed in the fabulous Marcella Royal Hotel a 4-star hotel that has an incredible rooftop terrace offering 360° views across Rome!

Don’t forget, Rome has a city tax and the cost is per person, per night and is dependent on the hotels rating.

Guide to Rome | City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Guesthouses

There are also plenty of family-run guesthouses in Rome. A reasonable guest house I have previously stayed in was Guesthouse Stradivari.

It’s a very budget friendly little guesthouse that is centrally located within walking distance of many of the main attractions.

It also featured a very charming old fashioned lift, that would groan and creak into life every time we cautiously used it.

Rome is full of these types of family-run guest houses, situated in beautiful historic buildings.

They are often very basic, but for the budget traveller, it offers the opportunity to stay in a more traditional home, rather than a swanky hotel.

A Guide to exploring Rome - City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome Airbnb

Why not rent a room from a Roman with Airbnb? There are a plethora of quirky rooms, studios and whole apartments to choose from on Air BnB.

By booking an Airbnb you can take your pick of accommodation located in trendy Rome neighbourhoods and streets.

Choose from places such as the Beautiful Campo de’ Fiori, historical Plaza Bologna and trendy Trastevere to name a few.

Book a Rome Airbnb and have £25 towards your first booking

Rome Hostels

There is a range of affordable and boutique hostels in Rome for those looking to ‘bunk up’ and make some buddies in a sociable atmosphere.

Many can be found in the bohemian Monti, one of Rome’s oldest neighbourhoods and also near the busy Termini station.

You can find hostels in these areas and in other parts of Rome on the brilliant Hostel World site.

A Guide to exploring Rome - City of legends, ruins and romance

Rome travel tips

Here are a few important Rome tips, to make sure you are prepared for your trip to the Italian capital.

  • Italy still mostly functions on a cash economy, so be sure to carry money with you when visiting Rome.
  • Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated. A service charge is normally included in the bill as the coperto (cover) but if your service was exceptional, an additional tip is always appreciated.
  • Buy your bus tickets in advance as you can’t buy tickets on the bus. You can buy bus tickets at any ‘tabaccheria’  which are small convenient shops that are designated with a large T.
  • Keep an eye on your possessions. Theive have been known to pickpocket or snatch bags, so keep a firm grip on your possessions.
  • Only use official taxis to avoid being scammed. Taxi’s to and from Rome airports to the centre have fixed fares, so be sure to confirm the fare verbally with your driver before you set off.

Are 3 days in Rome enough?

I think 3 days in Rome is the ideal time to see all the highlights of this ancient city. The more we saw of Rome, the more we grew to love it.

It is a magnificent and vibrant urban space, full of history, striking architecture and populated with some of the world’s most well-known and iconic structures.

Add to that hidden culinary delights, superb wine and the almost intoxicating vibe of Italian living, it is a truly wonderful place for a city break.

What do you think of my guide to Rome? What else should be added to the guide? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Planning your trip to Rome

Ready to book your trip to Rome? Use these awesome travel resources to get you started:

Check out all the best travel resources on my bumper travel resources page!

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Wondering how to spend 3 days in Rome? With its mix of ancient ruins, romantic cobbled streets, bustling piazzas, al fresco restaurants and world-class coffee, Rome is surely the ultimate city break? My Rome city guide is full of tips to uncover the best things to do in Rome. This bumper guide also offers practical advice on where to stay, the best places to eat and the best Rome tours. #Rome #travel #rometours #Romefood #Italy #Italytravel #citybreak
Wondering how to spend 3 days in Rome? With its mix of ancient ruins, romantic cobbled streets, bustling piazzas, al fresco restaurants and world-class coffee, Rome is surely the ultimate city break? My Rome city guide is full of tips to uncover the best things to do in Rome. This bumper guide also offers practical advice on where to stay, the best places to eat and the best Rome tours. #Rome #travel #rometours #Romefood #Italy #Italytravel #citybreak

Disclaimer: Our Roman Guy experiences were complimentary. They did not review or approve the content and all views remain my own. This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission but come at no additional cost to you. By clicking these links you are supporting Pip and the City and helping to keep the content free. Massive thanks for your ongoing support.