Authentic Rome: where to go on your 2 day stopover

a tiber river and vatican at sunset

Rome is a city that needs no introduction. As one of the ‘must visit in a lifetime’ cities, Rome’s greatest charm is its ability to offer an authentic, local Italian experience, despite being one of the most visited cities in the world.

Many of our tour guests enjoy a 2-3 day stopover in Rome pre or post tour and whether they’re visiting the city for the first time or 3rd, they always come away with great stories. It‘s a city full of character and ‘characters’ and knowing how to navigate your way around without being caught in the tourist traps, is key to enjoying it.

We love Rome. It’s a place where things happen. We love its vibe, getting lost in its small streets, and soaking up the atmosphere of bars, cafes and piazza’s that are still very ‘local’, authentic and often slightly off the beaten track.

If you’ve seen the sights and the monuments and are now looking for an authentic experience of Rome, here’s our tips for an enjoyable 2 day stopover.


Position is everything. We think one of the best locations to stay in Rome is Via dei Coronari. A lovely, quiet street with cool restaurants and bars, an amazing gelato spot and beautiful antique stores…while also being close to Piazza Navona and the Tiber River. A stroll, a gelati, good shopping and a Spritz all in one street!

A couple of places we stay along Via dei Coronari include:

Locanda degli Antiquari
Via Gabrielli, 92,

A boutique B&B tucked away along the cobblestones.

Coronari Palace
Via dei Tre Archi, 13,

For an open hearted, family welcome to Rome.



If you’re up early (because jet lag has kicked in), go for an early morning walk. There is nothing better than being out and about as Rome wakes up and the locals are preparing for their day. Whether it’s a stroll through Piazza Navona or Campo dei Fiori, or a more vigorous walk through the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens or along the Tiber River to see the Vatican before the tourists arrive, a morning walk is one of our favourite things to do in Rome.

The inside of a Trattoria in Rome


Trattoria da Gino at the Parliament.
Vicolo Rosini, 4, Roma

One of our favourite little restaurants in Rome. It has sensational food, is 100% authentic and unglamorous and it has a great, buzzy atmosphere. Their pasta’s are amazing, as is the saltimbocca with contorni.

Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, Roma

Stop in to the Antico Forno for a casual lunch or coffee and pastry. This is an institution with an amazing deli and really good food, not to mention the sensational coffee made from a very unique coffee machine. Ask the barista about it. Or if you’re up for dinner at their restaurant next door, their carbonara is one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

Zi Umberto – Trastevere
Piazza di S. Giovanni della Malva, 14, Roma

If you’re up for venturing out to the oldest neighbourhood in Rome for lunch and an afternoon of people watching, head to Zi Umberto. Charming, atmospheric and authentically Roman, our tip is to try one of the daily specials…which are always seasonal and made from fresh local produce. It’s a nice way to spend the afternoon or evening.



Bar Caffè Perù
Via di Monserrato, 46, Roma

Just steps away from Piazza Farnese, this historic 1930’s neighbourhood bar is one of our favourite bars in Rome to enjoy an aperitivo and people watch. We love that it has remained a ’locals’ bar, is unpretentious and charmingly retro, despite its very central location.


Known as the most “Roman” neighbourhood in Rome, Testaccio is a great place to visit for a morning, a day or for an afternoon aperitivo. Sit back and watch the world go by in the ‘very local’ Piazza Testaccio, enjoying a coffee or a Spritz, or visit the Testaccio Market and take a seat at Chicchi e Lettere for a glass of wine and some local stuzzichini (snacks). It’s sensational.

If you’re joining us on our Tour of Puglia, Tour of Tuscany or L’Eroica tours and are looking to enjoy a 2-3 day stopover in Rome, we hope these tips help you to discover some of its authentic character.

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