Rome is a city that could keep you entertained for days. Packed full to the brim with historical sites, incredible food, beautiful architecture, and so much more. A list of things to do in Rome is almost impossible to compile without writing an epic essay. Having said that, there are some unmissable sights in Rome, and a couple of things to do to avoid the river of tourists you’ll find almost everywhere. Whether you are here for a romantic weekend away staying at a couples resort or taking the kids for a family vacation, there is something for everyone in Rome. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Immerse yourself in history
Rome is one of the best cities in the planet in which to dive into ancient history and learn about some of the most influential civilizations in our world’s history. In Rome, you can barely walk around a corner without tripping over a Roman ruin that has been sitting there for thousands of years, it really is that packed full of things to see that will help you get in touch with the Roman Empire.
One of the best places to start getting to know the history is at the Colosseum, that classic building you see on the majority of Rome postcards. There are actually so many ruins to see in the area where the Colosseum is located, including the Roman Forum. Essentially, just follow the crowds or the pillars you can see off into the distances and you’ll find another fascinating part of ancient Rome.
Any member of staff from your hotel should be able to give you a map and point out where the most important sights are, and these could entertain you for days on end. As a quick list, make sure you get to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and Palatine Hill. Even if you’re not into history all that much, these sights are still worth visiting.
The good news is that if you get a ticket for the Colosseum, it also lets you visit the Palatine. A tip from us, is that if there are huge lines at the Colosseum (quite common), just go and buy your ticket from the Palatine and see that first. Then come back to the Colosseum and jump the queue as you already have a ticket!
Take a Rome Food Tour
One of the best things about traveling through Italy is that you almost feel that when you’re there you have a free pass to eating whatever you want, because the food is just completely worth indulging in. Even though you’ll find plenty of food whilst you simply walk around a place like Rome, sometimes it’s good to have someone point you in the right direction. Our Taste of Tesstacio tour with Eating Italy Food Tours did exactly that, and took us on a journey to 7 different spots in Rome to try all kinds of dishes from local chefs. Not only that, but when you take a food tour like this, you hear stories and gain insights into the local life in Rome. Anything that combines learning about a city whilst eating delicious food is a winner in our book.
Be swept away by Trastevere
Rome is a city filled with wide avenues and busy streets in its city center, but if you’re looking for a more relaxing side to Rome there is no better place to do it than in Trastevere. This quaint and charming neighborhood, filled with tiny streets covered in vines, is the perfect place to get lost in, and even if you’re the best navigator you’ll still probably get lost! Trastevere is a great spot to head to if you’re looking to have a calm day and have no destination in mind; it’s the best place in Rome to go to if you are happy to meander around some pretty streets and not have a care in the world.
In the evenings, Trastevere is just as, if not more, enchanting – the streets are all lit up and you can’t help but be swept away by the atmosphere. There are a few open squares here where you’ll find some churches tucked away and more important buildings, but essentially Trastevere is simply a neighborhood to relax in.
Visit the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
A trip to Rome would not be complete without at least a glance over at St Pauls’ Cathedral and the Vatican. Even though this attraction may as well be the definition of tourist trap, it’s still worth heading over to this area to take in the view of this stunning cathedral.
Queues into the building can be extremely long, and you’ll find plenty of tour groups that will take you in and allow you to skip the queue. If you’re in a hurry, these could definitely be the perfect thing for you, just make sure you shop around a little for tours (the guides will come up to you in the street the second you step in the neighborhood) to find the best price.
It’s also possible to visit the Vatican without a guided tour, and just as enjoyable to walk around when you don’t have someone telling you what everything is. Take your time to soak in all the grand architecture and stories of Popes past and present. You can even send a postcard from Vatican City’s very own post office! And of course, don’t miss the famous Michelangelo painting.
Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most beautiful spots in Rome, but it can be a complete nightmare to visit during the day. It’s so busy that you might find yourself wrangling tourists in order to get anywhere close to throw your coin in for good luck. The fountain looks just as beautiful at night, so we vote that you take a stroll with your loved one after dinner, late in the evening, and admire the fountain when there are far less people fighting for its attention. Romantic, luxurious, and much, much more peaceful.
While we’re on the subject of beautiful architecture, and honorable mention has to go here for the Spanish Steps. This popular spot in Rome is also almost always flooded with tourists, but is still definitely worth the visit. Again, this spot is magical at night, so avoid the crowds and visit at an unusual hour.
Nibble on an aperitivo and people watch
As the working day comes to a close in Rome, the locals like to unwind with a small bite to eat and a glass of wine, otherwise known as an aperitivo. For the perfect way to indulge in the tradition with them, pull up a chair in one of Rome’s many squares, order up a plate full of little treats and a glass of wine, and watch the world go by. Nothing could feel more chic than watching the city unravel into the evening and gaze upon all the people finishing up their daily routine. This tradition is the only way to relax in a city where you’re one amongst thousands of tourists, and hundreds of thousands of busy locals.
Do you have any tips for the Top Things to do in Rome Italy?