Guía turística de Rome

Rome was called the “ Eternal City ” by the ancient Romans because they believed that no matter what happened in the rest of the world, the city of Rome would always remain standing . Exploring the city center by foot surrounded by glorious monuments and colossal remains takes you back in time to the “glory that was Rome”.

Rome Travel Guide

  • General Information
  • Top Attractions
  • Getting to Rome
  • Public Transport
  • Money-saving tips
  • Where to Eat
  • Where to Stay
  • 3-Day Itinerary

Why visit Rome?  

With its unparalleled history, Rome is the third most visited city in Europe and the fourteenth worldwide. It attracts visitors from all over the world who are impatient to discover the city’s impressive monuments and archaeological sites ; not to mention its renowned cuisine and its lively atmosphere.

When exploring the Colosseum , visitors will easily imagine how the gladiators fought for their lives in the arena, cheered by the crowd. In the Circus Maximus , travelers will picture the chariots crashing into each other in order to be first in the race, and in the Roman Forum visualize what the Roman public life was like.

Looking for accommodation?

If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, we suggest visiting our search engine , where you’ll find all types of hotels, hostels, and apartments with the best rates guaranteed . You can get up to a 75% discount and pay once you get to your destination.

  • Accommodation in Rome - find the best deals

This travel guide will provide you with all the necessary information to make your stay in Rome a memorable experience. ​

top activities

Colosseum Tour + Gladiator's Entrance When in Rome, don’t miss the eternal Colosseum! Access the arena through the Gladiator’s Gate, the entrance used by the ancient Roman fighters.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour On this guided tour of Vatican City, you'll visit the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel . As an added bonus, you won't have to wait in endless queues!

Rome Private Tour with Driver Fall in love with Rome with this private tour with driver. Choose your route, and enjoy a comfortable tour solely for you and your travel companions.

Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Tour Travel back in time to Ancient Rome and discover the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill on this guided tour with priority access !

Rome Combo: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica + Colosseum Combine the most-visited places in Rome with a guided tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s, then the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill.

Pompeii & Naples Day Trip Set off on a full day trip and discover the ruins of Pompeii , followed by a panoramic tour of Naples , one of the world's oldest constantly populated cities.

Borghese Gallery Guided Tour Enter the Borghese Gallery accompanied by a professional guide, and discover its extraordinary collection including pieces by Caravaggio and Raphael.

Rome Ciampino Airport Shuttle Bus With this shuttle service between Ciampino Airport and Rome, you'll be in the centre of the Italian capital in less than an hour. The eternal city awaits you!

Day Trip to Venice by High Speed Train Experience a day trip from Rome to Venice on a high-speed train and explore its beautiful canals and historic centre at your own pace.

Audience With Pope Francis An audience with Pope Francis is a unique spiritual experience . Your guide will take care of everything, so you can go relaxed.

Rome Catacombs Tour & Appian Way Visit the catacombs of Rome with an expert English-speaking guide during a 3-hour half day-trip, also discovering the fascinating Villa di Massenzio.

Castel Sant Angelo Tour Led by an English-speaking guide, you’ll learn about its history of Castel Sant Angelo also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, erected between 134 and 139 AD.

Rome Bike Tour Tour the Italian capital on two wheels whilst you enjoy an electric bike tour of the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and much more .

Trastevere Food Tour Feast your eyes and stomach during a 3-hour food tour in Trastevere, one of Rome’s most bohemian neighborhoods and sample the delicious Italian gastronomy.

Free Walking Tour of Rome The city of the Caesars, of Baroque and, of course, The Eternal City. Discover Rome with this free walking tour of the Italian capital .

Rome Fiumicino Airport Shuttle Bus Are you travelling to Rome? Book this shuttle bus between Fiumicino Airport and Rome so you can get into the city centre comfortably and quickly.

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi With this classical music concert, you'll experience all Four Seasons of the famous Antonio Vivaldi . An unforgettable concert in an incomparable setting!

Florence & Pisa Day Trip Discover two incredible jewels in Tuscany on our Florence & Pisa Day Trip from Rome. You'll see the Duomo , the Ponte Vecchio and the Leaning Tower .

Baths of Caracalla & Circus Maximus Guided Tour Go back in time on this walking tour of the Bath of Caracalla, the most luxurious thermae of the Roman Empire . Then marvel at the remains of the Circus Maximus.

Rome Night Tour On this night tour of Rome ,   we'll visit the most iconic piazzas , streets and monuments of the Italian capital when the city comes to life at dusk.

Capitoline Museum Guided Tour Marvel at one of Rome’s most important museums , the Capitoline Museums, followed by a visit to Piazza del Campidoglio on top of the Capitoline Hill.

Private Walking Tour of Rome Explore the Eternal City's most iconic sights accompanied by an expert guide just for you and your partner, family or friends.  Discover the best of Rome !

La Traviata with Ballet Entrance Ticket Enjoy one of the most famous operas of all time in the magical setting of the St Paul's Within the Walls Church with this La Traviata Ballet Entrance Ticket.

Rome Mysteries & Legends Free Tour Wandering ghosts and enigmas in Caravaggio's works ... Discover the hidden side of the city with this free tour of Rome's mysteries and legends.

Rome Hard Rock Cafe Come to the Rome Hard Rock Cafe and enjoy an exquisite menu of American food in an emblematic place where the rhythm of rock is felt in every corner. 

This tourist bus is the perfect way to discover Rome . You can choose different routes with numerous stops and hop on and off as many times as you want!

Go City: Rome Explorer Pass Unlock Rome's top attractions with the Go City: Rome Explorer Pass – the very best & most comfortable way to make the most of your trip to Rome.

OMNIA Rome & Vatican Card The OMNIA Card is a sightseeing pass that includes priority access to Rome’s main attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City .

Ostia Antica Half-Day Tour from Rome Discover the legacy of the Imperial City on a guided tour of Ostia Antica, an ancient harbor town only 30 km from Rome.

St Peter's Basilica Guided Tour + Dome Climb Enjoy the best views of Rome by climbing the 320 steps leading up to the dome of St. Peter's . We'll also visit the interior of the Basilica!

Set off on a day trip from Rome across the Italian countryside to discover the birthplace of St Francis  in the charming town of Assisi .

St. Peter's Basilica Tickets: Dome Access + Audioguide Secure your ticket to St. Peter's Basilica for an experience that includes access to its magnificent dome and a self-guided tour with an English audio guide .

Visit the largest Roman amphitheater in the world on this guided tour of the Colosseum. An absolute must if you're in the Italian capital!

The Three Tenors Concert The church of  St. Paul's Within the Walls in Rome opens its doors to you to offer you the show The Three Tenors. Enjoy an unforgettable opera concerto.

Day Trip to Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti On this tour to Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti , we'll discover the beautiful region of Tuscany - including medieval towns, and a visit to a wine cellar!

Basilicas Tour and Secret Underground Catacombs Discover some of the most symbolic sites in Christian history: the Catacombs and two of the world's most important Basilicas on this tour of the Eternal City.

Rome Tuk Tuk Tour Tour Rome in the most comfortable way on this tuk tuk tour. We'll explore its seven hills and learn tons of historical fun facts about the eternal city.

Rome Photo Tour Discover the most Instagrammable locations in the Italian capital and show off your trip with this Rome Photo Tour.

Mostra di Leonardo Ticket Discover some of the most amazing inventions by the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci with this ticket to the Mostra di Leonardo museum.

Trastevere and Jewish Ghetto Tour Enjoy a walking guided tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto and soak up the neighborhood’s bohemian atmosphere with numerous landmarks to visit.

Rome Squares and Fountains Guided Tour Set off on a walking guided tour of Rome and discover some of its iconic landmarks, such as the Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, and Piazza Navona .

The impressive dome of the Pantheon of Agrippa has fascinated the whole world for centuries. Discover it with this guided tour of Ancient Rome .

Rome Fascist History Tour discover the architecture designed in Rome at the time of Benito Mussolini's fascist dictatorship with this Rome Fascist History Tour.

Welcome to Rome Tickets Immerse yourself in Rome's thrilling history when you buy a ticket for the fascinating Welcome to Rome multimedia experience .

Wine Tasting in Rome Italy is world-renowned for its tradition of wine-making. Indulge your senses on this wine tasting tour of Rome with an expert sommelier!

Puzzle Hunt: Angels and Demons, the Illuminati Hunt Impersonate Robert Langdon himself for a day in this puzzle hunt in Rome: Angels and Demons , the Illuminati Hunt. The best way to explore the city!

Bioparco di Roma Ticket With your ticket to the Bioparco of Rome you will discover this zoo located in the heart of the city, inside Villa Borghese, an ideal plan for families!

Janiculum, Trastevere and Jewish Quarter Guided Tour On this fascinating tour of the Gianicolo , Trastevere and   the Jewish Quarter  in Rome, we'll gain a truly unique perspective of the Italian capital.

Rome Street Art Tour Discover secrets and the most interesting glimpses throughout the most colourful district with this Rome Street Art Tour. Explore the captivating capital city!

Rome Layover Tour Take advantage of your time at Rome airport to explore the Italian capital with this Rome Layover Tour. You'll discover the charm of the beautiful Eternal City.

Rome Private Day Trips Explore the beautiful Italian cities of Naples, Pompeii, Ostia or Assisi with these Rome Private Day Trips. You'll have an exclusive guide just for your group.

Roam the underbelly of Rome on this tour of its underground system . Walk  the Appian Way and Caffarella and   dive into the lesser-known side of the Eternal City !

Trevi Fountain and its Underground World On this  tour of the Trevi Fountain and its underground world , we'll reveal the hidden treasures and history of the most  fountain in Rome . 

Lake Albano Kayak Tour If you're in Rome and want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city , join us on this kayak tour on Lake Albano .

Rome Pub Crawl Are you ready to discover the vibrant nightlife of the Italian capital ? Join us on this pub crawl through Rome and experience it for yourself!

Private Photoshoot outside of the Colosseum Remember your trip to Rome forever with this private photoshoot outside the Colosseum - we'll make sure you look your best beside the iconic monument!

Florence Excursion by High Speed Train Known as the "City of Art", Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On this day trip, we'll tour its historic centre and the Uffizi Gallery.

Naples to Capri Tour: 2/3 Days Relax in southern Italy with this Naples to Capri Tour lasting 2/3 days. Discover Pompeii's incredible history, Sorrento's cuisine and Capri's beauty .

5 Day Tour: The Best of Italy The best of Italy in just 5 days! Asisi, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Padua, Venice and Montepulciano  are the cities we take in on the tour.

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums + St Peter's Basilica On this tour, you'll get access to the Sistine Chapel first thing in the morning, avoiding all the crowds . We'll also visit  St Peter's Basilica .

Pompeii & Minori Tour: 3 Days Discover the impressive ruins of Pompeii , explore the Almafi Coast  & enjoy 2 nights in Minori on this incredible 3-day tour.

Rome Sightseeing Cruise on the Tiber River Take a sightseeing cruise along the Tiber River and enjoy spectacular 360º views of Rome from the water. You can hop on and off as many times as you want!

Ischia 5-Day Tour Are you in Rome? Join us to visit the most beautiful islands in the Napolitan archipelago  on this  5-day tour of Ischia . You'll love it!

Ponza Island Day Trip Enjoy a  day trip from Rome to Ponza Island . Cruise along the waters, feel the breeze in your hair and cool off with a dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea!

Italian Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop If you're passionate about Italian cuisine, then don't miss out on this  Italian Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop . You'll learn how to make some staple Italian dishes!

Italian Pizza Workshop Visit Rome and enjoy a delicious pizza made with your own hands . Try this Italian Pizza Workshop and learn how to make one of the country's most famous dishes.

Colosseum Private Tour Discover the World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World with this  Colosseum Private Tour . Explore the Roman site with an exclusive guide.

Vatican Museums Private Tour Step into the legacy of the Italian city-state on this Vatican Private Tour. Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with just your family or friends!

Tiber River Cruise with Appetizer Discover Rome from a privileged perspective as you relax with this Tiber River Cruise with Appetizer. You'll see symbolic places such as the Umberto I Bridge.

Palazzo Santa Chiara Opera Concert Treat yourself to a unique experience during your stay in Rome when you attend a fantastic opera concert at the Palazzo Santa Chiara .

Entrance to IKONO Rome Looking for a unique plan in the Italian capital? With a ticket to IKONO Rome , you'll get to explore this creative space and become a part of the art!

Roma World Entrance Ticket Don't miss out on your ticket to Roma World , a theme park in which you'll travel back in time to the ancient and powerful Roman Empire .

Cinecittà World Ticket With this entrance ticket to Cinecittà World you can visit real film sets and travel to the imaginary worlds of movies and TV series .

Capri Tour: 2/3 Days Be captivated by the glamour of the Italian island with this Capri Tour lasting 2 or 3 days. Explore the fascinating Mediterranean cave, the Blue Grotto.

Vatican Gardens + Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Ticket Discover the green lung of Vatican City on this tour of its gardens. You'll also visit the Sistine Chapel and take a self-guided tour of the Vatican Museums.

Papal Audience & Vatican Museums Tour Enjoy this unique experience of the Holy See with this combination tour which includes an  audience with Pope Francis and a visit to the Vatican Museums .

Colosseum Guided Night Visit Visit one of Rome's most iconic monuments all lit up at the most magical time of day on our  Colosseum Guided Night Visit at dusk .

Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo Day Trip From Pope Alexander VII to Benedict XVI , numerous popes have spent the holidays at the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo . Explore its links with the Vatican!

Capri Day Trip Like the writers and artists before you, you'll fall in love with Capri on this unmissable tour. Discover the island's myths, legends and Blue Grotto .

Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este Day Trip Visit the two treasures of Tivoli on this day trip: Hadrian's Villa, Roman Emperor's retreat, and Villa d'Este, a Renaissance mansion with magnificent gardens.

The most complete guide of Rome

This guide has been written by travelers like yourself and it's designed to help you plan your stay in Rome, so that you get the most out of the city as possible, whether you're staying for 2 days or a month. Find out what the top attractions  and the best places to eat are, which museums are worthwhile, and where to stay in Rome. If you’re traveling on a budget, we have also an article on how to save money while visiting this fascinating city, and the daily costs , so that you're prepared before getting to Italy.

The information provided in this guide was updated in  January 2023 . If you find a mistake or would like to make a suggestion, please do not hesitate to  contact us .

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How to Live La Dolce Vita in Rome

travel guide for rome italy

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Things to know, how to get around, best hotels, best restaurants, things to do, best shopping, neighborhoods to know, apps to download.

It famously straddles seven hills, but Rome often feels like several cities. There's the ancient one, of course – the Rome of emperors and amphitheaters, still visible today. Then there's grand, baroque Rome, a city of immense squares, florid churches and fountains, each more spectacular than the next. There's the Dolce Vita vibe, still, in elegant boutiques, bars, and restaurants, and landmark hotels still on Via Veneto. But Rome is also modern, with formerly residential neighborhoods such as Testaccio, Monti, and Ostiense now as attractive to tourists for their nightlife as the classic areas.

It all swirls together into one timeless gumbo. In the space of a day you can go from a Roman emperor's home to a hipster market; you can peel away the layers simply by stepping down into the basement of a church. Of course, all this excess needs some restraint. You should find that in the Vatican; but instead, you'll find Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel there. So when it all gets too much, there are the parks: the Giardino degli Aranci with its sublime views of the dome of St Peter's; the Villa Borghese, whose sprawling grounds contain several museums; and the Via Appia Antica, a Roman road strewn with mausoleums, catacombs, and ancient aqueducts. Even out in nature, Rome can't help but go over the top.

Central European Standard Time

Fall is famously stunning in Rome, known for soft-lit afternoons and a warming sun. To avoid the crowds, go in early-to-mid December — the religious visitors start piling in for the Pope's Christmas address after that — or in January and February.

Currency: Euro (Check the current exchange rate )

Language: Italian I don't speak Italian: Non parlo italiano I'm lost: Mi sono perso/a How much is...: Quanto costa... I would like…: Vorrei… How do I get to…: Per andare a... Learn more Italian phrases

Calling Code: +39

Capital City: Rome

Trains : Roma Termini is one of the biggest railway stations in the country, perfectly placed on the high-speed lines for fast access to Naples, Florence, Milan, and beyond. Fast direct trains to Fiumicino airport also leave from here.

Buses : Rome has a decent bus network although there's not much coverage in the historic center. It's easy to get out to places just beyond the city walls, such as Testaccio, Piramide, and the Via Appia Antica however. The metro system skims the city center.

Taxis : Taxis are plentiful, with stands at major sites — you can also use the FREE NOW hailing app. Fixed rates are in place for rides from airports Fiumicino and Ciampino, with prices clearly marked on doors.

Car service : Most hotels can arrange transfers; those to and from Fiumicino are normally good value, with prices only a little higher, but with no risk of arguments over fares and supplements at the end.

Rooms of Rome

Address: Via S. Remo, 3/int C3, 00182 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 345 178 1615 Book Now

Alda Fendi paused her fashion career to launch an art foundation; this hotel, which doubles as a gallery, is the next step. Below the Palatine Hill and near the Bocca della Verità (immortalized in Roman Holiday ) it's an 18th-century palazzo stripped to the brick bone and rebuilt by Jean Nouvel. There are mind blowing Palatine views from the terrace, while guests have out-of-hours access to exhibitions located in the hotel.

Palazzo Manfredi

Address: Via Labicana, 125, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 7759 1380 Book Now

No hotel in the city can claim such a jaw-dropping view as this modern, tranquil retreat which sits plum opposite the Colosseum. Enjoy the panoramas from the rooftop restaurant; or book a front-facing room to see one of the world's most famous buildings from your bed. This is one place that's worth splashing out for a fabled room with a view.

Inn at the Roman Forum

Address: Via degli Ibernesi, 30, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6919 0970 Book Now

History lovers, this one's for you. After breakfast, take a look at the underground level, where archeologists have dug down to find Roman ruins – part of Trajan's Forum, just around the corner. Then head to the roof terrace, where the views of the Eternal City are endlessly spectacular. Rooms mix the grandiose with the contemporary.

Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte

Address: Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 56, 00187 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 342 886 1007 Book Now

Looking for a hotel fit for royalty? This is the place for you – the childhood home of Napoleon Bonaparte III, former French emperor. The staircase is a marble architectural marvel, the ceilings are coffered and the walls are clad in silken damasks. The apartment-sized suites are more modern – so you don't feel like you're sleeping in a museum.

Il Campo Marzio

Address: Via di Campo Marzio, 46, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 8115 7571 Book Now

Within the grand Palazzo Magnani, an 18th-century mansion in the super-central Campo Marzio area, is this intimate, 13-room hotel. With most rooms holding two double beds, it's a great pick for friends and family. Leave room in your suitcase for a few bottles from the in-house liquor store which sells exclusively Italian-brewed booze.

Gigli d'Oro Suite

Address: Via dei Gigli d'Oro, 12, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6880 3579 Book Now

One of the mini hotels that Rome does so well, this former family home now holds six rooms that bring a startling contemporary feel to the cobbled street behind Piazza Navona. 'Floating' beds hover under ancient beams; stark white chairs sit beside a carved fireplace. The tiny breakfast room doubles as a bar.

Address: Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 699340 Book Now

Everyone from Tom Cruise to Princess Diana have been welcomed to the Hassler by owner Roberto Wirth — incredibly, this world-famous grande dame, perched at the top of the Spanish Steps, is still family-owned and run hands-on. It's a sumptuous, marble-drenched affair as you'd expect from one of Rome's fanciest five stars — its slogan, "stairway to heaven," is no mere PR puff. The seventh-floor, guests-only terrace has once-in-a-lifetime 270-degree views of the Eternal City — with the dome of St Peter's straight ahead, the Spanish Steps unfurling beneath, and seagulls swooping overhead.

Villa Spalletti Trivelli

Address: Via Piacenza, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 4890 7934 Book Now

If it feels like you're staying at the home of Roman aristocracy, that's because you are – the Spalletti family opened their home to guests in 2004, and you'll still find their family photos dotted about. Rooms are super-comfy and traditional, but it's the public areas that are the real draw, from the stately drawing rooms to the garden outside and the spectacular hot-tubbed rooftop.

Baglioni Hotel Regina

Address: Via Vittorio Veneto, 72, 00187 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 421111 Book Now

Lady Gaga is rumored to have stayed here in 2021; back in the day, the buzzing Via Veneto was the heart of the Dolce Vita scene. It may be an art deco grande dame but it's thoroughly modern, with slick décor and neutral palettes. Perched above the city, you'll get panoramic views of Rome from the terrace.

Hotel Locarno

Address: Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 361 0841 Book Now

Everyone from Federico Fellini to Rupert Everett has spent time at the art deco Locarno, near the Tiber at the Villa Borghese level. Not that you'll want to venture far from the opulent rooms, with their damask walls, sensual heavy drapes and retro herringbone parquet. Stay in for cocktails at the bar to catch some dolce vita.

Fifteen Keys

Address: Via Urbana, 6, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 4891 3446 Book Now

A converted townhouse in hipster Monti offers 15 guest rooms surrounding a pretty courtyard. The look's contemporary-meets-urban, with exposed stone walls, creams-on-creams and pops of color from the modern art.

Villa Laetitia

Address: Lungotevere delle Armi, 22/23, 00195 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 322 6776 Book Now

Another hotel owned by fashion royalty, this Tiber-side retreat belongs to Anna Fendi. Past the swarthy naked giants on the door, you're through to a chic retreat of dogtooth floors and painted ceilings, all wrapped in an art nouveau palazzo. Pick from a room in the villa itself or the Garden House – an easy stagger from the Michelin-starred restaurant.

Address: Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 06 6993 4726 Website

This extraordinary Michelin-starred restaurant sprawls over the sixth floor of the iconic Hassler Hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps. The views of the city are incomparable; and the food, by 29-year-old wunderkind Andrea Antonini, matches it. The six-course tasting menu (with multiple amuse bouches) is a stunningly inventive take on traditional Roman and Italian food, from pumpkin flowers stuffed with prawns and spaghetti with mint, pecorino and sea urchin, to a sublime take on Italy's famous rabbit dish, coniglio al cacciatore. Reservations recommended.

Address: Via Urbana, 47, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 4788 4006 Website

This is in hipster Monti, and it doesn't disappoint. Locally sourced food with an extra zing – like three types of pepper on the cacio e pepe pasta – it also does take-out pasta (or freshly rolled, if you're staying in an apartment). Reservations recommended.

Address: Via Monte dè Cenci, 9, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6880 6629 Website

Family-owned since 1860, this stalwart of the Jewish Quarter — which dates back over 2,000 years and was behind many of the city's most famous dishes — serves some of Rome's most memorable meals from rich-sauced pasta to the city's famous carciofi alla giuda artichokes. Eat outside on the pedestrianized, cobbled square. Reservations recommended.

Address: Via Labicana, 125, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 9761 5109 Website

It's all about the view at Aroma, the rooftop restaurant of Palazzo Manfredi hotel, which looks square onto the Colosseum. It has a retractable roof and glass doors that open up, leaving you to watch circling seagulls in the Colosseum's spotlights. Executive chef Giuseppe di Iorio's tasting menus take you through Roman classics, jazzing them up with modern touches.

Address: Vicolo del Malpasso, 9, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 687 7365 Website

Chef Giulio Terrinoni has won a Michelin star for the "striking originality" at his restaurant, 'For Me.' Go for the full 10-course tasting menu at dinner to get a handle on his work; for something more informal, try lunch, where he makes tapas-style "tappi." Reservations recommended.

Agustarello A Testaccio

Address: Via Giovanni Branca, 100, 00153 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 574 6585 Website

The Testaccio has long been known for its hearty restaurants. This laidback osteria is one of the best – and serves one of the best cacio e pepe in Rome. Don't miss the rosetta ripiena : bread rolls stuffed with pancetta, pecorino and mozzarella.


Address: Piazza Tarquinia, 4 a/b, 00183 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 7720 7354 Website

Young chef Sara Cicolini has created an ultra-modern take on the "quinto quarto" – the 'fifth quarter,' or Rome's beloved offal. Unlike more traditional places, here it's jazzed up, so you'll get dishes like a frittata poached around a heart of chicken offal; wagyu heart tartare; and oxtail meatballs with a sauce of peanut and cocoa powder.

Address: Via Guglielmo Calderini, 64, 00196 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 323 5531 Website

Stanley Tucci raves about the cacio e pepe at this restaurant, run by Japanese chef Kotaro Noda, who's won a Michelin star for his imaginative takes on classic Roman dishes. It's much cheaper than your average high-class restaurant, though; his five-course tasting menus start at just €50 ($60). Reservations recommended.

Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina

Address: Via dei Giubbonari, 21, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 687 5287 Website

This is a true Roman institution – a deli-restaurant hybrid using top-quality ingredients. Sit at the counter to watch platters of everything from cold cuts to anchovies being prepared, and try the pizza rossa , straight from the Roscioli family's own bakery. Reservations recommended.

Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 250, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6813 9022 Website

Ciro Scarmadella is the young chef at the helm of this super-sophisticated Michelin-starred restaurant, but maître d' and host Alessandro Pipero is the one whose name it bears. Try the innovative seven-course Carta Bianca ('carte blanche') tasting menu, or stick with the more traditional à la carte. Reservations recommended.

Flavio al Velavevodetto

Address: Via di Monte Testaccio, 97, 00153 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 574 4194 Website

This Testaccio restaurant does a mean gricia , cacio e pepe, and amatriciana ; but you're not really here for the food. This is one place you'll want to eat inside, since it's dug into the side of the Monte Testaccio: a grassy hill formed by a Roman rubbish dumb of terracotta amphorae – which you can see through a glass wall in the main room.

Armando Al Pantheon

Address: Salita de' Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6880 3034 Website

Forget the touristy location, right by the Pantheon; this is the real, Roman deal, going back three generations. In a tiny, wood-lined room, and on tables outside, the Bib Gourmand holder serves classic Roman pasta dishes, seared pajata, and the signature dessert – a sour cherry tart. Reservations recommended.

Il Goccetto

Address: Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 9944 8583 Website

There are hundreds of wines (literally – over 800 at the last count) to choose from at this gorgeous, old-timey bar in a building dating back to the 16th century. There's a rotating selection by the glass; pair yours with their extremely elevated bar snacks.

Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 3996 7700 Website

All roads famously lead to Rome – and once you get there, sometimes it feels like all roads in Rome go past the Colosseum. The great amphitheater is every bit as spectacular as you imagine – book a ticket that includes a guided tour of the underground area, to see the gateways and holding pens for the animals and gladiators before they were sent out to fight.

Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 3996 7700 Website

The sprawling Roman Forum has several entrances, but start from the one behind Piazza Venezia for the most spectacular route, walking through the grand Arch of Titus and through the ancient city, the Colosseum looming at the other end.

Vatican City

Address: Viale Vaticano Phone: +39 06 6988 4676 Website

A jurisdiction of its own in the middle of Italy, the Vatican dominates Rome. Visit St Peter's basilica — the largest church in the world — to see Michelangelo's "Pietà," a heartrending tribute to motherhood, as well as his giant dome. Leave the best part of a day to explore the Vatican Museums, home to masterpieces such as the ancient sculpture group Laocoön, Raphael's frescoes and, of course, the Sistine Chapel.

Trevi Fountain and Quirinal Hill

Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

Early mornings and late nights are the best time to see the Trevi Fountain, the city's most outrageous monument to the baroque age. While you're there, head up the nearby Quirinal Hill – the highest of the seven – to the grand piazza outside the presidential palace, for superb views.

Villa Borghese

Address: Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 841 3979 Website

Set within the Villa Borghese gardens – with some of the loveliest grounds in Rome – is this superb art gallery which occupies a grand 17th-century villa. The marble-clad interiors are glorious, but even they're outshone by the contents: a room full of Caravaggios and the hall of lifelike Bernini sculptures for starters.

Mausoleo di Augusto

Address: Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Website

The mausoleum of Rome's first emperor, Augustus, was once the grandest, highest building in the city. Over the centuries it lost its marble cladding, its roof and much of its elegance, but following a 13-year restoration it reopened to the public in 2021 – ancient Rome's newest site.

Walk the Tiber

The Tiber has one of Europe's loveliest riversides, studded with historical remains and buildings and shaded by trees. The stretch from the Foro Boario – where two ancient temples sit opposite the Bocca della Verità – up to the marble Ponte Sisto, is lovely, passing the grand synagogue and the mid-river island, Isola Tiberina. Or go from the grand Piazza del Popolo, past the Mausoleo di Augusto and the ancient Ara Pacis monument, across the Roman bridge to the Castel Sant'Angelo – the castle-like mausoleum of the emperor Hadrian, which then became the Pope's fortress.

Basilica di San Clemente

Address: Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy Phone: + 39 06 774 0021 Website

This church not far from the Colosseum is a prime example of Rome's layered history – and here you'll get to peel back time, tier by tier. The current church is medieval; underneath is an early Christian basilica from the fourth century; and below that is a mithraeum (an ancient Roman temple) and a Roman house.

Baths of Caracalla

Address: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy Website

It's just off the tourist map (literally), beyond the Circus Maximus, which means this jaw-dropping Roman bath complex is rarely visited. Wander the sprawling complex to see mosaics still in situ, hulking walls and arches, and – if it's having a special opening – the underground mithraeum.

Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini

Address: Foro Traiano, 85, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 2276 1280 Website

This lesser known site has a fantastic sound-and-light show taking you straight back to ancient Rome. Ruined Roman houses in the bowels of a grand palazzo have not only been excavated – so you walk above them on glass floors – but projectors show you how it would have been 2,000 years ago.

Cripta dei Cappuccini

Address: Via Vittorio Veneto, 27, 00187 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 8880 3695 Website

A memento mori warning to the Dolce Vita set, this church crypt on the famous Via Veneto houses the remains of 3,700 bodies – assumed to be capuchin monks. But it isn't gruesome – the bones and skulls have been arranged artistically, into altarpieces, chandeliers, and even a Grim Reaper skeleton brandishing a scythe.

Giardino degli Aranci

Address: Piazza Pietro D'Illiria, 00153 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6710 5457

Follow the avenue of skinny pine trees to watch the sun set over St Peter's. This lovely little park atop the Aventine hill has prime views of the city skyline – and points straight towards Michelangelo's famous dome.

Via Condotti

Address: Via dei Condotti

This street – the flashiest in Rome – offers world-class window-shopping. Most designers have branches on Via Condotti (technically Via dei Condotti, though it's never referred to as such) and its cobbled side streets.

Laura Bosetti Tonatto

Address: Via dei Coronari, 57, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 686 4224 Website

Italy's best known 'nose' and parfumier to the great and good including the Queen of England, Laura has created dozens of exclusive perfumes and scents at her laboratory on trendy Via dei Coronari.

Ape Camiceria Artigianale

Address: Via di Pallacorda, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 689 2401 Website

Master tailor Piero Albertelli made elegant clothes for royals and celebrities across the globe. Although he passed away in 2018, his team continues, making made-to-measure shirts, coats and sweaters. There's a ready-to-wear collection, too.

Address: Via dei Coronari, 197, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6871645 Website

Lisa Corti was born and brought up in Ethiopia, and she pays homage to her upbringing with her bright, highly patterned textiles. You'll find everything from throws and curtains to tablecloths and bed covers; as well as interiors there's also a collection of kaftans and kurtas.


Address: Via dei Prefetti, 11, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 679 3481 Website

This eyeglass brand has been going strong since 1961, and it shows in the retro designs. You'll find bright colors, the odd leopard print and even octagonal frames – they're design objects in themselves.

Ferdinando Codognotto

Address: Via dei Pianellari, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 335 824 0400 Website

Artists and artisans tend to have been squeezed out of the city center in recent years. Wood sculptor Ferdinando Codognotto is one of those who remains – his extraordinary works of art can be seen around the city, while his workshop is on a cobbled street behind Piazza Navona.

Address: Via dei Chiavari, 39, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6830 7297 Website

Elisa Nepi handcrafts brightly colored bags, made from vegetable-dyed Tuscan leather (which she personally selects). Try her two-tone satchels, over-shoulder bags and wallets.

La Grotta Dipinta

Address: Via dei Chiavari, 73, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone : +39 339 272 5780 Website

Step back in time into this mosaic workshop, where pots of tesserae line the shelves and ancient designs are propped up against the walls. Artisans Tiziana Ferraresi and Francesca Nicosia split the large tesserae over a spiked tree stump – just as the ancient Romans used to do. They teach mosaic classes, too.

Address: Via di S. Pantaleo, 68-69, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 06 6880 2547 Website

'Strategic Business Unit' isn't the most authentically Italian-sounding name, but these slick jeans, button-downs and t-shirts bear all the hallmarks of Bel Paese fashion. The ultra-soft denim comes from Japan, though it's tailored in Italy.

Address: Le Tartarughe Eat & Drink, Piazza Mattei, 00186 Roma RM, Italy Phone: +39 392 413 2158 Website

Rita Salvadori grows 80,000 chili pepper plants on her biodynamic Tuscan farm, including some of the spiciest strains on the planet. They're sold here, at this great little café and deli – try her chilli-laced salt and jam.

Trastevere : On the Vatican side of the Tiber – the Ponte Sisto bridge is the entrance point – Trastevere is one of the center's trendiest neighborhoods, with exceptional restaurants and buzzing bars alongside quiet lanes and cobblestone streets that feel far from a city. This has always been an area of artists and artisans, and there's still a boho feel to the air.

Testaccio : A port of ancient Rome, this Tiber-side district south of the city center used to be best known as the location for the city's slaughterhouse. Today, that slaughterhouse hosts modern art exhibitions, and there's a slew of trendy bars straddling this and Ostiense, the district next door. As a working class area, its restaurants have always been top-notch.

Monti : Hipsters love Monti, the former down-at-heel neighborhood sitting between Termini railway station and the Colosseum. Back in ancient times, this was the Suburra (slums); more recently it was the Red Light district. But in the last couple of decades, its cobblestone streets have been transformed by artisans, bars, and boutique stores, making it Rome's nightlife capital, spiraling off from Piazza della Madonna dei Monti.

Vatican City : This is of course the seat of the Catholic faith, and life revolves around the church here in the Vatican, an independent city stage within Rome. You're here for the museums and St Peter's Basilica of course, but there are other finds, such as the Auditorium Conciliazione concert hall and its chic Chorus Caffe.

Campitelli : If you're here for all things ancient, this is where you'll spend most of your time. Campitelli is home to the most famous parts of ancient Rome, including the Forum, the Palatine, and the Campidoglio; the Colosseum skims its edge.

Campo Marzio : If you're looking to splash some cash, you'll want Campo Marzio. One of the most ancient areas of Rome, it pairs sites such as the Mausoleo di Augusto and the Ara Pacis with the chic shopping streets around Via Condotti and the Spanish Steps, and finishes at Via del Corso, where you'll find the high-street stores.

Fall in Rome is spectacular – so much so that there's a name for the city's warm and sunny October days: ottobrata , where temperatures can hit the 70s in the sun. Winters are mild, although January temperatures can plummet to the 40s, and it can rain. Spring, like fall, is a beautiful time to go, with trees in blossom and temperatures in the 60s. Summer is hot and humid – so much so that most Romans abandon the city for the month of August.

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Rome travel guide

Introduction to rome travel.

The Eternal city is one of the greatest on earth. Founded more than 2,500 years ago, the city is one of the most important places on our planet. Home to the Roman Empire, Catholic church and Renaissance seat of power, it is no wonder all roads lead to Rome. In our opinion, all first journeys to Italy should include some time in Rome.Explore the highlights, majesty, chaos and vibrant street life of the city and stand in awe of this enduring metropolis. As you wander the streets, centuries old ruins of palaces and temples await you around every corner. Fountains bubble and cascade in splendour in the middle of cobbled piazzas. In the neighborhoods close by, the hustle and bustle of a modern city continues always acknowledging its historic and glorious past.

What to see in Rome

From ancient Roman sites crumbling but still magnificent, to glorious Renaissance masterpieces and tiny churches packed with art, you could easily fill a lifetime exploring Rome.


Vatican museums, roman forum, piazza navona, trevi fountain, spanish steps, untold rome.

Once you have seen the classic sights, it’s time to explore the lesser known secrets of Rome. Just beyond the major piazzas, small nooks and hidden treasures await. Read more about hidden secrets in Rome .


Choose the best area and hotel for your trip with our guide to the best accommodation and hotels in Rome. Whether you want to stay in the historic center, close to the Colosseum or soak up the atmosphere of beautiful Trastevere, there is a perfect hotel to suit your trip.

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Hotels near the vatican, hotels near  the colosseum, hotels in trastevere, rome tours and tickets.

Information on skip the line tickets to the major attractions, the best tours of the city and unique activities that are sure to make your trip memorable.

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Vatican tickets and tours, best rome tickets and tours, rome food tours.

Looking for Rome airport arrivals information? Click here

Need itinerary ideas for Rome?

Read our 3 day itinerary or 5 day itinerary for Rome with ideas on how to see the Colosseum, Vatican, historic center and lesser known sites

DISCOVER: Get off the beaten path with Rome’s Hidden Gems

Want to visit pompeii from Rome?

Read our guide to visiting Pompeii on a day trip from Rome – includes best guided tours and DIY options


Episode #003: highlights of rome, episode #017: secrets of rome with erica firpo, episode #005: andiamo getting around with taxis in rome, more city guides.

Rome Travel Guide

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Rome is the most fascinating city in Italy. You could easily spend a month here and still only scratch the surface. It’s an ancient place packed with the relics of over 2,000 years of inhabitation, yet it’s so much more than an open-air museum: its culture, its food, its people make up a modern, vibrant city that would be worthy of a visit irrespective of its past. As a historic centre, it is special enough; as a contemporary European capital, it is utterly unique.

The best travel tips for visiting Rome

Best things to do in rome, best areas to stay in rome, best restaurants and bars, how to get around, what is the best time to visit rome, how many days do you need in rome, how to get here, tailor-made travel itineraries for italy, created by local experts.

Experience the hit TV show 'The White Lotus' in Sicily

8 days  / from 2671 USD

Experience the hit TV show 'The White Lotus' in Sicily

Stay in beautiful Taormina with gorgeous views of Mount Etna and discover Sicily, including famous filming locations. Go on exclusive wine tastings, discover the Greek theater in Taormina with a private guide, visit other Sicilian towns and enjoy the crystal clear water on this week-long trip.

Enchanting Italian Lakes

8 days  / from 3319 USD

Enchanting Italian Lakes

Experience the picturesque lakes of Northern Italy, including Lake Garda, Como, Lugano and Maggiore; explore the charming Borromean Islands – former favourites of Ernest Hemingway – and stroll the romantic streets of Verona and Milan. All of this, and much more, with this self-drive trip!

From Venice to Florence: A Grand Tour of Northern Italy

16 days  / from 3319 USD

From Venice to Florence: A Grand Tour of Northern Italy

From the atmospheric canals of Venice and the picturesque coastline of Cinque Terre, to the trendy designer boutiques of Milan and the Renaissance-infused streets of Florence, Northern Italy has plenty to offer. Experience it all with this comprehensive trip.

Florence: A Trip Back In Time

5 days  / from 1630 USD

Florence: A Trip Back In Time

Florence. A mere mention of the name conjures up grand images of Renaissance romance, awe-inspiring art and astonishing architecture. Come and see for yourself.

Eternal Rome for the Weekend

4 days  / from 1036 USD

Eternal Rome for the Weekend

Welcome to this whirlwind tour of Rome, also known as the Eternal City. Rome is one of the most photogenic cities on earth, so make sure you pack your camera.

Wine and food in Tuscany

6 days  / from 2725 USD

Wine and food in Tuscany

Stay at a beautiful hotel in San Gimignano, a medieval hill town half way between Florence and Siena. Tuscany is known for its wines and food and that's what you'll be exploring on this itinerary - several wine and food pairings await. All hand-picked by your local travel specialist.

Fascinating Southern Italy: Naples, Sorrento and Capri

10 days  / from 3107 USD

Fascinating Southern Italy: Naples, Sorrento and Capri

Southern Italy is the dream of many: charming towns to explore on the Amalfi Coast, crystal clear waters around the island of Capri, a heaven for foodies in Naples and surroundings as well as historical sights such as Pompeii are at your fingertips to discover.

Trieste - a combination of hiking and culture

5 days  / from 861 USD

Trieste - a combination of hiking and culture

Experience Trieste, not just visit it! Discover this reality from another angle, the local one, made up of small daily rituals and places hidden from tourists. Keeping you company along the routes will often be the blue of the Adriatic and the wonderful views of the Gulf of Trieste.

Best of South Italy: Rome, Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

10 days  / from 2889 USD

Best of South Italy: Rome, Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Colourful villages draped over steep cliffs, cities steeped in culture and history, crystal-clear warm waters and cities frozen in time – South Italy has a lot to offer. Experience it for yourself with this exciting trip.

From Country to Coast: A Driving Tour of Sardinia

12 days  / from 3379 USD

From Country to Coast: A Driving Tour of Sardinia

Sardinia has a long history dating back to the late 6th century. Buildings remain from various eras and can be found across the island. Add to this the raw beauty of the limestone rocks and the rustic coastal beaches, and this island will not leave you wanting.

Legend and Legacy: A Tour of Sicily

11 days  / from 2725 USD

Legend and Legacy: A Tour of Sicily

A picturesque Mediterranean island just off the ‘toe’ of Italy’s ‘boot’, Sicily was once the centre of the known world. Today, the island’s winding coastal roads, charming towns, and picture-perfect scenery make it ideal for exploring by car.

Lakes and mountains for the whole family in Italy & Switzerland

7 days  / from 2725 USD

Lakes and mountains for the whole family in Italy & Switzerland

Spend your first 3 nights at Lake Como in Italy, discovering the area by boat or foot, before heading to Zermatt in Switzerland. Zermatt with its peaceful nature is the ideal backdrop for strolls, hikes and other activities with the whole family.

Romantic Venice

4 days  / from 1581 USD

Romantic Venice

Enjoy a weekend getaway in the most romantic of cities. This compact trip features a pleasant walking tour, which provides a unique insight into the history, art and architecture of Venice, and a gondola ride. You will also have some free time to explore this labyrinthine city.

Dive into Apulia - cuisine & culture

10 days  / from 2725 USD

Dive into Apulia - cuisine & culture

Explore Apulia in a rental car. From Gargano to Salento, Puglia is a treasure trove of priceless wonders. Lecce, Bari and Taranto together with Ostuni, Polignano and Alberobello are just some of the delights you will find in Puglia.

Wonders of Rome and the Amalfi Coast

8 days  / from 2338 USD

Wonders of Rome and the Amalfi Coast

From the narrow streets of Rome to the colourful houses perched on the Sorrento Peninsula, the charm and elegance of Italy are seductive. On this unique trip, you will experience spectacular sites and breathtaking views in both iconic destinations.

Piedmont Discovery

10 days  / from 3488 USD

Piedmont Discovery

Piedmont is a culinary heaven, with world-class wines and truffle waiting to be discovered. The capital city Turin is a cultural center with a picture perfect skyline. Afterwards, continue to the countryside around Alba, with wine tastings, cooking classes and enjoying the mountains and nature.

A gastronomic journey in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast

11 days  / from 3553 USD

A gastronomic journey in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast

This is truly a trip that gets all your senses tingling. Taste the most wonderful and freshly made Italy food in Naples one day and enjoy the most beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast the next. Experience the smells, taste, feels and sights of Italy when traveling from Florence to the Amalfi Coast.

Italian Cities of the Renaissance

8 days  / from 3265 USD

Italian Cities of the Renaissance

Enjoy a week in Italy, discovering the historical landmarks that the country's top cities have to offer; from the ancient sites of Rome, to the waterways of Venice and the cobbled streets of Florence.

An Italian dream trip: Rome, Sicily and the Amalfi Coast

11 days  / from 5396 USD

An Italian dream trip: Rome, Sicily and the Amalfi Coast

Savour la dolce vita on this fantastic trip to the real Italy. Discover ancient history and take a cookery class in Rome, before marvelling at Baroque architecture and iconic Mount Etna on the island of Sicily. Exploring the rugged scenery on the Amalfi Coast and Capri concludes a wonderful trip.

Exploring Vatican City and Assisi

6 days  / from 1575 USD

Exploring Vatican City and Assisi

Soak up sights and delights of Ancient Rome, with this week-long trip, including visits to the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and St. Peter's Basilica, before journeying to the home of St. Francis of Assisi, Eremo delle Carceri.

Treasures of Italy: Venice, Florence and Rome

9 days  / from 3210 USD

Treasures of Italy: Venice, Florence and Rome

From the charming waterways of Venice, to the Renaissance-imbued streets of Florence, to the historic city of Rome, Italy's top three cities are as unique as they are unmissable. Experience them all on this fascinating trip.

Highlights of Italy - Rome, Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre and more

16 days  / from 4905 USD

Highlights of Italy - Rome, Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre and more

This trip is nothing but short of highlights: spend the first few nights in the capital city of Rome before moving down south to Naples. From here, you will discover the Amalfi Coast before heading to Florence. Tuscany and Cinque Terre await and finally - the fashion capital Milan.

Classic Italy - Rome, Florence & Venice

13 days  / from 4142 USD

Classic Italy - Rome, Florence & Venice

A trip for everyone - learn how to cook pasta in Rome, sample the best gelato in Florence, hike Cinque Terre and explore Venice on your own. This trip is packed with highlights for the whole family.

Medieval Towns & Outdoor Fun - Switzerland and Italy Combo

14 days  / from 8666 USD

Medieval Towns & Outdoor Fun - Switzerland and Italy Combo

Paraglide over Switzerland's landscape, join a night watchman on a mythical tour through Lucerne, explore Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, as well as cosmopolitan Zurich and Milan. This trip leaves nothing to be desired!

Once the heart of the mighty Roman Empire, and still the home of the papacy, Rome is made up of layers of history. It's the most visited city in Italy , and there's a reason for that.

There are its ancient Roman features, of course, but beyond these, there’s an almost uninterrupted sequence of monuments – from early Christian basilicas and Romanesque churches to Renaissance palaces and the fountains and churches of the Baroque period, which perhaps more than any other era has determined the look of the city today.

The modern epoch has left its mark too, from the ponderous Neoclassical architecture of the post-Unification period to prestige projects like Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI exhibition space. These various eras crowd in on one another to an almost overwhelming degree: medieval churches sit atop ancient basilicas above Roman palaces; houses and apartment blocks incorporate fragments of eroded Roman columns; and roads and piazzas follow the lines of ancient amphitheatres and stadiums.

You won’t enjoy Rome if you spend your time trying to tick off sights. However, there are some places that it would be a pity to miss, namely the Vatican and its incredible museums, the star attractions of the ancient city – the Forum and Palatine, the Colosseum – and the signature Baroque churches, fountains and art, in particular the works of Borromini and Bernini.

RoughGuides tip: browse our Italy itineraries and find the best option to suit your tastes.

Piazza Mincio, Quartiere Coppede, Rome © Vinicio Tullio/Shutterstock

Piazza Mincio, Quartiere Coppede, Rome © Vinicio Tullio/Shutterstock

From iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Vatican to hidden gems found in quaint neighbourhoods, Rome seamlessly blends its storied past with a vibrant present. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, a food lover, or simply a curious traveller, Rome's captivating charm is bound to leave an indelible mark on your heart.

These are the best things to do in Rome. For a more detailed version, please read our article about the best things to do in Rome.

#1 Marvel at the architectural feats of the Pantheon

The Pantheon is easily the most complete ancient structure in Rome and, along with the Colosseum, visually the most impressive. It was originally a temple that formed part of Marcus Agrippa’s redesign of the Campus Martius in around 27 BCE, but was entirely rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD.

It’s a formidable architectural achievement even now, with a diameter precisely equal to its height (43.3m). The oculus – from which shafts of sunlight illuminate the musty interior – is a full 8.7m across. Most impressively, there are no visible arches or vaults to hold the whole thing up; instead, they’re sunk into the walls.

In its heyday, it would have been richly decorated, the coffered ceiling heavily stuccoed and the niches filled with the statues of gods. Now, apart from its sheer size, the main points of interest are the tombs of two Italian kings and the tomb of Raphael.

Things to do: Pantheon, Rome, Italy.

Pantheon, Rome, Italy © Shutterstock

#2 Explore the heart of Ancient Rome

There are remnants of the Roman Empire all over the city, but the most concentrated grouping is the area that stretches southeast from the Capitoline Hill and hosts the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, Forum and Palatine Hill.

Mussolini ploughed the Via dei Fori Imperiali road through here in the 1930s, with the intention of turning it into one giant archaeological park, and this to some extent is what it is. Although its glories are hard to glimpse now, the five or so acres that make up the Roman Forum have a symbolic allure that make it one of the most compelling sets of ruins anywhere in the world.

Rising above the Forum, the Palatine Hill is supposedly where the city of Rome was founded and is home to some of its most ancient remains. In a way, it’s a greener, more pleasant site to tour than the Forum.

Rome from above aerial view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

#3 Explore Trastevere: where authentic Rome unfolds

Trastevere, a district nestled on the west bank of the Tiber River, beckons travellers seeking a genuine Roman experience. Its labyrinthine narrow streets, charming squares, and bohemian atmosphere make it a must-visit. Roam these picturesque lanes adorned with vibrant street art and stumble upon cosy trattorias serving time-honoured Roman dishes. As the sun sets, Trastevere transforms into a lively nocturnal hub.

#4 Visit the Roman Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant pulse of Rome by exploring its markets. Campo de' Fiori, a bustling square during the day, unveils a vibrant market scene offering fresh produce, fragrant flowers, and artisanal goods. But it's at night that Campo de' Fiori truly comes alive, becoming a focal point for dining and socializing.

#5 Visit The Colosseum for ancient grandeur

The Colosseum, an emblem of Rome's illustrious past, invites you to step back in time.

This colossal amphitheatre, once a stage for gladiatorial battles and grand spectacles, embodies the city's ancient magnificence. Traverse its corridors, and envision the roars of the crowd and the valour of gladiators. To delve deeper into its history, consider a guided tour that unravels the tales concealed within these mighty walls.

#6 Discover the Roman Catacombs

Beneath Rome's bustling streets lies a clandestine realm of history and spirituality – the Roman Catacombs. Here, intricate networks of burial chambers, tunnels, and crypts reveal the city's early Christian heritage. Among the most notable are the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and Catacombs of Domitilla, where you'll encounter not only sacred traditions but also the architectural marvels hidden beneath the surface.

#7 Strike a pose on the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Spagna) sweep down in a cascade of balustrades and balconies to Piazza di Spagna, whose distinctive boat-shaped Barcaccia fountain is the last work of Bernini’s father. At their top, the 16th-century, rose-coloured Trinità dei Monti church looks out over Rome.

In the nineteenth century, the steps were the hangout of young hopefuls waiting to be chosen as artists’ models, and nowadays they provide the venue for international posing and flirting late into the summer nights. The only Spanish thing about them, incidentally, is the fact that they lead down to the Spanish Embassy, which also gave the piazza its name.

Facing directly onto Piazza di Spagna, opposite the fountain, is the house where poet John Keats died in 1821. It now serves as the Keats-Shelley House, an archive of English-language literary and historical works and a museum of manuscripts and literary memorabilia relating to the Keats circle of the early 19th century.

Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna, Rome © Shutterstock

Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna, Rome © Shutterstock

#8 Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

It’s hard to miss the Fontana di Trevi: a Baroque gush of water over sprawling statues and rocks built onto the backside of a Renaissance palace.

There was once a more modest version around the corner, but in the 16th-century Urban VIII decided to upgrade it and employed Bernini, among others, to design an alternative. Work didn’t begin, however, until 1732, when Niccolò Salvi won a competition to design the fountain, and even then it took 30 years to finish. Salvi died in the process, his lungs destroyed by the dank waterworks of his construction.

The fountain was restored by the fashion house Fendi in 2015 at a cost of €2.2 million and is now a popular hangout and, of course, the place you come to chuck in a coin if you want to guarantee your return to Rome.

You might remember Anita Ekberg frolicking in it in La Dolce Vita, however, any attempt at re-creating the scene would be met with an immediate reaction by the police.

Night view over fountain di Trevi in Rome ©  trabantos/Shutterstock

Night view over Fountain di Trevi in Rome © trabantos/Shutterstock

#9 Explore the galleries and museums of Villa Borghese

Some of the areas immediately north of Rome’s city centre are taken up by its most central park, Villa Borghese, which serves as valuable outdoor space for both Romans and tourists as well as hosting some of the city’s best museums.

The wonderful Galleria Borghese was built in the early 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese and turned over to the state in 1902. Today it’s one of Rome’s great treasure houses of art and should not be missed; be sure to book in advance.

The Villa Borghese’s two other major museums are the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, which holds the world’s primary collection of Etruscan treasures.

#10 Discover modern Rome at MAXXI

A 10-minute tram journey north of Piazza del Popolo, MAXXI is a museum of 21st-century art and architecture. Opened to much fanfare in 2010 in a landmark building by the Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, it’s primarily a venue for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and architecture (though it does have small collections of its own).

The building, a simultaneously jagged and curvy affair, is worth a visit in its own right, with its long, unravelling galleries and a towering lobby encompassing the inevitable café and bookstore.

#11 The Vatican and its museums

The Vatican City , the headquarters of the Catholic Church, was established as a sovereign state in 1929 and today has around 1,000 inhabitants.

The Basilica di San Pietro, better known to many as St Peter’s, was built here on the site of St Peter’s tomb. It was worked on by the greatest Italian architects of the 16th and 17th centuries. On entering, the first thing you see is Michelangelo’s graceful Pietà, completed when he was just 24.

Stretching north, the Renaissance papal palaces are now home to the Vatican Museums. So much booty from Rome’s history has ended up here, from both classical and later times, and so many of the Renaissance’s finest artists were in the employ of the pope, that it really is quite simply the largest, most compelling museum complex in the world.

There’s no point trying to see everything in one visit, but don’t miss the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel.


Vatican at night @ Shutterstock

#12 Eat your way through one of the world’s great food capitals

Roman cooking is traditionally dominated by the earthy cuisine of the working classes, with influence from the city’s Jewish population.

You’ll find all sorts of pasta, but spaghetti and the local speciality, bucatini, are the most common. The most famous local pasta dishes are cacio e pepe, alla carbonara, alla gricia and all’amatriciana.

Fish features most frequently as salt cod – baccalà – best eaten Jewish-style, deep-fried. Look out, too, for roasted milk-fed lamb, grilled lamb chops, and saltimbocca alla Romana, thin slices of veal cooked with a slice of prosciutto and sage on top. Offal is also key, and although it has been ousted from many of the more refined restaurants, you’ll still find it at more traditional places.

Artichokes are the quintessential Roman vegetable and fiori di zucca – batter-fried stuffed courgette blossom – is another unmissable side dish.

Roman pizza has a thin crust and is best when baked in a wood-fired oven, but you can also find lots of great pizza by the slice.


Italian pizza, Rome @ Shutterstock

#13 Enjoy gelato and a coffee

Indulge your taste buds in one of Italy's greatest pleasures. Treat yourself to authentic Italian gelato, a velvety delight that comes in a myriad of flavours. Pair it with a freshly brewed espresso or cappuccino for the perfect culinary experience. Rome's numerous gelaterias and quaint cafes provide the ideal backdrop for this sweet and caffeinated rendezvous.

#14 Bike along the Appian Way

Embark on a scenic adventure along the historic Appian Way, one of Rome's ancient roads. Rent a bicycle and pedal your way through picturesque countryside landscapes, passing by ancient ruins, catacombs, and Roman tombs.

Feel the echoes of history as you explore this well-preserved pathway that once connected Rome to the southern regions of Italy. It's a journey back in time like no other.

#13 Take a day trip

Escape the captivating chaos of Rome for a day and uncover the hidden treasures that surround the city. From the ancient ruins of Pompeii to the enchanting streets of Florence , a plethora of remarkable day trips awaits.

Delve into the mystique of history as you explore the ruins of Ostia Antica, or bask in the elegance of the Renaissance in Tivoli's Villa d'Este. The scenic Amalfi Coast beckons with its breathtaking coastline, while the medieval charm of Siena offers a glimpse into Tuscany's past.

Rough Guides tip: make sure to check all the day trips from Rome .


Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo in Florence @ Shutterstock

Whether you want to be at the centre of the action or prefer somewhere quieter, there will be a place to stay in Rome that meets your needs.

Centro storico and Campo de’Fiori

These central areas are within walking distance of many of Rome’s key sites, but while there’s plenty of moderately priced accommodation you’ll need to book well in advance to nab cheaper places.

This artsy neighbourhood near the Colosseum is known for great vintage and indie shopping, alfresco coffee spots and lively nightlife.

Located on the west bank of the Tiber River, Trastevere is away from the busy tourist areas but still within walking distance. The winding cobblestone streets, colourful buildings and flower-filled balconies make it one of Rome’s prettiest neighbourhoods. It can be noisy at night, particularly in summer, so look for the quieter streets.

Browse the best hotels in Rome.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere and Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome © Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Rome is a great place to eat. Romans know a good deal about freshness and authenticity and can be demanding when it comes to the quality of the dishes they’re served.

There are lots of good restaurants in the centro storico, and it’s surprisingly easy to find places that are not tourist traps – prices in all but the really swanky restaurants remain pretty uniform throughout the city.

The small streets that surround Campo de’ Fiori square are filled with restaurants, wine bars and cafes while the square itself hosts a produce market.

The area around Via Cavour and Termini is packed with inexpensive places, but you’ll do even better heading to the nearby student area of San Lorenzo, where you can often eat superior food for the same money.

South of the centre, Testaccio is well endowed with good, inexpensive trattorias. The Testaccio Market is a major highlight but the whole neighbourhood is generally great for traditional Roman food.

The best way to get around the centre of Rome is to walk. However, the public transport system is cheap, reliable and as quick as the clogged streets allow.

The website has information in English and a route planner; and the Muoversi a Roma website (and its free app, Roma Mobilità) have a journey planner that uses real-time data to find the quickest route.

Buses run till around midnight, when a network of night buses comes into service, accessing most parts of the city and operating until about 5.30 am.

The metro operates from 5.30 am to 11.30 pm (till 1.30 am on Fri and Sat). Its two main lines, A (red) and B (blue), crossing at Termini, only have a few stops in the city centre.

The most useful on metro line A are Ottaviano (for the Vatican), Flaminio (near Piazza del Popolo), Spagna (by the Spanish Steps), Barberini (at Piazza Barberini), Repubblica (at Piazza Repubblica) and San Giovanni (near the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano).

On line B, useful stops include Piramide (near Testaccio); Circo Massimo (by the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill); Colosseo (by the Colosseum) and Cavour (near the Monti district).

A new line, C, some of which is still under construction, crosses line A at San Giovanni, and – archaeological finds permitting, will have stations at Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum.

The easiest way to get a taxi is to find the nearest taxi rank (fermata dei taxi) – central ones include Termini, Piazza Venezia, Largo Argentina, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Barberini.

Alternatively, you can call a taxi, but bear in mind that this cost more – €3.50 for the call, plus the meter starts ticking the moment the taxi is dispatched to collect you.

Women travelling alone get a 10% discount between 10 pm and 6 am. All taxis carry a rate card in English giving the current tariff.

Renting a bike or scooter is an efficient way of nipping around Rome’s clogged streets. You’ll need to have a full driving licence.

Rome Metro sign © Shutterstock

Rome Metro sign © Shutterstock

Rome is busy all year round, but generally, the best times to visit are just before or just after the peak summer months: between Easter and June, and September to November.

Christmas is also a special time in Rome, especially if you’re able to wrangle your way into Vatican City on Christmas Day when the atmosphere is rather carnival-like.

Avoid July and August: the summer heat is at its fiercest, the streets are most congested and many Romans will be taking their holidays elsewhere.

Find out more about the best time to visit Italy .

The number of days you should spend in Rome depends on your interests, the pace at which you prefer to explore, and how much you'd like to see. Generally, to experience the major highlights of Rome without feeling rushed, a recommended itinerary might look like this:

2 to 3 days

With 3 days in Rome , you can cover the iconic attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City (including St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums), Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. You'll have a chance to immerse yourself in the history, art, and architecture that Rome is renowned for.

4 to 5 days

4 to 5 days in Roma gives you a bit more flexibility to explore at a leisurely pace. You can delve deeper into the above-mentioned sites, perhaps taking guided tours to gain richer insights. Additionally, you can explore some of the city's charming neighbourhoods, visit more museums and galleries, and enjoy more leisurely meals at local trattorias.

6 to 7 days

With a week in Rome, you can truly immerse yourself in the city's culture and lifestyle. You can consider day trips to nearby attractions like Ostia Antica or Tivoli's Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa. This extended stay also allows for more spontaneous exploration and relaxation, wandering through different districts, and taking in the local ambience.

Piazza Navona,Rome during christmas time © Shutterstock

Piazza Navona during Christmas time © Shutterstock

Rome has two airports: Leonardo da Vinci, better known as Fiumicino, which handles the majority of scheduled flights, including easyJet’s; and Ciampino, where you’ll arrive if you’re travelling with Ryanair.

Fiumicino airport is linked to the centre of Rome by a direct train, the Leonardo Express, which takes 32min to get to Termini. Services begin at 6.23 am, leaving every 15–30min until 11.23 pm.

From Ciampino airport there are buses roughly every 30min–1hr to Termini and the journey takes 30–45 min. Alternatively, the cheapest way is Atral’s Ciampino Airlink comprising a bus to Ciampino train station and a train into Termini.

Travelling by train from most places in Italy, or indeed Europe, you arrive at Termini station, centrally placed for all parts of the city and meeting point of the two metro lines and many city bus routes.

Selected routes around Lazio are handled by the Regionali platforms of Termini station (a 5min walk beyond the end of the regular platforms).

The main station for buses from outside the Rome area is Tiburtina; from here, take metro line B to Termini for buses, trains and metro line A.

Coming into the city by car can be confusing and isn’t advisable unless you’re used to driving in Italy and know where you are going to park.

If you are coming from the north on the A1 autostrada take the exit “Roma Nord”; from the south, take the “Roma Est” exit. Both lead to the Grande Raccordo Anulare (GRA), which circles the city and is connected with all of its major arteries.

Find out the best ways to get to Italy .

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Rome from above aerial view of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

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updated 17.07.2023


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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome – Best Things To Do, See & Enjoy!

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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63 U.S. States Visited: 9

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Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 44 U.S. States Visited: 28

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome – Best Things To Do, See & Enjoy!

A Brief History of Rome

Fact file    , getting around rome, san giovanni, centro storico, san lorenzo.

  • Roman Forum

St. Peter’ s Square and Basilica

The pantheon, the spanish steps.

  • Trevi Fountain

The Vatican and Sistine Chapel

Piazza navona, galleria borghese, castel sant’ angelo, pyramid of cestius, street art in ostiense, house of owls, largo di torre argentina, teatro marcello, capuchin crypt, the appian way, circo maximus, vintage fiat 500 tour, villa borghese, villa doria pamphili, botanical garden, vatican garden, orange trees garden, villa torlonia, parco degli acquedotti, palazzo venezia, villa celimontana, rose garden, basilica of santa maria del popolo, santa maria in trastevere, basilica of santa maria maggiore, santa maria in aracoeli, san giovanni in laterano, santa maria sopra minerva, basilica di san pietro in vincoli, santa maria in cosmedin, san clemente, saint paolo fuori le mura basilica, via condotti, via del corso, via cola di rienzo, porta portese, via del babuino, v ia del governo vecchio, flaminio market, fontanella borghese market, 15 rome travel tips & hacks, romulus and remus, the trevi fountain, you can drink the water, there are lots and lots of fountains, no cappuccino after 11:00 a.m., the aventine keyhole, secret passageway to the vatican, there are a lot of cats that live here, shop ‘til you drop, the pasta museum.

  • Ostia Antica

Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli

Beware of pickpockets, keep your valuables out of sight, avoid some areas at night, keep electronic copies of your documents, know who to call in an emergency, don’t look too much like a tourist, take advantage of the hotel safe, final thoughts.

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The capital city of Italy is one of the most romantic and historic places in the world. Rome has a lot for you to explore and discover with its plethora of cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, Ancient ruins, and relics dating back over 2000 years.

Rome is packed with cultural experiences around every corner and is the home to some of the most awe-inspiring historical artwork in the world, including Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. Affectionately known as the Eternal City, Rome is situated within the 7 hills on the banks of the Tiber River.

Many visitors return to Rome time and time again as there is more to do than you could fit in 1 trip. When it comes to downtime, you’ll be spoiled for choice with quaint restaurants and cafes serving delicious traditional Italian food and high-quality wines. If you want to dance the night away, Rome has a truly Mediterranean party scene that will suit all tastes.

Legend has it that the city was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C. Raised by a she-wolf, the brothers fought over who should be ruler, and Romulus eventually killed Remus and named the city after himself. In the centuries that followed, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to a republic and then an empire.

The very first headquarters of the Roman Empire was based in the city of Rome itself, and the Roman Catholic Church was also founded here. Julius Caesar, the famous dictator of the Roman Empire, became Rome’s first emperor (in everything but name) and one of the city’s most historically important residents.

It is not just Italy that has felt the powerful force of Rome either, as the city has at times ruled over other countries such as Greece, and during the reign of Napoleon, it was officially part of France. Rome became the capital of the newly reclaimed Italian Republic in 1870 and is today considered to have been one of the most influential cities in history.

The Colosseum Rome

Rome has been the capital city of Italy since 1870 and is located within the center of the Italian Peninsula. Rome is around 15 miles inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea and sits along the Tiber River.

Population : 2.7 million

Population Density : 2.1 per km²

Area : 1285 km²

Official language : Italian

Rome has residents originating from many other countries, so a diverse range of other languages can be heard in the city including French, Greek, German, Sardinian, Albanian, Croatian, and Slovene.

Religion : The main religions in Rome are Roman Catholic and Christianity.

Current President : Sergio Mattarella

Patron Saints : Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Weather : Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers (peak temperatures in August are around 82°F/27°C) and cold, humid winters (average of 37°F/3°C in January).

Time Zone : CEST + 2hrs UTC (Central European Summer Time)

Currency : Euro

Country Dialing Prefix Code : +39

Emergency Numbers : 113 for Police, 115 for Fire Department, 118 for Medical Emergencies

Green Spaces : Parks and gardens make up 3% of Rome

Churches : There are over 900 churches in Rome!

Getting There and Getting Around

Rome has 2 airports, Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) and Ciampino Airport (CIA).

Leonardo da Vinci Airport, also known as Fiumicino Airport , handles mostly scheduled flights and is connected to the city via a direct train service, The Leonardo Express train. This train is a non-stop service which takes approximately 30 minutes from Fiumicino Airport into the central station in the city, Rome Termini, and costs around $16 (€14).

Alternatively, you can get a shuttle bus service from Fiumicino Airport into Rome’s city center. These buses take on average 1 hour and tickets are available from $8 (€7). If you prefer to travel by private taxi, they are available outside Fiumicino Airport and charge approximately $49 (€44) to take you the half-hour journey into the center of Rome.

Hot Tip: See our in-depth guide on the best ways to fly to Italy, using points and miles.

Ciampino Airport mainly receives chartered flights and those from the budget European airlines. To get from Ciampino airport to Rome’s city center, you can get a bus into Ciampino town center and then a regional train to Rome. In total this would only cost you around $3 (€2.50).

Alternatively, you can get the SITBus Shuttle service, which is a direct route from $6 (€5). Ciampino Airport is only 9 miles from Rome city center, and taxis are waiting outside the airport to take you privately for around $28 (€25).

Once you are in Rome itself, your best travel options are to walk, use the ATAC buses, or the Metro.

Many visitors choose to travel around the city on foot so that they can appreciate everything on offer. Many of the winding streets are cobbled, though, so be sure to pack proper shoes if you are planning to head from 1 attraction to another.

The bus service in the city is very reliable and offers excellent value for money with stops at almost all the major points of interest. There are also night bus services which will run to 5 a.m. The average single bus journey costs around $2 (€1.50) and bus tickets can easily be purchased from any Metro station, newsstand, and many convenience stores.

If you are planning to take several bus journeys during your stay, then you may wish to purchase a travel card which will save you money. There are also 3-day, weekly, or monthly tourist cards on sale for this bus network.

The metro is a useful way for tourists to travel around the city as it is predominately set up for commuters to travel in and out of the city. The metro system crosses the city in a big ‘X’ and has stops near most of the main attractions. From Termini, you can travel to some of the main attractions with train stations, such as the Colosseum, Piazza Barberini, and the Spanish Steps.

The metro runs from 5:30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased from metro stations, newsstands, or convenience stores. You will be able to save money by purchasing a travel card if you are planning to travel by train for more than a couple of journeys.

Although private taxis are available to take you around the city center, these are not very popular with tourists as they are notorious for over-charging. If you plan to take a taxi, then it is advisable to discuss the cost of the fare with the driver before getting into the cab.

River Tiber Rome

Top 10 Neighborhoods to Visit in Rome

Rome is a city that is spread across 22 different districts (known as “rioni”) and made up of 35 urban quarters (known as “quartieri urbani”), each with a diverse community atmosphere.

Some are set just within the walls of the city and some just outside. The following is an outline of these 10 areas — some are well known on the traditional tourist routes, and others are more up and coming.

Sitting just across from the Tiber River is the area known as Trastevere (which means “across the Tevere”). This area has a trendy, student vibe with an array of restaurants, trendy shops, and lively bars. From Trastevere, you can access river walkways to the historic center that meet and cross at Ponte Sisto and Ponte Garibaldi.

The historic center has a main square which is home to Piazza di Santa, one of the oldest churches in Rome. Trastevere as an area is situated at the bottom of Gianicolo Hill (also known as Janiculum Hill), and from here you can take spectacular walks and hikes until you eventually reach Rome’s largest park, Villa Pamphili.

Hot Tip: Along the way, you can see the 17 th -century marble fountain Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, as well as breath-taking views of the Capitoline and Palatine hills, the imposing Vittorio Emmanuele II monument, and Pantheon’s dome.

San Giovanni is overflowing with beautiful Renaissance buildings and elaborately decorated cathedrals. Unlike other areas of Rome which have the cobbled streets and narrow winding pathways, San Giovanni is made up of modern avenues and is home to many of Rome’s residents.

Although there are local restaurants, the majority of food is sold via community markets, and people sit in the parks for entertainment rather than bars. San Giovanni has brilliant public transport links and is also within walking distance of the Colosseum.

In this quiet, residential area of Rome stands the city’s oldest major Christian basilica, intertwined with modern high street shops and department stores, as well as the popular bimonthly second-hand market.

Despite having a modern vibe, San Giovanni is still a great choice for visitors interested in ancient ruins, cultural city walks, and historic fountains.

Monti gives you a taste of an authentic classic Roman neighborhood. Nestled between the Roman Forum and Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, it has a relaxed, lived-in vibe where you can meet the locals and admire the stunning scenery. The beautiful hillside landscape is scattered with pretty historic buildings set in cobblestoned paths and streets.

There is a wide variety of hip restaurants and trendy cafes, and from the southwest side of the neighborhood, you can see across to the Colosseum. Many tourists love visiting Monti where they can sit back and enjoy chilling out around the fountain in the main square known as Piazza della Madonna dei Monti.

Monti was historically an impoverished slum that has evolved to become a picturesque area bursting at the seams with character, attracting young bohemian-type residents and travelers.

Aventino is located on one of Rome’s 7 ancient hills and is a beautiful, green area within the city. Wealthy Roman families own imposing villas in this area, and a wander along the prestigious tree-lined avenues is an experience in itself.

While you are in Aventino, be sure to visit the Bocca della Verita, the chariot track at Circus Maximus, and the historic ruins at the Baths of Caracalla. There are fantastic views of the Tiber River to be had from the hillside of Aventino, and many tourists choose to sit in the orange garden to soak up the stunning vista.

Hot Tip: If you get the chance to visit the Magistral Villa of the Knights of Malta, you will get the opportunity to view St. Peter’s dome from a totally different perspective through the keyhole on the gate.

The streets that make up Centro Storico are some of the most historic parts of Rome where tourists flock to see the Campo de’ Fiori, the Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. These areas are brimming with the charming narrow streets and ancient architecture that Rome is so famous for. In Centro Storico you will see some spectacular examples of classical Roman- and Baroque-style buildings.

The main square is busy every night and has a plethora of lively restaurants and bars, all of which serve up good quality Italian dishes and fine wines. The famous food and flower market at Campo de’ Fiori is not to be missed and should be on every tourist’s experience list.

Bottom Line: Centro Storico’s location makes this a popular neighborhood, so be prepared for the crowds.

San Lorenzo is situated outside of the city walls and sits between Termini and Tiburtina stations. This area was traditionally a working-class industrial center whose roots remain today with plenty of warehouse buildings and factory-style architecture on every corner.

San Lorenzo has a young, hipster, and student vibe and is close to Sapienza University. As you wander around San Lorenzo you will be able to admire the creative and artistic murals dotted on the side of buildings.

The progressive alternative music scene attracts free-spirited hipsters to the many live music events which take place in the vibrant bars. There are also plenty of opportunities in San Lorenzo to purchase some of the best street food in the city.

Testaccio was historically a slaughterhouse and butchers’ district up until the 1970s. These traditions are still active today, and many tourists enjoy a visit to the Testaccio Market to purchase gourmet street food and fresh meats.

Testaccio is an area is situated along the Tiber River, just south of Aventine Hill. The main attraction in Testaccio is the Pyramide of Cestia, which is the Protestant Cemetery where non-Catholics were buried.

Even though Testaccio is a trip away from Rome’s center, many visitors report that it is well worth the journey. It is considered to be one of the prettiest areas in the city and is within walking distance of the Pirimide metro station and the Colosseum.

Bottom Line: Testaccio is a quaint and quiet area as it is off the tourist path, but has great restaurants and cafes for a relaxing day away from the main drag.

Tridente is in the northern part of central Rome and gets its name from the fact it is made up of 3 main streets. These 3 streets (Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso, and Via del Babuino) all filter off from the Piazza del Popolo. This area is one of the most sophisticated parts of Rome and is home to designer boutiques, fine dining restaurants, and magnificent 5-star hotels.

In Tridente you can visit wonderful attractions such as the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and the flagship Fendi store. This area is an iconic and popular destination for tourists and is usually on people’s must-see tick list.

Tridente is a bustling area and one where you can experience the posh, high-end Italian lifestyle during your visit to Rome.

Pigneto is a diverse and artistic area of Rome where many locals live. The former working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city is now considered to be a trendy, up and coming area that attracts creative and free-thinking residents and visitors.

There’s a plethora of trendy cafes, ethnically diverse shops, and vibrant bars, as well as an abundance of street art for you to admire as you wander around this unique neighborhood.

Pigneto has a market each morning in Via del Pigneto which is a pedestrian-only street with its own metro station. In this shopping part of Pigneto you have the chance to buy original artwork, street food, and cruelty-free, vegan-friendly clothing.

Bottom Line: Hipsters congregate in this area to enjoy the live music and art scenes which the colorful Pigneto has to offer.

Prati is the Italian word for “meadows” and is a charming, historic area of Rome on the west side of Tiber River. Here you can wander alongside elegant buildings in a quieter and calmer part of Rome. It is here in Prati that you can visit the elaborate Palace of Justice which has an expansive bronze sculpture on the rooftop of a chariot being drawn by 4 beautiful horses.

Other must-see things in Prati are the charming Piazza Cavour and Via Cola di Rienzo, which is one of Rome’s most famous streets for high-end, designer shopping. Prati borders the north of the Vatican State, providing easy access to the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City itself, and Castel Sant’Angelo.

Colosseum Rome

Top 10 Rome Attractions

Here are 10 of the best attractions to visit in Rome.

The Colosseum is usually the top of all tourists’ must-see tick list. It is the largest amphitheater ever built and is situated in the center of Rome. This oval amphitheater is an imposing 157 feet (48 meters) high and is open from 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. every day. For a standard admission ticket costing $13 (€12), you can walk freely between the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

The nearest metro station is Colosseo on Line B.

The Roman Forum is the central rectangular space surrounded by the ancient ruins of Rome’s government buildings. This popular tourist attraction is open from 8:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m. daily, and the admission cost is $13 (€12). However, this is the same ticket as the Colosseum, so if used on the same day, you can access both attractions for 1 ticket price. This is easily achievable as the entrance gate is very close to the Colosseum.

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Rome. The Italian Renaissance church is situated in an expansive square in Vatican City that dates back to 1506. Tourists can visit St. Peter’s Square and Basilica from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day except Wednesday. Entrance is free, but if you wish to go to the dome at the top, it’s $11 (€10) by elevator or $9 (€8) on foot.

Take Line A on the metro and San Giovanni station is only a 5-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square.

The Pantheon is now a church but was historically a Roman temple dedicated to all the ancient gods of pagan Rome. Admission to the Pantheon is daily from 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., except Sundays when the opening times are 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This is a public site that is free to visit and within walking distance of Barberini on Line A of the metro.

The Spanish Steps were initially built to link the Trinità dei Monti church with the Spanish Square beneath in Piazza di Spagna. It is free to visit the Spanish Steps, and it is well worth the climb to view the spectacular church at the top.

You can use Line A of the metro and get off at Spagna station close to Trinità dei Monti church. From there you can take the steps down to the Spanish Square.

The Trevi Fountain is possibly one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is Rome’s largest Baroque fountain, and legend has it that you throw 1 coin into the fountain to ensure another trip to Rome, 2 coins for love, and 3 coins for wedding bells. It is free to visit Trevi Fountain, and it only a 10-minute walk to the Spanish Steps if you are looking to combine sightseeing experiences.

Alternatively, the nearest metro station is Barberini.

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City is the official residence of the Pope and is a must-see for all tourists when they are in Rome. The chapel dates back to 1473 and hosts the amazing artwork of Michelangelo on the ceiling. The opening hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. every day except Sundays when the chapel is closed and is only around 5 minutes’ walk from Spagna metro station.

It costs $16 (€14) to enter and visitors should allow 3-4 hours to wander around the rooms.

Piazza Navona is a square that was first built in the 1 st century A.D. and is considered to be one of the largest and most beautiful piazzas in Rome. This is a very popular free tourist attraction with 3 stunning fountains, including la Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and its imposing central obelisk.

The nearest metro station is Spagna which is just a 5-minute walk away from Piazza Navona.

Galleria Borghese is a famous art gallery which is open between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. every day except Mondays and costs $14 (€13) for a ticket. During your visit to Galleria Borghese, you will be able to see beautifully preserved sculptures, ancient mosaics, and paintings that date back to the 15 th -18 th centuries. The museum is set within the Villa Galleria gardens which are free to enter.

The easiest way to travel to Galleria Borghese is by bus which stops within walking distance.

Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family in 135 A.D. It has since been used as a fortress and castle by different popes over the years, but nowadays it is open as a museum. You can visit this amazing example of Ancient Roman architecture every day between 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and admission costs $16 (€14).

The easiest public transport for this attraction is a bus from the main center of Rome or metro Line A to Lepanto.

Hot Tip: Looking for more tour and tour information? Explore our guide to the best tours in Rome . 

10 Unique and Quirky Things to Do in Rome

Outside of the usual tourist attractions, there are some unique things to see and do. Here are 10 to add to your list.

The Pyramid of Cestius was built in 12 B.C. as a tomb for Gaius Cestius. This pyramid was sealed when built but has since had one of the entrances plundered. The Pyramid of Cestius is open to the public on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and only costs $6 (€5.50) to go inside.

The nearest station is Piramide, which is only a 2 minutes stroll from the pyramid — the only attraction of its kind in Rome.

The Ostiense district of Rome is located just to the south of the city center. Here you can view some impressively creative street art across a plethora of urban contemporary artwork and spectacular murals. There are lots to see so allow plenty of time when visiting Ostiense if you want to stroll and appreciate the street art in this area.

The easiest way to travel to Ostiense is by metro and walk from Piramide station.

The Little House of Owls is a quirky museum that some visitors describe as the hidden gem of Rome. Nestled within the ground of Villa Torlonia is this little fairy-tale looking house dedicated to owls. The house is away from the usual touristy sightseeing lists but is well worth the entrance fee of $13 (€12).

The Little House of Owls, also known as Casina delle Civette, is open between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. every day except Mondays, and can easily be reached by bus from the city center.

Largo di Torre Argentina is a square which includes 4 Roman Republican temples as well as the famous ruins of Pompey’s Theatre. The excavation work is ongoing and is an inspiring discovery since the 20 th century. It is within Pompey’s Theatre in this square where Julius Caesar was thought to have been assassinated.

This is a public site that is free to visit. Although you can’t directly access the ruins, you can closely view them from the street. There is no metro station nearby, but this attraction is within walking distance of bus stops which run from all main areas.

These ancient underground burial places , or catacombs, can be viewed for only $9 (€8) and there are around 40 catacombs to experience. Some of them were only discovered a few decades ago. Ancient Roman law stated that the dead must be buried outside the walls of the city and these catacombs were built so that Christians could be buried as Christian symbols could be used underground.

The nearest station to the Catacombs is Appia Pignatelli.

Teatro Marcello is a stunning open-air theater which was built in 13 B.C. for Julius Caesar and Marcus Marcellus. In the summer, concerts are held within the ancient theater, and it is a truly magnificent setting which many visitors report to find as breathtaking as the Colosseum.

Ticket prices vary depending on the concerts being held. It is free to walk the perimeter of Teatro Marcello to experience the historic Roman site, which is 85 years older than the Colosseum.

This theater is only a 1-minute walk from Teatro station.

The Capuchin Crypt is a collection of tiny chapels that sit beneath the Santa Maria della Concesione dei Cappuccini church. Here is where the bodies of Capuchin monks were buried, and their skeletal remains are still held. The Capuchin Crypt is open every day between 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and the admission fee is about $9 (€8.50).

The nearest station for visiting this attraction is Barberini.

The Appian Way is a historic Roman road built in 312 B.C. Today this is one of the most famous ancient Roman roads where you can walk or cycle (bike hire is available at the site). On average, tourists spend around 6 hours traveling the length of the Appian Way and generally find it to be a peaceful experience just outside the city walls.

It is easy to travel to the Appian Way by bus from Piramide station.

Circo Maximus is an ancient chariot-racing stadium which would have been a major entertainment venue in its day. Situated between Aventine and Palatine Hills, this attraction is becoming ever more popular with tourists visiting Rome.

The remains of this inspiring Ancient Roman architecture form the archaeological site which stands today after fire and flood damage. Circo Maximus is open every day except Mondays and pre-booking is essential as it is for organized tour groups only.

Use Line B of the metro and get off at Piramide station for this attraction.

This is a fantastic way to tour around the historic sites of Rome! These vintage Fiat 500 cars set off in convoy, and you will spend 3 hours driving around Rome. You’ll travel where some larger tour buses cannot access and cruise along the Tiber River. For just $142 (€128) you can be seated inside one of these iconic open-top vintage cars. Tours start from just outside the Colosseum.

Hot Tip: Need a great place to stay? Check out these 15 great hotels in Rome.

Villa Borghese

10 Green Spaces and Gardens in Rome

It’s not just about the architecture in Rome. The city is also home to some beautiful green spaces and gardens. Here are 10 of the best.

Villa Borghese is the third largest park area in Rome. It is a landscaped area with English-style manicured gardens. Villa Borghese is open 24 hours a day and is free to explore. This park is situated on Pincian Hill, close to the Spanish Steps, and is known by locals as the “green lung” of Rome. It can be accessed from Spagna or Flaminio stations.

Villa Doria Pamphili is Rome’s largest and most impressive park which was built around a 17 th -century villa, now the sole location for the Italian government. This stunning landscaped park is free to visit and nearby to Termini station. Villa Doria Pamphili is thought to be one of the best places for walking in Rome.

The Botanical Garden, Orto Botanico, is situated in the Trastevere neighborhood. Visitors to these gardens can see over 3,500 species of plants. There is also a rock garden, bamboo grove, “Scent & Touch” visually impaired sensory garden, greenhouses, and the Japanese gardens.

A day spent strolling around Orto Botanico is definitely time well spent. This attraction is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the admission fee is only $9 (€8), and the nearest metro station is Piramide.

The Gardens of Vatican City are owned by the Pope, and there is public access from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. These beautifully manicured gardens can be toured by bus for $36 (€32). This may sound expensive until you realize that the admission ticket also allows you access to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

You can take the train to Ottaviano-S. Pietro to access the gardens.

Savello Park, also known as the Orange Trees Garden, is on Aventine Hill, and from this garden, you have the most wonderful views of the city. You can wait in line to peek through the keyhole on the gate of Magistral Villa of the Knights of Malta and view St. Peter’s dome from above. These gated gardens are free to visit and are open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in winter and 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in summer.

Piramide metro station is the closest to the garden gates.

Villa Torlonia and its surrounding grounds are a hidden gem in Rome. You can see magnificent neoclassical architecture set within English-style manicured gardens. Villa Torlonia is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and admission tickets cost $11 (€10).

Guidubaldo Del Monte is the nearest station to the park.

Parco degli Acquedotti is a beautiful, expansive park within the Appian Way area on the outskirts of Rome. In this park, you can see the ancient ruins of 2 massive Roman aqueducts. This public park is open 24 hours a day, and entrance is free.

Capannelle is the nearest station.

Formerly the Palace of St. Mark, Palazzo Venezia is a spectacular example of Renaissance architecture. The gardens are pretty and open from 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. every day except Mondays. Admission is $9 (€8.50) and it’s only a 10-minute walk from Termini station.

The grounds of Villa Celimontana are considered by some visitors to be the prettiest hidden gardens of the city. Stroll through these immaculate gardens, which were once a vineyard, and discover the obelisk dating back to the mid-16 th century. This free public park is located just above the Colosseum and is open from 7:00 a.m. until sunset.

Rome’s Rose Garden was formerly a Jewish cemetery that has been constructed in the shape of a menorah. This public park on Aventine Hill is open to the public from April to June, and there’s no admission fee. Allow plenty of time when visiting these gardens as there’s a huge area to cover.

The gardens are just a short walk from Termini station.

Rome Church

10 Churches You Should Visit in Rome

Rome is home to over 900 churches, so it is a challenge to choose a top 10. Nevertheless, we gave it a go and here are our top picks.

Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is a 15 th -century church which sits within Rome’s famous square Piazza del Popolo. Visitors report that this tiny temple is unlike any other church in Rome, with its delightful Renaissance decoration inside. Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is open every morning from 7:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., then every afternoon from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The nearest station to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo is Civitavecchia.

Santa Maria in Trastevere (Our Lady of Trastevere) is one of the oldest churches in Rome. There are beautiful mosaics on the exterior, and it is a dazzling sight to behold at night when the tower is illuminated. The church is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily and admission is free.

Santa Maria in Trastevere is only a few minutes’ walk from Mameli station.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is breathtaking with a 15 th -century wooden ceiling, a hidden spiral staircase, gorgeous mosaics, and a display of part of Jesus’ crib brought from Bethlehem. It’s open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily except Sundays and bank holidays when it is closed in the afternoon.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is only a short walk from Termini station and admission is free.

Santa Maria in Aracoeli was built in the 6 th century and is still today the designated church of Rome’s city council. It’s a popular church, particularly at Christmas, as inside there is a wooden baby Jesus which is thought to have healing powers. The entrance is free, and the church is open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily.

Ara Coeli station is less than 3 minutes’ walk away.

San Giovanni in Laterano is open to the public from 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily. This impressive monumental church was the most influential building within the Christian faith for over a thousand years. Visitors always report that they are amazed by the rich history, art, and architecture of this church.

Use Lines A and C of Rome’s metro for the nearest station, San Giovanni.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a popular church for tourists to visit to take in the heady blend of Gothic and Medieval architecture. It is still one of the major churches in Rome’s Catholic Order of Preachers and this 13 th -century attraction is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily with free admission.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a 20-minute walk from Termini and around the corner from the Pantheon.

Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli is a Renaissance-style church and basilica that is famous for being home to Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. This Roman Catholic church is open in the mornings from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and then in the afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Entrance is free, and this is only a short walk from the Colosseum for tourists wishing to combine experiences.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a minor basilica built in the Middle Ages which attracts visitors wanting to see the “mouth of truth” inside the porch. There is also plenty of medieval art to admire throughout the church. The church is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

Bocca Della Verita’ station is only 1 minute away and admission is free.

San Clemente is a minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clemente I. This church is considered significant among religious scholars as it outlines the history of Christianity right from the beginning of the faith through to the Middle Ages. This temple is decorated internally with old mosaics and is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and then 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 pm.

The church is a short walk from either Colosseo or Manzoni stations.

Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica is one of Rome’s 4 major basilicas and is located outside the city walls. This 9 th -century church with Neoclassical architecture is a popular year-round tourist attraction. Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica is open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Saint Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica is easily reached via the bus network service.

10 Shopping Areas & Markets in Rome

Rome is a fashionista’s dream, but it’s not all high-end fashion. The city is home to some great markets, too. Here are 10 of the best places to shop.

Packed full of beautiful designer big name brands including Gucci, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana, Via Condotti is the place to be for the largest selection of designer outlet shopping in all of Rome. It is an absolute must for lovers of designer Italian leather handbags and upscale fashion and accessories. The pedestrian walkway is also dotted with cafes and restaurants for regular shopping breaks.

This retail heaven can be found close to the Spagna metro station.

As one of the most popular shopping spots in the city of Rome, the Via del Corso is home to designer dresses and big brand fashion. Offering affordable fashion at its finest, you will find some of the most highly regarded names in Europe here including H&M, Zara, and Sephora.

You can easily walk to Via del Corso from the Spagna Metro station, or bus lines 170 and 175 both stop close by.

The Via Cola di Rienzo is the main thoroughfare that cuts through Rome’s Prati neighborhood. It is also one of the very best destinations in the city for laid-back, leisurely shopping with fewer crowds than some of the more upmarket areas. The Via Cola di Rienzo offers an impressive blend of international brands like Coin, Tiffany’s, Kiko, and Diesel, as well as a wide variety of bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Close to the Cola Di Rienzo/Terenzio subway stations, the Via Cola di Rienzo is a great place to explore after visiting the Vatican.

Porta Portese is the biggest flea market in Rome and is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy Roman Sunday strolling through the ancient streets of the Trastevere district. Cheerful vendors offer a wide selection of secondhand clothing, antiques, brand name knockoffs, bric-a-brac, household products, vinyl records, and much more. The market is just as popular with the locals giving it a truly continental feel.

The nearest station is Porta Portese.

Tucked away behind the city gates close to the cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano lies this enchanting outdoor market that is perfect for those who are happy to rummage for bargains. Vendors show their wares on old tables and tatty looking stalls, but for those who have the patience to sift through the piles of stock, the rewards can be incredible. Secondhand and vintage designer gear by the bucketload is here — you just need to find it first.

Surrounded by super cool cafes and record shops, the nearest subway is San Giovanni.

Via del Babuino is a historic cobbled street that connects Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. Chock full of beautiful old buildings, it is also one of the city’s premier upmarket shopping districts. This elegant pedestrianized thoroughfare is dotted with luxury brands including the likes of Armani Jeans, Tiffany, Tory Burch, Gente, Maison Margiela, and Valentino.

This is a great place to have a latte while enjoying a spot of people-watching; the nearest station is Spagna.

Via Giulia has some of the city’s finest examples of authentic Roman architecture and is an utterly enchanting place to spend the day. Via Giulia is also a residential area for rich Romans, meaning that there are plenty of fantastic independent shops that line the cobbled street. These include art galleries, antique shops, and quirky homeware stores, as well as fashion boutiques, bars, and cafes.

You can reach this part of town using the Circo Massimo station.

Just off the Piazza Navona, the Via del Governo Vecchio offers something for everyone. From the super cute secondhand book stores and biggest vintage clothes shops in the city to the modern-day fashion boutiques and grocery stores, this a popular part of town with a great atmosphere. Take a stroll along the cobbled street until something takes your fancy, then sit back and relax in one of the many coffee shops and bars.

The nearest subway station is Chiesa Nuova.

Set at the heart of the Piazza del Popolo, Flaminio Market is packed full of cool market traders selling pre-owned and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry. This is one of those flea markets similar to those you find in many European cities, but this being Rome, you are likely to come away with a pair of pre-loved Gucci sunglasses or a Fendi bag.

Set in a bus station, there is an entrance fee of $2 (€1.60), and you can get there using the 88, 204, or 231 buses or trams 2 and 19.

Nestled between the Tiber and the Via del Corso, the Fontanella Borghese Market is a gorgeous piazza market that offers a selection of bijou box shops. These sell a variety of small antiques including antique maps, etchings, posters, books, photographs, and even cameras. The area is always popular with tourists, as the wares on sale are usually just the right size to bring home.

The nearest station to the market is Spagna.

Rome Spanish Steps

House Wine is the Best Wine

When in Rome, drink like the Romans. In a city that appreciates fine wine, the house bottle or “vino della casa” is often as good as, if not better, than more expensive brands. Buy it by the glass or share a carafe or 2 with friends old and new.

Experience the Culture for Free

On the first Sunday of each month, some of the best museums and archaeological sites can be enjoyed for free. If you are on a tight budget, plan your dates accordingly, and visit world-famous sites like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Galleria Borghese for free. Read our comprehensive guide to discover some of the best museums in Rome .

Be Travel Savvy With Taxi Drivers

The city of Rome operates and enforces set fees for most taxi journeys to, from, and within the city walls. Taxis registered outside of the city are not bound by the same rules but can travel the same routes. This makes it easy for unsuspected tourists to be stung with huge fares. Always check your taxi fares before you begin your journey.

Imparare a Parlare Italiano (Learn to Speak Italian)

Learning a few key phrases and common words will not only help you in everyday situations, but it will also help to ingratiate you with the locals. Learn a little before you leave, and take a phrasebook with you.

Go C ontinental

Much like the French, the Italians are famous for their love of late-night meal times. 8:00 p.m. is a good starting point for eating your evening meal, but be prepared to enjoy long, laid-back affairs that last well into the small hours.

Travel Light

When wandering around the city, leave your super-size backpack back at the hotel. European cities tend to get very crowded, and most tourist attractions will ask you to check bulky bags in the cloakroom. Keep your money, phone, camera, and other essentials close at hand with a fanny pack , sling backpack , or mini backpack instead.

To Tip or Not to Tip?

Most restaurants in Italy will automatically apply a “service charge” to your bill. If you are in a smaller cafe or independent restaurant, you may like to leave a few euros for your waiter as you leave. The same rules apply to taxi drivers and bartenders, too. Tipping is not necessary, but of course, no one will complain if you do.

Cash is King

Rome is a city with plenty of ancients wonders to see, and in some places, this even extends to your payment options. To avoid being caught out, be sure to carry enough cash on you to pay for your entry tickets to attractions, as well as food, drinks, and any travel while you are away from your hotel.

Look Out for Fake Gelato

Even here in Italy, not all gelato is created equal. Being one of the most refreshing and delicious national dishes you will ever taste, it is important that you find an authentic scoop or 2. The brightly colored, fluffy looking ice cream served across town is often packed with artificial colors and sweeteners.

Real gelato, however, takes its color and flavor from the ingredients within it. As a rule of thumb, compare your frozen treat with how it would appear if the ingredients were blended.

Enjoy a Drink at the Bar

Italians have a unique way of enjoying their coffee, and they see it simply as fuel to keep them going. If you would prefer to sit down and relax with a hot coffee and a good book, you are welcome to by all means, but be prepared to pay extra for the privilege.

Take the Day Off

Monday is considered a day of rest in Rome, and many of the city’s main attractions and restaurants will be closed to the public. When planning your next trip, be sure to make the most of the weekend, and save Monday for shopping or visiting local parks and open spaces.

Drink from the Water Fountains

Usually, when you go overseas, you are advised not to drink the water, but here in Rome, the “nasoni” fountains provide thirsty travelers with fresh drinking water that flows from the aqueducts. Stay hydrated for free by topping up your water bottle as you go.

Avoid the Busiest Times

The Vatican Museums are the most popular in all of Italy, and they get very busy from the moment they open. Ignore the advice of those who tell you to get there early, and instead, wait for the rush to die down before visiting. On a Friday the museums are open late, so why not enjoy a late afternoon or evening tour instead?

Keep Covered Up

In most of the ancient churches and buildings in the city, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel, you will need to be covered up to be allowed entry. Although it can get super hot outside, carry a shawl or scarf with you to cover your knees and shoulders when you need to.

Finally, Bring Your Own Toilet Paper

Roman toilets aren’t great. Often they will be without toilet seats, and toilet paper will be in short supply. Sometimes you will even have to pay for the privilege of using these less than perfect facilities. Keep a stash of toilet paper or wipes in your bag at all times — just in case.

10 Fun Facts About Rome

The Eternal City receives millions of tourists every year, many of whom come to see some of the most iconic and religiously important landmarks in the world. But aside from the stunning architecture, the fantastic food, and amazing Italian weather, there are lots of interesting facts about Rome that you may not know about:

Legend has it that the ancient city of Rome was founded by 2 twin brothers, who fought over who should be the rightful ruler. Believed to be the sons of a mortal priestess, Rhea Silvia, and the Roman god of war, Mars, they were always destined for battle. In a moment of fury, Romulus killed his brother and gave the name Rome to his beloved city.

Millions of visitors come and throw their coins into the Trevi Fountain every day. It is believed that if you throw your coin over your left shoulder using your right hand, you will return to Rome in the future. Other legends also claim that you should throw 3 coins into the fountain. Over the course of a day, around 3,000 euros are thrown in.

Thanks to the aqueducts beneath the city, Rome is full of fountains that offer potable water. Called “nasone” fountains, there are between 2,500-2,800 nasoni in Rome, and they supply citizens and tourists alike with free drinking water throughout the city.

If you love fountains, you certainly won’t be disappointed in Rome. There are 50 named monumental fountains and hundreds of smaller fountains dotted across the city. There are believed to be over 2,000 fountains, which is way more than any other city in the world.

Italy is home to some of the most delicious coffee in the world. But did you know that in the city of Rome, local tradition dictates that you should never drink cappuccino either after 11:00 a.m. or after a meal? This is because the Romans believed that milk impairs the digestion and therefore should only be used sparingly.

Tucked away at the Knight of the Malta gate on Aventine Hill, there is a tiny door that you wouldn’t even notice unless you were looking for it. Rumor has it that if you peek through the keyhole, you will see the Vatican perfectly in line with the garden beyond. From this also unassuming viewpoint, you can gaze across 3 entirely different countries all at once — Malta, Italy, and the Vatican City.

Just outside the Vatican lies the Castel Sant’Angelo. This pretty looking castle is chock full of beautiful rooms and elegant frescoes, but buried deep in the castle walls is a secret passageway that runs all the way into the Vatican. Popes used the secret tunnel when they felt they were in danger.

Rome is home to hundreds of wild cats that sit on the walls of the Colosseum and sleep among the ancient ruins of the Forum. There is also a dedicated cat sanctuary housed among the ruins of 4 Republican temples at Largo de Torre de Argentina. The feline population is so dense because there is a law in the city that allows cats to live without disruption in the place where they were born.

Rome is home to one of the earliest shopping malls in the world. Between 107 and 110 A.D., Emperor Trajan built the Mercati di Traiano (Trajan’s Market), where a wide range of grocery items was sold across different levels. Modern-day Rome is still home to some of the very best shopping districts and flea markets in the world.

Rome is home to a dedicated pasta museum that is devoted to the history, production, and nutritional values of Italy’s favorite foodstuff. Visitors can learn everything from optimum cooking times and recipe advice through to pasta-related artwork and exhibits on pasta-making techniques throughout the ages.


Top 5 Day Trips From Rome

What was once the most important harbor city in Ancient Rome is now an important archeological site and popular tourist destination. Located just 19 miles west of Rome, Ostia’s main arterial street is home to a street show of houses, shops, baths, and taverns. The city is also home to a Jewish synagogue, a Christian Basilica, and a wealth of Persian temples.

You can get to the ancient harbor city by taking the 20-minute journey from the metro Line B station of Piramide to Ostia Antica using the Roma Lido commuter train. The Roma Lido line runs from around 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., and you can reach Ostia using a travel card costing from as little as $2 (€1.50), depending on the time and duration of your visit.

The ancient city of Pompeii was famously buried by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Visitors come from all over the world to see the perfect example of ancient Roman communities anywhere in Italy . Ruins include the Antiquarium, the Forum, the Terme Stabiane, the House of Menander, the Amphitheater, and the Nuovi Scavi (New Excavations), among others.

Pompeii is 133 miles from Rome, and the train journey from the city takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes. You can reach Pompeii Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station using the Circumvesuviana line that departs from the main Roma Termini station. Ticket prices start from as little as $19 (€17) depending on the time of travel.

Hadrian’s Villa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an impressive archaeological complex located in Tivoli, 18 miles east of Rome. Considered to be the most remarkable and extravagant example of an ancient Roman Villa , it was built for Emperor Hadrian when he decided that he no longer wanted to reside in the city of Rome itself.

The giant structure contains a variety of interesting structures including the Nymph Stadium, the Poecile, the Camopus, the Philosophers’ Room, Piazza d’oro, the Grandi Terme, and the Piccole Terme.

You can reach the Villa by taking the Trenitalia line from Tiburtina Station (also on the metro B line) and enjoy a 40-minute ride on the Avezzano bound line. Get off at Tivoli Station to visit the Villa and surrounding attractions. Tickets cost from around $6 (€5).

The pretty, hilltop town of Orvieto is one of the most ancient cities in Italy, and home to some of the most important vineyards in the country . Visitors make the journey from Rome out into the Umbrian countryside to admire the impressive Piazze del Duomo, explore the grottos and rock formation of underground Orvieto, peek into the well at Pozzo di San Patrizio, relax by the fountains at Fortezza dell’Albornoz, and sample the fantastic wines at Decugnano dei Barbi.

The train journey from the city of Rome to Orvieto takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, and you can pick up the Trentitalia Line from Roma Termini. Tickets start from around $8 (€7) for a single journey.

Naples is a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back as far as 470 B.C. It is also home to 3 amazing castles:  Ovo Castle with its imposing fortress, Castel Nuovo with its Medieval towers and Renaissance arch, and the Castel Sant’Elmo with its former prison. Visitors also come to see the Royal Palace of Naples, the Palazzo Reale, and a wealth of historic churches and cathedrals.

Naples is around 140 miles from Rome, so expect a 2-3 hour train journey to reach the city from Rome. The Frecciarossa Express runs from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale every 20 minutes at peak times, and ticket prices start from $26 (€23), one-way.

How to Stay Safe in Rome

Rome is an enchanting city that can reel you in from the moment you take your first steps out on to the cobbled streets. Whether you are enjoying a drink in one of the many piazzas, taking in the incredible architecture, or simply enjoying some retail therapy, it can be easy to get carried away here.

While Rome is not necessarily any more or less dangerous for tourists than any other European city, it can be easy to become distracted. Follow our advice on how to stay safe in The Eternal City, and breathe it all in without worrying about your belongings.

Rome does have a high number of pickpockets operating in the main tourist areas during the high season. Roman pickpockets are very skilled and have numerous tricks to help relieve you of your belongings. Be aware of distraction techniques such as flower sellers, gangs of children, and even ladies in distress, and be sure to keep your bag in front of you at all times.

This is common sense for any large town or city, and it is just as important here as it is anywhere else. Keep your wallet, phone, and cards locked safely away in your purse, fanny pack, or shoulder bag, and do not flaunt them when you need to use them. Better still, use a money belt or body pouch for days out in the city, to help you keep your belongings safely by your side at all times.

Urban spaces, riverbanks, and deserted piazzas may look romantic in the daylight, but they can become menacing and oppressive when the night falls. Some streets around Termini and Piazza Vittorio, in particular, are not safe for strolling tourists after dark. Likewise, some stretches of the river are not as safe at night as they would be during the day.

If your plane ticket, passport, personal ID, or other important document goes astray while you travel, it can make things extremely difficult for you. If you are able to make and store electronic copies of all of your important documents, either by email or your smartphone camera, you will always have a back up should you need them.

Should the worst happen, you will probably want to call the police. Make a note of the following telephone numbers and keep them safely with you while you travel:

  • General Emergency: 113
  • Police (Carabinieri): 112
  • Fire (Vigili del fuoco): 115

We aren’t telling you how to dress with this one, simply suggesting that you keep your maps, travel cameras , and large amounts of cash out of sight while you are on the road. This will make you look more like a local and less like a tourist.

Most hotels will offer a safe facility in their guest rooms. These are important because it means your belongings are safe and sound and you don’t need to take all of your stuff with you.

Rome is perhaps one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. With so much history right on your doorstep, it can be challenging to take it all in the first time you visit.

From the historic architecture and works of art to modern-day fine dining and upscale shopping, Rome really is a city that has it all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is rome safe.

Rome is as safe as any European city but you should be extra vigilant of pickpockets in tourist areas. Avoid carrying your valuables on your back, consider using a money belt, or better yet, only take the bare minimum out with you and leave the rest in your hotel safe.

Can you do Rome in 3 days?

There is a lot to see and do in Rome but you can certainly see the highlights over a weekend. Luckily most major sights and attractions are quite close together. While it comes down to personal preference the following are not to be missed:

  • Spanish Steps
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Vatican City

What are the best day trips from Rome?

There are quite a few places that are within easy reach of Rome and if you’re willing to travel an hour or 2 each way, these can be visited within a day.

  • Hadrian’s Villa

Was this page helpful?

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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The Roman Guy

Italy Travel Experts Tours and Vacations

Rome Travel Tips

The Complete Guide To Planning Your Trip To Rome: Tips, Restaurants, and More

Sean Finelli Last Updated: August 29, 2023

Traveling to Rome for the first time? Nobody wants to pick a hotel in the wrong part of town or sit down at a bad restaurant. The good news is you’re reading this article, so you won’t have these problems! This guide will cover some of the Rome basics and links to a ton of great resources to make planning your trip to Rome easy and fun. 

Pro Tip: Bookmark this post and other helpful articles, like where to stay in Rome in a trip folder on your browser so you can quickly find them when you need them. Rome is an expansive city worthy of a tour or two, explore our top-rated Rome tours and experiences . Also, check out our other resources on planning your trip to Rome .

How To Plan Your Trip To Rome: A Complete Guide

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan a memorable vacation in the Eternal City, with plenty of additional resources to explore. From the logistics of where to stay and how to get around the city to the finer details of how to get your coffee, basic Italian phrases, and top things to do, we’ll help you prepare for your dream trip in Rome.

  • Airports and Public Transport (Metro)
  • Where To Stay
  • Things To Do
  • Food Culture
  • Credit Cards, Tipping, and Communicating

When To Travel To Rome and What To Pack

Rome airports and public transport, rome airports.

travel guide for rome italy

There are two main airports in Rome, Ciampino and Fiumicino, and they are both roughly the same distance from the city center.

Fiumicino (FCO)

In short, to get from Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Rome’s city center, the train is the most popular means of transport, taxi is the most convenient, and the bus is the least popular.

By far, the most popular way to get from Fiumicino airport to the city center is by train. For €15, you can get the Fiumicino Express from FCO to Termini station (main station).

A taxi is the most convenient way to get to the center. There are regulated rates from the airport to the city center that fall between €45 – €50, depending on a few difficult-to-explain criteria, such as what type of license the taxi has. If you’re staying outside the historic center of Rome, you may also have to pay more or less. You can normally pay with a credit card in taxis but always ask.

Ciampino (CIA)

The bus is the most popular way to get from Ciampino Airport (CIA) to the city center. Buses tend to cost around €6 – €7, depending on the airport and the coach company. They run based on arrivals. Terravision has been around for a long time and is pretty cheap. 

Taxi, again, is the most convenient. They cost between €35 – €45 depending on the same factors mentioned above, which are difficult to understand.

BEST ways to get to ROME from the AIRPORTS (FCO & CIA)

Rome Transportation Options

Rome has plenty of transportation options. How you decide to get around Rome on any given day on your trip will depend on your preferences, what you have planned to do, and where you’re going. We’ll go over all of them:

Walking in Rome

Rome is an extremely walkable city. If you’re in reasonably good shape and the weather isn’t overly hot, you can walk Rome’s historical center very well. However, the streets can sometimes be confusing. If you aren’t using a mobile map app, it could get tough.

The Colosseum is a 35-minute walk from the Piazza del Popolo and around a 60-minute walk from the Vatican Museums Entrance. However, it’s important to pick your battles. For example, you may not want to walk to the Vatican from the Colosseum, considering that you’ll be on your feet for at least three hours when visiting the Vatican Museums with a guided tour. Some of our top-rated Vatican tours last up to 5 hours to give visitors an enriched experience of the museums. In this case, it might be better to take the subway or even a taxi to conserve energy.

That said, be prepared to walk when you’re in Rome. If you aren’t already doing so, walk at least an hour each day to get your legs ready for your trip!

Rome Bus System

We have a great video on what you need to know to use the buses in Rome . It’s a little dated but fun to watch, and you’ll see exactly where to get bus tickets, how to ask for one, and how to conquer Rome’s bus system. There are three fundamentals that you need to know when using the buses:

  • Buy a ticket before you get on and validate it when you’re on the bus.
  • The bus signs are pretty confusing unless you know the city really well. So, download an app .
  • The buses go literally everywhere. They’re a good option but get hot and crowded in the summer—just something to keep in mind.

Walking around Rome can get really tiring. Hopping on a bus for a kilometer or two can make all the difference. Save your energy for the highlights of your trip.

Rome Metro (Subway) System

The Roma metro system has two lines: the red A-line and the blue B-line. As a visitor, you’ll find yourself on the A-line the most. It goes from Termini past the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, and most importantly, the Vatican.

The B-line will get you from Termini Station to the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. These are the most popular stops for visitors using the metro to get to Rome’s top attractions .

You can’t get to Trastevere by metro, but you can get close to Testaccio by getting off at Piramide. Both Trastevere and Testaccio are known for their lively nightlife and great food. Your hotel and most Airbnbs will have a metro map that you can keep handy.

Getting a Taxi in Rome 

I use public transportation for short, direct rides to get from place to place. For example, going from the Vatican to the Spanish Steps or from Termini Station to the Colosseum. For anything complicated, I normally pony up and take a taxi. They’re relatively cheap if they don’t rip you off—which they will try to do.

A good workaround is to search for your destination in your phone’s map app, get directions from your current location, and hit go. Then, show that map to the taxi driver when they ask where you want to go. This way, they know you’re tracking. Otherwise, there’s really nothing you can do. Just don’t pre-negotiate the rate. There’s a meter in the vehicle that determines the cost.

Renting a Scooter in Rome

If I’m in Rome for more than a couple of days, I’ll rent a scooter. It’s a good option if you have scooter experience. If you don’t, I wouldn’t recommend it. It can be dangerous getting around an unknown city when you don’t even know how to drive the thing, let alone negotiate traffic and figure out where to go.

Where To Stay in Rome

travel guide for rome italy

Rome is a large metropolitan city, but the area most visitors are interested in is the historical center or  Centro Storico because it’s pretty condensed. You can walk from the Colosseum to the Vatican, almost on opposite sides of the historical center or “center” for short, in an hour.

The center is the place to be in Rome, and each neighborhood is really great. I prefer the northern sections like Piazza Navona and Spanish Steps.  To me, they are classical Roman/Italian and super nice. Here are the best areas to consider with links to in-depth neighborhood guides:

  • Spanish Steps
  • Pantheon/Piazza Navona
  • Prati (Vatican)

Again, I really like anything near the Spanish Steps, as I like being in the thick of it. It will come with a price tag, but savvy travelers find deals. Check out our in-depth guide on where to stay in Rome, covering the city’s best neighborhoods.

Top Things To Do in Rome

travel guide for rome italy

From visiting the Sistine Chapel to an underground apothecary run by priests, there are unlimited things to do in Rome. One of the best ways to see a city with this kind of history is to join local guides on fun tours with exclusive access and endless stories to tell. There are so many things to see and ways to see them. Check out all our Rome tours that include the top monuments and museums, plus incredible day trips.

This is a list of the top things to do while you’re in the Eternal City. Be sure to follow the links for more in-depth information on visiting each one of these monuments and museums.

Top Museums

Rome has over 60 incredible museums containing some of the world’s most important works of art. It may be difficult to decide which of them you’ll see. Check out our guide on the seven best museums to visit in Rome for details. Here’s a quick list:

  • The Vatican Museums
  • The Borghese Gallery
  • The Capitoline Museum
  • Palazzo Barberini
  • Palazzo Altemps
  • Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
  • MAXXI Museum

Top Monuments

Rome is filled with historical monuments and attractions. Some of them you have likely heard. Others may be new to you. Here is a list of what you should see on your Rome trip. Check out this guide for the stories behind these top monuments and attractions in Rome .

  • The Colosseum
  • The Basilica of St. Peter
  • The Catacombs of Domitilla
  • The Roman Forum
  • The Pantheon
  • The Palatine Hill
  • The Trevi Fountain
  • Piazza Navona
  • The Spanish Steps
  • Belevedere of Gianicolo Hill
  • The Tiber Island
  • The Mouth of Truth
  • Trajan’s Column
  • Il Pincio and Piazza del Popolo

Must-See Gardens and Parks

If you love beautiful manicured gardens and green spaces, this is for you. There are a number of must-see gardens and parks in Rome . The Villa Borghese and Vatican Gardens are the more well-known among them, but you may also want to visit some of these:

  • Villa Doria Pamphili
  • Villa Borghese
  • Park of the Acquedotti
  • Giardino degli Aranci
  • Vatican Gardens
  • Villa Ada Savoia
  • Villa Sciarra

Absolutely Free Things To Do

You may be surprised by the cool free things you can do in Rome . Some of the city’s most well-known sites are completely free to explore. Check out this list:

Food Culture in Rome

travel guide for rome italy

Where to start with Italian food? It’s often one of the top reasons why tourists come to Italy, and for good reason. Every region serves amazing, fresh, handmade delicacies.

A traditional Italian meal will go like this: antipasto (starter), primo (pasta), secondo (meat and vegetables), dolci (dessert), followed by coffee and liquors. Do Italians eat like this every day?

Fortunately for those of us who live here, no! But these are typically the headings that you’ll see on a menu, so it’s best to have an idea of what they mean. There’s a lot to cover in this section, here’s a breakdown: 

  • How to Find Local Restaurants

Types of Restaurants

Rome meal times.

  • Coffee Culture
  • Drinking Fountains

How To Find Local Restaurants in Rome

Rome is a very touristy city, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good places to eat in the city center. Check out our Rome restaurant master list that we regularly update . From there, you can navigate and see our restaurant recommendations near every major Roman attraction. 

In general, avoid restaurants within sight of a tourist attraction, particularly if they have pictures of the food on the menu or people standing outside trying to hustle you in. Even in the most authentic restaurants, don’t expect particularly friendly service.

Some of the best food is often flung at you without so much as a “hello,” but it’s guaranteed to be worth it. Areas a little more off the beaten track are where you’re more likely to have an authentic experience. For example, the area of Testaccio is well-known for being a classic Roman foodie area, packed with local restaurants.

A really great way to experience a wide variety of Roman cuisine in good restaurants is to join a food tour. They’re a trendy and fun way to get to know the local food scene. Check out our top-rated  Trastevere food tour in Rome .

In Italy, there are stereotypical classifications for almost anything, including restaurants. When you’re in Rome, you’ll notice restaurants don’t just have a name, like “Tony’s,” but also a classification, such as “Trattoria.”  Each one means something specific, and it lets you know what kind of food and experience to expect. Unfortunately, very few visitors to Italy know the difference between an osteria and a trattoria . We’ll solve that for you right here.

Imagine waking up at 6:30  am, rolling over to your significant other, and saying, “Want to head to the bar?” This is what happens almost every morning to millions of Italians.

No, they are not alcoholics. You can get alcohol at an Italian Bar, but you normally don’t. It’s where you get breakfast. You’ll see the “Bar” sign all over Italy, and when you walk in, you’ll find espresso drinks, cornetto, and panini. You can also get freshly squeezed orange juice or vegetable juice. I highly recommend it!

Unlike the bar, you definitely shouldn’t wake up at 7 a.m. asking you’re significant other to go to the enoteca . This is where you go for an alcoholic drink like a glass of wine or a beer.

A good enoteca will serve tons of wine by the glass in many different price ranges. They’ll often also serve cured meat plates for a snack or even warm meals at times. I definitely recommend stopping by one of these on your travels in Italy and Rome.

Tavola Calda

One of my favorite types of places to eat lunch is a tavola calda . They are normally unassuming and serve many different types of dishes, from cooked vegetables to lasagna and pasta dishes. The dishes normally change from day to day based on what is in season and other factors.

For example, gnocchi in Rome is only served on Thursdays. If you see it on the menu seven days a week, you may be in a tourist trap. Authentic Roman restaurants only serve this dish on  giovedí.  You have been warned.

These are pretty cool little sandwich shops. Dotted all over Rome, they range in quality. Don’t refer to your sandwich as a “panini” unless you get more than one. The “i” makes it plural. Italian’s order a  panino. 

Check out 200 Gradi by the Vatican. It’s an awesome place. Campo dei Fiori also has an awesome drive-up stand open for lunch that serves porchetta.

Osterie are pretty cool if you can find one. They are basically super cheap and simple places to eat. A true osteria would have communal-style tables and serve very cheap meals. Back in the day, when Italy was extremely impoverished, they’d even allow you to bring your own food and just drink there.  Imagine that today?

You can find restaurants with the title “Osteria” in Italy, but you shouldn’t bring your own food or normally expect to eat with strangers. There is a place in Florence, Da Mario , which says it is a trattoria, but it feels more like what a traditional osteria would have been like.

Expect a warm and cheap meal if you happen to go inside an osteria in Rome, and even more so in the Italian countryside. The menu will either be non-existent or small. In the countryside or in small towns, they can be really cool. The waiter may rock up to your table and say, “Today, we are serving pasta with clams. Would you like fettucini or spaghetti with that?” Enjoy!

The trattoria of Rome sits somewhere between osteria and ristorante . Almost all Italian restaurants are family-run, bu t trattories are quintessentially family-run. They are normally inexpensive but have a larger menu than an osteria.

Expect traditional regional cuisine at a trattoria. If you go to two different ones, you may find the exact same things on the menu. This is because they offer their family’s version of that regional dish.

This is basically the Italian equivalent of a more formal restaurant. They’ll have a menu with all the Italian courses, and you’ll be expected to eat each course. You should definitely find a top-rated ristorante in Rome and budget 3 hours for your meal. Really indulge in the food, wine, and desserts.


This is an Italian bakery serving all types of delightful local treats. They are probably the best places to go for breakfast as they’ll make their cornettos fresh and supply them to all the bars.

You should be able to get a coffee here, too, but that isn’t a given. If you’re staying in an Airbnb or apartment rental, find a pasticceria close by and pick up a bunch of  cornetti  for your group. You’ll be everyone’s favorite person!


You won’t find this is in Rome, but it’s worth mentioning. A rosticceria is a place you can go to find pre-cooked meals like roasted meats and high-quality products. If you do find one and you’re renting an apartment, consider doing take-out one night from a rosticceria.

Taverna or Rifugio

You’ll find restaurants in Rome with  taverna in their names, but this is more a colorful play on words.  Taverne  are secluded restaurants in the Italian mountains where you could get a hearty meal, something to drink, and possibly a warm bed to sleep in.

Today, you can still find a few dotted in the landscape, but you’re more likely to find an agriturismo, which is more of a B&B. A taverna in Rome is most likely going to decorate its interior in a rustic countryside style and have hearty meals on its menu. It’s kind of like going to a seafood restaurant that’s decorated in a nautical theme but nowhere near an ocean.

One of the biggest cultural differences is that Romans tend to eat much later than basically everyone except the Spanish. In fact, many of the best restaurants won’t open until at least 7:30 p.m.

Lunch: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Dinner: 7:30 pm – 11 pm

To avoid eating in an empty restaurant and to really make the most of your evenings in Rome, try and fit in with them and eat a bit later. Around 8 pm is a good time to sit down.

Coffee Culture in Rome

espresso italy

Italians take their coffee culture very seriously, and there are almost as many rules about coffee as there are for food. Here’s what you need to know to get your coffee fix in Rome:

Espresso “un Café”: A very small shot of coffee. Unless you’ve been to Italy, it’s never been this small.

Café Doppio: Double shot of espresso.

Café Macchiato:   Basically a mini cappuccino. Imagine an espresso and foamed milk all in a tiny espresso cup. Normally, men order these in the morning.

Cappuccino:  This is espresso and foamed milk in a small cup. It’s larger than a macchiato, but nowhere near that tall cappuccino you are used to. You won’t find a larger size.

Café Americano:  Espresso with hot water. The name is from WWII, when American troops would ask Italians to put hot water in the espresso.

Latte: A cup of milk—don’t order this if you want caffeine.

Café Latte: Warm, non-foamy milk with espresso.

The Coffee Rules (Yes, there are rules)

  • No cappuccino or milk-based espresso after 11 a.m. You can do it, obviously, but it’s not really the culture.
  • No cappuccino or milk-based espresso with meals. Don’t do this.
  • It is cheap when you stand up at the bar (€1 – €2), expensive when you sit down. Same for everyone, not just tourists.

Rome Water Fountains

rome water fountains

One of the best things to know about Rome is that there’s no need to buy plastic bottles of water when you get thirsty—there are tons of fountains dotted around the city, and Romans are very proud of them.

Bring a refillable water bottle, and fill it up whenever you see one. There’s also an app to help you find them called I Nasoni di Roma. If you’re going in the heat of summer, you’ll find this tip invaluable!

People are always surprised that you can drink from these fountains, which is crazy if you think about it. Their original purpose was to provide running water to each neighborhood since most houses didn’t have running water. Today, we forget that fact and are astonished by this basic concept due to our many creature comforts.

Credit Cards, Tipping, and Communicating in Rome

tipping in italy

Cash or Credit?

The currency in Italy is the euro. An important thing to remember about Italy is that cash is still king. It’s necessary to carry a reasonable amount of cash around with you at all times to avoid getting stuck.

In general, most restaurants will allow you to pay on a card, as will large shops and tourist attractions. But for drinks, coffee, transport tickets, and small items, cards often aren’t accepted. There may even be a €10 minimum on card payments.

Rule of Thumb:  If it’s less than €10, pay cash. It’s more than €10, and you can probably pay credit as long as there isn’t a “Solo Cash” sign on the door.

The Good News:  The Italian word for credit card is carta di credito . Any Italian shop owner will understand when you ask, “Credit Card?” They’ll also know to respond, “Cash” if they don’t accept credit cards. So, there’s no need to stress.

Tipping isn’t really expected in Italy. I’ve tried to convince visitors that you just need to leave some extra change, a euro per person, regardless of check size, but it normally falls on deaf ears. To simplify things, I have created different levels of tipping to help people understand:

Don Corleone:  Leave 20%, and when you go back, the restaurant staff will celebrate your return as if you were the Godfather. You may get some sneers from other restaurant goers who can’t get your waiter’s attention.

Super Nice : Leave 10%. It’s less than you are used to but far more than anyone in Italy would expect.

Roman : Leave a euro or two extra per person. The wait staff will be very happy.

Nothing at All : Leave nothing and nobody will say anything. Your food will not be poisoned upon returning.

Communicating in English or Italian

One of my favorite things to watch is travelers trying to string together Italian words into sentences from a guidebook. I have been that traveler in many countries. The worst part, though, is when you actually make sense, and the person responds, much to your bewilderment.

Let’s not romanticize the key phrases part of a guidebook here and keep it simple. The phrases below will make you look like a pro because you’ll get simple responses such as si (yes) or a finger pointing to the bathrooms. Remember that c’s have a hard “ch” sound, unlike Spanish.

How much does this cost? Quanto costa?

Check, please. Il conto per favore.

Do you take credit cards? Posso pagare con la carte? 

Where is the bathroom? Dov’è il bagno? Or simply, “bagno?” 

Water?  Acqua?

Table for two, please. Tavolo per due, per favore.

Can you order for me? Fai te?

The last recommendation is by far my favorite. If your waiter is Roman, they will accept the challenge and bring some tasty food. A key phrase is certo (pronounced cherto), which means “of course”. Romans use this all the time, so you may hear it instead of si .

travel guide for rome italy

When To Travel

Part of the reason why people love Rome is the weather. It’s pretty much always nice, and bad weather is when it is too hot. That’s a good problem to have.


Avg Rome Temp (NOAA)

The average monthly temperature in Rome ranges from a low of 37 degrees Fahrenheit (F) to a high of 89 F.  It snows once every 10 to 50 years, and people don’t know what to do when that happens—it’s the greatest.

To decide when you want to travel to Rome, you can use this equation to get a rough idea.

How much am I willing to spend / Am I ok with cooler weather = Daily budget

Cheapest Months:

  • December (1st – 20th)
  • Jan (7th – 31st)
  • March (1st – 20th)

Mid-Range Months:

  • March (21st – 31st)
  • April (excluding 5 days on either side of Easter)
  • October (although it can be higher in price early in the month)

Full-Price Months:

  • Christmas to New Year
  • Easter (5 days on either side)

What To Pack

Check out the infographic below on what to pack. While it’s very useful, the ideal amount to pack is one change of clothes and a mostly empty suitcase. Shopping in Italy is great, so the more space you can leave in your suitcase, the better.

You don’t need to pack an umbrella. As soon as it rains, hundreds of people will appear out of nowhere selling umbrellas. It’s magical. Also, you can’t wear heels in Rome. Let me clarify, you can wear flats and pack heels in your purse for when you are inside bars and restaurants. The cobblestones make wearing heels nearly impossible.

travel guide for rome italy

Rome has a rich cultural history and many iconic landmarks to explore. Plan where to stay in the magnificent Eternal City in the best neighborhoods.

people with smartphone looking for directions in an app

Reader Interactions

Comments (12).

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September 3, 2019

What a lovely description of Italy and Italians you have given to us! I love to read about the transport, food and most importantly the people. Awesome work done! Keep them coming!

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September 4, 2019

Ciao Tanisha! What a lovely comment. We are so happy to provide you with helpful tips for your vacation!

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October 24, 2019

A very informative article. Thank you so much for sharing these things.

October 28, 2019

Ciao! Thanks so much for reading our blog! It’s our mission to provide you with the most useful information possible for your trip.

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November 19, 2019

Nice quality post. Thumbs Up from my side. Special thanks to theromanguy for sharing this valuable information. Once again appreciated!

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January 6, 2020

Nice tips. I’d add the 48 euro fixed rate from the airport to the centre as the best option if there are at least 2 people. By the time you take the train then Metro or taxi from Termini it just about equals out.

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January 21, 2020

Thanks for the tip, Gary!

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May 15, 2020

Rome really such a beautiful city, wish more people will be able to experience it. Thanks for the insightful article.

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June 9, 2020

It is nice you included few basic lines of Italian language everyone should know when visiting Italy or and other country. People are so friendlier to you if you can say “Hi” to them in their language.

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July 21, 2020

Hey, thanks for sharing this, I enjoyed reading it looking forward to my next trip to Italy.

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April 23, 2021

Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.

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September 27, 2022

thank you – very helpful and have taken notes for our trip 🙂

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Rome   Travel Guide

travel guide for rome italy

Courtesy of joe daniel price | Getty Images

travel guide for rome italy

Why Go To Rome

Rome, the city of seven hills, enjoyed a mythic beginning. Romulus and Remus – twin brothers who were nursed by a she-wolf and fathered by a war god – reportedly founded the Eternal City. And although historians are a little skeptical about this epic entry into the world, most travelers are absolutely certain that there is something magical about Rome. Whether it's the mystery of nearby Vatican City or the ghosts of the  Colosseum , an afternoon caffè on  Piazza Navona  or a piled-high plate of pasta at a trattoria, Rome is sure to enchant.

Italy's capital city, Rome is also known for a history that dates back to the eras of Octavian, Julius Caesar and Hadrian, among others. Left behind are structures like the  Pantheon , the  Roman Forum  and dozens of churches, among other historic gems. Art enthusiasts will relish the trove of art housed at the  Vatican Museums , and foodies will enjoy the splendid Italian fare, not to mention the gelato. And though its momentous past is the focus for many vacationers, Rome is also a fast-paced, modern and relevant city, with gleaming designer storefronts, sleek hotels and cutting-edge restaurants.

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  • # 1 in Best Places to Visit in Italy
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Best of Rome

Best hotels in rome.

  • # 1 in Hotel de la Ville, a Rocco Forte Hotel
  • # 2 in Hotel Eden
  • # 3 in Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel

Hotel de la Ville, a Rocco Forte Hotel

Best Things to Do in Rome

  • # 1 in Colosseum (Colosseo)
  • # 2 in Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
  • # 3 in St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)

Popular Tours

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from $ 75.22

Expert Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum

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Rome Travel Tips

Best months to visit.

The best time to visit Rome is from October to April when most of the tourist crowds have dissipated and room rates are lower. Although you'll need a warm coat, weather this time of year hardly ever dips below freezing. For warmer weather – without throngs of tourists and the sweltering humidity – come in May or September. High average temperatures flit between the mid-70s and the lower 80s.

Weather in Rome

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

Il conto, per favore If you need the bill at a restaurant, be persistent  yet pleasant  in asking. Life moves slower in Rome, so asking for your check once doesn't necessarily mean it's on the way.

Ditch the diet This is Rome, home of fettuccine, ravioli, bruschetta, cappuccino … enough said.

Speak Italiano When in Rome, do as the Romans do and at least try to speak a little Italian. "Hello" is  ciao , "please" is  per favore  and "thank you" is  grazie .

Take a tour Overwhelmed by the amount of things to see and do in Italy's capital? Consider taking a guided tour  for a crash course in Roman life and culture.

How to Save Money in Rome

Buy the Roma Pass This  money-saving pass gives you free or reduced admission to museums, discounts on certain exhibits, and free travel on public transportation for up to three days.

Church hop Many of Rome's little churches hold beautiful treasures – and many are free to visit.

Visit on Sunday The Vatican Museums are free to visit the last Sunday of the month, while state-run sights, such as Musei Capitolini and the Colosseum , offer free entry the first Sunday of the month.

Culture & Customs

Trying to look like a resident isn't difficult, especially if your own wardrobe is filled with high-end designer labels. Men wear immaculately cut suits. On the streets, snug jeans and fitted shirts are the norm for both men and women.

Rome's official currency is the euro. Since the euro to U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates, be sure to  check what the current exchange rate is before you go. Major credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops. 

The official language in Rome is Italian, and while it's advisable to learn a few phrases – ciao for hello; addio for goodbye; per favore for please, among others – most tourist-facing institutions, whether hotels or attractions , will have people that can communicate in English.

What to Eat

Rome is overflowing with restaurants, from trattorias that cook up family recipes spanning generations to fusion restaurants that plate up the latest culinary trend. Don't miss out on Roman specialties – such as artichokes, which are so beloved they have a protected status from the European Union. Try them at Rome's Nonna Betta . Cacio e Pepe is a simple pasta dish flavored with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper, and it originated in Rome. If you add smoked pork jowl and egg, you get another Roman pasta dish, carbonara. 

Although the Lazio province – the region in which Rome sits – doesn't produce the world-renowned wines of other parts of the country, Rome nonetheless overflows with wine. Try a glass or two at popular wine bars, such as Enoteca il Goccetto, Cul De Sac or Trimani Enoteca – or with your meal at just about any of Roma's restaurants. 

Coffee is an art in Rome, and to enjoy one of the best espresso drinks, try out the Caffe Sant'Eustachio , established in 1938, or the Antigua Tazza d'Oro near the Pantheon. 

If you're looking to dine at Michelin-rated establishments, you'll have quite a few options. La Pergola , housed inside the luxe Rome Cavalieri Hotel, has three stars, while Il Pagliaccio, which serves up a modern twist on traditional Italian dishes, has two stars. 

For a more rustic, homestyle (not to mention cheaper) dining experience, visitors might want to try out Casa Manco for pizza and Pane e Salame for sandwiches, among several thousand other establishments. If you have limited time in Rome and are interested in a culinary crash course, consider signing up for a food tour . Most tours last several hours and include tastings at a variety of local shops and restaurants. Popular operators include, Cook With Us in Rome , Eating Italy Food Tours and LivItaly Tours .

As always, visitors should use common sense when traveling and watch out for pickpockets on public transportation or in and around heavily touristed attractions. Due to an increased number of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent years, the U.S. State Department advises travelers to be on alert in tourist locations, transit hubs and markets.

Getting Around Rome

The best way to get around Rome is on foot. And because many of the best attractions are clustered together in traffic-free zones, walking makes the most sense. However, some places, like Vatican City, are pretty far from the central historic district, necessitating the use of the metro or a taxi. A nonstop express train (the Leonardo Express) can take you from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to the Rome Termini railway station in a little more than 30 minutes; one-way tickets cost 14 euros (about $17). Buses are also available, but these aren't recommended because of crowded conditions aboard and heavy traffic outside. If you must bring a car to Rome, you should park it as soon as possible once you enter the city limits. Otherwise, you'll find heavy traffic, impatient drivers and pedestrian-only areas make driving around virtually impossible.

Entry & Exit Requirements

A passport with at least six months of remaining validity is required for United States citizens traveling outside the mainland by air or sea, as well as for U.S. citizens trying to re-enter the country. U.S. citizens do not need a visa unless they plan on staying longer than 90 days. Visit the U.S. State Department's website for the latest information on foreign exit and entry requirements.

Seek out vantage points for enchanting panoramic views of the Eternal City.

Explore More of Rome

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Things To Do

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travel guide for rome italy

Your best guide to Rome , Italy from someone who lives here!

Are you visiting Rome, Italy right now, or planning a trip here?

Don't you wish you had a friend who lived here — someone who could give you the inside scoop on what to see, where to eat, where to shop and more?

travel guide for rome italy

If your answer is "yes!" then this is the site for you.

A visit to Rome can be daunting, over-whelming and even tiresome… or it can be magical and full of excitement and beauty.

The first time I came to Rome, I did not enjoy it.

Now that I live here, I love it and love to show people all the things I adore about it.

travel guide for rome italy

Want to know more about me and my life in Rome? Visit my page here .

Elyssa Bernard, Site Owner and Publisher, Rome resident

I live in Rome, and really know the city, on the ground.

I live it, eat it, shop it, and love it.

Also, for nearly 20 years, my husband and I ran a Rome B&B specializing in customer service. On a daily basis, I got to know the kinds of questions people have, and what people really want to know before and during their holiday in Rome.

travel guide for rome italy

I’ve filled these pages with lots of real Rome, Italy tourist information, based on what I know and love about the city, and based on what I know you want to know.

On this site you'll find a real Rome tourist guide, with answers to your questions like:

  • What's the best way to visit the Vatican?
  • How can I see the Pope in Rome
  • How do I get papal audience tickets ?
  • How can I skip the line at the Colosseum?
  • Where can I eat at a local, non-touristy restaurant in Rome?
  • How can I get a taxi in Rome?
  • Is it crowded during Easter in Rome?
  • How can I climb Saint Peter's dome?
  • What is there to do in Rome on a rainy day?
  • Which airport should I fly into when I visit Rome?
  • Do they still have the Free Sunday in Rome? What's free?
  • How can I skip the line at the Vatican ?
  • What's the best Rome City Pass?
  • What are some good cheap restaurants in Rome?
  • How can I get tickets to see Saint Peter's tomb?
  • Why does the Colosseum have holes in it?
  • Where are the best places to shop in Rome?
  • How much should I tip in Italy?
  • What are the best reasons to visit Rome?
  • Is the Pantheon free to visit?
  • How to stay safe in Rome?
  • What's the best itinerary for 3 days in Rome?
  • Do you have to pay to use the bathrooms in Rome?
  • Which of Rome's monuments should I visit?
  • What are some Vatican Museum must-sees?
  • What's the best Rome neighborhood to stay in?
  • How far is Florence from Rome?
  • When is it free to visit the Colosseum?
  • How do I get my tax refund in Rome?
  • What's the best way to get from Fiumicino airport into Rome?
  • What to pack for visiting Rome?
  • Where's the best place to eat carbonara in Rome?
  • What should I order in a restaurant in Rome?
  • Do most places in Rome accept credit cards?
  • What are some of the best places to buy gifts and souvenirs in Rome?
  • Is it ok to have a cappuccino in the afternoon ?
  • How do I book a visit to the Vatican Gardens?
  • What’s a Roma Pass? Is it worth getting one?
  • I have a Vatican/Coliseum tour booked… What else can I do today?
  • How do I get to the catacombs ?
  • And so many others...

Let me help you turn your too-short holiday in Rome, Italy into a meaningful one!

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Rome Travel Guide

Last Updated: September 13, 2023

the ruins in Rome, Italy

Considered the center of the western world for centuries, Rome is the birthplace of Caesar and home to the Catholic Church. It’s also bursting at the seams with ancient historic ruins and tons of delicious restaurants (I particularly love Trastevere for food), bars, and world-class shopping.

Here you walk down the street and see modern buildings next to ruins dating back thousands of years.

It’s a city filled with life, beauty, and charm that appeals to travelers of all stripes. Backpacking here is popular with budget travelers on Eurotrips, history buffs come to explore the ruins, couples visit Rome on honeymoons, and the jet-set splash out on the city’s upscale dining and nightlife.

No matter your interests, Rome has you covered.

This budget travel guide to Rome can help you plan your trip, navigate the endless amount of sites and attractions, learn how to get around in the chaos, and save money in one of the most expensive cities in Italy !

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Rome

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Rome

Wide street filled with people and basilica at the end in Rome, Italy

1. Explore the Colosseum

Even though the line of tourists can seem endless, the Colosseum is not to be missed. Built in the 1st century CE, it is nearly 2,000 years old and was the largest amphitheater in the entire Roman Empire (it could hold 50,000-80,000 people). During the Roman Empire, it was used for gladiatorial contests and other public events including animal hunts, dramatic plays, executions, and military re-enactments. From the Middle Ages onwards, it was repurposed into workshops, housing, and even a Christian shrine. Admission is 16 EUR for a ticket that offers 24-hour access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum (though not the Colosseum’s arena). A two-day ticket with access to all areas (including the arena) is 22 EUR.

For an in-depth tour with special access to the arena floor, book a tour with Walks of Italy . They run the best tours in the city and use expert local guides who ensure you have fun and learn a ton. I always take their tours when I’m in Rome.

2. See the Forum and Palatine Hill

The Roman Forum was the seat of Ancient Rome. It was the center of Roman public life and the place from which Rome administered its empire. Today, the forum is a two-hectare (five-acre) site filled with ruins of countless important buildings amongst which you can wander around. Next to the Forum is Palatine Hill, where the Roman aristocracy lived. Admission to both is 16 EUR or 22 EUR (depending on which combination ticket you purchase). It is also worth getting a guide to give you context and bring the ruins to life. You can book a tour with priority skip-the-line access for 64 EUR.

3. Tour Vatican City

Vatican City is an independent city-state surrounded by the city of Rome. It gained its full independence from Italy in 1929 and is the smallest city-state in the world. Don’t leave Rome without spending some time here to see the home of the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and all of the wonderful museums. (Please dress modestly as the Basilica has a strict dress code). Tickets are 17 EUR while skip the line tickets cost around 27 EUR. Keep in mind that tickets sell out weeks in advance (especially in the high season, so you’ll want to plan this one in advance).

If you want a behind-the-scenes tour with VIP access, book the Key Master’s Tour of the Vatican . You’ll get to help unlock the chapel in the morning, giving you access to the Vatican before all the other tourists enter. It’s an amazing, unique opportunity with limited space so be sure to sign up in advance!

4. Admire the Trevi Fountain

The 18th-century Trevi Fountain was built at the ending point of the aqueduct that supplied ancient Rome with water from the surrounding countryside. Designed by Roman architect Nicola Salvi and composed largely of stone from a quarry just 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the city, the Baroque fountain is a true emblem of Rome and has been featured in numerous films. It is always crowded, especially at night when couples come for a romantic picture. The best time to see this beautiful fountain is before breakfast when the crowds are thin. Tradition says that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, you’ll find your way back to Rome. (The thousands of euros thrown into the fountain each day are donated to charity).

5. Eat your way around Trastevere

Other things to see and do in rome, 1. take a free walking tour.

Walking tours are a wonderful way to learn about a city. I recommend Rome’s Ultimate Free Walking Tour or New Rome Free Tours. Their tours cover all the highlights and can introduce you to the city on a budget. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!

If you’re looking for a paid guided tour that goes above and beyond, check out Walks of Italy . They have expert guides and can get you behind the scenes at the city’s best attractions. They’re my go-to walking tour company!

2. See the churches

Rome has a ton of churches so don’t hesitate to wander into them as you pass by to take in the art, sculptures, decorations, and stained glass. The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, dating back to 440 CE, is one of the most impressive. It’s covered in 5th-century mosaics which display 36 scenes from the Old Testament. Other noteworthy churches include the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, one of the few Gothic churches in Rome and known for its deep blue vaulted ceiling; and San Giovanni in Laterano, the official cathedral of Rome which apparently is home to the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul.

3. Explore Ostia Antica

The ruins of the ancient Rome port of Ostia Antica are well worth a visit. About 2,000 years ago, this place was a bustling commercial center and home to 60,000 people. Now you can wander the ruins of the docks, apartments, mansions, baths, and warehouses. You should plan at least a half-day for this trip. Entry is 12 EUR. City Wonders runs half-day tours for around 58 EUR.

4. Tour the Pantheon

The Pantheon looks today much like it did nearly 2,000 years ago before it became a church (it was originally a Roman temple). Hadrian built it over Agrippa’s earlier temple, and it has been around since 125 CE. As soon as you walk through the heavy bronze doors and across the marble floors, you can look up and marvel at the largest unreinforced dome ever built. It’s by far one of the best-preserved buildings in the world, as its been in use continuously since its construction. Entry is free.

5. See the Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, built in the 1720s, are a long and grand staircase in Rome with the Piazza di Spagna at its base and Trinità dei Monti looming at the top. While the Spanish Steps were once a social hub on which you could hang out and people watch, sitting on the steps is no longer allowed. This is part of new preservation measures enacted in 2019, intended to ensure that the monument will be around for generations to come. While you can’t linger on the steps, visiting this iconic sight is a must, and you can still climb them to get to the top.

6. Check out the art museums

If you enjoy art museums, Rome will not disappoint. There are a ton of great ones here, several of which are some of the highest-ranking in the world. The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna is a good starting point as it is home to several Italian masterpieces. The Galleria Borghese is also excellent as it boasts a garden villa filled with Bernini sculptures and artwork from Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and other masters. Cardinal Scipione Borghese originally commissioned this collection. For something different, check out MAXXI, Rome’s first national museum devoted entirely to contemporary art.

7. Partake in La Settimana dei Beni Culturali

This is a 10-day event that occurs every May. During this cultural heritage week, all governmentally owned and operated landmarks, museums, and archeological sites offer free admission. There aren’t any other deals better than this! Be forewarned, these sites get really crowded so arrive early.

8. See a show

Aside from beautiful auditorium complexes, Rome often hosts world-class operas and concerts performed by international musicians. The Olympic Stadium is a hotspot for summer concerts and the Auditorium in Viale Pietro de Coubertin and at Parco della Musica holds events year-round. Ticket prices vary but expect to pay at least 25 EUR.

9. Visit Castel Sant’Angelo

This structure was built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian at the end of the 1st-century. During the course of history, it has also served as a papal residence and a prison. As you may know from The Da Vinci Code , there’s a passageway here that runs into the Vatican. It was designed as an escape passage for the Pope in case of an emergency, and it was actually used in 1527 by Pope Clement VII. You can visit the castle and look around the exhibits; there are seven levels in total. The Terrace of the Angel has some amazing city views. Admission is 14 EUR while Get Your Guide offers reserved tickets for 23 EUR.

10. Explore the Catacombs

Rome has three major sets of catacombs that are open to the public – the Catacombs of Praetextatus, the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, and the Catacombs of San Callisto. Some of the underground crypts are adorned with sculptures and frescoes. San Callisto is the most popular, with a labyrinth of galleries extending about 19 kilometers (12 miles) long and 20 meters deep. Admission to each catacomb is 8 EUR.

11. Take a cooking class

If you’re a foodie, taking a cooking class in Rome is a must. I like Walks of Italy as they offer some my favorite cooking classes, including a pasta making class. Their classes are around 3 hours each and are super insightful. You’ll not only have fun but you’ll learn a lot too. Prices vary but expect to spend around 50-90 EUR. Eat and Walk Italy runs tours for around 60 EUR.

12. See the Roman Appian Way

This ancient road connects Rome all the way to Brindisi. It was finished in 312 BCE and it’s so well preserved you can see the ruts in the stones left by chariots. There are lots of interesting highlights along the way, including the Catacombs of San Callisto and a huge mausoleum for Cecilia Metell, a Roman noblewoman. A lot of people rent a bike to pedal the path, but I think walking is the best way to go. You’ll be following in the footsteps of the ancient Romans! If you’d prefer a tour, Walks of Italy runs an Ancient Rome walking tour that covers the Appian Way (as well as the Park of the Aqueducts below — and much more!).

13. Hang out in the Park of the Aqueducts

This large, green park is part of the Roman Appian Way and home to some of the ancient aqueducts that once carried millions of tons of water into the city from the mountains. Although the park is located on the outskirts of the city, it’s a really great place to go and just hang out with the locals. Pack a lunch and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the shade of some 2,000-year-old monuments.

14. Visit Piazza Navona

This is one of the most beautiful public spaces in Rome. It’s home to Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, with its stunning statues representing the great rivers of the world. The entire oval-shaped piazza is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, shops, and the Museo di Roma. Nearby, you’ll find Via della Pace, one of the city’s most photogenic streets. Pull up a chair at a sidewalk cafe and take it all in.

15. Wander around Centro Storico

Spending an afternoon getting lost in the maze of cobblestone streets in Centro Storico is one of the best free things you can do in Rome. Wind your way through the narrow alleyways and streets, admire the churches filled with Baroque art, pause for a coffee, and do some shopping at the many boutiques.

16. Climb Gianicolo

Gianicolo (or Janiculum) Hill offers the best views over Rome. It’s a famous spot for young lovers and tourists and from here you can see some of the city’s best attractions, including Palazzo Venezia and the Spanish Steps. It’s beautiful at dusk, but if you come in during the day, prepare for the cannon firing at noon (it has been happening daily since 1904).

17. Take a food tour

To learn more about the history and culture behind Rome’s cuisine, take a food tour. It’s the best way to eat your way around the city sampling the best eats Rome has to offer while learning what makes the cuisine unique. Devour Tours runs in-depth food tours led by expert local guides that will introduce you to the food culture and its history. If you’re a foodie like me who wants to learn more about the history and culture behind each dish, this tour is for you! Tours from 69 EUR.

For more information on other cities in Italy, check out these guides:

  • Cinque Terre Travel Guide
  • Florence Travel Guide
  • Milan Travel Guide
  • Naples Travel Guide
  • Pisa Travel Guide
  • Sorrento Travel Guide
  • Venice Travel Guide

Rome Travel Costs

View over pastel colored buildings and terracotta rooftops in Rome, Italy

Hostel prices – For a bed in a dorm with 6-8 beds, expect to pay 33-49 EUR per night during peak season and 17-35 EUR off-peak. Private rooms go for 80-120 EUR per night during peak season and 55-75 EUR off-peak. Free Wi-Fi and self-catering facilities are standard and many hostels also include free breakfast.

Budget hotel prices – Two-star budget hotels start at 60-100 EUR per night. Prices are about 10-20 EUR cheaper per night in the off-season. Expect basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, TV, AC, and a coffee/tea maker. There are a number of bed and breakfasts that include breakfast in the room rate.

On Airbnb, you can find private rooms starting around 40-60 EUR per night and entire apartments for 80-125 EUR per night. Expect to pay double (or more) if you don’t book early.

Average cost of food – Italian cuisine is beloved around the world, though every region in Italy offers its own distinct flavor. Tomatoes, pasta, olives, and olive oil form the backbone of most meals, with meat and fish and various cheeses rounding out the menu. Gelato is a must also. You can find dishes from across the country in Rome, as well as tons of international fare; it’s the best foodie city in the country.

Most casual restaurant meals with wine cost around 15-20 EUR. In tourist hot spots, add another 10 EUR to that.

Quick eats like pizza, paninis, and sandwiches cost 4-8 EUR. Fast food (think McDonald’s) is around 8 EUR for a combo meal. Chinese takeout costs 5-10 EUR for a main dish.

If you want to splash out, a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant starts at 30 EUR.

Beer costs around 4-5 EUR while a glass of wine costs 3-5 EUR. For non-alcoholic drinks, a latte/cappuccino is around 1.50 EUR and bottled water is less than 1 EUR.

Most restaurants will also add a 2.50-3 EUR coperta (cover charge) to your bill. No way to get around it.

If you plan on cooking your own food, expect to spend around 55-65 EUR per week on groceries. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, seasonal produce, and some meat.

Backpacking Rome Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker’s budget in Rome, you’ll spend about 60 EUR per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel, cooking all of your meals, limiting your drinking, taking public transportation to get around, and doing mostly free activities like free walking tours and visiting free sights like the Parthenon and Spanish Steps. If you plan on drinking, add another 10 EUR to your daily budget.

On a mid-range budget of 160 EUR per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, eat out for most meals, enjoy a few drinks, take the occasional taxi to get around, and do more paid activities like touring the Colosseum and visiting the Vatican.

On a “luxury” budget of 275 EUR or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink as much as you want, take more taxis, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Rome Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

It’s easy to blow a lot of money in Rome as it’s one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cut your costs. Here are some of the best ways to save money in Rome:

  • Stay outside the center – If you are open to staying on the outskirts of Rome, you can save a lot of money on accommodation. Food outside of the city is much cheaper as well, and it’s easy to take the train to Rome for your sightseeing.
  • Eat cheap – When eating in Rome, opt for sandwich and pizza places as opposed to touristy restaurants. For really good, inexpensive food, visit Trastevere across the river.
  • Cook your own meals – If you’re on a tight budget, skip eating out and cook your own meals. If you have access to a kitchen, you’ll be able to save a fortune.
  • Get a tourist card – If you are going to see a lot of museums, consider buying one of Rome’s many budget cards such as the Roma Pass, the Omnia Card (for Rome and the Vatican), or the Colosseum Full Experience ticket (which grants access not only to the Colosseum but several other iconic sites). You pay one flat fee for all the attractions and can save a good amount of money in the process.
  • Pass on the bread – Some restaurants charge you extra for bread they leave on the table — but they won’t tell you about it until the bill arrives. Send it back if you don’t want to be tempted.
  • Drink the tap water – When eating out, ask for tap water or you will automatically get expensive bottled water included on your bill.
  • Buy your wine at supermarkets – You can buy a great bottle of wine for 6-10 EUR at the store. It’s much cheaper than the bar.
  • Stay with a local – Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds or couches for free. It’s the best way to save money while connecting with a local who can share their insider tips and advice.
  • Go on a free walking tour – This is a great way to learn the history behind the places you are seeing and get your bearings. Rome Free Walking Tour has a few tours that can show you what the city has to offer. Just don’t forget to tip your guide!
  • Get a transportation pass – A 24-hour transportation pass for the metro, bus, and trams is just 7 EUR. It’s the best way to get around the city on a budget.
  • Take advantage of free museums – On the first Sunday of the month, dozens of museums and galleries around the city have free entry, including the Colosseum, the Borghese, and the modern art museum (among many others). And on the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums are free. Just expect crowds!
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe. You’ll find clean drinking fountains all over the city.

Where to Stay in Rome

Rome has tons of fun, affordable, and social hostels. My recommended places are:

  • YellowSquare
  • The Beehive
  • Palladini Hostel
  • Alessandro Palace Hostel and Bar

For more hostel suggestions, check out my list of the best hostels in Rome .

How to Get Around Rome

People cycling on the street in Rome, Italy

Public transportation – Rome has an extensive public transportation network consisting of buses, a subway (metro), trams, and trolleys.

The metro is the fastest way to get around the city. There are three lines and a single journey ticket that’s valid for 100 minutes is 1.50 EUR. You can pick up tickets from local tobacco shops, newsstands, and vending machines at the stations. You can also use contactless payment methods on the metro.

The bus can get you into the areas not covered by the metro system, but it’s a lot slower than the subway due to constant traffic jams. Tickets are 1.50 EUR.

You can purchase a one-day pass for unlimited travel for 7 EUR. A one-week pass costs 24 EUR.

If you’re going to be using the public transportation system a lot, the Roma Pass is your best bet as it includes free access to some museums, discounts on others, and unlimited public transportation. It’s 32 EUR for 48 hours and 53 EUR for 72 hours.

Taxis – Taxis are very expensive here so I don’t recommend taking them. The meter starts at 4 EUR and then goes up 1.20 EUR per kilometer. Avoid them at all costs!

Ridesharing – Uber is available in Rome and their prices are usually cheaper than taxis. That said, they’re still not super cheap so skip Uber too!

Bike rental – Bicycling around Rome may seem a little scary with the high volume of traffic (and the hills), but there are bike lanes around the city center that make it possible. Bike rentals start at 14-20 EUR per day.

When to Go to Rome

Peak season is during the summer, from June through August. You’ll be constantly competing for views at Rome’s main tourist attractions, but the weather is also fantastic during these months (although sometimes it’s unbearably hot and humid). Temperatures during this season average around 27°C (81°F), but in August, temperatures soar above 32°C (89°F) per day.

If visiting in the summer, wake up early to beat the heat and the crowds.

Personally, I recommend visiting during the shoulder season, which is from April-May and late September-October. It’s slightly less chaotic than the summer months, and the temperature is pleasant, hovering around 18°C (64°F). That said, post-COVID, tourism has grown so much that even those times of the year can still be pretty crowded.

Winter is from November to March. This is the off-season in Rome but the city is never quiet. Although there are fewer travelers around, you can still expect a bustle of activity everywhere you go. Temperatures during this time range from 4-15°C (39-59°F).

How to Stay Safe in Rome

Rome is a very safe place to backpack and travel — even if you’re traveling solo and even if you’re a solo female traveler. However, petty theft can be a problem here so keep your valuables secure and out of sight. Pickpockets are very active around Rome’s main attractions such as the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Square so stay vigilant.

It’s also not uncommon to get ripped off in this city. You should never buy tickets from unofficial ticket offices. If you are approached by someone selling skip-the-line tickets, ignore them. Also, always make sure your taxi driver is using the meter.

If you’re worried about getting scammed, you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

If you experience an emergency, dial 113 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Rome Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • Walks of Italy – This walking tour company provides inside access to attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock and they have some of the best and most insightful tours in all of Italy.
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Rome Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Italy and continue planning your trip:

The 8 Best Hotels in Rome

The 8 Best Hotels in Rome

The Best Walking Tours in Milan

The Best Walking Tours in Milan

The Best Walking Tours in Venice

The Best Walking Tours in Venice

The 4 Best Hostels in Florence Worth Staying At

The 4 Best Hostels in Florence Worth Staying At

Food Tour  Review: My Experience Eating in Bologna

Food Tour Review: My Experience Eating in Bologna

The 24 Best Things to Do in Rome

The 24 Best Things to Do in Rome

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I'm a travel writer who moved to Rome 20 years ago from the US. Here's my ultimate guide to the city.

  • I'm a travel writer who permanently moved to Rome after realizing it was where I felt most at home.
  • Here's how I help friends plan an incredible visit to Rome with my personal list of the best places to go.
  • Visit Insider's hub for travel guides, tips, and recommendations .

Insider Today

When people ask me what it's like to live in Rome, I tell them it's like a gorgeous layer cake — walk around and you are simultaneously in the past, present, and future. It's charming and provincial, beautiful and chaotic, and always the same, yet not at all, depending on how you look at it.

I grew up in the US and frequently traveled to Rome to visit my mom's family. Eventually, I studied here and later moved to Rome permanently after realizing it was the place I felt most at home. 

Throughout the many phases of my Roman life, I've learned the ins and out of this amazing city and have made it my profession to share it with the world through my work as a travel journalist and podcast host. On any given day, find me walking by ancient monuments, biking the oldest road in the world, or enjoying some of the newest street art in the country.

Come for the history and then immerse yourself in everything else the Eternal City has to offer, just as I do. Here's how I help friends and family plan an incredible visit to Rome.

→ Thinking of Rome this summer? Here are the best ways to travel to and around the Eternal City

→ 11 one-of-a-kind boutique hotels in rome that feel like i've been handed the keys to my most stylish italian friend's home, → i've lived in rome for 2 decades — here are 11 places that i think have the best food in the city, → 13 secret spots and lesser-known things to do in rome that most tourists miss, including where to find the best views of the city, → the latest covid-19 rules for visiting rome, plus tips on the best time to visit.

travel guide for rome italy

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Rome, Italy

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Rome travel guide for first-time visitors

Rome travel guide for first-time visitors

Rome is without doubt one the most beautiful cities in the world; every year millions of tourists come from around the world to admire the treasures and masterpieces of Roman art and architecture .

But a trip to the Eternal City can be eternally confusing for first-time visitors. This guide will make it easier to uncover Rome , offering lots of practical advice that will help you discover and enjoy the city in all its glory .

1. Planning your travel in Rome

Travel guide video guide

Because Rome is such a huge tourist draw, choose the date for your trip carefully. The best times of the year to visit are April, May, and late September through October . In the depths of summer, the heat and the crowds make the city nearly unbearable .

August in particular should be avoided because this is the month that the entire country of Italy seems to go on vacation. Traveling too late or too early in the year can also be risky because the opening hours for many attractions are shorter, and some are closed completely.

Airfares typically drop quite a bit when " shoulder season " begins in the early autumn, making this the optimal time to visit in my book. The days are still warm, the nights are slightly cool, and the tour groups and student mobs have mostly disappeared.

If you can plan to stay as long as a week, you won't run out of things to do and you'll still feel like you're leaving too soon. But if your time is limited, allow at least four days to see all of Rome's major attractions .

If you try to cram the entire city into a two-day span and do nothing but run from place to place furiously snapping pictures, you'll only be cheating yourself. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day and it can't be seen in one, either.

2. Arriving in Rome

Arriving in Rome

Rome's Fiumicino airport is 19 miles outside of the city. A train station is located inside and you can travel straight to Station Termini near the center of town for about $12 per person, but you'll then need to find a way to get to your hotel.

If you're carrying a lot of luggage or just want to make things easier on yourself, take a cab or have your hotel arrange to have a hired car pick you up.

Either option will cost around $50 but the no-stress factor makes it worth the extra money.

Renting your own car is always an option, but even if you're planning to tour other parts of Italy I wouldn't advise driving in or near Rome unless you have nerves of steel and the skills and reflexes of a professional racecar driver.

3. Sleeping in Rome

Where to sleep in Rome

To plunge fully into the essence of Rome , I highly recommend staying in a hotel where you can simply walk out your door and into the heart of the city . Of course, the closer to the attractions you are the more you'll pay, but trust me, it's worth it.

Before you make a reservation , look at a map of Rome and confine yourself to hotels that are east of the Tiber River and west of Station Termini. Also be aware that distances on a map might not be as close as they appear ; I once stayed at a hotel in the fashionable Via Veneto area thinking that it would be fairly close to all the major attractions, but in reality it took nearly half an hour to reach anything at all from there on foot despite the fact that it looked oh-so-close on paper.

The most vibrant area to stay in is the half-mile stretch between Piazza Navona and Piazza Barberini . Some rooms here are pricey but you'll also find plenty of small family-run hotels nearby. Guidebooks are fine for gathering ideas, but hit the Internet to get the best deals. Or if you prefer, book a hotel directly with and you’ll contribute to publishing future guides like this one.

4. Dining in Rome

Dining in Rome

Going hungry is one thing no traveler should ever worry about while in Rome ; the city is literally overrun with good places to eat . The busy area just south of the Spanish Steps is full of them, and the maze of intersecting side streets tucked between Via del Corso and Piazza Navona contains dozens as well.

Most have outdoor seating and offer similar menus containing pasta, pizza, veal, chicken and a few seafood dishes. The food is typically simple, fresh and delicious, and even the restaurants that seem to be tourist traps will still feed you well. If you have a tough time choosing, your best bet is to simply decide what you want to look at while you're dining and pick a restaurant based on that.

For instance, the Piazza della Rotonda contains several cafés which face the Pantheon , and  Piazza Navona is completely circled by restaurants which offer views of its numerous fountains.

For the younger folks we suggest an evening sipping beer in " Piazza di Campo dei Fiori " near the Pantheon , or in picturesque Trastevere , typical hangout zone for young Romans.

A few dining tips; first, Rome is one of the cities where a restaurant's house wine is usually excellent . Second, although I recommend learning and using at least a few Italians phrases, almost every waiter I've ever encountered in Rome speaks English. I've even heard Germans and other Europeans communicating with Italian waiters in English because it's the more common language.

A few pratical tips; to eat an ice cream or a coffee in a bar, pay at the cashiers desk (cassa) before you order. Then, proudly slap your receipt (scontrino) down on the bar (maybe with a little tip to get the barman’s attention) and place your order. To avoid looking like a total geek, don't be polite and let others get ahead of you. Pay attention to who came in ahead of and after you and assert your place when the time comes for service.

Bars must provide free glasses of water to passers-by who require them. Good information on a hot summer day.

The most accessible bathrooms are those found in bars - but don't expect to find toilet paper in most of them. The major tourist sites have the most modern facilities, fast food restaurants and department stores may provide decent bathrooms, as well.

5. Exploring Rome

Top attractions in Rome

Take out that handy map of Rome again. Now draw a diamond shape with the Spanish Steps at the top, Station Termini to the right, Aventine Hill at the bottom and Piazza Navona to the left.

75-percent of your sightseeing will probably take place within this area, and even though it doesn't seem that big on the map you'll need at least two days to see everything within the diamond and three would be better; some activities, such as touring the ruins of ancient Rome (including the Colosseum ) could easily occupy an entire day.

Several notable sights lie outside the diamond shape , including the Vatican (another full-day destination), Castel Sant'Angelo and the Villa Borghese . Rome 's subway system can come in handy when you're traveling to these locations (look for the big red M at the entrance to each station) and a one-way ticket costs less than a dollar but there are also tourist tickets called BIT or CIS good for unlimited rides. BIT "Biglietto Turistico Integrato" is a 3-day ticket, valid until midnight of the third day on which the ticket is validated, the CIS "Carta Integrata Settimanale" is a weekly one.

Both BIT and CIS grant you unlimited rides on Atac or Cotral buses, subways, and some local trains . Tickets can be sold by tabacchi (tobacconists), which are housed in buildings with bold black T's on white or dark blue signs.

There is also a ticket called “ Roma Pass ” that offers you transport and two museums free of charge as well as reductions for all other museums and major events in Rome for a 3-day pass. The " Roma Pass " is available online, in all museums and the Tourist Information Points .

Rome is a city that is best savored slowly, like a glass of robust red wine. Allow yourself the chance to see it properly by formulating a touring plan before you arrive . Choose one small section of the city to explore each day, leaving yourself ample time to lounge over a cup of cappuccino at an outdoor café or a scoop of gelato at one of the dozens of ice cream shops you'll find.

Another hint is to save the attractions closest to your hotel for last ; you may be tempted to do just the opposite, but these will be the easiest sights to visit if time starts to run short.

If the worst case scenario happens and you're unable to see everything in one trip, just toss a coin into Trevi fountain before you leave and legend has it that you'll be guaranteed another visit in the future.

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Visit Rome Italy - N°1 Rome City Guide

Rome travel guide - tips, tourism and what to visit in roma italia.

Visit Rome attractions

All sightseeing, tourist attractions information and tourism tips for your city break in Rome ('Roma Italia') such as visiting the sights and highlights. What to visit in Rome city, capital of Italy?

Places to visit in Rome city

Welcome to, the online Rome travel guide for your city break to Rome Italy. We will gladly give you the best travel tips for visiting the attractions in Rome city. Because of the many tourists in this Italian city, it is necessary to book tickets for some of the attractions and sights in advance and plan your visit ahead. If you follow the tips of our travel guide, your Rome visit is sure to be a success. Benvenuti a Roma Italia!

Rome (or Roma in Italian) is the capital of Italy and has a population of 2.8 million, the Romans. According to legend, Rome city was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus in 753 BCE. The city is located on the banks of the river Tiber and was founded on top of seven hills; Palatine Hill , Aventine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Caelian Hill, Esquiline Hill, Quirinal Hill and Viminal Hill. Particularly the area around Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill would later become the centre of power of the enormous Roman Empire. You can find many ruins and excavations here of the Forum Romanum and the Colosseum gives you an impression of how gladiators had to do battle in this enormous Roman amphitheatre. The Pantheon , which is now a church, has its characteristic round, open roof and is one of the best kept buildings from Roman times. And the Via Appia takes you back in time along one of the oldest roads of Rome Italy. Basically, the city of Rome is one giant museum. It is therefore no surprise that the complete historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

rome travel guide

Unique is the ministate of Vatican City, of which the pope is the head of state. This tiny state has an area of just 44 hectares, taken up mostly by St. Peter’s Basilica and St Peter's square, known for the ‘Urbi et Orbi’ speeches by the pope. For many visitors to Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel , part of the Vatican Museums will be the highlight of their travel. The space, where cardinals hold the conclaves to elect a new pope, is adorned with beautiful frescos by Michelangelo.

Rome travel tips, guide and tourism

What to visit in Rome Italy? With over 900 churches, no other city in the world is so representative for the Catholic faith. Rome has four papal basilicas and seven pilgrimage churches. Each church is more beautifully decorated than the last, with works by the great masters such as Bernini, Raphael, Caravaggio and Michelangelo. As an art lover, you will feel right at home in the many museums like the Galleria Borghese . All these Roman sights and excavations, the beautiful churches , the Vatican, the fun neighbourhoods like Trastevere , beautiful fountains – including the famous Trevi Fountain ) – tasty trattorias, a picture on the romantic Spanish Steps and trendy fashion shops make Roma Italia a chaotic and bustling metropolis where you can easily keep yourself entertained for at least a week.

Public transport in Rome city can be a challenge. The city has two completed metro lines. A third metro line has been delayed many times as a result of the many excavations. In order to use public transport as a tourist, there are a number of cost-saving tourist passes to choose from. More travel tips about getting around, visiting Rome Italy and tourist attractions can be found in our ultimate Rome travel guide full with tips for tourism and sightseeing.

What to visit in Rome (Italy)


The Colosseum, the enormous amphitheatre is certainly the most famous tourist attraction in Rome city. It is even one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

St. Peter’s Basilica

  • St. Peter’s Basilica

The most famous church for visiting in Rome Italy is of course St Peter's Basilica. The basilica is the residence of the pope in the ministate of Vatican City.

Sistine Chapel

Travel tips: Sistine Chapel

Visit the church treasures in the Vatican Museums, with the famous Sistine Chapel with the frescos by Michelangelo as the absolute highlight. Travel tips: visit Rome with a guide.

  • Sistine Chapel

Pantheon Travel Guide Rome Italy

Places to go: Pantheon

The Pantheon is the best-preserved building from Roman times. The building with its special roof opening is now a church. Read more in our Rome travel guide.

rome travel tips

  • Roman Forum

What to visit in Rome city? During the time of the Roman Empire, the Forum Romanum was its seat of power. Visit these Roman excavations and the Palatine hill.

Trevi Fountain rome italy

Tourism: Trevi Fountain

The most famous fountain in the world is probably the Trevi fountain. Throw a coin in the tourist fountain of Rome city to make sure you will one day return to visit Rome Italy.

  • Trevi Fountain

Best time to visit Rome Italy

Rome city has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm or hot summers. With 2,500 hours of sun every year, chances are good you will find sunny weather. You can visit the city of Rome in Italy throughout the year, but the best time for tourism is in spring or autumn. The Mediterranean sea keeps the temperatures comfortable during this time of year, and the weather is generally sunny. During the dry and very sunny months of summer – July and August – temperatures can get very high, often over 30 degrees and with a chance of smog. Winters in Roma Italia are mild, with temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. The winters tend to be chilly and wet, but there is little chance of snow.

Video: Visiting Rome city

Where is roma located in italy.

Rome city is located in the middle of Italy between two major cities: Florence (Firenze) is 280 kilometers north and Naples is 219 kilometers south of the Italian capital. The tourist city of Venice is more than 520 kilometers away from the capital of Italy.

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The Ultimate Rome & Southern Italy Travel Guide

Jun 22, 2021

The Ultimate Rome & Southern Italy Travel Guide

Your Southern Italy travel guide

Where the pasta is fresher, the cannolis are sweeter, the espresso is stronger and the wine is simply “bellissimo”… 👌  Italy, how we love you. You could go sightseeing for years across this beautiful country in Europe and still never discover (or taste!) everything it has to offer — but we will most certainly try. We hope this Southern Italy Travel Guide is the perfect starting point for discovering everything from the world-famous to the off-the-beaten-path bucket-list destinations across the Southern Italian regions. But above all, toss the guidebook and simply wander. Step aside, Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre, because we’re flying south. “ Andiamo! ” 🧳

Table of Contents

  • Travel Tips: Know before you go
  • Central Italy : Rome
  • Province of Naples : Naples, Sorrento, Capri
  • Amalfi Coast : Positano, Ravello, Amalfi
  • Western Italy : Bari, Matera
  • Island of Sicily : Palermo, Taormina, Syracuse

travel guide for rome italy

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Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and enlarged by successive pontiffs, the Vatican Museums boast one of the world's greatest art…

travel guide for rome italy

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Everyone wants to see the Colosseum, and it doesn’t disappoint, especially if accompanied by tales of armored gladiators and hungry lions. More than any…

St Peter's Basilica and city skyline from Villa Borghese.

St Peter's Basilica

In the city of outstanding churches, none can hold a candle to St Peter's, Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. Built atop a 4th…

travel guide for rome italy

Roman Forum

An impressive – if rather confusing – sprawl of ruins, the Roman Forum was ancient Rome's showpiece center, a grandiose district of temples...

Farnese Gardens built a top Domus Tiberiana on Palatine Hill at the Roman forum in Rome, Italy.

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Close up of the foot of Constantine statue, Capitoline Museum, Italy

Capitoline Museums

Dating from 1471, the Capitoline Museums are the world's oldest public museums, with a fine collection of classical sculpture.

Interior of The Pantheon.

Centro Storico

With its revolutionary design, this awe-inspiring temple has served as an architectural blueprint for millennia.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

Piazza Navona

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Ponte dei Sospiri

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travel guide for rome italy

Trevi Fountain

Tridente, Trevi & the Quirinale

Don't miss a visit to Rome's iconic Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain.

travel guide for rome italy

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Duomo & Piazza della Signoria

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Facade of St Marks Basilica.

Basilica di San Marco

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Burial chamber at the San Gennaro Catacombs

Catacombe di San Gennaro

Naples' oldest and most sacred catacombs became a Christian pilgrimage site when San Gennaro's body was interred here in the 5th century. The carefully…

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Your Guide To Rome with kids: Things To Do + Tips for Visiting

R ome is the bustling capital of Italy and is one of the most historic and fascinating cities on Earth, meaning there are many things to do in Rome with kids that provide an enriching and educational experience.

As well as lots of fun!

It has a history that takes visitors back thousands of years of history, has a cuisine that melts in your mouth, has world-class museums and stunning parks to explore.

We’ve visited Rome numerous times and were delighted by how much there was for our kids to enjoy, as well as attractions parents can enjoy too.

If you’re thinking of visiting Rome with kids, below are all the top things to do, places to eat, and a recommendation for a family-friendly place to stay.

Planning your trip to Rome last-minute?

Travelling with kids can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead when  visiting Rome , so here are some of the top tours, hotels, and more to help you prepare!

Top Experiences and Tours in Rome

  • Street food history tour of Rome (donuts and gelato kids will love!)
  • Skip-The-Line to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapels (this will save you hours on queuing!
  • A Combined Tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum (plus a guide to enlighten you of the history)
  • A tour of the Rome Catacombs w/ hotel pick up (Great for older kids)
  • 2 Hour Gladiator School (A must-do educational activity for kids!)

Top Family-Friendly Accommodation and Hotels in Rome

  • Umiltà 36 (5* Hotel with Family Rooms near the Trevi Fountain)
  • Rhea Silvia Luxury Navona Hotel (4* Hotel with Family Rooms near The Pantheon)
  • Tiberina Apartments – Trastevere (great for families who need space)

Is Rome A Good Place To Travel To With Kids?

How long do you need in rome, 1. drink coffee (and eat cake) like the locals, 2. visit the spanish steps, 3. play at fontana della barcaccia.

  • 4. Visit the Campo De' Fiori Open-Air Market

5. Find the Best Focaccia in Rome

6. watch street performers near fontana dei quattro fiumi, 7. wander the streets of trastevere, the vatican museum.

  • Saint Peter's Basilica

Vatican Post Office

9. visit the pantheon, 10. eat at da fortunato, 11. try gelato.

  • 12. Dinner at Taverna Romana Monti '79

13. Visit The Roman Forum & The Colosseum

14. try an aperitivo, 15. throw a coin in the trevi fountain, 16. eat a spaghetti carbonara, 17. ride bikes around the villa borghese gardens, 18. go to gladiator school, 19. check out the rome catacombs, 20. spend the day at the amusement parks, where to stay in rome with kids, popular tours of rome, final thoughts on rome with kids, save it on pinterest:.

Rome is one of the most visited cities in Europe and sees more than 10 million visitors a year. It’s chaotic and busy, with honking traffic and lots of people.

So you might be wondering if Rome is a good city to visit with kids.

However, Rome is a destination like no other and offers an enriching experience for curious kids of all ages. From ancient monuments to cultural attractions, history is bought to life in this city, and not in a dull, classroom kind of way.

It’s also very easy to walk, meaning you don’t have to worry about scrambling on public transport, and many of the attractions have family tickets, so you can save a little on entrance fees.

To top it off, even the most fussiest of eaters will enjoy the delights of Rome. What child does not like Pizza or Spaghetti Bolognaise?

To top things off, Rome is full of surprises that are sure to create unforgettable memories with the family!

Top Tip: Download Rick Steves’ Audio Europe App and use it when visiting some of the sites in Rome mentioned below, it’s free.

We recommend you spend at least 3 days in Rome , but if you have more time at your disposal, 5 days would be ideal so you can travel slowly and take more of the atmosphere in.

Within the Italian vernacular, there exists a saying, “Piano, Piano”, which translates into many things, but mostly it means, “slowly, slowly”, and it is this warning to heed when visiting Rome.

It’s been our experience, especially as a family, that it’s best to take a nice and easy pace.

You can’t squeeze all of Rome into one itinerary. As Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, you should also allow plenty of time to see it.

This slow approach provides for a quality and memorable trip as opposed to one filled with a quantity that can easily be confused and forgotten.

Here are more Essential Things to know before Visiting Rome

Things To Do in Rome with Kids

Below you will find a list of ideas for what to do with kids in Rome. But of course, mum and dad should not be forgotten too, so these are attractions the whole family can enjoy.

Start your trip at the Piazza di Spagna for a coffee and a cake. The coffee is mostly for mom and dad, but kids will love trying the Italian deserts which are world famous.

From Panna Cotta to Tiramisu, t o Maritozzo or Bussolai, or even frappe milkshakes – kids will love the sweet treats that Rome has to offer.

Stop in at Antico Caffe Greco on Via Dei Condotti and stand at the bar with the locals and have your coffee of choice (only tourists sit in the back and pay 3 times more).

There are non-caffeine drinks for children as well. It is a very energetic place, so don’t worry about the kids being bored, I promise, they won’t.

After a morning jolt, walk up the Spanish Steps and find a nice area to sit and watch the Roman Day unfold.

Watch well-dressed women navigating the cobbled streets with ease on 4-inch heels, and listen to the constant background sound of Vespas snaking in and out of the ancient roads.

While viewing Bernini’s beautiful Fontana Della Barcaccia, at the center of the piazza di Spagna , have a go at drinking from one of the spouts, which always makes for great family fun and excellent keepsake photos and videos.

Check out this 2 hour guided tour through Rome and marvel at the Baroque and Renaissance fountains and squares.

4. Visit the Campo De’ Fiori Open-Air Market

Continue to immerse yourself in the Roman culture and take a short 20-minute walk toward Campo De’ Fiori, where an open-air market is held every day with the exception of Sunday.

Join the locals doing their grocery shopping for the day, and pick up some fruit, cheese, and salumi to snack on from some of the very animated vendors.

On one corner of the square is a shop named, Forno .

This bakery has been a daily destination to many Romans for decades. It is considered the best place to have focaccia in all of Rome.

Get on the queue and treat the family to Roman style pizzas that are second to none. Slices are cut to size and weighed, so purchase a few small cuts and get a range for all to try.

Forno Campo De Fiori was an included stop on our Rome food tour , which our two daughters loved!

Backtrack a bit and make a mid-day, late afternoon stop at Piazza Navona, where there are street performers and artists lining the square.

There are three magnificent fountains to gaze upon, the most famous being the Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi, also by Bernini.

Grab a seat at any of the cafes and order a Negroni, while the kid(s) explore the square and enjoy “La Dolce Vita”. However, do not eat here as offerings are not so good and a bit overpriced.

Go to the West Bank of the Tiber River and enjoy an evening in the neighborhood of Trastevere.

Away from all the trappings, this neighborhood will give you and your family a true sense of how the Romans truly spend their daily lives.

Here, you’ll find families like yourselves meandering through the labyrinth filled with shops and cafes. Follow suit and work up an appetite.

Try to book a table at Enoteca Ferrara , where their take on Roman cuisine stays true to tradition by only offering what’s in season, as opposed to a majority of places in town that offer the same menu every night.

This approach always leads to a fine meal.

There is also a tavern connected to the restaurant, where more rustic and less expensive meals are offered. Both options, excellent for families.

8. Check Out The Vatican City

Get up early, grab a quick coffee and cornetto at your nearest cafe and get to Vatican City. No matter your religious disposition, this is a must.

You can read ou r complete guide to visiting the Vatican.

I share my thoughts on it as a person raised as a Catholic AND received a teaching degree at a Catholic university but no longer practicing! This visit further affirmed that decision and I was grateful it gave my girls the opportunity to form their own opinions on the right spiritual path for them.

Inside the Vatican Museum are some of the greatest works of art known to man. Within the museum, there is a route in which to follow that ends at the famous Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Masterpiece.

TOP TIP: We highly recommend visiting the Vatican on a guided tour. The local guide on our small-group tour of the Vatican was excellent, especially at steering us around the intense crowds, making sure we saw the most important things, and giving us the most interesting information. I would have hated the experience if not on this tour, and would have missed so much because of the crowds! Even do the early morning tour before opening hour or a night tour after everyone leaves.

Otherwise, get a skip-the-line entrance ticket to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel before you go, otherwise prepare to queue for hours.

Saint Peter’s Basilica

After a morning of taking in the art, make your way over to adjacent Saint Peter’s Basilica. The square and the basilica are magnificent and awe inspiring. Michelangelo’s Pieta is housed inside, again one of the most famous works of art.

Don’t forget however that this is a holy place and the faithful is what gives it soul, so please be respectful.

A word of advice is to book your skip the line tickets in advance to avoid long queues. Or you can join this tour with a dome climb and the crypt with Livtours or this one with Take Walks (we like both companies a lot!)

Before you leave, make sure to get a postcard and get to the post office within the walls of the city and send it to yourself. Remember, Vatican City is its own nation, and it has its own seal.

In essence, you have left Rome, Italy for a few hours and visited another country. A posted stamp from here makes for a great keepsake.

Time for a break. Take a stroll along Via Della Conciliazione toward another site, Castel Sant’Angelo .

From there, cross the bridge and head to the Pantheon. This walk should take no longer than 30 minutes.

The Pantheon is one of the most historic landmarks in Rome and is famous for its dome ceiling with a hole in the center.

The ancient temple dates back to 125 AD and its impressive architectural design highlights how forward-thinking Roman engineering really was.

Its imposing portico and rotunda are adorned with Corinthian columns and topped with a dome spanning 43 meters high, which still holds the record for largest unsupported concrete dome to date.

The interior contains masterpieces of art, sculptures and inscriptions showcasing the grandeur of Ancient Rome.

Get an audioguide for The Pantheon so you know what you’re looking at.

Once near the Pantheon, don’t enter just yet. First, have lunch at Da Fortunato and treat yourself and your family to upscale dining.

During the afternoon is a good time to do this, as there are usually lunch specials and prices tend to be south of what they would be for dinner. Same experience for much less.

Don’t order dessert where you have lunch, instead visit the famous gelateria, Il Gelato Di San Crispino , which is nearby.

Once fully sated, enjoy one of the greatest ancient structures and the history within it- including the site where the great Renaissance artist Raphael is laid to rest.

Gelateria del Teatro is also one of the most appreciated and loved ice cream parlors in Rome in the artisan field since 2006. They have a long list of old and new innovative flavors, such as white chocolate and basil, Rosemary, honey and lemon, and Raspberry and sage. We visited it on our Rome street food and history tour.

12. Dinner at Taverna Romana Monti ’79

We have an affinity for the Monti neighborhood which sits behind the Roman Forum. Akin to Trastevere, it is a vibrant residential neighborhood.

Eat at one of the many neighborhood enotecas and trattorias, like Taverna Romana Monti ’79 on Via della Madonna dei Monti, 79 and order the rigatoni Cacio E Pepe, a simple pasta dish favored by locals.

After breakfast, experience The Roman Forum. Few history lessons leave as lasting an impression as a visit to this site.

Walk up to Palatine Hill and learn about Rome’s foundation, look back over the ancient ruins of market squares and halls, and walk the streets that the Roman’s took.

Pursuant to the Forum, get yourselves over to the Colosseum and get immersed in stories of Gladiators, of life under the infamous Roman Emperors of Julius Caesar and Emperor Hadrian, and other events that made the site such a favorite.

The Colosseum is another example of impressive Roman engineering and was once the place where legends were formed.

These two sites are particularly good when using the Rick Steves App .

Don’t miss our full guide to visiting the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill including all the mistakes we made!

Top Tip for the Colosseum

Our biggest mistake visiting Rome with kids was NOT doing a guided tour of the Colosseum. The crowds were intense, we got swept up in it and out the exit, missing half it and really not learning anything or connecting to it. A guided tour would have been much better, especially one that went underground (as told ot us by many who did it!)

Check out the following small-group tours

  • VIP Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (with Walks of Italy)
  • The Best of Colosseum & Ancient Rome With Exclusive Arena Access (with Liv Tours)

T he Go City Attraction Pass includes a combined ticket to the Colosseum and the Forum.

Take the quick walk back to Monti and sit at any of the cafes that line the Piazza Della Madonna Dei Monti.

If it’s later in the afternoon,take part in “aperitivo”, which is the time of day when many eateries serve complimentary snacks along with your drink.

This is a favorite event of our daughter’s, as she loves endlessly snacking on tasty Italian treats.

By now, you and your family will start missing Rome. To remedy this, take a short walk toward the Trevi Fountain.

Along the way, there are plenty of places in which to do last minute shopping.

Try to wait until the sun goes down and embrace the beautiful waterworks under the lights. Throw a few coins in the fountain and wish for a quick return in the future.

For dinner, end your last evening by having the quintessential Roman Dish, Spaghetti Carbonara at Hosteria La Carbonara.

Do not confuse this with the establishment by the same name at Campo de’ Fiori.

Take it from us, it serves up the best carbonara in town and lives up to its name. The establishment is a popular one and is usually booked, so make sure to plan ahead.

A family vacation is not complete without a day spent enjoying each others company.

Rather than sightseeing and taking guided tours, rent bikes and ride around the stunning gardens of the Villa Borghese Gardens.

The gardens themselves are historic, dating back to the 1600s. As you cycle along the paths, you’ll pass a number of historic buildings, museums and manicured gardens.

The gardens are the third largest public park in Rome and are free to enter, you only need to pay for entrance to the house.

Explore the gardens by bike on a Villa Borghese Gardens bike tour .

Are you looking for unique things to do in Rome with kids? How about attending Gladiator School?

At Gladiator School, you will learn what it takes to be a gladiator and learn how to fight, from experienced instructors from the Historic Group of Rome.

You’ll use authentic, but safe, weapons of the time and get to dress up in traditional gladiator tunic and belt.

The school is not far from the Colosseum, and is an immersive and interactive way to learn about ancient Rome and its sporting culture.

As your kids step out onto the arena floor and prepare to battle, they won’t even realize they are taking a history lesson!

Of course, in Gladiator days, wild animals such as lions and jaguars were used, but at Gladiator School, you are just sparring with a partner.

Check prices and availability for Gladiator School here!

The Catacombs are one of the most interesting experience in Rome with kids, but it’s not the best activity for younger kids or those who are spooked easily.

The catacombs a just outside the city of Rome and date back to the 5th century. In those days, graveyards were becoming over filled and reserved for the rich and noble.

So the pagan citizens, as well as Jews and the first Christians were buried in a series of catacombs.

Check prices and availability for tours of the Rome Catacombs here!

While many of these historic sites are great for older kids and adults, younger kids may want a little more excitement, so why not take them to the amusement parks in Rome?

You can splash around at the Hydromania water park, or ride the ferris wheel at Luneur Park.

Or see the elephants, orangutangs and over a thousand more animals at Bioparco di Roma, the biggest zoo in Italy.

Look to stay at the Nerva Boutique Hotel , where it is convenient to all points of interests and also happens to be a beautiful and a well run establishment.

We stayed here on our last visit and were very happy to have had experienced such fine accommodations in such a fun neighborhood.

We’ve booked this lovely home rental i n the Trastevere Neighborhood for our Summer European trip for 2023. We also considered this apartment rental in the same neighborhood .

So there you have it, those are the best things to do in Rome with kids, and as you can see, there is so much more to do than just visit playgrounds or visit the zoo.

When you depart the Eternal City, you will be leaving feeling more educated, cultured, and closer to your family members.

You may think about the sites you may have missed, but be assured that in taking it slow, you actually got the most of what you did see and had a better quality experience with your family.

Anyway, you threw your coins in the fountain, which assures a return. Then you can do the rest.

You can also read our tips on how to plan a trip to Europe with kids and tips for visiting Europe with kids.

Top tip: The Rome and Vatican Pass gives you free entry to Vatican and Rome Attractions and fast track passes to some of Rome and the Vatican’s most popular attractions. Get yours and save money on travel to Rome and the Vatican.

More Italy Travel Tips

Need more tips for Italy? Check out these posts:

  • ITALIAN LAKES : To help you with your trip to Italy’s largest lake, read our suggestions for  things to do in Lake Garda  and for Italy’s most famous lake, a  guide to things to do in Lake Como.
  • TUSCANY:  Don’t miss these stunning  places to visit in Tuscany  and a  guide to Chianti towns  and  how to spend a day in Siena .
  • VENICE:  Is it a trip to Italy without exploring these  best things to do in Venice ?
  • FLORENCE:  For one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, here are  16 amazing things to do in Florence  and enjoy this  food and wine tour of Florence.
  • CINQUE TERRE:  Here’s our  top things to do in Cinque Terre  including our favorite  Cinque Terre boat tour , and here’s a little insight into the personalities of the  Five Towns of Cinque Terre.
  • And 10 reasons to visit Puglia, Southern Italy and 11 Italy Honeymoon Destinations for Unforgettable Romance

Would you add any other things to do in Rome with kids to this guide? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rome is the bustling capital of Italy and is one of the most historic and fascinating cities on Earth, meaning there are many things to do in Rome with kids that provide an enriching and …   Your Guide To Rome with kids: Things To Do + Tips for Visiting Read More »

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Central Italy Travel Guide 2024: A Comprehensive Exploration of Florence, Rome and Venice.

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Central Italy Travel Guide 2024: A Comprehensive Exploration of Florence, Rome and Venice. Kindle Edition

Central italy 2024 an unforgettable journey through rome, florence, and venice.

  • Comprehensive Exploration : Dive into the heart of Rome's ancient glory, navigate Florence's artistic wonders, and glide through the canals of Venice, all in one captivating guide.
  • Museums Unveiled: Immerse yourself in the cultural treasures of Central Italy with in-depth insights into the iconic museums – from the Vatican's artistry to the Uffizi's masterpieces.
  • Accommodation insights : Choose your stay wisely with our detailed exploration of accommodation options. From historic Roman retreats to boutique hotels in Florence and waterfront wonders in Venice, we guide you to your perfect abode.
  • Culinary Odyssey : Indulge in a gastronomic journey through Central Italy's culinary delights. From hidden trattorias to canal-side cafes, savor the flavors that define each city's unique palate.
  • Hidden Treasures Unearthed: Uncover the mysteries concealed within the canals and alleys. Uncover hidden gems that add a layer of authenticity to your journey, creating memories beyond the ordinary.
  • Practical Advice for a Seamless Exploration : With our helpful tips, you can make sure that every facet of your trip is planned, from packing essentials to navigating transportation.
  • Efficient Transportation Guides: Navigate Central Italy effortlessly with our transportation guides. Whether you're riding the efficient Metro in Rome or experiencing the romance of Venetian gondolas, we provide insights to make your travel smooth.
  • Exclusive Bonus Journal (Paperback Version only): The paperback edition comes with a bonus – a beautifully crafted journal attached to the paperback version of our guide. This serves as a travel partner to accompany you on your journey through Central Italy, allowing you to capture your personal reflections and memories along the way.
  • Print length 205 pages
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  • Publication date January 17, 2024
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Central Italy 2024

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  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 17, 2024
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
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Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

The Perfect Italy Bucket List: Things to Do in Venice, Rome, Vatican City, and Beyond

travel guide for rome italy

  • Destinations

An intimate table tucked inside an ancient cave framing a panoramic view of the dark night sky, moon shining off the Mediterranean, it is an enchanting night on your Italian vacation. Soft lights reflect off the cool stone walls as attentive wait staff delivers stunning course after course of beautifully crafted nibbles.

Sumptuous cuisine, exquisite wines, stunning scenery, and world-renowned historical sites are the hallmarks of the best things to do in Italy.

From coast to coast, Italy offers a tremendous variety of picturesque vistas, culinary culture, coveted art museums, and more. From skiing at the luxury resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, making pizza pie in Naples, and sailing off the rugged landscapes of the Amalfi Coast to relaxing in a Venetian gondola, it may take a few visits to check everything off your Italy bucket list. You can travel back to Italy over and over again and still find a new hidden gem or two.

A Perfect Italy Bucket List

A perfect Italy bucket list contains a few necessary must-have experiences and lots of want-to-see adventures. The diversity of the country and its food, wine, and scenery mean you can keep coming back to Italy and still find a new and exciting experience each time.

  • The most important thing to do in Italy is to experience living la dolce vita —the sweet life.
  • Italy’s cuisine is uniquely regional, each region being divine and sumptuous. From fine dining to rustic plates, you will love eating your way across the culinary landscape.
  • Historic discoveries including ancient Rome, medieval villages, and architectural gems that will surprise you in the most interesting places.
  • Oenophile’s (wine lovers) will be enchanted by Italy’s grapes as you sip delicious wine across the country’s vineyards.
  • Art aficionados will love discovering famous paintings, iconic sculptures, and architectural gems that grace the city’s art museums, churches, and everyday streets.

A Gondola Ride In Venice’s Grand Canal


Everyone’s bucket list when visiting Italy includes a gondola ride in Venice. Beautiful young Italian gondoliers decked out in iconic black-and-white striped shirts artfully glide your gondola around the beautiful city of Venice.

As you glide through the Grand Canal, gondolas jockeying for position along the main waterway, a gondolier’s aria floats across the water and you can’t help but think, this is la dolce vita . Later, when your boat slips silently through the narrow back canals, you ponder what it is like to live in this ancient city.

Venice is simultaneously chaotic and peaceful, a beautiful enigma.

Pro Tip: Venice is the perfect spot to wander. Step away from the Grand Canal area and explore the neighborhoods just steps away from the touristy streets. You may discover Venice is your favorite city in Italy.

The Amalfi Coast


Positano, Ravello, Sorrento, Praiano, Minori, and a smattering of charming hill towns dot Italy’s Amalfi coastline. Sun-bleached, pastel-colored homes and chic hotels rise from the harbor in an irregular pattern, giving way to twisting hillside streets and a serpentine landscape.

While navigating the nail-biting Amalfi Drive is a popular way to visit the area and offers peeks of the villages, the best views are from the coastline. A boat ride along the Amalfi Coast offers dreamy vistas and amazing photo opportunities. Choose a tour that stops in Positano or another coastal village, spend time wandering the meandering streets, enjoy a creamy gelato, and shop for pretty souvenirs.

For a truly enchanting dinner, book a table at Grotta Palazzese , where you will dine in a cozy cave overlooking the sea. The view is spectacular, the food is mouthwatering, and the cost will put a dent in your budget. However, if you are a fanatical foodie, this is the splurge restaurant on your Amalfi Coast dining list. Caviar, lobster, Cristal Brut champagne, and other gourmet delights will set your taste buds whirling.

Exploring Rome’s Ancient City


Rome is on the top of the list for things to do in Italy. When you are visiting Rome, must-see tourist attractions include all that encompasses ancient Rome. The foundation of modern-day world history centers around this bustling city.

The cacophony of Vespas and tiny Fiats zipping around the Piazza della Repubblica will leave you dizzy at the thought of crossing the street. Nonetheless, Rome is a walkable city. Venture out to explore amazing historical sites, fascinating architecture, and the ubiquitous gelato stands.

The list of popular tourist attractions in Rome is overwhelming. Here are a few standouts that should be on your to-do list.

The Colosseum , or Flavian Amphitheatre, is the crowning glory of ancient Rome. As you stand in the upper loge, you can almost hear the crowd cheering, jeering, and celebrating the gruesome spectacle in the arena below. If you walk the underground levels, you just might feel a chill cross your spine when you consider the sacrificial men and beasts waiting for their doomed fate.

Ticket lines are long here at one of the most visited tourist attractions. If the Colosseum is on your must-see list, purchasing a tour package or buying tickets online is a good way to save time.

Trevi Fountain

As the Trevi Fountain fills your viewfinder, you can see the exact moment when Marcello Mastroianni joins Anita Ekberg in the nightlit fountain in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” What takes you by surprise is the massive scale of this gorgeous Nicola Salvi-designed masterpiece.

According to local lore, throwing a coin into the fountain will bring you good luck and ensure a return to Rome in the future. Of course, superstition says you must toss the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder, but who can say if that’s true. If you are in search of romance, legend also says you can toss a second coin in for Italian love and a third for wedding bells. If only it were that simple.

It is estimated that 3,000 Euros are tossed into the water basin daily. The Trevi Fountain is essentially a giant wishing well where believers’ coins may just make dreams come true.

Spanish Steps

The beautiful multi-terraced Spanish Steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna to Trinità dei Monti, a beautiful church at the top. It is worth a visit to this lovely part of Rome, not only to visit the steps but also to shop. Luxurious shops like Bulgari, Cartier, Gucci, Versace, Prada, and more grace the streets with over-the-top extravagance. Purchase a small trinket at one of the recognizable shops and proudly carry the little monogrammed shopping bag everywhere you go. You will look and feel rich and famous as you stroll the boulevard, again experiencing la dolce vita .

Pro Tip: Sitting on the Spanish Steps is no longer allowed. In the past, they would be filled with squatters enjoying a perfect Roman holiday, but no more. Snap an obligatory selfie while standing and then move along.

The Roman Food Scene

The city of Rome runs on food. There are a plethora of food tour options that take you on exciting neighborhood culinary adventures. When you embark on a walking food tour, your guide typically offers interesting historic nuggets that you wouldn’t get on a large, overarching city tour. As you walk and talk, you have time to connect with the streets, shops, and culture of a particular section of town.

Wander through Campo de’ Fiori and explore the historic area filled with stalls selling flowers, produce, and other foodie goods. The market moved from nearby Piazza Navona in 1869 and is open Monday to Saturday.

Enjoy food like a local when you embark on the Prati District food tour . The small number of tourists that vacation in Prati do so because of the quiet neighborhood and the artisanal cuisine. Romans know how to dine well, and here you will experience some of the best pizzas in the city.

Trastevere and the Jewish Quarter are other areas that beckon foodies to come and explore. Fried artichokes, creamy gelato, decadent pasta, and more pizza, of course, are served up with neighborhood history and cultural twists.

Restaurants and cafes dot the city landscape, making it difficult to choose where to dine. It is hard to go wrong when expertly crafted cuisine is a demand of every diner—restaurants must be excellent to stay in business. Find a cafe you like, enjoy a classic, pre-dinner Campari Spritz and ask a local for dinner recommendations.

A wonderful dining option is Renato e Louisa . When you enter the intimate dining room, it is like you are arriving in nonna’s kitchen. It is an evening event more than a dinner. Each course is delivered like a painting on a plate— la dolce vita .

Other Famous Attractions Recalling Ancient Ruins

There is so much to do and see in Rome that you could spend weeks there and still not see everything. Ancient historic sites like Palatine Hill, The Forum, The Pantheon, The Catacombs, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Baths at Caracalla are fascinating pieces of Roman history. You will be remiss if you don’t add one or two of them to your Italy bucket list. When in Rome, after all.

Day Trip to Vatican City


A pilgrimage to Vatican City is the highlight of many visitors to Rome. Whether you are Catholic or not, visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are not to be missed.

Sightseeing at St. Peter’s Basilica and Square

The beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica is the final resting place of St. Peter. One of the 12 apostles, Peter is the patron saint of fishermen, locksmiths, stonemasons, ship builders, and sailors.

The massive St. Peter’s Square can be a sensory overload. Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the facade of the Basilica is adorned with 140 statues. It is not uncommon to see gawking visitors simply walking in circles trying to take in the entirety of the space.

If you desire to see the Pope, then plan your visit for the Angelus on Sunday afternoon or the General Papal Audience on Wednesday mornings. Be prepared, as St. Peter’s Square will be awash in pilgrims. You will be one of approximately 10,000 attendees vying for a glimpse of the Holy Father. The Angelus and General Audience occur only when the Pope is in Vatican City.

Tourist areas in Italy can be very crowded. Long lines to purchase tickets are to be expected. However, pre-booking with a tour company will allow you to skip the line saving your precious vacation time.

Pro Tip: There is a dress code for visits to the Basilica. Long or knee-length trousers or long or knee-length skirts are required—no short shorts. Also, you must have your shoulders covered; a pashmina or scarf is acceptable.

Visiting the Sistine Chapel and Other Museums

You must visit the Sistine Chapel if you are in Rome. Michelangelo’s masterpiece will leave you awestruck. As you crane your neck to view the magnificent ceiling, it can be difficult to absorb the fresco’s many stories. If you are unfamiliar with Catholic history, you can prepare by studying the meaning behind the artwork. This will afford you a more in-depth understanding.

Pro Tip: Pre-book your Sistine Chapel and museum tickets. Not only will this save you time but you also will avoid being caught off guard by a closure, since the venues are often closed on Sundays, holy days, and more.

San Gimignano’s Gothic Architecture


In the beautiful region of Tuscany is the medieval hill town of San Gimignano, famous for the abundance of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Make your way to the historic center of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you will find fantastic architectural vistas.

Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano has a large concentration of these tall dwellings. The tallest, Torre Grossa , offers spectacular panoramic views of the city. As you ascend this circa-1310 structure, you are transported back to Italy’s long and tumultuous history.

Via San Giovanni is a lovely street for shopping. There are beautiful painted ceramics and hand-crafted leather goods shops where you can select wonderful mementos. If you have time, enjoy a coffee and pastry at a little cafe and watch the tourists walk about. Alternatively, scoop up a gelato and wander the twisting streets as you enjoy the sweet frozen treat.

Pro Tip: If you plan to shop for expensive pieces here or elsewhere in Italy, bring a copy of your passport with you. You want your actual passport locked in the hotel safe, but a paper copy or a photograph on your phone will help you avoid the tourist tax on purchase. Alternatively, you can also declare your items at the customs office and receive a partial refund.

Mount Vesuvius in Naples


Mount Vesuvius is famous for burying the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in lava circa 79 AD. It’s a must-see when visiting Naples. Plan a full day if you want to do more than a simple driveby. The best way to visit this enormous archaeological site is with a local tour guide. A guide will lead you through Pompeii’s Forum, Thermal Baths, Vetti’s House, and the infamous Lupanare brothel.

After wandering around town, take a hike or bus ride up to Mount Vesuvius. The summit offers stunning views of the Bay of Naples. Hikers who ascend to the top are rewarded with an intimate encounter with this currently sleeping giant. Non-hikers can enjoy pretty views from the bus drop-off area.

Pro Tip: Dinner out in Naples revolves around pizza. The Campania region (of which Naples is the capital) is the birthplace of the scrumptious, world-renowned cheesy tomato and basil pie.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the headline attraction in the Piazza del Duomo. It is the bell tower for the cathedral and is home to seven bells—one bell for each musical note. The tower’s approximate 5-inch inclination makes it one of the most famous bell towers in the world.

Joining the iconic leaning tower is Pisa’s Cathedral, Baptistry, and Composanto. In addition, two museums, the Sinopie Museum and the Opera del Duomo Museum, round out the sites to see. Plan a half-day trip to enjoy a visit to this iconic site, and don’t forget to snap a pic holding up the leaning tower.

Pro Tip: As you walk from the parking area to the Piazza, the path is lined with vendors intent on selling souvenirs to tourists on their pilgrimage to the tower. Shop or not, but be prepared to encounter vocal vendors hawking their wares.

Ski in the World-Renowned Cortina d’Ampezzo


Ski enthusiasts who want to strut their new togs and hob nob with the rich and stylish flock to Cortina d’Ampezzo to eat, drink, and be merry . . . and maybe ski a little, too. Jagged peaks blanketed with snow set a stunning backdrop against the bright-blue Italian sky. Below the hulking giants, après-ski aficionados are sipping wine at Enoteca , reveling in the day’s best runs.

Don’t miss The Marmolada, dubbed the Queen of the Dolomites. The vertical drops will give you vertigo, and the summit peak tops out at 3,342 meters (10,965 feet).

Pro Tip: If you plan to visit in 2026, book now. Some of the Olympic Games events will be held in Cortina, just as they were in 1956.

Wine Tasting in the Tuscan Countryside


Imagine sipping a perfectly chilled glass of prosecco on a wide stone terrazza overlooking undulating hills of terraced vineyards. A distant villa surrounded by slender cypress trees is a dreamy focal point to the panoramic landscape. Tuscany is a glorious agricultural region that should be on everyone’s Italy bucket list.

Combine stunning scenery, delicious food, exceptional wine, entertainment, and literary history in one enchanting evening at the Villa Machiavelli and Saraceni Vineyard . Savor a Saraceni wine pairing with your multi-course dinner prepared with locally sourced ingredients cooked in the flavorful rustic Tuscan tradition. Depending on the season, you can dine on the terrazza, in the garden, or in the thick-walled Machiavelli manor.

Pro Tip: If dinner doesn’t fit into your schedule, carve out an afternoon visit and enjoy aperitifs and a snack. The amazing view is worth the effort.

Boat Trip Around Lake Como


Brilliant blue water framed by the towering rugged Alps is the hallmark of Lake Como . This is an upscale resort area where you just might run into a few of the rich and famous who call this region home. Celebs who have or had country villas on Lake Como reportedly include Madonna, George and Amal Clooney, Richard Branson, and Sylvester Stallone.

If romance, luxury, and picture-perfect scenery are at the top of your list, then a boat trip around Lake Como will be an unforgettable adventure. You can book tickets on a budget-friendly ferry ride around the lake to simply enjoy the view. Alternatively, you can engage a private boat captain, set your own itinerary, and jet around the lake like the paparazzi are tailing you.


Off the toe of the boot is the unforgettable island of Sicily. If you ask a native what nationality they are, the answer will be Sicilian, then Italian. You will be smitten with Siciliy’s charming people, the rugged landscapes, and the amazing coastal cuisine.

The hilltop town of Taormina offers pretty cliff views that drop precipitously into the sea. It is on the east coast of the island near Mount Etna, an active volcano. Hike along Etna’s crater-filled paths for a spectacular view of Taormina.

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, has stunning beaches, a long and tumultuous history, beautiful architecture, and cultural-based gastronomy. A stop in Palermo should definitely be on the Scilly portion of your Italy bucket list.

The Renaissance in Florence

Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Florence, one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, is the place for art connoisseurs. In the oldest part of the city, Renaissance art is infused into every cobblestone.

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important Renaissance art museums in the world. The massive halls and exhibit spaces glitter with ornate decoration punctuated by important works of historic masterpieces. Important pieces from Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and others grace the walls. 

Gaze upon Roman sculptures, copies of ancient statues, and busts of Italy’s Medici family. Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation , Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus , and Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo are just a few of the classic masterpieces you will find here.

The Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture David . Other sculptures by noted Italian artists line the halls of this intimate art gallery. If you don’t want to wander through yet another art museum, you can view a copy of David in Piazza della Signoria (Duomo Square).

The charming Ponte Vecchio stretches across the serene Arno River. Filling each side of the bridge are small jewelry shops and souvenir purveyors charging outrageous sums for tourist goods on the bridge. It is a wonderful spot to window shop and buy, if you are so inclined.

La dolce vita.

Image of Sandi Barrett

Sandi loves writing about culture, cuisine, adult beverages, cruising, golf, skiing, road trips, hiking, New England, and photography. Traveling solo, with hubby Chris, or the entire Barrett clan there is always a story waiting to be told.

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Majestic touristic village on the hill with colorful mediterranean buildings. Fantastic travel and ... [+] photography place at sunset, Vernazza, Cinque Terre National Park, Liguria, Italy, Europe

La dolce vita awaits in one of the most visited countries of the world: Italy. But when it comes to the best places to visit in Italy, travelers should know there is a lot more than just the typical tourist hot spots of Rome, Venice and the Amalfi Coast. Going beyond the traditional city limits can reveal plenty of exciting places to visit in Italy in 2024. Here are some top favorites of the best places to visit in Italy and add to your travel bucket list.

Cernobbio, Italy

Villa d'Este in Cernobbio during the evening hours

On the banks of Lake Como, this town is one of many that lines this famous lake. A summer paradise (when rates soar), the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall are ideal times to visit for the calming views or zigzagging ferry routes that take visitors to other famous towns like Bellagio and Como, ideal for shopping and charming cafes.

While there are several famous hotels on Lake Como, including some where you can earn and redeem hotel loyalty points , nothing beats the traditional Villa d’Este resort. With recently renovated accommodations, glamorous gardens, a floating swimming pool and doting service, this is a real palace worth visiting for a taste of luxury.

Be sure to book a motor boat ride along the lake to explore many of the famous palaces and villas that line the shore. Best of all, the hotel is part of The Leading Hotels of the World , and members of its free loyalty program are eligible for free breakfast, potential room upgrades and early check-in or late checkout considerations.

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Best 5% interest savings accounts of september 2023, cinque terre, italy.

Cinque Terre, Italy - Scenic view of marina In colorful fishermen village Vernazza, Liguria

Since this region of the Ligurian Sea coastline consists of five small towns (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore), the crowds tend to be more spread out between them. But, these towns are small, and the summer months see them packed to the gills. Instead, opt for late spring or early fall when the weather is not as hot as it gets and there are more deals to enjoy.

Wander between the towns by hiking, taking the panoramic trains, driving the winding roads or even by sea. If you want to visit some of the other famous towns in the region, this can be a good home base. Portofino is a short drive away and home to the famous Hotel Splendido, A Belmond Hotel . Just take note that this hotel does not open until early June. It is part of the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program, and when booking through American Express with an eligible card, guests can enjoy free breakfast, room upgrades, welcome gifts and late checkout.

Other day trips include a visit to Pisa, home to its famous leaning tower, and an Italian city worth exploring on foot.

Florence, Italy

Florence rooftops and cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo view, Tuscany region of Italy

This is not a surprising addition, but instead of the traditional in-town hotel, try something on the outskirts. A free shuttle runs from Villa La Massa , a luxury resort that is in the surrounding hills of Florence. After exploring the city’s famous Uffizi Gallery or Galleria dell'Accademia, both of which are home to famous sculptures (like Michelangelo’s David) and artwork. Be sure to make reservations online for tickets in advance.

The best time to visit is in spring and fall when the weather is not as scorching as summertime when the tourist crowds descend upon the city. Besides great dining in the city, try a boat ride ride along the Arno River. This may not be as dramatic as a gondola ride in Venice, but it provides a unique perspective of the city from the water. Back at Villa La Massa, a new swimming pool, cooking classes and an impressive spa provide ample relaxation after a day of exploring.

Varignana, Italy

The resort pools at Palazzo di Varignana

On the outskirts of Bologna and within a stone’s throw of the foodie city center, Varignana is a world unto its own. After you have unpacked in some of Italy’s more famous destinations, come here for a spa break. Known for lush vineyards and olive groves, this is a respite away from the bustle of town. Visit Palazzo di Varignana , a luxurious wellness resort where guests can wander through garden labyrinths, dine in Michelin-quality venues (some in a historic palazzo, another in a vintage train car), pick grapes and olives in the vineyards, and relax in one of the region’s largest spas (using products fresh from the vineyards.

Locals are drawn here thanks to the teachings of the resort’s wellness specialist and author Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva, who developed her own scientific method to help guests live longer based on how they live and eat. Guests can watch the staff press olive oil, attend weddings in the chapel or swim in one of the many pools.

The best times to visit are spring and fall when the weather is temperate, and guests can spend time wandering the gardens for exercise.

Rome, Italy

The pool views of Rome at Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Many families can only travel with the kids during the summer months, but Rome in summer is an inferno of both temperature and crowds. If this is your only vacation time, you don’t have to slip out on the famous Colosseum, the Vatican and other famous landmarks. Spend time in the city exploring, and then escape the crowds via free shuttle to the hillside Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel .

Nestled within gardens with towering trees, this historic, luxury hotel has unbeatable views of the city from its resort-style pool and spa facilities. Its art collection is as swoon-worthy as what you will see in the Borghese Gallery in town. This is a great option, even for those not visiting Rome, but using it as an arrival or departure airport in connection with visits to other Italian cities. Guests can even earn and redeem Hilton Honors points during their stay.

Taormina, Italy

Taormina theater, amphitheater, arena is a town on the island of Sicily, Italy. Aerial view from ... [+] above in the evening sunset

It would be difficult to include a must-visit list of Italy without mentioning Sicily. Following a massive influx of travelers that arrived after seeing the second season of HBO’s The White Lotus, the island expects to see record numbers continue. United Airlines launched new flights from New York to Palermo last year, which is a short drive to Taormina.

An absolute highlight for starstruck visitors is the stunning San Domenico Palace - a Four Seasons Hotel, Taormina , but reservations go quickly. From this home base, travelers can explore the charming towns of the island, its famous vineyards for wine tastings, the historic amphitheater that dates back centuries and even climb parts of Mt. Etna. Like in the hit series, many travelers also come to Sicily to trace their family roots, and the hotel can help organize all of these experiences.

The Dolomites

Lago di Carezza in the Dolomites

If you are looking to explore the Italian Alps, the beauty of this outdoors destination stuns year-round. During the winter months, skiing is a favorite activity while during warmer months, hiking, biking and camping are favorite pastimes.

COMO Alpina Dolomites is the newest luxury resort in these famous mountains having opened in December 2023. This year-round, ski-in, ski-out resort is in the South Tyrol region and is part of the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Dolomite Mountains.

Not a sports person? Scenic drives between small villages to sample the region’s famous wines and cuisine are a great alternative. If you have been to the Swiss Alps, exploring the Italian version is worth a trip in 2024.

Ramsey Qubein

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