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Rome has such an intense mixture of ancient and modern attractions that it is widely recognised as one of Europe's most diverse cities. You can enjoy the wonder of 2,000 year old monuments, experience the hustle and bustle of quaint little markets and visit a selection of modern, upmarket bars and wineries, making Rome an excellent destination for short breaks. Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world, and with so much to see and do it would be wise to plan an itinerary to ensure that you can see as much of this majestic city as possible. Take into consideration that the more popular attractions will be extremely busy around midday and early afternoon, especially in summer.
Read more on this destination in the AA Key Guide to Rome.
Suggested Rome itinerary
Day 1 (Morning): Set off early to the east of the ancient city and visit Rome's undoubtedly most popular attraction, the Colosseum. Take a guided or audio tour to help you visualize the arena's past glory and then make your way down to the Foro Romano, located just a short distance away, to visit one of the city's most important achaelogical sites.
Day 1 (Afternoon): Head down to the Piazza Vittorio, Rome's biggest food market, and pick up some lunch and some tasty souvenirs to bring home. Also, you could check out the Piazza del Popolo, home to Ferrari's flagship store, for some excellent shopping. Late afternoon to early evening is a good time to head down to the Pantheon to avoid crowds of day trippers. Explore the best preserved Roman monument in the world and stop to have a drink around the central fountain of the piazza to enjoy the view.
Day 1 (Evening): After dinner, make your way to the Teatro Dell'Opera di Roma, to see one of Italy's best loved opera and ballet performances. Then head to Enoteca Trastevere, a classy wine establishment in the heart of the city, to enjoy soft jazz music and sample the bar's excellent home-made deserts.
Day 2 (Morning): Have an early breakfast in one of Rome's piazza café's (most open around 07:00), before heading up to Vatican City to see the magnificent Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter's Basilica) and the Vatican Museum, where you can visit the extraordinary Sistine Chapel and some of the most famous and important artwork in the world. Remember to avoid carrying big bags when visiting, as security checks and queues could take up a lot of your time.
Day 2 (Afternoon): After a busy morning, take the time to relax and unwind and explore the quieter side of Rome. Head to Villa Borghese, a peaceful park with beautiful tree-lined avenues, and have a picnic in the Roman sunshine. Then take a trip around Piazza Navona and take in some of the city's best loved sights including ancient monuments, churches and the famous Trevi Fountain. Don't forget to throw some coins in and make a wish before you leave!
Day 2 (Evening)
Take a late dinner as the Romans do, and enjoy a wide selection of delicious Italian food at one of Rome's many outstanding establishments. Then head to Ambra Jovinelli comedy club for a fantastic comic play or jazz performance. Top off the night in one of Rome's many unique nightclubs such as Jonathan's Angels, and dance the night away!