The Vatican is an independent country, has its own territory, legal system, government and a separate economy located in the heart of Rome capital. Before coming here, you should learn a little more about the Vatican, the pope and how it works and the religion of this special country. The Vatican sightseeing area is divided into 3 main sections, a free area including Saint Peter’s Square and the Paul VI Audience Hall, two zones that require entrance tickets including the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica Dome.
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The Vatican is open from Monday to Saturday and the last Sunday of the month (this day is free to visit the Vatican Museums), if you are going to the Vatican in the morning, come early a little to avoid long queues or should buy tickets in advance online here for priority without queuing. Visiting the hall does not cost money but if you want to visit the museums or go to the top to visit the tower will have to buy tickets, to avoid queuing you can buy tickets online, note that if you already bought a Roma Pass, it won’t work in the Vatican because it’s a nation, not related to Rome and Italy.
In the Vatican you can come early, line up and enter into the main hall. Then climb to the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica to see the entire Vatican city from above. Then go down and buy tickets to visit some museums in the Vatican, visit the Cathedral with Renaissance artworks. If you are lucky, you can go right on Wednesday every week to see the Pope preaches in front of the cathedral.
Then you can step out and stroll around the Vatican streets, enjoy Italian food, sipping a cup of coffee and pick yourself a delicious gelato, so gentle and relaxing.
In the afternoon, if you have time, you can visit the nearby Castle Sant’Angelo, right next to the Tiber River. This is a castle built by architect Antonius Pius in 123AD, originally to be the resting place of Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family, but was later used as a fortress, a garrison the protection of Rome. In the 11th century Castle Sant’Angelo was used as a national prison, and now it has become an attraction that attracts many tourists.
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
Construction started: 135 AD
Height: 48 m
Architectural style: Ancient Roman architecture
Right in front of the entrance of the castle is the 135m of Ponte San’t Angelo (St. Angelo Bridge) bridge across the Tiber River, simply standing here to watch Vatican from a far, or to buy some food to relax, it is more than enough for a beautiful day.
Things to do in Rome for 3 days: — Day 2: Colosseum Arena and the ancient Roman relics
Ancient Colosseum Arena is located in a large complex of ruins in this area, including many buildings, monuments, relics, statues built in ancient Rome age. When you come here, if you pay attention, you will feel that this area is a miniature city with a state, economy and distinct cultural characteristics that the Romans built up in the past. You should buy tickets in advance through this website to avoid having to queue for a long time when entering the Colosseum (if you can get up early and come here before 7 am, you do not need to buy tickets in advance). The fare is EUR 12 if purchased directly and an additional fee of EUR 2 for online purchases, not queued.
The Colosseum ticket is valid for 2 days from the first use, you will stepping in the arena, and other buildings and ruins around the area such as Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Domus Aurea (Nero’s House), Trajan’s Column, Trajan’s Market, Catacombs of Rome, Massimo Stadium (Circus Maximus), Terme di Caracalla public bathhouse (Baths of Caracalla), Castel Sant’Angelo, Augustus Tombs (Mausoleum of Augustus), Ara Pacis (Museum of the Ara Pacis), Arch of Constantine, Pyramid of Caius Cestius and Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) … After spend all the morning to walk around the Colosseum, you come out, going to the back of the arena to see a path leading to the ruins complex located on the Palatine hill, there will be control gates here but still mind is that the Colosseum ticket already includes this area. Just keep wandering!
- Palatine Hill: The beginning of Rome, now only is a ruins area with many relics and antiques there. The hill is not too high compared to the ground and you can climb without losing too much energy, from here you can see the whole complex of ancient Roman relics.
- Colosseum: Too famous, the ancient Roman arena, the place where matches between medieval fighters, was also used for festivals later.
- Roman Forum: The area of the square takes place important meetings of the medieval Roman people.
There are too many relics that perhaps if you do not learn beforehand, pre-marked each place on the map as well as learn about cultural history, you will be lost among thousands of relics, information and knowledge. I came here and spent the whole day visiting, even though I did a bit of research, after visited, I still feeling didn’t understand much, so if you want to know and understand Rome, you might have to spend a whole week, maybe months to traveling in this city.
You can arrange a morning itinerary to visit the Colosseum, noon and afternoon to visit the ancient landmarks and ruins in Rome. After that, walking out of this area, strolling along the Tiber River is also quite interesting, watching many other ancient bridges over this river.
Like other European cities, Rome also has its own arterial river, which will be an omission if you don’t try to stroll along the Tiber River, watching the flow, the daily life of the Rome people on both banks, slowly feeling the ancient atmosphere of a great city of Rome under the trees …
You also can’t miss the island of Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina) with cool ecosystem, lots of trees. Although the island is only 300m long, there are many buildings built. From the Tiber River area back to the Colosseum arena you will find a very ordinary long sandy beach, unbelievably this is the Circus Maximus – the largest horse racing school in the Middle Ages.
3 perfect days in Rome: — Day 3: The remaining attractions
Let’s spend the last day in a Rome 3 day itinerary (3 days in rome itinerary) to visit the remaining attractions of the city, and all are “Must-see” places. Places to visit like Trevi Fountain, Pantheon Temple and Spanish Steps are located quite close together and near the Vatican cathedral, so you can combine them together at one visit, and to save time you should visit the day after you visit Vatican.
The most famous fountain in the world and always crowded with visitors and photographers. Don’t forget to throw two coins here, one for love, and one for a second return to Rome.
Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Construction started: 1732
Dimensions: 26.3 m × 49.15 m (86 ft × 161.3 ft)
The ancient temple, which has been well preserved since thousands of years ago, was built to honor the pagans. The marble temple is very beautiful with its magnificent dome, it still looks like nearly as intact as it was 2.000 years ago.
Address: Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Hours: 8:30AM–7:30PM/Saturday: 9AM–1PM/Sunday: 9AM–6PM
Architectural style: Ancient Roman architecture
Architect: Apollodorus of Damascus
A suitable place for couples by romance here. The Spanish Steps located right at the Piazza di Spagna have been built since the 1720s, surrounded by many shops, cafes, and a popular sightseeing places for travelers to Rome.
Piazza Venezia (Venezia Square)
If you visit the Colosseum and have time, you can stroll through Venezia Square with the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II located on the left, at the entrance when you step into the square. This is the place to honor those who have succeeded in the unification of Italy in the 19th century.
Other monuments and museums
For those who are interested in history and visiting museums, you can visit the Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano), Capitoline Museums, Borghese Gallery and Museum, these are all magnificent buildings that everyone must be amazed when visit Rome.
Rome travel blog: Walking around Rome and shopping
With believers of shopping, you can not miss the street Via del Corso with the end point is Piazza del Popolo, with many fashion shops, the world’s largest brands, and if you are lucky, you might meet a super sales promotion of a certain brand, that’s great! Walking on this street you can also enjoy street art activities, painting, very unique.
If you have more time you can visit Gianicolo Hill, the second highest hill in Rome, where located many museums and ancient churches in the city. Walking around the streets and visiting indigenous markets like the fruit market of Mercato Testaccio, the food and fruits here are fresh and cheaper than other areas in the city.
So, is 3 days in Rome enough and how to spend 3 perfect days in Rome? With the Rome 3 day itinerary above has never been enough for understanding, visiting and “osmosis” the culture of the local people. The visiting of all the sights, the typical busy markets or relics also is difficult, how to understand history and culture of Rome from thousands of years ago only in few days?! But not everyone can affords to stay longer, save the missing things when you return Rome later, like the wish of each visitor when they throw a coin at the Trevi fountain!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Rome you can refer to
- Private Fiumicino Airport (FCO) Transfers for Downtown Rome
- Shared Fiumicino Airport Transfers (FCO) for Rome by Terravision
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tour
- [Buy 1 Get 1] Rome Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours (Open-Top)
- Rome to Florence Day Tour
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket in Rome
- 1 Roma Pass for 45+ Attractions
- OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card
- Vatican & Rome Combo Sightseeing Tour
- Venice Excursion Day Trip
- Day Trip to the Ruins of Pompeii
- Positano and Amalfi Coast Day Tour
- I Love Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Bus Tour
- Rome Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour