How to spend 48 hours in Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and an absolutely must-visit if you're travelling through Europe. Also known as the Eternal City, ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world, Rome would always be the peak of the world and that would continue on forever. The city features so many beautiful flashbacks to ancient times, along with incredible art, food and wine.

So how should you spend 48 hours in the Eternal City? Allow me to share some of my top tips!

Friday

3 PM CHECK IN

Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome
The truly stunning lobby bar at the Anantara Palazzo Naiadi in Rome. Photo: Supplied

Travelling really takes it out of you, so choosing where you stay is a hugely important decision to make. Myself and my partner were lucky enough to be staying at the Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel, from which you can walk to some of the major sights such as the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. Walking into the crescent-shaped palazzo, you will be greeted with a beautiful lobby and bar with impossibly high ceilings and beautiful light fittings.

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The huge entrance is very different to many other Roman hotels, which are often quite small and feature tiny elevators that one person and your luggage might fit into! So, if you're claustrophobic, you will not have the same issue here! You'll also be happy to see that the rooms are also larger than most others.

4 PM GO FOR A DIP

Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome pool
Not many hotels in Rome have a rooftop pool, so take advantage by going for a quick dip! Photo: Supplied

After you've explored the hotel a little, it's time to enjoy the rarity that is the rooftop pool and bar. You get an amazing view from the top and it's the perfect place to cool off and enjoy an Aperol Spritz and snacks.

Once you're sufficiently relaxed, it's time to freshen up before you enjoy a delicious meal and, of course, some gelato.

7 PM TIME TO EXPLORE

Enjoy a 20-minute stroll from the hotel, where you can catch some sights like the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon as you head to dinner at Pietro al Pantheon – make sure you call ahead and get a booking, as it can get quite busy!

This small restaurant has so much character and is definitely worth checking out for cacio e pepe – a must-have in Rome. If you're hungry and keen to try a few pastas, like we were, share the Tonarelli cacio e pepe, the Bucatini all'amatriciana and the Spaghetti all bolognese – you cannot go wrong.

9 PM GELATO TIME

You might be full, but there's always room for gelato, right? Plus, you're in the perfect spot for some of the best gelato in Rome, Giolitti. There are so many incredible flavours to enjoy, but during your trip you must try pistachio gelato, which goes very well with chocolate! The salted caramel was also delightful! Yes, we really tried as much food as we could on this trip!

Saturday

8 AM BREAKFAST

Time to grab breakfast from La Fontana in the hotel, where you can enjoy the buffet and order a la carte with a view of the bustling Piazza della Repubblica.

9 AM VESPA TOUR

Marni Dixit sits in a Vespa side-car in front of the Colosseum
One of the best things we did was a side-car Vespa tour (organised by Anantara Palazzo Naiadi), where we saw many of Rome's beautiful sites in a couple of hours. Photo: Marni Dixit

Chat with the hotel before your arrival about setting up a Vespa tour, as this ended up being our favourite part of the trip. You'll be transported all over Rome in this three-hour tour in a sidecar as your guide shares the history of different spots, including the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Vatican and more!

During the tour, you will be able to get out and explore certain areas as well. If you haven't already, you can toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain and visit the Pantheon. You need a reservation to visit the Pantheon on weekends, but don't worry, your tour guide will have this sorted for you.

This tour is the perfect way to see a lot of the city when you don't have a lot of time. You'll be dropped off at the hotel, where you can grab a quick bite if you like before the next activity!

1 PM VISIT THE COLOSSEUM

While the Vespa tour shows you the outside of the Colosseum, you'll want to organise a tour to get the whole picture. We chose a tour with the underground option and loved every minute. The Roman Forum was also a very interesting space to walk through and appreciate how the Romans lived all those years ago. The things you'll learn on this tour will be mind-blowing!

4 PM UNWIND

You'll likely be pretty tired after a full day of sightseeing, so it's time to relax a little. Why not go for a dip, or head to the spa at the hotel? Anantara Palazzo Naiadi is built on the foundations of the Roman Empire’s most luxurious baths (you can even see them below you in certain areas of the hotel!) and offers a number of signature spa treatments to allow you to fully unwind.

7 PM DINNER TIME

Trevi Fountain in Rome
Walk past the Trevi Fountain to grab dinner near the Pantheon. Photo: Getty

Head back in the direction of the Pantheon for dinner at Osteria dei Cappellari, because if you haven't had carbonara yet, it's time! Carbonara is a Roman classic, so you absolutely have to try it before you leave. Grab a bottle of house wine and you're in for a delicious evening. If seafood is your thing, you'll also find a great selection.

There is also an extensive dessert menu, so it's a great chance to try something at the restaurant. But if you're after another gelato there are plenty of places around there, including Gunther Gelato Italiano, which has some more interesting flavours you likely won't find anywhere else!

9 PM DRINK UP

You'll probably be very full by now, but if you're after a drink, why not stop by Cybo for a cocktail and some live jazz? A great spot to enjoy a Saturday night before another big day!

Sunday

9 AM COFFEE TIME

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Italy is known for its coffee, but if you've had enough of your regular coffees and cappuccinos, it's time to try something different at Sant' Eustachio Il Caffè. I enjoyed the Romeo e Giulietta, which was a cold drink with coffee, chocolate and whipped cream – a balanced breakfast drink! I still dream about this coffee sometimes. If that's not quite enough for you, you can also grab a pastry here for a quick breakfast.

10 AM TOUR THE VATICAN

Hope you're ready to do a lot of walking! A tour of the Vatican is a must, but when we went the Pope was in St Peter's Basilica, so we couldn't see it. Very disappointing. I hope the same doesn't happen for you as it's known for its beauty! You'll see some incredible art on your trip, but none more impressive than Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling.

2 PM ENJOY LUNCH AL FRESCO

A short walk from the Vatican, you'll find Ristorante Porta Castello, a small family run restaurant, where you can grab some delicious pasta, nibbles and pizza before it's time to pick up your bags and head to your next destination!

Yahoo Lifestyle was a guest of Anantara Palazzo Naiadi in August.

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