Do you need a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life? A weekend getaway to Rome may be just what the doctor ordered! Rome is one of the most captivating cities you’ll ever visit.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel the warmth of the Italian sun on your face, the aroma of fresh pizza and pasta in the air, and the energy of the ancient city buzzing around you. It’s truly an experience like no other.
In this article, we’ll be your personal guide, sharing our favourite itinerary and top attractions for a perfect weekend getaway to Rome. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a change of scenery, Rome has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s explore this breathtaking city together!
Best way to get to Rome
If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Rome, it’s essential to know the best ways to get from the airports to the city center. There are two main airports serving Rome: Fiumicino and Ciampino.
The airports are connected to most of the countries in Europe and Rome it’s as well a great hub for travel to other Continents.
The Leonardo Express train, which departs from the airport every 15 minutes and arrives at Rome’s Termini Station in about 30 minutes, is the most practical way to travel from Fiumicino to the city centre. There are also a number of bus options, which take around 50 minutes to an hour and take you to Termini. You can easily take a taxi, shared shuttle or private transfer service if you prefer.
Arriving at Ciampino, like us? Choose the shuttle bus, there are many operators between the airport and Rome’s Termini Station, with journey times of around 45 minutes. We choose Terravision and book our tickets online as we are arriving late.
Ciampino doesn’t have an on-site train, but you can combine bus plus train, as there is a local train station just five minutes away. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, or book a shared shuttle or private transfer service in advance.
Getting around the city center
A common way to get around Rome is walking, that’s what we did. Rome is a very walkable city, with many of its major attractions located within a reasonable distance of each other.
Another popular way to get around Rome is by cycling. There are also several companies that offer bike rentals, which can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore on your weekend getaway to Rome.
The metro system in Rome is an excellent way to get around the city center. There are currently three metro lines A, B, and C (still largely under construction) that cover much of the city, including many of its major attractions.
To buy the tickets you can do it in advance or at the station on the machine ticket. Choose the one that suits you better, from a single ride to daily tickets, and don’t forget to validate them before boarding.
Taxis are too expensive, and you have good alternatives to this service. Be aware, ensure you only use licensed taxis and agree on the fare before getting in the car.
What to eat in Rome
Italy is absolutely one of our favourite destinations to eat. The gastronomy is so authentic and delicious. Rome has no shortage of delightful options to try during your weekend getaway.
Eat pasta as much as you can, because they are fresh and luscious. From cacio e pepe, to carbonara, passing amatriciana and don’t forget the lasagna. Some of the places we recommend are:
- Cantina e Cucina, is a lovely place with so a welcoming staff
- Trattoria Vecchia Roma, book in advance or prepare to wait an hour
- Tonnarello, best cacio e pepe
- Osteria Bonelle
- Mastrociccia Osteria
- Mimmi e Coco
- Trattoria Lilli
For a taste of street food, head to one of Rome’s many supplì shops. Supplì is deep-fried rice balls that are filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and sometimes meat. We did it at Trapizzino in Mercato Centrale, very tasty. We also suggest to try some focaccia and panini at Pane e Salame or Bono Bottega Nostrana.
Tiramisu is the ultimate dessert, we do the recipe at home many times. Therefore, if you are in Rome you have to eat it. After, tasting in different places we love the one from Two Sizes and also from Pompi. In Rome, you will see everyone eating gelato even in winter. Venchi and Mancuso are great options.
Of course, no trip to Rome would be complete without trying some pizza. Head to a pizzeria and order a classic margherita pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil or simply grab it and eat at the stairs in some of the piazzas. Choose from one of these:
- Pizza e Mozzarella, our favourite
- Pizzeria Sforno
- Forno Campo de Fiori
During your weekend getaway to Rome, be sure to indulge in these and other delicious dishes that make up the city’s rich culinary tradition.
Ancient History in Rome
On the first day of our weekend getaway to Rome, get ready to immerse yourself in the ancient history and stunning architecture of the city. We started our journey early in the morning, at the iconic Colosseum, where we would able to witness the incredible feats of engineering and imagine the battles that took place in this historic amphitheater.
From there, we continue our adventure through time with a visit to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, where we walk in the footsteps of Julius Caesar and witness the ruins of ancient Rome’s most important political and social center.
The easiest way to get tickets to the Colosseum is to purchase them online in advance. The official website of the Colosseum allows you to buy tickets directly, and you can choose from a variety of options. By purchasing online in advance, you can skip the long lines and have more time to explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, it’s all included.
The Vittorio Emanuele Monument is a must-see attraction during a weekend getaway to Rome. This grand white marble monument features impressive architecture and houses museums with ancient artefacts and contemporary Italian art. The rooftop terrace provides stunning panoramic views of Rome, including famous landmarks. It’s a great spot to take in the beauty of the city and snap some memorable photos. You can’t use your camera to take photos but, the phone is good to go.
We then stopped by the picturesque Piazza Navona along the route so you can take in the magnificent Baroque fountains. Nearby, is the Church of Saint Louis of the French where you can see artwork created by renowned painter Caravaggio.
Right after, we entered the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church to continue our investigation of Rome’s sacred sites, where the breathtaking ceiling frescoes will amaze you. Most of the churches in Rome are free so you can go and appreciate the artwork. We didn’t quite pick them, just entered when passed by.
Finally, we decided to wrap up our day at the Fontana di Trevi, one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. It was crowded, as we expected. So, we decided to come back in the early morning the next day. On our way to the hotel, we even passed by the Roman Forum and Colosseum. At night, with the lights is so charming.
Around the city
The next day of your weekend getaway to Rome, start by visiting the iconic Fontana di Trevi. If you go early in the morning, you can enjoy the place only with a few people. It is a must better and quiet experience. Make a wish and toss a coin to the stunning fountain if you like.
From there, we head to the nearby Piazza di Spagna, home to the famous Spanish Steps and at the top, we find Trinita dei Monti church. This area is also known for its high-end shopping, so even early in the morning were too many people there.
Then, our journey proceeds to Piazza del Popolo, one of Rome’s biggest and most famous squares. At the center is standing the magnificence Ramses II Obelisk, flanked by Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto twin churches.
See the Chigi Chapel, a little-known treasure located inside the Santa Maria del Popolo church, from there. The church features in the adaptation movie on Dan Brown’s book ‘Angels and Demons’. It is the only religious building of Raphael that has been preserved in a state that is close to its original state.
Next up, we head to the stunning Pantheon, one of Rome’s most impressive and well-preserved ancient landmarks. The massive dome has a central opening and has never been reinforced. Nowadays, it’s a church where one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, Rafaello is buried. The entrance is free.
Afterwards, we crossed the Umberto I bridge and took in the breathtaking views of the Tiber River.
It was afternoon when we head to the Vatican Museums. Here you can explore one of the world’s most extensive collections of art and antiquities. Highlights include the Sistine Chapel, with its breathtaking ceiling painted by Michelangelo, and the Raphael Rooms, featuring stunning frescoes by the Renaissance master.
To skip the line the best way is to buy your tickets online on the official website. On the day of the visit, you will need to show the tickets on the phone, as we did and you are good to go. Once you are inside, you will need to redeem the online tickets to admission tickets at the booth at the entrance. Also, bags are not allowed so you will need to leave them in the cloakroom, is free of charge and very organized. Our advice is to read on the official website all the rules and information about the visit.
We really enjoy the visit but, the Sistine Chapel was too crowded. It’s prohibited to take photos inside but, some people just don’t care and do not respect.
After exploring the museums, we took a break and grab a gelato at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.
The magnificent Basilica di San Pietro will meet you when you arrive at St. Peter’s Piazza, that’s where we headed next. It is the largest church in the world. Once inside the basilica, the sheer scale and majesty of the space are mind-blowing. From the soaring dome to the ornate sculptures and mosaics, every detail is meticulously crafted and full of meaning. It’s hard not to feel a sense of reverence and wonder when standing in the midst of such an incredible space
The entrance is free but, if you want to ascend the dome’s summit, for a breathtaking panorama over the city, you’ll have to pay.
To finish our weekend getaway to Rome, we stop by the nearby Castel Sant’Angelo, a towering cylindrical fortress that once served as a papal residence and prison. Nowadays it’s a museum and the views from the terrace are stunning. According to a legend, the castle owes its name to the appearance of Archangel Michael on the top of the building.
Finally, we still had time, on our weekend getaway to Rome, for a visit to the close by Ponte Sant’Angelo, a beautiful pedestrian bridge lined with statues of angels. The bridge leads you back to the heart of Rome and provides a perfect end to a day filled with history, art, and beauty.
A weekend getaway to Rome is sure to be an unforgettable experience, filled with history, culture, and delicious food. Whether it’s your first time in the city or you’re returning for a repeat visit, there’s always something new to discover in this vibrant and captivating city.