121 Things To Do In Rome: The Ultimate Guide

You know the feeling… There’s so many things to do in Rome that your head is starting to spin.

That dreaded fear is creeping up on you… that you’ll visit this incredible city, come back home, only to hear your well-traveled friends say: “You saw the awesome view from the Giardino degli Aranci, right?”

Their expectant eyes wide open, their knowledgeable smile a mile wide… but you have no clue what they are talking about…

Well that won’t happen to you, because you’re in for a treat today as we’ve put together the ultimate list! 🙂

All 121 of the best things to do in Rome.

Want must-see ancient ruins? Check.

Want secret parks and gardens? Check.

Want best shopping, museums, fountains, restaurants, cafes, day trips, and much more? Check, check, check, all of that.

Grab a cappuccino, sit back and dive into the Eternal City.

Things To Do In Rome The Ultimate GuidePhoto Credit: Mapics/Fotolia

Things to do in Rome: Click to Browse by Category

Incredible Views

1. Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill)

Gianicolo Hill View of RomePhoto Credit: dudlajzov/Fotolia

If you want to find some of the most romantic views of Rome, the ones you will remember forever – this is the spot.

Set across the river Tiber from the historic center of Rome, Gianicolo Hill offers spectacular views of Rome’s rooftops, bell towers and domes. Take a bottle of wine with you and get ready to share some unforgettably romantic moments with your loved one.

The hill is reachable from the charming and lively Trastevere quarter and it houses the American and Spanish Academies of Rome. Every day, since the 19th century, the old cannon fires a shot from the hill at noon sharp, breaking the silence for a moment. Get lost in the view of the Eternal City as the sound echoes across the seven hills of Rome and beyond.

Address: Passeggiata del Gianicolo, Rome

Access: free.

2. Palatine Hill

Forum Romanum View from the Palatine Hill, RomePhoto Credit: Samuele Gallini/Fotolia

One of the seven hills of Rome, this is the mythical place where the Eternal City was born.

It is on this hill that the she-wolf found the twins Romulus and Remus and saved them from certain death. Many years later the brothers decided to build a city on the banks of the river Tiber – the city of Rome as we know it today.

However, Romulus killed Remus in a brotherly fight, and that’s how Rome got its name (Romulus, the winner, wrote the history, as usual 🙂 ).

Palatine Hill was the hot spot for Roman Emperors who built their large palaces and lived in untold luxury here. The hill overlooks the Colosseum and Forum Romanum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other.

You can explore the remains of the Emperors’ palaces and enjoy spectacular views of the Forum Romanum, Colosseum and the modern day Rome across the ruins.

Address: Via di San Gregorio 30, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: CoopCulture

3. Il Pincio (Pincian Hill)

Il Pincio, Pincian Hill, View of RomePhoto Credit: Tawheed Manzoor/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Rising high above the Piazza del Popolo, this hill is a favorite spot of the artists, lovers, locals and tourists alike.

It offers grand views of the old city center, and is close to the Spanish Steps and the Galleria Borghese. The best views are from the terrace at the edge of the vast park surrounding the Galleria Borghese which houses many works of art and fountains, and is a pleasant retreat during hot Roman summer days.

Sunset is an incredible experience here, as you watch the Eternal City become illuminated under the red skies.

Address: Via Gabriele d’Annunzio, Rome

Access: free.

4. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica, View of RomePhoto Credit: Seba Sofariu/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The icon of Rome, St’ Peter’s Basilica is located inside the smallest state in the world – Vatican City.

If you have the stamina and the desire to climb some 312 steps to reach the Duomo (Dome) of this magnificent basilica, you’ll be overwhelmed by the stunning views of Rome all around you.

You’ll marvel at the geometry of the St. Peter’s Square beneath you and its countless colonnades embracing the Square.

You’ll also get to realize what a masterpiece the Dome actually is. Designed and built by none other than the great Michelangelo, it defines the skyline of the Eternal City.

Address: Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square), Vatican City

Access: free. For info and opening hours visit: Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica | Vatican City State

5. Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden)

Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) view, RomePhoto Credit: dudlajzov/Fotolia

This romantic spot, set atop the Aventine Hill, offers fantastic views of Rome and is one of the three belvedere, or view points, of Rome (in addition to Il Pincio and the Gianicolo).

The river Tiber flows right beneath the hill and winds its way through the city, creating a great vista of the skyline with St. Peter’s Basilica in the distance. The terrace itself is a part of the large park famous for its orange trees and calm, relaxing atmosphere away from the bustling city center.

Address: Piazza Pietro D’Illiria, Rome

Access: free.

Ancient Ruins

6. Forum Romanum (Roman Forum)

Forum Romanum (Roman Forum), Rome, ItalyPhoto Credit: fabiomax/Fotolia

One of the largest and most important archaeological sites in the world, right there in the heart of Rome, used to be a giant marshland more than 3,000 years ago.

It is thanks to the Roman engineering and ingenuity that the famous drainage system was built, called Cloaca Maxima. It was used to drain the water from the fields, and a huge section of the Eternal City was built on that spot.

Forum Romanum, or Foro as Italians call it, was the center of the Roman Empire in the ancient world. It also featured markets, taverns, squares and giant monumets and basilicas. Ancient rulers oversaw the giant Empire from here, while citizens came here to socialise, learn the news or watch the (preferably bloody) games.

Head up the Campidoglio Terraces for a spectacular view of The Forum and the Colosseum, and take a walk among the incredible ruins of once imperial city.

Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: CoopCulture

7. Colosseum

Colosseum in RomePhoto Credit: Sean MacEntee/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The absolute largest ancient amphitheater in the world, this is the icon of Rome not to be missed.

Built by the three successive emperors of the Flavius dynasty from 72-80 AD, it has been used for gladiatorial competitions, remakes of famous battles, executions and animal hunts – all the blood-thirsty stuff that gave pleasure to the people of the Eternal City.

It was named the Flavian Amphiteather after the dynasty, but over the centuries it has become known as the Colosseum.

It could house an estimated crowd of 55,000-80,000 spectators who would enter through 80 entrances – the true feat of logistics and engineering at the time.

It has survived to the modern day despite earthquakes, raids and robberies, and from medieval times it has had many different uses, including being used as a quarry, of all things.

Its name is believed to derive from the colossal statue of Nero just in front of it, which itself was named after the Colossus of Rhodes.

It draws huge numbers of visitors each year and is proudly displayed on the Italian 5-cent Euro coin.

For more info on tickets and opening hours visit:

Address: Piazza del Colosseo, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: CoopCulture

8. Pantheon

Pantheon, RomePhoto Credit: FaceMePLS/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Built from 118-128 AD, this is a magnificent example of the ancient Roman architecture.

Its name means “The temple of all gods” in Greek, and its size and its Oculus indeed make the intended impression.

Today’s Pantheon was built on the site where Marcus Agrippa, the famous Roman architect and military general, built a building in honor of the then emperor, Augustus, which subsequently burnt to the ground in a fire. (By the way, Mr. Agrippa not only built some of the most prestigious Roman ancient monuments, but has also defeated Kleopatra in the battle of Actium).

Emperor Hadrian built today’s huge Pantheon which has survived in great shape throughut history thanks to its frequent us as a temple and later as a church.

Its architecture is what makes it so valuable and impressive, as it has the world’s largest unsupported dome built of concrete. Its many arches give the impression of vast size once you enter inside. The dome’s most famous feature is the Oculus, the eye of the Pantheon.

The dome’s height as well as its diameter is 43.3 meters (124 feet), with the oculus at the top as the only source of light and a direct connection to the gods above.

One of the most famous painters of Italy, Rafael, is buried here, alongside the two Italian kings, Vittorio Emmanuele and Umberto I.

Address: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: Rome Tourist Office.

9. Via Appia Antica (The Appian Way)

Via Appia Antica (The Appian Way), RomePhoto Credit: Trish Hartmann/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

You will shake your head in disbelief when you realize that the ancient Rome built this road all the way down to the port city of Brindisi, at the southeastern tip of the heel of the boot-shaped Italy.

It was built from 312-264 BC in order for Rome to be able to transport large amounts of supplies and the army to the south when needed. Its length was 560 km (350 miles)!

Incredible stuff.

It has become notorious when the ex-gladiator Spartacus rebelled with his army of slaves who, after a number of initial victories, were finally defeated by Romans. As punishment, Romans crucified 6,000 slaves along the Appian Way for everyone to see.

Today, the Appian Way is still in use, and it has in fact become a national park. You can explore it by walking, cycling, or by bus.

It’s quite a unique experience, the quiet nature with the ancient road and monuments, away from the madness of city traffic.

Address: Via Appia Antica 42, Rome

Access: free For more info visit: Appia Antica Park

10. Circus Maximus (Latin for The Greatest Circus)

Circus MaximusPhoto Credit: Son of Groucho/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Nestled in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine Hills, this used to be the venue of the chariot races depicted in numerous movies on ancient Rome, but also of religious celebrations, festivals and gladiator fights.

Built in 6th century BC it could house up to 150,000 spectators and it was an awe-inspiring complex for contestants and spectators alike. Today it is a public park where you can admire the sheer size of this magnificent venue.

Address: Via del Circo Massimo, Rome.

Access: free. For more info visit: Circus Maximus at ItalyGuides.it.

11. Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant'AngeloPhoto Credit: Henning Klokkeråsen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A true landmark of Rome, this huge castle was initially built by the Emperor Hadrian as his final resting place.

However, Rome’s subsequent turbulent history had it converted into a residence of Popes, then a notorious prison, then a fortress, then finally into a museum. It’s connected to Vatican via the Passetto di Borgo, the underground passage used by Popes to escape attacks, as Pope Clement VII famously did in 1527.

The Passetto was made famous by Den Brown’s book and subsequent movie Angels and Demons, and the castle is prominently featured in Tosca, Puccini’s famous opera where the heroine throws herself from the castle top in desperation.

Bernini, the superstar sculptor, built the bridge with 10 statues of angels leading to the castle and the Vatican. Climb up to the top of the castle and marvel at the spectacular view of Rome from this controversial, unmistakable monument.

Address: Lungotevere Castello 50, Rome.

For more info on tickets and opening hours visit: Museum Castel Sant’Angelo

12. Mercati di Traiano (Trajan’s Market)

Mercati di Traiano (Trajan's Market), RomePhoto Credit: Vašek Vinklát/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you want a realistic glimpse into the life of ancient Romans, then this world’s oldest shopping mall will stun you with its preserved shops, marble floors and multiple stories.

You can really visualise how merchants sold their goods here, people walking around, checking out stuff. As part of a large Trajan’s Forum next to Piazza Venezia this is well worth a visit. Colosseum and Roman Forum are just down the road as well.

Address: Via IV Novembre 94, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Mercati di Traiano Official Site.

13. Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla)

Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla), RomePhoto Credit: teldridge+keldridge/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Stand in awe as you arrive to this huge spa complex that was open for use in 216 AD.

It was not only a spa, as it was also used as a learning center and had extensive relaxation facilities. It was the second largest thermal bath built in Rome.

It got its supply of water via a custom-built duct from the Aqua Antoniana acqueduct. It has many fine examples of mosaics, statues and marble columns preserved to this day.

Romans indeed took their wellness seriously. 🙂

Address: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: CoopCulture.

14. Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine, RomePhoto Credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This imposing monument stands between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill.

Built in 315 AD, it’s the last remaining arch in Rome from the ancient period. It was built to celebrate the victory of the Emperor Constantine I against the Roman tyrant Maxentius in the Milvian Bridge battle in Rome.

It also contains the symbols and decorations which celebrate earlier feats and victories by other Roman Emperors such as Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian and Trajan. In effect, it’s a mix of styles, but nevertheless it looks awe-inspiring with its 21 meters (69 feet) of height right next to one of the greatest monuments from the ancient world – the Colosseum.

Address: Piazza del Colosseo, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: Ancient History Encyclopedia.

15. Teatro di Marcello (Theater of Marcellus)

Teatro di Marcello (Theater of Marcellus), RomePhoto Credit: Alexander Russy/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

On a first glance this theater looks like the Colosseum, however, it’s a semi-circular ancient theater that could house up to 20,000 spectators.

Started by Julius Cezar and completed by Augustus, it’s close to river Tiber and not far from Piazza Venezia. It’s still in use today, and concerts are held in summer by classical musicians.

Address: Via del Teatro di Marcello 44, Rome

For more info visit: Teatro di Marcello.

Squares

16. Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square)

Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter's Square), RomePhoto Credit: Luca Serazzi/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Probably the most famous square in the world, this giant space was designed and built by, you guessed it again – the superstar master Bernini.

Commissioned by the Pope Alexander VII, the square was built from 1656-1667. It is enclosed by the four rows of gigantic Tuscan Doric colonnades with the effect of inspiring awe in visitors.

A 25.5 meters (84 feet) high Egyptian obelisk stands in the middle, and the square’s trapezoid shape enhances the perspective size.

It was designed to allow huge numbers of people to attend the Pope’s mass, as it is built right in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave in Rome.

Address: Vatican City, Rome

Access: Free.

17. Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna (the Spain Square)

Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna (the Spain Square), RomePhoto Credit: Shadowgate/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Set right above the Piazza di Spagna these steps are an iconic landmark of Rome visited by rivers of tourists every year.

Piazza di Spagna beneath the steps was a favorite spot of artists, poets and writers in the Renaissance period. It housed fine palaces and hotels, and people enjoyed the walks and the views.

It was called Trinita dei Monti after the church high above at the top of the steps, but the name changed later after the Spanish Ambassador who lived there.

The famous Barcaccia Fountain lies at the foot of the steps, built in the 17th century by the Bernini father-and-son team.

However, it was the Pope Innocent XII who commissioned Francesco de Sanctis to build the wide staircase which connected the square with the church Trinita dei Monti high above the square.

This has become a true landmark and a romantic spot, and in the summer the stairs are covered with people and flowers. It has inspired numerous artists, such as Bob Dylan in his song “When I Paint My Masterpiece”, Bernardo Bertolucci in his film “Besieged” and were used extensively in the movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley” starring Matt Damon.

The atmosphere here is the one to be experienced – marvel at the fountain masterpiece and the buildings surrounding the square. Then head up the 135 stairs to the church and brace yourself for the spectacular views of the Eternal City.

Address: Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy

Access: Free.

18. Piazza Navona (Navona Square)

Piazza Navona (Navona Square), RomePhoto Credit: lafiguradelpadre Congreso/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Built over the ancient Domitian Stadium in 16th and 17th centuries this piazza is a rich showcase of the Rome’s baroque period.

It served as the location of the main Rome’s market for more than 300 years in the Reneissance times. It is here that Bernini, the famous sculptor, built some of his most famous works.

The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (the Fountain of the Four Rivers) is the central fountain of the square, and it’s one of Bernini’s baroque masterpieces that draws visitors like a magnet. It was dedicated to the four great rivers of the world.

Another Bernini’s work, the Moor with a Dolphin, was added to the Fontana del Moro at the southern end of the square, while the northern end is beautified by the Fountain of Neptune. Both of the fountains were built by Giacomo della Porta.

The Pope Innocent X’s Palazzo Pamphili (Pamphili Palace) overlooks the square, and it was the Pope who was the driving force behind all of these works of art. The church of Sant’ Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini rounds up the square’s grand buildings.

Wander around the square and marvel at the skill and aesthetics of the great masters of Rome’s baroque era.

Address: Piazza Navona, Rome

Access: Free.

19. Piazza del Popolo (People’s Square)

Piazza del Popolo (People's Square), RomePhoto Credit: Filippo Diotalevi/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This huge square is located just inside the Aurelian Walls, the fortifications that were built around the seven hills of Rome in the ancient times.

The square is located right where the ancient Via Flaminia (the ancient name for the road from Ariminum, today’s Rimini) used to enter the city walls through the famous Porta Flaminia. Today this entrance is called Porta del Popolo.

For travelers this was the first encounter with Rome for centuries. During the brief Napoleon’s rule of Rome Giuseppe Valadier was commissioned to renovate and redesign the square, which he did to a great effect.

Address: Piazza del Popolo, Rome

Access: Free.

20. Piazza della Repubblica (The Republic Square)

Piazza della Repubblica (The Republic Square), RomePhoto Credit: Justin Ennis/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This semi-circular square was built in 1888 and, together with Via Nazionale which starts at the square and goes all the way to Piazza Venezia, represents a grandiose attempt to reconstruct Rome after the unification of Italy.

It has the shape of exedra, the design popular in Roman architecture and modeled after the baths of Diocletian with large colonnades. Thanks to this, it was also known as Piazza Esedra for a long time.

Address: Piazza della Repubblica, Rome

Access: Free.

21. Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta (Square of the Knights of Malta)

Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta (Square of the Knights of Malta), RomePhoto Credit: Diana Skok Corridori/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This somewhat secretive square got its name after the Villa del Priorato di Malta. Yes indeed, the Knigts Order that was founded way back at the time of Crusades, in the Holy Land.

The Knights based themselves in Malta for a few centuries, and settled finally in Rome after getting expelled by Napoleon from the island they called home.

However, the key attraction here is the secret view through the keyhole of the large entrance door to the estate of the Priorato.

Awake the child in you and peek through the keyhole – you will see the glistening dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, far across Rome in the distance.

To make it more magical, your view cuts through the perfectly cut hedges on both sides of the alley inside the Priorato garden.

Address: Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, Rome (Via Santa Sabina)

Access: free.

22. Piazza Venezia (Venice Square)

Piazza Venezia (Venice Square), RomePhoto Credit: Martin Nikolaj Christensen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In contrast to other quiet, pedestrian squares, this square is a huge, traffic-heavy hub from which you can explore some of the most famous landmarks of Rome. It’s packed with history, evident in its monumental buildings that shape the square.

At its center you will see the unmissable monument to the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emmanuele II – the large, white marble building called Altare della Patria. Visit its roof top for fantastic views of Rome.

The square-shaped building in Renaissance style is Palazzo Venezia, the seat of the Embassy of the Venetian Republic in Rome for centuries, and later the headquarter of Benito Mussolini during the WWII who would address the crowds from its balcony.

And that beautiful building at the start of Via del Corso? Palazzo Bonaparte, the refuge of Napoleon’s mother, Letitia, who died there in asylum after her son’s exile.

From here you can reach the awesome landmarks by foot such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Capitoline Hill and the Trajan’s Forum.

Address: Piazza Venezia, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: A View On Cities.

23. Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Square)

Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Square). RomePhoto Credit: Diego Albero Román/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

One of the most beautiful squares in Rome, this is a true masterpiece of none other than the great Michelangelo.

It’s built on top of the Capitoline Hill, historically the most important of Rome’s hills, and regarded in the ancient times as the center of the world. It used to house Roman Senate and the fate of millions of people of the Roman Empire was decided here.

Michelangelo built an atmospheric trapezoid square, and designed and restorated the facades of the palazzos that enclose it. The palaces today house the City Hall and the Capitoline Museums.

The square itself is reached by the long flight of steps called Cordonata, just behind the Piazza Venezia.

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome

Access: free.

For more info visit: Rome Art Lover.

Fountains

24. Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), RomePhoto Credit: Vašek Vinklát/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for one of the most iconic and romantic spots of Rome, then Fontana di Trevi will give your eyes and soul that much deserved pleasure.

It’s the largest baroque fountain in Rome, and it has been featured in iconic films such as La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini.

It was built at the very end of the 22 km (14 miles) long ancient aqueduct called Aqua Virgo (the legend has it that a young girl helped Roman soldiers find water outside of Rome, and the aqueduct was born!). This aqueduct has been supplying the water to the thermal baths of Rome from the ancient times, and is still used today.

The fountain is made of the stone called the travertine, brought from the nearby city of Tivoli, and was built from 1730-1762. Numerous artists were commissioned to build it, among which was Bernini, the famous sculptor whose works can be found all over Rome.

The same stone was used to build the Colosseum in Rome, as well as the iconic Sacre Coeour church in Paris, France and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

It has been completely restorated in 2015, courtesy of Fendi, the fashion company.

The legend says that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain you are sure to be back in Rome one day. The same legend holds for those who drink the water from the fountain. 🙂

This building of this masterpiece was financed by the revenues from the lottery which was popular in Rome in the 18th century.

Address: Piazza di Trevi, Rome

Access: free.

25. Barcaccia Fountain

Barcaccia Fountain, RomePhoto Credit: Alessio Nastro Siniscalchi/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

You’ll probably recognize the famous, incessantly photographed Barcaccia Fountain located at the Piazza di Spagna, at the foot of the Spanish Steps.

It was built in the 17th century by Bernini Sr. and his later-to-become-a-superstar son Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain was built to depict the huge flood of the river Tiber of 1598.

The legend has it that the Berninis got the idea for the fountain from a boat which was brought to the square by one of the Tiber floods and got stranded there. You can see the mastery of the father and the son team on display here.

If you’d like to photograph it without so many people around it, then you’ll have to visit early in the morning as this is one of the prime hot spots in Rome.

Address: Piazza di Spagna, Rome

Access: free.

26. Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (the Fountain of the Four Rivers)

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (the Fountain of the Four Rivers), RomePhoto Credit: pcdazero/Pixabay/CC0

Brace yourself for one of Bernini’s masterpieces here.

It seems wherever you turn you will come across the art work of this Baroque superstar. This fountain was dedicated to the four rivers of the world – Danube, Nile, Ganges and Rio de la Plata. The statues representing each of the rivers are surrounding the Egyptian Obelisk rising high from the fountain.

One of the prominent buildings on Piazza navona is the church of Sant’ Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini, the fierce rival of Bernini. The two freely showed hatred toward each other. Bernini was said to have built one of the sculptures with its hand covering its eyes as if to protect it from the distasteful church building designed by his favorite enemy. 🙂

This masterpiece of a fountain featured prominently in Den Brown’s book Angels and Demons as one of the Altars of Science. If you’re a fan, this place is a must see.

Address: Piazza Navona, Rome

Access: free.

27. Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, RomePhoto Credit: Frankix/Fotolia

One of the fine baroque masterpieces, this fountain was commissioned by Pope Paul V Borghese and designed and built by by the architect with an appropriate name – Giovanni Fontana. 🙂

It was built in 1612 on the Gianicolo Hill right next to the Botanical Garden, providing a wonderful view of Rome. Its water is supplied by the Aqua Paola aqueduct (the rebuilt Trajan’s aqueduct from the ancient times).

The fountain itself is built from the stones “borrowed” from the ancient monuments of Rome. Nevertheless, “Il Fontanone”, or the Big Fountain as Romans call it, is well worth your time and the trek from Trastevere neighborhood.

Address: Via Garibaldi,  Rome

Access: free.

28. Fontana di Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

Fontana di Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, RomePhoto Credit: FouPic/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Considered to be one of, if not the oldest fountain of Rome (initially believed to be built in 8th century), it’s located in front of the church of the same name in Trastevere neighborhood.

Throughout history a number of superstar architects and sculptors worked on and restored the fountain, including Donato Bramante (who designed St. Peter’s Basilica), Bernini (the master sculptor of many masterpieces in Rome and beyond) and Carlo Fontana.

The square is pleasant with its cafes and lively atmosphere, and the fountain gives a bit of a fresh air during hot summer afternoons.

Address: Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

Access: free.

29. Fontana del Tritone (Fountain of Triton)

Fontana del Tritone (Fountain of Triton), RomePhoto Credit: Steve Collis/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Interestingly, this Baroque masterpiece is the very first fountain of Bernini, the superstar-to-be, commissioned by Pope Urban VIII of the Barberini family.

Triton, the legendary sea god, half man-half fish, stands on four dolphins and is blowing the water through a shell on Piazza Barberini, near the magnificent Palazzo Barberini which also saw Bernini’s involvement.

This fountain celebrated the restoration of the Aqua Felice aqueduct from which it gets its water, and the Barberini family as evident in the bees sprinkled on the fountain (evoking the bees from the Barberini coat of arms).

Address: Piazza Barberini, Rome

Access: free.

Parks and Gardens

30. Villa Borghese Park

Villa Borghese Park, RomePhoto Credit: Son of Groucho/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This is the third largest park in Rome, and it has been conceived by the Cardinal Scipione Borghese for his Villa Borghese estate.

It’s truly a gorgeous park of 80 hectares, loved and visited by locals and tourists alike. It has quite a few attractions, such as Piazza di Siena where equestrian events are held, as well as the famous Villa Medici, Villa Giulia and Galleria Borghese.

It can be reached by Spanish Steps, and once you’re there make sure to snap a spectacular view of Rome from Il Pincio terrace.

Address: Park of Galleria Borghese at Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5, Rome, or enter from the Porta del Popolo or via Spanish Steps and Villa Medici

Address: Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: Borghese Gardens at Luxe Adventure Traveler.

31. Savello Park/Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden)

Savello Park-Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden), RomePhoto Credit: chuck b./Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Known in Italian as the Giardino degli Aranci, this park got its name from the orange trees dotting its landscape. It was built in 1932 with the intention of providing another awe-inspiring viewpoint of the city.

It spreads over the remains of a fortress built b the Savelli family in the 13th century (hence the name of the park). Its terrace looks over the river Tiber and a grand Rome panorama, and the park provides a great escape from the busy city life. 

Address: Piazza Pietro D’Illiria, Rome

Access: free.

For more info visit: Orange Garden | Sovrintendenza Capitolina

32. Orto Botanico (the Botanical Garden)

Orto Botanico (the Botanical Garden), RomePhoto Credit: chuck b./Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Set on the slopes of the Gianicolo Hill, this garden is surprisingly not a huge tourist draw. However, it provides a great escape and a welcome break from the fast pace of the city below.

It covers 12 hectares, has more than 8,000 species and is maintained by the University of Rome. Its higlights are the Mediterranean Garden and Mediterranean Forest, Japanese Garden, Tropical Greenhouse and Monumental Trees, among others.

It’s close to the Palazzo Corsini to which the area of the garden used to belong, and which was the residence of Queen Cristina of Sweden who lived here in 17th century

Address: Largo Cristina di Svezia 24, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: University of Rome – Botanical Garden.

33. Villa Pamphili Park

Villa Pamphili Park, RomePhoto Credit: Gerdy Ling/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The largest park in Rome is a bit outside of Rome’s key tourist areas, and as such it offers peace and huge spaces for locals to walk in and have fun with sports, sunbathing and dolce vita in general. 🙂

If you walk up from Gianicolo Hill you will reach the huge park with many scenic running paths, old fountains and health-conscious Romans running around. There is a Secret Garden next to the Villa which is a pleasure to the eyes, with manicured hedges and the historic feel.

Escape the city heat and noise and enjoy this huge park, and catch one of a number of musical performances that take place quite often under the stars.

Address: Porte San Pancrazio, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: Villa Pamphilj Park at Minor Sights.

34. Villa Torlonia Park

Villa Torlonia Park, RomePhoto Credit: sunshinecity/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

After two centuries of different residents, from the Torlonia family to Musolini to the Allied Forces in WWII, the beautiful gardens of this villa were extensively renovated and offer a relaxing stroll down its winding pathways and between its exotic trees.

Address: Via Nomentana 70, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: Villa Torlonia Museum official Site.

35. Villa Ada Park

Villa Ada Park, RomePhoto Credit: Anna Osbat/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The second largest park in Rome surrounds the artificial lake and boasts a huge diversity of species.

Many sports and recreational facilities are available and it’s a great spot to enjoy silence and nature after getting overwhelmed with Rome’s attractions.

Address: Via Salaria 265, Rome

Access: free. For more info visit: Rome Tourist Office.

36. Gardens of Palazzo Barberini

Gardens of Palazzo Barberini, RomePhoto Credit: lornet/Fotolia

This palace not only houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art, but it also boasts one of the finest gardens in Rome.

As the Gallery is the main draw for the tourists, the meticulously manicured garden is free to roam and enjoy in surprising silence. You can get a glimpse of interior of the Palazzo and marvel at the Borromini’s and Bernini’s staircases from the garden.

Not to be missed.

Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane 13, Rome

Access to the garden: free.

For info on tickets and tours visit of the Gallery: Galleria Barberini Official Site.

37. Villa Celimontana and Parco del Celio on the Celio Hill

Villa Celimontana and Parco del Celio on the Celio Hill, RomePhoto Credit: Kristof Verslype/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you’ve wondered what’s that beautiful hill above Colosseum, the one with typical Roman trees and classy palaces – welcome to the Celio Hill.

It’s home to the Celio Park which provides a cool escape after the visit to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. A little further up the hill you’ll find Villa Celimontana with its pleasant garden and jazz festival during the summer.

Access: free.

For more info visit: Villa Celimontana at ItalyHeaven.

Museums and Galleries

38. Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums, RomePhoto Credit: Steve Collis/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

These world-famous museums contain the works of art collected by the Popes throughout history, and are one of the top museums of the world, rivaling the likes of the Louvre in Paris.

They house an incredible diversity of art, from paintings, sculptures to archaelogical artefacts and many other valuables, especially from the Renaissance period.

The highlights of the museums are the Sistine Chapel (whose ceiling was famously painted by Michelangelo), Pinacoteca (the museum of paintings), the Raphael’s Rooms (painted, not surprisingly, by Raphael), the Beato Angelico chapel and the Borgia apartment.

Many paintings have been taken away by Napoleon in the 19th century, but have since been returned after the Congress of Vienna.

Marvel at the immense collection of art here – it’s history of art at your fingertips.

Address: Vatican City, Viale Vaticano, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: Vatican Museums Official Site.

39. Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel, Vatican, RomePhoto Credit: Eric Terchila/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Ahh the famous Chapel… THE Chapel of all chapels… “But why?”, you ask.

Just listen to Johann Wolfgang Goethe, the famed German writer, what he says about it:

“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel, one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving”.

This chapel, which was built as part of the Papal residence by Pope Sixtus IV (after whom the chapel was named), is the place where Michelangelo stunned the world with his frescoes that he painted on the ceiling and on the sanctuary wall.

Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the chapel between 1508-1512 (the ceiling) and from 1535-1541 (the Last Judgement on the wall).

The ceiling paintings depict the 9 scenes from the Book of Genesis, with the scene where God touches Adam being reproduced the world over.

The chapel also contains paintings by many other Italian Renaissance masters including Boticelli and Raphael. If you want to get a maximum fix of the high Renaissance art – this is a must-see.

The chapel is also the place where the new Pope is elected, the process dramatically illustrated by Den Brown in his thriller Angels and Demons.

Address: Vatican City

For more info on tickets and opening hours: Sitine Chapel | Vatican Museums.

40. Capitoline Museum

Capitoline Museum, RomePhoto Credit: Piers Goodhew/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This is the world’s oldest public museum, establieshed way back in 15th century.

It contains some of the finest works of Renaissance art, including paintings from such greats as Caravaggio, Rubens, Tintoretto and Titian. It also houses a large collection of classical sculpture, such as the giant hand, foot and head of the 12-meter sculpture of Constantine from the Forum Romanum.

But the highlights of the museum are the sculptures of Lupa Capitolina (Capitoline She-Wolf) with Romulus and Remus under her, and the Galata Morente (the Dying Gaul), an expressive and touching sculpture of a dying Gaulois warrior.

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio 1, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: Capitoline Museums Official Site.

41. Villa Medici

Villa Medici, RomePhoto Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Acquired and completed by Ferdinando de’ Medici, it was a strong statement of the presence of the Medici dynasty in Rome during the Renaissance era.

It is a museum today, with beautiful gardens located close to the Spanish Steps.

Napoleon at one point made this building the seat of the French Academy of Rome which sponsored artists on their studies of Roman art.

Address: Viale della Trinita dei Monti 1, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: Villa Medici Official Site

42. Galleria Borghese

Galleria Borghese, RomePhoto Credit: Son of Groucho/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This lavish gallery is known as one of the best private art collections in the world.

Cardinal Scipione Borghese built this mansion as a party hot spot and has collected huge numbers of art works during his lifetime. He was an early believer in Bernini, the famous sculptor, and loved and collected Caravaggio.

The gallery houses works by Bernini, Caravaggio, Rubens and Rafael, and is a feast for the eyes of the art lovers.

Address: Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: Galleria Borghese Official Site

43. Galleria Doria Pamphilj

Doria Pamphilj Gallery, RomePhoto Credit: isogood/BigStockPhoto

Housed in the privately owned palazzo Doria Pamphilj, this is the private collection of paintings, statues and other art works collected since the 16th century by the Doria, Landi, Pamphilj and Aldobrandini families. Now repeat that after a few glasses of Prosecco. 🙂

It was amassed through marriages between these families, and it also includes the art works from Pope Innocent X’s Palazzo Pamphilj (one of the grand buildings in the Piazza Navona).

Its main entrance is from Via del Corso in the center of Rome, and it contains masterpieces by Caravaggio, Velasquez, Raphael, Titian and Bernini.

The works are displayed in the state rooms of the palace, which are indeed masterpieces  themselves too. Well worth a visit.

Address: Via del Corso 305, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: Galleria Doria Pamphilj Official Site.

44. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica: Palazzo Barberini (National Gallery of Antique Art: Barberini Palace)

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica - Palazzo Barberini (National Gallery of Antique Art - Barberini Palace), RomePhoto Credit: Anthony Majanlahti/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Another masterpiece of a building and a great art collection.

The architect Carlo Maderno, who also worked on St. Peter’s Basilica, was assisted by Borromini, and the palace was finalised by the master sculptor Bernini (yes, Bernini again 🙂 ).

The collection contains works by Caravaggio and other notables, and its ceiling frescoes are a an absolute masterpiece.

Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane 13, Rome

For info on tickets and tours visit: Galleria Barberini Official Site.

45. National Roman Museum in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

National Roman Museum in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, RomePhoto Credit: Ryan Baumann/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This museum is in fact housed in four different locations, one of which is Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. The other three are in the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Altemps and Crypta Balbi.

It displays a collection of sculptures, frescoes and paintings, and for coin collectors there’s a special treat in the basement section – a wide selection of coins from many countries the Romans conquered over the centuries.

Address: Largo di Villa Peretti 1, Rome

For info on tickets and tours visit: National Roman Museum Official Site.

46. Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (National Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia)

Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (National Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia), RomePhoto Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

“Was there really anything before Rome…?”, you wonder.

Well, there was the Etruscan civilization, and this museum, set in Pope Julius III’s villa, displays the ancient artefacts of Etruscans.

Address: Piazzale di Villa Giulia, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Villa Giulia Official Site.

47. Colonna Art Gallery

Colonna Art Gallery, RomePhoto Credit: Herry Lawford/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Set in the grandiose palace of the Colonna family, this gallery is a kind of a celebration of the great Marcantonio II Colonna, one of the commanders in the victory of the battle of Lepanto in 1571. That’s where the Maritime States defeated the Ottoman fleet, and the ceiling frescoes depict that great victory.

As in each of the private galleries in Rome, the state rooms are stunning and provide a great background to the many works of art, the highlight of which is Annibale Carracci’s painting “The Beaneater”.

Address: Via della Pilotta 17, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Galleria Colonna Official Site.

48. Villa Torlonia Museum

Villa Torlonia Museum, RomePhoto Credit: Benito Condemi de Felice/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Ah, this one has got quite a colorful history. 🙂

The villa was designed by the achitect Valadier (who reconstructed the Piazza del Popolo) for a banker Giovanni Torlonia at the start of the 19th century. More than a hundred years later, Mussolini rented the villa for 1 lira from the Torlonia family to use it as his state residence.

As from 1944, the Allied forces used it as their headquarters. After the WWII ended, the villa was rescued from abandon by the Italian state and renovated. It houses the museum of artworks collected by the Torlonia family as well as the furniture used by Mussolini during his stay there.

Address: Via Nomentana 70, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Villa Torlonia Museum official Site.

49. Museo dell’Ara Pacis (The Altar of Augustan Peace Museum)

Museo dell'Ara Pacis (The Altar of Augustan Peace Museum), RomePhoto Credit: Antonella Profeta/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A bit of a controversial museum, it houses the ancient altar devoted to the Goddess of Peace, Pax.

It was built in honor of the Emperor Augustus in 9 BC, celebrating the Roman peace. However, in 2006 it was enclosed within a building made of steel, glass and travertine stone designed by the American architect Richard Meier.

It’s a modern building in the heart of ancient Rome, praised and hated at the same time. See for yourself what you think. 🙂

Address: Lungotevere in Augusta, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Ara Pacis Museum Official Site.

50. MAXXI, National Museum of the 21st Century Arts

MAXXI, National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, RomePhoto Credit: Antonella Profeta/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you’d like to take a break from the ancient and Renaissance masterpieces, then visit this spectacular space designed by the great architect Zaha Hadid.

It houses workshops, exhibitions and installations, and celebrates innovation in art and architecture.

Address: Via Guido Reni 4A, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: MAXXI Official Site

51. Macro Museum of Contemporary Art

Macro Museum of Contemporary Art, RomePhoto Credit: Luigi Guarino/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This museum is split into two locations – a renovated Peroni beer factory and a renovated slaughterhouse.

It’s a bit more edgy than MAXXI, and smaller in size. It houses works by contemporary Italian artists.

Address: Via Nizza 138 and Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Macro Museum Official Site

 

 

 

 

52. Auditorium Parco della Musica (Center for Performing Arts)

Auditorium Parco della Musica (Center for Performing Arts), RomePhoto Credit: Alessio Maffeis/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This unique performance art complex dedicated to music was designed by the famed Genoese architect Renzo Piano.

In recent years it has become the second most visited music center in the world, right after the Lincoln Center in New York City.

It has three concert halls and an open air theater, as well as the remains of an ancient Roman villa discovered during construction (as always in Rome!). 🙂

Address: Via Pietro de Coubertin, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Auditorium Official Site

Tours

53. VIP Vatican’s Secret Rooms, Sistine Chapel After Hours tour

VIP Vatican’s Secret Rooms, Sistine Chapel After Hours tour, RomePhoto Credit: Kevin Gessner/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If there’s one tour you want to splurge on, then consider this: you visit the secret Vatican rooms not shown to the public, such as Room of Gold, Niccoline Chapel and Bramante’s Staircase.

But then, you enter Sistine Chapel after hours, just your tiny VIP group of lucky ones. You get to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece paintings in silence, without the crowds, just your guide’s voice echoing in this incredible place…

For more info you can check out: Vatican VIP Tour.

54. Colosseum at night tour

Colosseum at night tour, RomePhoto Credit: Kristof Verslype/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Ahh this is indeed a unique experience.

Imagine the Colosseum without people, at night, with lighting which gives it an other-worldly feel. Well, it’s possible to experience that, and you can get to see the underground and the arena floor as well.

These are usually VIP tours, as they are organised after hours, and are very much worth it.

For more info you can check out: Colosseum Night Tour

55. Ancient wonders (Via Appia Antica, Park of the Aqueducts, Baths of Caracalla etc.)

Park of the Aqueducts, RomePhoto Credit: Patrick Morgan/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This is a treat for the archaeological and history buffs, no doubt about it.

You start from the Jewish Ghetto, one of the unique neighborhoods of Rome, which was walled at the order of Pope in 1555, whose inhabitants suffered and lived in poverty as a consequence.

You get to see the Appian Way, the ancient Roman road still in function today. The Aqueducts that brought water to Rome (some of them still used today!), the ancient baths, tombstones and a number of awe-inspiring feats of Roman engineering.

You’ll also marvel at the view of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, and feel sorry for the masses of tourists who haven’t seen what you’ve seen that day – the true wonders of ancient Rome.

For more info you can check out: Ancient Wonders of Rome Tour

56. Angels and Demons half-day tour

Angels and Demons half-day tour, RomePhoto Credit: waldomiguez/Pixabay/CC0

Quite a unique way to explore Rome as you walk in the footsteps of Dan Brown famous novel’s hero.

You get to see all the sites from the thrilling plot, including Santa Maria del Popolo, Piazza Navona, St. Peter’s Square, the Church of Illumination and the Castel Sant’Angelo.

Awake the detective in you as you explore the Christian and Pagan symbols in Rome, and look for clues left by Bernini and Galileo.

For more info you can check out: Angels and Demons Tour.

57. Papal Audience at Vatican City

Papal Audience at Vatican City, RomePhoto Credit: fourthandfifteen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you’d like to experience the Papal Audience in the Vatican City – you can, and the tickets are free. You can collect the ticket at the “Bronze Doors” at St’ Peter’s Basilica, or you can book it in advance (via fax only).

Alternatively, you can book tours which provide you with the tickets, the transport and a guide who provides you with quite an interesting insight into the history of Rome and the Vatican City.

For more info on tickets visit: www.PapalAudience.org (official site), and for tours you can check out: Papal Audience Tour.

58. Crypts, Bones and Catacombs

Crypts, Bones and Catacombs tour, RomePhoto Credit: John Mosbaugh/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If this is your thing, then visit some of the seriously scary places of the Roman past.

You can visit the catacomb of Santa Priscilla, one of the first Roman underground cemeteries. Or a crypt lined with the bones of 4,000 monks… Or the underground world of Basilica di San Clemente, built on top of the pagan temple deep below it.

You’ll welcome the bright, hot Roman sun after this tour, indeed. 🙂

For more info you can check out: Rome Catacombs Tour

59. Roman Gladiator School

Roman Gladiator SchoolPhoto Credit: joduma/Pixabay/CC0

Ready to become a gladiator in a day (minus the blood)?

Put on the the original gladiator clothes and swing the authentic weapons with the help of Historic Group of Rome instructors.

It’s a superb way to learn about the craft of fight, the history and what it meant to be the superstar gladiator of the ancient Rome.

For more info you can check out: Roman Gladiator School.

Churches

60. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica, RomePhoto Credit: Antonella Profeta/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

One of the largest churches in the world, and one of the most notable landmarks of Rome, stands atop the Vatican Hill across the river Tiber from the center of Rome.

It was built on the spot where St. Peter, the chief apostle, is believed to have died and was subsequently buried.

It took a century for the basilica to be built, and some of the greatest architects in Italian history designed it, reshaped it and perfected it to its imposing looks we see today

It was commissioned by the Pope Julius II and initially designed by Bramante. After Bramante’s death, none other than Michelangelo Buanarroti, one of the greatest artist that ever lived, designed the huge dome.

The church was finally consecrated in 1626, and since then it has been the center of Christianity. Together with St. Peter’s square it offers an experience of huge spaces, elegant proportions and unparalleled artistry. It’s been one of the most famous places of pilgrimage ever since it was built.

Address: Vatican City, Rome

For more info and opening hours visit: St. Peter’s Basilica | Vatican City State Site.

61. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Church of Saint Mary Major)

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Church of Saint Mary Major), RomePhoto Credit: Justin Ennis/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Interestingly, this huge church belongs to Vatican even though it’s outside Vatican City, and Italy has to respect the immunity of the “headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States”. 🙂

Politics aside, this grandiose church is where Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the famous sculptor, is buried along with a number of Popes. It has the tallest belfry in all of Rome, and it houses the revered image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Protectress of the Roman People.

Its baroque facade, its 5th century mosaics and its monumental size make it a must-see attraction of the Eternal City.

Address: Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

For tickets and opening hours visit: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore | The Holy See Site

62. Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (The Lateran Basilica)

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (The Lateran Basilica), RomePhoto Credit: Ingrid Sinclair/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Built in 324 AD, long before the St. Peter’s Basilica, this church was the center of the Christianity for a millennium.

It’s the oldest and the highest ranking of the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, and is owned by the Vatican City State as well even though it is located outside of the city state, in Rome. It’s the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, and as such the highest ranking church in the Catholic Church.

Explore its mosaics and its awe-inspiring interior, the masterpiece of the architect Borromini (whose works you can see in Piazza Navona as well).

Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano 4, Rome

Access: Free. For more info visit: The Lateran Basilica | The Holy See Site

63. Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano (Basilica of Saint Clement)

Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano (Basilica of Saint Clement), RomePhoto Credit: Kevin Gessner/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In this smallish church dedicated to Pope Clement I you can see the whole layers of history of Rome, the Eternal City.

The top basilica which you see today was built in 11th century on top of the 4th century basilica… which itself had the basement from the 2nd century… which itself was built on top of the house dating back to the 1st century AD. 🙂

Enjoy the marvelous interior with mosaics and frescoes, and the mix of pagan and Christian temples.

Address: Via di San Giovanni in Laterano.

For more info and the opening hours visit: Basilica San Clemente | Official Site

64. Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory Church)

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory Church), RomePhoto Credit: borisb17/Fotolia

This unpretentious church was made famous by… you guessed it again – our friend Bernini, the masterful sculptor, the Popes’ favorite.

Inside you will have the chance to see the incredible sculpture called Santa Teresa Trafitta dall’Amore di Dio (The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa).

It shows an angel piercing her heart causing her immense pleasure and pain at the same time.

In addition to Bernini, the churches fame was also propelled into stratosphere by… you guessed it again. 🙂 Den Brown and his thriller Angels and Demons, of course!

Address: Via XX Settembre 17, Rome

Access: Free. For info on opening hours visit: Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria | Official Site

65. Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, RomePhoto Credit: Christopher John SSF/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This unique church, dedicated to Virgin Mary and located on the square of the same name (Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere) is one of the oldest churches of Rome, dating all the way back to 4th century AD.

In 12th century it was extended and it “borrowed” 21 columns from the Terme di Caracalla. It’s famous for the mosaics inside as well as on the facade of the church, which glow when lit up at night.

The legend has it that it was built on the spot where the oil flowed from the earth at the moment Christ was born. It is a must-see in the Trastevere neighborhood.

Address: Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Access: free. For more info visit: Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere | Sacred Destinations

66. Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo

Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo, RomePhoto Credit: Daniel X. O’Neil/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

What a mixture of masterpieces this is.

The church represents the celebrated Renaissance architecture, and contains works by Caravaggio (paintings Crucifixion of St Peter and Conversion of Saul), Bernini, of course (the facade and additions to the Chigi Chapel), Raphael (Chigi Chapel, which is a star addition to the church), and many others.

The legend has it that this location was haunted by the ghost of the Emperor Nero, and the first chapel was built here in 1099. Now, centuries later, this masterpiece of a church adorns the Piazza del Popolo.

Address: Piazza del Popolo 12, Rome

For info and opening hours visit: Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo Website

67. Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St. Paul Basilica Outside the Walls)

Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St. Paul Basilica Outside the Walls), RomePhoto Credit: tudor-rose/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This is the second largest church in Rome, right after St. Peter’s Basilica.

It was here that St. Paul was buried in 67 AD, and the church was built in the 4th century. It contains exceptional mosaics, heavily restored after the fire in 1823.

Address: Piazzale San Paolo 1, Rome

For info and opening hours visit: St. Paul Basilica Website

68. Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (Basilica of Saint Mary above Minerva)

Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (Basilica of Saint Mary above Minerva), RomePhoto Credit: Moyan Brenn/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The only Gothic church in Rome, it got its name after the pagan temple to the Goddess of Wisdom, Minerva.

Its interior is quite colorful, especially the blue nave. The church is also known by the number of tombs of notables, including three Popes, as well as by the statue by Michelangelo, the Christ Bearing the Cross.

Address: Piazza della Minerva 42, Rome

For more info visit: Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva | Sacred Destinations

Neighborhoods

69. Centro Storico

Centro Storico, Piazza Navona, RomePhoto Credit: serghei_topor/Pixabay/CC0

To get the authentic feel of what Rome really is about, get lost in the many cobblestone streets of Rome’s historic center stretching from Piazza Venezia al the way to the banks of river Tiber.

You’ll experience the true dolce vita here, and have the chance to explore tavernas, cafes, boutique shops selling anything you can imagine. Many of the major landmarks are found in this neighborhood, including Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps.

Marvel at the courtyards of the rich Roman families and sit down for an inevitable gelato (ice cream).

For more info visit: Rome Centro Storico | Enjoy Rome

70. Trastevere

Piazza Santa Maria in TrasteverePhoto Credit: Bradley Griffin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The charming quarter with its winding cobblestone streets, cafes, tiny shops and restaurants is the hip neighborhood of Rome.

River Tiber separates it from the center, but the uniqueness of this quarter has been its draw for over two millennia. Its inhabitants refer to themselves as Trasteverini, not Romans, and the hip feel especially comes alive at night.

Walk down its tiny alleys, enjoy a drink (or a few) in its busy bars and restaurants. Then climb up the many stairs and reach the Gianicolo hill for a breathtaking view of Rome.

For more info visit: Trastevere | Rome Loft.

71. Roman Ghetto

Jewish Synagogue in the former Roman Ghetto, RomePhoto Credit: Scazon/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In 1555 Pope Paul IV ordered the creation of the Jewish Ghetto, and erected a wall around it (the wall was paid for by the Jews as well).

For more than 300 years the wall was locked during the night, and people inside subjected to strict rules. Despite the wall, the neighborhood was susceptible to floods from the river Tiber, and the inhabitants lived in poverty and suffered frequent diseases.

The wall was torn down after the unification of Italy in 1888 and the neighborhood completely rebuilt. Today, this quarter hosts some of the best gourmet restaurants in Rome, and its people still speak with their preserved, evocative dialect.

For more info visit: http://www.jewishroma.com/

72. Vatican City and the Prati Neighborhood

Palace of Justice, Prati Neighborhood, RomePhoto Credit: jensjunge/Pixabay/CC0

Although Vatican City is in fact a sovereign state inside Rome, it is still a part of the Eternal City. It comprises St’ Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Gardens and Museums. Lots of invaluable sights and treasures inside a very small area.

It’s been a home to Popes for centuries and the center of their power over the Christian world.

To the east of Vatican you’ll find the neighborhood of Prati, the wealthy district with one of the famous shopping avenues – Via Cola di Rienzo. The area is north from Rome’s historic city center, just across the river Tiber. It’s full of shops, restaurants and its fine buildings are inhabited by a wealthier population of Rome.

For more info: Prati Neighborhood | Blocal Travel Blog and Vatican City Guide

Restaurants

Open Colonna Restaurant, RomePhoto Credit: Banalities/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

73. Open Colonna

This restaurant, owned by the famous chef Antonello Colonna, is located in the imposing Palazzo delle Esposizioni featuring a unique glass roof.

Enjoy the Roman cuisine with a modern take in a great setting here.

For more info visit: Open Colonna

74. La Pergola (at Rome Cavalieri hotel)

If you want an out-of-this-world, movie star experience, then visit this incredible restaurant.

Its interior is lavish, its cuisine innovative Mediterranean, its wine cellar extraordinary with 60,000+ bottles, its chef Heinz Beck an award winner, its rating is Michelin 3 stars, the only one in Rome.

But the views of Rome…

If you have the budget, it’s once in a lifetime experience.

Address: Rome Cavalieri, Via Alberto Cadlolo 101, Rome

For more info: La Pergola

75. Ristorante Piperno

One of the oldest restaurants in Rome, it is located in what used to be a Roman Ghetto. It is a prime spot for its famed specialties – fried artichokes and the zucchini flowers, as well as pasta Carbonara.

It’s busy with locals and it has the authentic atmosphere – very much worth it.

Address: Monte de’ Cenci 9, Rome

For more info visit: Ristorante Piperno

76. Enoteca Regionale Palatium

If you’d like to enjoy local Roman recipes with a great selection of Lazio regional wines and cheese, this is the restaurant to visit.

Address: Via Frattina 94, Rome

For more info visit: Enoteca Regionale Palatium

77. Antica Birreria Peroni

Friendly and busy with locals and tourists alike, it serves pastas and meat dishes with good selection of beers as well. It’s open all afternoon, so it’s a good choice to have a breather after walking around the city since the early morning.

Address: Via San Marcello 19, Rome

For more info visit: Antica Birreria Peroni

78. La Tavernaccia

Friendly, family-run restaurant, with good selection of Roman cuisine, especially their take on lasagna.

You’ll be surrounded by locals and immersed in a pleasant atmosphere, and can enjoy a few home made sweets after your main course.

Address: Via Giovanni di Castel Bolognese 6, Rome

For more info visit: La Tavernaccia

79. Baguetteria del Fico

Great place for a huge variety of Italian panini (sandwiches), bruschetta plates, and a good selection of beers and wines. Located conveniently near Piazza Navona it’s a good place to stop for a lunch and a break in Centro Storico.

Address: Via Della Fossa 12, Rome

For more info visit: Baguetteria del Fico

80. Fatamorgana

This one is for serious gelato (ice cream) lovers. Take a break from walking around Trastevere’s streets and sit for a gluten-free masterpiece of a gelato here!

Address: Via Roma Libera 11, Piazza San Cosimato, Rome

For more info visit: Fatamorgana

81. Pizzarium Bonci

Get seriously spoilt for choice in this pizza place. All original ingredients, specially prepared dough and many different toppings available.

Try and experiment with flavors and ingredients – the friendly and fast staff will help you get the best mix to your liking. No tables, grab and eat the superb sliced pizza and continue exploring the Eternal City

Address: Via della Meloria 43, Rome

For more info visit: Gabriele Bonci

82. Casa Coppelle

Truly classy, romantic restaurant offering a mix of Italian and French cuisine.

It offers pastas and other classic Italian dishes in innovative ways, beautifully served, as well as some extraordinary meat specialties. It’s close to Pantheon, and a perfect spot for a dinner after a long day in the ruins and churches.

Address: Piazza delle Coppelle 49, Rome

For more info visit: Casa Coppelle

Bars

Bars in RomePhoto Credit: Metro Centric/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

83. Jerry Thomas Speakeasy

One of the coolest bars in Rome in that it recreates the 1920 Prohibition-style speakeasy feel. You need to pay a yearly membership of €5, then book your spot in advance, then knock on a nondescript door at Via Vicolo Cellini, then answer correctly a puzzle question at the door, then obey cool rules if you manage to get in. 🙂

Nevertheless, its coolness factor makes up for the effort.

Address: Vicolo Cellini 30, Rome

For more info visit: Jerry Thomas Speakeasy

84. Salotto 42

Initially created as a bookbar in 2004, it has expanded into variety of spaces and locations. This one in Rome serves great cocktails with cosmopolitan atmosphere right across the piazza from the Temple of Hadrian.

Address: Piazza di Pietra 42, Rome

For more info visit: Salotto 42

85. Stravinskij Bar

If you want posh, then this one is as posh as it gets. 🙂

Set in a classy garden of the charming Hotel de Russie, it’s visited by the celebrities and tourists alike. There’s a large selection of (pricey) cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic mixes which the bar prides itself on.

Head to Piazza del Popolo and you can’t miss it.

Address: Via del Babuino 9, Rome

For more info visit: Stravinskij Bar

86. Colosseum Pub Crawl

This is actually many bars in one.

You get to the meeting point set by the organizer of the “crawl”, usually next to a metro station by the Colosseum. You pay a small participation fee and you are then taken from bar to bar in Rome’s center where the organizer negotiated discounts. You usually get first drinks free wherever you visit, so it’s a great value for money, and a wild night out! 🙂

For more info visit: Colosseum Pub Crawl

87. Cioccolata e Vino

This unique place in Trastevere neighborhood serves wine, chocolate and liquor.

But the liquor is served in chocolate cups with cream on top, so you get shots and eat the cups, and the cream. That combo can’t go wrong. 🙂

Address: Vicolo de’ Cinque 11A, Rome

For more info visit: Cioccolata e Vino

88. Enoteca Antica

This is a vintage wine bar with a restaurant, close to the Spanish Steps.

It has a great selection of wines, large wooden bar, friendly atmosphere and great food, if you’re hungry as well. Location hard to beat, too.

Address: Via della Croce 76, Rome

For more info visit: Enoteca Antica

Cafes

Antico-Cafe-Greco,-RomePhoto Credit: Elisabetta Stringhi/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

89. Antico Caffe Greco

The oldest cafe in Rome, opened by a Greek in 1760 (hence the name).

For centuries it has been a favorite with artists of all kinds, from writers, poets to painters and composers. Enjoy an espresso here and breathe in the historic, artistic air in this classy place – not to be missed.

Address: Via Condotti 86 (close to Spanish Steps), Rome

For more info visit: Antico Caffe Greco

90. Sant Eustacchio il Caffe

The jury is still out if this is the best coffee in Rome or the one at Tazza d’Oro, but this place is a must-visit to see what the art of Italian coffee really is about.

You can enjoy the coffee at the table outside if you’re lucky to get one. Or can also buy the coffee and take it home with you to make your own and relive the experience.

Address: Piazza Sant’Eustachio 82, Rome (close to Pantheon)

For more info visit: Sant Eustacchio il Caffe

91. La Casa del Caffe Tazza d’Oro

Fierce contender for the best coffee crown, this place is also almost always crowded, but it represents the essence of Italian coffee.

Try its specialty called granita, which is a coffee mixed with layers of cream, and get a few delicious pastries while you’re at it.

Address: Via degli Orfani 84, Rome (close to Pantheon, too)

For more info visit: Tazza d’Oro

92. Barnum Cafe

Known for its cosy, cosmopolitan atmosphere, this cafe takes cappuccino to an artistic level. It also has nice pastries and good selection of cocktails as well.

Address: Via del Pellegrino 87, Rome

For more info visit: Barnum Cafe

93. Bar Fondi

Friendly Italian atmosphere, large selection of coffee and cappuccino, with cream or without, or any other way imaginable. You’ll be spoilt for choice with their pastries and panini – great place for breakfast to start your Roman day in style.

Address: Via Milazzo 16, Rome

For more info visit: Bar Fondi

Food Tours

94. Cooking lesson in Rome

Cooking lesson in RomePhoto Credit: nile/Pixabay/CC0

Learn how to cook a typical Italian 4-course meal in a private kitchen in the heart of Rome.

You’ll buy the ingredients at the local market and cook the food with the help of an Italian chef, and enjoy your meal with wine at the end.

For more info visit: Cooking Lesson in Rome.

95. Food and wine tasting in Chianti region of Tuscany and Umbria

Food and wine tasting in Chianti region of Tuscany and UmbriaPhoto Credit: pixabairis/Pixabay/CC0

Visit the famed Chianti region where some of the best wines of Italy are produced, and enjoy a 4-course lunch of typical Italian dishes.

Then indulge in some wine-tasting as you visit the wine cellar in Montepulciano on your way back to Rome.

For more info visit: Food and Wine Tasting in Chianti and Umbria.

96. Sweets tour of Rome (espresso, gelato and tiramisu)

Sweets tour of Rome (espresso, gelato and tiramisu)Photo Credit: Unsplash/Pixabay/CC0

Who can say no this? 🙂

Visit the iconic cafes of Rome and learn the coffee roasting process. Taste the true, authentic espresso the way locals do it, and then enjoy some of the best gelato (ice cream) and tiramisu the Eternal City can offer.

For more info visit: Sweets Tour of Rome – Espresso, Gelato and Tiramisu

97. Pizza making class with Campo de’Fiori market shopping

Pizza making class with Campo de’Fiori market shoppingPhoto Credit: exploder/Pixabay/CC0

Visit the famous market and learn about variety of Italy’s food. Get to taste and learn about the home made olive oil and balsamico vinegar, as well as prosciutto and parmesan types.

Then head to a Roman pizzeria and learn how to make a pizza like an Italian! You’ll get to taste your masterpiece at the end. 🙂

For more info visit: Pizza Making Class

98. Frascati wine tasting tour

Frascati wine tasting tourPhoto Credit: edusoft/Pixabay/CC0

Visit the Pallavicini, one of the oldest wineries in the famous Frascati region outside Rome and learn about the history of wine making dating back to ancient Rome.

You’ll get to taste the three flagship wines of the estate and enjoy the stories from the Pallavicini professional sommelier.

For more info visit: Frascati Wine Tasting Tour from Rome

99. Pasta cooking classes in Tuscany (day trip from Rome)

Pasta cooking classes in Tuscany (day trip from Rome)Photo Credit: Romi/Pixabay/CC0

Visit an organic, self-sustainable luxurious farm in Tuscany and learn how to pick, cook and eat a 3-course typical meal of the region.

Among many seasonal treats you can expect to learn how to make a perfect pasta and accompanying sauces, and enjoy some wine tasting as well.

For more info visit: Cooking Classes in Tuscany

Shopping

100. Via dei Condotti (Spanish Steps)

Via dei Condotti (Spanish Steps), RomePhoto Credit: Marc Climent/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you want get dazzled by the haute couture, designer shops and the ultimate high end in fashion – head straight to Via dei Condotti.

You’ll find Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Chanel and many others.

To top it all off, the classy Antico Caffe Greco is there too, the favorite spot of famous writers, poets and painters.

Ah dolce vita!

Address: Via dei Condotti, Rome

For more info visit: Via de Condotti Shopping Guide | In Rome Now.

 

101. Via Cola di Rienzo

Piazza del Risorgimento (branching to Via Cola di Rienzo), RomePhoto Credit: Jeremy Thompson/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Strangely lacking in hordes of tourists, this is where the locals come to shop.

The square called Piazza del Risorgimento (image above) branches into a number of streets, the most famous one being Via Cola di Rienzo for its shopping. The street stretches from the square all the way to the Ponte Regina Margherita on the river Tiber.

The sides of the street are lined with popular fashion brands as well as cafes and restaurants – perfect for a shopping trip.

Address: Via Cola di Rienzo, Rome

For more info: Shopping Guide by the Vatican | Romewise.

102. Galleria Alberto Sordi (formerly known as Galleria Colonna)

Galleria Alberto Sordi (formerly known as Galleria Colonna), RomePhoto Credit: Xiquinho Silva/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

If you are a combination of a foodie, a fashion addict, and an architecture buff, then this Galleria will not disappoint you.

Enjoy strolling around the designer shops inside the beautiful building, and treat yourself to a cappuccino before you head back to the ruins of the Eternal City.

Address: Piazza Colonna, Roma

For more info visit: Galleria Alberto Sordi

103. Campo de’Fiori

Campo de’Fiori, RomePhoto Credit: Randy OHC/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

One of the last open air markets in Rome, this square has had a turbulent history.

It used to be the location of public executions, and the statue of Giordano Bruno, the great thinker of the 16th century, reminds the visitors of that fact.

Today, the square is a lively market with stands of fruit, vegetables and anything else you can imagine. Stroll around the stands and listen to the friendly noise, and you might find some delicious locally produced olive oil or cheese to take home with you.

Address:

For more info visit: Campo dei Fiori | Eating Italy

Beaches

104. Ostia beaches

Ostia beachesPhoto Credit: Gilberto Gaudio/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

You can combine the visit to the Ostia Antica archaeological site with a visit to Ostia beach. You can take the same metro line that continues from Ostia Antica to the beaches, where you’ll find both paid and free swimming establishments.

There are facilities for changing clothes and many kiosks and restaurants for refreshments.

105. Sperlonga beach

Sperlonga beach, Tiberius VillaPhoto Credit: Andy Hay/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A bit further away to the south you get to Sperlonga, a picturesque town with Blue Flag sandy beaches.

Emperor Tiberius had a villa here in ancient times, as well as a secret grotto (cave), both of which can be visited in a museum today.

Go there by train from Rome to escape traffic (1 hour train + 30 minutes by bus) and you’ll be able to find bits of public beaches in addition to paid ones.

106. Anzio beach

Anzio beachPhoto Credit: Marika Bortolami/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Some 50 km (32 miles) southwest from Rome this town is known for its beaches, emperor Nero’s villa and the battle of Anzio in WWII where Allied Forces started the offensive for the liberation of Rome.

You can reach it in about 40 minutes by train and enjoy its Blue Flag sandy beaches and clear water, perfect on a hot summer day.

107. Santa Marinella beach

Santa Marinella beach, ItalyPhoto Credit: Zarya Maxim/Fotolia

This one’s to the northwest of Rome, on the way to Civitavecchia, the Rome’s access port for cruise and other ships.

An hour by train and you’re there, and you can choose either the paid or free beaches. The water is crystal clear and beaches usually less crowded than the other beach towns further to the south.

108. Fregene beach

Fregene beachPhoto Credit: Diego/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In addition to a great sandy beach and clear water Fregene is known for its lively nightlife.

Take a 30 minute train ride from Rome Termini station and hop on a bus and you’ll reach the beaches of Fregene. Make sure to taste the local seafood specialties and watch out for celebrities.

109. Sabaudia beaches

Sabaudia beachesPhoto Credit: Sergey Zhirnov/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Some of the more secluded beaches with considerably less crowd flowing in from Rome, these are Blue Flag, clean, quiet and pleasant beach escapes from the bustle of the capital.

The town is located to the south of Anzio and it offers paid and free sandy beaches, with crystal clear sea.

Day Trips

110. Tuscany day trip

Tuscany day tripPhoto Credit: monica_valladares/Pixabay/CC0

Come on, admit it. You dream of visiting the rolling hills, the colorful valleys, the distant stone houses, the cypress trees of one of the most romantic regions of the planet… Tuscany, indeed.

Get overwhelmed by this fairy-tale land by visiting Val d’Orcia, the iconic towns such as Montepulciano or UNESCO World Heritage Pienza. Indulge in wine tasting, and bring local wines and cheese back home to relive the experience.

You made it to Rome, you have to visit Tuscany as well! 🙂

For more info you can check out: Tuscany Day Trip from Rome

111. Assisi and Orvieto day trip

Assisi and Orvieto day tripPhoto Credit: Michela Simoncini/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

These two picture-perfect hilltop towns are instantly recognizable when you see them from afar.

You must have seen the images of Orvieto’s stunning 13th century Gothic cathedral that dominates this town, complete with its mosaics and sculptures.

The UNESCO World Heritage-protected Assisi is well known as the birth place of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy. You’ll enjoy quite an awe-inspiring view of its Basilica di San Francesco and the Convent of Santa Chiara as you approach the town.

Enjoy walking around these tiny towns and learn about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, while taking in the historic atmosphere and the easy going way of life here.

For more info you can check out: Assisi and Orvieto Day Trip

112. Naples day trip from Rome

Naples day trip from RomePhoto Credit: guglielmodesign/Pixabay/CC0

The city which lives under the mighty Vesuvius volcano, the birth place of pizza, the hub for exploring the Amalfi Coast and the nearby islands of Capri and Ischia… Naples is all that and much more thanks to its turbulent and colorful history and location.

Visit its key sights such as Piazza del Plebiscito, Castel dell’Ovo, Royal Palace and Galleria Umberto I, and walk through its bustling streets for the true feel of the south of Italy.

If you made it thus far, then make sure to visit the Pompeii, the ancient city buried under ashes for centuries after Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The experience is profound.

For more info you can check out: Naples and Pompeii Day Trip

113. Florence day trip from Rome

Florence day trip from RomePhoto Credit: MustangJoe/Pixabay/CC0

Visit the cradle of Renaissance, the city of art and romance!

Visit the world-famous Accademia Gallery and see David, Michelangelo’s vision of the perfect man. See the Duomo, the postcard-perfect dome of Florence’s cathedral, and walk across the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).

You can also visit the leather school to see where all that haute couture craft originated from.

For more info you can check out: Florence Day Trip from Rome

114. Tivoli day trip: Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa

Tivoli, Villa d'EstePhoto Credit: Neo_II/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Ah, you’re in for a treat here – a mix of Renaissance and Ancient villas for your exploring pleasure!

The son of Lucretia Borgia, the famous femme fatale of the Borgia dynasty, reconstructed and built Villa d’Este and its gardens, waterfalls and fountains with the help of an all-star team of artists. Its style has been copied in gardens all across Europe, and it’s a must-see.

Many centuries before the Borgia family, Emperor Hadrian built a retreat for himself to run the whole Roman Empire from here. The huge estate was essentially the whole court and today’s ruins illustrate its grandeur and prestige.

Both villas are UNESCO-protected sites and a must-visit on a day trip to Tivoli from Rome.

For more info you can check out: Villa d’Este official site, and for the tour ideas visit: Tivoli Day Trip from Rome.

115. Ostia Antica (Ancient Ostia) half-day trip

Ostia Antica (Ancient Ostia) half-day tripPhoto Credit: neufal54/Pixabay/CC0

Located at the mouth of river Tiber into the Mediterranean Sea, Ostia was Rome’s port of access in the ancient times.

Ostia Antica is a huge archaeologic site with superbly preserved frescoes, mosaics, buildings and streets, and it will truly take you back in time to its heyday.

Located just 30 km (19 miles) from Rome it’s a must-see for history and archaeology lovers.

For more info visit: Ostia Antica official site, and for tours you can check out: Ancient Ostia Half-Day Trip from Rome.

116. Pompeii day trip from Rome

Pompeii, ItalyPhoto Credit: Glen Scarborough/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Visit this incredible ancient city that was destroyed in the Vesuvius volcano eruption in 79 AD.

You’ll get to visualize how the ancient people of Naples lived more than 2,000 years ago. Walk through its astonishingly well preserved streets, buildings, squares and admire the survived frescoes. Get to learn the sad fate that buried this city under ashes for centuries.

Trek up the Vesuvius volcano and taste the famous Neapolitan pizza (as Naples claims to be the birthplace of pizza 🙂 ).

For more info you can check out: Pompeii Day Trip from Rome

117. Capri Day Trip

Capri, ItalyPhoto Credit: babusz/Pixabay/CC0

This classy, loved-by-celebrities-and-their-yachts island is in fact one of the most enchanting islands in the entire Mediterranean.

You can reach it from Rome via Naples by high-speed ferry, and you can marvel at its spell-binding nature. Make sure you visit the Blue Grotto, the timeless turquoise-water cave. Legend has it that it was used by emperor Tiberius to enjoy and take a break from running the Roman Empire.

Take in the view of the Bay of Naples and the Vesuvius volcano from Anacapri, and visit Villa San Michele or Monte Solaro for great views of the Faraglioni.

For more info visit: http://www.capri.com, and for tour ideas you can take a look at: Capri Day Trip from Rome.

118. Cinecitta Studios

Cinecitta StudiosPhoto Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Known as the Hollywood on Tiber, Cinecitta film studios were founded by Mussolini, the Fascist leader, in 1937.

Initially intended to produce propaganda material it evolved into the world famous site where grandiose productions were filmed. Notable movies filmed here include Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, spaghetti westerns such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as well as more recent Gangs of New York and BBC/HBO series Rome.

It was Federico Fellini who made a mark in the Cinecitta, having filmed his classic La Dolce Vita here.

You can take a tour of the sets, such as Renaissance Rome and Florence and others. Well worth a visit for film buffs.

Address: Via Tuscolana 1055, Rome

For info on tickets and opening hours visit: Cinecitta Studios

Weekend Trips from Rome

119. Cheap flights to other European cities

Lisbon, PortugalRome is one of Europe’s largest hubs for cheap flights to anywhere.

In case you managed to satiate your desires for everything Rome has to offer (doubtful, but let’s pretend for a moment 🙂 ), or would perhaps like to binge-visit a few other awesome cities of Europe (such as Barcelona, Athens, or Lisbon… or Istanbul, or Paris, or Venice, or…), you can get very cheap plane tickets from Rome to many of the top destinations in Europe.

Check out easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air,  Vueling, or Norwegian – why not go for a weekend trip to Lisbon? 🙂

120. Vie Francigene (Francigena Ways)

Vie Francigene (Francigena Ways), RomePhoto Credit: Visit Tuscany/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

While these tours can take much longer than a weekend trip, there are various tour options here as this is such a unique trip that it’s impossible to not mention it in the ultimate list of things to do in Rome such as this one. 🙂

This is an ancient pilgrim road that leads from as far as Kent, Canterbury in England through France, Switzerland and Italy all the way to Rome.

In the 10th century Sigeric the Serious, the Archbishop of Canterbury, followed the Francigena Way to Rome and back, on foot. Since then, there have been many different variants of this road, and enthusiasts have revived them in recent years.

There is a tour that starts at Orvieto in Italy and leads to St. Peter’s Square in Rome in 9 days.

You can check it our here: Orvieto to Rome

For more info on accommodation and tours visit: Vie Francigene

Cruises from Rome

121. Mediterranean cruises from Rome

Mediterranean cruises from RomeRome is the most visited destination on Mediterranean cruise itineraries. Every cruise line has it in its itinerary.

Rome’s port of call is Civitavecchia, the port city to its northwest, and hour away by train. All the major, luxury and high end cruise lines visit Rome on their Mediterranean travels.

Check out, for example, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Princess, Norwegian, MSC, Cunard, Holland America, Azamara, Costa or Crystal cruises.

Rome is a great destination for cruise and stay holidays, and you can spend a week before or after your cruise in the Eternal City and get to know it by heart! 🙂


Conclusion

Well there's your ultimate bucket list of the things to do in Rome. 🙂

Such a spectacular, historic city that's been the center of the Ancient World for centuries will lure you into its secret gardens, tiny alleys, vast ancient ruins, spectacular views and its easy going cafes and restaurants.

Do yourself a favor and visit Rome, you'll be back for more in no time!