View of the Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy, spend 36 hours in Rome

How to Spend 36 Hours in Rome as First-Timers

Only have 36 hours in Rome? No problem! While there is so much to see and do in Rome, 36 hours in Rome is plenty of time to get a little taste of everything. You can also adjust your schedule based on the things you like to do, but the bottom line is, Rome has something for everyone. So grab your camera, put on your comfortable shoes, and let’s get started!

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36 Hours in Rome

While 36 hours in Rome doesn’t seem like much there are several ways to save time. Choose one of several accommodations in Rome that will allow you to walk to many of the key attractions, rent a vespa, or take a golf cart tour to easily transport through the city.

Enjoy a Pizza Making Class

A Rome pizza making class offers something truly unique – you can learn the secrets behind the authentic pizza-making of the Eternal City. This class, led by an expert, will provide insights into the fine art of dough-making, shaping, and topping.

We scheduled our class for the afternoon of our arrival into Rome. While the booking said it would be a 2 hour class, we were finished within one hour. Fortunately for us, we were the only two who booked a class that day, so essentially we had a private class.

We began by learning how to make and roll the pizza dough. Then we added our sauce, cheese, and toppings. I chose to only have spicy salami, while John added mushrooms and blue cheese, too. The pizza took only minutes to bake and then we were able to enjoy our creations. One thing we wish would have been included in our class was a keepsake recipe card. Nonetheless, it was such a fun experience.

John and Brittney Naylor taking a selfie in Rome with their pizza after their pizza making class, 36 hours in Rome

Take a Golf Cart Tour of Rome

Since we were short on time and it was the last leg of our trip, we opted to do a 3 hour golf cart tour with Roman Roads Tours (they also offer full day). There are many advantages to a tour of this kind. For one, a tour company is able to provide hotel pick up and drop off. Secondly, it’s private, which also allows you to customize your tour. In addition, you can save your feet by not having to walk the entire city by foot.

During our tour we were able to see the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Roman Forum, Colosseum, and more. For many of the stops, we were able to get off the golf cart and take photos. What I failed to know ahead of time was that even though the Pantheon is free to enter, you still have to reserve a ticket. Our guide attempted to get us tickets through his connections, but wasn’t able to as it was a busy Saturday. So make sure you reserve a ticket to the Pantheon ahead of time if you’d like to tour the inside.

Overall, the golf cart tour was a great way to see much of Rome and I would recommend it to others on their first visit to Rome.

Entire view of the Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy. 36 Hours in Rome.
Trevi Fountain
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy. 36 Hours in Rome.
Brittney Naylor standing in front of the Roman Forum. She is wearing a red floral dress, sandals, and sun hat. 36 hours in Rome.
Portion of the Roman Forum

Visit the Vatican City

Another site to see if you’re short on time in Rome is Vatican City. While we were unable to visit Vatican City during our visit (and I regret not fitting it in), it should be added to your itinerary.

The Vatican City, the world’s spiritual hub, should be seen since Rome is a city rich in history and culture. You will be humbled by the beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel once you enter the world’s smallest state. Make sure to take ample time to explore the interior and take in the stunning artwork and architecture.

To avoid disappointment, it is important to schedule your visit in advance. Additionally, keep in mind that you should respect the sacredness by dressing appropriately.

Tour the Colosseum

A trip to Rome would be incomplete without a visit to the Colosseum. This historic structure was utilized for gladiatorial fights and public shows. It’s also the largest amphitheater ever built. In 2007, it was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. With its enormous stone walls and intricate network of tunnels and chambers, the Colosseum is an architectural marvel. The sheer scale of the structure and its exceptional preservation, considering it was built about 2,000 years ago, will amaze you.

It’s important to note that the Colosseum can get quite crowded, especially during peak tourist season. Don’t make the mistake we made and purchase your tickets in advance. I’m sad we weren’t able to tour the inside during our visit. Even though we only saw the outside of the Colosseum, it was such a treasure to see in person.

Colosseum in Rome, Italy. One of the Seven Wonders of the World. 36 hours in Rome.

Take a Walking Food Tour

It’s simple to get hungry while you stroll through Rome’s streets, admiring the magnificent architecture and old history. Fortunately, the city is also home to some of the world’s most delectable cuisine.

The ideal way to experience the best that Rome has to offer is through a strolling food tour. On this mouthwatering tour, there is something for everyone, from freshly-made pizza to delicious gelato.

36 Hours in Rome: Conclusion

Finally, Rome is a beautiful, bustling city with plenty to offer in 36 hours. From a pizza making class to a golf cart tour to touring the famous landmarks, there are countless activities to fill up a mere 36 hours in Rome. And while there are a few things to consider to make your experience the best it can be, the bottom line is that you don’t need to have a lot of time in order to get a taste of Rome. So, don’t let a lack of time hold you back from experiencing the Eternal City – go ahead and book your tickets and create a trip that is tailored to your interests and needs. Rome is waiting.

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Pinterest Pin featuring multiple images around Rome. 36 hours in Rome by A Mom Well Traveled.

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The Comments

  • Taylor
    May 22, 2023

    I feel like doing a food tour in Rome would be an absolute dream! I’ve also always wanted to do a pizza making class in Italy. Sounds like you had an amazing time, and thanks for sharing the tips!

    • Brittney
      → Taylor
      May 22, 2023

      I’ve heard such great things about the food tours in Rome and wish we would’ve made some time to do one. Luckily, I think we’ll be back to Italy sooner rather than later!

  • Chelsea Messina
    May 22, 2023

    It sounds like you guys had a great time with such little time. Your photos are all so good, you look adorable in all your cute dressies 💃🏻

  • Charlie
    May 22, 2023

    Rome looks so beautiful! I’d love to do a pizza making class and see the colosseum!

  • Ashton
    May 22, 2023

    LOVE the idea of a pizza making class in Italy! That sounds fun!

    • Brittney
      → Ashton
      May 22, 2023

      A cooking class in Italy is such a great option if it’s raining too!

  • Sydney
    May 22, 2023

    That pizza making class sounds epic!

    • Brittney
      → Sydney
      May 23, 2023

      We had so much fun!

  • Alana
    June 18, 2023

    Thanks for the great post! Do you recommend the Roman Roads Tour company?

    • Brittney
      → Alana
      June 18, 2023

      Yes! We really enjoyed our tour with Roman Roads! Our guide was very knowledgable and we accomplished so much during our tour.

      • Alana
        → Brittney
        June 18, 2023

        Thank you! There aren’t a ton of reviews online for the company so I get nervous!!