Rome in a Day | Part 1, Date Night in Rome!

Date night in Rome?? YES PLEASE!

We took advantage of the Rome LDS Temple open house event, found some dear friends to watch the boys, booked an AirBNB in the center of Rome, and took a RyanAir flight to Rome for date night!

24 hours in Rome - Rome date night

Rome wasn’t built in a day… but 24 hours was all the time we had to see as much as possible in this city! Our flight left Belgium at 5pm on Friday and we boarded the flight home on Saturday at 5pm. With a 2h flight to get there, 1h commute to the AirBNB, 6h sleep, 1h commute back to the airport, and 2h wait to board the next flight, we only had about 12 hours to fit in everything in Rome INCLUDING travel time between locations. Whew!

As soon as we got off the plane, we started looking for the train. A very kind Italian man scooped us up and directed us to a window where they talked us into taking a door-to-door shuttle for a few more Euros than the train. We thought it would be a great way to see the city and talk with some people so we did it!

Roma drivers are absolutely insane. They are quite kind and very alert, but everyone is just everywhere. There are zero lanes painted on the roads so you just go where you fit. Usually, there were double the amount of cars width wise on the road that I’d be comfortable with. It was alot of fun though and we got lots of good recommendations for food and city exploring tips! Well worth the few extra Euros and not having to figure out the train and metro right away.

*Check out the video at the end for a little taste of their driving!


Our main goal for this trip was to attend the open house of the new Rome Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to spend some quality time together (well to be accurate, Nick’s main goal I think was to eat as much authentic Italian food as possible…). So around that schedule, we wanted to fit in as much sightseeing as possible since we were SANS KIDS! What a treat it was and a huge thanks to our friends to making it easy to spend some quality time together.

At first, I was a little sad we’d have to see most of Rome in the dark that first night, but Rome at night was wonderful!

The forecast was 100% chance of rain while we were there, but most of the time it was a pleasant drizzle which meant there were very few people on the streets and the atmosphere was calm and quiet.

We decided to wander around and see a few major attractions including the Colosseum, The Fountain of Trevi, and the Pantheon. Since we had no kids, it was quite easy and relaxing! I think we walked about 4 miles staying out until past midnight.

We started (obviously) with finding some great Italian food! We took a recommendation for a small place a little off the beaten path called Osteria Cacio E Pepe and it was great! After the BEST lasagna we’ve ever tasted and some risotto we set out on foot to explore!

Rome is OLD

The thing we’ll remember about Roma is just how old the city is. All along our walk we came across old ruins and ancient buildings. I have no idea what most of them are and taking photos in the dark is very challenging. They really don’t do this city ANY justice.

24 hours in Rome at night
24 hours in Rome
24 hours in Rome


First stop was the Colosseum! This is definitely a place we’ll come back to so we can go inside. It was lit up quite well, but I can’t wait to see it in the daylight and go inside. This was built around the time of Christ and it’s possibly the oldest thing I’ve ever seen!

Colosseum Rome
Colosseum Rome
Colosseum Rome
Colosseum Rome

We passed a display of old ruins on our way to the next location. I have no idea what it is but it was incredible. Everything is so OLD! It all felt a little surreal.


The Trevi Fountain

What a beautiful fountain! It’s times like these when I wish we were on a tour or had done some previous research so I knew more about what I was looking at. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy the best gelato I’ve ever tasted.

Gelato Trevi in Rome

The Pantheon

It’s impossible to capture the magnitude of these structures! They are incredibly huge, especially if you consider the process of building these. The Pantheon did not disappoint! Another place we will come back when we have more time because I’d love to go inside.

Notice how few people there are out tonight! Walking around the streets and back alleys of Roma was incredibly soothing, romantic, and serine. Definitely a night I’ll never forget.

Pantheon Rome
Pantheon Rome
Rome, Italy - 24 hours in Rome
Rome, Italy - 24 hours in Rome

We walked back to our AirBNB, called our parents to brag about our awesome day, and got our 6h of sleep ready for the next day! You can’t sleep while your in Roma, there’s too much to do!!! (I think Nick would have liked to sleep a bit more.. oh well!)

Day 2

Sometimes, it’s just faster (and obviously cheaper) to walk places so we decided to take the 30 minute walk to Vatican City from our place. Drizzling a little harder now, but it was a beautiful and calm morning walk. We found some interesting little sites along the way.

Rome, Italy - 24 hours in Rome

Vatican City

Vatican City is pretty amazing. I didn’t have time to count how many statues were there! You’ll notice they line the top of Saint Peter’s Basilica and all along the top of the wall. Vatican City is it’s own little country and a very interesting place! We didn’t have time to go see the Sistine chapel, but we did decide to go inside Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome

I’m glad we went early because we walked right up to the security checkpoint but not long after the line started and grew quickly!

Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome

Inside the Basilica

Wow. There are very few words to describe the magnitude of this chapel and I couldn’t capture it all in a picture either. Incredible. The Rome LDS Temple we intended to see later had many design elements based on Roma culture so we tried to take it all in.

Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
A nun praying in front of the nativity inside St-Peter’s Basilica.
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Marble floors! Wow.
Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome

They were setting up for some kind of event later that day, maybe this is where the pope was going to sit!

Inside Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome

Rome Temple Open House – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Our next stop was the main event of our trip, the Rome Temple Open House! We took an Uber up from the Vatican city and got to experience even more CRAZY Roma Driving.

We loved seeing the temple and grounds so much I had to make a whole seperate post for it. PLEASE read it here! I’ll put another link at the end if you’d rather finish this first. It was incredible and I’m glad we visited Vatican City first as there were so many similarities! I love the house of the Lord.

Rome LDS Temple Open House

Dinner and Public Transportation

It was finally time to try out the public transportation system. We walked 7 minutes to a bus stop and rode the bus to the closest metro station. The temple is on the outskirts of town and the metro doesn’t run out there. Are you supposed to have a bus pass to ride the bus? We’re still not sure and technically I don’t think we paid. In our defense, the bus driver didn’t speak english so it was difficult to ask.

Speaking of English, this was one of the easier cities to travel too since almost everyone we ran into spoke English in a thick, classic Italian accent. It was very easy to get around or ask for help.

Roma was very dirty though. It was an old city and not very well kept now. Trash lined all the streets but all the people were friendly and there was the normal amount of homeless people for a city of that size. People on every corner tried to sell you an umbrella but we had no run-ins with any questionable situations.

The metro is very straight forward and easy to use if you can find a stop close to you. There’s an underground city, pockets of water, and more under Roma so it’s difficult to build more infrastructure (like more metros) under there. The metro is a little limited but busses are everywhere. Ubers/Taxis are expensive but sometimes convenience overrules a little extra cost!

Rome Metro

The metro took us back to downtown Roma where we found a little restaurant near the train station. With plenty of time to spare, we took our time eating Italian pizza and pasta based on the waiter’s recommendations. It was delicious.

My FAVORITE Italian dish (although they were all better than anything I’ve ever tasted) was the Tiramisu. Wow. Wow.

We took the Leonardo Express Train back to the airport and checked in easily. We snagged a couple souvenirs for the kids and waited sadly to leave Italy. What an amazing 24 hours!


We’ve started a book shelf shrine of wonderful family things and travel adventures! The boys love picking out small trinkets that are attached to wonderful memories.

The pope has now joined our growing coin collection!

Pope coin, Vatican City

And of course, Nick treated himself to an Italian cookbook. It’s already changed his life…

Rome in 24 hours was incredible. Fast and slow, beautiful and memorable, wet and rainy! The BEST date night EVER!!! I’m never leaving Europe.

Here’s our video compilation of our 24 hours in Rome!!

Don’t forget to read Part 2 of the story and see our experience at the Rome Temple Open House of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

~ Tolman Travels ~