Getting to Rome by train
How do you get to Rome by train? Direct trains to the Italian capital run from many well-connected stations within Italy, as well as many key international hubs. If you're already exploring Italy's northern areas, you'll easily find daily direct trains running from the main cities to the capital. For example, you can get from Bologna to Rome in under three hours on Frecciarossa or Italo high-speed trains. Similarly, if you're visiting the stunning city of Florence, you'll have no problem catching direct Le Frecce or Italo trains from Florence to Rome, or even Milan to Rome. Have a peek at our special offers and deals on cheap train tickets in Italy for some great savings.
Day 1 – Epic views and secret keyholes
Rome is bursting full of incredible things to see and do, so make your first day all about taking in the big picture without overloading yourself. Take some time to get settled into your accommodation, and then get yourself a map of the city centre. With historical wonders on every corner, Rome is best explored by foot so that a good map will be your greatest ally. How about some epic views of the city to get you started?
Make your way to the Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills on which Rome is built, where you'll find Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta (‘Square of the Knights of Malta’). While the buildings surrounding the square are rich with their ancient histories, it's the big green door you'll want. You might spot a mysterious queue here, waiting to have a quick peek through its keyhole. It's worth the wait, revealing a secret garden with a magical view of St Peter's Dome. For some of the best vistas over the whole city, head over to the Basilica of Santa Sabina just a few minutes' walk away. This is Rome's oldest major basilica, with its beautiful Orange Garden. You'll find a romantic platform with vast views towards the Vatican. It's a gorgeous place to sit, meditate, and pinpoint the major sights you'll be visiting.
Ready for a relaxing and colourful evening drinking in the local culture? Saunter from the Aventine Hill towards the alternative district of San Lorenzo. On your walk, you'll pass by the Colosseum, the Parco del Colle Oppio (Nero's house), and many other major sights. San Lorenzo is a fabulous place to escape the tourist throngs and enjoy genuine, affordable food and drinks that don't just cater to the day trippers. You'll find unique boutique shops, cheap eateries, and bustling bars filled with artists and vibrant locals. Also, San Lorenzo is home to Said, the best chocolate shop in Rome – try their triple hot chocolate!
Day 2 – The Vatican and a cat sanctuary
Before setting out on an action-packed second day of your Rome weekend, have yourself a locally-inspired breakfast. Get some good bread and head to the daily food market at Campo de' Fiori. Here you'll sample a wide selection of quality olive oils, vinegar, and local fruit. Then take a short walk over to Vatican City. No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the world's smallest sovereign state. Steeped in history and drama, you can't help but feel you're stepping onto a movie set. Helpful tip – it's best to book a guided tour online ahead of time. The tour will include the museum, gardens, and Sistine Chapel, but remember to check the strict dress codes beforehand. Also, send your postcards from inside the Vatican walls for their unique postmarks and stamps.
Exiting the Vatican into the Borgo district, there's a huge number of funky little delis here where you can grab handmade focaccia or panini. Take your food and have a lunchtime munch across the road from the unbelievable sight of Castel Sant'Angelo. Incredibly, this palace was built by Emperor Hadrian around 130 AD on the edge of the River Tiber for himself and his family. It's a vast circular fort, equally beautiful at night as it is by day.
After lunch, you're in a great place to choose your evening activities. A short walk away is the scenic Piazza Navona, or take a jaunt to Largo di Torre Argentina, an ancient square that's also home to a cat sanctuary. These ruins are a peaceful home to friendly homeless cats who have taken refuge here and are looked after daily by volunteers. Another fun fact – this is also the site where Julius Caesar was assassinated! After an afternoon full of cat-petting and historic ruins, you might fancy an evening at the lavishly ornate, 18th-century Argentina Theatre. You can choose from opera or drama, or you can even go behind the scenes with a backstage tour.
Day 3 – Local delights and epic arenas
There's only one place to be on a Sunday morning in Rome, and that's the Porta Portese Market. In this bustling flea market, you can sort through watches, trinkets, gadgets, pottery, old typewriters, jewellery, and books. Watching the locals scouring for a good deal is also entertaining in itself! Having bought some small treasures of your own, it's just a short walk to see some true Roman treasures over on the Palatine Hill. The mere sight of these ruins as you approach is truly epic. And from here, it's easy to spend the next few hours walking between the great titans of Rome's historical wonders. Next door is the Colosseum, followed by the Roman Forum, and not far from that, the Pantheon.
Now there's no better way to spend your last night in Rome than with a seat by the majestic Trevi Fountain, the world's largest baroque fountain! This enormous stone landmark with its galloping horses is usually busy with crowds in the daytime, so come along at night when it's beautifully lit and quieter. Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish to return to Rome, your wish will be granted. So maybe, just maybe, this might not be your one and only weekend in Rome. We hope not!
Whether this will be your first ever weekend in Rome or a repeat trip, getting there needn't cost a fortune. Arriving by train is an easy, quick, and affordable option, whether you're travelling from elsewhere in Europe or one of Italy's other wonderful cities. Rome's history and beauty never fail to charm or captivate, and we're sure you'll feel the same way. Book in advance on our website for some great deals and offers on train tickets, so act quickly to secure your dream weekend.