Rome, known as the eternal city and the capital city of Italy, is a beautiful city full of culture and history. The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of churches, whimsical palaces, ornate statues and monuments, and romantic ruins and fountains. If you're lucky enough to find yourself here with a 24 hour layover you'll want to cover as much ground as possible to make the most of your time there.
I recommend HIGHLY checking all you luggage through and just bringing a small carry-on back back with your essentials for the day.
Where to Eat
To get the full experience of visiting Italy, hit some deliciously reviewed Italian restaurants. For a quick breakfast right after hopping off the train, Bar Fondi, is perfect for a quick eat. This cozy little bar is located right around the block from Central Station, be sure not to skip out on their chocolate croissants.
Needing to rest my feet and feed my rumbling stomach following a visit the Vatican I stumbled into Mama' Ristorante Bistrot. The service is exceptional and staff so friendly they patiently explained all the menu options and gave impeccable recommendations, the tiramisu literally melts in your mouth.
If you have trying delicious, homemade pasta on your to-do-list in Rome, look no further. Close to the Pantheon, Mamma Roma has mouthwatering pasta which is prepared in a variety of dishes, they also have homemade Limoncello which is a perfect night cap.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth or went in the deadly heat of the summer like I did, make sure you try their gelato. There are so many different flavors I couldn't pick just one!
What to Do
Ceiling inside the Vatican
To make the most of my time and cover as much ground as possible purchase a one day ticket on the Big Bus Tours. Ticket are €27 and make four different stops that allow you to hop on and off, exploring at your own pace. When you want to join the tour again you simply go to a pick up location and you're on your way to the next location. There is free wi-fi on board and prerecorded commentary available in 9 different languages. The main land marks on this tour are the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums, and the Trevi Fountain. When you stop by the Trevi Fountain make sure to bring change to toss in, as it is thought to bring good luck! Additionally, you can save 10% if you book advance online here.
Hercules Statues inside Vatican museum
If you are arriving by plane at the Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport-Rome's main airport it's rather efficient and well connected to the city centre by public transport. If you arrive late-night this may limit you to an irregular bus into town or just grab a taxi.
- The Leonardo Express leaves every 30 minutes to Roma Termini (*see #1, bottom left corner of photo below), Rome's central train station (~ 35 min trip). Tickets cost €14 and are available (within 7 days of departure), tickets sold at the departure platform are €15. Make sure to get your ticket stamped at the yellow machine before getting on the train, I failed to do this and had difficulty explaining myself on the way back!
- If you're traveling with more than two people, it's more cost effective to share a taxi, they have a set price of €48 and can accommodate 4 persons with 4 bags of luggage, (hopefully you will just be traveling light if you're here on a layover like I was). This will take you about 45 minutes depending on traffic.
To learn more about what are my carry-on essentials and traveling in Europe, check out these post.
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