With world-famous cuisine, ample cultural attractions and a stunning cityscape, Rome promises something for every type of traveller.
For anyone lucky enough to have two days in the Italian capital, you’ll want a to-the-point and fun-packed itinerary to make the most of your time. We decided to look beyond more obvious sights like the Colosseum and Sistine Chapel to give you a real taste of the city. Bringing you everything from delicious Italian coffee, pizza and pasta to climbing the Spanish Steps and tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain – here is the best of Rome to cover in 48 hours.
Start your morning with a cup of gourmet coffee made from freshly roasted arabica beans
This traditional coffee shop ensures freshness by roasting their own beans for drinking in-store or for taking home. Ask for a glass of the coffee liqueur – delicious on its own or poured over vanilla ice-cream.
Nuovo Mercato Esquilino
Discover foods from all around the world at this buzzing multicultural market
Check out this lively and multicultural market with stalls arranged in rows in the open air. It’s a fragrant and colourful melting pot where vendors sell fruit, vegetables and spices that are normally difficult to come by in Rome. You’ll find everything from Italian delicatessen cured meats and a Bengali butcher to a Chinese fishmonger. And a separate section of household goods, clothes and fabrics, such as African wax print garments and fine sari material from an Indian tailor.
Saints Peter and Paul are said to have been held captive in this maximum-security jail
This maximum-security, ancient Roman prison contains an eerie dungeon known as the Tullianum and sits underneath the San Giuseppe dei Falegnami church. Saints Peter and Paul are said to have been imprisoned here before they were killed.
Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran
Take a moment to marvel at the magnificent statues and frescoes in Europe’s oldest basilica
Renovations of the interior of the archbasilica under the direction of Francesco Borromini were commissioned by Pope Innocent X. The twelve niches created under his architectural plan were eventually filled in 1718 with statues of the Apostles, sculpted by the most prominent Roman Rococo sculptors.
Taste kosher recipes handed down through generations at Yotvata
Yotvata is the city's only restaurant that's certified dairy kosher. The cheese used here is produced in the best Italian dairies under Orthodox Union supervision. The chefs use it to make special dishes like ricotta and sour cherry tart.
Achilli al Parlamento
Try experimental dishes complemented by your selection from 4,000 types of wine
This Michelin-starred restaurant is located in a wine shop, and pairs deconstructed versions of Roman culinary classics with a wine menu offering thousands of different vintages. Enjoy your meal in the wood-panelled dining room, or ask for a table in the bistrot area for a more casual experience.
Stop by this old tram-carriage-turned-coffee-bar for a chilled outdoor espresso break
Housed in an old tram carriage, you’ll find this adorable speciality coffee bar. Grab a seat in the peaceful garden during the day and watch the world go by – or go in the evening for cocktails with friends. They also have snacks and small bites available.
Piazza di Spagna
Famous for the Spanish Steps, this square is one of the city’s most popular meeting points
Located in one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Rome, this spectacular square connects you to the French church Trinità dei Monti via the historic Spanish Steps. Take a photo in front of Bernini's Baracaccia Fountain, and enjoy an ice cream on the famous steps while pretending you’re in the classic film, Roman Holiday.
Admire Nicola Salvi’s awe-inspiring Baroque masterpiece, the Trevi Fountain
Legend claims that tossing a coin in this fountain will ensure your return to the Eternal City. This baroque landmark masterpiece by Nicola Salvi is one of the most popular spots in town, but you can see it in relative quiet and solitude by visiting early in the morning.
National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art
This gallery showcases art ranging from neoclassical to modern
Masterpieces by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Andy Warhol are waiting for you inside the Palace of Fine Arts. Exhibits cover a wide range of art movements including Neoclassicism, Cubism and Futurism. There is also a cosy café here, so refuel with a cappuccino before you leave.
Grab a delicious slice of artfully handmade pizza at Ai Marmi
This busy spot churns out Roman-style pizzas from an open kitchen right next to the dining area. Seats at the white marble tables can be in high demand, but after a little wait, you'll be rubbing shoulders with locals and enjoying thin, wood-fired oven-cooked pizza.
Stop by this swanky speakeasy for an after-dinner cocktail
All plush velvet sofas and smooth jazz, this speakeasy is adorned with modern art and chandeliers. Some of the favourites on the menu include the mezcal-based 'Fandango' cocktail and a selection of Japanese whisky.
Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Finish your evening with some opera or ballet at the city’s most opulent venue
Rome’s reputation for putting on a show is no secret, and the beauty of its theatres and opera houses are a testament to the calibre of performances held within them. Take your seat and get ready to enjoy some of the biggest names in ballet and opera, as well as acclaimed orchestra conductors.
Where to stay
Stay at Ara di Marte Suites, just around the corner from the Michelin-starred Achilli al Parlamento, and you’ll only have a 1-minute walk home after a delectable plate of pasta.
A few steps from the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Armonia All'Opera is a charming guest house where spacious rooms have marble floors and antique furnishings.
Just 200 metres from the Trevi Fountain, Maalot Roma is a luxurious hotel with colourful, stylish suites.
Get yourself ready for your city break with these old but gold Italian favourites.