Rome is one of my favorite cities. This extraordinary capital overflows with exciting things to see, amazing food to eat, and endless things to do. Unless you have unlimited time to savor all of Rome you need a plan to see the city.  Here are my ideas for a 3-day visit to Roma.

Day 1: Vatican, St. Peter’s, Trastevere

To get the most out of your day, start early! Take an early walk and explore the global city streets. Sit on the gorgeous Spanish Steps and take in the ethos, and people watch before beginning your adventure.

The Vatican is a busy place, so arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds. Even better, book a private tour before you arrive with skip-the-line access.  Otherwise, be prepared to wait in line. Just like school, the Vatican has a dress code, and visitors are expected to dress humbly in reverence of the city-state.

Next, head over to the Vatican Museums. There are more than 54 Christian and art galleries within the city, and the collections are stunning. Be sure to visit the Sistine Chapel which holds the beautiful ceiling art done by legendary artist, Michelangelo. Once you’ve gotten your fill of art, stop by Via Delle Grazie and grab some lunch.

To top your day off have some fun at the beautiful neighborhood Trastevere. A day-long visit to this neighborhood was the highlight of my last visit to Rome.  If possible, check out award-winning La Gatta Buia, they have an unbelievable Fiori di Zucca! (Fried zucchini flowers – you have to try them!)

Day 2: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum

The best way to begin your second day is to hop aboard the Metropolitana (subway) and take a ride to the Colosseo station. Once you’ve arrived, stop by the ticket counter and purchase your one ticket that will grant access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (If possible, avoid first Sundays)! Be sure to do some research on this ancient wonder beforehand so that you understand what you’re exploring. There are many spigots throughout the area with fresh water, grab a bottle before leaving.  Another option is to set up a private tour to skip-the-line or buy tickets for a nighttime tour of the Colosseum. Evening tours are limited, so you’ll get to experience this ancient wonder without the crowds.

Now, it’s time to hike up the Palatine Hill! Again, consider a private tour to make the most of this experience. The views from the hill towers are stunning and overlook the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus. On your way back, keep left to arrive at the Forum for even more majestic views. Grab some dinner and get some rest for your final day!

Day 3: Pantheon, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Navona

Begin your last day with an espresso and head over to the Trevi fountain. Keep with tradition and toss in a coin for good luck! Next, head over to the Pantheon church. While there, be sure to be respectful and keep your voice low. After a good lunch, stroll over to Largo di Torre Argentina, which is also known as a cat sanctuary. The cats are well taken care of by a local charity and feeding them is prohibited. Lastly, we have Piazza Navona to explore. This elegant Square is built on the stadium of Domitian. If possible, visit at sunset and prepare to be awe-struck.

Whew! That was exhausting. Now, go enjoy a great glass of wine and rest up before heading home from this fascinating city.