Things to do in Rome
Lose the sense of time exploring things to do in Rome: its museums, palaces, temples and eateries put a spell on you and hold you enchanted with each aspect of the Italian capital’s awesome cityscape seeping into your bloodstream and making you thirst for more.
The smells of fresh-made pasta, the subtle fragrance of flowers in Villa Borghese’s gardens and the melodious singing of serenades near Trevi Fountain remind you that in Rome the visual pleasure marries the bliss of the olfactory and the audial.
But the city’s allure may fade if you are visiting in the high season, from April to September, when streets throb with tourist footsteps and stifling heat.
For you to get the utmost out of your stay in Rome, even in summer, one of the best things to do in Rome is to combine sightseeing with exploring Rome’s local food and drink stage and visiting the eternal city’s off-the-beaten-track attractions.
Italy is known for its delectable wines. And Rome, as its capital, is arguably the best place to sample Italian wines from different corners of the Appian peninsula.
Sip on a rich Montepulciano d’Abruzzo at a boutique pizzeria, or try out local organic wine at Rome’s splendid bio wine bars like Fermetazione, an inconspicuous treasure trove of organic wines and craft beer. But it is not just wine and other tipples that Rome is renowned for.
An eternal city is also a great place for a coffee addict. Most of today’s sophisticated coffee recipes hail from Italy, and there are still many unique spots to drink coffee and things to do in Rome for a coffee fiend.
Succumb to the aroma of just-fried beans at Antico Caffe Greco, a 17th-century-established coffee shrine, which once served as a coffee magnet for the likes of Schopenhauer, Liszt, Stendhal, Wagner and Welles.
If you think that coffee holds a monopoly over the Romans’ taste buds, you are mistaken, one of the best things to do in Rome is to head to Babington’s Tea Room, located just a short walk away from Spanish Steps, one of the most unusual and beautiful places to drink tea in Rome.
The tea shop has been up and running since the late 19th century when Britons Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington started spreading their love for this foreign brew, right in the centre of coffee-loving Rome with so many other things to do in Rome coming up around.
For sure, one can’t imagine travelling to Rome without tucking into the indigenous Spaghetti Carbonara or dropping by a steakhouse to pamper yourself with an Italian red steak. But the Italian capital is changing fast, and so it has developed a yen for all things vegan, locavore and fresh.
You just can’t help going to the cornucopia-like Mercato Trionfale, one of Europe’s largest fresh markets, or also lose yourself in the maze of Roman streets, migrating from one hip vegan joint to another hipster Mecca, all the while taking in the city’s scenic streetscape.
If willing to combine fine dining and vegetarianism head to Il Margutta, one of the fanciest vegan restos in Europe, or more hipsterish locales like Fratelli de Luca Salad and Juice Bar.
Even though you can’t miss the big names like the Colosseum, the Pantheon or the Vatican with its humongous St. Peter’s Cathedral, you can spice up your travels with authentic local experiences and the best things to do in Rome to sense its kinetic vibe.
Unveil the soul of Rome, with a visit to Villa Giulia Etruscan Art Museum, to marvel at the exhibits of this great, yet somewhat arcane civilisation, or nearby Villa Poniatowski, for more Lazio art.
After a visit to the treasure-trove of the Etruscan art head for a stroll in one of Rome’s most youthful districts, so beloved by locals, Piazza Navina and Campo De Fiori, one of the best places to socialise in Rome, and drink an aperitivo in an authentically Roman street setting, one of the nicest things to do in Rome.
One of the best things to do in Rome at night is to visit its small boutique wineries and restaurants. For example, you can pop by a small wine store serving organic wine from small farms, situated at 18, Via Cesare and offering food-pairing, and a bespoke selection of truly delectable snacks; or pay a visit to Latteria Travestere, sitting at 1 Viccolo Della Strada, near the idyllic Botanical Gardens, and itself situated in the green courtyard, so perfect for a nocturnal romantic encounter.
Also, you can swing by more festive places, for example, Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, a great half-underground watering hole, or if willing to pass your evening by the riverside go to the waterfront and drink wine at Baja, a restaurant on a barge appearing right out of Scott Fitzerald’s novel.
Keep in mind one of the best things to do in Rome is to see Rome’s nocturnal street life. For this, make your way to youthful hipe districts like Ostiense-Garbatella, Testaccio, San Lorenzo, Porto Milvio, or le Lida de Ostia, if travelling in summer.
Even though Rome tempts you to spend all your time in its museums, your kids may not appreciate it. But there are cool things to do in Rome that are unique to the place apart from art and culture.
Take them to a football game pitting Lazio or Roma, two local clubs who happen to be sworn enemies, and whose encounter on the football pitch is one of the best things to do in Rome with kids to watch.
For you to do both fun and culture you can go to the landscape gardens at Villa Borghese, where you can see unique landmarks, like a fountain with an eagle perched atop, or just rent a bike and go cycling in the shade provided by the lush foliage of the park.
Note that one of the nicest things to do in Rome after a visit to Villa Borghese is to buy a gelato, an Italian ice cream that is especially delectable in Fassi Galleria, which has served both kings and mortals since the late 19th century.
The scenic capital of Italy, Rome is over two thousand and a half years old, and, what is more, has kept most of its ancient treasures intact.
Renowned for its magnificent temples and sacred locales, like Pantheon, or Octavian forum; great arenas like the world-famous Colosseum, or awe-inspiring Christian cathedrals like St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican, it is also home to a vast art treasure trove.
Head to its stunning Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo, housed in Emperor Hadrian and his family’s mausoleum; Musei Capitolini, one of the world’s oldest museums, Museo Nazionale Romano, featuring artifacts related to the city’s past or its exquisite galleries like Galleria Borghese.
To get really off the beaten track, make your way to Roman Catacombs, long and somewhat spooky underground burial grounds, which can now be visited on a guided tour.
For sure, your stay in Rome can’t be complete without checking into a marvelous hotel: even though Rome is full of hostels, big chain hotels, and even luxurious penthouses, for you to sense its sui generis allure, put up at a boutique hotel.
Rome boasts a great variety of boutique hotels, but some truly stand out. One of the most exquisite ones is Glance, a cutting-edge boutique with prime decor.
Situated right in the city centre, the boutique hotel offers spacious, well-lit rooms featuring cutting-edge technology, along with breakfast made up of organic local ingredients and expert service, all just a short walk away from the city’s main architectural treasures and topmost cultural spots.
Other unique boutique hotels in Rome include such treasures as Piazza Di Spagna 9, housed in a building right in front of Spanish Stairs, a major tourist attraction, and doubling as an en vogue gallery, or Condominio Monti Boutique Hotel, offering a panoramic view of picturesque Monti neighborhood.