Visiting Rome and planning things to do? You'll have a hard time to choose because there are so many sights to see and thing to do in this beautiful Italian city. From exploring historical sights, visiting endless museums and galleries, tasting delicious food and wines, walking the green parks, go shopping...
We compiled the list of the thing we thing are the best choice to do when visiting Rome.
The Colosseum is the most visited sight in Rome and Italy and you shouldn't miss it when in Rome. The largest amphitheatre in the world, the Colosseum can hold up to 80000 people and it's magnificent to explore it. It's easily accessible from anywhere in Rome (by metro or taxi), or on foot if you are staying somewhere in the historic centre. Nerva Boutique hotel is a great place to stay, situated just across the Colosseum.
Most of the times, you'll find lines to enter the Colosseum, so maybe it's good advice to book skip-the-line tickets which allows you smooth and quick entrance. Once there you'll need around 2-3 hours to explore and capture some great photos of this Roman sight.
To get to know more, consider joining a guided tour and learn about Roman history from a local guide.
Also, combine a visit to Colosseum with a visit to nearby Roman Forum (once the center of ancient Rome, with temples, courts, markets and buildings which are now ruins you can explore; get a great view of the Eternal City from the Palatine and Capitoline hils). It helps to have a guide who can bring the stories to life!
You’ll see remnants of Imperial Rome extending beyond the limits of the Forum to include Trajan’s Column, the Arch of Titus, and the Circus Maximus.
Choose from a combined ticket for the Roman Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine Hill, which grants access to all three sites (€16 per person), or opt for the Full Experience ticket (€24 per person), which adds on access to the arena floor and underground areas.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS NEARBY: Nerva Boutique Hotel
While in Rome be sure to visit Saint Peter's Square and basilica which can be easily reached from other parts of Rome by metro or on foot.
During the summer season you'll find long lines to enter to Saint Peter's Basilica but it's worth visiting (it's free). Once you get inside you can admire the beautiful altars and masterpieces of Italian art (Bernini’s masterful altarpiece—the great bronze Baldacchino—and Michelangelo’s Pietà).
If you are not afraid of height and don't suffer from claustrophobia, climb to the top of dome from where you can capture stunning views of the area.
If you come in the right time, you can see the Pope giving his blessing from the balcony.
Is there a best way to explore any destination than through local food? With food places on every corner, Rome is ideal for this. We suggest you to take a food tour at the beginning of your stay, to reveal the best places to eat during the rest of your stay.
There are varierty of food tours on offer in Rome and each one explores specific neighbourhood of Rome. Some tours goes to Jewish Ghetto and Campo de' fiori, other take participants to Trionfale market in Rome while some explore Testaccio, the home of authentic Roman food knows as "cucina povera".
On these tours you'll taste a loads of pasta, Roman thin-crust pizza, arancini, suppli, fried artichokes, prosciutto and cheeses, Sicilian sweets as well as the best gelatos in the city.
One of our favourite Rome's food tours are: Jewish Ghetto and Campo de' Fiori night food tour (combining sightseeing and food tasting) and Food tour of Prati neighbourhood (close to Vatican) with a visit to Trionfale market.
When in Rome, be sure to explore it's beautiful parks and gardens - you'll enjoy and it doesn't cost a thing. The most famous is Rome's central park, Villa Borghese, which can be easily walked to if you are staying in historic centre.
This park covers about 100 acres of wooden glades, gardens and grassy banks and offers plenty of space to run around. Among its attractions are the landscaped Giardino del Lago, Piazza di Siena, a dusty arena used for Rome’s top equestrian event in May, and a panoramic terrace on the Pincio Hill.
Bike hire is available at various points, including the Bici Pincio kiosk in the southern part of the park, as are four-seater electric bikes.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS NEARBY: Magica Luna Boutique Hotel
Shopping in Rome is a great way to spend your time between sightseeing and sampling delicious food. You might expect that you'll find only designer boutiques and jewellers here, but be sure that you'll find also vintage products to buy as well as great food products.
For regular clothes and cosmetics head to Via del Corso, where you'll find global stores like H&M, Zara and Gap alonside well-known Italian brands like Benetton and Intimissimi. This is a place to go if you need a pair of jeans, new shoes or cosmetics.
Another shopping street is Via Cola di Rienzo (close to Vatican), where you'll find a range of stores as well as Coin department store. Here you'll find also Castroni store, offering a wide range of authentic Italian products (pasta, pesto, olive oils, coffee, teas, nuts, sweets and much more; you'll find here some products you won't find in regular food stores).
Head to Via Nazionale, a long street not far away from Termini Station (catch here trains to other Italian cities as well as Leonardo Express train to Fiumicino Airport), for another great shopping day.
If looking for luxury goods, fashion and accessories, visit La Rinascente, Italy's iconic department store, which can be found at two locations in Rome: one central along Via del Tritone (only a short walk from both the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps) and the other one in Piazza Fiume (near Villa Borghese). If you get hungry while shopping, take a lift to the top of stores, where you'll find restaurants offering decent meals.
While in Rome, don't skip tasting delicious Italian gelato you can find all around the Rome. Not all gelaterias offer authentic gelato, so be sure to choose the right one. Look for artisanal gelato, which are usually kept in metal containers with lids. Skip large piles of gelato with bright colours - this is not authentic gelato!
Still not sure you can track down the best gelato on your own? Fatamorgana and Gelateria dei Gracchi each have several branches dotted around the centre. We love Verde Pistacchio at the top of Via Nazionale.
Other top gelato shop is Hedera Gelateria, only a short walk from Sant Peter's Square (offering also sweets).
Visiting local food market, that can be found in almost every neighbourhood, is a great way to experience everyday life of Romans as well as learn a little bit of Italian.
Close to Vatican, you'll find Trionfale Market - really huge market where you can find quality produce: fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, fresh pasta, baked goods, all kind of fresh meat, fish and seafood as well as offer of wines. If you are staying in the apartment, stock up delicious ingredients and prepare amazing Italian meal.
Another great market is the one at Testaccio, where you can find delicious made food you can eat there or take away.