How to Spend 4 Days in Rome, Italy Itinerary
Charming streets, AMAZING food, history, rich culture, and GELATO; are just some of the many things you can expect on your visit to Rome, Italy! Actually, can I just teleport back right now?! Below, find how to spend an amazing 4 days in Rome including the best things to do, where to eat, hidden gems, and even where to stay!
As you begin reading this Rome itinerary, you may be questioning if 4 days in Rome is enough?
I personally believe 4 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Rome with 3 days being essential to see the top Rome attractions.
If you like to travel at a more leisurely pace or plan on taking day trips to Piza, Florance, or Pompeii during your Rome vacation, I’d recommend adding another day or 2 to your itinerary or swapping out one of these 4 days.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- How to Spend 4 Days in Rome, Italy Itinerary
- Day 1 of 4 Days in Rome: Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps
- Day 2 of 4 Days in Rome: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum
- Day 3 of 4 Days in Rome: Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo
- 4th Day in Rome: Altar of Fatherland, Jewish Ghetto, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Trastevere
- Great Places to Eat with 4 Days in Rome
- Where to Stay in Rome
- Getting to Rome From the Airport
- Traveling Around Rome
- Other Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting in Rome, Italy
- 4 Days in Rome Itinerary Wrap- Up
Day 1 of 4 Days in Rome: Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps
On day one in Rome, we are going to take you on a walking tour through some of the most famous places in Rome including the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and some beautiful Churches!
I would also highly recommend taking a cooking class one of the 4 days in Rome!
Walking into the Pantheon gave us chills. This must-see ancient Roman ruin now serves as a church and it is one of the most preserved ancient Roman ruins. One of the coolest things about this building is the large open dome (Oculus).
The Pantheon is the largest unsupported dome in the world!
The Pantheon is best to visit early and at night to hang out around the steps. During our visit, there was no fee to go inside.
It is also quite popular to hang around the Pantheon at night or as the sun goes down. Seeing this ancient ruin lit up was pretty neat.
Address: Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Hours: M-S: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm, Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm to go inside.
Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Not too far from the Pantheon is the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola. We actually just stumbled in here on accident and were blown away by the ceiling art of this church.
They even have a mirror in the middle facing the ceiling so you can get a better look without having to look up! Free to visit.
Address: Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
With 4 days in Rome, Trevi Fountain is an easy must-see place! Make sure to have some spare coins to throw over your shoulder and into the fountain! Legend says 1 throw, you will come back to Rome, 2 throws you will fall in love, 3 throws you will marry!
Because of this fun tradition, the fountain collects an estimated 3,000 euros each day which is then donated to those in need living in Rome.
The fountain is mainly open 24/7 except when they are quickly collecting the coins (usually in the morning).
To get the Trevi Fountain mainly to yourself, the best time to visit is early in the morning. Think 7 AM, since the Tevi Fountain is easily one of the most Instagrammable places in Rome!
Update: You are no longer allowed to sit on the edge of the Trevi Fountain, but you can still go up to the fountain and toss your coins in!
Admission: It is free to visit the Trevi Fountain.
Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Spanish Steps, Rome
Not too far from the Trevi Fountain is the famous Spanish Steps of Rome. Why are they called the Spanish Steps?
Originally they were named Trinità dei Monti after the church above them and then later renamed after the Piazza below them, Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Square). Make sure to head to the top and view the Trinita dei Monti Church.
The square was named after the Spanish Embassy nearby. So, now it all makes sense!
The best times to visit are early in the morning (for pictures and no crowds) and then for the sunset!
Update: It is no longer ok to sit or eat on the Spanish Steps as you see in the below photo. However, you can still walk up and down the steps!
Admission: It is free to visit the Spanish Steps.
Address: Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Hours: Can visit any time.
This finishes up day 1 of 4 days in Rome travel itinerary! Remember that these activities and days can be changed to fit your schedule!
You may also be interested in Sorrento 4 Day Itinerary with day trips to Capri, Pompeii, Positano and more!
Day 2 of 4 Days in Rome: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum
Usually, we don’t take many tours, but for the below activities, it is definitely worth it to skip the line for major Rome attractions (especially during the summer).
The Roman Colosseum
The Colosseum has been on the top of our bucket list, so skipping the line is totally worth it!
We took the tour that allowed us to see to walk underneath the Colosseum, as well as give us access to the 4th &5th floor, which is just for groups.
This meant that we and about 20 other people had the floors to ourselves!
If you rather do a self-tour, get your Colosseum tickets by the Biglietteria Foro Romano (near the Roman Forum). The line tends to be shorter than by the Colosseum.
When you get the ticket, it will be for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palantine Hill for about 12 euros.
NOTE: They give you a scheduled time that you can see the Colosseum, so you usually need to go there first!
Some Fun Facts about the Colosseum are:
- The original name of the Colosseum was the Flavian Amphitheater.
- It included a seating chart that could hold 50,000 people.
- Lots of the marble was “borrowed” by past Popes to design churches.
- The construction of the Colosseum was built by slaves from neighboring countries.
- The Colosseum had elevators that would lift animals and gladiators into the ring.
Tip: If you are interested in a tour, look into the Colosseum night tour! We wanted to do this so badly, but it was all booked up. I’ve heard from many that the experience was amazing! Check tours at Get Your Guide, Here!
Address to get tickets: 00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Colosseum Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Operation Hours: M-S 8:30 am – 7 pm
Ready to see more of Ancient Rome? Here you will find remarkable ruins, rolling hills, and even an old bathhouse.
Palatine Hill is known as one of the most ancient parts of Rome and was considered one of the most desirable neighborhoods for emperors and aristocrats.
From Palatine Hill, you can walk down to the Roman Forum.
Note: If you do a guided tour, the Palatine Hill entrance is usually included. It is located across from the Colosseum.
The Roman Forum was one of my favorite places to explore because you were able to see the ancient ruins up close and personal. You have the opportunity to walk through what once was a thriving marketplace, where Government meetings were held, public speeches, and more.
If you go to see the Colosseum at night, when you walk past the Roman Forum, you will see they put spotlights all over which is pretty cool to see! Overall, the Roman Forum is a must-see with 4 days in Rome.
Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Hours of Operation: M-S 8:30am – 7:15pm
Across the road (Via dei Fori Imperiali) from the Roman Forum, you will find tons of additional Ancient Roman Ruins in the Trajan Forum. This forum was a result of the war conquest over Dacia.
While we did not have time to walk through these ruins, we did walk along the full road giving you a really spectacular (and free) view!
Address: Via dei Fori Imperiali, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Largo di Torre Argentina
Take a quick stop by Largo di Torre Argentina to see where Ceaser was actually murdered! These Rome ruins are also known as a cat haven for the sheer numbers. You cant walk through them, but the area is free to visit and easy to add onto a 4 day Rome itinerary!
Address: Largo di Torre Argentina, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Hours: You can walk around anytime.
Day 3 of 4 Days in Rome: Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo
Are heading over to Vatican City? Religious or not, the Vatican museums are still a must-see in Rome.
Again, we went with a tour just to skip the line (which can cue 3+ hs). This will also give you time to see tons of other places in Rome.
We choose a tour that included a guided tour of the museums, Sistine Chapel, and entrance to Saint Petersburg. While I don’t think you need a physical guide, skipping the line is worth it! Check out Vatican Skip the line tours here!
The Vatican is the 5th largest museum in the world. Being that this is the Vatican, the inside of the felt like a zoo since there were SO many people.
Did I mention we went during May (still off-season)!
You should also note that there is a dress code to enter the Vatican. This means shoulders covered and pants/dresses/skirts below the knees.
During our visit, we did see some people who did not follow these rules, however, you don’t want to get all the way to the Vatican for them to turn you away.
There are tons of really stunning (and important) pieces of art throughout the museum and the ceiling art is just insane! The Vatican is also decked in Marble.
Personally, my favorite room was the Map room and every ceiling was incredible! Since we did the skip-the-line tour we were also able to see St. Petersburg Church.
Address: Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday: 9am – 4pm; Sunday: Closed
Castel Sant’Angelo is an impressive castle with works of art, furniture, and later dated weapons. The main reason I would visit Castel Sant’Angelo is actually for the Panoramic views at the top overlooking the Vatican City the Tiber river and more! It is really breathtaking!
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
Hours of Operation: M-S 9 am – 7:30 pm
Admission: Currently 11- 15 Euros (May), but changes with the season. To walk outside of the castle is free!
Piazza Navona is likely one of the most popular Piazzas in Rome and dates back to the 1st Century. Here you will find 3 impressive fountains (Fontana del Moro, the Fontana de ‘Calderari and Fontana dei Quattro Rivers).
You will also be able to view the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone (free) and it is quite stunning. Lined on either side are bustling restaurants with outdoor seating so you can people watch to your heart’s content! Free to walk around!
4th Day in Rome: Altar of Fatherland, Jewish Ghetto, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Trastevere
By now you have likely walked 30 miles and indulged in tons of gelato, pizza, and pasta. BTW: Amazing places to eat in Rome below! On our last day, we are seeing some of the more hidden gems of Rome, Italy.
Altar of the Fatherland
Altar of the Fatherland is the largest national monument in Italy. The grand monument is currently managed by the Polo Museale del Lazio, the Italian Ministry of Defense and the Museo Centrale del Risorgimento Italiano.
The Altar of Fatherland was built in 1885 in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. This monument is also commonly called “The Wedding Cake” and “The Typewriter”. While we never climbed up the stairs, you certainly can. I can imagine the view is lovely!
Address: Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday 9 am – 7 pm
Capitoline Museums makes the list because I love the area. While we did not go into the museum, the statues and view over the Roman Forum (to the back of the square) give a panoramic view!
Please note: there are a good amount of stairs you have to climb here, and if you go on the weekend, you will likely see weddings going on.
If you do have extra time and love museums, I have heard it’s a really nice visit.
Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Jewish Ghetto, Rome
This neighborhood is full of charming streets, history, and ancient Roman ruins including Marcello Theater (started by Julius Caesar), Portico of Octavia, and Temple of Apollo Medicus Sosianus.
While it is bustling today, it was once an “enclosure” for Jewish people where many of their rights were stripped away.
Without going too deep, you will find gold-colored cobblestones throughout the area marking where Jewish people who lived there and were killed in the Holocaust.
Admission: All free to see!
Address: Via del Teatro di Marcello, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità)
The Mouth of Truth is a massive marble mask that is notably famous from the movie Roman Holiday (1953). Legend says if you put your hand in the mouth and are lying, you will be bitten.
You will see tourists lining up for their picture with their hand in the stone for a small donation. If you are short on time, however, I would skip this.
Address: Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Hours of Operation: M-S 9:30am – 5:50pm
Pyramid of Caius Cestius
The Pyramid of Caius Cestius is definitely more off the beaten path, but pretty cool to see! This tomb was built around 18-12 BC and was inspired by Egyptian influence.
You can take a cab, bus or train here. Depending on where you are, there is a bus and train stop directly across from the Pyramid (station Porta S. Paolo).
To get to the inside, you will have to walk around and through a (very well kept) graveyard with tons of kitties. It is free to walk around the grounds.
Please note: the property asks for you to not post photos on social media from the inside – so below is a photo from the outside.
Address: Via Raffaele Persichetti, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Hours of Operation to go inside the Pyramid: The Pyramind is open to the public every second and fourth Saturday each month. Visitors must arrange their visit in advance.
Trastevere Italy Neighborhood
If you haven’t had enough to do yet, then consider heading to the neighborhood of Trastevere in Rome. This neighborhood is known more as a local bohemian gem of Rome with a younger crowd.
Some of the best things to do in Trastevere are to wander the streets, eat lots of food, and the Basilica di Santa Maria.
Many travelers rave about this area in Rome, however, my unpopular opinion is that I wasn’t incredibly overwhelmed by this neighborhood.
If you plan on heading here, I’d put the Basilica di Santa Maria as a starting point.
Address: P.za di Santa Maria Maggiore, 00100 Roma RM, Italy
Day Trip to Pompeii and The Herculaneum from Rome
Alternatively, you can also consider taking a day trip to Pompeii or the Herculaneum. Both sites were affected by the Mt. Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD.
From Rome, you can either take the train (Circumvesuviana train) hire a private car, or go on a tour. After visiting Pompeii, I would definitely recommend some type of tour since there is very little to no information about the sites.
Day Trip to Pisa from Rome
Another popular day trip you can do with 4 days in Rome is to take a day trip to the famous leaning tower of Pisa. It is about a 2 and a half-hour train ride north of Rome via fast train.
Get that famous photo holding the leaning tower of Pisa up! Consider taking a guided tour and skip the line tickets!
Galleria Borghese Museum
Another option is to see The Galleria Borghese Art Museum. It is very popular to visit, especially if you love art. The Gallery offers tours as well as has an exquisite garden. The collection includes sculptures, paintings, and antiques.
You need a ticket to visit, however, if you are under 18, it’s free to visit. A Rome pass will also work here, as well as if you are visiting the first Sunday of the month, but you still must reserve your free slot.
Find tickets to the Borghese Gallery and ticket information here.
Address: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Great Places to Eat with 4 Days in Rome
While you’re in Rome, of course, you should know some awesome places to eat! Dare I say I did have bad food in Rome. That place is NOT listed.
Ristorante la Campana: Amazing Roman restaurant! We were lucky enough to have this restaurant right down the block from us! Our waiter was so kind, he even emailed us a recipe for limoncello. Felt like a place mainly locals were eating.
Address: Vicolo della Campana, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy (close to Pantheon)
La Tavernetta 48: A Cosy little restaurant with delicious food! I had eggplant parm and my Alex had steak, oh and the roasted potatoes were amazing!
Address: Via degli Spagnoli, 48, 00186 Roma RM, Italy (close to Pantheon)
Coromandel: Looking for an American-style breakfast (eggs, pancakes, etc) at a super cute cafe? Come here, but just make sure to make a reservation beforehand. We stumbled across this place with no wait, but when we tried to walk in two days later they were fully booked and were not taking anyone for seating.
Address: Via di Monte Giordano, 60/61, 00186 Roma RM, Italy (near Piazza Navona)
L’orso 80: Another amazing classic Roman restaurant! We were surprised by how huge portions were and the streets around this area are really charming. (near Piazza Navona)
Address: Via dell’Orso, 33, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Frigidarium: Come here for amazing gelato that can be totally dipped in chocolate…. do I need to say more! With over 5k reviews on TripAdvisor, don’t be surprised if there is a long line. The area is really charming to wander around as well!
Address: Via del Governo Vecchio, 112, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Quelli Della Pizza Roma: They have great Roman-style pizza! The crust is thin and cracker-like and served in a square slice that is weighed.
Address: Via della Stelletta, 25, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Where to Stay in Rome
Rome has a lot of great neighborhoods to stay in. During our 4 days in Rome, we stayed in an Airbnb, which we really loved!
We stayed near the Pantheon. The area in Rome is very walkable with the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps all within a 10-15 minute walk.
Hotels in Rome
If you prefer the comforts of a hotel, here are some options you might be interested in. Hotels in Rome book up very fast, so it’s important to book ahead of time if you want to stay somewhere nice.
The H’All Tailor Suite Roma (Upscale)
The H’All Tailor Suite Roma is a luxury boutique hotel that is perfect for couples. It is located in the Villa Borghese Parioli district and is home to the Michelin-star restaurant, All’Oro. The rooms are very modern and breakfast is usually included.
Hotel Locarno (Upscale)
Only 500 feet from Piazza del Popolo square, Hotel Locarno is known for its legendary rooftop terrace overlooking Rome’s historic center. Savvy locals and travelers have been flocking to this hotel since opening in 1925. Offering free bikes, a killer breakfast, Art Nouveau style rooms, and free Wi-Fi, this property is one you will want to book ahead of time.
Pantheon Inn (Mid-Range)
Located in the heart of Rome and a few steps from Piazza della Rotonda is Pantheon Inn. This area has tons of great restaurants and almost all your top tourist spots including Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori. Breakfast is also included at the BNB.
Hotel Domus Tiberina (Budget)
Hotel Domus Tiberina is located in the Trastevere neighborhood, next to Rome’s most ancient bell towers. The rooms are very modern with an air conditioner (not always guaranteed in Rome!) and about a 15-minute walk to the Colosseum. This neighborhood is known to have authentic and local Roman gems.
Hostels are also very popular in Rome, especially with young Solo travelers. We became friends with a group from a hostel and they had also all just met. Check Hostel World for the best Hostels around Rome!
Getting to Rome From the Airport
Flying in from Rome (Fiumicino (FCO) is the closest airport to Rome, however, it is actually around 35 minutes away from the city center. If you live in Europe, trains can be another great option, which also reduces environmental impact!
Once arriving in Italy, you can either take the train or a private car or shuttle. We took the train which was fairly easy you booked a hotel, you can also check and see if they offer an airport shuttle.
Train from Fiumicino Airport to Rome
The Leonardo Express Train takes about 35 mins to get to the City center. You can buy these tickets online or at the counter. The train runs back and forth about every 30 minutes and costs 14 Euros.
If you decide to buy your ticket at the station, make sure to validate the ticket! Before walking into the gate you will see a machine to put your ticket into. This will put a time stamp on it.
Traveling Around Rome
The best way to get around Rome is to walk! With 4 days in Rome, this will be a piece of cake, or tiramisu? Next would be public transportation.
Rome has tons of rails and buses making it easy to navigate the city. Tickets are usually bought in the Tabaccherie (tabacco shops). Taxies are generally not recommended, as tourists usually get ripped off.
Other Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting in Rome, Italy
- At very popular sites in Rome (Colosseum, Vatican, Piazza Navona) you will likely have men dressed in African attire asking you if you are from Africa. They will then try to give you a bracelet as a “gift” once you don’t give them money, they take the bracelet back. If you don’t plan on “donating” for their bracelet, just say no thank you and keep walking. They will really try to sell you, so just be wary.
- You will also see tons of people trying to sell selfie sticks and bottles of water. Many times they will tell you that “you can’t buy water inside”. This is usually not true!
- There are a ton of drinking water fountains around Rome, so you can bring a reusable water bottle like Lifestraw!
- If you are visiting during the summer months, it’s best to make reservations at restaurants.
- Pizza in Rome is cut in your desired “square” size and weighted for pricing.
- Try to learn basic Italian phrases. It is extremely appreciated and you will usually get a much better response than if you just start speaking English to locals. For common phrases, check my things to know before visiting Italy.
- Don’t forget to try Limoncello, Aperol and the house wine while in Rome =)
- The best time to visit Rome is April-May & Sept-Nov for fewer crowds!
- This 4 Days in Rome Guide is perfect for creating your self-tour, however, if you think you might prefer going with a group tour instead, G Adventures offers awesome tours throughout Italy!
4 Days in Rome Itinerary Wrap- Up
This covers everything you need to know for spending 4 days in Rome, Italy! From some of the best things to see, where to eat, places to stay, and other important travel tips to know in Rome, you are prepared to have an amazing vacation!
If you found this Rome, Italy Itinerary helpful or have any questions, please let me know in the comments below!