After this experience, I’ve realized how much I love running tours. Now I’m a licensed tour guide in Rome!
My “british family” had just 6 hours for visiting me and discovering my city for the very first time.
Despite one life is not enough to discover Rome, by following this tour, you’ll catch the place. I promise!
Rome in 1 day | Highlights walking tour
h 10.00 a.m my family arrived at the main train station, Termini Station (Termini is a place where you should stay as less as you can, keeping an eye to your belongings. As soon as I picked ‘family’ up, we went straight to the Colosseum taking the underground (B line). Out of the station everybody’s heartbeating went crazy: we had this great monument in front of us, in all Its magnificence!
After many pictures , we took a walk around and crossing the well-known path of Via dei Fori Imperiali through Roman forum and Imperial forum.
The walk brought us to Altare della Patria (“Altar of the Fatherland”) in Piazza Venezia. It is a huge celebrative monument in honour of the first king of a unified Italy; it is something that most of the tourists usually love, but – in my opinion – it is just an attempt to copy classical architecture. From there, the most common choice would be walking along via del Corso (suggested just for shopping), but I preferred to avoid it and let my guest discover the maze of streets at its right side, heading to the Pantheon.
As soon as we got a glimpse of it: “OH GOSH!” was the reaction of my british guests . The Pantheon, “(the temple of) all the gods”, nowadays is a church, so you can enter for free and without spending hours queuing. It is an astonishing masterpiece of architecture and engineering. It still holds the record for the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome: ancient Romans are unreachable.
Rome in 1 day | My favourite coffee place
Nearby we tasted “La tazza d’oro”, the house of coffee: a “granita” in summer is always a good idea. (“Granita” is an Italian frozen dessert)
Rome in 1 day | Highlights & hidden gems
One of my favorite parts of Rome are the lanes behind the stunning Piazza Navona. Usually people go there by mistake or just walking from a place to another. I decided to go there on purpose, instead. You can find historical workshops, and there life flowing quietly as a century ago, 200 meters far from traffic and mess. The lanes around via della Pace, are really suggestive, but the street I prefer is perhaps via del Governo Vecchio. I suggest you to take a look to “Altroquando”, an interesting library where you can find also many posters of movies and nerd stuff ;). This road ends up in “Piazza di Pasquino”. You will notice a small statue, that will seem to you as an anonimous landmark compared to what we have. It is actually special: it is Pasquino, a marble statue form the III century b.C., that has became popular in the XVI century. In fact, people used to hang around its neck satires (called “Pasquinate”) against politicians and public figures of that age. Details are really important to understand Rome!
Our next stop is the well-known Trevi’s fountain. Understandably, everybody is curious to see how it looks for real after having seen it in many movies. After such a great wonder, we head to Piazza di Spagna enjoying the left side streets of via del Corso. The idea was having a break by the Spanish Steps, in front of the marvellous Bernini’s Fountain called “La Barcaccia”.
WARNING: Since 2019 is forbidden having a sit on the Spanish Steps!
Rome in 1 day | The most Roman lunch ever
Where you can eat in such a touristic place full of expensive brand shops? The answer is: “Il Pastificio” in Via della Croce. By spending just 4€, you can have a huge portion of one of the two hand made pasta of the day with a glass of water or a cheap wine included! I think that just some italian grandma can do pasta better than they do. It is a really small shop, where there is barely a place to sit, but it’s worth sacrifing the comfort for a tasty take-away lunch.
Rome in 1 day | Streets off the beaten path
After taking refreshment and sitting for a while, we walked along another quiet and hidden treasure: Via Margutta. Nowadays is full of contemporary art workshop and exposition, but there is still the taste of past ages somewhere. There are plants over many façades- the ancestors of the contemporary vertical gardens – and there is a place I love: the marble worker, “Il Marmoraro”.
He is an old architect who works marble making inscriptions both in Roman dialect and in Latin. I feel deeply at home, every time I get there. Also my guests realised that that place was something local, far away from the most beaten paths.
Rome in 1 day | Top view
Time was running out, but we had enough of it to visit one of the greatest park in Rome: Villa Borghese. I love this place for sports activities as rollerskating, as long as many other attractions. I could show my guests only the view from the “Pincio”: an upper terrace inside this Villa where you can enjoy a lovely panorama.
After many shootings, I wanted to show them an uncommon place, that it is quite interesting for british people: The globe theater of Rome. Inside this park has been built a perfect copy of the theater where Shakespeare’s plays took place. Every summer Romans can enjoy tragedies and comedies from this great english poet, but mostly in Italian.
That was the very end of the visit, we had time left to go straight downhill through “viale Washington” in order to catch the underground at Flaminio station and getting off at Termini, where their train let at 4 a.m.
It’s always great see the emotion through the eyes of my friends from abroad visiting the Capital. I will never get used to the magnificent of ancient Rome, even after a thousand times I look at it.