Top Things to do in Rome
A stroll in Rome will take you through 2,750 years of history. Walking the cobblestoned streets of one of the most ancient cities in the world is fascinating – the piazzas, fountains, museums, churches & palaces are architectural wonders.
The locals and food bring this city to life. There’s so much to see, you’ll want to wander this city day and night.
Here’s a list of the Top 15 Things to Do in Rome.
WHAT TO DO
First on our top things to do in Rome! Reserve a local guide from Context Travel who can uncover the artistic, religious and historical layers, and provide insights to the sights you see. It’s the best way to explore this city, and get familiar with the historic sites and neighborhoods. Context Travel helps to custom design your tour to meet your interests.
You’ll also learn some local tips on the best place for pasta, pizza, and gelato from these local guides. See restaurant recommendations below.
Vatican Museum & St. Peter’s Square & Basilica:
Vatican City is a small sovereign state within Rome, and the official residence of the Pope. If you can spend a day here, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic Church in the world accommodating 60,000 people & see the Michelangelo designed dome; St. Peter’s Square, designed by Bernini with 140 saints on top an elliptical colonnade, & the Vatican Museum Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and long hallways of art treasures. Don’t Miss! Every Wednesday, Pope Francis speaks to the masses from St. Peter’s Square, and blesses the crowds.
Via del Corso:
Walk the main street in Rome and you’ll find shops, churches, palaces from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Venezia.
This marble fountain is huge at 85 ft high and takes up an entire city block! It’s the most beautiful fountain in Rome, symbolizing the Baroque era.Neptune stands in the center with the Ocean and Tritons on his side. Don’t Forget! Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain for luck. This is a classic must see on any top things to do in Rome list! Stop for a gelato at Giolitti one of the oldest and most famous gelato and pastry cafes in Rome.
At the base of the Spanish Steps, is one of the most famous piazzas in Rome called the Piazza di Spagna with a fountain in the shape of a boat designed by Bernini. At the top of the steps, next to Trinita dei Monti church, you can have views of the 7 hills of Rome.
Built 2,000 years ago, this church is best visited during the day when you see light coming through the small opening in the dome. Also, beautiful at night when it’s lit up!
Known as one of the most serene piazzas in the city, many locals and visitors come here to see Bernini’s fountain that represents the Four Rivers of the World – Nile, Ganges, Danube & Rio de la Plata.
This castle turned fortress was built by Emperor Hadrian as his mausoleum.
Tour the biggest amphitheater ever built! Finished in 80 AD by 20,000 prisoners and slaves, at 150 ft high. Walk through the 3-tiers of 80 arched passageways, where 55,000 spectators watched gladiators duel with wild beasts in brutal deadly fights. Such a historic site is one you wont want to miss on your trip to Rome!
The Forum and Palatine Hill:
The ancient center of Rome was in the Forum and Palatine Hill where ruins from palaces and temples stand today.
Drive a Vintage Fiat through Rome!
The Fiat 500 Vintage brings back Rome of 1950 – 70’s. Rome 500 Experience brings old Rome to life and customizes authentic experiences for visitors who want to rent a vintage Fiat or a Vespa.
Whether you have 3 hours, a whole day or a week in Rome, Rome 500 EXP will cater to your interests. Coast along the cobble stone roads of Rome in a red vintage Fiat on your own or with a chauffeur/guide and you’ll hear the stories of Rome. Our guide Jack was born in Rome and knows it well. He will dazzle you with his charm, knowledge and fashionable attire as he takes you down the roads of Rome.
Take a day trip to Tivoli, Villa D’Este or Lake Bracciano, OR a night tour of Rome OR celebrate a wedding OR have a picnic looking over ancient Rome – we highly recommend this experience!
Visit a Neighborhood – Trastevere:
One of the most charming neighborhoods in Rome. Worth a visit – dine at a trattoria, walk the streets and see how locals live.
Bocca della Verita:
Visit the popular “Mouth of Truth”, a man-like face with an open mouth, located at the portico of Santa Maria Church. Legend has it that if a liar puts their hand in the mouth, they will lose it.
Local Markets – Campo dei Fiori AND/OR Romani dei Roma at Testaccio’s:
Experience a colorful and picturesque outdoor market.
Visit the “new” Monti and find fashion boutiques. Such a fun way to finish up our top things to do in Rome!
WHERE TO STAY
Best Value Stay in Rome
The Beehive: Described as a “stylish, budget, eco-conscious” hotel owned by an American couple who moved to Rome. We heard this is a great place to stay where you can also find organic, healthy meals. Check out The Beehive Guide, click here where you’ll find lots of ideas on what to do in Rome, where to eat, etc.
Mid-Range Price Stay in Rome
- Pantheon View Bed & Breakfast: Excellent location near the Pantheon, heart of ancient Rome, within walking distance to most major sights in Rome.
- Hotel Locarno: A romantic hotel with a garden, located in the center of Rome, close to Piazza del Popolo.
Luxury Hotel and Stay in Rome
Hassler Roma: A luxury hotel located at the top of the Spanish Steps with panoramas of the eternal city down below.
- Piperno: For some of the best homemade pasta in Rome, book a reservation at this intimate restaurant that dates back to 1860. Each morning, 80 yr old Rena makes the pasta by hand and its some of the freshest pasta you’ll ever taste.
- Duecentogradi: Create your own panino, served on homemade bread and selecting from 60 toppings from olive tapenade, smoked swordfish and truffle oil. Located in Piazza Risorgimento 3, near the Vatican.
- Osteria Dell’Angelo: A classic Roman trattoria, where you can find a traditional meal like spaghetti carbonara, and everything from Roman classics – antipasti to dolci. Via Giovanni Bettola 24
- Pizzarium: Pizza by the slice with naturally-leavened dough & unique toppings, like pumpkin puree with provolone cheese, or artichokes with gorgonzola. Near the Vatican Museums at Via della Meloria, 43.
- Other Restaurant Recommendations: Take a look at The Beehive Guide with restaurant recommendations for Rome.
Interested in going on a trip like this one? Email Info@GlobalAdventuress.com to have a custom trip planned just for you!
Global Adventuress would like to GRAZIE to Context Travel for our insightful tour of Rome, and to Rome500Exp for a fabulous ride in a vintage Fiat, and to Rome Chauffeur for transferring us from Rome to our Holland America Cruise Ship!
We also would thank Travelpro for the carry-on spinner suitcase, a favorite of travel crews and avid travelers, as well as DK Travel Rome travel guide.
Context Travel: Context Travel provides Private Guides and (Very) Small Group Tours for the Intellectually Curious Traveler. Our guide, Giovanna Terzulli is an art historian and licensed guide of Rome and was fantastic!
Rome Chauffeur: Rome Chauffeur provides Transfers and Tours with professional chauffeurs. A private limousine service company that offers personalized Day Tours from Rome to Livorno, Naples, Umbria, Amalfi Coast & more; Shore Excursions from Italy’s top cruise ports, Airport Transfers from Fiumicino Airport and Ciampino Airport, and Civitavecchia Port Transfers. Our experience with Rome Chauffeur was fantastic! Irene was our driver, and she was courteous and knowledgeable about the area. Our deluxe car was comfortable, and we felt safe throughout the transfer.
Rome 500 Experience: Experience Rome in a unique way, drive a vintage Fiat 500 through Rome. Rome 500 Experience will help you customize your day with a day tour, a picnic, wine tasting, sight-seeing, wedding celebration- whatever you want to do!
TRAVEL PRODUCTS & SERVICES
DK Travel: Excellent travel guide books with helpful maps, inspiring images, and lots of great information to help you plan your travels.
TravelPro: High quality luggage, preferred by flight crews, frequent travelers, and the Global Adventuress Team.
TRAVEL INFORMATION & ADVISORIES
U.S. Passports & International Travel: The U.S. Department of State provides helpful information at this site including passport & visa requirements, embassy locations, and safety & security.