I am currently in Rome on a three week business trip, and have the pleasure of enjoying two weekends in this beautiful city. Having been here several times, I also have the privilege of sharing suggestions with colleagues on where to go and what to see. This past weekend, I spent what I consider to be the perfect day in Rome and covered most of the key highlights the city has to offer. If you ever find yourself here and only have a limited time to stay, consider following my suggested itinerary.
The first “must do” on my list is grabbing a 9 am cappuccino at one of the cafes in the Piazza del Popolo. At this hour, the square is rather tranquil, yet still offers fabulous people watching opportunities. Not to mention, it is a perfect starting point for a walk through Rome’s prime shopping area.
Next, I suggest strolling down Via del Corso, stopping in any of the stores that peak your interest. While you will find many well-known chain stores, there are also several local boutiques to enjoy with chic and moderately priced clothing and accessories.
Turn left on Via Condotti to gaze at the windows of the high fashion shops including Gucci and Max Mara. At the end of the street you will arrive at the famous Spanish steps. Sit on the stairs to enjoy the scene and recharge your batteries. Once you have taken the required photo, make your way back down Via Condotti and stop in the beautiful Antico Café Greco for an espresso.
Return to Via del Corso, cross the street, and continue for several blocks turning right once you reach Via di Pietra. This extremely charming small road will eventually reveal beautiful Roman columns of a temple built to honor Emperor Hadrian in 144 AD. Continue on this path until you reach the magnificent Pantheon. However, I highly recommend stopping in one of the hundreds of souvenir shops along the way.
After admiring the impressive architecture of the Pantheon, have lunch at one of the café restaurants in the Piazza della Rotonda, or choose a more intimate setting nearby on the streets of Via Maddalena or Via delle Coppelle. Before leaving the neighborhood, there are two more must see spots. First is a stop at the Sant’Eustacchio il Caffe for their famous Gran Caffé, which many claim is Rome’s best coffee. Lastly, visit the fabulous gelatteria called Della Palma for dessert, which offers the most variety of gelato flavors I have ever seen.
After exiting Della Palma, turn right onto Via delle Coppelle and take this quiet street unitl you finally reach the hopelessly romantic Piazza Navona with its three incredible fountains. Spend some time admiring the beautiful sculptures and the baroque church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.
The perfect way to end the day is to follow the small streets near the Piazza Navona to reach the pizzeria La Montecarlo tucked away on13 Vicolo Savelli. This is a great place for thin crust pizza at reasonable prices. It comes highly recommended by many of my Roman contacts.
As always, I wish you the best of travels!