Best 3 Day Rome Itinerary + Pompeii Day Trip!

A woman standing in front of the pantheon in rome.

As someone who has explored Rome multiple times and even ventured to Pompeii during my college days, I know the ins and outs of crafting the best 3 day Rome itinerary. In just 72 hours, you can immerse yourself in Vatican City, marvel at the Colosseum, savor a cooking class, embark on a day trip to Pompeii, and more. I delve into all the must-see sights and activities to make your trip unforgettable.

If you found yourself thinking of how to maximize your time in Rome while squeezing in a visit to Pompeii, I’ve got you covered! Planning the ideal itinerary can be tricky when time is limited, but fear not. I’ll guide you through the best of both worlds. If you’re dreaming of a Roman adventure paired with a side trip to Pompeii, this is your guide.

This page has affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you click and make a purchase at no cost to you.

Day One: Colosseum and Walking Tour


Start your adventure at the iconic Colosseum, where you can almost hear the ancient gladiators and the cheers of massive crowds. Make sure to book ahead to skip the long lines and get a guide who can make the place come alive with thrilling stories of its past. I suggest getting this tour so you’ll have access to the arena floor and underground tunnels.

Also see: The Best Way To See The Colosseum In Rome!

Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

Next up, wander through the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient Rome’s day-to-day life, where politics, business, and social gatherings mixed. Take your time here, there’s so much history to soak in among the ruins. Then, head up to Palatine Hill, where Rome’s rich history started. It’s a peaceful spot, dotted with the ruins of what were once luxurious imperial palaces, offering a glimpse into the city’s storied past.

Also see: What To Know For Your First Trip To Rome: Here Are 10 Tips!

After checking out the cool ancient Colosseum and roaming around the historic ruins of the Forum this morning, we’re going to take a walking tour in the afternoon. This tour is all about taking us through Rome’s cobblestone streets to see some super iconic landmarks. And the best part? These spots are totally free to visit, so we get to dive into Rome’s rich history and awesome culture without spending any cash.

Spanish Steps

Start your tour with the iconic Spanish Steps, a monumental stairway of 135 steps. It’s a splendid example of the Roman Baroque Style, connecting the Piazza di Spagna at the base with the Trinita dei Monti church at the top. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and take a moment to admire the beautiful Fontana della Barcaccia at the foot of the steps.

Also see: How To Take An Easy Rome DIY Walking Tour!

Trevi Fountain

Next, make your way to the Trevi Fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world. Stand in awe of its magnificent Baroque artistry and remember to throw a coin over your shoulder into the water to ensure your return to Rome.

Also see: 12 Beautiful Main Squares In Rome You Need To See!


Continue to the Pantheon, an ancient Roman temple turned church, renowned for its massive dome and oculus that opens to the sky. Its architectural brilliance and historical significance make it a must-visit. The Pantheon is also the final resting place of several important Italians, including the artist Raphael.

Also see: Rome Bucket List: 50+ Ultimate Things To Do

Piazza Navona

Your next stop is Piazza Navona, known for its stunning Baroque palaces, fountains, and vibrant atmosphere. The center stage is Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, a fountain that depicts rivers from four different continents. The square is lively, filled with artists, cafes, and street performers.

Also see: Best Stays In Rome!

Campo de’ Fiori

Conclude your walking tour at Campo de’ Fiori, a rectangular square south of Piazza Navona. By day, it hosts a bustling market with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. By night, the square transforms into a lively social hub, surrounded by restaurants and bars. Here, history meets the vibrancy of Roman life.

Also see: 10 Things To Buy In Rome At A Bargain!

Day Two: Vatican City and Cooking Class

Vatican Museum

Home to a vast collection of ancient art, the Vatican Museum offers a journey through history and human creativity. Don’t miss the chance to see the Raphael Rooms and the stunning tapestries. The museum’s intricate architecture and the art it houses are a testament to the cultural richness of the past.

Also see: 10 Interesting Vatican City Fun Facts You Need To Know!

Sistine Chapel

Famous for Michelangelo’s breathtaking ceiling and The Last Judgment, the Sistine Chapel is a masterpiece of Renaissance art. The vivid colors and detailed stories depicted in the frescoes are a must-see, offering visitors a glimpse into the genius of Michelangelo.

Also see: 3 Days In Rome Budget Breakdown That’s Actually Affordable!

St Peters Basilica and Square

This architectural marvel is not only the largest church in the world but also a sacred site, believed to be the burial site of Saint Peter. With its magnificent dome designed by Michelangelo, stunning mosaics, and the revered Pietà statue, St. Peter’s Basilica is a place of beauty, history, and spirituality.

Cooking Class

Spend your afternoon diving into Rome’s culinary scene with a cooking class. It’s a fun, hands-on way to learn the ins and outs of Italian cooking, plus you get to eat what you make! It’s like a tasty trip through history, connecting with the traditions that shaped the Roman diet.

I recommend taking either this Fettuccine Cooking Class or this Pizza Cooking Class as they are the best options for a fun night!

Also see: How To Eat Like A Local In Rome + Best Restaurants!

Day Three: Pompeii

Pompeii Day Trip

Pompeii feels like a living necropolis, taking you back to the days before Rome took center stage. Stroll down those cobbled lanes, peek into the homes of the ancient folks, and you might just see a bit of yourself in those mosaic-filled villas and the amphitheater’s corners. Don’t forget to check out the Forum, the Macellum, and the Temple of Apollo – they really show off just how cool Pompeii’s city was.

Also see: Your Simple Guide To Visiting Pompeii From Rome!

Where To Stay In Rome!

Your stay should feel like a part of your Roman adventure, cozy, full of comforts, and unforgettable moments. Here’s where to crash in Rome, no matter your needs.

Best Modern Hostel: A social vibe with a modern design, affordable, and lively experience ideal for solo travelers, friends, and digital nomads. Great communal spaces like a garden, bar, and rooftop. Its central location in Rome makes exploring the city’s beauty easy.

Best Hotel with View: A luxurious stay with breathtaking views of Rome. Located near the Spanish Steps, it’s perfect for those seeking a picturesque stay surrounded by historical landmarks, exquisite eateries, and chic boutiques. Right in the city center.

Best Family Vacation Home: A cozy homey stay with spacious, modern rooms perfect for families or large groups. Known for privacy, comfort, and space, including kitchens for simple meals. Is located close to public transport and major sights.

Map of Rome Attractions

Final Thoughts- Best 3 Day Rome Itinerary!

In just 72 hours, dive into Vatican City, explore the Colosseum, enjoy a cooking class, venture to Pompeii, and so much more with the best 3-day Rome itinerary! With my expertise from three visits to Rome, I can assure you that these experiences will truly make your trip unforgettable. Comment below what your favorite place in Rome is!

Happy exploring!

Kaylee Janell's signature

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer. is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *