If you are spending a full three days in Rome, you’re going to have a busy three days. This itinerary is a bit slower paced than the one or two-day itinerary. Of course, you can customize it as you like. With this three-day itinerary, you’re going to be able to see a lot of the city and get in the “greatest hits.”
Please note that the three day in Rome itinerary below is for if you have three full days. I say this because you may be coming from another destination, in which case you won’t have three full days. If you are coming in from another location some of your time will be spent at the airport, train station, settling into your lodging, etc.
Three Days in Rome
Rome Day One
8:00 am – Colosseum – Head over to the Colosseum early in the morning. If you have tickets or have a Roma Pass, head to the Colosseum first. If you do not have tickets, do the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill first, and get your tickets for the Colosseum at that time.
You will see the Arch of Constantine as you walk to the Roman Forum.
10:00 am – The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
12:30 pm – Lunch Break. By this point, you have been walking a lot, and you’re going to need a bit of rest. Take your time sitting at a nearby restaurant. Read my Tips on Rome to choose the best place to eat.
1:45 pm – Trajan’s Market and the ruins located on Via dei Fori Imperiali
2:30 pm – Capitoline Hill Museum
4:00 pm – Churches around the Pizza Venezia or Altare della Patria or skip and spend longer at the above locations.
Your day has ended, and you are probably exhausted. It’s been a long day of walking, now it’s time to head to dinner and have a drink or maybe two, you deserve it for all that walking you did!
Rome Day Two
6:30 am – St. Peter’s Basilica – Get here early in the morning. St. Peter’s opens at 7 am so that you can get in line early and beat the bus tours. You will also be able to take some beautiful shots of St. Peter’s Square with the best light.
Because you have a bit more time than the one/two-day itinerary, if you choose, you can climb the 551 steps to the Cupola (Dome) or take the elevator and then climb 320 steps for an additional 2 Euro.
8:45 am – Vatican Museum – The museum opens at 9, so this time frame allows you to get in line early.
1:30 pm – Castel Sant’ Angelo – By now you should have seen both the museum as well as St. Peter’s Basilica it’s time for a lunch break and a well-deserved rest. You can choose a restaurant in the area or wait to eat at the Castel Sant’ Angelo. The foods not bad and the view is great.
3:30 pm – Piazza Navona
4:00 pm – Campo de’ Fiori
Head over to the medieval Trastevere district for dinner. Trastevere has the highest concentrations of restaurants in Rome, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a great meal. You can also visit Colle del Gianicolo by walking up from Trastevere or pick up bus #115, a circular route. In the center, you should have a night view of the Spanish steps and a partial view of Trevi Fountain
Rome Day Three
9:00 am – Borghese Gallery – You must buy tickets beforehand. Purchase a ticket for in at 9 am and out at 11 pm.
11:30 am – Lunch – You can either pack your lunch and eat at the Villa Borghese park, or find a restaurant in the area. Don’t miss walking around the park or rent a bike to see the whole area.
12:30 pm – Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo and Piazza del Popolo
1:30 pm – Spanish Steps and do a little shopping along Via Condottii – Note you can take the metro stop Spagna to Barberini to do less walking if going to the Capuchin Crypt as your next stop.
3:00 pm – Capuchin Crypt (Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini) or Museo dell’Ara Pacis or hop on the metro to see the National Museum of Rome
5:30 pm – Trevi Fountain
6:00 pm – Pantheon
While you are in this area, you can walk along Via del Corso, one of Rome’s main drags. The evening passeggiata see-and-be-seen stroll will be in full swing. Enjoy the people watching and strut your stuff with the Romans until it’s time for a well-deserved dinner.
If your not up for the stroll along Via del Corso take a taxi or metro to the Testaccio District. The Testaccio District has several good night clubs if you want to have a few drinks after dinner.
If you’ve only got three days in Rome, you can make the most of every single glorious minute in the Italian capital. Ultimately, three days isn’t nearly enough time, however you do it, be sure to explore all the city has to offer, not just its landmarks. We also highly recommend a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour. These tours allow you to see the whole city and can drop you off at major sites. They will save your feet and save you some time. Your three days in Rome will be magical no matter what you do!