Best Things to Do in Rome

best things to do in rome italytripguide


Hello fellow traveler, and welcome to “MyItalyTrip” blog. Today we’ll be exploring the eternal city – Rome. With an intriguing blend of the past and the present, this city truly has it all. So let’s dive into the best things to do in Rome and get lost in the city’s charm.

A Brief History of Rome

The Roman Empire

Rome’s history is like no other. Stepping foot in the city is like stepping into a time machine, back when the Roman Empire ruled. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and its history is just as vast and layered as the city itself.

Modern Rome

Fast forward to today, and Rome is the bustling capital of Italy. It’s a cosmopolitan city with a myriad of attractions that seamlessly marries the old with the new.

Best Things to Do in Rome

Now let’s delve into the heart of Rome’s appeal – the mesmerizing experiences it offers. From its historical marvels to the vibrancy of its culture and the allure of outdoor exploits, Rome ensures a captivating journey for every traveler.

Historical Attractions

The Colosseum

Indeed, no journey to Rome can be deemed complete without setting foot in the iconic Colosseum. This mammoth amphitheater, which stands as a testament to Roman engineering prowess, was where gladiatorial combats and public spectacles were held. With a capacity to seat around 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum is an architectural marvel that still resonates with the might and grandeur of the erstwhile Roman Empire. Its timeless allure draws millions of visitors each year, all eager to witness firsthand the living remnants of a bygone era. So, immerse yourself in its ancient aura, visualize the pulse-pounding spectacles, and let the weight of its rich historical legacy truly sink in.

The Roman Forum

Our next destination is the Roman Forum. Once the pulsating core of the Roman Empire, this vast area was the epicenter of political discourse, economic transactions, and religious ceremonies. Today, it’s an intricate patchwork of historical ruins – temples, arches, and government buildings, each holding tales of Rome’s grand past. Walking amidst these remnants offers a direct portal to ancient times, vividly bringing to life the Rome of Julius Caesar and Augustus.

Palatine Hill

Just nearby the Roman Forum lies Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. Rich in mythology and history, it’s where Rome’s founding story originates. Once home to emperors and aristocrats, it’s now a peaceful retreat with picturesque ruins. The top of the hill provides a magnificent view, encompassing the Colosseum, the Forum, and the entire city, adding a new perspective to Rome’s historical majesty.

Cultural Attractions

Vatican City

Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, is a must-visit destination. This city-state is not just the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, but also a treasure trove of art and history. Its main attractions include St. Peter’s Basilica, with its stunning Michelangelo-designed dome, and the Apostolic Palace, the Pope’s residence, which houses the world-renowned Sistine Chapel. Additionally, the extensive collections of the Vatican Museums make Vatican City a cultural powerhouse, offering a rich blend of historical and spiritual experiences.

The Sistine Chapel

Situated within Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is a masterpiece of Renaissance art. Its most iconic feature is the elaborate ceiling fresco by Michelangelo, which includes nine panels depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis. The most recognized among these is ‘The Creation of Adam,’ representing the moment God gave life to Adam. In addition to the ceiling, Michelangelo’s magnificent ‘The Last Judgment’ adorns the chapel’s altar wall. These awe-inspiring artworks imbue the chapel with an extraordinary blend of spiritual and artistic significance.

The Vatican Museums

Wrapping up your Vatican City exploration, the Vatican Museums are a must-visit. Hosting one of the world’s most significant art collections, they offer a unique blend of art and history. With pieces ranging from ancient Egypt to the late Renaissance, the museums house around 70,000 works, including classical sculptures, exquisite tapestries, and stunning frescoes. Key attractions include the Raphael Rooms, the Borgia Apartments, and the Museo Pio-Clementino. A tour through these museums is essentially a journey through the evolution of Western art, offering a valuable experience for art enthusiasts and history lovers.

Outdoor Attractions

Villa Borghese Gardens

For those who love nature, the Villa Borghese Gardens are a must-visit spot in Rome. This sprawling park in the city’s heart offers a peaceful escape, with beautifully landscaped lawns, diverse plant life, and peaceful ponds. Besides natural beauty, it also hosts several buildings and museums, including the notable Galleria Borghese. Whether you prefer a gentle walk, a boating session on the lake, or a tranquil picnic, these gardens provide a perfect retreat from the city’s lively pace.

The Spanish Steps

Another intriguing outdoor destination in Rome is the Spanish Steps. Located in the bustling Piazza di Spagna, this monumental stairway of 135 steps is one of the longest and widest in Europe. Often teeming with locals and tourists, it’s an excellent spot for people-watching and experiencing Rome’s vibrant atmosphere. Nearby attractions include the Barcaccia Fountain, the Keats-Shelley House museum, and the shopping district of Via dei Condotti. Whether you’re resting, seeking artistic inspiration, or savoring a gelato, the Spanish Steps offer a unique slice of Roman life.

Piazza Navona

Cap off your day in Rome at Piazza Navona, one of the city’s most beautiful and lively squares. Retaining the shape of an ancient Roman stadium, this square is renowned for its stunning Baroque architecture, particularly the fountains like the central Fountain of the Four Rivers. The plaza is alive with street artists, musicians, and bustling outdoor cafes. As night falls, the square takes on a magical ambiance with lit fountains and vibrant street life. A visit here offers a truly authentic Roman experience, making it the perfect place to end your day.

Food in Rome

Traditional Cuisine

When in Rome, tasting the traditional cuisine is an experience not to be missed. From the creamy pasta Carbonara and simple yet flavorful Cacio e Pepe to the crunchy street food delight of Supplì, Rome offers a wide array of gastronomic delights. Don’t miss out on the uniquely Roman Pizza al Taglio, sold by weight with various toppings, and the traditional dishes like Carciofi alla Romana and Saltimbocca. And of course, no Roman meal is complete without a scoop of rich, creamy Italian Gelato. Pair these with a local wine, and you’ll truly get a taste of ‘La Dolce Vita’.

Best Restaurants

Rome boasts a vibrant dining scene with options ranging from gourmet restaurants to charming pizzerias. La Pergola offers a high-end dining experience as Rome’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant, while Armando al Pantheon is renowned for traditional Roman dishes. For pizza lovers, Pizzarium offers Rome’s unique Pizza al Taglio, while Mercato Testaccio is a must-visit for street food enthusiasts. For dessert, consider a visit to Gelateria dei Gracchi, known for its wide range of natural gelato flavors. Whether you’re a fine dining aficionado or a fan of casual eateries, Rome’s diverse food scene has something for everyone.

Shopping in Rome

Local Markets

Rome’s local markets offer a unique and vibrant shopping experience. The historic Campo de’ Fiori Market is perfect for fresh produce and local specialties, while the Porta Portese Market is a haven for antiques and second-hand treasures. For fashion enthusiasts, the trendy Mercato Monti showcases local designers and unique finds. The Mercato delle Stampe is ideal for vintage prints and books, and food lovers will enjoy the delicious offerings at Mercato Testaccio. Exploring these markets not only offers a variety of shopping options but also provides an authentic glimpse into Rome’s local lifestyle.

High-End Shopping

Via Condotti, near the iconic Spanish Steps, is Rome’s premier destination for luxury shopping. This elegant street is lined with flagship stores of international and Italian luxury brands, including Prada, Gucci, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Bulgari, among others. Along with high-end fashion, it features fine jewelry stores, upscale homeware, and art galleries. While indulging in a shopping spree, visitors can also soak up the historic charm of the street and take a coffee break at Antico Caffè Greco, Rome’s oldest coffee bar. Via Condotti is not just a shopping hub but a destination offering a slice of Roman elegance.

Souvenirs to Buy

Picking up souvenirs is a great way to cherish memories of your Rome trip. You can opt for historical miniatures like the Colosseum or St. Peter’s Basilica. Italian treats like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or traditional sweets can serve as delightful reminders of Italian cuisine. For style enthusiasts, Italian leather goods are a perfect choice. ‘SPQR’ merchandise or artistic prints of Roman landmarks offer unique options, while commissioning a bespoke piece from a local street artist can add a personal touch. Ultimately, the best souvenir is one that resonates with your Rome experience.

Nightlife in Rome

Live Music Venues

Rome offers a thriving live music scene for music lovers. The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the summer opera at the Baths of Caracalla cater to opera and classical music fans. The Auditorium Parco della Musica, home to one of the world’s oldest musical institutions, hosts orchestral performances. Jazz enthusiasts can enjoy performances at Alexanderplatz Jazz Club and Casa del Jazz. Alternative music listeners can head to Monk Club or Init Club for indie, rock, and electronic gigs. Summer months also bring outdoor music festivals like Villa Ada Roma Incontra il Mondo and Rock in Roma, offering something for everyone.


Theatre in Rome offers a wide spectrum of performances, catering to diverse tastes. The historic Teatro Argentina hosts a variety of shows from dramas to comedies. Classical theatre enthusiasts can enjoy Greek and Roman plays at Teatro di Marcello or Shakespearean plays at the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre. Teatro Brancaccio is known for its musical theatre, ballet, and concerts, while Teatro India showcases contemporary and experimental theatre. Smaller theatres scattered across the city and street performances in piazzas also contribute to the vibrant theatrical scene in Rome.


And there you have it, the ultimate guide to immersing yourself in the wonders of Rome. Remember, the magnificence of Rome wasn’t established overnight, and it’s unrealistic to experience all its charms in a single visit. So take your time, let the city’s rich history wash over you, indulge in its mouth-watering cuisine, and most importantly, savor every second of your memorable journey in Rome.


1. How many days do I need in Rome?

Ideally, you would need at least 3-4 days to explore the city and experience the best things to do in Rome.

2. Do I need to know Italian to get around Rome?

While it’s always helpful to know a few phrases in the local language, most people in tourist areas speak English.

3. Are the historical sites in Rome wheelchair accessible?

Most historical sites in Rome have made efforts to improve accessibility, but it’s best to check ahead.

4. Where can I try the best gelato in Rome?

Rome has numerous gelaterias, each with their unique recipes. Some of the popular ones are Gelateria dei Gracchi, Fatamorgana, and Giolitti.

5. Is Rome expensive?

Rome can be as expensive or as budget-friendly as you make it. There are plenty of options for accommodation, dining, and activities to suit all budgets.

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