4 Days in Rome Itinerary: The Best of Rome

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, learn 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!

First time in Italy, I would also suggest reading What to Expect Before Traveling to Italy!

Visiting the Roman Forum is a must with 4 days in Rome Italy. Roman Ruins
View of Roman Ruins in the Roman Forum


How to spend 4 days in Rome Italy Itinerary

Disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

 Day 1: Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps

On day one, I am going to take you on a walking tour through some of the most famous places in the city, including the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and some beautiful Churches! I hope you’re wearing your comfortable shoes!

Seeing the Roman Forum is one of the best free things to do in Rome


Walking into the Pantheon gave me 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!

It is best to visit early and at night to hang out around the steps. During our visit, there was no fee to go inside, however, this has changed to 5 euros.

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.

Hours: Monday -Saturday: 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM; Sunday: 9 AM – 6 PM for inside access.

With 4 days in Rome, Italy, make sure to see the Pantheon.

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 by 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.

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

Next, head to the Trevi Fountain! It is one of my favorite places despite the crowds and one of the best free places to visit in Rome. Make sure to have some spare coins to throw over your shoulder and into the fountain! Legend says that with one coin throw, you will come back to Rome; with 2 throws, you will fall in love; and with 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 the city.

One of the best Photo Spots is Rome's Trevi Fountain. Woman in yellow dress sitting on edge

The fountain is mainly open 24/7 except when they are quickly collecting the coins (usually in the morning).

To get to 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!

Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy is one of the top free things to do

The Spanish Steps

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!

The Spanish Steps are a must visit in Rome and are very Instagrammable

In the afternoon, check out my food recommendations for dinner at the end of this itinerary. I loved walking around the city at night to see the monuments lit up.

View of the Trevi Fountain in Rome at night

Day 2: 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 city attractions (especially during the summer).

The Roman Colosseum

The Colosseum has been on the top of my 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 floors, which is just for groups.

This meant that it was just us and about 20 other people on these floors!

Visit the Colosseum with 4 days in Rome

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 Palatine Hill for about 12 euros.

Rome Travel Tip: They give you a scheduled time that you can see the Colosseum, so you usually need to go there first!

Operation Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM – 7 PM

Rome is one of the top instagrammable places in rome

Fun Facts about the Colosseum

  1. The original name of the Colosseum was the Flavian Amphitheater.
  2. It included a seating chart that could hold 50,000 people.
  3. Lots of the marble was “borrowed” by past Popes to design churches.
  4. The construction of the Colosseum was built by slaves from neighboring countries.
  5. The Colosseum had elevators that would lift animals and gladiators into the ring.

Travel 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!

Colosseum in Rome at night.

Palatine Hill

Ready to see more of the Ancient city? 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.

Travel Tip: If you do a guided tour, the Palatine Hill entrance is usually included. It is located across from the Colosseum.

Visiting the Roman Forum is a must with 4 days in Rome Italy. Roman Ruins
View of Roman Ruins in the Roman Forum

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was one of my favorite places to explore because you can 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.

Roman Fourm has lots of photo worthy places

Trajan Forum

Across the road (Via dei Fori Imperiali) from the Roman Forum, you will find tons of additional Ancient 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!

Largo di Torre Argentina

Next, take a quick stop by Largo di Torre Argentina, to see where Ceaser was actually murdered! These ruins are also known as a cat haven for the sheer numbers. You can’t walk through them, but the area is free to visit and a unique spot to see!

Largo di Torre Argentina is a great place to stop by with 4 days in Rome and where Caesar died
Largo di Torre Argentina – Where Caesar Died

Day 3: Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo

You have already seen so much of the city. So, today, you will head over to the Vatican and more of a gem, Castel Sant’ Angelo.


Start the day by heading over to Vatican City. Religious or not, the Vatican museums are still a must-see.

Again, we went on a tour just to skip the line (which can last 3+ hours). This will also give you time to see many other places in the city.

We chose a tour that included a guided tour of the museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the entrance to Saint Petersburg. While I don’t think you need a physical guide, skipping the line is worth it! Check out the Vatican Skip the line tours here!

The Vatican in Rome is a must with 4 days in Rome.

The Vatican is the 5th largest museum in the world. Since this is the Vatican, the inside 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 there 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!

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. Sundays at noon, the Pope also gives his speech. If you want to avoid crowds, don’t come during this time.

Castel Sant’Angelo

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 Vatican City, the Tiber River, and more! It is breathtaking!

Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday: 9 AM – 7:30 PM

Admission: Currently 11- 15 Euros (May), but this changes with the season. To walk outside of the castle is free!

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is likely one of the most popular Piazzas in the city 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!

The Best Instagrammable Places in Rome including Piazza Navona

Day 4: Altar of Fatherland, Jewish Ghetto, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Trastevere + Optional Day Trips

By now, you have likely walked 30 miles and indulged in tons of gelato, pizza, and pasta. BTW: Amazing places to eat in Rome are below! On your last day, you will see some of the more hidden gems of Rome, along with day trip options.

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.

Altar of the Fatherland with 4 Days in Rome

It 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!

Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday: 9 AM – 7 PM

Altar of the Fatherland in Rome Italy

Capitoline Museums

While the city itself feels like a walking museum, you can also consider visiting the Capitoline Museums. I love the area in general. We actually did not go into the museum because of the line, but the statues and view over the Roman Forum (to the back of the square) give a panoramic view!

Capitoline Museums Rome
Backside of Capitoline Museums

If you do have the time, it is worth going in the museum. You can even see the Capitoline Wolf!

Rome Tip: there are many stairs you have to climb here, and if you go on the weekend, you will likely see weddings going on. This square was actually designed by Michelangelo.

If you do have extra time and love museums, I have heard it’s a really nice visit.

Visiting the Capitoline in Rome is perfect for a Italy Itinerary
Outside the Capitoline Museum

Jewish Ghetto

This neighborhood is full of charming streets, history, and ancient ruins, including the Marcello Theater (started by Julius Caesar), Portico of Octavia, and the Temple of Apollo Medicus Sosianus.

Marcello Theater Rome is a hidden gem
Marcello Theater – looks a lot like the Colosseum

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.

jewish ghetto wall art Rome
Jewish Ghetto wall art in Rome
Golden Cobblestones to honor Jewish people killed during the Holocaust
Golden Cobble Stones to honor Jewish people killed during the Holocaust

The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità)

The Mouth of Truth is a massive marble mask 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.

Mouth of Truth in Rome might be something to check out with 4 days in Rome.

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 your location, 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.

Hours of Operation to go inside the Pyramid: The Pyramid is open to the public every second and fourth Saturday each month. Visitors must arrange their visit in advance.

Pyramid of Caius Cestius with 4 Days in Rome

Trastevere Italy Neighborhood

If you haven’t had enough to do yet, then consider heading to the neighborhood of Trastevere. This neighborhood is known more as a local bohemian gem of Rome, and it has a younger crowd.

Some of the best things to do here include wandering the streets, eating lots of food, and the Basilica di Santa Maria.

Many travelers rave about this area, 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.

Trastevere Rome Italy Alley

Visit an Art Gallery

Maybe art galleries are more your thing. If so, here are two well-known art galleries you can consider checking out on your 4th day in Rome. As you can see, while we can cover a ton of attractions within 4 days, you, of course, can not see it all.

  • Galleria Borghese Museum: The Gallery offers tours as well as has an exquisite garden. The collection includes sculptures, paintings, and antiques. Find tickets to the Borghese Gallery and ticket information here.
  • Doria Pamphili Gallery: This large private collection that is open to the public boasts paintings, furniture, and statuary. The collection dates back to the 16th century. Learn more and get tickets here.

Day Trip to Pompeii and The Herculaneum

Alternatively, you can 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 myself, I would definitely recommend some type of tour since there is very little to no information about the sites.

View of Mt. Vesuvius from Pompeii ruins
View of Mt. Vesuvius from Pompeii ruins

Day Trip to Pisa

Another popular day trip you can do 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!

Great Places to Eat

While you’re in Rome, of course, you should know some awesome places to eat! Dare I say I had 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. It’s close to Pantheon.

La Tavernetta 48A Cosy little restaurant with delicious food! I had eggplant parm and my Alex had steak, oh and the roasted potatoes were amazing!

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.

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)

FrigidariumCome 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!

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.

I would also highly recommend taking a cooking class or even a food tour on one of the days in 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. If you booked a hotel, you can also check and see if they offer an airport shuttle.

Train from Fiumicino Airport

The Leonardo Express Train takes about 35 minutes 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 around 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.

How to Get Around

The best way to get around the city is to walk! With 4 days in Rome, this will be a piece of cake, or tiramisu? Next would be public transportation.

The city has tons of rails and buses making it easy to navigate the city. Tickets are usually bought in the Tabaccherie (tobacco shops). Taxies are generally not recommended, as tourists usually get ripped off.

Make sure to visit inside the Colosseum in Rome Italy
Inside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Other Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting

  • 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 the city, so you can bring a reusable water bottle.
  • If you are visiting during the summer months, it’s best to make reservations at restaurants.
  • Pizza 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 =)
  • The best time to visit Rome is April-May & Sept-Nov for fewer crowds!
Rome is full of Instagrammable streets including the Jewish Ghetto
Streets around the Jewish Ghetto

Where to Stay

Now that you know all the best things to do with 4 days in Rome, you will need a place to lay your head down at night! The city has a ton of hotels all around the city, which can make it hard to choose. Below, find some great places to consider staying.

Hotels 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.

Pantheon Inn (Mid-Range)

Located in the heart of the city 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.

We stayed near the Pantheon and really loved the area and how close it was to other Rome attractions.

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) and about a 15-minute walk to the Colosseum. This neighborhood is known to have authentic and local Roman gems.

Arch of Constantine by the Colosseum in Rome
Arch of Constantine by the Colosseum in Rome

With More Time in Italy

In my option, 4 days gives you plenty of time to see the main attractions in Rome, but you probably are planning a longer stay in Italy, I know we did.

Personally, we split our time with half in Rome and the other half in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. You can see that Sorrento Itinerary here!

If you don’t want to head South, you can use Rome as a home-base for some day trips or consider splitting the time in Florence and Tuscany instead. I haven’t done that trip yet, but it is on my list.

Positano view on the Amalfi Coast 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, you are prepared to have an amazing vacation!

If you found this Rome Itinerary helpful or have any questions, please let me know in the comments below!

Did you find this guide helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good. Learn more here: https://findloveandtravel.com/samantha-oppenheimer/

36 thoughts on “4 Days in Rome Itinerary: The Best of Rome”

  1. I sadly haven’t been to Rome yet and I know that there are a lot of things to see and do there. This guide is going to be really helpful when I plan my trip!

  2. This itinerary is so helpful! Italy is definitely one of my next stops and you have some great recommendations here! Thank you!

  3. I would love to visit Rome so badly! I’ve been several times to Italy but never made it to Rome yet >< So thank you for this amazing itinerary, it will be handy when I go!

  4. I’m planning to visit Rome this autumn, so your post will be very helpful. I love the Trastavere neighborhood.The Pantheon is also very beautiful.

  5. We loved Rome! Hoping to make it back soon after travel opens up again. That is a really great view from the Capitoline Museums — I’ll have to look up more details about the museum too!

  6. One of my favorite cities in Europe and so much history! Love all these photos and makes me miss it so much. I agree 4 days is a good time frame to see the major highlights of this city. Unfortunately Trevi fountain during my visit was under renovation ! I can’t wait to return again soon!

  7. Gorgeous photos! And I love your outfits 🙂 Rome is one of those places I’ve been meaning to go for ages. Oh well, post lockdown I will make sure to visit! Also followed your adventures on Instagram.

  8. I love this! Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world and your pictures have brought back so many wonderful memories from my time there ? Hoping to go back someday soon!

  9. I did three days in Rome and saw many of the things you mentioned. I agree with you about doing the “skip the line” tickets. Even with them you still have to wait a little. Your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  10. Sam this post was so incredible and informative! I was only in Rome for two days when we went and I’m
    So itching for another Italy trip and i will definitely be using your guide to plan mine in the future!

  11. This is an amazing guide Sam! I was supposed to go to Rome at the end of May, but we had to postpone for later in the year. I cannot wait to finally go and definitely keeping this post handy. 🙂

  12. Great guide. I spent not even 24 hours in Rome and really want to go back so I can really experience it. I remember having an incredible dinner when I was there. I was so full! But it was delicious!!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful memories of Rome! Italy is such a special country and needs our love more than ever now 🙂

  14. Ohh Rome looks stunning, I can´t believe I have not managed to visit it yet. Hopefully we can all travel internationaly again soon, it´s definitely on my list. Thanks for sharing this very informative post, great inspiration!

  15. I have been to Rome a long time ago and would love to go back again the next time that I visit Europe. It is such a beautiful city 🙂

  16. Rome is on my list, and these photos make me want to go now!! I love all these recommendations too. I would love to see all of these.

  17. This is a fantastic guide to Rome! We hope to go soon and will be using this guide to help. I also LOVE your pictures and all of your tips!

  18. This is an amazing guide! Thank you for such a detailed post, this is will definitely help for planning my future trip.

  19. Such a great guide Sam! I had only two days in Rome but luckily I saw most of the places you suggested. I definitely need to go back tho ☺️

  20. Rome is THE major European capital that I haven’t visited yet, but I will definitely keep your tips in mind. Especially the spots with nice views, those are my favorites!


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