Italy Road Trip: Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in Rome

Rome has been around for almost three thousand years and carries all history within its walls, streets and windows. Are you planning on spending a weekend in Rome? Then this guide to spending 48 hours in this magical city will help you decide, where to stay in Rome, things to do in Rome and when to visit Rome.

Keep reading for loads of tips and tricks for your Rome itinerary…

Rome is a city that combines art, history, food and Italian intimacy, all within the city. Whilst a weekend in Rome isn’t enough time to really see this incredible city, I have pulled together all of my top tips for visiting this gorgeous city, from past trips there over the years.

Rome is a wonderful city to explore the neighbourhood trattorias, quirky shops and a buzzing aperitivo scene, where you can spend hours chatting with friends in the piazza.

There are so many amazing things to see on a weekend in Rome, the top being: The Colosseum, The Vatican / St Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, Piazza de Spagna, Castel Sant’Angelo and much more. 

I have also made it my life goal to explore more of Italy, including some of it’s lesser-known and popular cities. If you have more time for your weekend in Rome or are spending a week in Italy, check out my guide to Ravenna Italy, Cinque Terre, Tuscany Italy, Positano and Pisa Italy.

And if you have even longer to explore this incredible city, why not head to Florence for a few days.

Weekend in Rome

10 Things to do in Rome

  1. Colosseum
  2. Roman Forum
  3. Palatine Hill
  4. Vatican City: Sistine Chapel
  5. Vatican City: The Vatican Museums
  6. Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square
  7. Trevi Fountain
  8. The Pantheon
  9. Spanish Steps


Essential Information


Euros are the national currency. Most cashpoint machines work with international cards.


Italians tip very little; 5% is ample, and it’s often enough just to round the bill up to the nearest 5 or 10 euros

Emergency services

112 (Carabinieri and general emergency switchboard); 113 (State Police); 118 (Ambulance Service)

Thinking about spending a long period of time in Italy? Use this guide to how much 12 days in Italy would cost.

Weekend in Rome 

Planning your Italian Road Trip

Italy is such a beautiful country with some amazing cities to visit and plenty of picturesque countrysides to see, which is why taking a road trip is one of the best ways to experience it.

You miss a lot of the nice rural areas when you fly from city to city, but on a road trip, you will see everything along the way. However, a road trip does take a lot of planning and there are a lot of small details that you need to get right if your trip is going to be a success. 

There are so many things to do in Rome, now it’s down to you to decide where to go.


Where Should You Start And Finish? 

Milan is the best place to start your road trip in Italy because the Malpensa airport is a large airport, meaning that you have plenty of flight options regardless of where you are coming from and you should be able to get some cheap deals.

You can reserve Malpensa parking easily, so you can sort the car and have it waiting for you as soon as you arrive. Milan is one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy and it’s the perfect place to start your road trip. It’s up to you where you go along the way but Naples is always a great place to finish your road trip.

Again, it has a large airport so you’ll get the best flight times and prices. 


How Should You Get Around?

Renting a car is the most obvious choice, and it’s probably the most convenient. However, if you are travelling light and you want a more authentic Italian experience, you could consider renting a Vespa instead. Just make sure that you are confident driving it and you account for the extra time that it will take to get to each destination because a Vespa is much slower than a car. 


Which Cities Should You Visit? 

You should start in Milan and head towards Naples or you can do the route in reverse if you like. If you are starting in Milan, you can spend a day exploring the city before heading towards Cinque Terre and exploring some of the quaint towns in the area.

From there, you can move on towards Pisa where you can see the leaning tower and stop off for some world famous Italian pizza. Florence and Rome should be the next two big stops on your tour, but there are some nice towns and villages that you can stop off at on the way, so plan a few days at least for this leg of the journey.

After a few days in Rome, you can finally head towards Naples and finish your trip there before flying home. 

Looking for some Instagram-worthy photos? Check out this guide to the best photo spots in Rome!

Weekend in Rome

Where to stay in Rome

There are lots of different beautiful neighborhoods to explore while you’re on a weekend in Rome, but deciding where to stay in Rome is also important. One of the best places to stay in Rome is the historic center (Il Centro Storico) close to the Pantheon, Campo Fiori and Piazza Navona.

The best neighbourhoods in Rome include: Testaccio, Monti, Pigneto, Trastevere and Tridente. I have listed some of the hotels I have stayed at and would recommend, as well as some other recommend hotels to stay at in Rome. 


The Liberty Boutique Hotel – Avg. price/night: £111

Tree Charme Spagna Boutique Hotel – Avg. price/night: £96

Portrait Roma – Avg. price/night: £285


Infinity Hotel – Avg. price/night: £78

iQ Hotel Roma – Avg. price/night: £77

Princeps Boutique Hotel – Avg. price/night: £64


San Anselmo – Avg. price/night: £54

The Guardian – Avg. price/night: £52

Hotel Villa San Pio – Avg. price/night: £40

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When to go to Rome

A weekend in Rome can be enjoyed any time of the year, and after all it is known at the Eternal City. I would recommend that the best seasons to visit Rome in spring and autumn because although the weather is great, there are less tourists and easier to visit the main tourist attractions in Rome. The hotel prices will also be less, and restaurants will be possible to visit without crowds and queues. If you visit in the summer, you might get the sunshine and great weather, but there will be a lot of people everywhere. You could also spend a weekend in winter and once in every few years it snows! 

Getting around in Rome

The easiest way to get around in Rome is by using efficient public transportation. I would learn some Italian before visiting as it’s not always the easiest transport system to navigate. In Rome, there are two Metro lines, and they get tourists to most of the main hot spots across the capital city of Italy Rome. 

There are only two metro lines, but they actually do get you to the majority of major attractions in the city. I would also recommend choosing your hotel or Airbnb close to a metro line, so you can be back at your hotel and relaxing, after a long day exploring the city. 

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10 Things to do in Rome

Rome is bursting with things to do and see, so much so that it has the highest concentration of historical and architectural landmarks in the world. The list of monuments and places worth talking about would be too long to mention, so I’ve pulled together a list of some of my favourites.

TIP! Avoid the long queues during your visit and book your tours and attractions entry with ahead of time. Musement helps travellers get the best from destinations by providing a great choice of local tours and attractions bookable on multiple devices. More than just “things to do”, their range includes temporary, exclusive and even free activities too.



Constructed between 70-80 AD, the Colosseum remains the largest amphitheatre of the Roman world and is widely recognised as one of the wonders of the modern world.

It was previously used to hold gladiator tournaments and other forms of entertainment and would regularly be attended by the Roman Emperors. The ancient building is one of the most iconic landmarks of Rome and a trip to Rome would not be complete without visiting the Colosseum.

Roman Forum

Very close to the Colosseum sits the Roman Forum, an ancient site which consists of many ruins and fragments that were once the centre of Roman public and political life. A lot of the temples, squares and arches still stand today.

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill forms part of the main archaeological areas of ancient Rome and is located right next to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

Palatine Hill is one of the Seven Hills of Rome and is located in the heart of the city, which is why several Roman emperors chose to build their palaces here. The site is full of fascinating archaeological ruins and thanks to its height, it also provides good views over the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and other areas of the city!

Vatican City: Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City and is one of the most important buildings of the Vatican state. The building is relatively plain on the outside but the art on the inside will blow you away. Remember to cover your shoulders and knees whilst visiting the Vatican as they have a strict dress code!

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Vatican City: The Vatican Museums

Among the largest museum complexes in the world, The Vatican museums are a treasure trove of classical and historical artwork that has been collected over many centuries by various popes and boasts some of the most important pieces of artwork in the world.

Vatican City: St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City and is free 24 hours a day. The square provides impressive views of The Basilica, one of the largest churches ever built. Inside, you can expect to find some extremely impressive pieces of art. If you are feeling up to it climb the 871 steps to the top of the Basilica’s dome for 360-degree views of Vatican City.

Trevi Fountain

One of the most iconic fountains in the world, the stunning Trevi Fountain is situated amongst many hotels, restaurants and shops. The fountain gets very busy during the day so it’s best to try and get there first thing or later in the evening. Don’t forget to throw a coin over your shoulder into the water – tradition states that this will ensure you’ll return to Rome!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most famous attractions and is definitely worth a visit. A former Roman Temple and now a present-day church, it is best known for its giant concrete dome, with the famous hole at the top, where the light streams in.

Spanish Steps

A grand staircase with 138 steps connecting the beautiful Piazza di Spagna with Piazza Trinita dei Monti, the Spanish Steps are another grand example of Baroque Roman architecture. The staircase is a favourite spot amongst tourists to sit, relax and enjoy the views of Piazza di Spagna.


Thank you for reading my Rome Itinerary – make sure you share this blog post with your friends! 

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Fancy extending your trip and heading in to Tuscany? Check out my travel guide to Tuscany!

A trip to Italy is one of my favourite types of weekend break, so I’ve pulled together my ultimate Tuscany itinerary. Tuscany is one of the most expensive regions in Italy, despite the fact that more people visit cities like Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice. Therefore I would 100% go on a road trip around this stunning region.

There are many reasons why I love Italy; the people the pizza and the piazzas. Italian life often involves around family, and a lot of the time in Italian villages and towns the piazza is the local meeting point. The piazza is the hub of urban life and she’s were both locals and tourists today when visiting visiting Italy come to relax or a cappuccino or people watch from their seat. You will of course also find the elderly local men here playing card games and smoking a cigar.

This guide covers all the information you need to plan a holiday to Tuscany. You can use this information to make the most of your holiday, and plan some amazing activities and experiences in advance of your trip. A trip to Italy can be an expensive if it isn’t done right as it is one of the most expensive country in Europe but it can be done on a budget. 

Tuscany is also where me and Theo will be getting married Next year and therefore it’s become a special special place to both of us. Our wedding venue is very much a traditional Tuscan villa with farmhouse buildings white stone and vineyards and olive groves in the background.



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Beginner’s Guide to Europe Interrail Routes

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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

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Sophie X


Photo credits: from Pixabay 

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  • Lynn DAVIS
    01/28/2020 at 08:12

    The Sistine chapel is so special. Love the review Sophie.