The Best 4 Days in Rome Itinerary + Map & Tips From a Local

Giardino degli Aranci - Rome in 4 Days Itinerary

Are you planning a trip to Rome and looking for the best 4 days in Rome itinerary?

You’ve come to the right place. I grew up in Rome and have lived here for 12 years, so have gotten to know this spectacular city like the back of my hand. In this guide, you’ll find all my insider tips and secrets so that you can plan an unforgettable trip.

This itinerary of Rome is not your typical travel guide. It’s incredibly detailed, includes many undiscovered spots most tourists don’t know about, and I’ve created a 4-day route that allows you to enjoy magical sunsets at just the right place and time.

You’ll also find valuable tips on how to avoid tourist traps and skip the long lines at popular attractions. I hope you’ll enjoy this unique 4-day Rome itinerary.

You might also be interested in:
🏡 Where to Stay in Rome: Best Areas + Hotels
🛵 The Best 3 Days in Rome Itinerary
🍝 Top 12 Rome By Night Tours to Take

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

🌟 4 Days in Rome Itinerary: Top Tips

Most scenic: Otivm Hotel (⭐ 9.0)
Most romantic: Singer Palace (⭐ 9.4)
Luxury pick: Martis Palace (⭐ 9.3)
Budget pick: Hotel Amalfi (⭐ 8.8)

The Best Colosseum Tour (⭐️ 4.6/5)
The Best Vatican Tour (⭐️ 4.4/5)
The Best VIP Vatican Tour (⭐️ 5/5)
The Best Pantheon Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)

⛲ Rome in 4 Days Itinerary Overview

Here’s an overview of what to do in Rome for 4 days, with all the places covered in this itinerary.

Day 1 — Pantheon, Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Galleria Sciarra, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese + Galleria Borghese, Terrazza del Pincio

Day 2 — Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, Vittoriano, Piazza del Campidoglio, Cat Sanctuary in Torre Argentina, Jewish Quarter, Trastevere, Gianicolo

Day 3 — Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica & Dome, Castel Sant’Angelo, Lungotevere & Ponte Umberto I, Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori

Day 4 — Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Scala Sancta, Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Baths of Caracalla, Testaccio, Buco della Serratura, Giardino degli Aranci, Isola Tiberina

Castel Sant'Angelo - 4 Day Itinerary Rome

Related: Where to Stay in Rome: The Best Areas + Hotels

🗓 Day 1 in Rome: Historic Center + Villa Borghese

1. Pantheon

Suggested visit time: 9 am / Visit duration: 45 mins – 1 hour

Start your trip to Rome by exploring the timeless Pantheon – one of the most well-preserved and ancient structures in the Eternal City. This former temple-turned-church displays marvelous architecture, making it a great introduction to Rome.

Completed between 126 – 128 AD, the Pantheon was a Roman temple dedicated to the gods of pagan Rome. It was converted to a Christian church in 609 AD, and today, it continues to function as one, with Catholic Mass regularly held.

Book your skip-the-line entry ticket

Pantheon - 4 Days in Rome What to See

The architecture of the Pantheon is simply splendid. When Michelangelo visited, he famously said, “it was the design of angels, not of man”. To understand what he meant, simply take a walk inside this monument and admire the view from underneath its oculus — the central part of the dome that opens up to the sky.

Inside the Pantheon, you’ll also find tombs of important Italian figures such as Vittorio Emanuele II (the first king of Italy) and Renaissance artists like Raphael.

🔥 Insider Tip: As of July 2023, entrance is no longer free and costs €5. While you can pay directly at the entrance, I highly recommend booking a skip-the-line entry ticket as this is one of the most popular and crowded places in Rome. This ticket costs just a few more euros but comes with an audio guide.

The Dome Inside the Pantheon in Rome, Italy - Trip to Rome Itinerary
The open dome inside the Pantheon
Opening hours: 9 am - 7 pm daily (last entry at 6:30 pm)
🎫 Entrance fees: €5 or ~€8 for a skip-the-line entry ticket with audio guide
🧔🏻 Guided tour: Pantheon Guided Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)

2. Galleria Doria Pamphilj

7 min walk from Pantheon
Suggested visit time: 10 am / Visit duration: 1.5-2 hours

After the Pantheon, it’s time to get away from the main tourist crowd and check out a hidden gem. Dating back to the 16th century, the lavish Galleria Doria Pamphilj is home to an exceptional private collection of works by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian.

Amidst this gallery’s incredibly ornate ceilings and captivating hallways, you’ll be wondering how this place has managed to stay out of most tourists’ radars — it’s refreshingly peaceful and uncrowded for Rome.

Not to be missed inside this gallery is the jaw-dropping Galleria degli Specchi (Gallery of Mirrors). Unsurprisingly known as “Little Versailles”, its enchanting gilt Venetian mirrors and intricately frescoed ceilings make it the highlight of the whole gallery.

As Galleria Doria Pamphilj isn’t overcrowded, you can simply just buy a ticket at the entrance and don’t need to worry about long lines. Your ticket will also come with a free audio guide (and it’s one that is actually really well done!).

🎨 Note: There’s another art gallery – Galleria Borghese – on the itinerary for later in the day. If two art galleries in one day are too much for you, choose Doria Pamphilj if you prefer fewer crowds, and Borghese if you’re an art aficionado; it has a much larger collection. But both galleries are incredibly impressive.

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 7 pm | Friday - Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm
🎫 Entrance fees: €16 

3. Galleria Sciarra

4 min walk from Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Suggested visit time: 12 pm / Visit duration: 5 mins

Your next stop is a very quick one and might only take you 2-5 mins. But it’s well worth it. Nestled away from the busy tourist hotspots, Galleria Sciarra is a remarkable testament to Art Nouveau architecture and a beautiful display of modern Roman history.

Originally constructed in the 16th century, this small courtyard was renovated in 1890 by the affluent Sciarra family. They adorned it with striking liberty-style frescoes and a glass roof. Today, it’s a wonderful way to see stunning art without the crowds.

Due to its size, it only takes a few minutes to explore Galleria Sciarra. You’ll see that most people who “visit” are locals passing by, using its covered walkway as a shortcut. Admire the elegant architecture here and snap a few photos before moving on.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 9 am - 6:30 pm
🎫 Entrance fees: Free

4. Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

2 min walk from Galleria Sciarra
Suggested visit time: 12:15 pm / Visit duration: 20-30 mins

A 4 day itinerary in Rome would be incomplete without the legendary Trevi Fountain. Standing 26 m (85 ft) tall and 49 m (160 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the Eternal City. It’s built on top of an ancient water source and was completed in 1762.

A famous tradition is to throw a coin into the water with your right hand over your left shoulder. Legend has it that tossing one coin means you’ll return to Rome, two coins: you’ll return and fall for an Italian, and three coins: you’ll end up marrying them in Rome.

Trevi Fountain - Rome 4 Day Itinerary

Whether or not you believe in this myth, the coins go towards a great cause. Roughly 1 million euros get collected from the fountain every year to be donated to local charities.

🌅 Top Tip: The Trevi Fountain is always flooded with tourists during the day. Come back early in the morning, at sunrise, for a completely different atmosphere. You’ll be able to truly enjoy this iconic place and take photos with barely anyone else around.

5. Lunch near Trevi Fountain

Recommended duration: 12:45 pm – 2 pm

There are quite a bit of restaurants near the Trevi Fountain, and not so many near your next stop (unless you’re happy with McDonald’s), so it’s a good idea to have lunch in the Trevi Fountain area before moving on.

🍕 Food Tip: Avoid the tourist traps directly outside the Trevi Fountain. Instead, walk a few minutes in any direction, and you’ll come across much more affordable and authentic eateries.

Some restaurants I recommend near Trevi Fountain are: Ristorante Sora Lucia, L’Antica Pizzeria di Trevi, and DEROMA – Farine Romane. Be sure to try some Roman specialties such as carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe!

Tagliatelle Cacio e Pepe in Rome, Italy
Tagliatelle cacio e pepe | Itinerary for Rome in 4 days

6. Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps)

10 min walk from Trevi Fountain
Suggested visit time: 2:15 pm / Visit duration: 30-45 mins

From the Trevi Fountain, head north on Via del Corso to make your way to the iconic Spanish Steps, one of the most famous landmarks in Rome.

A sidenote on Via del Corso: it’s the most famous shopping street in the historic center. Packed with fashion stores and a handful of gelaterias, this street exudes a vibrant atmosphere and is perfect for people-watching.

When you arrive at the picturesque Spanish Steps, pause to appreciate the Baroque-style Fontana della Barcaccia (“Fountain of the Leaky Boat”) located at the base of the square. This fountain was constructed in memory of a severe flood of the River Tiber in 1598, which stranded a boat at this very square.

It’s absolutely worth climbing up the 174 steps to the top of the Spanish Steps, where you’ll be greeted by the beautiful Trinità dei Monti Church and artists painting portraits.

While the view from the top is fantastic, be sure to also stop at the first terrace during your climb — you’ll get a unique view of Via dei Condotti, the fashion shopping hub of Rome.

Piazza di Spagna in Rome, Italy

💸 Please note: As of 2019, it is no longer allowed to sit on the Spanish Steps (in order to preserve this UNESCO Heritage Site). You can also get fined up to €400 if you’ve dirtied or damaged the steps in any way.

Related: 36 Famous Landmarks in Italy That Will Take Your Breath Away

7. Villa Borghese

16 min walk from Spanish Steps (to the Porta Pinciana entrance)
Suggested visit time: 3:15 pm / Visit duration: 1.5 hours

Next, it’s time to move away from the busy streets of the historic center and spend some time unwinding and enjoying nature in the peaceful Villa Borghese. Rich in lush greenery, this delightful park also boasts charming Roman sculptures and fountains.

🗺 Top Tip: The entrance to Villa Borghese is located at Porta Pinciana. Don’t put “Villa Borghese” on Google Maps – it won’t take you to the actual entrance gate. Instead, simply head to Porta Pinciana and you’ll see the entrance there.

Inside the park, stop by the lake (Laghetto Di Villa Borghese) for a chance to rent a boat and enjoy a leisurely row. Or, simply unwind on one of the many benches and soak in the laid-back atmosphere. You’ll be surrounded by local families with kids and dogs, skaters showing off their tricks, and young lovers lounging under the trees.

Note: Your next stop is Galleria Borghese, which is inside this park. If you’ve chosen to do Galleria Doria Pamphilj in the morning and skip this gallery, you now have more time to simply relax inside this park. Or, head straight over to Terrazza del Pincio – the stop after Galleria Borghese.

Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy

🚴 Insider Tip: A fun way to explore Villa Borghese is to rent a bike. You can rent one in either Viale Goethe or Viale dell’Uccelliera — both locations are inside the park. You can choose between regular bikes, 2-people tandem bikes, and even 4-people quadricycles (perfect for families with kids!).

8. Galleria Borghese

Located inside Villa Borghese
Suggested visit time: 5 pm / Visit duration: 2 hours

One of the main highlights of Villa Borghese is Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery), one of the most remarkable museums in Rome. Located at the park’s eastern end, it is easily accessible on foot or by bike from anywhere inside Villa Borghese.

Galleria Borghese has a very impressive collection of art, featuring masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio, Tiziano, and Botticelli. As you explore, you’ll find magnificent frescoes adorning the walls and ceilings, captivating mosaics, and impressive sculptures in every hall.

Book your skip-the-line entry ticket

A Statue in Front of Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy

Galleria Borghese is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm, with the last entrance allowed at 5.45 pm. Note that except for the 5.45 pm slot, you can only enter at the whole hour (e.g., at 11 am or 5 pm, but not at 11:15 am or 5:30 pm).

🔥 Top Tip: Don’t enjoy waiting in line? Book a Borghese Gallery guided tour (⭐️ 4.7/5) to get right in! This will also allow you to get the colorful backstory behind each piece of art. If you don’t want a tour, you can still save lots of time with a skip-the-line ticket.

The Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy
‘The Rape of Proserpina’ by Bernini (1621) in the Galleria Borghese
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 9 am - 7 pm (last entry at 5.45 pm) | Closed on Mondays 
🎫 Entrance fees: Regular - €15 | Age 18-25 - €4 | Free with the Roma Pass or OMNIA Card (but you still need to book in advance; more info here)
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Borghese Gallery guided tour (⭐️ 4.7/5)

9. Terrazza del Pincio – Sunset

20 min walk or 10 min bike ride from Galleria Borghese
Suggested visit time: 7:30 pm or sunset / Visit duration: 20-30 mins

Villa Borghese holds one more essential stop for your 4 day itinerary for Rome: Terrazza del Pincio. This terrace/observation deck offers a truly spectacular view of Rome’s historic center, especially at sunset. It’s an unforgettable experience.

Unwind to the sight of the sky turning into shades of pink and orange above the Eternal City. There’s a splendid view of Piazza del Popolo directly below the terrace, but try to spot the famous Vittoriano rising above the historic buildings, and in the distance, the iconic St. Peter’s Dome.

View from Pincio Terrace in Rome, Italy

You’re also likely to find talented musicians on the terrace, providing the perfect soundtrack to this breathtaking view. It’s hard to stress just how magical the view, paired with the live music, is. It’s something you have to witness in person.

🌅 Top Tip: Check the sunset time in Rome so you can time your visit accordingly.

10. Aperitivo + Dinner Near Piazza del Popolo

Right underneath the Terrazza del Pincio is Piazza del Popolo, which is surrounded by restaurants. Simply walk down the stairs from the terrace to reach this piazza.

They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And in this case, it involves indulging in an aperitivo — a pre-meal drink intended to stimulate the appetite. Embracing this Italian cultural tradition is totally worthwhile.

🍹 Note: Aperitivo usually takes place between 6 pm and 8 pm in Italy. Then, we usually go for dinner between 8 pm and 10 pm. While this may seem late to some of you, don’t worry — you’ll find tons of snacks paired with your aperitivo, so you won’t starve 🙂

Aperitivo in Rome, Italy

🍹 For aperitivo: Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari — This restaurant/terrace bar is just a few steps from Piazza del Popolo. Enjoy some Negroni or Aperol Spritz on their terrace, and nibble on cheese, olives, and bread. Bonus: you also get a beautiful view of Ancient Rome from there!

🍝 For dinner: Il Gabriello — While you can stay in Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari for dinner, you can also walk 7 minutes to this restaurant for some of the best cacio e pepe of your life. They also serve tons of delicious seafood and desserts.

Wherever you choose, just be sure to make your reservation weeks in advance!

Tiramisu in Rome, Italy

11. Evening Walk in the Historic Center

After dinner, you can easily revisit some of the sights you saw earlier in the day — now lit up in full glory at night. Aside from the sheer beauty of these monuments illuminated in the dark, you’ll also see smaller crowds and can enjoy a quieter atmosphere.

Some of the key places to see at night include the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vittoriano, and Spanish Steps. Or, to check out a place you haven’t visited before, head over to Piazza della Repubblica to see more stunningly lit-up buildings and fountains.

The Colosseum - Four Days in Rome What to See
The Colosseum lit up at night | Rome 4 days itinerary

🛵 Top Tip: Rome offers numerous night tours that allow you to explore the city in unique ways. You can find everything from evening photography walks and spooky haunted tours to e-bike night tours with food & wine tasting.

Read more: Top 12 Rome By Night Tours to Take

🗓 Day 2 in Rome: Ancient Rome + Trastevere

1. Colosseum

Suggested visit time: 8:30 am / Visit duration: 1.5 hours

Start your second day in Rome by visiting the iconic symbol of the city — the monumental Colosseum. With almost 2,000 years of history, this structure offers a fascinating insight into daily life in the ancient Roman Empire.

Constructed between 72 AD and 80 AD, the Colosseum swiftly rose to prominence as the largest amphitheater in the Roman world, serving as the main entertainment hub of the Roman Empire.

Book your skip-the-line Colosseum tour

Colosseum - 4 Nights in Rome Itinerary

The Colosseum could hold more than 50,000 spectators, who witnessed fierce battles between gladiators and exotic animals in the arena. The games lasted for over 500 years, resulting in the deaths of over 500,000 people and 1 million wild animals.

Since the 6th century, the Colosseum has suffered damage from earthquakes, lootings, and bombings during WWII, leading to only a portion of it remaining intact today. Due to its extensive history, it is recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

What does this mean? Unless you plan your visit in advance, you’ll be standing in line for hours. Although tickets can be reserved online, I highly recommend joining a guided tour instead, and I’ll explain why below.

🧔🏻 Why You Should Visit the Colosseum on a Guided Tour

Visiting the Colosseum on a guided tour is the fastest way to get in and the best way to maximize your time. Given the sheer number of tourists at the Colosseum, there will always be a long line at the entrance, even if you book your tickets online.

With a guided tour, you can join a very short line and be inside the Colosseum in no time. Your guide will then navigate you to all the key spots so you won’t have to spend time finding them.

Plus, with an expert local guide, you’ll be able to better understand and appreciate the history of the Colosseum. Depending on the tour you book, you can also get exclusive access to restricted areas of the Colosseum, such as the Underground and the Arena.

Book your skip-the-line Colosseum tour

🌟 My Recommendations: The 2 Best Guided Tours of the Colosseum
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
🏟 Top Tips for Visiting the Colosseum Without a Guided Tour
  • Buy a skip-the-line entry ticket — it costs an extra €3 but can save you hours of waiting in line, especially in peak and shoulder seasons.
  • There’s a cap on the number of visitors allowed per day. If tickets on the official website are sold out for the day you want to visit, you can still buy your ticket via Tiqets here.
  • You can get free entry to the Colosseum with the Roma Pass, the OMNIA Rome Card, or the Best of Rome Pass. It’s still mandatory to reserve your timeslot online in advance. You can do so on the official website under the Roma Pass section.
  • The best time to visit the Colosseum is at 8:30 am, right when it opens. Reserve your timeslot when you book your ticket and arrive at least 30 mins before opening time to get through the entrance faster.
  • You’ll see considerably fewer crowds at the Colosseum from November to March.
  • Visiting with kids: Anyone under 18 gets free entry to the Colosseum, but their visit cannot be booked online. If you’re an adult who booked your ticket, your child will receive their free ticket when entering with you.
  • If you’re under 18 and visiting without an adult, you can get your free ticket at the ticket office on-site (by standing in line).

Book your skip-the-line entry ticket

Opening hours: See here for live info
🎫 Entrance fees: (Combined Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill ticket) Regular - €18 | EU citizens aged 18-25 - €4
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour (⭐️ 4.6/5)

2. Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

5 min walk from Colosseum
Suggested visit time: 10 am / Visit duration: 1.5 hours

A ticket to the Colosseum includes same-day entry to its historic next-door neighbors: the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Most Colosseum guided tours will take you to these two places as well.

Serving as the heart of political, social, and religious life during the Roman Empire, the Roman Forum showcases ancient ruins of what used to be the most important monuments of Ancient Rome, including temples and shrines.

Following the empire’s collapse, the Roman Forum was abandoned, forgotten, and buried under the earth until an excavation in 1898.

Roman Forum - 4 Days in Rome What to Do

Next to the Roman Forum lies the beautiful Palatine Hill, often regarded as the birthplace of Rome. It boasts many ancient arches and temples, but the best thing about it is the spectacular panoramic view of the Colosseum you’ll get from there.

🔥 Insider Tip: If you don’t buy your Colosseum ticket in advance and decide to get it on-site instead, do so at the Roman Forum or Palatine Hill ticket offices and visit these places first. The lines there are shorter than at the Colosseum ticket office.

With that said, they won’t let you into these three sites if all the timeslots for the day are reserved, which happens often during the high season. They also only sell same-day tickets, so buying your ticket online or joining a guided tour is always your safest bet.

Book your skip-the-line Roman Forum tour

View From the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy
The view of the Colosseum from Palatine Hill
Opening hours: See here for live info
🎫 Entrance fees: (Combined Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill ticket) Regular - €18 | EU citizens aged 18-25 - €4
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour (⭐️ 4.6/5)

3. Lunch Near the Colosseum & Roman Forum

Recommended duration: 11:30 am – 1 pm

In total, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill should take roughly 3 hours to visit. Before heading to your next stop, I’d recommend indulging in a tasty lunch.

There are way too many tourist traps around the Colosseum, so here are some authentic restaurants in the area. I recommend calling them to book your spot in advance — pretty much all restaurants in the city center have English-speaking staff.

  • La Nuova Piazzetta — Enjoy some of the best carbonara and amatriciana among very friendly staff. They also serve delicious homemade desserts.
  • Pizza della Madonna dei Monti — This hidden pizzeria is the perfect spot for a quick lunch. Aside from authentic pizza, they also have traditional Roman snacks such as supplì.
  • Taverna Romana — A meal at this restaurant tastes homemade; it’s the perfect place to taste some traditional Roman dishes, such as l’amatriciana.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara in Rome, Italy
Spaghetti alla carbonara | Rome itinerary 4 days

4. Vittoriano (Piazza Venezia)

5 min walk from Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Suggested visit time: 1 pm / Visit duration: 1.5 hours

After lunch, it’s time to explore one of the most majestic and captivating monuments in Rome: the Vittoriano (AKA Altare della Patria) in Piazza Venezia.

Inaugurated in 1911, this structure was built as a tribute to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy. Its magnificent architecture is bound to astound you; featuring rows of Corinthian columns and countless stairs made from exquisite white marble.

Piazza Venezia in Rome, Italy

Take a walk around Piazza Venezia to admire and capture this impressive monument from various angles. Then, be sure to climb up its panoramic terrace. You’ll be doing some of it by foot via stairs, and the last bit via a glass elevator. Up top, relish a marvelous close-up view of Rome’s historic center.

🔥 Insider Tip: A regular ticket to the panoramic terrace costs €17, and you can book it in advance here. However, I recommend booking a ticket with an audio guide, which also includes entry to two nearby museums: the Museum of Risorgimento and the National Museum of Palazzo di Venezia.

View of the Colosseum from Altare della Patria - Rome Four Day Itinerary
The view from the panoramic terrace of the Vittoriano
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm daily (last admission at 6:45 pm)
🎫 Panoramic terrace entrance fees: Adults - €17 | Under 18 years old - free 
🌐 Best online ticket: Panoramic Glass Elevator Ticket with Audio App

5. Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill)

5 min walk from Vittoriano
Suggested visit time: 2:45 pm / Visit duration: 30 mins

At the top of the Capitoline Hill — the most important of Rome’s seven hills — lies Piazza del Campidoglio, the first modern square designed in the Eternal City (in the 16th century), by the renowned sculptor Michelangelo.

Head up the wide stairs leading to this beautiful square, where you’ll find sculptures of Marcus Aurelius and the iconic Roman she-wolf, the captivating Capitoline Museums, and hidden spots for splendid views.

Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, Italy

With 4 days in Rome, Italy, I recommend prioritizing other places over the Capitoline Museums. So while you’re here, just head to the back of the square to enjoy a unique view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. It’s a picture-perfect sight.

📸 Insider Tip: There are two viewpoints at the back of this square, and they can be accessed via paths on either side of the building with the tower. The path on the left side is Via di S. Pietro in Carcere, and the one on the right side is Via del Campidoglio.

Make sure to check out both paths, as they offer different views and perspectives of the Roman Forum and ancient Rome. The viewpoint on Via del Campidoglio also features a cameo from the Colosseum!

6. Cat Sanctuary in Torre Argentina

10 min walk from Piazza del Campidoglio
Suggested visit time: 3:30 pm / Visit duration: 30 mins

After a lot of ancient ruins and stunning views, it’s now time for something a little different. Head over to the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary to unwind with some of the cutest felines in Rome. You’ll find this sanctuary at the Via Arenula corner (archeological area) in Largo di Torre Argentina.

Inside the sanctuary, you can see all the felines that are being taken care of (some of their stories are here). Be sure to not feed any cat – they’re being fed every day of the year, and you’d be putting them at risk of getting hit by cars on the street.

There are more adorable felines in the archeological area right next to the sanctuary. You can’t enter the archeological site but can try to spot kittens from outside the barrier.

Opening hours: 12 pm – 4:30 pm daily 
🎫 Entrance fees: Free

7. Jewish Quarter

Start at Piazza Costaguti3 min walk from Cat Sanctuary
Suggested visit time: 4 pm / Visit duration: 1.5-2 hours

Nestled in the heart of town, the Jewish Quarter of Rome holds significant importance in Roman history. Established in 1555, it witnessed a somber past, but today, it thrives as a vibrant neighborhood celebrating Jewish heritage.

Strolling through this area, you’ll witness a unique fusion of Jewish and Italian culture: rows of traditional kosher restaurants, Jewish bakeries, and synagogues intermingled with churches and grandiose Roman architecture.

There are several Judeo-Roman dishes to try here, such as carciofi alla giudia (Roman-Jewish deep-fried artichokes) and cassola cheesecake. Also, be sure to taste the traditional baked goods at the Jewish bakery Forno del Ghetto.

The Jewish Quarter in Rome, Italy
Piazza Costaguti in the Jewish Quarter

Itinerary-wise, from the Cat Sanctuary, first make your way to Piazza Costaguti, a vibrant square with restaurants and cafes. This is also where you’ll find the Forno del Ghetto bakery mentioned above.

Then, head over to the charming Turtle Fountain in Piazza Mattei via the picturesque alley of Via della Reginella. Afterward, make your way to the must-see ruins of Portico of Octavia, where you’ll also see a path that leads you directly to Teatro di Marcello, a mini-Colosseum dating back to 11 BC.

End your tour of the Jewish Quarter in the marvelous Tempio Maggiore (AKA The Great Synagogue of Rome). Its ornate interiors are truly remarkable, and it’s also home to the Jewish Museum of Rome.

🧔🏻 Recommended guided tours of the Jewish Quarter:The Jewish Quarter Walking Tour (⭐️ 4.6/5)
↠ Taste Rome Like a Local: Jewish Quarter Food Tour (⭐️ 5/5)

8. Dinner in Trastevere

12 min walk from the Jewish Quarter
Recommended duration: 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm

The next stop on your Rome 4 day break is a yummy one. The neighborhood of Trastevere is famous for its picture-perfect cobblestone alleys and medieval houses. It’s also known as Rome’s foodie district, with some of the best restaurants in town.

I recommend having dinner here to experience the finest of Roman cuisine. Some of the best restaurants to choose from include La Tavernetta 29, Grazia & Graziella, and Nannarella. For aperitivo, head over to Bar San Calisto. It’s locally approved.

Alternatively, you can also join a mouthwatering food & wine tasting tour of Trastevere, which includes 20+ tastings of traditional Roman dishes and street food at four local venues, and handmade pasta at a local favorite restaurant for dinner.

Book a Trastevere food & wine tour

If you don’t want to go to your next stop after dinner (it involves climbing up a hill), wandering around the idyllic alleys of Trastevere is the perfect alternative. One must-see spot is Basilica di Santa Maria, one of the oldest churches in Rome.

Dating back to the 3rd century, Basilica di Santa Maria is arguably the first official Christian place of worship in Rome. Inside, you can find a plethora of exquisite 12th-century mosaics and frescoes, along with magnificent paintings and gilded ceilings.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, Italy
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere | 4-days Rome itinerary
Basilica di Santa Maria opening hours: 7:30 am - 9 pm daily
🎫 Basilica di Santa Maria entrance fees: Free
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Trastevere Food & Wine Tour (⭐️ 4.9/5)

9. Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) – Summer Sunset

15 min walk from Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Suggested visit time: 8:30 pm / Visit duration: 30 mins

Not too far from Trastevere lies a hidden gem of Rome that most tourists don’t know about — Gianicolo, a hill that offers a breathtaking 360° view of the entire city.

Gianicolo is a favorite spot among local couples. It’s not hard to see why — the view from the top of this hill is absolutely remarkable, and especially romantic when paired with a bottle of wine.

If you happen to visit Rome between May and August and follow this itinerary, the sun will likely set around the time you’re here. Witness the sun cast a warm orange glow over Rome’s famous landmarks; it’s a mesmerizing scene.

The Gianicolo - Rome in Four Days Itinerary
The view of Rome from Gianicolo at sunset

Note that this hill is pretty steep and climbing up is quite a workout. It therefore might not be suitable for everyone. The pathway is smoothly paved though, and running alongside the main road. Consider taking a taxi if you don’t want to walk up.

🍕 Food Tip: If you didn’t get a chance to grab dinner before visiting Gianicolo, don’t worry — there are tons of authentic restaurants nearby, and 9 pm is a very normal dinner time in Italy. I suggest making your way to Dar Poeta for delicious pizza.

🌟 Day 2 in Rome: Alternative Itinerary

Sometimes, there’s only so much walking and sightseeing one can take in a day. So here’s an alternative suggestion if you’d prefer a more slow-paced day-2 itinerary:

🍝 Follow this itinerary up until you’re done with Piazza del Campidoglio, and then spend the rest of the afternoon in a fun pasta-making class with a local chef.

The class will be held in Trastevere, so you’d still get a chance to explore this unmissable neighborhood. Except now, you’d also be sipping on prosecco while learning the secrets of pasta-making passed down through generations.

Reap the fruits of your labor afterward with a delicious meal you’ve helped prepare from scratch, some excellent wine, and homemade gelato.

Book your pasta-making class

A Pasta Making Class in Rome, Italy

🗓 Day 3 in Rome: Vatican City + Food Tour

1. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Suggested visit time: 8:30 am / Visit duration: 2.5-3 hours

Start the third day of your 4 days Rome itinerary in Vatican City, the beating heart of the Roman Catholic Church and the residence of the Pope. If you’re in Rome during Easter or Christmas, you’ll even be able to witness the Pope speak from St. Peter’s Square.

Start your visit to Vatican City with the magnificent Vatican Museums, which showcase the immense collection of artworks amassed by the Catholic Church over the centuries, including some of the most important Renaissance masterpieces on earth.

Book your skip-the-line Vatican tour

Inside the Vatican Museums in Vatican City, Italy

Inside the Vatican Museums, you’ll find many extraordinary rooms and hidden gems. Some of the highlights include the Raphael Rooms, the Gallery of the Chandeliers, and the Gallery of Maps.

That said, the most iconic masterpiece is undoubtedly the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo spent four years painting the jaw-dropping frescoes that adorn the walls and ceiling of this chapel. It’s truly an awe-inspiring work of art.

🧔🏻 Why You Should Visit the Vatican on a Guided Tour
  • You’ll get guaranteed skip-the-ticket-line entrance and save hours waiting in line.
  • Some tours offer exclusive access to the museums before opening hours, allowing you to enjoy the attractions without the crowds.
  • Enter the St. Peter’s Basilica through a restricted passageway that’ll save you 20 minutes of walking and even more time lining up.
  • You’ll get to better understand and appreciate the museum’s attractions.

Book your skip-the-line Vatican tour

🌟 My Recommendations: The Best Guided Tours of the Vatican
Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy
🌟 Top Tips for Visiting the Vatican Without a Guided Tour
  • Book a skip-the-line entry ticket to enter the museums through a separate reserved entrance (the fastest one available). It only costs €5 more than the regular ticket but will save you hours of waiting in line.
  • Get free entry and skip the lines with the OMNIA Rome Card or the Best of Rome Pass.
  • During the peak season of May to mid-September, arrive at least 15-30 mins before the opening time to avoid the long lines (unless you have a skip-the-line ticket).
  • Avoid visiting on Mondays or over the weekend as that’s when the museums are the most crowded. All the other museums in Rome are closed on Mondays, making the Vatican especially popular on that day.
  • The Vatican Museums are free every last Sunday of each month, but be sure to arrive early in the morning if you don’t want to stand in line for hours. (Check official real-time updates as this offering is sometimes suspended.)
  • Be sure to dress appropriately — both men and women are required to have their shoulders, necklines, and thighs covered.

Book your skip-the-line entry ticket

The Vatican Museums Garden - Rome Tour Itinerary
Opening hours: See here for live info 
🎫 Entrance fees: Adults - €25 | Youth & students under 18 - €8 
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Vatican Early Entrance Small Group Tour (⭐️ 5/5)

2. St. Peter’s Basilica & Dome

2 min walk from Sistine Chapel through a restricted passageway
Suggested visit time: 11:30 am / Visit duration: 1.5-2 hours

After visiting the Vatican Museums, make your way to the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica. This basilica took a whole 120 years to build and is the largest church on earth. It also has the world’s tallest dome, which you can climb up to for a spectacular view of Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica is the holiest and most important pilgrimage site of the Catholic Church. Inside, you can see extraordinary works of art, such as Michelangelo’s famous Pietà sculpture. The grandeur of this church, from its ceiling down to its pillars, is truly awe-inspiring.

You can attend Holy Mass inside St. Peter’s Basilica. On weekdays, it’s held at 8:30 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm. On weekends and public holidays, it takes place at 9 am, 10:30 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1 pm, 4 pm, 4:45 pm, and 5:30 pm.

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Italy

🔥 Pro Tip: If you visit the Vatican with a guided tour, you can get to St. Peter’s Basilica from the Sistine Chapel in just 2 minutes, using an exclusive restricted passageway. If you visit independently, though, you’ll have to exit the Vatican Museums, walk for 20 minutes to St. Peter’s Basilica, and then stand in a long line to enter.

Don’t leave St. Peter’s Basilica without ascending to the top of its dome (cupola). I recommend doing this climb before exploring the basilica (and as early as you can) to avoid the mid-day heat and the long lines that will form later in the day.

To reach the top of the dome, you can either climb all 551 steps on foot, or take an elevator to the terrace and climb the remaining 320 steps on foot. The panoramic view of Rome from the dome is an unforgettable sight not to be missed.

 Basilica & Dome opening hours: See here for live info 
🎫 Basilica entrance fees: Free
🎫 Dome entrance fees: Elevator + 320 steps: €10 | Walk all 551 steps: €8
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Vatican Early Entrance Small Group Tour (⭐️ 5/5)

3. Lunch Near Vatican City

Recommended duration: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Most of the cafés and restaurants near Vatican City tend to be overpriced tourist traps. But, a 10-15 min walk will get you to some really authentic lunch spots. Head to Osteria dell’Angelo if you’d like to sit down for some exquisite carbonara.

If you’re short on time or budget, head over to 200 Gradi for some delicious panini, or to Pizzarium Bonci for some authentic pizza al taglio (pizza “by the slice”). This is a traditional Roman pizza served in rectangular slices.

You can find a variety of flavorful pizza al taglio toppings, such as zucchini, artichokes, potatoes, prosciutto, shrimps, sun-dried tomatoes, and black olives. I highly recommend trying this pizza at least once during your time in Rome.

Pizza al Taglio in Rome, Italy
Pizza al taglio – a must-try Roman specialty | 4 nights in Rome Italy

4. Castel Sant’Angelo

10 min walk from St. Peter’s Basilica
Suggested visit time: 2:45 pm / Visit duration: 20-30 mins

After lunch, take a stroll along the famous Via della Conciliazione to the stunning Castel Sant’Angelo, the next stop on your itinerary. Dating back to AD 139, this fortress was built by Emperor Hadrian, who intended to use it as a tomb for himself.

In the course of its history, Castel Sant’Angelo has protected the Pope during various sieges. Today, you can go inside this fortress to glimpse the chambers where the Pope once dwelled and enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the terrace.

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy

To be completely honest, considering your busy morning at the Vatican, I suggest simply enjoying the view of this historic fortress from Ponte Sant’Angelo — the big bridge in front of it. You’ll find some elegant statues and plenty of cool angles for photos.

With that said, if you haven’t yet had enough of panoramic views of Rome and would like to go inside this fortress, I highly recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket.

🎆 Insider Tip: Every year on June 29th, there are stunning fireworks at Castel Sant’Angelo to celebrate the Festa di San Pietro e Paolo. The atmosphere at the fortress is truly enchanting then, so be sure to drop by at night to witness this magic!

Opening hours: 9 am – 7:30 pm daily (last entry at 6:30 pm)
🎫 Entrance fees: Adults - €20.50 | EU citizens aged 18 – 25 - €3
(These fees are for going inside the fortress. Taking photos on the bridge is obviously free 🙂)

5. Lungotevere & Ponte Umberto I

Start right under the Castel Sant’Angelo bridge
Suggested visit time: 3:15 pm / Visit duration: 45 mins

Castel Sant’Angelo is right next to the River Tiber, which is surrounded by several picturesque bridges. Descend the stairs from the bridge facing the fortress to reach Lungotevere, a charming waterfront promenade ideal for a leisurely stroll. 

Wander towards the bridge Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II for marvelous views of the Vatican dome and Castel Sant’Angelo reflecting in the water. For extra relaxation, bring a bottle of wine and some snacks for a lovely picnic by the riverbank.

Afterward, head back in the other direction to Ponte Umberto I, the one bridge you shouldn’t miss during your 4 day tour of Rome. From this bridge, you’ll get a postcard-worthy view of St. Peter’s Basilica and the ancient buildings that surround it.

View from Ponte Umberto I - Rome Tourist Itinerary
The view of St. Peter’s Basilica from Ponte Umberto I

6. Piazza Navona

5 min walk from Ponte Umberto I
Suggested visit time: 4:15 pm / Visit duration: 30-40 mins

From Ponte Umberto I, make your way to Piazza Navona, one of the most enchanting squares in Rome. Spend some time taking in the majestic sculptures, artsy fountains, and lively atmosphere here; it’s truly breathtaking.

In ancient Roman days, Piazza Navona was a venue for festivals and sporting events. Today, it’s bustling with street performers, artists, and musicians. You’ll see plenty of artists’ stalls with charming paintings, live drawings, and entertainment for kids.

In the heart of the square stands the impressive Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, designed by Bernini in 1651. This fountain displays exceptional sculptural art, which is best admired while savoring a gelato — yes, there are plenty of gelaterie around this square!

If you’re an early riser, come back to this piazza early in the morning (before 8 am). There will be barely anyone else around — just a handful of locals walking their dogs — and it’s an absolutely magical experience; like stepping into a gorgeous painting.

🍕 Insider Tip: There are many restaurants inside Piazza Navona, but the vast majority of them are tourist traps. You’ll find plenty of authentic and more affordable restaurants elsewhere in the historic center, so I don’t recommend eating here.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

7. Evening Food Tour of Rome

4 min walk from Piazza Navona
Suggested visit time: 5 pm / Visit duration: 3-4 hours

There’s no better way to end your third day in Rome than with an exquisite food tour. Several of them start inside or right by Campo de’ Fiori, a vibrant square that hosts farmers’ markets during the day. It’s also right next door to Piazza Navona.

These food tours generally start at around 5:15-5:30 pm, so if you follow this itinerary, you’d get here just in time for it.

I do recommend coming back to Campo de’ Fiori at night if you want to experience Rome’s nightlife. It is surrounded by bars and really comes alive in the evening. Trastevere and Testaccio are also great neighborhoods to check out for nightlife.

Book your guided food tour

Campo de' Fiori - Best 4 Day Itinerary Rome
Campo de’ Fiori in the evening – where your food tour will begin
🍕 Why You Should Join a Guided Food Tour in Rome

Joining a guided food tour is a great way to deep-dive into local culture and try unique specialties that you might not find on your own. It’s a fun twist from a regular dinner.

In just one evening, you’ll get to feast on delicious food from several top spots in town — places that have been around for ages and are very loved by the locals. Plus, you’ll also get to learn secret Italian food tips from expert chefs.

🌟 My Recommendations: The Top 2 Evening Food Tours of Rome
Street Food Tour in Rome, Italy

🗓 Day 4 in Rome: The Hidden Gems

1. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Suggested visit time: 9 am / Visit duration: 45 mins – 1 hour

Day four of this 4 day Rome itinerary will focus on the less touristy and quieter attractions surrounding Rome’s historic center, starting with the spectacular Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore – one of the first churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Dating back to the 4th century, this church displays a captivating fusion of various architectural styles, including Christian, Renaissance, and Baroque. I recommend booking a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of its fascinating history.

While the basilica’s exterior façade is remarkable, the interior is even more awe-inspiring. Its splendid guilded ceilings, grandiose Ionic columns, and intricate Byzantine-style mosaics are truly something else.

Different parts of the basilica belong to different periods of Roman history. In fact, the design of this church reflects the evolution of Christian art in Rome. Take a moment to appreciate the immense history around you without the tourist crowds.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy
Opening hours: 7 am – 6:45 pm daily 
🎫 Entrance fees: Free
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Basilica Santa Maria Guided Tour (⭐️ 4.5/5)

2. Scala Sancta

18 min walk or 10 min by bus from Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Suggested visit time: 10:30 am / Visit duration: 20-30 mins

The Scala Sancta (AKA Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs) are thought to be the stairs that Jesus walked up in Pilate’s Palace, Jerusalem, the day he was condemned to death. The stairs were then brought to Rome by St. Helena in the 4th century.

Today, these stairs are considered sacred and are a major pilgrimage site for Catholics. In fact, they can only be climbed on one’s knees, with many saying a prayer on each of the 28 steps. There are also other staircases on either side for those who prefer to walk up.

At the top of the staircase lies the Sancta Sanctorum, the ancient private chapel of the Popes. Adorned with precious frescoes and beautiful mosaics, this chapel also features an image of Jesus seated on a throne.

Opening hours: See here for live info
🎫 Entrance fees: €3.50
🌐 Best online ticket: Lateran Complex with Audio Guide (⭐️ 4.5/5)

3. Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

2 min walk from Scala Sancta
Suggested visit time: 11 am / Visit duration: 45 mins – 1 hour

Right next to Scala Sancta is the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the oldest and most highly ranked basilica in Rome. In fact, it’s known in the Christian world as the ‘Mother of All Churches in the World’, and is definitely worth a visit.

Founded in 313 under emperor Constantine, the church originally served as a papal residence and remains one of the four papal churches in Rome today, along with the St. Peter’s Basilica and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Book your ticket with audio guide

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome, Italy

Its interior is absolutely stunning. Take a moment to appreciate the frescoes on the ceiling designed by Michelangelo, the statues of the twelve apostles sculpted by Bernini’s students, and the gothically decorated papal altar at the center of the church.

You’ll also find six papal tombs inside this church, along with mesmerizing mosaic floors. If you want to spend more time here, do check out the Treasure Museum inside the church and the Baptistery in the square behind it.

Opening hours: 7 am - 6:30 pm daily
🎫 Entrance fees: Free
🎧 Get an audio guide: Lateran Complex with Audio Guide (⭐️ 4.5/5)

4. Lunch in San Giovanni

Recommended duration: 12 pm – 2 pm

After a morning of churches and holy sites, it’s time to sit down for lunch, and you’re at just the right neighborhood for it. San Giovanni is a great area for food because it offers restaurants that are a lot more affordable compared to the historic center.

Ristorante Leon is an amazing option and very loved by locals. It’s also on the way to your next stop (Baths of Caracalla). Alternatively, Ristorante Romolo e Remo is another option neaby with authentic Roman dishes.

A Plate of Pasta Amatriciana in Rome, Italy
Pasta all’amatriciana | travel itinerary Rome

5. Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla)

15 min walk from restaurants recommended above
Suggested visit time: 2:15 pm / Visit duration: 1-1.5 hours

After lunch, it’s time for more history. Make your way to Baths of Caracalla to explore some impressive ancient Roman public baths. Built between AD 212 and 216, this hidden gem is one of the biggest and most luxurious thermal complexes of the Roman Empire.

The Romans loved going to public baths; it was their favorite way to socialize. Baths of Caracalla housed more than just baths, though. For over 300 years, people exercised there, strolled the gardens, visited libraries, and worshipped gods at the temples.

Book your skip-the-line tour

One aspect that makes a visit to Baths of Caracalla especially enjoyable is that it’s not on the regular tourist path, so you won’t encounter large crowds here. In fact, there are plenty of corners where you can admire these ancient ruins in peace and quiet.

🎧 Top Tip: To fully immerse yourself in Baths of Caracalla, grab a set of virtual reality goggles at the entrance for an extra €7. With it, you’ll see the digital reconstruction of how each site here looked back in the days, and won’t have to only imagine it.

Opening hours: See here for live info
🎫 Entrance fees: Regular - €8 | EU citizens aged 18-25 - €2 
🧔🏻 Recommended guided tour: Caracalla Baths & Circus Maximus Tour (⭐️ 4.8/5)

6. Pyramid of Caius Cestius & Non-Catholic Cemetery

20 min walk or 15 min bus from Baths of Caracalla
Suggested visit time: 4:15 pm / Visit duration: 30 mins

The next stop on this 4 day Rome tour is the artsy neighborhood of Testaccio. Known for its top-notch food, local market, and tranquil parks, this area is where you’ll get a glimpe of ‘real Rome’. There are no tourists here. Just a whole lot of romanità (“Romanness”).

Start your tour of Testaccio at the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, the only “Egyptian” pyramid in Europe and the legendary tomb of Remus. Thought to be built between 18 and 12 BC, it is covered in white marble and stands 36.5 meters (almost 120 feet) tall.

You can only go inside the pyramid with special permission, but can easily enjoy a flawless view of it from the nearby Non-Catholic Cemetery. Try to spot the cute felines that roam there, as this complex is also home to one of Rome’s main cat sanctuaries.

Pyramid of Caius Cestius in Testaccio in Rome, Italy
Non-Catholic Cemetery opening hours: Monday - Satuday: 9 am - 4:30 pm | Sunday: 9 am - 12:30 pm
🎫 Non-Catholic Cemetery entrance fees: Free (you can view the Pyramid from here)

7. Wander Around Testaccio

Recommended duration: 4:45 pm – 6:45 pm*

*Note: There’s a sunset spot coming up for later in the day, and it’s a pretty cool one. Check the sunset time in Rome – if it’s happening soon or earlier than 7:30 pm, be sure you’re in Giardino degli Aranci in time for it, and therefore don’t spend 2 hours in Testaccio.

There are plenty of ways to unwind in Testaccio afterwards. Find a bench in Piazza Testaccio and people-watch. Or, for some ‘casual history’, head to Porta San Paolo, a famous gate in the 3rd-century Aurelian Walls.

For something adventurous, climb up the mild slope of Monte Testaccio (AKA Monte dei Cocci), a mysterious hill made of 80 million ancient Roman jars. For over 250 years, ancient Romans meticulously stacked broken terracotta amphorae (oil jars) to create it.

See here for more info on how to visit Monte Testaccio – you’d have to call a number to book your visit first, but it’s well worth it if you want to check out something very out of the ordinary – one of the largest and best-preserved ancient dump sites.

8. Buco della Serratura (Aventine Keyhole)

Around 15 min walk from Testaccio
Suggested visit time: 7 pm / Visit duration: 5-20 mins

Your next stop will be a quick but captivating one. Buco della Serratura (AKA Aventine Keyhole) is a tiny peephole on a portal that offers a magnificent vista. It might not look like much from the outside, but trust me — get up close and take a peek.

What you’ll see is an enchanting telescoped view of the Vatican Dome, perfectly framed by the shrubs of a garden that belongs to the Priory of the Knights of Malta (a Roman Catholic religious order of crusader knights).

📸 Photo Tip: To capture a closeup of the Vatican Dome through this keyhole, bring a telephoto lens. I shot the photo on the right (above) with my Nikon D610 + Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G at 300mm, 1/160, f/11, and ISO 500.

While this keyhole remains a well-kept secret from most tourists, there can still be a long line of visitors waiting to take a peek in front of the door. That’s why your visit can last anywhere between 2 minutes to half an hour.

My suggestion is: if the line looks like it’ll take longer than 20 minutes, then don’t bother waiting and simply get to the next stop of this itinerary — you’ll still get the splendid view of the Vatican Dome there, except just not through a keyhole.

Buco della Serratura in Rome, Italy
The view when you peek inside the Aventine Keyhole | 4 day breaks to Rome
Opening hours: 24/7
🎫 Entrance fees: None

9. Giardino degli Aranci – Sunset

3 min walk from Buco della Serratura
Suggested visit time: 7:30 pm or sunset / Visit duration: 30-45 mins

Very close to Buco della Serratura is the dreamy Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden), named after the several orange trees growing there. This gorgeous garden is where you’ll be catching a spectacular sunset (check sunset time to plan accordingly).

If you didn’t get a chance to see the Vatican Dome from Buco della Serratura, worry not — you’ll get an equally magical sighting of it from this garden’s romantic viewing platform, along with an unforgettable 180° panorama of the Roman skyline.

Of course, don’t forget to stroll amidst the serene orange trees, cypresses, laurels, and pines adorning this charming garden. If you’re visiting between May and August, the sun actually sets around 8:30-9 pm in Rome, so you’ll have plenty of time to simply unwind.

Opening hours: 7 am until just after sunset, daily
🎫 Entrance fees: None

10. Dinner in Trastevere

15-20 min walk from Giardino degli Aranci

You may remember the foodie neighborhood of Trastevere from day 2 of this Rome 4-day itinerary. From Giardino degli Aranci, simply cross Ponte Sublicio or Ponte Palatino (both are bridges) to get a wide array of amazing dining options at your footsteps.

In the Trastevere section of this guide, I mentioned a few restaurants: La Tavernetta 29, Grazia & Graziella, and Nannarella. If you’d prefer a shorter walk to dinner, though, check out Trattoria Da Enzo al 29. Whatever you choose, be sure to book weeks in advance!

If you follow this itinerary and are here between May and August, you’ll be done with Giardino degli Aranci at around 8:30-9 pm (sunset time). I know dinner at 9 pm might seem late, but it’s a very normal dinner time in Italy, so feel free to do as the Romans do!

Dining in Trastevere in Rome, Italy

11. Isola Tiberina – Summer NIGHT Drinks

Around 5-10 min walk from Trastevere

If you’re planning to visit Rome in the summer and want to soak up the nighttime atmosphere in town after dinner — drop by Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) for some refreshing drinks and lively entertainment.

Isola Tiberina is a charming little island in the middle of River Tiber. Though it’s interesting to see during the day as well (it’s home to the beautiful Basilica di San Bartolomeo), it’s at nighttime when this place truly comes to life.

On summer evenings (and only in the summer), rows of pop-up bars, food stalls, and live music fill the riverbanks of the island. There are also tons of restaurants year-round here, as well as game stalls and an outdoor cinema in the summer.

Isola Tiberina Lit Up at Night in Rome, Italy
The vibrant Isola Tiberina at night | Itinerary for Rome, Italy

🏡 Where to Stay in Rome for 4 Days

If you want to be close to the best things to do in Rome in 4 days, I suggest staying in centro storico, the historic center of the city. This will allow you to be within walking distance of almost all the main attractions in Rome. Here are my top picks.

A Hotel in Central Rome
Photo courtesy of Otivm Hotel via

OVERALL TOP PICK: Otivm Hotel (⭐ 9.0)
This top-value hotel features a dreamy roof terrace that offers breathtaking views of the historic center. Guests can enjoy breakfast there with an epic view. Most attractions are within close walking distance, and the rooms are luxurious — yet priced very generously.

Check rates & availability

A Hotel in Central Rome
Photo courtesy of Singer Palace Hotel via

TOP ROMANTIC HOTEL: Singer Palace (⭐ 9.4) This magnificent boutique hotel is only a 5-min walk to the iconic Trevi Fountain and is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Their rooftop restaurant is a magical place to enjoy a dreamy breakfast or dinner, and all the rooms feature gorgeous décor.

Check rates & availability

A Hotel in Central Rome
Photo courtesy of Hotel Martis Palace via

TOP LUXURY HOTEL: Martis Palace (⭐ 9.0)
This stunning hotel next to Piazza Navona features an incredible roof terrace with a view. There is also an on-site bar, free WiFi throughout the property, and soundproofed rooms each with a flat-screen TV. In addition, guests can enjoy a discount at a nearby spa!

Check rates & availability

Where to Stay in Rome for 3 Days
Photo courtesy of Hotel Amalfi via

TOP BUDGET HOTEL: Hotel Amalfi (⭐ 8.5)
This hotel is very close to the Termini train station and is a 15-min walk to the Colosseum. Each room features an AC, free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and beautiful frescoed ceilings. There’s also an extensive breakfast with eggs, bacon, and fresh pastries.

Check rates & availability

Read more: Where to Stay in Rome: The Best Areas + Hotels

🎟️ Rome Trip Planner: Save Money & Skip the Lines

One thing to keep in mind on how to plan a trip to Rome: there are tourist passes that give you discounts and fast-track entry into the most crowded attractions in the city. While there are no 4-day tourist passes, you can easily benefit from a 3-day pass.

The best 3 Rome tourist passes are the Roma Pass, the Best of Rome Pass, and the OMNIA Rome Card (my top recommendation). Let’s look at each of them in detail.

💳 Roma Pass: 48 or 72-Hour City Card ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Free skip-the-line admission to one (48-hours pass) or two (72-hours pass) museums or archaeological sites (like the Colosseum) ✅
  • Discounted tickets for all other museums and archaeological sites visited afterward ✅
  • Free unlimited use of Rome’s public transportation (metro, buses, trams, etc.) ✅
  • Free guidebook + map of Rome ✅
  • Does not include fast track entry or discounts for the Vatican ❌

Learn more about the Roma Pass

🎫 Best of Rome Pass ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Free skip-the-line admission to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hills, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel ✅
  • Fast track entry to St. Peter’s Basilica (can save you hours) + free audio guide ✅
  • Free unlimited use of Rome’s public transportation (metro, buses, trams, etc.) ✅
  • Valid for 72 hours ✅
  • Does not include admission to St. Peter’s Basilica’s dome ❌

Learn more about the Best of Rome Pass

🏆 Top Pick: OMNIA Rome Card ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Includes the 72-hour Roma Pass and all its benefits ✅
  • Free skip-the-line admission to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel ✅
  • Fast track entry to St. Peter’s Basilica (can save you hours) + free audio guide ✅
  • Free skip-the-line admission to 2 museums/archaeological sites (like the Colosseum) ✅
  • Discounted ticket prices for 30+ museums and archaeological sites ✅
  • Free unlimited use of Rome’s public transportation (buses, trains, Metro, etc.) ✅
  • Free guidebook + map of Rome & Vatican City ✅
  • Free panoramic 3-day hop-on hop-off bus tour of Rome ✅
  • The 3-day Rome pass with the best value for money ⭐

Learn more about the OMNIA Card

🗺 4 Days in Rome: Travel Itinerary Map

Here’s a map of what to see in Rome in 4 days, including all the places mentioned in this itinerary. You can click here to see it in full on Google Maps.

Map of 4 Day Rome Itinerary
Best Rome itinerary map for 4 days

🤔 Are Four Days in Rome Enough?

Yes, visiting Rome for 4 days will given you plenty of time to explore not just its main tourist attractions, but also many of its hidden gems. Even spending 3 days in Rome will allow you to cover all the most unmissable activities.

With that said, if you prefer slow travel and to experience more of local life, then opt to stay for 5 days to a week, as 4 days won’t be enough for that.

With a week in Rome, you’ll not only get to sightsee at a much more relaxing pace, but can even choose from the many amazing day trips from Rome.

Related: The Best 3-Day Rome Itinerary + Tips From a Local

☀️ The Best Time to Visit Rome

The “best time” to visit Rome is very subjective and really depends on what you prioritize, be it weather, prices, or lack of crowds. Also, note that Rome doesn’t have a true low season as it is crowded year-round. The “low season” below is only relative.

❄️ Low season: From mid-November to mid-December and mid-January to early March, you’ll see the least amount of crowds and the lowest hotel prices. Temperatures are around 3-13°C / 37-55°F. Note that Christmas and New Year’s are exceptions and see a big increase in tourists.

🍁 Shoulder season: Mid-March to early May and mid-September to early November will see a moderate amount of crowds and mild temperatures (9-22°C / 48-71°F). The shoulder season is liked by many, though, so definitely book tickets for attractions in advance!

🌸 High season: Mid-May to early September is when Rome is at its busiest. Expect very long lines at attractions and high hotel prices. Avoid this season if you can’t stand crowds. With that said, the weather is at its warmest during this time of year (17-31°C / 62-87°F).

Near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

✈️ How to Get to Rome

There are two airports in Rome: Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA).

Fiumicino (AKA Leonardo da Vinci International Airport) is the main international airport and is connected by direct flights to countless cities around the world, including Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City.

Ciampino is a much smaller airport that serves mostly domestic and European flights. Both of these airports are well connected to the city center via trains and buses, so simply choose according to flight prices.

If you’re arriving from another city in Italy, consider taking a domestic Trenitalia train to Roma Termini, the most central train station in town. You can find train timetables and tickets on Trenitalia or Omio.

Search for flights to Rome

🚗 Getting From Fiumicino Airport to Rome by Car / Taxi

The most convenient way to get to Rome from Fiumicino Airport is to book a private transfer directly to your hotel. The price is the same as taking a taxi, but you won’t need to wait in line for a taxi at the airport. The journey should take 40-50 mins depending on traffic.

🚕 Insider Tip: If you prefer taking a taxi, always take an official white taxi from the taxi stand outside the terminal. Do not go with the drivers waiting inside the terminal. A taxi ride to the center of Rome from Fiumicino should cost you a fixed rate of €50.

Book a private transfer to your hotel

🚊 Getting From Fiumicino Airport to Rome by Bus/Train

If you’re looking for a more affordable way of getting to Rome, book a direct bus transfer to Roma Termini from Fiumicino Airport. The journey takes 1 hour and the bus ticket costs around €6. You can then take the metro to your hotel from Roma Termini.

There’s also a bus that takes you from Fiumicino to Vatican City, if you’re staying in that area. This journey takes around 50 minutes and the bus ticket costs around €7.

Trains will get you to Rome in around half the time the bus takes. There are two trains connecting Fiumicino to Rome’s city center: the Leonardo Express and the regional train.

I recommend taking the Leonardo Express for its convenience. In 30 mins, it takes you directly from Fiumicino to Roma Termini, which is on both Metro lines A and B. A ticket costs €18, and you can book it here.

I don’t recommend taking the regional train. While it costs €8, it’s often delayed and unreliable, and taking a bus is actually cheaper.

But if you want a true local experience, the regional train stops at Ostiense (in 30 mins), Trastevere (in 30 mins), and Tiburtina (in 50 mins). To connect to the Metro, get off at Ostiense and walk to the Piramide Metro station.

🚌 Getting From Ciampino Airport to Rome

A taxi from Ciampino Airport to the city center should cost €31 and would take around 40-50 mins depending on traffic. For more convenience, you can also book a private transfer directly to your hotel.

🌟 Top Tip: The best balance between price and convenience is to book a shuttle bus transfer. It’ll take you directly to Roma Termini (which is on both Metro lines A and B) in 45 mins and the ticket costs €6.

With that said, the cheapest option is to take the regional train. It’d get you to Roma Termini in 30-40 mins and only costs €2.70. However, you’d have to take a bus from the ‘Ciampino Airport’ stop to the ‘Ciampino’ stop first, and switch to another train from there.

Ancient Ruins in Rome, Italy
Foro Traiano (Trajan’s Forum) near Piazza Venezia | best itinerary for Rome

🛵 Getting Around Rome for 4 Days

🚇 By Foot & By Metro

Most of Rome’s attractions are within walking distance of each other, making walking the best way to explore the city. The city center is very pleasant to stroll, and you often discover the best hidden gems by simply getting “lost” in the cobblestone alleys.

Walking is not for everyone, though. Alternatively, you can take the Metro, which is usually very reliable and convenient. There are 3 Metro lines in Rome: Line A (red), Line B (blue), and Line C (green).

Most tourist attractions in Rome are connected via the Metro, and you’ll likely have to take it when visiting the Vatican, which is a bit of a walk from the historic center.

Ride the Metro for free in Rome

Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy
Piazza del Popolo | Rome trip itinerary

🚌 By Public Bus

You can also take public buses to get around Rome, although I don’t recommend it. Traffic in Rome is really bad, so getting around by bus or car can be very time-consuming.

The buses in the city center are also usually incredibly crowded, and as a result, a breeding ground for pickpockets. I suggest taking the Metro instead for efficiency, but of course, watch out for your belongings there as well.

🎫 Tickets for Public Transportation

You will need a BIT ticket (biglietto semplice) to ride public transport in Rome.

A one-way ticket costs €1.50 and is valid for 75 mins. It can be used for the Metro, buses, trams, and urban trains inside Rome.

Alternatively, you can get free bus & metro rides with the OMNIA Card.

You can buy BIT tickets inside any Metro station and at any tabaccheria (tobacco shop) or edicola (newsstand) around town. You will not be able to buy tickets onboard buses, so be sure to have one with you before boarding!

🎫 Top Tip: Don’t forget to validate your ticket once you get on the bus, at one of the ticket machines onboard. Otherwise, you can get fined when the police randomly come onboard to do their checks.

🧳 Luggage Storage in Rome

⛲️ At the Centro Storico (Historic Center)

While most hotels in Rome will let you store your luggage with them before check-in/after check-out, there’s also an easy way to store it in the historic center of Rome.

Head to City Center Luggage Storage – they have locations at the Colosseum, the Vatican, and Piazza Navona.

🚉 At the Roma Termini Station

Alternatively, you can also store your luggage at the Roma Termini station. Simply head over to Via Giovanni Giolitti 127 and you’ll see the ‘Luggage Deposit’ store on the sidewalk across from the station. You can also book this service online here.

Roma Termini is the most well-connected station in Rome. It’s on Metro lines A and B and is the final destination for a lot of airport trains and shuttles. If you’re traveling to Rome from other cities in Italy by train, Termini is where you’ll arrive.

Lungotevere in Rome, Italy
View from the Lungotevere | Visit Rome in 4 days

💰 4 Days in Rome Budget

If you’re a budget traveler, expect to spend around €50 per day in Rome. This means staying in cheap hostels and getting casual pizza/panini to-go rather than sitting down at restaurants.

If you’re a comfort traveler, you’re likely to spend around €100 per day, by staying in boutique hotels and spending moderately at restaurants. If you’re a luxury traveler, expect to spend over €175 a day if you’re staying at luxury hotels and enjoy fine dining.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the budget:

🏨 Accommodation (per night): €7-25 budget / €40-85 comfort / €85-450 luxury

🍝 Food: €15 at restaurants (for a main dish + non-alcoholic drink) / €3-7 for pizza/panini to-go

🚇 Transportation: €1.50 for every Metro, bus, tram, or urban train ticket (valid for 75 mins) | Free with the Roma Pass or OMNIA Rome Card

🎫 Admission to museums & attractions: €8-25 | Some are free or discounted with the Roma Pass, OMNIA Rome Card, or the Best of Rome Pass

🍕 Where to Eat on a 4 Day Trip to Rome

No 4 days in Rome plan would be complete without a delicious meal — you’re in Italy, after all. While there are already plenty of food tips on this itinerary, here are some more:

  • Cantina & Cucina — A few steps from Piazza Navona, this place has incredible pasta and pizza. Try their fried octopus as well.
  • Forno Campo de’ Fiori ⁠— This place has some of the best pizza in town; try the Roman specialty of pizza bianca with mortazza.
  • Felice a Testaccio ⁠— Definitely make a booking before going, and try their tonnarelli cacio e pepe; you won’t regret it!
  • Roscioli ⁠— A few steps from Campo de’ Fiori; their pasta dishes are heavenly.
  • Two Sizes Tiramisù — The best tiramisù in Rome is here; try their pistacchio tiramisù!
  • Gelateria Come il Latte⁠ — One of the most authentic gelaterias in town; you’ll see what I mean just by the smell when you walk in.
A Hand Holding a Gelato on a Saturday in Rome

🔮 Travel Insurance for Italy

I never thought I needed travel insurance… until I did. And I’m a careful traveler. Sometimes, things are simply out of your control.

During my many years of traveling, I’ve gotten into a really scary car accident while riding in the back of a taxi, have needed emergency dental services, and have almost had all my valuables stolen. (These were all from separate trips).

I use Heymondo and can highly recommend them — they provide 24/7 worldwide assistance (with Covid-19 coverage included), and no hidden out-of-pocket fees.

Get a quote from Heymondo

🎒 Tips for Safety in Rome

Rome is generally a safe destination, but as you’ve most likely heard: pickpockets thrive in the city center, especially at the main tourist attractions (such as Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Vatican), on the Metro, and on buses.

Unfortunately, the pickpockets in Rome are super fast and extremely skilled at what they do, so always keep an eye (and hand) on your belongings!

🌟 Top Tip: The risk of theft is especially high at the Termini station and on the extremely popular Bus No. 64, which goes from Termini to the Vatican. Be extra careful at the crowded Metro stations of Cipro, Spagna, Colosseo, and Barberini as well. Also, never leave your backpack hanging off the back of your chair at restaurants.

Here are a few items you can pack to make your trip to Rome safer:

This Slash-Proof Purse has slash-resistant body panels and shoulder straps, which can be secured to a stationary object. It comes with RFID blocking too to protect your cards & IDs, so you can travel with peace of mind.

This Anti-Theft Travel Backpack comes with a fixed anti-theft password lock, RFID blocking which protects your cards and IDs, and a USB charging port. It also works great as a laptop bag or a hiking daypack.

📸 My Rome Photography Gear

This is the photography gear I used to capture most of the pictures featured in this guide. You can also see my recommendations for the best cameras for bloggers.

I hope this itinerary for 4 days in Rome has been helpful!

For further reading on Rome and Italy, discover:
🏡 Where to Stay in Rome: Best Areas + Hotels
🛵 3 Days in Rome: The Ultimate Itinerary
🍝 2 Days in Rome: The Ultimate Itinerary
🌃 Top 12 Rome By Night Tours to Take
🏠 22 Gorgeous Rome Airbnbs to Stay in
🇮🇹 36 Famous Landmarks in Italy

For further reading on other European destinations, discover:
🚗 10 Days in Europe: 25+ Epic Itineraries
🚊 3 Weeks in Europe: 15 Perfect Itineraries
🏰 28 Best Hidden Gems in Europe
🌎 50+ Best Dream Vacations to Take

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