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2-Day Rome Itinerary: Tourist Map of Rome & Guide to Rome’s Best Sights

Rome Highlights: Our 2-day Walking Tourist Map Of Rome is designed for those who want to experience the very best of Rome but don’t have a lot of time. We have included a route map and photos of the key sights you’ll encounter so you don’t get lost along the way. For a more in-depth exploration, our comprehensive Rome Tour map covers over 60 attractions, featuring a mix of famous landmarks, restaurants, and lesser-known spots. This guide is designed to be practical and straightforward, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this historic city.

What do we know about Rome? Having previously worked on cruise ships back in the day, we were fortunate enough to frequently dock at Civitavecchia a train ride away from the enchanting city of Rome. We would often spend our meandering through its ancient streets soaking in the culture and of course, consuming the food.

Now, as travel bloggers, returning to Rome has an air of coming home. It’s a city where the familiar cobblestone paths and the aroma of freshly baked pizza evoke a sense of nostalgia. Each visit to Rome, with its vibrant piazzas and famed ruins, is a delightful jaunt of rediscovery, making every journey here just as exciting as the first.


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Highlights from our Map Of Rome
Highlights from our Map Of Rome

Our Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions below gives you 2 single day walking routes – so even if you only have 24 hours, you could follow just one route. Our full tourist map of Rome at the bottom of this article is ideal to let you pick and choose the things you specifically want to see – being a quick and easy way to select your Rome highlights.  If you’re planning your journey, consider exploring a vacation package to Italy that can help enhance your experience.

Rome wasn’t built in a day… and you don’t have a hope of seeing all the best Rome Tourist Attractions in just one day… So we did as many as possible in two days, which is quite a challenge, but it is certainly possible if you keep moving!

Discover the Rome Pantheon during your Rome walking tour
Discover the Rome Pantheon during your Rome walking tour

It feels like no matter how long you walk around Rome for, there is always something new to discover. The history is intense! It’s everywhere, even for someone like me who grew up in Europe, surrounded by history, Rome is the next level, where many of the sites you visit are over 2000 years old!

Day one of our adventure begins, like many, at the central railway station, and takes a route mostly on foot (bring comfy shoes!) to many iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps, amongst others. (Day 1 Walking Map Of Rome – tour route = 5.4KM / 3.3 Miles)

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Colosseum at sunrise
Rome Highlights: Colosseum at sunrise

Day two is focused on the Vatican, which is a massive site and really deserves a long half day, and then as evening approaches we head back into the city to throw a penny in the Trevi fountain… (Day 2 Walking Map Of Rome – tour route = 6.7KM / 4.2 Miles – some options for bus links between attractions)

On some trips we are very limited on time, on those occasions we want to see EVERYTHING and have to rush things. It’s not ideal, but we designed the below tour routes for fit and healthy people who want to see as much of the best Rome highlights in 48 hours as they can.

If you want to do Rome in 2 days you need to keep moving, this is no casual stroll. So let’s get going…

Walking Tourist Map Of Rome Attractions (Rome Highlights, 2 Days)

2 Full days of visiting Rome tourist attractions – Day 1 in orange, day 2 in blue. Self guided, interactive walking map of Rome.

If you’re wondering about internet access, you can use UK VPN to find out more information about Rome

Staying in Rome longer than 48 hours? Also, Get our complete tourist map of Rome with over 60 attractions, restaurants and more at the bottom of this article.

DAY 1 – Rome Highlights

1 – Central station and to the Colosseum (Opens 8.30am)

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Inside The Colosseum
Rome Tourist Attractions: Inside The Colosseum

Many people ask what is the number 1 must see in Rome? So let’s go straight there from Central Station in Rome, also called Roma Termini.

The central station in Rome is massive! I mean HUGE! And a little confusing… so just try and follow the signs for the metro and hope you don’t get lost. We jumped on the metro to the Colosseum to save some time rather than walking.

Going to the Colosseum first is advisable because the lines get long very quickly in the morning, especially during the summer. We got there just after 9am and so didn’t have to queue for too long but the line behind us grew very quickly. Also, arriving early meant we got to see the sun rising above the arches (Blog Title Photo), which was cool. In summer though you’d have to be there at stupid-o-clock to see that, this was November.

Photo by Andrei Tanase:

Construction of the Colosseum began around 70AD and many fun events were held there over the years including the odd christian being eaten by lions, the practice of which has been wildly exaggerated in popular culture apparently – Thanks QI for the facts. Either way, the history and architecture surrounding this enigmatic building makes it a must see for any visitor to Rome, thats for sure!

The entry ticket is about $20 for a self guided experience (pretty good for a great wonder of the world!) and also gets you into The Roman Forum across the road. You can also book a Colosseum skip the line tour these days that is guided and will get you acces to the Arena as well. The Colosseum is big, and takes quite a while to go all the way around and to the top. It’s also possible to lose each other in there, a lot of crowds and some “one way” staircases… You need at least an hour, but if you are on a time limit with the full day 1 route from this Rome Tour Map, then you’ve gotta hustle. 1 hour is enough time, just about, not including the time to get the ticket.

2. The Forum & Palatine hill

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: The Roman Forum
Rome Tour Map: The Roman Forum

The Forum, or Meeting place, is a central square where really important stuff happened. See, I’ve wowed you with my historical speak! Wanna know more? Check out the history on wikipedia. The point is, you’ve seen the movies, now come and see the ruins! It was here where it all went down: the political alliances, espionage, deception… This ancient site is genuinely enormous, which seems to be how I’ve described everything so far, but it’s just a coincidence that we started with all the big stuff!

Me above the Roman Forum Area

As well as the forum, there are temples and churches, many very well preserved, and also a few museums and areas where they are still excavating. If Ruins are your thing then this is the place for you. The guide-leaflet we got for free states 31 points of interest in total. But we are in a hurry. We managed to get around almost everything in under 2 hours, which involved skim reading in the museum.

On the way out (south exit) you pass the house of Augustus with its Palace, private residence, Baths & Stadium. If you have time, after exiting the site, you can head round to the right to the Circus Maximus, where they used to have the Chariot racing. There is not much there but grass, so we gave it a miss as we were on a tight schedule!

There is a guided tour option that includes all 3 – Collesuem, The Forum & Palatine Hill or you can happily do your own walking tour following our map of Rome.

3  – Monument to the Unknown Soldier

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Monument To The Unknown Soldier
Monument To The Unknown Soldier (Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions)

The monument also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was not a planned part of the trip at all. From first arriving at the colosseum we could see a massive white building shining in the distance. No idea what it was, and our map was in Italian. I managed to translate “Monumento” as meaning monument, but a monument to what? Later as we walked towards the Pantheon, we came around the side of the monument to the front to be greeted by what I can only describe as the most ostentatious monument I have ever seen!

If there is one word that captures the spirit of Roman architecture “ostentatious” is it. Its over the top on a grand scale, and you see epically detailed architecture wherever all around the city. But the Monument to the unknown soldier is the winner!

Photo by Bastian Riccardi:

It was at that moment and at the next moment shortly to come that I realised I loved Rome. How can you not? It’s the history, the architecture, and the overall vibe. It’s the perfect balance of culture and excitement that seeps from every street corner. From then on, everything that happened just made me love Rome more, I was hooked.

4. Pantheon

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Pantheon
Rome Highlights: Pantheon

The “next moment” that I am referring to is the Pantheon, the current incarnation of which was built only about 50 years after the colosseum (126AD). Unlike the colosseum, the Pantheon is in spectacular condition.

Upon first seeing the building my assumption was that it was a little more modern than all the ruins we’d been looking at. It barely is. That is the shocker. When you go inside and look at the dome, all the art, and even when you are outside, you have to ask yourself “Where else in the world can I visit a building almost 2000 years old that looks like it might only have been built 100 years ago?

Photo by Setu Chhaya:

Its free to get in, and it is definitely a MUST SEE when in Rome.

6  – Trevi Fountain and some lunch!

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain (Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions)

We didn’t realise at the time, but we’d be back at the Trevi fountain again very soon. The story goes that you have to throw a penny in the fountain if you want to return to Rome. I threw one in and obviously it worked, as I was back again in no time at all.

After spending some time pushing through the crazy mass of tourists (how can i complain, I was being very touristy too!), we realised it was well past lunch time… what could we possibly eat in Rome

…Pizza! Of course. Now eating in Rome is a serious business (well it is to us) and finding the perfect meal when you’re on a short 2 day itinerary of Rome is essential. We also have a full guide on What to Eat In Rome and also the Best Restaurants in Rome to make sure you don’t waste your precious meals on mediocre food found close by to these Rome tourist locations. You could always do a Rome cooking class and make the food yourself!

Roman Pizza - what to eat in Rome
Roman Pizza – what to eat in Rome

7 – Spanish Steps

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Spanish Steps
Rome Highlights: Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps or Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti in Italian (yeah, I don’t think that is a direct translation at all!), are apparently the widest steps in Europe, although the article on wikipedia that is referenced to prove this was written in 1972… I doubt they are still the widest. I AM cynical today, lol. Once again this is a major tourist spot, but I guess the whole of central Rome is a massive tourist spot because the sheer quantity (and quality) of attractions is mind-boggling.

Many a love story and movie seems to be associated with the steps… Famous poet John Keats died there, broken hearted apparently. Hopefully, when you visit, your story will be a little happier than his!

8. Terrazza del Pincio / Piazza del Popolo

Walking Map Of Rome Tourist Attractions | Rome Highlights | Rome Tour Map: Piazza del popolo
Piazza del Popolo (Rome Tour Map)

Terrazza del Pincio offers a remarkable view of the Piazza del Popolo and its surrounding cityscape (Especially at sunset). From this vantage point, you can see the ancient obelisk and the twin churches, set against the backdrop of modern Rome. It’s a popular spot for its panoramic views.

Back to the train station and our hotel and then onto Day 2!

best areas to stay in Rome

Check out our Best Rome Hotels Article HERE

Rome 2 Day Itinerary – Top Rome Attractions Featured On Our Tourist Map of Rome

DAY 2 Rome Highlight: Vatican & More

1. St Peter’s Basilica and Vatican square

Rome once again does not disappoint in terms of grandness! The Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica is sort of independent from Italy. We had to go through a security check on entering Vatican City, but they didn’t ask me for a passport… So I guess I’m still in Italy. Seems pretty Italian to me, with people drinking Espresso and lots of old buildings. Nice.

This was the original site of a christian church built at the time of Constantine (4th C AD) back when he was telling the pagans that he had seen the light and had a new book for them to read. From then on the Vatican has seen many faces, and many popes (they are all buried there! lots of them! you can go through the crypt). Love ’em or hate ’em they don’t seem to be going anywhere and they have a really nice collection of stuff to look at.

Photo by Olga Lioncat:

The St Peter’s Basilica was completed in 1626, and of course, it’s epic! Prices vary depending on what bits you want to see, most churches in the world run on donations, not this one! The home of Catholicism is also the home of religious commercialism… There goes my cynicism again! It is easy to be cynical when you discover the pope is hogging a lot of the world’s greatest masterpieces!

Photo by Bastian Riccardi:

We opted to go up to the top of the dome. Well worth it, you get views from the gallery inside, and also head out onto the roof to view the whole of Vatican City (and Rome!!!). We then headed into the main hall (yes, its massive!) where people do all the usual religion stuff like praying etc. And to the crypt to find out about all the dead popes. Lovely.

Free Tourist Map Of Rome – 70+ Rome Tourist Attractions

As well as our walking tour route map above, get our comprehensive Free Interactive Tourist Map of Rome with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations, and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Rome highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Rome Tourist Map NOW – Click Here.

2. The Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

Ok, you’ve heard of this place, obviously. Here are a few points to mention before you walk through the door…

1. The “door” is not in the main Vatican complex, you have to walk out around the walls to the back, takes about 10 minutes and is not immediately obvious to find.

2. The Sistine chapel is just one relatively small chapel out of the many

3. The famous painting of David is up on the roof and is actually tiny! It takes some finding.

4. NO PHOTOS in the chapel and this is strictly enforced. I got a clandestine photo, as such it was crap.

Here’s a better picture taken by someone else….

Photo by <a href="">Calvin Craig</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Those are the annoying bits dealt with……

Its about $34 USD (prices as of 2024) to get into the Vatican Museum, where the chapel is located. Is it worth it?? YES.

The thing is, retrospectively the Sistine Chapel was not the only draw, it was just an element of what is a massive history and art experience. Every corridor you walk through is coated in artwork by many a famous painter. Every new room you enter is so amazing you ask, “is THIS the sistine chapel?” Its the place everyone talks about and it’s sad that the myriad of other works are often underrated.

After walking through the endless hallways and eventually reaching the Sistine Chapel (Which you can reach quicker using the bypass route, but I recommend getting your money’s worth and seeing the whole complex) you then walk through yet more hallways of history, sculptures, and art until reaching the awesome exit stairs!

I suggest at least one hour for the Vatican Museum, but really 2 – 3 hours if you want to get more out of it. The Vatican experience is really a full day thing in itself, the quantity of content is astonishing!


3. Castel Sant’Angelo

Step into the time-travelling marvel that is Castel Sant’Angelo! This once-majestic mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian has lived several lifetimes – from a mighty fortress to a papal hideout, and now, an intriguing museum. It’s like wandering through a live-action history book, with each corner telling tales of intrigue and drama. And let’s not forget the views! Perched beside the Tiber, the castle offers some of the most selfie-worthy panoramas of Rome.

4 – The Church of Santa Maria (S. Maria in Trastevere)

We took a walk south along the river and stopped off in some side streets filled with cafes and bars. A drink and some dinner as the sun went down. We’d managed to get through all of the major Rome attractions we’d intended to see, so taking a look at the map we thought we would pass by a few points of interest to see what else Rome had in store.

Closest was “S. Maria in Trastevere“. Visiting attractions like this at night brings yet another dimension to the Rome experience. I have no interest in the religious aspect but the others around you investing their souls definitely strikes a chord and creates an atmosphere, and an old church lit by candle light and filled with fantastic works of art will certainly leave an impression even on the most militant atheist. I’m lucky we dropped by this place, its an experience I think i will never forget, not only because of the unexpected nature of the visit, but also because of that incredible ambiance.

For me this was like the “unseen Sistine Chapel”. Make an effort to go somewhere the tourists don’t and often you will be rewarded. We reaped our reward and moved on…

5. Area Sacra (Largo di Torre Argentina)

The Area Sacra Rome Attractions Map

We decided we would end the day by heading to the Trevi Fountain to throw another Penny in the fountain – Maybe yesterday’s penny would not be enough, we wanted to guarantee our return to Rome! This time we grabbed a bus to save on some shoe leather!

Another experience of Rome is seeing how the modern city is so openly shared with its ancient history!

The Area Sacra is a great example of this. The centre of the square is filled with the ancient ruins of building which date back as far as the 4th century BC. Apparently this site is filled with cats! we saw a few, but that is pretty normal in Europe, so didn’t think anything of it at the time. Surrounding the square are all the modern buildings – I say modern, but most still a good 500 years old. And the busy street bustles with cars, scooters (of course! Its Italy!) and busses!

6. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

Ah, Piazza Navona, Rome’s open-air showcase of Baroque artistry!

Piazza Navona is a bustling square, alive with street artists, charming cafes, and animated vendors. Once a stadium hosting ancient Roman games, it’s now a playground of magnificent fountains, including Bernini’s showstopper, the Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Fountain of the Four Rivers located at Piazza Navona
Fountain of the Four Rivers located at Piazza Navona

Whether you’re sipping a cappuccino at a streetside cafe or simply people-watching, the energy and beauty of Piazza Navona are infectious

7. The Trevi Fountain – one last time, At Night!

Visiting the Trevi Fountain at night is a whole different experience from the daytime hustle and bustle. As dusk falls, the fountain, a masterpiece of baroque art, is illuminated by a soft, ethereal glow, transforming it into a magical scene. The crowds thin out (a bit), allowing for a more relaxed atmosphere.

It’s no secret that the Trevi fountain is a popular tourist attraction in Rome to visit these days, and to be honest an ideal time for photographers or romantic souls to capture the fountain’s splendour is very early morning before 9 am or the middle of the night (it’s open 24 hours) – That way you might, maybe if you’re lucky, kind of get the Trevi fountain to yourself.

Trevi Fountain At Night - Photo by Iwan Wasyl:
Trevi fountain at night

I will miss Rome more than any other European capital city I think. Maybe our visit being so fleeting adds to my feelings of regret to have to say goodbye. The Trevi fountain at night seems as busy as in the day time, I guess this must be because everyone who visits Rome wants to return some day, and this is the place the legends say will make that dream a reality… Or maybe the city just makes $1000’s of dollars in loose change every week by perpetuating that myth…

Either way, I’m willing to buy in to the story, Goodbye Rome! See you again soon I hope.

Got 48 hrs in Rome and wondering where to stay.

–> Check out our Best Rome Hotels Article HERE

Free Tourist Map Of Rome – 70+ Rome Tourist Attractions

We’ve put together a Google tourist map of Rome overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save yourself a bunch of time by having our huge list of Rome highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our Rome Tourist Map NOW – Click Here.

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Our Comprehensive tourist map of Rome featuring all of the top Rome tourist attractions, viewpoints, history, museums and restaurants.