24 Hours In: Rome

This city is filled with must-see sights. Start the clock


Eat breakfast in style

08.00: Eat a luxurious breakfast at Hotel Majestic (see The Compact Guide for details), a 98-room former palazzo on Via Veneto. It's like staying in the home of a Roman patrician. The Sala Verdi was opened the day the great composer died.

Three coins in the fountain

09.00: Walking west through the Quirinale area brings you to the Trevi Fountain , famous even before the pneumatic Anita Ekberg laughed and waded through it in La Dolce Vita. Arrive early and you can watch the coins being harvested; the fountain makes Rome millions of euros every year.

Visit Hadrian's marvel

10.00: Drink an espresso in Piazza della Rotunda at one of the tables with a view of the Pantheon. Admission is free to this stunning ecumenical temple designed by Hadrian.

Go on the Tosca trail

11.00: Walk down to Sant'Andrea della Valle (00 39 06 686 1339), a must for opera lovers because Act I of Tosca is set inside.

Historical fact and fiction

12.00: Down to the Tiber and across the Ponte Sant'Angelo to Castel Sant'Angelo (00 39 06 372 4121; castelsantangelo.com), admission €8 (£5.70), originally the mausoleum Hadrian designed for himself. There's a good reconstruction of it inside the building. According to Puccini, Tosca jumped to her death from the top.

Browse over a panino

13.30: Cross back over the river to Peak Book Wine Bar (00 39 06 6476 0087; peakbook.it) on Via Arco dei Banchi, a new café/ wine bar/bookstore.

Take in the Trastevere view

14.30: Head towards Trastevere and walk round Janiculum Park, where you can take in a great view of Rome.

Poetry in a cup of tea

15.30: There is only one place for tea, Babington's (00 39 06 678 6027) the English tea room at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. On the opposite side is the house in which Keats died (00 39 06 678 4235; keats-shelley-house.org).

Student life on Spanish Steps

16.30: Climb the Spanish Steps while picking your way over a truly international melee of students.

Up to the roof for a G&T

17.30: If you drink one G&T in this city, it has to be at the Hotel Bernini Bristol (00 39 06 488 931; bernini bristol.com) which has a great view of Rome from its roof garden.

Dine in Baroque splendour

18.30: Walk down to Piazza Navona. Romans eat late so you'll be among tourists in this beautiful rectangular Baroque square. Don Chisciotte (00 39 0 66 82 10 620) does excellent carpaccio but you have to ask as it's not on the tourist menu.

Check out the jazz talent

20.30: After lingering over coffee, walk through to Il Locale (00 39 06 687 9075) at 3 Vicolo del Fico, an intimate jazz bar.AM

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