Ah, Roma. The city that crumbles with grace, and transports you to another era. I went to this timeless place with my mom after my semester abroad, and we had an amazing time. Out of all the places she visited in Europe, my mom says that Rome is the one she’d go back to in a heartbeat. I can agree that it left me speechless. Keep reading for my ideal, relaxed itinerary for 3 days in Rome!
day 1 // Campo de’ Fiori
Mom and I chose an Airbnb near Campo de’ Fiori, a popular square with a food market, restaurants, and quaint winding streets of cobblestone. I enjoyed just walking around and taking in the sights. We also ended up eating at a restaurant just off the square. It was the first pizza I’d eaten with olives on it, which I didn’t even like before. Rome made me fall in love with new foods and showed me the way pizza is really done!
This experience was the best part of our few days in Rome. Mom and I both loved seeing the iconic Colosseum in person and getting to tour it. We learned so much from our guide, and I highly recommend paying extra for the guided tour. We also purchased skip the line tickets, which were definitely worth it considering the insane line to get in that was in the blazing heat. You can buy tickets in advance here.
day 2 // Trevi Fountain
All my Lizzie McGuire dreams were fulfilled when we went to the Trevi Fountain. We visited during the day and again at night, and really enjoyed getting to see it both times! During the day, the fountain is bathed in sunshine, and it is illuminated at night by lights. Both times were equally magical! Bring a euro or two to flip into the fountain, and leave Roma with the good luck it bestows!
Of course, you can’t visit Rome without getting gelato at least once! Or twice, or five times… We visited this little gelato shop that had dairy-free flavors (thanks, allergies!) and it was phenomenal. I had a scoop of dark chocolate and another of strawberry. Yum!
day 3 // The Vatican
This was by far our longest day in Rome. But, we also got to add another country to our count since the Vatican is an independent state. After doing hours of research online, we found that the Vatican is so busy on any given day that the line wraps all the way around its outer walls. We opted to get a skip the line tour, and it was 100% worth it. I booked this tour for us, which I found on GetYourGuide.
We walked right up to the front door, our guide got our audio sets for us so that we didn’t even have to worry about those, and we moved at our own pace as a small group. I can definitely vouch for picking a company that keeps its tour groups to a maximum of 8-10 people. It was so nice to be able to navigate past huge groups of 40 or 50 people, and our guide knew our names. We got to see four to five hours’ worth of paintings, ornate rooms, extravagant architecture, and history upon history.
Pro Tip: If you want the perks of a skip-the-line ticket and the freedom to visit without a tour, take advantage of this steal for just $30!
The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I was in a trance looking at the painted ceiling, and knew in that moment I would go back there someday. It was gorgeous. Be warned, though, that it is prohibited to take photos within the Sistine Chapel, but people will try it anyway.
There are guards that will say on repeat, “NO PHONES OR CAMERAS,” which ruins the grandiosity just a little bit. There is an option to pay for early entry to the Sistine Chapel, which will get you in before the Vatican opens up to selfie-stick-wielding tour groups. I will most definitely be checking that out when I go back to Rome!
I hope this itinerary for 3 days in Rome was helpful for you as you plan your own trip. This first trip to Roma was such a fun, relaxed mother-daughter vacation. Next time, I plan to see the Mamertine Prison (where the Apostle Paul was incarcerated), visit some museums, go back to the Colosseum, get early entry tickets to the Sistine Chapel, and eat tons of gelato. I can hardly wait until I’m on that flight back to Fiumicino!
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