Even though some 20 years haven’t been enough for me to explore everything is to be explored in the city, one week in Rome is what I suggest as the minimum time to have a really good grasp of the city. With our easy but exhaustive itinerary, you will be able to make the most of Rome in a week, see the most famous landmarks, discover some hidden gems, and make unforgettable culinary experiences.
While a week in Rome gives you the chance to explore in a more relaxed way than if you were to spend here only a few days, proper trip planning is still important. The city boasts countless masterpieces literally around every corner and if you are not prepared, you will still risk missing some important monument or precious artwork.
On top of that, we will also be recommending our favorite places to eat because being a tourist doesn’t mean settling for less than great, especially when it comes to eating in Italy’s capital. If you are either late or that day our suggested restaurant is closed, I’m sure you can still find a great meal. As a general piece of advice, try to avoid the places with tourist menus in English and waiters desperately calling for customers.
Table of Contents
- 1 What to do in Rome in a week – Epic 7-day Rome itinerary
- 1.1 Day 1 – Explore the Vatican
- 1.2 Day 2 – Unearth Ancient Rome
- 1.2.1 Rome in a week – Map of Day 2
- 1.2.2 Start at the Colosseum
- 1.2.3 Explore the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill
- 1.2.4 (Optional) Duck into San Clemente Basilica
- 1.2.5 Enter the Baths of Caracalla
- 1.2.6 See the Circus Maximus
- 1.2.7 Walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali
- 1.2.8 Explore the Capitoline Museums
- 1.2.9 Visit the Trajan’s Markets
- 1.2.10 Where to eat around Rome’s archaeological parks
- 1.3 Day 3 – Explore the Centro Storico
- 1.3.1 Rome in a week – Map of Day 3
- 1.3.2 Piazza del Popolo
- 1.3.3 Mausoleum of Augustus
- 1.3.4 Visit Piazza Navona
- 1.3.5 Duck into the Pantheon
- 1.3.6 Walk Via del Corso
- 1.3.7 Make your way to Piazza Venezia
- 1.3.8 Be amazed at Fontana di Trevi
- 1.3.9 Climb the Spanish Steps
- 1.3.10 Where to eat in Rome’s Centro Storico
- 1.4 Day 4 – Discover the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere
- 1.5 Day 5 – Take a day trip
- 1.6 Day 6 – Get traditional in Ostiense and Testaccio
- 1.6.1 Rome in a week – Map of day 6
- 1.6.2 Visit the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
- 1.6.3 Duck into Centrale Montemartini
- 1.6.4 Cross Settimia Spizzichino bridge
- 1.6.5 See the Ostiense street art
- 1.6.6 Visit the Gasometer
- 1.6.7 Protestant Cemetery
- 1.6.8 Pyramid of Caius Cestius
- 1.6.9 Porta San Paolo
- 1.6.10 Mercato Testaccio
- 1.6.11 Ex Mattatoio
- 1.6.12 Where to eat in Ostiense and Testaccio
- 1.7 Day 7 – Go green and offbeat in Rome
What to do in Rome in a week – Epic 7-day Rome itinerary
Day 1 – Explore the Vatican
Rome in a week – Map of Day 1
Visit the Vatican Museums
- Easy to reach with metro (Cipro) and bus (23, 49, 492)
- Time needed: A curator of the museums once told me that at least 5 hours are needed to fully appreciate the value of the place. While I agree with him, I’m also aware that if you want to visit more places during the day, this is not easy. Up to you to decide, but I suggest staying at least between 2 to 3 hours.
Start off the first of your 7 days in Rome early morning at the Vatican Museums. Whatever time you get there, you are likely to find a line at the entrance so my main piece of advice would be to either buy a skip-the-line entrance or book a private tour with an expert guide that will show you around.
A guided tour has the perks of a deeper explanation of what you are seeing and it will make you waste less time because you won’t need to look for anything: your guide will take care of the itinerary so that you will just need to relax and enjoy highlights such as the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms, and the Gallery of Maps. With some 7 km of art galleries, having someone guiding you is quite handy.
- Where: Viale Vaticano
- When: Monday to Saturday 9 am-6 pm. Between April 22nd and October 29th, Friday and Saturday until 10.30 pm. Every last Sunday of each month, it’s open between 9 am and 2 pm and the entrance is free.
- Note: Unlike all museums in Italy, where from April 1st, 2022 you can enter without Green Pass (Covid certification), the Vatican Museums are still requiring the “Green Pass Base”, meaning a certification of negative Covid test.
Don’t miss our handy guide to using the Rome metro.
Admire St. Peter’s Square
- 10-15 minutes walk from the Vatican Museums
- Time needed: Between 30 to 60 minutes
One of the most famous masterpieces of Bernini in Rome, on your way to the basilica, don’t forget to stop for a moment and admire the art-packed St. Peter’s Square. Elliptical in shape, you will be amazed by the colonnade, the fountains, the obelisk, and the statues.
If you are planning one week in Rome around Christmas, you will find a tall decorated tree usually donated by a foreign country and a large Nativity scene.
- Where: St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
- When: Always open.
Duck into St. Peter’s Basilica
- Time needed: At least one hour, two if you are also climbing to the dome and visiting the crypt.
Once you are done with the square, join the queue to enter the gorgeous Basilica of Saint Peter built throughout the centuries on top of Peter’s grave visible in the necropolis underneath. Even though the line is usually very long, it runs pretty fast because there are several metal detectors and the entrance is free of charge so no ticket office.
I don’t even remember how many times I have visited Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. I brought there countless friends and relatives who came to visit me, I visited by myself to take more pictures, or just to spend a few hours soaking in art. From Michelangelo to Bernini, there are just so many masterpieces you can admire here that will make your visit worthwhile.
To add more value to your visit, I suggest climbing also the dome (for which you need to pay), visiting the crypt where the popes are buried (free and easy to access from inside the basilica), and getting down to the ancient necropolis where Saint Peter is buried (paid for and requiring mandatory booking through the Ufficio Scavi).
- Where: St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
- When: Every day 7 am-6.30 pm.
Make sure you read our complete guide to the ancient necropolis under the Vatican where we explain everything you need to know to visit it.
Stroll around Borgo Pio
- 5 minutes walk from St. Peter’s Basilica
- Time needed: 30 minutes to one hour
Get a feel of the bygone Papal State with a stroll around the quaint cobbled street of Borgo Pio. It’s pretty touristy so I wouldn’t stop here to eat, but you can do some souvenir shopping at one of the many religious art shops.
- Where: Borgo Pio
- When: Always open
Visit Castel Sant’Angelo
- Around 15 minutes walk from St. Peter’s Basilica via Via della Conciliazione
- Time needed: At least one hour.
Of very ancient origins built as the funerary mausoleum of the emperor Hadrian and filling a different purpose depending on the century, social and political events, and current leaders, Castel Sant’Angelo is the quintessential monument of the eternal city.
Whether you are coming from the city center, from Trastevere, or from the Vatican, you are likely to have the large building of Castel Sant’Angelo in the background, and if it’s evening and lit up for the night, it makes for one of the most romantic walks in Rome.
Even though utterly fascinating and historically important, you are not going to find a long line at the entrance of the Hadrian Mausoleum, and my heartfelt suggestion is to enter and visit inside, better with a local tour that you can simply join from the ticket office.
Before leaving to your next stop, cross the beautiful Ponte Sant’Angelo, a very historical bridge lined up with the angels of Bernini and his pupils.
- Where: Lungotevere Castello 50
- When: Every day 9 am-7.30 pm.
Make sure you read our article on the most romantic things to do in Rome.
Where to eat around the Vatican in Rome
What time you want to eat really is a personal choice, so here I’m going to give you a few options of great eateries scattered around the area to enable you to pick the one closest to you whenever you are hungry.
- Pizzarium. Hands down one of the best pizza places in Rome, Gabriele Bonci’s Pizzarium dishes out trays of goodness continuously always with different toppings, all of them no less than heavenly. This is pizza by the slice, so you can just grab and go. Keep in mind that around lunchtime, there is always a long line. Close to the Vatican Museums. Via della Meloria 43.
- La Pratolina. This is also pizza by the slice, so it depends on how you are running against your timetable, you can either grab your oval-shaped Roman pinsa and eat on the go, or sit outside at one of their tables. Close to the Vatican Museums. Via Rialto 16.
- Pinsa ‘mpò. Another favorite place serving Roman-style pinsa as street food, so quick and casual very close to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Square. Via dei Gracchi 7.
- L’Arcangelo. This is for those who still want to sit and properly recharge before resuming their busy sightseeing schedule. L’Arcangelo is not a cheap eat but a fine-dining restaurant serving the scrumptious, original creations of the chef Arcangelo Dandini. Close to Piazza Cavour and Castel Sant’Angelo. Via Giuseppe Gioachino Belli 59.
- Il Sorpasso. Located in the Prati area, here you can eat typical Italian dishes in a rustic-chic décor. Via Properzio 31/33.
- TED Lobster & Burgers. Another restaurant in Prati, within easy walking reach from both St. Peter’s Square and Castel Sant’Angelo, TED Lobster & Burgers is a pretty trendy place serving delicious burgers. Via Terenzio 12/14/16.
- Flower Burger. A fantastic vegan fast-food-style eatery with places inside and outdoors. Their colorful sandwiches are entirely made with natural ingredients, with no chemical coloring or additives involved. Very tasty both the sandwiches and the potatoes included in the menu. Via dei Gracchi 87.
- Hedera. This is a gelato shop, and it’s so good that every time we are in the area, somehow, we always manage to make a stop. They don’t have a million flavors, but those on display are memorable. It’s in Borgo Pio, so a perfect refreshment between St. Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’Angelo.
Day 2 – Unearth Ancient Rome
Rome in a week – Map of Day 2
Start at the Colosseum
- Easy to reach with metro (Colosseo, line B), bus (51, 75, 85, 87, 117), tram (8).
- Time needed: one to two hours.
Start the second day of your week in Rome bright and early at the Colosseum. A bit like for the Vatican Museums, you are likely to find a very long queue. You have two options: either you make your way to the Colosseum before the ticket office even opens, or you book a skip-the-line entrance online. If you are interested in a deeper knowledge of the Colosseum, I recommend you book one of the many tours available.
A private tour of the Colosseum has the perks of including a VIP fast-track access as well as a visit to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill also with a guide that explains the essentials. If you opt for an online ticket, you will visit independently, so you will have to look for history and explanations on your own, but you are free to stay as long as you like. If you are visiting on your own, you can read our article about the history and interesting facts about the Colosseum.
Your single Colosseum ticket will be valid for two days and will also include entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. However, in the Colosseum, you will only have access to the areas open to the general public, while if you decide to join a private tour, you can choose one that gives you access to the arena and the dungeon.
- Where: Piazza del Colosseo
- When: Every day 9 am-7.15 pm. For more updates on time changes, check the official website.
Make sure you read our handy guide to everything to know when planning a visit to the Colosseum.
Explore the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill
- 5 minutes walk from the Colosseum
- Time needed: Two hours.
Included in your Colosseum ticket, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are absolutely a must, whether you are exploring Rome in a week or in a few days only. The pulsing heart of the ancient city and where Rome was founded, this giant archaeological site shows temples, villas, and political and trading hubs.
The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are included in your Colosseum ticket, so depending on whether you purchase a single ticket or you join a tour, you will be able to decide to stay longer or to follow your guide.
- Where: Largo della Salara Vecchia 5/6.
- When: Every day 9 am-7.15 pm.
(Optional) Duck into San Clemente Basilica
- 6-7 minutes walk from the Colosseum
- Time needed: An hour
This is a little detour worth making in my opinion. Instead of heading straight to the Baths of Caracalla, on your way, stop to visit the Basilica of San Clemente. Why a medieval church in a BC-themed itinerary?
Because this complex consists of several layers where you can visit an early-Christian church and, further down, a Roman neighborhood made of narrow alleys, the city’s mint, and a Mithraic temple and school. If you have some time to spare, you won’t regret stopping here.
- Where: Via Labicana 95.
- When: Every day 10 am-12.30 pm and 3-5.30 pm. Sunday and holidays 12-5.30 pm.
Enter the Baths of Caracalla
- 20 minutes walk from San Clemente Basilica (or 15 from the Colosseum if you come here directly), or by bus (81, 714, 792)
- Time needed: between one and two hours
The Baths of Caracalla is one of my favorite archaeological sites in Rome, but even though so large and fascinating, you will barely find a queue to enter. Explore the different areas that formed the ancient thermal baths such as the calidarium, tepidarium, the gym, the changing rooms, and the gym for the spa-goers, and visit the less glamorous sections such as the undergrounds where the slaves fed the fire to heat up the water.
Before leaving, make sure you see also the local temple devoted to the god Mithra, very popular at the time in Rome.
The Baths of Caracalla are often left out of classic Rome tours usually because of limited time, but if you do proper planning, I totally recommend a visit. This is a landmark that will whirl you straight to the local life and culture of imperial Rome.
- Where: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
- When: Tuesday to Sunday 9 am-7.17 pm. Monday closed.
Make sure you read our article on the best and most impressive ancient sites in Rome.
See the Circus Maximus
- 15 minutes walk from the Baths of Caracalla, or by bus (628)
- Time needed: between 30 minutes and an hour
On your way back towards your next stop, Via dei Fori Imperiali, stop at the Circus Maximus to admire yet another important site from ancient Rome. This is a large stadium located between the Palatine and the Aventine Hills that hosted chariot competitions and several games.
Apart from the ruins of the stadium, the Circus Maximus also has an archaeological site and the best way to enjoy it is through the Circus Maximus Experience organized by the Roman municipality that you can book online.
There is also a well-kept Mithra temple but you can visit this only upon booking.
- Where: Via del Circo Massimo
- When: Alway open.
Walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali
- Easy to reach by metro (Colosseo, line B) or 15-20 minutes walk
- Time needed: Between 30 minutes and an hour
One of the most famous streets of Rome, Via dei Fori Imperiali is a long pedestrian road that runs from the Colosseum to Piazza Venezia and you can see the fora of the emperors from where they organized their public life, public speeches, and everything concerning their administration and appearance.
- Where: Via dei Fori Imperiali
- When: Always open.
Explore the Capitoline Museums
- 5 minutes walk from Piazza Venezia
- Time needed: between one to two hours
I know you will be pretty tired by now, but the Capitoline Museums is a very important museum if you want to learn about the local ancient history, the foundation of the city and also about the Etruscan civilization, visiting Rome in a week you should try to squeeze it in.
If you start your day early and use some public transport between landmarks, you will manage to visit the museums. Unless you are too tired and just want to relax and have some gelato!
- Where: Piazza del Campidoglio
- When: Every day 9.30 am-7.30 pm.
Check out our extensive list of the best and most important museums in Rome.
Visit the Trajan’s Markets
- 5-8 minutes walk from the Capitoline Museums
- Time needed: between one to two hours
The Trajan’s Markets are very close to Piazza Venezia, right behind the Trajan’s column that you can see from the square, so very easy to reach from the Capitoline Museums. Once inside, you can visit the archaeological ruins, take a walk all around the markets, the ancient Biberatica road, and explore the great Museo dei Fori Imperiali displaying decorations and objects found in the imperial fora.
I’ll be honest, our visit took more than three hours. But this is because we liked the place so much that we took our time reading the explanations, watching the visuals and multimedia installations, and taking pictures. Ideally, this would be the last stop for the day, so you can take your time and enjoy.
- Where: Via Quattro Novembre 94
- When: Every day 9.30 am-7.30 pm.
Where to eat around Rome’s archaeological parks
Being very touristy, this is not the easiest area to find great restaurants. Here are some of our suggestions to keep in mind depending on where you are when lunchtime arrives.
- Aromi Bistrot. This is a relatively new opening very close to the Trajan’s Markets so either you head here after visiting the archaeological park of the Roman Forum if it’s already lunchtime, or you can stop here for an afternoon tea because it’s open only until 4.30 pm. Via Quattro Novembre 137/138.
- Baccano. Baccano is a large fine-dining restaurant near the Trevi Fountain so a quick walk from Piazza Venezia, Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Trajan’s Markets, so perfect for dinner once you are done sightseeing. Via delle Muratte 23.
- Osteria Circo. Delicious Roman dished in a rustic-traditional décor. A locals’ favorite near the Circus Maximus. Via dei Cerchi 77/79.
- Zerosettantacinque. Hip and trendy restaurant with good food and a great selection of beers and wines near the Circus Maximus. Via dei Cerchi 65.
Day 3 – Explore the Centro Storico
A mesmerizing maze of winding narrow alleys, decadent architecture, and scenic fountains, if you spend one week in Rome, you have to devote at least an entire day to the city center. In one day, you can throw in quite a few landmarks. Don’t worry about the number of places we are listing in this daily itinerary, some won’t take long to visit.
Rome in a week – Map of Day 3
Piazza del Popolo
- Easy to reach with metro (Flaminio, line A), bus and tram (2)
- Time needed: between 30 minutes and an hour
A spectacular square rich in history and artwork, Piazza del Popolo is one of those unmissable places whether you are staying 1 week in Rome or even only one day. How long it will take you to visit the square really depends on how much you are going to visit and for how long.
I suggest you do devote some time to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo because it’s packed with masterpieces by some of the most important Italian artists including Caravaggio, Bernini, and Bramante. After that, admire the gate, the monumental fountains, and the twin churches before starting to explore the three streets of the Tridente, Via di Ripetta, Via del Babuino, and the central Via del Corso.
- Where: Piazza del Popolo
- When: Always open. Santa Maria del Popolo Basilica is open every day 7 am-12 pm and 4-7 pm.
Make sure you read our article on where to see Caravaggio in Rome.
Mausoleum of Augustus
- 5 minutes walk from Piazza del Popolo
- Time needed: between 50 minutes and an hour
Carry on to the next stop of your 7-day Rome itinerary at the funerary mausoleum of emperor Augustus, a fantastic archaeological site recently reopened after 14 years under full renovation. Located in the heart of the Centro Storico in between Renaissance and Baroque landmarks, this quickly became one of those landmarks in Rome impossible to miss whether it’s your first, second, or third time in the city.
You are not going to find a huge queue to enter but if you want to rule out all risks, you can book online through their official website. By previously booking, you will need to set a time, so make sure you start your sightseeing to be there at the right time or you will lose your spot if the line is too long.
- Where: Piazza Augusto Imperatore
- When: Tuesday to Sunday 9 am-7 pm. Monday closed. In winter until 4 pm. For updates on the opening hours, check the official website.
- 10 minutes walk from the Mausoleum of Augustus
- Time needed: between 30 minutes and an hour
The time needed to visit Piazza Navona really depends on how much you want to explore. All the three fountains are the work of famous artists Bernini and Giacomo della Porta, the big Baroque church of Sant’Agnese is by Borromini and all around the square are historical buildings such as the Pamphilj Palace now the seat of the Brazilian embassy.
I definitely suggest you take a quick tour of the church because inside it’s really worth it.
- Where: Piazza Navona
- When: Always open. The square is gorgeous any time of the day, so if one day you want to see it lit up for the night, get there after sunset for some romantic pictures.
Duck into the Pantheon
- 5 minutes walk from Piazza Navona
- Time needed: 30 minutes
Just like for every landmark, the time you need to enjoy it depends on you and your travel preferences. For sure, the Pantheon deserves to be admired inside out. Its architectural value goes beyond and above standard artistic expression. Its level of perfection, the engineering skills of the builders and the records it broke for centuries make the Pantheon one of the unmissable places to visit in Rome in a week.
If you are a photography enthusiast, you are going to spend more than half an hour around the Pantheon, so maybe if you want to still visit all the enlisted landmarks, you can save time for lunch and go street food-style, or don’t stop for too long in Via del Corso.
- Where: Piazza della Rotonda
- When: Every day 9 am-7 pm.
Walk Via del Corso
- Less than 10 minutes from the Pantheon
- Time needed: anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour
Via del Corso is the central road of the Tridente and its main artery. Lined up with historical buildings and churches, the main highlight of this long street as well as the other Tridente roads Via di Ripetta and Via del Babuino is the presence of a huge number of brands and their stores, both Italian and international.
If you made it a point of your Rome trip to buy fancy souvenirs, this is certainly the right area. However, if you are into cultural trips and memorable pictures, you might want to go ahead and reach Piazza Venezia without wasting much time.
Make your way to Piazza Venezia
- Right at the end of Via del Corso
- Time needed: between 15 minutes and an hour
Piazza Venezia is a huge square in Rome and a very busy public transport hub. From here you can find buses and tram going everywhere such as the Vatican, Trastevere, and Termini Station.
At first, the square will certainly feel overwhelming, with cars and buses darting back and forth. You can enjoy it by walking all around it or ducking into its palaces including the Vittoriano complex with the Altar to the Fatherland and Palazzo Venezia. From Piazza Venezia you can also see the ruins of the Trajan Forum and Markets.
- Where: Piazza Venezia
- When: Always open. The Vittoriano complex and Palazzo Venezia open every day 9.30 am-7.30 pm.
Be amazed at Fontana di Trevi
- 8 minutes walk from Piazza Venezia
- Time needed: 30 minutes to one hour
Your visit to the Trevi Fountain might take longer depending on how many tourists are there and how long is going to take you to snap the right pictures and reach the right spot. The fountain is a Baroque masterpiece so gorgeous that it’s one of those must-see landmarks and has also been a movie set such as in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
If there is one tip I would feel compelled to give about visiting the Trevi Fountain is to discover where its water is supplied from, meaning the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. Very close to the fountain there are three sites. The one in Via del Nazareno needs booking to be opened but the other two are accessible and extremely fascinating.
One is free and is located in the undergrounds of La Rinascente department store in Via del Tritone, while the other one is Vicus Caprarius (Vicolo del Puttarello 25) and requires a ticket but is pretty cheap and I absolutely recommend it. You can visit even only one of these, but if you do, you need to carve out at least an hour to the Trevi fountain stop.
- Where: Piazza di Trevi
- When: Always open
Climb the Spanish Steps
- Less than 10 minutes walk from Fontana di Trevi
- Time needed: anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour or an hour and a half
Piazza di Spagna is mainly famous for the Spanish Steps but for as spectacular as it is, the monumental staircase is not the only landmark to see here. As in most places, what you decide to do here will determine how much time you need in the place.
Some of the landmarks here include the Barcaccia fountain by Pietro Bernini, father of the more famous Gian Lorenzo, Trinità dei Monti church and cloister (booking required), the house-museum of John Keats, Babington’s Tea Rooms, and the luxury Via dei Condotti shopping street.
- Where: Piazza di Spagna
- When: Always open
Where to eat in Rome’s Centro Storico
- Coromandel. If you are in the area for breakfast or fancy a hearty brunch, carve out some time for the delicious treats of Coromandel, a favorite of yours truly right behind Piazza Navona. Via di Monte Giordano 60/61.
- Il Margutta. Fine-dining vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Il Margutta serves traditional dishes in a plant-based version a stone’s throw from Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps. For lunch, they have a buffet format. Via Margutta 118.
- Ginger Sapori. A cozy bistrot with tables inside and outside and a very large and diverse menu to please any type of preference. Reasonable prices. Via Borgognona 43/46 and Piazza Sant’Eustachio 54.
- Armando al Pantheon. One of the most famous and best traditional restaurants serving Roman dishes. Booking is a must otherwise it’s impossible to find a table. Salita de’ Crescenzi 31.
- La Rosetta. Fine-dining fish and seafood restaurant. This is not a cheap eat but the quality is high. Via della Rosetta 8.
- Punto Gelato. One of the best gelato in Rome with original flavors just behind the Pantheon. Piazza Sant’Eustachio 47.
If you are following a plant-based diet, check out our extensive guide to the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Rome.
Day 4 – Discover the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere
Rome in a week – Map of Day 4
Campo de’ Fiori
- Easy to reach by bus (40, 46, 62, 64, 916) and tram (8)
- Time needed: between 30 minutes and an hour
Ideally, it would have made sense to include Campo de’ Fiori in the itinerary around the Centro Storico because very close to Piazza Navona. But since your second day was already pretty packed and it would have involved quite a detour, you can visit this famous square on your way to the Jewish Ghetto on the third day of your 7-day Rome itinerary.
Apart from its daily morning market selling fresh produce, Italian sauces and pasta dressings, and small homeware, here, you will find also the tall statue of Giordano Bruno and plenty of shops all around selling anything from cheap clothes to more fashionable design pieces, purses, accessories.
- Where: Campo de’ Fiori
- When: Always open
Explore the Jewish Ghetto
- 7-8 minutes from Campo de’ Fiori to Piazza Mattei
- Time needed: one to two hours
The first place I suggest you head to in the Jewish Ghetto is the lovely Piazza Mattei surrounded by historical buildings and with the beautiful Fontana delle Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain) in its center. By all means, I suggest you visit the fascinating archaeological site of Portico d’Ottavia that connects directly with the 1st-century Theater of Marcello.
The quarter is charming and steeped in history so if you have one week in Rome and are determined to explore the city, this is one of those neighborhoods you shouldn’t skip. Don’t miss a stop at the synagogue and the adjacent Jewish Museum, and if you are around for lunch, here you will find delicious traditional Roman kosher cuisine.
- Where: Piazza Mattei, Via del Portico d’Ottavia, Lungotevere de’ Cenci
- When: The Synagogue Sunday to Friday 10 am-5 pm, Friday until 2 pm, Saturday closed. Portico d’Ottavia opens every day 9 am-1 pm and 3.30-7.30 pm.
Cross Rome’s oldest bridge
- 1 minute from the Synagogue
- Time needed: 10 minutes
Pons Fabricius is the oldest bridge still standing in its original form connecting the Jewish Ghetto to Tiber Island. It’s a short bridge featuring a cobbled pavement, stonework parapets, old sculptures, and of course offering a scenic view from wherever you look, be it from its side or walking on top of it.
Even if you are taking pictures and going through its history through the carvings and inscriptions, this is a pretty quick stop in your itinerary to see Rome in a week.
- Where: Lungotevere de’ Cenci
- When: Always open
Walk around Tiber Island
- 1 minute from Pons Fabricius
- Time needed: one hour
Exploring Rome in a week gives you the opportunity to visit Tiber Island and trust me, it’s worth it. You don’t need to make it a long tour because on the fourth day of your 7-day Rome itinerary Trastevere is the area with more things to do and places to visit.
Tiber Island has a very ancient history and, like many important events and places in Rome, its origins are shrouded in mystery and mythology. A man-made island, this was the place where those who contracted the plague were transferred to remain isolated. Apart from the beautiful San Bartolomeo Basilica, there are several historical buildings, great views, and good restaurants.
- Where: Piazza di San Bartolomeo all’Isola
- When: Always open. San Bartolomeo Basilica opens every day 9.30 am-1.30 pm and 3.30-5.30 pm.
Stroll around Trastevere
- Cross Ponte Cestio bridge and in about 10 minutes you are in the heart of Trastevere
- Time needed: all afternoon.
With so many things to do, it would be great if you manage to get to Trastevere for lunch so that you have all afternoon available. Trastevere might not be on your bucket list if you have only one or two days in Rome, but with one week in Rome, you can’t miss it.
Very traditional and historical, exploring its churches, museum, and buildings and wandering its narrow alleys will make for a great addition to your trip. If you want to relax, you can also visit the Botanical Gardens, chill out at one of the local coffee shops, or enjoy great gelato in one of the best gelaterias.
For photographers, Trastevere is a great place because of its charming cobbled alleys and quaint corners. A former working-class district now gentrified, this neighborhood is now a fancy hangout among young people both day and night time.
Make sure you read our handy guide to the best things to do in Trastevere.
Where to eat around the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere
The eating options for this day cover all the neighborhoods so where you eat, as usual, depends on where you are when hungry. But if you manage to visit up to Tiber Island in the morning, I think Trastevere has the best selection of restaurants.
- Supplizio. One of the most famous street food places in Rome, Supplizio serves great supplì, patties, and everything casual and on-the-go near Campo de’ Fiori. Via dei Banchi Vecchi 143.
- Nonna Betta. One of the most famous traditional Kosher restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto. Via del Portico d’Ottavia 16.
- Ba’ Ghetto. Self-claimed the oldest Jewish restaurant in Rome, Ba’ Ghetto serves Jewish-Roman and Middle-Eastern cuisine. Via del Portico d’Ottavia 57.
- Sora Lella. This is a famous traditional Roman restaurant in Tiber Island founded by the sister of Aldo Fabrizi, a great Italian actor. Via di Ponte Quattro Capi 16.
- Aromaticus. Aromaticus is a healthy and green restaurant in Trastevere serving plant-based dishes, soups, and Buddha bowls and adding foods fermented in-house including kefir and kombucha. Hands-down one of my favorite restaurants in Trastevere. Via Natale del Grande 6/7.
- Da Enzo al 29. Historic traditional restaurant in Trastevere serving Roman classics. Often crowded, they accept reservations only for dinner. Closed on Sunday. Via dei Vascellari 29.
- Trapizzino. A favorite street food place in Rome, Trapizzino makes delicious pizza pockets stuffed with Roman classics. In Trastevere also a wine shop near the river. Piazza Trilussa 46.
- Seu Pizza Illuminati. One of my favorite pizza places in all of Rome, Seu is open only for dinner, so the perfect way to round off a long day in Trastevere. Via Angelo Bargoni 10.
Make sure you read our article on the best hotels in Trastevere if you decide to book your Rome in this lovely neighborhood.
Day 5 – Take a day trip
A fantastic way to know more about the local history and culture is to take a day trip, and in a week in Rome, you can totally devote one day to its surroundings. There are many day trips you can take from Rome, here are some of our favorites.
Extremely easy to reach with a direct train from Ostiense-Porta San Paolo, Ostia Antica is a fantastic day trip to take if you are planning to see Rome in a week. Located in its immediate surroundings, a visit to the ancient city of Ostia Antica reveals a lot about the same history of ancient Rome, its trading tradition and the importance of the Tiber river throughout the centuries.
Mosaics, ancient homes, temples, and buildings for administrative purposes are some of the things you will see in Ostia, very fascinating. If it’s summer season, you can even go to the beach for the remaining of the day!
- How to reach: By train with the Ostia-Lido railway from Porta San Paolo/Piramide (next to Ostiense train station), Basilica San Paolo, or EUR Magliana.
Beautiful city north of Rome easy to reach by train extremely interesting and fascinating. Called the city of popes because it has been the residence of the pontiff for many years, the best first thing you should do as soon as you arrive in Viterbo is to walk around its historic center that has perfectly retained the old charm of medieval times.
The cathedral and the Popes’ Palace are also open to visitors and a fantastic site to better understand the local history. If you want to pamper yourself a little, go to the local thermal baths and soak in the hot waters of the natural springs. This is more pleasant in the cold season, if you are there in spring it’s also fine but maybe not so much in summer because the water is actually very cold. If you are staying one week in Rome this is a perfect day trip to chill out far from the hectic traffic and slow down for a day.
- How to reach: F3 railway from Ostiense, Trastevere, San Pietro, Valle Aurelia towards Viterbo Porta Romana or Viterbo Porta Fiorentina.
Home to two UNESCO world heritage sites, Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, Tivoli is one of the favorite excursions among tourists as well as locals. Villa d’Este is a true gem of the Italian Renaissance and one of the most stunning Italian-style gardens in Europe, while Villa Adriana is a precious archaeological site showing the majesty of Rome’s imperial times and one of the best-kept.
Historic villas, thermal baths, ancient sanctuaries and a long history make Tivoli a fantastic trip that you can totally include when visiting Rome in a week.
- How to reach: To reach Tivoli, you can take a train from Rome’s Stazione Termini and once in Tivoli city center, the local transport company provides three lines of buses to Villa Adriana (4, 4/bis, 4X), while for Villa d’Este you can just walk for about 15 minutes from the train station.
Cerveteri is a great place to learn more about the Etruscan civilization that was in central Italy before the Romans. The necropolis close to Cerveteri is known as Della Banditaccia and reveals the achievements of the Etruscan civilization.
Apart from the Etruscan necropolis, very interesting in Cerveteri’s surroundings is the hamlet of Ceri, located on the site of an ancient Etruscan settlement and looking like a fortified medieval town. Extremely picturesque.
Another important Etruscan necropolis is in Tarquinia, but this is 50 km further north from Cerveteri, so if you want to see everything in one day, you will definitely need to be driving your own car because it’s pretty hard to catch all the public transport on time.
- How to reach: The necropolis is not far from the city center but still slightly outside of the city. If you are confident driving in Rome, you can rent your own vehicle, otherwise, you can take a train towards Civitavecchia from Stazione Termini or Stazione San Pietro, get off at Marina di Cerveteri, and from there take one of the buses to the necropolis.
Day 6 – Get traditional in Ostiense and Testaccio
If you have decided to visit Rome in a week, devoting at least one day to the traditional Testaccio and Ostiense neighborhood is a very fascinating experience. Authentic, genuine, and diverse, both districts are a fascinating addition to your trip. Even though you would probably not visit Testaccio or Ostiense if you had limited time, spending 1 week in Rome is enough to include also some offbeat landmarks and places.
Rome in a week – Map of day 6
Visit the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
- Easy to reach by metro (Basilica San Paolo, line B)
- Time needed: at least an hour
San Paolo Fuori le Mura is an important church in Rome but not as visited as the ones located in the city center. Even though close to the metro, probably its location, a little out of reach, is the culprit to look at for its much smaller crowds. This, however, doesn’t make it any less interesting.
The place where Saint Paul was martyred and buried, along with the large and art-packed church, you can’t miss the archaeological site located in its undergrounds and showing the ruins of the ancient local neighborhood and an ancient construction site. If you are exploring Rome in a week, this basilica is definitely worth visiting.
- Where: Piazzale San Paolo 1
- When: Every day 7 am-6.30 pm.
Duck into Centrale Montemartini
- 15 minutes walk from San Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica or 8 minutes by bus (792), but considering the time you need to wait for the bus and the fact that you might miss some of the murals, probably just walking is your best option
- Time needed: an hour
Even though you are going to see the local street art all over the place, many of the famous murals are between Via del Porto Fluviale and Via dei Magazzini Generali. But before getting there, you are going to find a fantastic museum I strongly suggest you don’t skip.
Set up in Rome’s main former power plant, Centrale Montemartini is an utterly fascinating museum where the modern machines to produce electricity are still where they were when operative but now they stand beside a selection of classic Roman and Greek sculptures and artwork.
- Where: Via Ostiense 106
- When: Tuesday to Sunday 9 am-7 pm. Monday closed.
Cross Settimia Spizzichino bridge
- 5 minutes walk from Centrale Montemartini
- Time needed: 10 minutes
This is one of the most modern bridges in Rome. Its main highlight is its wavy structure that seen from in front might look like a cobra. Spectacular during the day, it’s very pretty after sunset thanks to its colorful lighting.
While it’s a lovely sight, if you are planning to see all the landmarks on the 6th day of your week in Rome, this is probably the one you can skip unless you are an architecture fan and enjoy contemporary works.
- When: Always open.
See the Ostiense street art
- 10 minutes walk from Centrale Montemartini
- Time needed: a couple of hours all around the district
One of the highlights of this formerly industrial hub of Rome is the colorful street art that spruced up the walls of the entire neighborhood. You are going to find the first murals straight away when you leave Saint Paul’s basilica, namely, the black silhouettes by Sam3 in Via Ostiense. If you keep going down the road, you will be able to see more murals on your way to other important landmarks.
Some of the most famous street art in Ostiense is painted in Via del Porto Fluviale. Here look for the giant mural by Blu covering two facades of the former warehouse of Italy’s Air Force, and then on the other facade, the same Blu painted a giant sailing ship. Still on Via del Porto Fluviale is the giant “anti-pollution” bird by Milan artist Iena Cruz. For the Wall of Fame by JB Rock, you will have to go to Via dei Magazzini Generali.
I doubt you will manage to see every single mural in Ostiense, but going from one landmark to the other and making some detours if you like this type of art, for sure you will see much of it.
- Where: All around the neighborhood, especially in streets like Via dei Magazzini Generali, Via del Porto Fluviale, Via Ostiense, Via del Commercio.
- When: Always open.
Visit the Gasometer
- 5 minutes walk from both Via del Porto Fluviale and Via dei Magazzini Generali
- Time needed: 10 minutes are enough really, but it all depends on how many pictures you want to take. The last time I went, I spent there a couple of hours!
The gasometer is the largest and easiest to spot relic of Rome’s industrial archaeology, the remains of which you can find in a few places but nowhere like in the Ostiense neighborhood. It’s obviously not in use anymore, but a great place for nostalgic pictures and a place where several events such as concerts are organized.
Actually, the gasometers in Ostiense are four but very likely you are going to see the tallest one first because the other three are much smaller.
- Where: Via del Commercio 9/11.
- When: Always visible, not possible to access inside.
Make sure you read our article on the best things to do in Ostiense.
- 15 minutes walk from the Gasometer
- Time needed: 30 minutes to an hour
To reach Rome’s Protestant Cemetery from the Gasometer and Ostiense in general, I suggest you go through Via delle Conce so you see more of the local street art and also because you make your way to Testaccio quite quickly. Unless you have already made several trips to Rome and know the main landmarks, I doubt you will visit Cimitero Acattolico if you have limited time. But if you are visiting Rome in a week, this place and the whole area around it are a very fascinating addition to your experience.
This non-Catholic graveyard in the Testaccio neighborhood was initially built to bury foreigners and people not belonging to the Catholic religion, and now it’s the final resting place of writers and philosophers such as John Keats and Antonio Gramsci. It’s located right next to Rome’s Pyramid and is home to a lovely cat colony so don’t be surprised if all around the scenic graves and sculptures you will feel warm, furry cuddles on your ankles.
- Where: Via Caio Cestio 6
- When: Every day 9 am-4.30 pm.
Pyramid of Caius Cestius
- 5 minutes walk from the Protestant Cemetery
- Time needed: 10 minutes to walk around and take pictures
The Pyramid of Caius Caestius is not open to visitors unless you book well in advance and it’s visible also from inside the Protestant Cemetery, the oldest section.
- Where: Via Raffaele Persichetti.
Porta San Paolo
- 5 minutes walk from the Pyramid
- Time needed: 5 minutes. If the museum is open, at least an hour
This is an ancient gate of the Aurelian Walls, very well kept and that inside hosts the Museum of Via Ostiense to trace all the historical moments and benchmarks of this important road connecting Rome to Ostia.
Linked to this huge gate are several events of Rome’s history, two of which are related to the invasion of the city, first by the Ostrogoths in 549 and then by the Germans at the end of WWII in 1943. Being currently closed to the public,
- Where: Piazza di Porta San Paolo
- When: Temporarily closed.
- 12 minutes’ walk from Porta San Paolo
- Time needed: anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours
The Testaccio Market is a historic market in the neighborhood. Formerly open, it has been moved into this current covered location but maintaining the historic stalls and shops.
The market is a lovely place to visit to get a hang of the local society but also for a casual street food-style meal, some quality food shopping and to see the archaeological site it sits on.
- Where: Via Aldo Manuzio 66b
- When: Every day 7 am-2.30 pm, Saturday until 3.30 pm. Sunday closed.
- 5 minutes from Mercato Testaccio
- Time needed: about an hour
The former main butcher house in Rome where the cattle destined to the city was butchered and distributed, today the Mattatoio houses several exhibitions. If you are into contemporary works and artistic expressions, you can enter and devote some time to them, otherwise, you can just see the Mattatoio briefly and relax for the rest of the day.
- Where: Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4
- When: Tuesday to Sunday 11 am-8 pm. Monday closed.
Make sure you read our article on the best things to do in Testaccio.
Where to eat in Ostiense and Testaccio
Ostiense and Testaccio offer a wealthy choice of great restaurants. Here I’m mentioning the main ones and where you are likely to go past, but really, in these two neighborhoods, it’s difficult to go wrong.
- Trattoria Pennestri. Local trattoria where traditional dishes are served in the chef’s contemporary take. Via Giovanni da Empoli 5.
- Romeow Cat Bistrot. If you like furry friends and delicious vegan food, Romeow is the restaurant for you. Via Francesco Negri 15.
- Felice a Testaccio. One of the best traditional restaurants in Rome, I suggest you have lunch here if you are feeling like a memorable cacio e pepe pasta. Booking highly recommended. Via Mastro Giorgio 29.
- Flavio al Velavevodetto. Simple traditional restaurants serving all Roman classics. Via di Monte Testaccio 97.
- 100% Bio. Organic and plant-based, here you can have a nice healthy meal at their buffet. Piazza di Porta San Paolo 6a.
Check out our guide to where to eat in Ostiense.
Day 7 – Go green and offbeat in Rome
If you are nearing the end of visiting the whole of Rome in a week, or at least as much as you can, I’m assuming you are pretty tired. So why not devote the last day of your 7-day Rome trip to some relaxing walk in the park and a few lesser-known but far from being lesser-worthy sites and attractions?
Rome in a week – Map of day 7
Stroll around Villa Borghese
- Easy to reach by metro (Flaminio or Spagna, line A), by tram (2), and by bus (61, 89, 120F, 150F, 490, 495, 590, 628)
- Time needed: depending on how much you want to relax, I would say one or two hours
One of Rome’s largest and most scenic urban parks, I suggest you head to Villa Borghese early morning and enter from Flaminio. This way it’s easy to reach and you are going to see many of its most famous highlights starting from the Pincio Terrace from where you will have a fantastic view of Piazza del Popolo and the city center.
Studded with fountains and sculptures, Villa Borghese is literally an open-air museum that’s worth visiting and more so if you are staying one full week in Rome. Even though you will fall in love with its peace and greenery, I suggest you don’t spend here more than two hours because all around are so many things to visit.
If you are traveling to Rome with a toddler, Villa Borghese is also home to Rome’s zoo called Bioparco, so maybe your children will enjoy a visit here. It’s pretty big and the entrance quite expensive (17€). Kids love it, so as always you need to consider your timing and travel needs.
- Where: Many entrances, one is in Flaminio, near Piazza del Popolo
- When: Every day from dawn to sunset.
- 20 minutes walk from the Pincio Terrace
- Time needed: two hours
If you are into art, Galleria Borghese is a must-see. With one of Rome’s richest collections of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings from artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Canova, and Raphael, this important art gallery is hosted in a beautiful 17th-century villa belonging to the Borghese family.
Galleria Borghese is often included in many tours and even shorter itineraries, so if you decided to visit Rome in a week and you’ve never been, you should really make time to see it.
- Where: Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5
- When: Tuesday to Sunday 9 am-7 pm. Monday closed. 180 people at a time every two hours. Mandatory booking.
- 15 minutes walk from Galleria Borghese
- Time needed: between 30 minutes to an hour
After Galleria Borghese, I suggest you exit Villa Borghese park towards the Trieste and Nomentano neighborhoods because it’s a very suggestive area, elegant and packed with interesting sights.
First and foremost, you can visit the quirky Coppedè Quarter, a true hidden gem in Rome where you won’t even feel like to be in the same city. Set around the beautiful Fontana delle Rane (Frogs’ Fountain), all the buildings are decorated with animals and figures from Roman and Greek mythology.
It’s only a quick detour away from the main route so if you have time, I think you are going to enjoy this unusual corner of Rome.
- Where: Piazza Mincio
- When: Always possible to visit
- 15 minutes walk from Piazza Mincio
- Time needed: anywhere between one to two hours
Villa Torlonia is a lovely little park in the Nomentano/Salario neighborhood where you can find some tranquility and interesting sights. The Roman residence of Benito Mussolini during Fascism and WWII, here you can visit the building where he lived with his family known as Casino Nobile.
Among the other buildings, there are the beautiful Liberty-style Casina delle Civette and the Alhambra-inspired Serra Moresca, which recently opened to the public for the first time.
- Where: Via Nomentana 70
- When: Park open from dawn to dusk. Museums open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am-7 pm (in winter until 4 pm). Museums are closed on Monday.
Sant’Agnese Fuori le Mura Complex
- 15 minutes walk from Villa Torlonia
- Time needed: around an hour
Literally Saint Agnes Outside the Walls, this fascinating complex outside the Aurelian Walls is an absolute must. I would suggest it even if you have only 4 days in Rome, let alone a week. Apart from the main basilica, here you can visit the early-Christian catacombs and Costanza Mausoleum, the daughter of Emperor Constantine the Great, the ceiling of which is entirely covered with stunning mosaics.
This is the last landmark of this daily itinerary. Even though the number of sights is less than other days, each of them takes longer to visit and a bit of a longer walk from one to another.
- Where: Via Nomentana 349
- When: Every day 9 am-12 pm and 3-7 pm. Sunday only 3-7 pm.
You don’t feel like straying too far from the tourist path? Devote a day to visiting the Aventine Hill instead!
Where to eat in the Trieste and Nomentano neighborhoods
- Berberè. One of our favorite pizza in the city, every time we are in the area, a stop here is a must. With high-quality flours, long-risen pizza, a great toppings variety, the result is delicious. Via Mantova 5.
- Smor. Scandinavian-style street food place with plenty of smoked and marinated fish and tangy sauces filling rye bread sandwiches. Via Cesare Paoletti 23.
- Ops! Delicious vegan restaurant with a large buffet containing everything from first courses, mains, side dishes, and desserts. Via Bergamo 56.
- Santi Sebastiano e Valentino. Famous bakery (forno) dishing out delicious bread and casual meals. Via Tirso 107.
- Come Il Latte. One of the best gelaterias in Rome, to get there you need to cross Porta Pia. Via Silvio Spaventa 24/26.
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