Rome is famously known as The Eternal City, and it certainly lives up to its name. Whether you’re staring wide-eyed at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, indulging in a plate of spaghetti carbonara at a local trattoria, or drinking water straight from an ancient street fountain, rest assured your experiences in Rome will stay with you forever. Which is why, if you’ve only got 24 hours to spare in Italy, the capital city is the perfect place to while away a day and really soak up the culture (and cuisine)...  

A breakfast fit for Fellini

Start your day at Piazza del Popolo, a large public square located at the northern entrance to the city. Drop into Bar Canova (a favorite of the late Federico Fellini) for a typically Roman breakfast of cappuccino and cornetto before climbing the steps that lead up to Villa Borghese Park, where you’ll be met with a stunning view of the city.

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Splendor in the grass

Take your time strolling the park grounds as you follow the signs to Galleria Borghese , a 17th century villa that houses a sizable collection of antiquities and renaissance and baroque art, including an impressive number of works by Bernini and Caravaggio.

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Did someone say antipasti?

Head back down to Piazza del Popolo and catch a cab to Roscioli , a family-owned and operated food and wine shop in Rome’s historic center. There you’ll dine amidst shelves packed with wine and gourmet Italian preserves and a stunning deli case brimming with the best meats and cheeses in the city. Order a glass of Prosecco to cool down and indulge in a few antipasti dishes—try the La Burrata Pugliese Con Pomodorini (burratta with cherry tomatoes) and the Tonno Rosso Stagionato Sott’olio (Bluefin tuna seasoned in olive oil) before moving on to the decadent spaghetti carbonara.

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The holiest of holy

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, both of which are located in Vatican City. If you visit St. Peter’s on a Sunday, you’d be wise to attend an afternoon mass— sitting in the pews and listening to the choir boys hit the high notes in Italian is a true gift.

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Capuccino a go-go

Drop into Latteria , a great, no-frills café that’s surprisingly authentic considering its proximity to the Vatican. Prices are reasonable and the service is friendly—you can even order a cappuccino in the afternoon without the customary eye roll (Italians don’t typically drink them after 11am).

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Shop like a local

Stroll over to Trionfale Market where you can peruse the stalls for local wine, cheese, produce, and bread, and grab a snack to tide you over until dinner. Then browse the lovely Santa Maria Novella Apothecary where you can purchase a few bottles of Italian rose water for friends back home.

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Toss a coin

Toss a coin in the iconic Trevi Fountain to increase your odds of a return visit as you make your way to Colline Emiliane for dinner.

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Life-changing bolognese

If you eat only one pasta dish in Rome, make it the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese at Colline Emiliane . The pasta is as fresh as it gets (passersby are known to stop in their tracks on the street to watch through the restaurant’s kitchen window as the chef transforms dough into long, delicate ribbons of linguine, spaghetti and tagliatelle). There are only two dinner seatings (7:30pm and 9:30pm) and reservations are a must, or you’ll be one of the dozens of unfortunate souls turned away nightly.

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A scoop... or three

The best gelato in Rome is a source of constant debate, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a shop with a better atmosphere—or more generous portions—than Giolitti . It’s the oldest ice cream parlor in Rome, and you can even order a glass of Fernet Branca or Limoncello to enjoy alongside your triple scoop, because, why not?

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The coolest watering hole

No visit to Rome would be complete without a visit to Stravinsky Bar in the swanky Hotel de Russie. Sip a negroni under the stars in their stunning courtyard as you plot your return… and if you’re spendy, head upstairs to your room for some well-deserved R&R.

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