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Best Day Ever: Rome

Our friends at Fathom share a travel story

fathom: rome!

The editors at and contributors to travel site Fathom always satisfy their wanderlust. How can you make the most of 24 hours in the Eternal City? Fathom’s Erica Firpo shares her favorite things in her adopted hometown.

1. Wake up with a cappuccino, preferably with a view. Rome has a whole breed of hotels with amazing views. My latest favorite can be found on the rooftop terrace at St. George Hotel on Via Giulia: 360 degrees of Rome’s 400-plus domes.

2. Walk down Via Giulia to Via del Pellegrino, 82, to rent a beautiful Collalti bike. The vintage colors and leather saddlebags are my souvenir of choice, but 15 euros for the Saturday-to-Monday rent is even better.

campo de fiori!

3. Park your bike at the market at Campo de’ Fiori (pictured above). It’s about the atmosphere, not the prices. Grab freshly squeezed blood orange or pomegranate juice and talk market.

4. Pedal across the street and through Piazza Navona in search of Caravaggio paintings. “Madonna di Loreto,” in the Church of Sant’Agostino (Piazza di Sant’Agostino), and the Saint Matthew series (“The Calling of Saint Matthew,” “The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew,” and “The Inspiration of Saint Matthew”), in the Contarelli Chapel at the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, are just north of Piazza Navona. Now pump those piedi to Piazza del Popolo for the “Crucifixion of St. Peter and Conversion on the Way to Damascus,” at the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo.

5. Walk the bike down Via del Babuino for window shopping and grab a coffee at Caffè Canova-Tadolini. Walk through the bar’s “museum” to admire the gigantic Canova casts.

pantheon!

6. It’s time for photo ops. Head to Piazza Augusto Imperatore to compare three eras of history: the 1st-century mausoleum for Augustus Caesar, the fascist arcades on the perimeter of the piazza, and Richard Meier’s 21st-century Ara Pacis Museum. Then cut through the side streets to the Pantheon (pictured above). Go inside and look up. There is nothing like it.

7. Need some energy? Stop behind the 2nd-century monument in Piazza Sant’Eustachio for the deservedly famous cappuccino at Caffè Sant’Eustachio. If you need something more substantial, pizza al taglio (by the slice) at Pizza Zazà, an organic pizza shop across the street, hits the spot.

8. After all the biking you’ve done, you’ll need a massage. Dump the bikes at Collalti (or a hotel) and walk over to the Jewish ghetto for downtime at AcquaMadre, a hammam inspired by ancient Rome. Think: vaulted brick, underground. I keep it simple: a soak, a scrub, and some tea.

9. Relaxed and refreshed. Time for another view: cocktails on the rooftop of Grand Hotel de la Minerve, because the only dome that is truly important is the Pantheon.

10. Tipsy? You’re just about ready for Al Moro. Savor your walk from the Pantheon and Hadrian’s Temple to Trevi and the restaurant. Are you suddenly craving spaghetti alla carbonara, fried artichokes, and unforgettable zabaglione with melted dark chocolate? (Read my love letter to Al Moro on Fathom.)

11. If you still have energy, a few steps down the street is Trevi Fountain (pictured below). The evening glow is my favorite nightcap.

trevi fountain!

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Photos: Pavia Rosati / Courtesy of Fathom; Serge Carvalho / Flickr; David Soanes Photography / Flickr Open / Getty Images; Mark Turner / Flickr