The Coliseum

2 Days in Rome – Exploring the Eternal City

My husband and I have just returned from our first trip to Rome. It was the most magical, jam-packed 2 days we have ever experienced. Exploring Rome was a treat for the senses. The sights, sounds and smells of the eternal city will remain with us for an extremely long time. 2 days in Rome is not nearly enough time to spend exploring the ancient city. However, we made the most of the time we had. If you’re also spending 2 days in Rome, hopefully, you’ll find some tips below. 

Day 1

Having only a 2 day trip to Rome, we knew that we had to make a well-prepared itinerary before we arrived.

We landed at Ciampino Airport in Rome at 11.30 am. I had considered transport to the hotel before we arrived. Buses regularly run to the metro station and from there you can take the underground to the centre of Rome. However, since we were only in Rome for a short time, (2 days in Rome is really not enough) we opted for a taxi. Taxi fares from Ciampino airport to the centre of Rome are capped at 30 euros, so we knew the fare before jumping into the cab.

The whole journey took approximately 25 minutes and was incredibly scenic! Indeed the taxi driver gave us a mini guided tour!

Arriving in Rome

After arriving and checking into the hotel, we wanted to sample some of the delights of Italy. Within our hotel, Hotel Delle Nazione was a bar and restaurant. Sitting in the external piazza, we treated ourselves to a Cafe Latte while we recovered from our flight.

Before venturing out we sampled some authentic Italian Pizza.

The staff in the bar and restaurant were so welcoming and I cannot recommend the food enough. When we arrived for lunch all the tables were taken. Nevertheless, in the courtesy and affability so synonymous with Italians, the waiter brought in a table and chairs from outside so we could be seated.

Exploring Rome

One thing I must say; everything is bigger in Rome! Every statute is enormous! The buildings are impressively huge and imposing. Each structure begs for your attention!

We spent the afternoon exploring the streets of Rome. The hotel provided us with a map and we decided to head for  Vatican City, taking in the sites as we went. Around every corner, there was something to look at. There are so many Piazzas, churches, fountains. History and culture everywhere!

I entered a multitude of churches. All these buildings are ornately decorated and free to enter! They are there own mini art galleries.

The Vatican

Given that we only had 2 days in Rome we decided not to go into the Vatican (this simply gives us another excuse to return). We did, however, want to see the Holy City and stand in St Peter’s Square and so we decided that the evening would be the perfect time to go. The streets were much quieter as the Vatican had closed its doors to tourists. (However, you can still stand in St Peter’s Square).

We crossed the bridge – Ponte Sant’Angelo which crosses the River Tiber and stopped to admire Castel Sant’Angelo.

It was a marvellous treat to see the Vatican lit up in the darkness.

Trevi Fountain

Our hotel was close to the Trevi Fountain, so we were extremely fortunate to see this beautiful landmark on a number of occasions throughout our stay.

Although a beautiful site during the day, the Trevi Fountain is another stunning spectacle in the evening.

We sat at the fountain relaxing late in the evening, and yet the fountain was still surrounded by tourists. This simply attests to its popularity. It is said to bring luck to throw a coin into the fountain (with the right hand over the left shoulder).

Day 2

We began day 2 with a delicious breakfast in the hotel. We then made our way to the Coliseum. I had pre-booked our tickets for that morning and had a half an hour slot (10.00am – 10.30am) in which to arrive. There are some beautiful sites along the way from the Trevi Fountain. The streets are filled with shops, fountains and monuments.

The Coliseum

If you are planning to spend 2 days in Rome, I would strongly recommend pre-booking tickets for every site you visit. We used to book our queue jump tickets. For the price of 18 euros each, we were emailed queue jump tickets to both the Coliseum and the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (more about the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill later). The process was extremely quick and simple.

We visited Rome in January and the queues for those who had not booked tickets prior to their visit was extremely long and slow moving. We, on the other hand, went to a separate line (which was empty) and were granted access within minutes of our arrival (after going through security).

The Coliseum simply has to be experienced. It’s vast, absolutely huge! It was a complete surprise to me just how big the Coliseum actually is!

The Coliseum holds an extremely informative visitors centre (I was amazed at just how interesting this actually was).

We spent around 2 hours in the Coliseum, exploring the various walkways and taking in the eerie atmosphere.

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

We enjoyed a spot of lunch in a cafe close to the Coliseum and then headed for the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. (Literally next to the Coliseum) Again, because we had only 2 days in Rome, the queue jump tickets were a real asset.

Once more, I had not anticipated the size of this site! The ruins of old Rome are absolutely stunning! The site includes many of the abandoned buildings of ancient Rome, some reduced to rubble, others still remarkably well preserved. It’s easy to sense the hustle and bustle of the forum, once the centre of daily life in Rome.

The Arch of Titus dominates the landscape.

If you’re up for a bit of a climb, there are some amazing panoramic views of Rome to be taken in.

We spent approximately 4 hours at the location and we would have stayed for hours more had the site not closed. I was surprised to learn we had only seen around two-thirds of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Had we have had more than 2 days in Rome, I could quite easily have spent a full day here.

Our Final Evening

On the eve of our flight home, we wandered around the streets near our hotel and found a place to eat. We then returned to the hotel to enjoy a few cocktails in the bar before retiring to bed.

Our Summary of 2 Days in Rome

It is possible to see quite a lot with only 2 days in Rome. The key is planning. Queue jump tickets are essential. Also, consider transport. Public transport is a lot cheaper, however, it can be time-consuming. Most of the people on our flight headed to the bus stop once we landed. The queues were huge. By paying extra in a taxi, we were dropped right at our hotel, saw some amazing sites and saved a huge amount of time.

I would recommend staying in the centre of Rome as this saves a lot of time travelling. Cheaper hotels than ours could be found on the outskirts of the city (although not much cheaper), but our hotel was beautiful, comfortable and centrally located.

I hope you enjoyed our adventure and our holiday snaps! Please let me know in the comments if you have been to Rome or are planning to go.

Tags : Destination


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