Rome. Even the name conjures a highly Romantic vibe. The Eternal City draws millions of visitors from every corner of the world each year. With a history spanning more than 2,500 years, Rome is a city that has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the birth of Christianity, and the birthplace and evolution of Renaissance art. It’s a city of unparalleled beauty, where ancient ruins coexist alongside modern architecture, and where every street corner offers a new discovery.
A trip to Rome is a journey back in time, a chance to walk in the footsteps of the masters, and an opportunity to indulge in some of the world’s best cuisine. From the Colosseum to the Vatican, the city has so much to offer that one visit may not be enough to take it all in.
Sit back, and let me weave a little travel magic to get you thinking about your next trip.
Best Lesser-Known Attractions
The Capuchin Crypt is a unique attraction that features the bones of over 4,000 Capuchin friars arranged in intricate patterns. The friars’ bones have been used to create chandeliers, archways, and even entire rooms. If you are easily creeped out, do not visit. It may give you nightmares.
The crypt is located beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini and is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. There are no food options available at the crypt.
The Domus Aurea is an enormous palace built by Emperor Nero in the first century AD. The palace was renowned for its opulence and featured rooms decorated with gold and precious gems. Today, visitors can tour the ruins of the palace and see its stunning frescoes. The Domus Aurea is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:45 pm. There are no food options available at the site.
The Villa Farnesina is a beautiful Renaissance villa located near the Tiber River. It was built for a wealthy banker in the early 16th century and features frescoes by some of the greatest artists of the time, including Raphael.
The villa is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. There are no food options available at the villa.
The Centrale Montemartini is an unusual museum that features ancient Roman sculptures and artifacts displayed in the midst of a former power plant. The juxtaposition of the ancient and modern elements makes for a unique and memorable experience.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. There are no food options available at the museum.
Quartiere Coppedè is a neighborhood in Rome that was designed in the early 20th century by architect Gino Coppedè. The neighborhood features a mix of styles, including Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau, and is a great place to wander and explore. There are several cafes and restaurants in the area, including the popular Taverna Coppola.
Palazzo Altemps is a museum that is home to a collection of ancient Roman and Greek sculptures. The museum is housed in a beautiful Renaissance palace and features works by some of the greatest sculptors of the time.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:45 pm. There are no food options available at the museum, but there are several cafes and restaurants nearby.
Rome is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world, and there is so much to see and do here that it can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there are some must-see attractions and experiences that you simply can’t miss. But in addition to the famous sights, Rome also offers plenty of opportunities to relax, enjoy the beach, and indulge in some of the best food you’ll ever taste.
No visit to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. These ancient structures are awe-inspiring and give you a glimpse into the history of this incredible city. The Vatican City is another must-see destination, with its beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica and awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel. But beyond these famous sights, there are plenty of lesser-known attractions to discover, such as the beautiful Villa Borghese, the Piazza Navona, and the charming Trastevere neighborhood.
The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are a famous landmark in Rome, Italy. They are a set of 135 steps that connect the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square) at the bottom with the Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top. The Spanish Steps were designed in the 18th century by Italian architect Francesco de Sanctis and were named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, which was located at the base of the steps.
The Spanish Steps are a popular tourist destination in Rome and are known for their stunning Baroque architecture and beautiful views of the city. At the base of the steps is the famous Barcaccia Fountain, which was designed by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the early 17th century. The fountain is shaped like a boat and is meant to represent a sinking ship.
The Spanish Steps are also known for their role in popular culture. They have been featured in several movies, including Roman Holiday, which starred Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.The steps are a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and they offer a great place to relax and take in the sights of Rome.
The Spanish Steps are open 24 hours a day and admission is free. However, visitors should be aware that sitting or eating on the steps is not allowed, and there are fines for those who violate this rule.
Villa Borghese is a large park located in the heart of Rome, just north of the Spanish Steps. It covers an area of 80 hectares and is one of the largest public parks in Rome. The park is home to several museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions, as well as beautiful gardens and a lake.
The park was originally owned by the Borghese family, who used it as their private estate. In the early 17th century, Cardinal Scipione Borghese began collecting art and building a large villa within the park.
Today, visitors can tour the Borghese Gallery, which is home to an impressive collection of art and sculpture, including works by Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael.
The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and admission is free, though there is a fee to enter the Borghese Gallery.
Piazza Navona is a beautiful public square located in the historic center of Rome. The square is known for its stunning Baroque architecture and beautiful fountains, including the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers, which was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century.
Piazza Navona was built on the site of an ancient Roman stadium and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rome. The square is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a great place to relax and people watch.
Trastevere is a charming neighborhood located on the west bank of the Tiber River in Rome. The neighborhood is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, and lively nightlife. Trastevere is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Rome and has a rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the many historic churches, like the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which dates back to the 4th century. The neighborhood is also home to many great restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Relaxation and Beaches
While Rome is primarily known for its historic attractions, it also offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment. The Villa Borghese is a beautiful park where you can enjoy a peaceful walk or even rent a bicycle. For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the nearby Lido di Ostia beach is a great option.
Lido di Ostia Beach
This beautiful stretch of sand offers crystal-clear waters and plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the sea breeze.
Lido di Ostia is a popular beach located in the town of Ostia, which is a seaside suburb of Rome, Italy. It is situated about 25 kilometers southwest of the city center and is easily accessible by public transportation.
Food options at Lido di Ostia are abundant, with several bars, cafes, and restaurants lining the beachfront. You can find a variety of Italian dishes, including seafood, pasta, and pizza, as well as some international cuisine.
As for costs, prices for food and drinks can vary depending on the establishment, but overall, they are reasonable. Accommodations at Lido di Ostia range from budget-friendly hotels and apartments to more luxurious options. You can easily find suitable accommodations by searching online or using a travel agent.
When it comes to activities, there are plenty of things to do at Lido di Ostia, including sunbathing, swimming, and beach sports. You can also rent a boat or take a boat tour from the marina located near the beach.
Rome is a food lover’s paradise, with a seemingly endless array of incredible dishes to try. Some must-try dishes include the traditional pasta alla carbonara, the mouth-watering cacio e pepe, and the classic pizza bianca. There are also plenty of sweet treats to enjoy, such as the delicious gelato and the famous tiramisu. When it comes to restaurants, there are countless options, but some standout choices include Roscioli, Armando al Pantheon, and Pizzeria La Montecarlo.
But when it comes to food, the options are endless. For me, coffee and gelato made my trip.
For those who love to shop, Rome is a paradise of markets and boutiques. One of the most famous markets is the Campo de’ Fiori market, which is held every morning and offers a wide range of fresh produce, flowers, and souvenirs. The Porta Portese market is another must-visit destination, with its sprawling selection of antiques, clothing, and accessories. For those looking for a more upscale shopping experience, the Via Condotti is home to many luxury boutiques, including Gucci, Prada, and Bulgari.
Campo de’ Fiori Market
The Campo de’ Fiori market is one of the oldest and most famous markets in Rome, dating back to the 19th century. Located in the heart of the city, the market is held every morning in the Piazza Campo de’ Fiori. The market offers a wide range of fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and breads, as well as a selection of souvenirs and trinkets. The atmosphere is lively and colorful, with vendors calling out their wares and shoppers haggling over prices.
In addition to the market, the Piazza Campo de’ Fiori is also home to wonderful restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to stop for a meal or a coffee. Iconic accommodations near the market include the Hotel Campo de’ Fiori, a charming boutique hotel located just steps from the piazza.
Porta Portese Market
The Porta Portese market is one of the largest and most famous flea markets in Rome, offering a wide range of antiques, clothing, and accessories. Located in the Trastevere neighborhood, the market stretches for several blocks along the Via Portuense and is held every Sunday morning.
The market has a long and colorful history, dating back to the early 20th century, and has become an iconic destination for both locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere is bustling and lively, with vendors hawking their wares and shoppers bargaining for the best deals. Iconic accommodations near the market include the Hotel Trastevere, a stylish boutique hotel located just a few blocks away.
Via Condotti is one of the most famous shopping streets in Rome, home to many luxury boutiques and designer stores. Located in the heart of the city, just a short walk from the Spanish Steps, Via Condotti has a long and glamorous history, dating back to the 18th century.
The street is lined with elegant palaces and shops, including high-end brands like Gucci, Prada, and Bulgari. Even if you’re not in the market for luxury goods, Via Condotti is a beautiful place to stroll and take in the sights. Iconic accommodations near the market include the Hotel de Russie, a luxurious five-star hotel located just a few blocks away.
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh produce, antiques, or luxury shopping, Rome has many magnificent markets to suit your needs. From the historic Campo de’ Fiori to the bustling Porta Portese and the glamorous Via Condotti, these markets offer a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse culture of this incredible city. And with so many iconic accommodations nearby, you can experience the best of Rome in style and comfort.
When visiting Rome you cannot leave until you have visited some of her most iconic attractions.
The Pantheon is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome, with a history that dates back over 2,000 years. Originally built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, it was later converted into a church in the 7th century. Today, it remains one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings in the world and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history or architecture.
The Pantheon is located in the heart of Rome, near the Piazza Navona, and is open to visitors every day from 8:30am to 7:30pm. Admission is free, but there may be a long line to get in during peak tourist season. Inside the Pantheon, visitors can marvel at the massive dome, which was once the largest unsupported dome in the world, as well as the intricate marble floors and beautiful artwork.
There is no food available inside the Pantheon itself, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the surrounding area where visitors can grab a bite to eat.
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in ancient Roman history. Built in 80 CE, the Colosseum was the largest amphitheater in the world and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles.
Today, visitors can explore the Colosseum and learn about its history through a variety of guided tours and audio guides. The Colosseum is open every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm, with extended hours during the summer months. Admission is 16 euros for adults and includes access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
There are a few food vendors located outside the Colosseum, but visitors may want to bring their own snacks and drinks as there are limited options inside.
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a sprawling complex of ancient ruins that were once the center of political and social life in Ancient Rome. Today, visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the city’s rich history through a variety of guided tours and audio guides. This is recommended because the guides not only know the history but they make it really come alive.
The Roman Forum is open every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm, with extended hours during the summer months. Admission is 16 euros for adults and includes access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
There are no food vendors located inside the Roman Forum, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the surrounding area where visitors can grab a bite to eat.
Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world and is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Rome, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. While the Vatican is the spiritual center of the Catholic Church, visitors of all faiths are welcome to explore its many treasures.
The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, with the last entry at 4pm. Admission is 17 euros for adults, but visitors can expect long lines and wait times, especially during peak tourist season. St. Peter’s Basilica is open every day from 7am to 7pm, and admission is free. We found that if you are up to it, get there 1 hour before opening can help.
There are a variety of food options available inside Vatican City, including cafes and restaurants, but prices can be quite high. Visitors may want to bring their own snacks and drinks to save money.
The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel located in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. It was built between 1475 and 1481 by Pope Sixtus IV, for whom it is named. The Sistine Chapel is best known for its stunning ceiling frescoes, which were painted by the Italian artist Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is divided into nine panels, which depict scenes from the Book of Genesis, including the creation of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah’s Ark. The centerpiece of the ceiling is the famous painting of God giving life to Adam, which has become one of the most recognizable images in the world.
Michelangelo was not initially interested in painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was primarily a sculptor and had little experience with fresco painting. However, he was eventually persuaded to take on the project by Pope Julius II.
Working alone, Michelangelo spent four years painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He painted standing up, with his head tilted back, which caused him to develop severe neck pain. Despite this, he persevered and created one of the greatest works of art in history. There is also conjecture as to whether the Vatican ever paid Michaelangelo for his work.
In addition to the ceiling frescoes, the Sistine Chapel also contains a stunning altarpiece by the Italian painter Gian Lorenzo Bernini, as well as a number of other works of art.
Today, the Sistine Chapel is open to visitors as part of the Vatican Museums. Visitors can see Michelangelo’s masterpiece up close and appreciate the incredible skill and artistry that went into creating it.
Rome is a city that truly has it all – from ancient history to beautiful beaches, from incredible food to vibrant festivals. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a place to relax and unwind, Rome has something for everyone. Now overseas travel is back, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to experience all that this incredible city of Roma.