I once read that Rome is one of the least re-visited places in Europe.
People come, see the Colosseum and the Vatican, get overwhelmed by the chaos, decide Florence is nicer, and never come back again. There are too many other places to see and Rome gives off a lukewarm first impression at best.
I mean, even crossing the street can be a close call.
But Rome takes work. I only fell in love with the city once I invested the time and the energy in discovering the beauty behind the traffic, trash and noise.
To this day, Rome is the most beautiful city I have ever seen.
With a few years of rome-ing under my belt, here is how to spend 48 hours in Rome eating and exploring like a local.
9 a.m. Start with coffee from Roscioli Caffé and a continue on to watch the day begin in the Campo de’ Fiori Market.
11 a.m. Get in line behind the local nonne/grandmas to pick up fresh pizza bianca from Forno Campo de’ Fiori and then check out the Caravaggio paintings hanging in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesci.
3 p.m.: Grab a cab across the river and up the hill to see the city from above on the Gianicolo.
5 p.m.: Walk down into the cobblestone alleys of Trastevere and treat yourself to macaroons from Le Levain.
10 p.m.: After a day of free sightseeing, splurge a little and book a late table at Roscioli for a heavenly dinner of carbonara and amatriciana.
12 a.m.: Close the night at Open Baladin with craft beers and cheesy chips.
12 p.m.: Take the metro from Circo Massimo and zip under the Colosseum on your way to bustling Mercato Esquilino.
2 p.m.: Get a break from pasta with a curry lunch from Krishna 13, for some of the best Indian in Rome.
4 p.m.: Discover new Italian designers by indulging in boutique hopping in neighboring Monti. (I recommend LOL for starters).
6 p.m.: Hop in a cab to continue the retail therapy along the wide avenues of well-heeled Prati, before swooping into Gracchi for some of the best gelato in Rome.
8 p.m.: Join the local crowd at the marble-topped tables of Ai Marmi for a perfect thin crust Roman pizza.
10 p.m.: Stop in for a cocktail with a side of slam poetry or live jazz at Lettere Caffè.
Catch all that? Here’s a map of all these places to visit with 48 hours in Rome. If you are looking for a more traditional itinerary, here is a 72-hour guide to Rome I put together for Expedia UK!