101 best things to do in Rome, by a local. Why stop at the top 10 things to do in Rome if you can have over 100 ideas for the best experiences and places to explore in Rome! Updated June 2022.
There are so many things to do in Rome, we locals love to say a lifetime is not enough to see them all.
So much so, that I started out with a list of 10 best things to do in Rome but then found myself incapable of stopping.
So, here we are: a list of 100 of the best things to do in Rome, including Rome must famous sites, hidden gems and experiences you don’t want to miss in the eternal city.
Please note: this post contains affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission.
Visit the breathtaking Colosseum
A list of the best things to do in Rome can only start with a mention of the most famous Rome’s landmark of all: the Colosseum!
Located in the center of the modern city, the antiquity’s most famous amphitheater is as wonderful as its fame suggests and a Rome must see.
There is a large choice of tickets and tours to choose from, ranging from standard entry to full tours including underground areas and gladiator gate.
You can visit the Colosseum on its own or in conjunction with other parts of its archaeological park, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
You can find here >>> my guide to the best tickets to see the Colosseum
Walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is what remains of the ancient city of Rome, a large archaeological park complete with roads, temples, statues and triumphal arches dating from the foundation of Rome, through to the Roman Republic and then imperial times.
The Forum is part of ‘Parco Colosseo, the same archaeological park that includes the Colosseum and the Palatine HIll and can be visited alone of in conjunction with the amphitheater.
You can find here >>> my visitors’ guide to the Roman Forum
Discover where Rome was founded with a walk up the Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill is one of the historical seven hills of Rome and one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
Located above the Roman Forum and accessible via the same ticket, the Palatine is the place where Romulus founded Rome as well as where the Emperors built their impressive palaces.
The Palatine is one of the most scenic parts of Rome and while often overlooked in favour of the Colosseum and the Forum, it is more scenic than both and a Rome must see.
You can find here >>> My visitors’ guide to the Palatine Hill in Rome
Take a stroll on Via dei Fori Imperiali
Via dei Fori Imperiali is a large, modern road now crossing the area of the Roman Fora and the Colosseum.
Build during Fascist Times, the road is closed to traffic and it a wonderful places for a stroll: along it, you will see the (modern) statues of Rome’s most important emperors and you will catch stunning views of the Republican and imperial fora, as well as of the Colosseum.
Visit St Peter’s Basilica
St Peters’ basilica at the Vatican has unparalleled importance for Catholics but you don’t need to have religious beliefs to enjoy it.
Large, stunning and filled with art, the basilica is decorated by so many masterpieces that it is basically a museum. Among the most famous there are the Pieta’ by Michelangelo and the baldaquin by Bernini, both stunning and significant.
You can find here >>> our visitors’ guide to St peter’s Basilica
Learn the secrets of the colonnade in St Peter’s Square
St Peter’s Square is the stunning, monumental square in front of St Peter’s Basilica.
Designed by Bernini, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome and it hides a secret: if you stand in specific spots, marked on the ground, you will notice a special optic trick Bernini applied, to add variety and a sense of wonder to its creation.
Did it pique your attention?
Read here >>> all you need to know about St Peter’s square and its secrets
Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel before the crowds
The Vatican Museums are among the most famous art museums in the world and hosts masterpieces such as the statue of the Laocoon, the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelos’ Last Judgement and Raphael Rooms.
The Museums are stunning and very popular; so popular, in fact, that the crowds can be excessive.
For the best experience, I highly recommend you opt for an early morning tours, so you can get into the Sistine Chapel before the doors open for the general public.
You can find here >>> my full guide to visiting the Vatican
Admire Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is one of the most famous squares in Rome, one that has been depicted in almost all movies set in Rome!
The piazza is the old stadium of Emperor Diocletian and it is famous for being home the stunning Fountain of the Four rivers by Bernini as well as the stunning church of Santa Agnese in Agone.
Enjoying Piazza Navona is easy.
Located in Rome city center, you can access it day and night and you can spend as much time as you please walking around or sitting on one of the benches and watch life go by.
Several restaurants line the piazza but careful of tourist traps.
If you want something special I recommend Terrazza Borromini. This is a panoramic terrace on top of the hotel Eitch Borromini and it is a wonderful place for a drink or an elegant dinner overlooking the piazza!
You can read here >>> my guide to Piazza Navona
Admire the sky from inside the Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Rome.
The Pantheon is an ancient Roman temple dating from the I century then turned into a Christian Church and it is the best-preserved ancient Roman building in the city.
The building has a peculiar round shape that is not unique in the city but nonetheless peculiar and has a round hole on top that has piqued the curiosity of countless generations of locals and visitors, intrigued by its origin and role.
The Pantheon is a beautiful building with peculiar architecture and history and it overlooks one of the most scenic squares in Rome. These are all reasons that make me list a visit as one of the top 10 things to do in Rome!
You can find here >>> my guide to the Rome Pantheon
Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
Throwing a coin above your shoulder and into the Trevi fountains is one of the most touristy things you can do in Rome but an unmissable one!
The legend says that if you throw a coin into the fountain you will come back to Rome and this small act is so popular and iconic for this location, no matter how jaded a traveler you may be, you will most likely get a giggle doing it!
As you partake in this tradition, make sure you also spend time admiring the fountain: it is a sculpture masterpiece and one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome.
The best time to visit is the evening, when the crowds subside and the fountain lighting makes it spark.
You can find here >>> my guide to seeing the Trevi Fountain.
Walk down the Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are one of the most iconic sites in Rome. They are a monumental staircase connecting Piazza di Spagna with the top of the hill overlooking the square and it is open to visitors.
As you climb up, you will see the Barcaccia, a famous fountain by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the staircase itself, the beautiful church of Trinita’ de’ Monti with its distinctive towers, an ancient obelisk and, finally, incredible views over Rome!
You can find here >>> my guide to visiting Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps
Have aperitivo in Campo de’ Fiori
One of the most pleasant things to do in Rome is sitting in a beautiful piazza sipping aperitivo and one of the best places to do so is Campo de’ Fiori.
Campo de’ Fiori is a beautiful piazza in Rome city center which retained most of its medieval appearance.
Originally a market square, Campo de’ Fiori is a popular hangout in the evening thanks to the many cafes and restaurants opening onto its car-free center and it is also famous for the presence of the statue of Giordano Bruno, one of the most interesting statues in Rome.
You can read all about Campo de’ Fiori here.
Explore pretty Trastevere
Trastevere is a famous neighborhood in Rome, mostly knowns for being a foodie district and a photographer’s paradise.
Indeed, Trastevere is both these things!
Located on the other side of the River Tiber than the historical center, the area has charming cobbled streets, pretty corners, artisan shops and more restaurants than you could try in a lifetime!
Parts of this area are popular and busy, some quiet and wonderful.
Find here >>> our recommended Trastevere itinerary
Cool down with a traditional grattachecca
The best way to cool down while visiting Rome in summer?
Indulging in a traditional grattacheccha! Only sold in selected locations in the city, grattachetta is the local interpretation os shaved ice and a delicious treat for children and adults alike
You can read here >>> where to find Rome’s real grattacheccha
Have real cacio e pepe in Testaccio
Testaccio is a traditional, authentic Rome neighborhood immediately outside Romes’ historical center.
Blessed with a large number of restaurants and clubs, it is one of the most popular areas for evenings out. Students enjoy its many dancing venue but foodies prefer it for dinner.
Among the many foodie spots in Testaccio shines Da Felice, a restaurant known for making the best cacio e pepe in Rome!
Have real carbonara
Carbonara is fro Rome and you cannot say you have ever really tasted it if you haven’t had it in the eternal City!
My favcorite places for it is Mimi and Coco, in Via del Governo Vecchio.
Find more tips here >>> our guide to Rome for foodies
Taste Maritozzo from Regoli
Maritozzo is a sweet brioche type sweet typical of Rome.
You find it in many places around the city however, the place for it is Regoli, always considered the best address for maritozzi in Rome!
Discover Rome ith a fun Treasure hunt (not just for kids!)
A really fun way to discover Rome is participating in a treasuin a self guided treasure hunt!
The hunt is organised by the Museums Mostra di Leoanrdo and allows you to discover Rome main sties and hidden gems in a fun and interactive way.
Perfect for families and groups of friends!
Admire Michelangelo’s Campidoglio Square
Campidoglio Square, Piazza del Campidoglio, is at the top of the Capitoline Hill, one of the ancient seven hills of Rome, and it is a marvel.
Ancient in origin, it acquired the appearance we see today in the XVI century, when Michelangelo redesigned it, and it is one of the most beautiful and interesting spots in Rome.
Here you can admire the square itself, visit the wonderful Capitoline Museums and admire a fantastic view over the Forum also.
You can find here >>> my guide to visiting the Capitoline Hill
Catch a night view over the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum gets lit up at night and there is no better place to admire it than the back of Piazza del Campidoglio.
Come here after dark, pass the statue of Marcus Aurelius, walk to the back of the square and let your jaw drop in from of one of the most beautiful views over Rome.
Visit the Borghese Gallery
The Borghese Gallery is one of the most famous museums in Rome and one of the most significant art collections in the world.
A treasure trove of paintings and sculptures, the Gallery hosts masterpieces by Bernini, Canova, Raphael, Botticelli and many more.
If you love art, this is one of the best things to do in Rome bar none.
You can find here >>> our visitors’ guide to the Borghese Gallery
Spend and afternoon cycling and relaxing in the Borghese Gardens
The Borghese Gardens, now Villa Borghese, are a large, stunning park in Rome city center.
Once the private estate of the Borghese family and are now a public space with playgrounds, restaurants, Rome zoo and a beautiful be levered terrace.
They are also the home to one of the most beautiful museums in Rome and in the world, the Borghese Gallery, famous for an outstanding collection of sculptures especially.
You can find here >>> my guide to visiting the Borghese Gardens
Now that you have ticked off your Rome bucket list the top ten things to do in Rome, I hope you will have the desire and wish to tap into many more!
Visit Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo is the only castle in Rome.
Located on the banks of the River Tiber, it is the ancient mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and, over the course of the centuries, it changed its appearance and role, to become a papal fortress.
The castle is stunning inside and out and a Rome must-see.
Not to the missed is the walk on its bastions and the entrance to the passetto, the secret passage that allowed the Pope to escape from the Vatican to the castle in case of danger.
You can find here >>> my guide to visiting Castel Sant’Angelo
Climb to the top of Vittoriano
Vittoriano is one of the most famous and recognisable monuments in Rome.
White and huge, it overlooks Piazza Venezia and it is the altar to the Fatherlands, the home to the unknown soldier, an exhibition area and a viewing terrace.
It is a polarising monument, one people love to hate, so to speak (it is often called ‘the typewriter’ or, in English. ‘the wedding cake’ due to its funny appearance) but it is one worth visiting for its historical value, symbolism and for the stunning views from its top.
It is also free and centrally located, so adding it to your Rome itinerary is easily done!
You can read here >>> how to visit the Vittoriano.
Experience Rome’s charming Monti District
The Monti District is a beautiful, historical and immensely charming Rome neighborhood.
Located in between the Colosseum and Termini station, Monti is blessed with delightful cobbled streets, atmospheric corners, pretty cafes, vintage shops and glorious churches.
You can find here >>> our visitors’ guide to the Monti District of Rome
Admire the incredible mosaics of Santa Prassede
Santa Prassede is one of the most beautiful churches in Rome and one of the most unique since it hold mosaics in Byzantine style, unique in the city!
The church is a must see for mosaic lovers and it ha particular meaning to religious visitors since it also hosts an important relic connected to the Passion of Jesus.
You can read here >> our visitor’s guide to Santa Pressede
Go underground exploring the Roman Houses of the Caelian Hill
The Caelian Hill is one of the historic seven hills of Rome and hides a secret: wonderful underground Roman houses with stunning frescoes!
Unknown to most foreign visitors, the houses are stunning: a visit here is one of the best things to do in Rome if you love history.
You can read here >>> all about the Roman Houses of the Caelian Hill
Admire the incredible mosaics of Santa Maria in Trastevere
If you love mosaic art, you will adore Rome. In Rome, there are some stunning mosaics part preserved in museums and parts in churches that are free to visit.
Rome mosaics span the course of centuries and you can find ancient Roman ones as well as Byzantine and medieval ones.
You can find here >>> my guide to the best places to see mosaics in Rome
Visit the tomb of Rome’s First Emperor
Octavianus Augustus, first Emperor of Rome, is buried in Rome and, since March 2021, his tomb is open to the public.
The Mausoleum of Augustus is stunning and has a very interesting history that is sure to pique the attention not just of ancient history lovers but also lovers of trivia and fin facts about Rome.
You can read fun facts about this monument and how to visit in this guide to Augustus’ Mausoleum.
Visit Emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea
The Domus Aurea was the palatial home Emperor Nero built in Rome in the I century AD as his residence.
Ancient sources tell us it used to be a palace like no other ever seen in Rome and archaeologists have described it as ‘the Versatile of ancient Rome’.
The palace is now open to the public and it fantastic however, don’t expect a luxurious villa! A series of events meant the palace was buried deep underground, where it is to this day.
For history lovers, this is a place not to be missed: you can find my guide to the Domus Aurea here.
Have the best coffee in Rome at Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe’
if you love coffee, then your list of things to do in Rome must include a stop at Sant’Eustachio, the place in Rome famous for having the best coffee in the city!
This cafe is in Rome city center, on a pretty square worth seeing, and offers amazing espresso which you order at the bar just as you say in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
This is not the only good coffee in Rome but one I love and that indeed makes at least my short list of best coffee experiences in Rome!
Have real Italian gelato at I Gracchi
Another foodie thing to do in Rome is taste real Italian gelato. Gelato is not ice cream and even when you are in front of real gelato, you will quickly find that some are better than others.
While the best way to decide your favorite gelato parlor is to try as many as possible, I recommend you start from this list which has I Gracchi, my favorite Gelateria, and my selection of the best gelato places in Rome city center.
Learn how to make gelato
In Rome, you can eat plenty of gelato but you can also learn how to make it with one of the many gelato classes available in the city!
Catch the sunset from the Garden of Oranges
Rome has several awesome sunset spots but the best of all is the Garden of Oranges viewing terrace.
Located on top of the Aventine Hill, the Garden of Oranges is a beautiful public park with a fantastic viewing terrace opening onto the Tiber River and offering a stellar view of St Peter’s dome.
You can find here >>> my guide to the Garden of Oranges and tips for visiting.
Spy thought the Aventine Keyhole
On the top of the Aventine Hill, there is a special spot: a keyhole that allows you to catch a breathtaking view of St Peter’s Dome.
Discover what it is and how get there in my guide to finding the Aventine Keyhole.
Smell the roses in Rome’s Rose Garden
Rome has a wonderful rose Garden, called Roseto Comunale.
Perched on the slopes of the Abetting Hill, teh gardens has a wonderful collection of prize winning roses and also offers stunning views over Ancient Rome.
You can read here >>> how to visit Rome’s Rose Garden
Visit the awe inspiring Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla are the remains of colossal thermal baths created by Emperor Caracalla, in the III century AD.
The baths are one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in Rome and since they have only been open to the public for a few years, they are not as visited as others, despite their great beauty!
You can learn here >>> how to visit Caracalla’s baths and why I recommend them
Experience virtual reality in Rome’s Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus is the ancient chariot stadium of Rome. Located at the foot of the Palatine Hill and the Palace of Emperors, it used to be just a scenic spot but recently it has become an attraction in its own right!
Since this year, you can visit the Circus with the aid of a Virtual Reality console, that will allow you to experience the circus as it would have been at the time of its splendor!
You can find here >>> my guide to visiting Circus Maximus
Catch a view from the Quirinale Terrace
Quirinale is one of the seven hills in Rome, famous for housing the seat of the President of the Italian Republic.
The Palace and square are beautiful but the real star of the show here is the view, stunning especially at sunset!
Be gladiator for a day joining Gladiator School
if you have ever wondered what being a gladiator was all about, then this experience is for you!
Organized by Gruppo Storico Romano, a group devoted to accurate re-enactment of historical events, Gladiator school is open to kids and adults alike and allows you to learn historical facts about gladiators and take gladiator training for a day!
Stick your hand in the Mouth of Truth
The Mouth of Truth is a round, large sculpture representing a face with a deep hole as its mouth.
The legend, vastly popularised by the movie ‘A Roman Holiday’ is that if you stick your hand it its mouth and you are a liar, the monster will bite it off you!
The mouth of truth is fun to see and a long line regularly forms for it. I wouldn’t say waiting is worth it but if you get there and there are not many people, this is one of the most iconic things to do in Rome!
Take a stroll in artsy Via Margutta
Looking for a piece of art to bring back home?
Look no further than Via Margutta, a stunning street in Rome city center famous for its many art galleries 9and for having featured in A Roman Holiday!)
Hunt Film Locations
Rome has been the backdrop to mamny films.
If you love movies, you can make your own cinema inspired tour of Rome by following our guide to Rome’s most famous movie locations!
Get romantic by treating your special someone to a dinner at Terrazza Borromini
The very best thing to do in Rome when looking for a very special night with someone you love is to have dinner in stunning Terrazza Borromini, an elegant restaurant with stunning and exclusive vires over Piazza Navona!
Find here >> more suggestions about the most romantic places in Rome
Have a stroll down buzzy Via del Corso
Via del Corso is one of the most famous streets in Rome.
Located in the city cente, and connecting Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Venezia, Via del Corso was the ancient road into the city and it is nowadays a great place for shopping and people watching.
Have a vespa tour
Another fun thing to do in Rome inspired by ‘A Roman Holiday’ is a vespa tour.
Vespas are popular in Rome and while you have to be very careful with traffic, they are a fantastic way to explore the city in your own time and with the wind on your face!
You can find prices and specs of the tours here
See the best of Rome with a Golf Cart Tour
if you are temped to see Rome while the city’s summer air caresses you, but you can’t stomach a Vespa ride, then a Golf Cart Tour is for you!
With the aid of a guide, this tour will lead you to discover Rome’s main landmarks in a fun and unusual way.
You can find here >>> info and prices
Climb to the top of St Peter’s Dome
If you are not afraid of height and do mind a challenge, you cannot miss the change to climb to the top of St peter’s dome.
Designed by Michelangelo, the dome is a marvel and the view from the top is unforgettable!
The dome climb is a ticketed experience. Find info and prices here.
Visit the Vatican Gardens
The Vatican Gardens are at the back of St Peter’s Basilica and they welcome visitors with regular guided tours o foot and by electric bus.
They are wonderful and worth seeing especially in spring. You can read my guide about visiting the Vatican Gardens here.
Visit the stunning Palazzo Massimo Museum
Rome is full of beautiful museums and one of the most beautiful is Palazzo Massimo. As well as priceless sculptures from Roman times, it has the ancient frescoes from Livia’s Houses (wide of Emperor Augustus), among the most beautiful ancient frescoes you can ever see!
Find info and tickets here.
Catch a view of Rome from the Pincio Terrace
The Pincio Terrace is a scenic viewing terrace in Villa Borghese, overlooking the beautiful Piazza del Popolo.
It is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Rome and one of the most romantic spots in the city!
Admire the twin churches of Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo is a large, monumental square that used to mark the entrance to the city and is now one of Rome’s most iconic public spaces.
Graced by several beautiful churches (some with stunning artworks) and monumental fountains, it is one of the most impressive and interesting squares of Rome and one that should not be missed.
Read here >>> how to visit Piazza del Popolo Rome
See Caravaggio’s art in San Luigi dei Francesi
If you love Caravaggio, or if you don’t know his work and don’t want to commit to a full museum visit, then you cannot miss the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, near Piazza Navona.
Access is free and you will find yourself face to face with Caravaggio’s ‘Death of St Matthew’s, a cycle of three painting of incredible beauty.
Caravaggio lived in Rome most of his life and left a treasure trove of paintings in the city.
You can read here >>> where to see Caravaggio in Rome.
Get confused at the sight or Marcellus Theater
Marcellus Theater is a roman amphitheater in Rome city center so reminiscent to the Colosseum, you will not believe your eyes!
When you pass it, you will have to look twice to make sure you are not infront of teh real thing but once you learn about it, you will like it as much as its most famous neightbor!
You can learn here >>> all you need to know about Marcellus’ theater
Marvel at the breathtaking Parco degli Acquedotti
The Romans are famous for their water infrastructures and there is not better place to admire their skills than by taking a trip to Parco degli Acquedotti, where you can still see stunning ruins of massing aquaeducts bringing water to the city.
Admire Bernini’s Extasis of St Therese’s
Rome churches are full of incredible art and one of the best examples of sculpture mastery is the statue of St Therese in Santa Maria della Vittoria, sculpted by Bernini.
The sculpture is sone of the most famous by the Baroque master and can be visited for free in this small yet impressive church.
You can learn more about Bernini’s work in Rome here
See the first film in history developing along Trajan’s Column
The first film in history wasn’t on a screen but on a marble column wanted by Emperor Trajan, in the II century AD!
Learn all about it and how you can visit here.
Visit the incredible Diocletian’s Baths
Emperor Diocletian in the III century AD built one of the biggest thermal complexes of the ancient world, whose ruins are now open to the public.
The baths are part of the Roman National Museum: worth seeing are the baths themselves, huge and exceptionally well preserved, and the many statues and inscriptions safeguarded in the museum.
Find my guide to the baths of Diocletian’s here.
Take a Rome food tour
One of the best ways to enjoy Rome is by joining a food tour.
You can choose between tours of different types: some are more traditional, some focus on coffee and gelato, others tap into the delicious and interesting tradition of Rome’s Jewish cuisine.
They are all a fabulous way to discover some of Rome’s most traditional tastes and take notes of delicious addresses worth returning to!
Some you may enjoy are:
- Trastevere Food Tour (traditional Rome cuisine)
- Espresso, gelato and tiramisu tasting tour
- Rome city center traditional food tasting tour (4h)
Visit Rome’s Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish ghetto of Rome is a beautiful and significant part of Rome.
The area has an important, touching history and it is stunning to visit.
You can learn here >>> all you need to know about Rome’s Jewish Ghetto
Visit one of Rome’s cat colonies
Stray cats are protected by law in Italy and, in Rome, there are protected cat colonies with many furry inhabitants!
There are many cat colonies in the city and some of them are central enough to enter easily into your Rome itinerary.
The most popular of all is in the so-called ‘cat sanctuary’ in Largo Argentina but another great one is beside Rome’s pyramid.
You can read more about the cats of Rome here
Marvel at Rome’s Pyramid
Did you know that Rome has a pyramid? It does, and while it is not as ancient as those in Egypt, it is nonetheless ancient enough, dating from the I century BC!
You can read all about it in my guide to Rome’s Pyramid
Visit Rome’s protestant cemetery
Rome’s non-catholic cemetery (or protestant cemetery as is it also called) is an English style cemetery with tombs of several poets and artists who died while in Rome. Among the most famous there are those of poets Keats and Sheley, Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci and Italian writer Camilleri.
The cemetery is wonderful and it is just beside the pyramid, which you can see from inside the graveyard.
Find here >>> my guide to Rome’s protestant cemetery
Marvel at peculiar Piazza della Minerva
Piazza della Minerva is a lovely small square in Rome city center with two monuments of notice: a unique sculler but Bernini representing an elephant carrying an obelisk and the stunning church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, home to important work by Bernini and Michelangelo.
You a read here >>> how and why visit Piazza della Minerva
Admire Michelangelos’ Moses in San Pietro in Vicoli
If you love art, you must not skip a visit to San Pietro in Vicoli, one of the most beautiful churches in Rome and the home to one of Michelangelo’s most beautiful masterpieces, the Moses, as well as an important relgious reliquary: the chains from the martyrdom of St peter.
Read here >>> how to visit and what to see in San Pietro in Vincoli (St Peter’s in Chains church)
Enjoy a drink on rooftop with views over the city
One of my favorite things to do in Rome is to enjoy a cocktail on one of the city’s best rooftop terraces.
In the last few years, rooftop bars blossomed in Rome and they are wonderful for a relaxing drink after a day of sightseeing, when the sun paints the city in orange hues. You can find here >>> my favorite rooftop bars in Rome.
Rome is an amazing shopping destination. Depending on your style and budget, you can shop in designer stores in the city center, get high street brands or scout vintage boutiques.
Find here >>> my guide to the best shopping streets in Rome
Explore the fairytale looking Coppede’ District
The Coppede’ district is a pretty and unique area of Rome with architecture that seems out of a fairytale book!
The area dates from the early XX century and it takes its name from architect Coppede’, it visionary creator. The appearance of this area is like nothing else in Rome: I am very fond of the area since I grew up just beside it! You can find my guide to the Coppede’ District here.
Visit charming Garbatella district
If you love the idea of exploring Rome off the beaten track, then you should visit the beautiful and unique Garbatella district.
Immediately outside Rome city center, this is an area built in the early XX century and it has interesting architecture and an important history connected to the time of Fascism, which this area suffered and opposed with great might.
You can read my guide about Garbatella here.
Explore Rome catacombs
Under the city of Rome lies a long network of tunnels that were used to as graveyards in ancient Christian times and that are now, partially, open to visitors.
The catacombs are an interesting sight and a great place to learn the history of early Christianity: the catacombs are accessible by guided tour only.
Go back in time in San Clemente Church
The church of San Clemente is unique: located close to the Colosseum, the church develops over three layers, each dating to a different historical time.
The bottom layer, underground has Roman ruins, the second layer is a paleochristian church and the top layer has the basilica as we see it now. It is an incredible sight and one of the best places to appreciate how Rome, as we see it now, developed!
Read here >>> all about Rome underground attractions
Walk or cycle along Via Appia Antica (Ancient Appian Way)
The Appian Way is an ancient consular street that departed from Rome and it is now a popular and beautiful outdoor area for a walk or a cycle.
The road leads you to several ancient tombs and feels like a little oasis in the city thanks to its many pretty trees. Many like to tackle it by bike (it is rather long) but it is bumpy in parts as it retained its original paving. Evaluate well your favorite means of transport!
Visit Rome’s Botanical Gardens
Rome has beautiful botanical gardens nestled at the bottom of the Janiculum Hill, in Trastevere.
The gardens are a bit of a hidden gem and an oasis of green in the city: perfect when you are exploring Trastevere and feel like a break from the hustle and bustle of the city!
Learn here >>> why and how visit Rome’s Botanical Gardens
Explore modern EUR
EUR is a district of Rome built by the fascists in the occasion of the Expo and it is a very interesting area for architecture lovers.
Many significant buildings are here, including the famous ‘square Colosseum’, the sports arena and the so-called Fuksas’ cloud and you also find here a pretty park popular in spring as one of the best places in Rome to admire cherry blossoms!
Visit Ostia Antica
Ostia Antica is Rome’s ancient port and now a stunning archaeological park. Often compared with Pompeii for the excellent state of conservation of some of its streets and houses, it is a beautiful and highly enjoyable historic park easy to reach from Rome’s city center.
You can find here >>> all you need to know to visit Ostia Antica
Learn to make pasta
Rome’s most famous dishes are pasta based: carbonara, cacio e pepe, amatriciana, gricia… so it goes without saying that one of the best things to do in Rome is a pasta making class!
You can choose between many types, some in restaurants, some in cooking schools and some in private homes and they all are wonderful and social experiences, with a shared meal at the end for all participants to enjoy!
Meet the Pope
Religious visitors will cherish the opportunity to meet the Pope.
Papal Audiences happen regularly and participation is free: however, tickers are necessary and must be requested I advance.
read here >>> all you need to know about booking an audience with the Pope
Have a photoshoot with your own private photographer
Rome is a fantastic backdrop for photos and there is not better way to capture its beauty (and yours!) than by booking a session with a photographer.
You can book 30, 60 or 90 minute sessions and opt for photos, videos or a combination of both.
Companies offering this service and LocalGrapher (ask for Luca!) and Flytograher.
Go to the beach
Did you know Rome had a beach? It does and it is pretty: you find it in Ostia, a perfect place for a day on the coast without leaving the city! You can learn about Ostia and the best beaches in and near Rome here.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best things to do in Rome and it helped you plan your stay. Safe travels!
Get spooked by Rome’s capuchin crypt
If you are looking for something really different in Rome, then you should not miss the spooky capuchin crypt, entirely decorated by human skulls!
It is located at the church of the Capuchin Friars in Via Veneto and it truly is a one of a kind attractions. You can find info here
Admire Rome’s stunning fountains
One of the most noticeable and unique chatacteristics of Rome is how many fountains are in the city.
Monumental fountains are everywhere and they are beautiful and, often, true works of art but master sculptors.
You can find here >>> our selection of the best fountains in Rome
See the She-wolf at the Capitoline Museums
The She-Wolf is the animal symbol of Rome and you can see her in the Capitoline Museums!
While copies of her cane found in several spots around the city, the original sculpture is kept safe in the museums and revered as one of the most famous sculptures in Rome
Admire Romes’ beautiful cherry blossoms
In spring, Rome dresses up with stunning cherry blossoms, filling he city with their delicate flowers and fragrance.
Read here >>> where to see cherry blossoms in Rome
Learn the peculiar story of the Fountain of the Four Rivers
The fountains of the four rivers is one of the most beautiful and distinctive in Rome.
Located in the center of famous Piazza Navona, the fountain has a peculiar story involving two of Rome’s most famous artists: Bernini and Borromini.
Read here >>> all you need to know about the Fountain of the Four Rivers
Learn About the mysterious God Mythras in Rome’s Mithraea
Mythras is one of the most mysterious of all Roman Gods and Goddesses and Rome is fantastic place to learn the little that we know about him.
A god coming from the East, Myths was worshipped in underground temples called MIthraea, some of which are now open to the public, such as the Mithraeum Barberini.
Read here >>> all you need to know about the Barberini Mithraeum
Admire Rome’s ancient Triumphal arches
When Roman general won important military campaigns, they celebrated by building impressive triumphal arches.
many of there are still visible in Rome and you can admire them in all their splendour.
You can learn here >>> all about Romes’ triumphal arches
See the opera outdoors
In summer, Rome hosts a season of summer opera concerts in the archaeological area of the Baths of Caracalla: a fantastic opportunity to see these massive, stunning ruins while listening to delightful music
Take a stroll on Rome’s only island
Rome has only one island called Isola Tiberina or Tiber Islands.
In existence since Roman times, the island has an interesting history and it’s a fabulous spot for a walk.
You can lean here >>> all about Tiberina’s Island
Have aglass of wine in one of Rome’s enoteche
In Rome, wine bars are enoteche and they are wonderful!
Especially in the winter, they are the perfect place to cozy up with a glass of red and a platter. Some, like Cul de Sac in Via del gorverno vecchio, or 313xin Via Cavour even have a full kitchen: a wonderful way to relax at the end of a long day sightseeing.
Watch a light show at the Imperial Fora
During summer evenings, part of the ancient Roman Fora come to life, thanks to a light show that used modern technology to show us how these area would have looked like at the height of their splendour!
The show is seasonal and happens in the Forum of Caesar and in the Forum of Augustus: its name is Viaggio nei Fori (Journey through the Fora)
You can read here >>> all about Journey through the Fora
Cool down in one of Rome’s outdoors swimming pools
Rome gets very hot in summer but the city has many lovely pools where you can cool down.
You can find here >>> the best outdoor pools in Rome
Have delicious pizza
Rome has some of the best pizza in Italy, the only other city with anything on Rome’s pizza being Naples!
You find good pizza in Rome in many places, but if you want to try the very best, find here >>> our guide to the best pizza in Rome
Have Tiramisu in Two Sides
Tiramisu is not from Rome. However, Rome does is spectacularly well and there is nothing quite like tasting some of it while wandering around Rome’s most beautiful piazzas after getting a small tiramisu cuppa from Two Sides in Via del Governo Vecchio!
Catch a view from the Oppian Hill
The Oppian Hill is the hill immediately in front of the Colosseum and one of the best places in Rome for catching views of the amphitheater!
Go to an outdoor cinema
Rome in summer brings cinemas outdoors! outdoor cinemas in Rome are called ‘arene’ and has a great program of movies in Italian and, occasionally, in original language with subtitles.
Visit the Ara Pacis
History lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the stunning Art Pacis Augusta, one of the most significant monuments form the time of Emperor Augustus, who reigned over Rome in the I century AD.
Visit Stadio Olimpico soccer stadium
Rome has two brilliant soccer teas, Roma and Lazio: they both play in the stunning Stadio Olympic, now open for tours and, of course, matches!
Catch views over Rome from the Janiculum Hil
The Janiculum Hill is one of the tallest hills in Rome and a fantastic place to catch stunning views over the city.
Go at 12 to hear hte cannon mark the time or at sunset, when the city glimmers under your feet!
Learn how to make mosaic from a real mosaic artist
If you love art and mosaics, you will be delighted to discover in Rome you can learn how to make a real mosaic from a real mosaic artists.
the class takes place in Trastevere and it is a fantastic opportunity to tap into this ancient art.
You can read our review here
Admire street art in Ostiense
As well as classical art, Rome has wonderful street art and one of the best places to admire it is Ostiense.
You can explore in your own or join one of the several tours available in the area, interesting to get some background to the most significant woks of art.
See the incredible Papal Basilica of San Paolo outside the walls
The church of San Paolo outside the walls is one of Rome’s four Papal Basilica and a wonderful place to explore for religious visitors but not only.
As well as hte basilica itself, there is here an interesting archaeological area and a curiosity: a series of portraits of all Popes, from St Peter to contemporary ones!
You can learn here >>> all you need to know about St Paolo Outside the walls
Go out for drinks in up and coming Pigneto
Pignento is an up and coming area of Rome, now popular especially among young people as an evening hangout.
The area is pretty, atmospheric, has great street art and lovely cafes that make it ideal for a summer night out especially.
Watch the roller bladers and skaters in Villa Borghese
If you love sharing (doing and watching) then do not miss the wonderful roller skaters of Rome: they gather in Villa Borghese, near Viale dei Bambini, and perform tricks that alway attracts attract large audiences, all for free!
You can watch them or even join them for a lesson or social skating. Find their website here
I hope you enjoyed this list of 101 best things to do in Rome and it inspired you to visit!
Going with kids? Read >>> 70 things to do in Rome with kids instead!
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