Last updated on April 2, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Rome

One day in Rome

Last December, I embarked on my first trip to Italy; excited about seeing the famous sights, wandering down the Italian streets, having lots of local food and of course documenting this trip with some cool photos.

I had a packed itinerary of things to see and do and Rome was first on my list.

You can read more about Rome and Italy

There are so many major landmarks and architectural monuments of ancient Rome, each unique and beautiful in its own way that it makes it hard to pick a favourite.

I say, visit them all if you can!

However time is always against us, isn’t it?

Based on your interests, I would suggest that you plan an itinerary for each day that you are there especially if you have limited time.

Also, keep in mind that unique photos come from unique moments and don’t necessarily need to be connected to landmarks.

Take a look instead at the local people around you that make up a city, a country, or a continent.

Must-see sites in one day

The Colosseum (Colosseo), which is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World is a must-see for anyone who visits Rome.

It is such a popular tourist destination that it is quite difficult to take a picture without having people in the background.

While the building is only open to the public during the day, I feel that it is worth going back to see it from the outside at night as it looks even more impressive when it is all lit up.

The Colosseum
The Colosseum at night

There were a group of cyclists getting into the spirit of Christmas while I was at the Colosseum one morning and I could not resist snapping a picture of them in their Santa suits.

They make such a bright contrast to the neutral coloured buildings around them.

Christmas at the Colosseum
Christmas at the Colosseum

Although Vatican City is technically a country in its own right, St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica is a must-visit, even if just to be in the world’s smallest country!

You do not need a visa or a border check, just walk from Italy to another country.

Panorama on Vatican City
Panorama on Vatican City

While in Rome I would not miss visiting the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain of course.

If you are looking for accommodation in these popular areas, you may want to check these amazing AirBnb with a gorgeous view of Rome.

Street photography and graffiti

There are good photographic opportunities everywhere.

Imagine a place where locals are always well dressed, even if only to perform the most mundane tasks such as a supermarket run.

Just typical Italians who look impeccable even after a ride on a scooter.

Take a seat at a café, have a coffee and watch the spectacle around you.

This is a personal favourite of mine, taken in the heart of Rome. Of course, it incorporates one of my favourite things – Vespas!

To me, it was a perfect scene that epitomized Italian style – two men on classic Vespas with stylish helmets, and one of them trying to light a cigarette.

To be honest, I hesitated for quite a while before whipping out my iPhone to snap the shot – I don’t like people to feel like a crazy lady wielding a big black camera is stalking them.

At the same time, I feel that if I had gone up to them and asked permission to photograph them, it may have ruined the moment.

The Vespa style
The Vespa style

The Metro system in Rome, although very easy to navigate, is in my opinion underdeveloped for a city of its size.

I was at the platform one evening when I saw a train with some cool graffiti on it approaching the station.

There wasn’t enough time for me to get my DSLR out of my bag, so I settled for my iPhone instead.

What I particularly like about this photo is the blurriness caused by the movement of the train whizzing past.

At the Metro station in Rome
At the Metro station in Rome

Around Rome – Tivoli

Although Rome itself is fascinating, if you venture a little further out from the city centre you will find many more landmarks with a wealth of history behind them.

Tivoli, for example, is home to many waterfalls and beautiful villas.

From this vantage point on the hills, you can get a wide view over the Roman Campagna and even spot the dome of the Sistine Chapel on a good day.

Exploring around Rome
Exploring around Rome
Exploring Villa D'Este in Tivoli
Exploring Villa D’Este in Tivoli
Walking in Villa D'Este
Walking in Villa D’Este
A secret corner of Tivoli
A secret corner of Tivoli

What equipment to use – DSLR or iPhone?

I find that lugging a DSLR around can get tiring, especially when travelling for long periods of time.

No doubt the DSLR takes great quality photos, but for me, the photograph is more about capturing the moment and being able to share it with people instantly without having to upload it to a computer, etc.

Where to stay and eat

Italy is such a well-known food destination!! What I loved the most of the capital?

  • Pizzeria Al Grottino – a great place for woodfired pizzas
  • Ristorante Baccano – good quality local cuisine

If you are visiting the city centre then you should check out this post about where to eat in Trastevere. It’s such a beautiful neighbourhood to walk about.

Where to stay in Rome?

This guide is all you need to select your best area and hotels

Having to pick just one, the Adriatic Hotel is a great choice, especially if you want stay next to Vatican City, which is great for some evening walk (plenty of Police cars around, good safe area). Clean and good price for this area

Adriatic Hotel in Rome
Adriatic Hotel in Rome

The other visited cities in this photography trip series

This post was written in collaboration with Stephanie Chew

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

3 thoughts on “One month in Europe: 4 cities to visit for a photography trip – Rome (Italy)”

  1. Hi we are travelling in Siciliy between 9/10 to 15/10/19 and we are flying into Palermo. There will be five of us husband, wife and three kids. What are the best places to stay or visit. We are looking at hiring a car when landing in Palermo. We are then keeping the car and going over to Calabria. Is this a wise thing to do?

    Reply
    • Hi there,
      you are definitely planning a great trip. With 6 days in Sicily I would suggest following an itinerary as:
      Day 1-3: San Vito Lo Capo – October can be still a great time to be at the beach, just warm enough but not too hot. If the weather turns out not to be great then you can take the car and visit Trapani, Erice and the whole Marsala area and even Palermo.
      Day 4-5: Drive to Cefalu (direction Calabria, so that you get close to your final destination). Cefalu is a beautiful place to spend a couple of days.
      Day 6: Drive to Messina and catch the ferry to Calabria (very straight forward, no worries)
      About the accommodations:
      San Vito Lo Capo: it’s goin to be off-season and you will be able to get great deals. For a family of 5 people you may check the beautiful Villa a mare Magagian or the Villa Magnolie.
      Cefalu: The Plumeria Hotel

      Enjoy your trip!!
      Cheers

      Reply
  2. Looks like you had an amazing time and took some incredible pictures. We have been to Torino once, but haven’t make it to Rome yet. It’s on our list. Thanks for sharing some great insights.

    Reply

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