The final stop on our 11 day Italy itinerary was the eternal city of Rome. No trip to Italy would be complete with spending at least 2 days in Rome, but I think you can see just about everything if you spend 3 days in Rome. This Rome itinerary will help you decide where to stay in Rome, help you choose Rome day tours, and share some of our favorite places we ate in Rome.
Being the capital of Italy, Rome is one of the major gateways to Europe from overseas. Just about every major airline flies to Rome–Fiumicino International Airport. Traveling from within the EU is especially easy and inexpensive thanks to budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet. Search for Flights to FCO.
We completed our journey through Italy by train with a simple ride from Naples to Roma Termini train station. All of Italy’s major cities are connected via highspeed rail, so traveling through Italy by train is relatively simple and quite quick. We purchased a Eurail Global Pass for our two weeks in Europe and I couldn’t recommend it more. It made travel to different cities so efficient that we got to spend more time in each city rather than worrying about being at the airport on time.
Rome is home to some amazing hotels, Airbnbs, and hostels, so there is really a place to stay for every budget in Rome. If you’re a long-time reader of Passports to Life you’ll know that we prefer to stay in luxury hotels or boutique hotels, so I’ll start with those.
Rome is a unique place for luxury hotels because you’ll find less of the huge chain luxury hotels by conglomerates like Marriott and Hilton, and more boutique hotels that belong to smaller luxury hotel collections like Leading Hotels of the World and Small Luxury Hotels. Below are three of the options I considered when deciding where to stay in Rome for 3 days.
After a massive renovation project, Hotel Eden has been ranked as the third best hotel in Europe for the past two years by US News. We stayed at Hotel Eden during our 3 days in Rome, and it was fantastic. The rooms have all the modern amenities you want and need, plus the bathroom and shower were HUGE compared to the rest of the hotels on this trip through Italy. Hotel Eden is part of the Dorchester Collection, which is a small collection of some of the finest hotels in the world including The Beverly Hills Hotel in LA, The Dorchester in London, and Le Meurice in Paris. Hotel Eden is a short 8-minute walk to the Spanish Steps making its location ideal for exploring Rome. Check prices and availability for Hotel Eden.
JK Place Hotels are small, intimate, luxury boutique hotels in Rome, Florence, and Capri with an additional location opening in Paris soon. We stay at JK Place Firenze during our two days in Florence. JK Place Roma looks very similar to JK Place Firenze as its just 30 well-appointed rooms in the heart of the city. JK Place is just a block from the river and 8 minutes walking to the Spanish Steps or Pantheon. Check prices and availability for JK Place Roma.
I was torn between Hotel Eden and Rome Cavalieri when deciding where to stay for our 3 days in Rome. Rome Cavalieri looks like a beautiful relaxing hotel, but when it came down to it, its location is a bit out of the way. The closest attraction is the Vatican and that is still a 30-minute walk. I wanted to be closer to the main sights and attractions since we were spending 3 days in Rome I knew we would be out exploring most of the time. This would be a great option if you were spending more than 3 days in Rome so you could enjoy the amenities that Rome Cavalieri has to offer. Check prices for Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, there are A LOT of people in Rome. Getting good photos with minimal people in them in Rome is a tall order, but with some planning and choosing to stay nearby the most popular attractions, you won’t have to worry about getting up too early to get those great photos. Many of Rome’s top attractions are within walking distance of each other in Municipio I in the neighborhoods of Campo Marzio, Trevi, Campitelli, and Pigna. These neighborhoods will be the busiest and full of tourists. If you’re looking for a more local vibe, check out the neighborhoods of Monti, Trastevere, or Testaccio.
Trastevere is one of Rome’s hippest neighborhoods. If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Rome and nightlife and good restaurants nearby are on your list of musts, check out these boutique hotels in Trastevere Rome.
This hotel in Trastevere reminds me of an old Italian palace. If you’re looking for an affordable luxury option in one of Rome’s hottest neighborhoods, while still being nearby the main tourist attractions then check prices and availability for VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel.
This charming 20 room Boutique Hotel in Trastevere has a great location with easy walks to all of Rome’s main attractions. The best part of Hotel Santa Maria is that rooms at this small boutique hotel in Trastevere start under $100! Check prices and availability for Hotel Santa Maria.
Monti is another one of Rome’s less touristy areas. Just 5 minutes from the Colosseum and Forum, this charming neighborhood is where you should head for some really good local cuisine or drinks. In Monti, you’ll find some beautiful affordable hotels and restaurants.
This little luxury boutique hotel in Monti Rome is a steal. With rooms starting under $150 per night, you can’t beat Monti Palace Hotel’s location and the views from its rooftop terrace are perfect for watching the sunset with a glass of wine. Check prices for Monti Palace Hotel Rome.
Antica Locanda brings the historic feel of Rome into its guestrooms, with exposed wood or stone ceilings and walls. With rooms starting under $80/night this is a great budget option if you’re trying to save some money, but also want to spend 3 days in Rome in one of its hippest neighborhoods. Check prices and availability for Antica Locanda Hotel in Monti.
The history you’ll find just walking through Rome is absolutely incredible. Being able to stand in one spot and see over 2000 years of history right in front of you, and how it has shaped this cultural hub of the world really blows my mind. The first thing I’d recommend is just walking through the city in the morning or evening. There tend to be fewer people out and about in the morning so its a neat way to experience the city.
Most of the time Mallory and I just like to explore a new place on our own, but in Rome, there are a few places that if you don’t have a tour guide it’s much harder to get in and around. We experienced these tours first hand, so I can confirm they include entry to all sites and have very good guides.
Even with a guided tour, this one was crazy crowded. We waited about 30 minutes to even get to the point where we go through the metal detectors to enter the Vatican Museums. Once you are inside, its a continuous flow of people towards the Sistene Chapel. Luckily our guide knew one of the Vatican employees, so we were able to take a side entrance into the Sistene Chapel to speed up the process. We opted for a small group guided tour and it was pretty reasonable at around $50/person. Book your fast-track Vatican and Sistene Chapel Tour here.
When we booked this tour we thought it was just to see the inside of the Colosseum, but to our surprise, they included a guided tour through the Roman Forum as well! Our Colosseum guide was Lumi and she was hilarious and fantastic. After the Colosseum tour, another guide named Andrea took over and walked us through the Roman Forums. If you want to see the inside of the colosseum I highly recommend this tour! Check prices and book your colosseum tour here.
Thanks to the high-speed rail system that links Italy’s major cities its quite easy to take day tours from Rome even if you are only planning to spend 3 days in Rome. Some of the best day tours from Rome include these tours below, which are cities or towns in Italy that are worth seeing but may not warrant more than a day.
This full-day tour from Rome takes you south the Naples and the archeological site of Pompeii. The city that was buried by the sudden eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. The tour includes round trip transportation to Pompeii from Rome, lunch, and limoncello tasting. Book your day tour from Rome to Pompeii.
If you don’t have time to add Florence to your Italy itinerary, maybe you can take one of the days you planned to spend in Rome for a tour of Florence and Pisa. This full-day tour takes you from Rome to Florence where you have free time to explore, then off to Pisa to see the famous leaning tower among other sites. Book your day tour from Rome to Florence and Pisa.
A perfect way to escape the crowds of Rome is to the Tuscan countryside for a day of wine tasting and good food. This full-day tour takes you to three different stops in Tuscany and includes a 3-course lunch and of course wine. Book your Tuscan taster tour here.
Rome is one of the culinary hubs of the world, so really anywhere you go in the city you’ll be able to find some amazing food. One of the most unique fine-dining experiences I have ever had was right at our hotel at La Terrazza in Hotel Eden. Chef Fabio Ciervo puts a modern twist on classic Roman cuisine. When you spend 3 days in Rome you’re guaranteed to have some good food, but if you want to explore while indulging you may enjoy a food tour through Monti or Trastevere.
Rome like many European cities is quite easy to navigate. My preferred method for getting around Rome is simply walking. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because Rome is built on 7 hills, so you will definitely be getting your steps in. Rome’s metro system is also fairly straight forward. We used the metro to get to our early morning tour at the Vatican and had no trouble. Google maps and other travel apps are very helpful to make sure you get off at the right stop! The last option for getting around Rome is Taxis or Uber. Many people will tell you that Uber is illegal in Italy, but that is misinformation that has been spread by taxi drivers that feel Uber is undercutting their business. If you decide to take a taxi in Rome make sure the meter is running or agree on a price ahead of time. Taxis to common locations like the port at Citaveccia or the airport will be set rates that you can find on a rate card inside the taxi. Make sure you don’t get scammed.
Rome is a popular tourist destination year-round. The summer months can be very hot and crowded, and the winter months can get quite cold. The best months to visit would be April-June and October-November. We visited mid-October and we had perfect weather with temperatures in the mid to upper 60s and the crowds were definitely manageable. Rome is one of those places that I’d recommend everyone visits in their lifetime, so if you have time to make the trip and spend 3 days in Rome, take it!