things to do in rome italy

Last Updated on: 31st January 2024, 11:01 am

Planning a trip to Rome, Italy and wondering what are the best things to do and see? Look no further – I’ve got you covered. From exploring ancient ruins to indulging in mouthwatering Italian cuisine, Rome has something for everyone. As a professional copywriting journalist, I’ve done the research and compiled a list of the top things to do and see in Rome, Italy.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Rome has it all. In this article, I’ll take you on a virtual tour of the best things to do and see in Rome, Italy. From Vatican City to the Trevi Fountain, you won’t want to miss out on any of these amazing experiences.

So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Rome, Italy. Let’s dive in and discover the best fun things to do and see in this beautiful city.

Explore Ancient Ruins

As I mentioned earlier, Rome has a deep history and is known for its remarkable ancient ruins. The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill are some of the best things to see and do in Rome. These archaeological sites are must-visit destinations if you want to travel back in time and experience the glory of ancient Rome.

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is the largest amphitheatre in the world and a symbol of Roman engineering and technology. Built in AD 80, it could seat up to 80,000 spectators who gathered to watch thrilling gladiatorial contests, animal hunts and other public spectacles.

ancient ruins in Rome Italy

The Roman Forum was the epicenter of political and social activity in Rome, housing various esteemed temples, arches, and basilicas. It was the heart of public life in ancient Rome, and played an important role in shaping Roman history and culture.

Finally, Palatine Hill offers breathtaking views of Rome and is the site of many ancient palaces, including the Palace of Domitian and the House of Livia. Strolling through the greenery surrounding the ruins, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and peace that seems out of place in the bustling heart of Rome.

Indulge in Italian Cuisine

When in Rome, one cannot resist the temptation to indulge in the mouthwatering Italian cuisine. From traditional pizzas and pastas to gelato and espresso, the vibrant food scene in Rome offers an unforgettable experience for food lovers.

For the best pizzas in town, head to the cozy and authentic Pizzeria La Montecarlo. Their thin-crust pizzas topped with fresh ingredients will leave you wanting more. Another popular choice is Emma, a lively restaurant that serves classic Roman-style pizzas.

If you’re a pasta lover, look no further than the neighborhood of Testaccio, which is hailed as the birthplace of some of Rome’s most beloved pasta dishes. Try the Cacio e Pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper) at Osteria degli Amici, where the dish is made using a secret recipe that has been passed down through generations.

For a truly authentic culinary experience, visit the local food markets such as Mercato Centrale and Campo de’ Fiori, where you can sample fresh produce and street food specialties. Satisfy your sweet tooth with some creamy gelato from Giolitti, one of the oldest and most famous gelaterias in Rome.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Wolf

Visit Vatican City

Vatican City, located within Rome, is the smallest independent state in the world and a must-visit on any trip to Italy. As a former history student, visiting the Vatican was a highlight of my trip! There are several must-see attractions in Vatican City, including:

  • St. Peter’s Basilica – the largest church in the world and a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking views of Rome!
  • The Vatican Museums – home to an impressive collection of art and historical artifacts, including the famous Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo.

It can be overwhelming to navigate the crowds and long queues at the Vatican, so I recommend booking a guided tour or reserving tickets in advance to skip the line. Additionally, dress modestly when visiting any religious site in Rome.

Make sure to bring a camera as there are plenty of photo opportunities throughout Vatican City. I highly suggest taking a guided tour as you will learn the history and significance of the many art pieces and can appreciate it all even more.

things to see in Rome Italy

Explore the Hidden Gems

When traveling to Rome, it’s easy to get caught up in the typical tourist attractions. But, the city has so much more to offer beyond the crowds. In this section, I’ll share some of the lesser-known hidden gems that are definitely worth exploring. These off-the-beaten-path experiences will make your trip to Rome even more memorable.

Discover Charming Neighborhoods

Rome is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe. While the historic city center is undoubtedly stunning, don’t forget to venture further afield to see what else Rome has to offer. Trastevere is a bohemian neighborhood with narrow streets and colourful houses, dotted with quaint restaurants and artisan shops. Testaccio is a trendy area with a thriving nightlife scene, while Monti is an artsy district with boutiques and vintage shops.

Visit the Aventine Hill

The Aventine Hill is one of the lesser-known hills in Rome, but it’s definitely worth a visit. This lush green hilltop is home to some stunning gardens, breathtaking views, and quiet streets with few tourists. Be sure to check out the keyhole at the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, where you can catch a glimpse of St. Peter’s Basilica in the distance.

“The Aventine Hill is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Rome. It’s not very crowded and has a peaceful atmosphere.” – TripAdvisor Reviewer

See the Pyramid of Cestius

Did you know that there’s a pyramid in Rome? The Pyramid of Cestius is a 36-meter-high ancient pyramid that dates back to 12BC. While it’s not as famous as the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, it’s a fascinating piece of history that is often overlooked by visitors.

Experience the Appian Way

The Appian Way is one of the oldest and most significant Roman roads, dating back to 312 BC. Today, it is a popular destination for cyclists and hikers who come to explore its ancient ruins, catacombs, and beautiful countryside. Rent a bicycle or join a guided tour to experience this unique attraction at your leisure.

Discover the Capuchin Crypt

The Capuchin Crypt is a macabre yet fascinating attraction that is often overlooked by visitors to Rome. This underground crypt is located beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini and contains the remains of over 4,000 Capuchin friars. The bones have been arranged into intricate patterns and designs, making for a haunting yet memorable experience.

hidden gems in Rome

Take a Stroll in Trastevere

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome’s tourist hotspots, a visit to Trastevere is a must. This charming neighborhood is situated just south of Vatican City, across the Tiber River. As you walk down Trastevere’s narrow cobbled streets, you’ll be transported back in time to a simpler era.

Trastevere is known for its lively nightlife, authentic Roman atmosphere, and vibrant arts scene. Be sure to explore the area’s many piazzas (squares), where you’ll find traditional street performers, artists, and musicians. The central square, Piazza di Santa Maria, is home to the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome.

Food lovers will delight in Trastevere’s many trattorias and gelaterias. Be sure to try the traditional Roman-style pizza, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and anchovies. For dessert, indulge in some delicious gelato or tiramisu.

If you’re visiting Trastevere on a Sunday, be sure to head to the famous Porta Portese market. Here, you’ll find everything from vintage clothing to antiques and handmade jewelry.

things to do in Rome city

Spend an afternoon wandering through the charming streets of Trastevere, stopping to sample the local food and soak up the authentic Roman atmosphere. It’s the perfect way to experience the true heart of Rome.

Explore the Vatican Museums

If you’re an art lover, the Vatican Museums are a must-visit attraction when in Rome. The museums house an impressive collection of art and historical artifacts from different eras, making it a fascinating journey through time.

The highlight of the Vatican Museums is the famous Sistine Chapel, where you can marvel at the ceiling painted by Michelangelo. However, there’s more to explore beyond the Sistine Chapel, and I highly recommend taking your time to discover the vast collection of artworks on display.

The Vatican Museums can get extremely busy, so it’s crucial to plan your visit in advance to make the most of your experience. Here are some tips:

  1. Book your tickets in advance: The queues to enter the Vatican Museums can be incredibly long, especially during peak season. It’s advisable to book your tickets online to skip the queue and save time.
  2. Visit early in the day: The Vatican Museums can get very crowded, so it’s best to arrive early in the day when it’s less busy. Plan to arrive at least an hour before the opening time.
  3. Dress appropriately: The Vatican Museums have a strict dress code, and you’ll not be allowed inside if you’re not appropriately dressed. Avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, or skirts above the knee.
  4. Take a guided tour: The Vatican Museums are huge and can be overwhelming, so a guided tour can be incredibly helpful in navigating through the vast collection of artifacts and artworks.

Exploring the Vatican Museums is a marvelous experience that should not be missed when visiting Rome. With proper planning and the right attitude, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable time.

Discover the Trevi Fountain

When in Rome, visiting the Trevi Fountain is a must-do. This stunning Baroque fountain, known as Fontana di Trevi in Italian, is located in the Trevi district of Rome and is one of the most famous attractions in the city.

Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder, you will ensure a return to the Eternal City.

To avoid the crowds, I recommend visiting the fountain early in the morning or late at night. During the day, it can get quite busy, but regardless of the time of day, the fountain is always a breathtaking sight to behold.

Don’t forget to bring some coins with you to toss into the fountain, and make a wish when you do so!

Trevi Fountain Tips

  • Visit early in the morning or late at night to avoid the crowds
  • Throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder to ensure a return to Rome
  • Bring some coins with you to toss into the fountain and make a wish

Take a moment to marvel at the intricate details and sculptures on the fountain, and capture some memorable vacation photos. And, as the sun sets over Rome, enjoy the magical atmosphere of the Trevi Fountain, fit for a scene in a romantic movie.

Enjoy a Day Trip to Tivoli Gardens

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome city, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Tivoli Gardens. Just a short train ride from Rome, Tivoli is a charming town that is home to one of Italy’s most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites, Villa d’Este, and the well-preserved ancient villa known as Villa Adriana.

Villa d’Este is renowned for its stunning garden and impressive fountains. As you wander through the lush greenery and marvel at the intricate water features, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to the Renaissance era. The villa itself is also a sight to behold, with richly decorated rooms and frescoed ceilings.

Villa Adriana, on the other hand, is a sprawling complex that was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. The villa’s ruins cover an area of over 120 hectares, and it’s fascinating to explore the various buildings and structures that were once part of this grand estate.

Tivoli Day Trip Tips

  • Take an early train to Tivoli to make the most of your day.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Bring a water bottle with you, especially during the summer months.
  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens.

Overall, a visit to Tivoli is a wonderful addition to your Rome itinerary, offering a peaceful retreat and a glimpse into Italy’s rich history and culture beyond the hustle and bustle of the city.

Conclusion

As I wrap up this article on things to do in Rome, Italy, I hope you have found it informative and inspiring. Rome is a city that never fails to amaze and captivate visitors, with its rich history, delectable cuisine, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or a foodie, Rome has something to offer for everyone.

Exploring the diverse attractions and experiences that Rome has to offer is a must-do for anyone visiting Italy or the city. From ancient ruins and hidden gems to Vatican City and Trastevere, Rome has it all. I urge you to take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy all that Rome has to offer.

So next time you’re looking for things to do in Italy Rome, don’t forget to add Rome to your itinerary. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

FAQ

What are the best things to do in Rome, Italy?

Some of the best things to do in Rome, Italy include exploring ancient ruins, indulging in Italian cuisine, visiting Vatican City, exploring hidden gems, taking a stroll in Trastevere, exploring the Vatican Museums, discovering the Trevi Fountain, enjoying a day trip to Tivoli Gardens, and more.

What are some must-visit ancient ruins in Rome?

Rome is famous for its rich history and ancient ruins. Some of the must-visit archaeological sites and ruins in Rome include the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

Where can I indulge in Italian cuisine in Rome?

Rome is a culinary paradise with numerous eateries and food markets. Some popular places to indulge in Italian cuisine include Trastevere, Testaccio, Campo de’ Fiori, and the local food markets such as Mercato di Testaccio and Mercato di Campo de’ Fiori.

What should I see in Vatican City?

Vatican City is home to several must-see attractions, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Gardens.

Are there any hidden gems in Rome?

Yes, Rome has many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Some off-the-beaten-path experiences include exploring charming neighborhoods like Monti and Pigneto, visiting the Baths of Caracalla, and discovering the Catacombs of Rome.

What are the top things to do and see in Trastevere?

Trastevere is a picturesque neighborhood known for its narrow, cobblestone streets and vibrant nightlife. Some top things to do and see in Trastevere include visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, exploring the colorful alleys, enjoying traditional Roman cuisine, and experiencing the buzzing atmosphere of the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere.

How can I make the most of my visit to the Vatican Museums?

To make the most of your visit to the Vatican Museums, it is recommended to book tickets in advance, arrive early to avoid crowds, explore the famous galleries such as the Gallery of Maps and Gallery of Tapestries, and take your time to admire the stunning art collection. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Sistine Chapel.

What are the tips for visiting the Trevi Fountain?

When visiting the Trevi Fountain, it is best to go early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid large crowds. Be sure to bring a small coin to toss into the fountain for good luck and to follow the tradition of making a wish.

Can I take a day trip to Tivoli Gardens from Rome?

Yes, Tivoli Gardens is a popular day trip destination from Rome. You can explore the stunning gardens and visit the well-preserved ancient villas, such as Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

What are the highlights of Rome, Italy?

Rome offers a rich diversity of attractions and experiences. Whether you’re interested in history, food, art, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Rome has something for everyone. Some highlights include its ancient ruins, mouthwatering Italian cuisine, Vatican City, and charming neighborhoods.