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50 Best Things to See and Do in Rome

Rome is known as the eternal city. The Italian capital is the city According to legend, the part where the founding wolf of Rome lived, offers incredible views of the city. Starting by visiting one of the seven wonders of the modern world; The Colisseum. There are so many things to see and do in Rome, you won't get bored. The ideal is to dedicate 3 or 4 days to Rome, but if you hurry in 2 days you can visit all the places on this list.


In this post I tell you what to see and do in Rome, where to stay, free tours and how to save money in Rome.


Best Things to See and Do in Rome

50 BEST THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN ROME, ITALY


1. Take a free tour in Rome


Before starting I want to tell you that there are some FREE TOURS to tour the streets of Rome and it would be a good opportunity to start your visit to the city.



There are many more free tours to do in Rome, in this post the best free tours to do in Rome, I explain about the 10 best tours, what to see in each of them and how you can combine them. Remember to give your own to the guide at the end, he surely deserves it.


2. Visit the Roman Colosseum, an essential thing to see and do in Rome


The Roman Colosseum or also known as the Flavian Amphitheater is the most famous monument in the city. It was built in the 1st century AD and is considered one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. It was used for almost more than 500 years. There the well-known fights between gladiators were held, but also other shows such as public executions or plays.

Although today it looks much smaller than it was, it once had a capacity of 50,000 spectators. In the Middle Ages, the Colosseum ceased to be a sacred space and was used as a fortress and quarry.

I recommend that you book the visit to the Colosseum beforehand, with time. There are options to avoid the queues, and it is something that is appreciated because the queues are endless!



Best Things to See and Do in Rome

3. Differentiate the restored from the original


Something to do in Rome is to look at the details of the facade of the Roman Coliseum. With the passage of almost two millennia, many parts have deteriorated, as is logical, and in some parts the restoration is very noticeable. Surround the building and be amazed by this architectural marvel. If you are interested in knowing a little more, here are 10 curiosities about the Colosseum in Rome.


4. Don't miss The Arch of Constantine


Right at the foot of the Colosseum is this famous triumphal arch. It was built in AD 315 to commemorate Constantine I the Great's victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312.


5. Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine


Another essential visit to do in Rome is the Roman Forum. So that we understand each other, this was the central part of the Roman city: where the main shops, businesses and government buildings of ancient Rome were located. At present several temples, arches and basilicas are preserved. Walking around is going back in time. The entrance to the Forum is combined with that of the Colosseum.



Best Things to See and Do in Rome

6. Climb the Palatine


The Palatine is one of the 7 hills of the city. According to legend, the part where the founding wolf of Rome lived, offers incredible views of the city.


7. Make a wish at La Fontana di Trevi


It is the most beautiful place in the city, in my opinion, and although it is usually full, it has a special charm and magic. With your right hand and facing away from you, you will have to throw a coin and it will pass over your left shoulder. If it ends up in the fountain, you will return to Rome.

The Fontana di Trevi is one of the largest (with about 40 meters in front) monumental fountains of the Baroque in Rome. With dimensions of 20 meters wide by 26 meters high.

The origins of the fountain date back to 19 BC, when the Fontana was the end of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. The first fountain was built during the Renaissance, under the orders of Pope Nicholas V. The final appearance of the Trevi Fountain dates from 1762 when, after several years of work by Nicola Salvi, it was completed by Giuseppe Pannini.

The name of Trevi derives from Tre Vie (three ways), since the fountain was the meeting point of three streets.


The myth of the Trevi Fountain:


  • Why are there always people in the Fontana throwing coins into the water and taking pictures?

  • The myth, born with the movie "Three coins in the fountain" in 1954, says the following:

  • If you throw a coin: you will return to Rome.

  • If you throw two coins: you will find love with an attractive Italian (or Italian).

  • If you throw three coins: you will marry the person you met.


For this to work it is advisable to throw the coin with the right hand over the left shoulder. Each year approximately one million euros are extracted from the source. Since 2007 this money is used for charitable purposes.


 

HOW TO SAVE MONEY IN ROME


If you are thinking of entering several monuments in Rome; Colosseum, the Forum... the best thing to do is book a tourist card that allows you to save up to 50%. The Gocity Roma will allow you skip-the-line access to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, you can take a tour on the tourist bus, several guided tours... You must be clear about which monuments you want to visit, since the card is reserved for the total of these attractions. The more attractions, the greater the discount.



Best Things to See and Do in Rome

8. Find the Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano


There are many religious buildings in Rome, but none is more important than this Basilica. It was the first church to be built in the city, as well as being the cathedral of Rome. It was built under the orders of Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. From its construction until 1870, all the Popes were invested inside.


9. Eat the best gelato in town at Frigidarium


The best place to eat ice cream in Rome is at the Frigidarium. This artisan ice cream parlor is very close to Piazza Navona and although in Rome you will find a lot of ice cream parlors, this one cannot be missing from your list of essential things to do in Rome.


10. Agrippa's Pantheon, a marvel to see in Rome


This temple was built by order of Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD. C. It was built on top of the ancient temple of Agrippa, which was destroyed by fire in 80 AD. The dome of the Pantheon and its interior are incredible. We advise you to visit it at 12 noon when the sun enters directly through the oculus of the dome. Admission is free.


11. The Vatican, an essential stop to make on your trip to Rome


When you visit Rome you can change countries on foot and without going through customs. But you will have to endure very long queues to enter the Vatican. One of the essential visits to do in Rome is to visit the Vatican Museums. There you can see the entire art collection of the Papacy, as well as marvel at the interior of the building.

However, the most important and impressive part of the tour is the visit to the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Michelangelo.

The entrance to the Vatican Museums costs €16. If you are in Rome on the last Sunday of each month, admission is free but with endless queues. The best option is to book a tour with a guide in Spanish and thus avoid these queues.



Best Things to See and Do in Rome

12. Michelangelo's Pietà


Inside the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica is the famous Pietà by Michelangelo. It is one of his most famous sculptures that represents the Virgin with the dead Jesus Christ held in her arms. It is a true jewel of the Renaissance.


13. Climb the Vatican dome and enjoy the views


One of the best things to do in the Vatican is to climb its dome. From there you will have spectacular views of the city and you will be able to see the main Roman monuments from above.


There are two options to climb the Vatican dome


  • Walk up 551 steps. The stairs are narrow, but can be done easily, making a few stops along the way to catch your breath. This option costs €5 and there are fewer queues than the next option.

  • Take the elevator to the beginning of the Dome and then climb 320 steps to the top. This option costs €7, saves you going up more than 200 steps, but you will spend a long time queuing for the elevator.


14. Visit Trastevere, one of the best things to do in Rome


Trastevere is a unique and beautiful neighborhood to see in Rome. Its streets are narrow, cobbled and with colorful facades. It is full of small local shops. At night it is the perfect place to have a drink in a very good atmosphere.


Guided tours in Trastevere, Rome:





15. Enjoy walking through Trajan's Market, an essential thing to do in Rome


In the heart of Rome you can see what is considered the first covered shopping center in the world, built between the year 107 and 110. Trajan's Market had considerable dimensions: six floors and more than 150 shops selling fruit, vegetables, oil, fish and a long etcetera. Now there are only ruins in which the semicircular shape it had is intuited. There is a museum where you can learn more about the evolution of Roman architecture and the history of the city.


16. Trajan's Column


A few meters from the Roman Forum you will see this 30-meter column. Its entire surface is covered with reliefs commemorating the victories of Emperor Trajan in the Dacian Wars. It stands on an 8-meter pedestal, where there is an inscription that explains that the column is as high as the hill that was moved to build Trajan's Forum.


17. Visit the Castel Sant'Angelo, something essential to see and do in Rome


This building is a fortification that, in principle, had to serve as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and his family. But finally it had a military function and has even served as a refuge for some Pope in troubled times. The views from the terrace are fantastic.

I recommend that you book a tour, since the tour and the explanation are worth it. As well as being able to access the terrace.



Best Things to See and Do in Rome

18. See the legendary chains and the sculpture of Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli


San Pietro in Vincoli is one of the most popular basilicas in Rome. In it is the mausoleum of Pope Julius II. His tomb is a true work of art. It contains the famous statue of Michelangelo's Moses. In addition, in this basilica you will be able to see the well-known chains of Saint Peter.

Admission is free. Scammers sometimes stand at the entrance and try to deceive you by saying that a donation is required to enter, which is false.


19. The Quirinale Palace


It is an impressive palace that has more than 1,200 rooms! Since 1583 it has been the residence of popes, kings and now it is one of the three homes of the president of the country. Obviously it cannot be visited, but inside there are hundreds of very valuable objects such as tapestries, rugs, paintings... It is worth going to, even if it is only to see it and photograph it from the outside.


20. The Piazza del Popolo


This is one of the largest and most beautiful squares in Rome. In the center is a 24-meter Egyptian obelisk dedicated to Ramses II.


21. Piazza Spagna, one of the most popular places to see in Rome


This is perhaps the busiest square in Rome, it is difficult to find a moment without people and it was not until my third time in Rome (out of high season, during the week and very early) that I did not manage to take a photo with almost no people. So don't worry if you barely have space to take a photo. It is at the crossroads of the most commercial streets of the city, so around it you will find all the shops and restaurants you want. Climbing the stairs that connect the square with the Church of Trinità dei Monti is one of the most touristy things to do in Rome. If you want a photo without people, you will have to get up early! In front of the stairs there is a fountain from the year 1627, designed by Bernini by order of the Pope.


22. The Cestius Pyramid, one of the most inconspicuous monuments in Rome


When you find the pyramid you will realize that it attracts a lot of attention, but in reality it is one of the monuments that least appear in the guides of what to see in Rome.

This pyramid is special because it is the only ancient pyramid located in Europe. Rome has a 2,000-year-old pyramid, built as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a Roman senator and general. It is located in Via Raffaele Persichetti, it is 36 meters high and almost 30 meters wide. Currently, it is possible to access the interior of the pyramid on certain specific days of the month.



Best Things to See and Do in Rome


23. Cross the Milvio Bridge


It is one of the bridges that cross the Tiber, but it is known to be the most romantic. The protagonists of the novel and later the film "I feel like you" by Federico Moccia created this fashion. The couple hung a padlock on the bridge, throwing the key into the river as a token of their love, and thousands of lovers joined in doing the same. The phenomenon reached such a point that the structure of the bridge was damaged by the weight of the thousands of padlocks. In 2011 they were all removed and since then it has been forbidden to put any padlocks. Even so, tourists continue to come every day to walk the bridge and take pictures.


24. Find out if you are a liar or not in the Bocca della Verittà


That is something curious to do in Rome, without a doubt. Legend has it that, when you put your hand in the fountain della Verittà, it will bite you if you are a liar. It didn't bite me, tell me how your experience was.


25. Visit La Isola Tiberina located in the middle of the Tiber


The small island in the middle of the Tiber has been associated with medicine since its origins. For this reason, a hospital that occupies most of its surface is still preserved. You can also visit the Church of San Bartolomé, built in the 10th century on the remains of a temple dedicated to the god of medicine. To get to this small island you will have to cross the Fabrizio Bridge, the oldest in Rome, dating back to 62 BC.


26. Eat the best panini in Rome at Duecento Gradi


In Italy you will get tired (or not) of eating pizzas, fresh pasta with delicious sauces and of course, paninis. What we call sandwiches. Near the Vatican is what it is, one of the best panini bars in the city; the Duecento Gradi. They have a wide variety of both sweet and savory combinations. The sandwiches cost around 6 euros. They also serve great craft beer.


27. The Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II, an essential stop to make in Rome


This imposing building is made of white marble and you will find it located in Piazza Venezia. It was built in 1911 to pay homage to the first king of Italy after its unification. It has a viewpoint that costs 7 euros, although I think it's not worth it.


Best Things to See and Do in Rome


28. Find the Temple of Hadrian


According to historical data, this temple was built by Emperor Pius in AD 125 in honor of his predecessor, Hadrian. Currently you can only see its huge columns 15 meters high.


29. Visit Villa Doria Pamphilj


It is the largest park in Rome. It began as the land of the Pamphili noble family back in the 17th century. The City of Rome bought it in the 70s and now it is one of the best places to walk. It is divided into three parts: the estate with the palace converted into a museum, a pine forest and the Casino del Bel Respiro, where the office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers is located.


30. Visit the Basilica Papale San Paolo Fuori le Mura


This basilica is the second largest in Rome after St. Peter's in the Vatican. It is a bit far from the city center, but it is worth visiting for its beautiful cloister full of columns and the golden mosaics that adorn it. The Apostle Paul was buried there, hence the name of the basilica.


31. Piazza Navona, the perfect place to dine surrounded by architectural wonders


Piazza Navona is a true work of art. It is one of the social and cultural centers of Rome. Throughout the square there are many terraces where you can eat artisan pizzas or fresh pasta while enjoying the atmosphere of the square. In the square there are sculptures and fountains of great artistic value. The best known is the Fountain of the four rivers, the work of Bernini.


Best Things to See and Do in Rome

32. Enter the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Popolo


If you are a lover of works of art, in the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Popolo you will find all its walls and domes full of precious paintings. All these works have been made by great Italian masters such as Rafael Caravaggio, Bernini, among others.


33. Climb the Gianicolo and have incredible views of Rome


Located above the Trastevere neighborhood, you will find a beautiful and quiet viewpoint. In the Gianicolo, apart from excellent views, you can also enjoy the Temple of San Pietro in Montorio de Bramante, built in the same place where Saint Peter was crucified, and the Monument to Garibaldi.


34. Discover the catacombs of San Sebastiano, something macabre to do in Rome


Visiting the catacombs of San Sebastiano are something curious and interesting to do in Rome. this cemetery was named in honor of the martyr San Sebastián, buried in them. The original caves were part of a mining complex that was later used to locate tombs and columbariums. Rooms decorated with paintings were also built, along with mausoleums and graffiti dedicated, among others, to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, whose bodies, according to tradition, were also here.


To visit them you must book a guided tour. This visit also includes a visit to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, the Baths of Caracalla and the Quo Vadis Chapel.



35. Climb the Aventine Hill


Another of the seven hills on which Rome was built is the Aventine Hill. At present, it is a very elegant residential area full of greenery and parks. The Orange Garden and Savello Park is one of the most beautiful places to see on the Aventine Hill.


36. Visit the Baths of Caracalla


The baths were the center of the social life of the Romans and these were the most luxurious in antiquity. They were built in the year 212, under the mandate of Emperor Caracalla, and were in operation until the year 537. Unfortunately, their sculptures were looted and the complex suffered an earthquake. Even so, it is worth visiting them because a large part of the ruins and some mosaics that decorated the complex are still preserved, so with a little imagination you can transport yourself back in time.



Best Things to See and Do in Rome

37. Enter the curious church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane


Rome is full of religious buildings, but San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is one of the most beautiful. It is a small church located at a crossroads with four fountains, one on each corner, for this reason, it was named Quattro Fontane. Its façade is wavy creating a unique and precious print. It is worth going in to see its beautiful dome and the small cloister.


38. Walk Via del Coro, one of the most beautiful streets to see in Rome


Via del Corso is the main street in the historic center of Rome and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful streets to see in Rome. This street joins two of the most famous squares in the city, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Venezia. It is full of small shops and big brand stores, as well as small cafes, elegant buildings and many important monuments, including Palazzo Bonaparte, Palazzo Doria and the Church of San Carlo al Corso.


39. Visit the Ghetto Ebraico, the Jewish quarter of Rome


The Jewish quarter of Rome is made up of quiet streets less frequented by tourists. On the ground you will find commemorative plaques of people who died during World War II. You can walk quietly seeing the facades with mosaics of Jewish culture and there are also restaurants with typical kosher food.


40. The Borghese gallery, one of the most essential museums to see in Rome


If you are an art lover or have time to add more visits to your days in Rome, the Borghese Gallery is one of the best museums to see in Rome. The gallery houses hundreds of paintings, sculptures and antiques starting from the 17th century. The most popular is Rafael Sanzio's “Lady with a Unicorn”.



41. Go to Ponte Milvio at sunset


One of the best-known bridges that crosses the Tiber is the Ponte Milvio because the

protagonists of the novel "I feel like you" by Federico Moccia created a trend by creating a symbol of love in it. The couple hung a padlock on the bridge, throwing the key into the river as a token of their love, and thousands of lovers joined in doing the same.

The phenomenon reached such a point that the structure of the bridge was damaged by the weight of the thousands of padlocks. In 2011 they were all removed and since then it is forbidden to put any locks, but the magic and romance of the bridge persists and it is a great place to watch the sunset in Rome.


Best Things to See and Do in Rome

42. Urban rafting through the center of Rome


Do you want to add a different and fun activity to do in the heart of Rome? You can go rafting down the Tiber river and have a great time! Throughout the tour, in addition to having a good time, you will be able to enjoy the views of the city from a different point of view and make a stop at the Isola Tiberina.



43. Visit the Piazza della Reppublica


Piazza della Reppublica is one of the most beautiful to see in Rome. It is surrounded by majestic buildings, but there are also historical remains in it. There were the Baths of Diocletian and starting from the ruins a small basilica has been built that contrasts with the rest of the buildings in the square.


44. Get to know the Servian and Aurelian walls


Another interesting activity to do in Rome is to visit its ancient walls. The oldest are the Servianas, which were built in the 4th century BC in the surroundings of the city. Today very few sections of this wall remain. The most visible are in Termini or on the Aventino. Then you will also find the ancient walls known as Aurelian, which further surrounded the city. They receive this name because they were built during the reign of Emperor Aureliano. They were built to protect Rome from Bavarian invasions. This wall was 19 kilometers long, although today only a little more than 12 are preserved.


45. Adventure activities to do in Rome


You have several adventure activities that you can do in Rome or very close. From rafting, bike tours, tandem jumping, kayaking, zip lines… Here is a list of all the adventure activities you can do in Rome.


46. ​​Enjoy a concert in Rome


If you are a lover of music and opera in Rome, you have several opportunities to see one of their concerts at a very affordable price. Unlike other countries where this type of concerts cost more than 60 euros, in Rome they are around 20 euros. Here are some options:



47. Boat trip on the Tiber river, one of the best things to do in Rome


One of the best things to do in Rome is to enjoy a boat trip on the Tiber River, right in the center of the city. Especially in the afternoon, before sunset. From the promenade, you can enjoy beautiful views of the city, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Tiber Island, Trilussa square, Popolo square...



Best Things to See and Do in Rome


48. Quartiere Coppedè, a fairytale place to see in Rome


The Coppedè neighborhood of Rome is like entering a fairy tale, it literally seems taken from another place. It is located between four streets, at the corner of Via Dora and Via Tagliamento. There are a couple of very nice buildings and a square with a fountain. It is a beautiful place that is worth visiting in Rome.


49. Piccola Londra, the Notting Hill of Rome


This small neighborhood of Rome has colorful houses, with front yards full of plants. It will remind you of the famous Notting Hill neighborhood in London. The name of this neighborhood literally means Little London, and it was built at the beginning of the 20th century in an attempt to modernize Rome and adapt it to the style of other European cities.


50. The lock of the Knights of Malta, a secret place to see in Rome


On the Aventino Hill is the Orange Garden, which I told you about a few points ago. What I haven't told you about is one of the secret places that this garden hides. Formerly an orchard of Dominican monks used this land, which is now a beautiful park. If you look closely, you will find a lock of plants through which you can see in the distance the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica.


Best Things to See and Do in Rome

Do you need a transfer from the airport to the center of Rome? Book your transfer in advance to avoid high taxi costs. Book your transfer around Rome from here.


POSTS OF ROME THAT MAY INTEREST YOU



PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy your trip to Rome a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!

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