Are you kidding! There is so much to see in Rome. Its not one of those cities that you will do in a day.
So you will need a place to stay and why not check out hostels and apartments in Rome?Rome is a walkable city with the Vatican being somewhat further west. Broadly speaking the Architecture Art and things to see can be classified into historical categories as Ancient Rome, Medieval Rome and the Renaissance Period. Rome is a very Fashionable city you can't look too good in Italy and you will enjoy shopping here the Restaurants though you will feel it expensive in the more touristic areas and (a cappuccino can run you 4 euros) and perhaps a nice seat in the sunshine on one of the many Piaza's.
Rome Travel Tips 1
Buying a Roma Pass: Roma Pass can be purchased at Tourist Information Points in Rome including the train station, Fiumincino Airport, travel agencies, hotels,bus ticket offices, news stands, and tabacchi. Roma Pass can also be purchased directly from the museum or site ticket windows. Current price is 25 euro, good for three days from validation. Depending on what you do this could be a saver. With this card the first two Sights are free. Making the collesseum one of the first two things you use your card on is a great idea.
Highlights of Rome and the Vatican City
St Peters Basilica
Saint Peters Square
Circus of Nero
Palatine Hill and Colosseum - Built in between 70 and 82 as a venue for gladiator and animal fights. Perhaps these days a Roma Vs Lazio game is the contemporary version. On Sunday the Via dei Fori Imperiali for Colosseum is closed to traffic, making a nice place to walk.The Colosseum allows you to go up and do a complete circuit with guides or audio guides but the signposts also do a good job if you are on a budget. Guided tours are 8 euros extra the audio 4.5..The upper walkways allow you a view into the centre of the arena where you can imagine the fighting. Now you see into the rooms which would have been underground and only a single portion of seating remains. Still its an impressive thing to do there are lifts which make this a great thing to do for those with less ability.
The Roman Forum / Palatine -Roman ruins which were the formal places legal,ceremonial etc of ancient Rome. These are just across from the Colosseum and usually will be included in the same ticket price. We are told that the Rome Pass will allow you to do the Colosseum and the Forum / Palatine as one use (you get two free uses).
Dan Brown was making Rome even more on your radar with his Angels and Demons book many of his scenes take place in interesting visitable sights. Panthenon, Piazza Navona and its Fountain of the Rivers for example all in a walk-able distance to each other.
Trevi Fountain - they say if you toss a coin in you will return to Rome, I wonder what they do with all the coins.
Arch of Constantine
Piazza Venezia (designed by Michelangelo), Vittorio Emanuele Monument and Capotoline Hill are in one spot. There are good views of the Forum from Capotoline Hill.
Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo Via Del Corso - here shop and visit the Spanish steps.
The Pantheon - If you are here also look out for Piazza di Rotonda a nice space. I love Benini's elephant, its close by the Panthenon - a statue of an Elephant with an obelisk on its back the obelisks feature heavily in Romes sights.
Rome Travel Tips 2
Be careful of your pockets and belongings when in crowded places like the metro. As a tourist you will be targeted as easy, don't make it easy for them though experts can work in teams and distract you while they relieve you of your valuables.
The Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura
Piazza del Popolo
Villa Borghese gardens
Some Rome Nightlife can be found in Testaccio District with some nightclubs.