I’m excited to start recapping our Italy trip and all of the tips and tricks we learned along the way! Over the course of 11 days, we explored Rome, Tuscany, Florence and Venice – all of them unique and completely breathtaking! (So much inspiring history, you guys!) To get started, I’m talking about the first stop in our week-long Italy trip – 24 hours in Rome, The Eternal City!
The catch to flying into Rome was that we only had one day to spend there before heading out to Tuscany the very next morning. So, we came up with a list of our must-see spots and tailored our itinerary accordingly in order to make the best of our short time there. Sharing our experience in today’s post in case you are looking for Rome travel tips and itinerary ideas.
Keep Reading 24 Hours in Rome
Flight Info + Where We Stayed
Our flight path was: MSY New Orleans > JFK New York > Rome
Leaving JFK at 6 pm on Thursday, meant we arrived at 8:30 am in Rome on Friday.
The key with overnight flights is to sleep the entire flight over so that when you land, you are already on the same time schedule. Rome is 7 hours AHEAD of our CST time zone.
That meant our day in Rome literally began as soon as we stepped off the plane! The majority of our Italy trip would be spent in Tuscany, so we stayed at a hotel next to the airport so that we wouldn’t have to move the luggage far and we could stay close to the rental car area.
We checked our bags at the hotel because morning arrivals usually mean that none of the hotel rooms will be ready yet. I changed out of my airport clothes in the hotel lobby bathroom (not so glamourous, but ya do what ya gotta do). I was able to do this more easily because I packed my “Rome outfit” and all necessities to be easily accessible in my suitcase.
What to Wear
If you’re looking for ideas on what to wear for a day exploring Rome, here are a few things I kept in mind as I planned ahead!
- Take shoes into account considering your feet will likely be swollen from the flight. I wore these Tretorn mesh sneaks that I found before our trip.
- I wore denim shorts (my exact pair are from Express – super stretchy and comfortable) and a flowy top as it was warm and I knew I’d be walking a ton. This swing top from Anthropologie was light and airy. (On sale for $40 right now – I recommend sizing down! I’m wearing an XS for reference.)
- I also brought a hat (Jordan wore it most of the day) and this ZAC Zac Posen convertible backpack – a lifesaver on this trip!
Transportation + Planning Your Must-See Spots
Good news – Rome has Uber! The ride from the airport/hotel to main city is about 30 minutes and 65/75 euros for a van with 5 people. Here are the spots that we hit up in our 24 hours in Rome.
We were dropped off around the Roman Forum and from there, it’s a short walk to reach the side of the Colosseum. If you walk around the side to reach the front of the Colosseum, you can go up a stone staircase that will allow you to get some great photos!
Next we ubered to Pantheon. In this area, you can explore the alleyways for some great Italian restaurants. Head past the Pantheon to go towards the Trevi Fountain. On the way, we stopped into the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola to see the amazing ceiling murals. They are absolutely magical.
The downside to this itinerary is that we reached the Trevi Fountain mid-day – expect it to be SUPER crowded this time of day. The best times to see the fountain are either early morning or when it’s lit up at night – but neither times were options for us. We were still able to grab a gelato, witness a proposal and toss our coins into the fountain though!
Afterwards we took Uber to Saint Peter’s Basilica. Here’s where things get a little tricky. Avoid the gentlemen waiting outside of the gates offering VIP tours to skip the line for a small fee of $55. Entrance into Saint Peter’s Basilica is FREE and the line goes by really quickly.
I also failed to remember that some churches in Rome require that women’s shoulders and legs be covered. BUT Jordan went into the gift shop that offers scarves for 4 euros that can be worn to cover shoulders or wear as a wrap skirt. I waddled around looking quite ridiculous in my scarves, but it was well worth it. The church is gorgeous inside, and you’ll want to spend a little time looking at all of the intricate details and paintings.
There are a number of other things we would have loved to see, but we simply didn’t have enough time. For example, we knew we wouldn’t be able to see all of Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel or any of the major art museums. We also had to account for the heat and the amount of tourists/lines that we’d encounter along the way. And plan for every sit-down meal taking at least two hours!
More Italy Travel Guides:
Florence Food Tour + City Guide (coming soon)
photos by Lainey Reed