If you were to pack a city with the world’s greatest artworks, museums, churches, ancient ruins and architectural masterpieces, then that city would easily be Rome. The Italian capital is renowned for its extremely rich history and culture, which greatly contributes towards Italy tourism. Holding some of the most well-known monuments and structures in the world, Rome is an extremely popular destination visited by tourists from all around the world. There are so many things to see in Rome that you’re likely to get confused about the attractions you should visit and the ones you can skip. And hence, we bring to you the 20 best things to do in Rome. Read on.
1. Visit the Colosseum
Colosseum – Rome
The Colosseum is, quite possibly, one of the most recognized monuments not just in Rome, but in the world. Widely considered as the trademark of Italy, the Colosseum was built in 80 AD as an amphitheatre that hosted gladiatorial combats, games and animal fights. Once a sprawling structure that could host 50,000 people, the Colosseum now is of the hottest attractions in Rome where tourists wait patiently in endless lines to have a look.
2. Take In The Marvellous Pantheon
Pantheon – Rome
Alongside the Colosseum, the Pantheon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Rome. Millions line-up every year to enter the domed hall and gaze up at the ‘Occulus’, the hole in the ceiling that lets in dazzling rays of sunlight. Speaking of the dome, the vastness of which can send you into a tizzy, it was one of the largest dome built by man up until recent times. Many consider the Pantheon to be an architecturally perfect building. Find out yourself as you enter the marvellous temple.
3. Turn Back The Clock At The Roman Forum
Roman Forum – Rome
Strolling around at the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum can be one of the best things to do in Rome. The archaeological excavation site gives you a peek into the ancient Roman era. The Forum, which roughly translates to a ‘plaza’, was the centre of daily affairs of Rome. Back in the day, the Forum was the place where a majority of commercial business, public trials and gladiatorial fights took place. What remains today is a group of fragmented buildings and monuments like the Arch of Titus, Circus Maximus and Augustus’s House.
4. Stroll Around The Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona – Rome
One of the best places to visit in Rome is the bustling Piazza Navona, an oval shaped public space that is lined with restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. At the centre of the piazza is Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, a fountain which is an exhibition of the finest Baroque art. Wander down the Via Della Pace, which is quite possibly the prettiest street in Rome. To have a cup of coffee or a glass of fine wine, head over to Antico Caffè della Pace, a famous, 19th century joint famous for classical Italian aperitifs.
Touring Rome and skipping the Vatican? That’s blasphemy. The Vatican City is hands-down one of the best places to visit in Italy, let alone Rome. The smallest country in the world is filled with churches and monuments of great significance and beauty. The greatest collection of art in the whole world can be found in the Vatican Museums. Visit the Sistine Chapel and marvel at Michelangelo’s fresco paintings that cover every inch of the walls. Take a gander at the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world.
6. Roam Around The Piazza Di Spagna
Piazza Di Spagna – Rome
One of the best things to do in Rome is visit The Piazza di Spagna, which is one of the most popular squares in Rome. At the centre lies the Fontana della Barcaccia, the famous ship-shaped fountain built by Bernini. The square is excellent for shopping as it is lined with boutiques and souvenir shops, Of course, any mention of Piazza di Spagna is incomplete is without saying something about the Spanish Steps. Climb all 135 of those and you’ll be face to face with the Church of Trinita Dei Monti.
7. Explore The Streets Of Trastevere
So you’ve roamed around in Rome at all the regular spots and are looking for a ‘change in atmosphere’, so to speak? The absolute best place to do that is the Trastevere, a funky area across the river that features quite a noticeable change from the typical Italian vibe. It is lined with small pubs, artisanal beer shops, jewellery boutiques, perfume shops, and handicraft shops. Wander throughout the cobble-stoned streets of Trastevere and be amazed with the Bohemian vibe that it offers.
8. Listen To The Sounds Of The Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain – Rome
One of the most beautiful artworks in Rome is Nicola Salvi’s jaw-dropping masterpiece, the Trevi Fountain. The Baroque themed fountain features Neptune at the centre in glorious marble and tritons surrounding him. The blue-green water of the fountain offers an excellent contrast to the white marble. Of course, a visit to the Trevi Fountain remains incomplete without throwing a coin into it, which many believe will ensure a return to Rome.
9. Explore Centro Storico
The Centro Storico is made up of narrow streets that are lined with cafes and shops. There’s a certain joy in wandering aimlessly through the cobbled pathways and stopping for a coffee at an outdoor table in a small cafe. It is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Rome. Beginning at the Piazza del Popolo, the Centro Storico is full of branches and alleys filled with shops selling wooden handiwork and churches with Baroque art.
10. Shop At Galleria Alberto Sordi, Among best things to do in Rome
Galleria Alberto Sordi – Rome
The Galleria Alberto Sordi will appeal greatly to most die-hard shopaholics. The beautiful galleria features gorgeous interiors and is one of the best places to shop in Italy. The galleria has an excellent array of shops and boutiques like La Rinascente, Zara, Massimo and Dutti. Also famous is the Italian bookstore La Feltrinelli, which is quite huge. After a day of sightseeing, the Galleria Alberto Sordi is an ideal place for some shopping and coffee.
11. Try Espresso Shots
Espresso Shots – Rome
The Romans sure love their espressos. You’ll find many cafes in Rome and most serve the quintessential Italian drink. The Italians drink at least three shots of espresso everyday. Its cappuccino at breakfast, and espresso for the rest of the day. Un caffe macchiato is simply an espresso with a dash of steamed milk. Try these drinks at cafes like Tazza d’Oro and Caffè Sant’Eustachio.
12. Have An Evening Aperitivo
An Aperitivo is a drink usually taken before a meal as an appetizer. And how the Romans love it! There are bars throughout Rome that serve a variety of aperitivo along with snacks like peanuts and potato chips. Some good bars serve a vast spread of snacks alongwith their aperitivos. Most famous among the Aperitivos is the Aperol Spritz, a wine-based drink. Also delicious is the Fragolino, another wine based aperitivo that tastes like strawberries.
13. Shop For Fruits And Campo De Fiori
Campo De Fiori – Rome
The market at Campo de Fiori sells some of the finest produce in Rome. The fruits and vegetables on display here are of excellent quality and many Romans shop here for their daily needs. Pick a handy camera and explore the colourful market. Click some amazing pictures while you munch on juicy, ripe fruits. You can also buy some veggies and prepare sandwiches and salads for a picnic.
14. Have Some Delicious Gelato
Gelato – Rome
Gelato is a form of low-fat ice cream famous in Italy. And relishing on a cone-full of fruity and nutty Gelatos is one of the best things to do in Rome. The shops selling Gelatos are popular as gelatarias, and Rome is full of them. But one of the most famous ones is the Giolitti, which is so packed that it’s better to get yours to go. Located near the Pantheon, Giolitti serves a dozen flavours of Gelato and one cone gets you two flavours of this Italian treat.
If you thought Rome was all about ancient ruins and old art, think again. As a contrast to the Roman art and Baroque style, Rome also has museums of modern art. The Museum of 21st Century Art is the best place to see modern and contemporary art. The museum building looks like it doesn’t belong in Rome. Made of glass and concrete, the MAXXI building has been design with the purpose of showcasing modern art.
16. Hike Up To Gianicolo – It Is One Of The Most Recommended Things To Do in Rome
Gianicolo Hill – Rome
The Gianicolo hill offers the highest vantage point from which to see the city in all its glory. You can either walk along the winding roads or simply take a car or scooter up there. Once you reach the top, you’ll be stun with a stunning vista of the entire city. You can see some of the monuments like the Palazzo Venezia and the Spanish Steps from up here. Gianicolo offers an excellent opportunity to capture the sunset and click panoramic photographs.
17. Indulge In Roman Cuisine
Roman Cuisine – Rome
Roman cuisine has quite a distinct style of its own which does not overlap with traditional Italian cuisine. Try appetizers like fried artichokes, cheese and salumi. Roman restaurants serve some delicious pastas like bucatini all’amatriciana and spaghetti alla carbonara. For a taste of the traditional Roman dishes, head over to La Carbonara in Monti. For more fine dining experience, you can try out the Michelin starred Ristorante All’Oro.
18. Peep Through A Keyhole In Aventino
Aventino – Rome
On Aventine Hill, find the unmarked door to the Priory of the Knights of Malta. When you look into the keyhole of that door, you can see a perfect view of St. Peter’s Basilica right in the centre. No one is sure whether the keyhole was purposefully aligned with the Basilica across the city. But it sure is an interesting bit of trivia and an amazing phenomenon. One of the best things to do in Rome.
19. Look Out For Caravaggio
Churches in Rome are full of artworks by master artists and sculptors. But if you know your art, you’re likely to find interesting works of Caravaggio as well. Go on the Caravaggio trail and spot his artworks as you make your way across Rome. Most notable is the Crucifixion of Saint Peter and the Conversion of Saint Paul at the Santa Maria del Popolo Church. The church of San Luigi dei Francesi also houses three Caravaggio masterpieces- the Calling of St. Matthew, Matthew and the Angel, and Matthew’s Martyrdom.
20. Marvel At Cinecitta
Cinecitta – Rome
If you’re a movie buff, a visit to Cinecitta Studios should be a must in your itinerary. The has bee the shooting location for some of the amazing Italian classic cinema too. Fellini, the master Italian filmmaker, used the Cinecitta Studio for most of his films, most notable among them being the classic La Dolce Vita. Most recently, the Scorsese film Gangs of New York shooting has been done here too.
Rome is like a little world in its own. With its marvellous architecture and rich culture, Rome is a fascinating holiday destination and these are some of the best things to do in Rome. Make sure you choose from Italy holiday packages that include these sightseeing spots and tourist attractions. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, get your tickets and take off for the stunning city of Rome.
20 Best Things to Do in Rome - Thomas Cook India Travel Blog
Rome is full of amazing places which will make you confused about which place you should visit. We bring you the best things to do in Rome.