best things to do in rome

30 Best Things to Do in Rome Italy

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The eternal city, that attracts millions of tourists every year, Rome. The stones on every corner are soaked with history. The longest-standing, developed, civilized city in the Western world. Rome has been a dream of many, and it continues to be a dream of even more people around the world. It was my dream too once! After many years of dreaming, watching Rome in movies, and pictures, or hearing about it, in 2015 I made it there for the first time. Since then, I returned over 20+ times now, starting with a visit from abroad every 4-6 months for the first 5 years. After moving to Italy, I opened a physical business in Rome, which actually forced me to spend even more time there and get to know the city inside and out. After 8 years, and many months spent in the Eternal City, I believe this can be the most comprehensive Rome guide that you’ll ever find online. Enjoy discovering the best things to do in Rome Italy!

30 Best things to do in Rome Italy

Since you find yourself in a city that would need three lifetimes to be adequately explored and assimilated, we only have one tip for you: wear good shoes! When it comes to the best things to see in Rome, you have to prepare for lots of walking. Within this article, you’ll discover the 30 top things to do in Rome, which I slowly discovered over the years. Before that, however, let’s talk about a few details you should know when you travel to Rome!

Rome Travel Essentials – The most important things to know before visiting Rome

Don’t forget that Rome is not only a few landmarks, and hop on busses. Rome is a unique experience, that must be discovered properly. To do that, first, we recommend checking out our hotel suggestions and definitely searching for accommodations in areas like Via Veneto, the Historic Center, around the Vatican, and Trastevere. Make sure you check our lists of luxury hotels, affordable hotels, hotels in Trastevere, apartments, B&B, and hostel lists as well!

When it comes to food, make sure you check which are the traditional Roman dishes, and order those. Traditional dishes are always the best! Also, please do some research on restaurants where to eat, and target those that are frequented by locals, and there you’ll find the real Roman food of the best quality!

When it comes to arriving in Rome, you’ve got two airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino. Both are international, though the overseas flights usually arrive in Fiumicino. You can arrive at Termini, the central train station by taxi, or train (from FCI) and shuffle busses within an hour. In the city, taxis, buses, and metros are suggested, but as I said, walking is essential in the Eternal City!

The best periods to visit Rome are Autumn and Spring. Those who prefer summer vacations should definitely plan a city break in Rome before heading to the coast. And for those who prefer colder weather, we suggest the winter in Rome. The weather is around 15-20 C degrees, and it’s pleasant for walking and sightseeing. Especially since during the winter the city is not packed with tourists.

Recommended: car rentals through, and accommodation bookings through

1. Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain

fountains in rome

What are the best things to do in Rome Italy? Our first pick is the Trevi Fountain, the most stunning baroque fountain in Rome! Trevi Fountain itself was built in the 18th century, and commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1730, the location was an important water supply for Rome since 19 BC, and it was called Aqua Virgo. During the 15th century, the Popes, just like Alexander VI concentrated on restoring the water supplies and fountains in the Eternal City since many of them were destroyed or blocked.

In 1453 Leon Battista Alberti helped renovate the ancient fountain since the projects for a complete makeover didn’t happen. Pietro da Cortona and Gian Lorenzo Bernini were supposed to design a new fountain, but this project as we know was doomed. Finally, the today-standing Trevi Fountain, the most beautiful Baroque fountain in Rome was designed and made by Nicola Salvi, who was a great artist of the Baroque era.

His design fused the massive classical facade of Palazzo Poli with romantic fountain sculptures and a fountain that’s 86 feet high and 160 feet wide. Trevi Fountain features the sea-titan Oceanus, seahorses, and tritons cavorting around him. Now, if you’re in the area, make sure you check which are the best restaurant near the Trevi Fountain!

How to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain?

Legend says, if you turn around, with your back to the fountain and you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain using your right hand over your left shoulder, you will return to Rome. To throw more coins, you should do two, three, or four times the same movement with 1 coin at a time. If you decide to throw two coins in the Trevi fountain, you will fall in love, three you’ll get married, and four is for wealth.

2. Eat Gelato

Eating gelato in Rome is nothing short of a ritual, and of course, it shall sit among the top 3 things to do in Rome. Gelaterias border the streets in masses, with ice creams all better than the last and thick Panna (whipped cream). When it comes to Gelato and Rome things to do, we’ve got you covered with the best Gelato shops in Rome!

Our picks? The Gello, la Romana, and Della Palma – all three create and handmake their delicious ice creams. Some other great places to eat gelato are the inRhome on Via del Governo Vecchio, or the famous Venchi Cremeria about 100 meters from the Pantheon. That one you should schedule in between the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. Venchi is also considered to be one of the best Italian chocolate brands, by the way!

3. Aperitivo near the Pantheon

Pantheon is the oldest church in Rome that is still standing, and it’s still in use. This is one of those best things to see in Rome that you just can’t skip, no matter what! The Pantheon was built around 120 AD, as a temple that honors Roma deities. It’s been converted to the Catholic church in the 7th century by Pope Boniface IV. It was consecrated to St Mary and the Martyrs. As you can imagine, in 2000 years the church went through a lot, and it was also cannibalized by other buildings over the centuries.

For example in the 17th century, Pope Urban VIII ordered the portico ceiling melted down to be used at Castel Sant’Angelo. Essential, otherwise the building remains the same, and its dome is still the largest dome in the world, that’s made of unreinforced concrete. Starting with the Renaissance, the Pantheon became the burial place of many important figures like the painter, Raphael, and the two kings of unified Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, and Umberto I.

Now, the Pantheon is located in the historic center of Rome, between the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona, about 5 minutes walk from each. It’s located on Piazza della Rotonda, where you can find plenty of bars and restaurants too. Make sure you stop by for a drink or dinner with the most beautiful ancient building standing in front of you. And, act like Audrey Hepburn if you’d like!

4. Take a Cooking Class on Piazza Navona

cooking class in Rome

When it comes to the best things to do in Rome Italy, you can’t ignore the newest trend, that’s all visitors’ favorite activity, cooking classes! Book a cooking class in Rome with Eatalian Cooks! For the pizza cooking class Rome has, you’ll find yourself at one of the best restaurants near Piazza Navona, Osteria Pasquino. They also have gnocchi classes, ravioli classes, and pasta with tiramisu classes.

Beyond the simple pizza class, you can also book a pizza and tiramisu class. Let’s put it like this: Eatalian Cooks covers almost all types of famous Italian dishes to make. This is a perfect getaway from the continuous walking and museum tours, to learn to cook something good and enjoy the meal along with other visitors.

The instructors are trained, fun, and they will assist every guest in creating their different types of pasta, dessert, or pizza! These experiences take around two hours, and since they are on and around Piazza Navona, they are conveniently in the middle of all sights in Rome. Great vibes, delicious food, cool staff, and you and your very own Italian dishes. You can book the pizza-making class here!

5. Visit the Vatican Museums

vatican museums rome italy

The Vatican Museums are a collection of art museums located within Vatican City, and it’s one of the top things to do in Rome! They are known for their extensive collection of artworks and historical artifacts that span centuries of history. The museums are home to some of the most renowned masterpieces in the world, including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and Raphael’s School of Athens. If you’re visiting the Vatican Museums, calculate at least 4 hours inside!

From ancient Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance sculptures, there is something to captivate every art enthusiast. The Vatican Museums are housed in a complex of buildings that showcase various architectural styles, ranging from Renaissance to Baroque. Another notable feature is the spiral staircase, known as the Bramante Staircase, which was designed by Giuseppe Momo in the 20th century. Its elegant design and graceful curves make it a standout feature of the museums.

The Egyptian museum features art pieces from Ancient Egypt mostly brought to Rome during the Roman Empire and encompasses 9 rooms arranged around the so-called hemicycle. Etruscan Museum includes artifacts coming from archaeological sites located in Etruria, a region comprising modern Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria. The Vatican Museum consists of 54 museums and their collections are housed in the Vatican Palaces.

The compilation in the museum is art produced in a span of 800 years. Many famous artists of this time including Giotto, Fra Angelico, Perugino, Melozzo da Forlì, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and Caravaggio have contributed to the museum’s collection. Some of the most important exhibitions are the Borgia Apartments, the Gallery of Maps, the Pio Clementino Museum, Raphael Rooms, Musée Grégorien Profane, and the Gallery of the Candelabra among many many others!

6. St Peter Basilica

churches in rome

When it comes to free things to do in Rome, you can’t ignore the Vatican City, especially not the St Peter Basilica. Unlike the Vatican Museums, if you wish to enter only the basilica, you can enter for free. There’s usually a long line to wait out, but it’s always moving fast as people are passing through the security gates.

This is the main church of the Catholic Church and it’s also the biggest church in Rome. St Peter Basilica is a museum on its own with some of the world’s most important artworks. The St Peter Basilica is dedicated to the Apostle who has been the first Bishop of Rome, and as such, the first Pope.

The original church was dedicated in 326, and it was commissioned by Emperor Constantine. Pope Nicholas V decided to build an entirely new church in 1452. The basilica was completed however in the late 18th century. To enter the basilica, you have to get through security, then walk up to the main entrances. As you’ll step inside, you’ll see on your right-hand side the famous statue Pieta made by Michelangelo in the 16th century.

If you are inside, make sure you dedicate time to walk around and admire all the frescoes, sculptures, and statues. See the breathtaking, giant dome by Michelangelo, and the Chapel of the Sacrament by Bernini and Borromini. Don’t miss the Papal altar over the tomb of St Peter, and the bronze baldacchin canopy created by Bernini. This is an incredible masterpiece of Baroque sculpture.

7. Travel back in time to the Colosseum

The immense building of the Colosseum is more than 2000 years old now. Also being now one of the World’s new Seven Wonders. It was a Roman amphitheater hosting gladiator shows as well as other events. This is one of the best things to see in Rome, as the Colosseum is basically the icon of the fallen Roman Empire.

The gladiator shows were either hosted by the state or by rich Roman families. The purpose of these was to demonstrate their power and amuse the citizens of the Great Empire. We can call it distraction too. However, today the Colosseum might be the most famous amphitheater on the territory of the empire, but it’s not the largest one.

You an find the largest one in Capua, about 1 hour from Rome. This however was burned down during a revolution thousands of years ago, and it was abandoned since. This makes the Colosseum just the second-largest amphitheater in the Republic. However, this still doesn’t make it any less important!

Location: Piazza del Colosseo, on the South-East side of the historic center. Approaching public transport, look for the red metro line’s Colosseo stop. If you’re walking (which I highly recommend), try coming from Piazza Venezia, so you can walk along the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the street that takes you back to the Roman times. Tickets can be purchased online, and they come with entrance to the Roman Forums too.

8. Selfie on the Spanish Steps

Before we get into another highlight of Rome things to do, I have a question! Have you seen the Roman Holiday movie? If you did, I’m sure you’re already imagining Audrey Hepburn on the Spanish steps… if you haven’t seen it yet, well, please watch it, since it’s one of the most iconic movies set in Rome! Due to this, and many other reasons, Piazza di Spagna is one of the best free things to do in Rome!

The Spanish steps link Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinita dei Monti on top, while the church Trinita dei Monti, that’s looking down to the Spanish steps and the piazza. The monumental stairway has 135 steps, and it was built after the order of a French diplomat in the time of the Bourbon kings of France. This monument became famous right after the Roman Holiday appeared in the cinemas.

Piazza di Spagna is home to many restaurants and high-end luxury brand boutiques. You can also find here the stunning fountain, la Barcaccia, which is just at the bottom of the Spanish steps. If you head to the top, you can find some rooftop bars around, and other restaurants nearby, as well as Villa Borghese. At the bottom of the steps, on the left, you can find one of the oldest cafes in Rome (well, cafe and tea house), Babington Tea Rooms.

9. Castel Sant Angelo

During your trip to Rome, you cannot fail to visit Castel Sant’Angelo. This is one of those top Rome things to do that can’t be missed! Castel Sant’Angelo was built by Emperor Hadrian, and it was meant to be a mausoleum for him and his family. The construction of the building began in 125 AD. From a fortified outpost, it became a prison and a magnificent Renaissance residence.

In 1367 the building became papal property, also hosting the Vatican Archives and Treasury. Visitors can find various collections within the splendid frescoed halls. You can visit the papal rooms, and the prison, and you can also get to the top of the building, which offers an exquisite view of the historic center. Since we were talking castles, make sure to check our list for other castles around Rome, in the Lazio region that you should visit!

10. Eat a traditional pasta Carbonara

restaurants in rome jazz cafe roma

Pasta alla Carbonara is one of the most famous Roman dish that you can find worldwide in Italian restaurants. Though in most places it is not served the traditional way, if you come to Rome, you must not leave without trying a traditional pasta Carbonara! This is one of those dishes every Italian would name as one of their favorites, and it’s no wonder why!

Traditional Roman Carbonara is made with eggs, guanciale (pork jaw), pecorino romano cheese, salt, and pepper. That’s all it needs and that’s all that contains, that makes it so delicious. Finding the best pasta carbonara in Rome can be a challenge, so let us guide you! In the historic center, right off Piazza Navona, on Piazza del Pasquino 1, you can enjoy a traditional and delicious Carbonara at Osteria Pasquino.

You find many traditional Roman trattoria or osteria around the city. In nearly every neighborhood at least one. And you’ll find plenty where the Carbonara is perfect, but we want to highlight another amazing place. It’s an osteria in Trastevere neighborhood, called Tonnarello. We must warn you, that it’s not only us, who know how good their food is. There are quite long lines every lunch and dinner time, but it’s all worth it!

11. View from Aventino Hill

One of my personal favorite top things to see in Rome is Rome itself, from Aventino Hill. This is one of the 7 hills of the Eternal City, and it’s located a few minutes from Circo Massimo, on the bank of the Tiber River. It’s worth a short hike since you’ll find here not one, but two orange gardens, each of them offering a terrace-style viewpoint.

You can easily reach the top of the hill from the riverside, from the Circo Massimo, but also from Viale Aventino or Via Marmorata. If you’re looking for hidden gems in Rome, you should anyway visit this hill to find one of them. You can find both on the ton top of the hill from where you can see the historic center of Rome, along with the dome of the St Peter Basilica, which makes the whole experience absolutely gorgeous.

Also, on this hill you can find the famous door or the Maltan Knights, with the keyhole you must look through! I definitely suggest taking an hour off your Rome itinerary and stopping by in Giardino San Sisto, to hang out under orange trees and enjoy the beautiful view. Sunsets are absolutely stunning from the Aventine hill!

12. Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore

churches in rome

One of the most famous churches in Rome, that’s also one that I’ve recently seen from the inside, is the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. Santa Maria Maggiore is located just a few streets away from Termini train station, and it’s the only church in Rome that has held mass every single day since the 5th century. The original church was built in the 4th century, while additional work was made in the 13th century too.

Santa Maria Maggiore had the tallest campanile, which was built in 1377. In the 15th century, the gold coffered ceiling was made too by Giuliano da Sangallo, and the gold used, was the first gold coming from America. Later, in the 16th century, the two side chapels were added too. Capella Sistina on the right, and Capella Paolina on the left.

The 86-meter-long interior is among the finest and most majestic in Rome. Santa Maria Maggiore has three aisles separated by 36 marble and four granite columns. Rome’s oldest mosaics can also be found on the upper part of the walls. The geometric inlay of colored stone called Cosmatesque is dating back to the 12th century, and it covers the floor of the church.

13. Campo dei Fiori

One of the best things to do in Rome Italy is visiting Campo de Fiori during your stay two times! The square is located in the southern part of the Via del Corso, close to Torre Argentina. The name, Campo de Fiori means ‘field of flowers’. Campo de Fiori is one of the most famous squares in Rome for many reasons. Also, it’s an amazing place where you have something to do day and night.

You can find on Campo de Fiori a market during the day, where you can buy everything from clothes to flowers, cheese, fruits, and local delicacies. During the evening the market disappears and bars and restaurants take over the rule of the square.

Imagine that the whole square all the way around is packed with bars and restaurants with outdoor tables where you can sit and enjoy an Aperitivo, or a great dinner. There’s music everywhere, and Campo de Fiori is also a hot spot for after-dinner drinks in Rome. All this makes Campo de Fiori one of the best squares in Rome!

You can also find here Giordano Bruno’s statue, who was a Renaissance mathematician, philosopher, and poet. Giordano Bruno was executed by the Catholic church on Campo de Fiori on the 17th of February in 1600. He was hanged upside down, naked, with his tongue “imprisoned” and then he was burned… That’s how the Catholic church rewarded the knowledge a few hundred years ago…

14. Walks in Villa Borghese

park in rome near spanish steps

Villa Borghese is by far one of the most beautiful parks in Rome. The stunning park in Rome near the Spanish Steps is a must-see for everyone, as it’s one of the top things to do in Rome! I personally always found Villa Borghese a calming oasis in the city, especially when it’s tourist season. Huge beautiful trees, lakes, and quiet walks, in the heart of the city. Villa Borghese Park is the 3rd largest park in the Italian capital.

A landscape garden, on the hill near Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. Villa Borghese was used by Scipione Borghese as his villa suburbana, a party villa at the edge of the city. Today, the park is featuring beautiful pieces of art, sculptures, fountains, and architecture all over the landscape garden. With this, you can also find beautiful lakes, stunning flora, and also the Galleria Borghese museum, which is also a must-visit in Rome. You can also rent a boat on one of the lakes in Villa Borghese, and enjoy nature in the heart of the Eternal city.

In addition, you can also visit the nearby restaurants, and bars, ride a bike, or rent these 4-wheeled bikes. Villa Borghese, therefore, is great if you’re visiting Rome with kids, as the park offers some great family activities. This park in Rome near Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese is a great after-lunch getaway in nature, a break from sightseeing in the city.

15. Basilica Sant Andrea della Valle

churches in rome

Sant Andrea della Valle is one of the best things to see in Rome! I say that by admitting that I myself have walked by it a million times for 7 years, until once I realized how beautiful it is inside! The building of the church was largely financed by Cardinal Alessandro Peretti di Montalto, the nephew of Pope Sixtus V. Work on Sant Andrea della Valle started in 1591 and it was designed by Gian Francesco Grimaldi and Giacomo della Porta, and in 1608 Maderno took over the work.

Now, the sumptuous travertine facade is from the second half of the 17th century, and this was made by Carlo Rainaldi. The plan of Sant Andrea della Valle is based on the Christian cross, having a vast nave flanked by eight high chapels. One of the most beautiful parts of the basilica is the ceiling and the dome by Carlo Maderno. Definitely worth walking in and looking up. A mirror will help you with it.

16. Views from the Capitolium Hill

panoramic view rome

If you want to find one of the best Rome viewpoints, well that’s definitely Capitolium Hill. This is another of the 7 hills of Rome. Capitolium Hill is already famous for the Capitolium building, the Piazza del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo, and for its history. However, there’s another thing why Capitolium Hill is a must-see, and that’s the view over the Roman Forum!

To see this place, otherwise, you’d have to pay a fee, but from the hill, you’ll see it all from a magnificent point of view, and it’s one of the free things to do in Rome. The viewpoint from the Museum of the Capitolium is absolutely gorgeous, and that’s what you can see in the picture too. But if you’re looking for a free way to see the stunning view over the Roman Forum.

Then, pass by the Capitolium building in the direction of Via dei Fori Imperiali. Behind the Capitolium, on the side, there’s a terrace to see the whole Roman Forum, and you can walk down the stairs to the other terrace levels to see it from different distances and angles. It is just fabulous! The afternoon, and at sunset is the best to stop by!

17. Shopping on Via dei Condotti

via dei condotti rome

Each big city has its fashion street where you can find all the famous luxury brands, the fanciest of the Rome streets is definitely Via dei Condotti. Via dei Condotti links Via del Corso with Piazza di Spagna, where you can find the famous Spanish Steps. I know many of you are looking for the famous shopping street in Rome near Spanish Steps, so I wanted to highlight Via dei Condotti, as I do find this street fascinating!

If you’re heading from Via del Corso through Via dei Condotti, you’ll have an amazing view of the Spanish Steps and the church of Trinita dei Monti. So even if you’re not interested in shopping, or admiring the shopfronts, this view is worth a walk through Via dei Condotti! Via Condotti features all the famous Italian fashion brands like Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and Prada.

You can also find Bulgari on Via dei Condotti, among many others like Chanel, Luis Vuitton, Swarowski, or Cartier. When I first walked down this street I was still at university. That day I promised myself, that if once I’ll buy a luxury item, I will do it on the famous shopping street in Rome near Spanish Steps! It’s an iconic place when t comes to luxury goods, especially in Italian fashion!

18. Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia can be considered the middle of the historical center, and one of the best things to do in Rome Italy. There are 5 main roads meeting here, each one leading to each major part of the city. While facing the Altare della Patria, which was built in honor of the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emmanuele II.

You can visit the monument inside, go up to the top of it, and have a 360 degrees view of Rome. There’s a museum there too. And, on the right of the monument is the Capitolium Hill to explore. You can plan the easiest way for all your walking tours in Rome. If you choose the road on the left of the Altra della Patria, you’ll end up seeing the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the ruins of the Fori Imperiali, the Circo Massimo, etc.

If you choose the right side, you can see the Capitolium, and that’s the easiest way to Rome’s most colorful neighborhood, the Trastevere too. From the other side of the square (this picture was taken from there) are another 3 roads. The one on the left is leading all the way to the Termini station. The street that’s facing the Vittorio Emmanuele II monument on Piazza Venezia, the above-mentioned Via del Corso is the way to see the Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Villa Borghese, etc.

If you go to the right, on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, you’ll walk by the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, and it takes you all the way to Vatican City. In each case, Piazza Venezia is stunning, and it’s also one of the most famous squares in Rome, Italy. So as I said, Piazza Venezia is basically the center of Rome. You will have to pass here a lot of times!

19. Trastevere

trastevere - Rome- ShegoWandering travel inspiration italy 6 Italian habits we love - Learn about Italy

One of the best free things to do in Rome is to explore the Trastevere neighborhood. Colorful buildings, ivy on the walls, flowers, cute corners, and beautiful squares. That’s the best and honestly the most beautiful of the things to do in Trastevere Rome Italy. There are plenty of cute streets, piazzas packed with restaurants, local shops, and even shows on the streets.

Make sure you visit the streets like Via della Renella, Via della Scala, Via del Moro, and Vicolo del Piede. These I found the most charming of all, but there are plenty of others. Also, I personally had some of the best Italian street food, the best pizza al taglio always in Trastevere. So make sure to check these out if you’re in the neighborhood. These little bars where they sell pizza slices!

20. Live Music at Jazz Cafe

jazz cafe roma

When it comes to Rome things to do, here’s a place not to miss in the evenings! Probably some of the most memorable evenings I’ve ever had has been at Jazz Cafe in Rome. If you want to listen to Jazz music (and not only), or you’re looking for the type and quality of Italian dishes that locals do actually eat…

Or, if you want to enjoy some amazing live music during the evenings, Jazz Cafe Roma is your place to go! Jazz Cafe is located just outside Piazza Navona, in the beating heart of the city. With that said, it’s in a really convenient position for everyone. This is a more exquisite place, so the quality and the services are also adjusted to that.

There are different music events, art exhibitions, and even a Jazz Cafe radio is in development. So if you’re looking for a stylish place with great food, music, and vibes, make sure to check out the events calendar, and book a table at Jazz Cafe in Rome as soon as possible! Oh, and make sure you follow Jazz Cafe on Instagram!

21. Galleria Borghese

Apollo and Daphne

One of the absolute best things to do in Rome Italy for art lovers is Galleria Borghese. The entrance fee (adult full price) is €13,00, and the art gallery is located in Villa Borghese Park. Galleria Borghese Museum houses and displays a collection of ancient sculptures, bas-reliefs, and mosaics, as well as paintings and sculptures dating from the 15th through the 19th centuries.

Among the masterpieces of the collection – the first and most important part of which goes back to the collecting of Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1579-1633), nephew of Pope Paul V – are paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Antonello da Messina, and Giovanni Bellini and sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Canova. Some of the most famous pieces are Rape of Proserpine, Apollo, and Daphne, by Bernini, and Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as Venus Victrix by Canova Antonio.

The works are displayed in the 20 frescoed rooms that, together with the portico and the entrance hall, constitute the spaces of the Museum open to the public. More than 260 paintings are housed in the storerooms of the Galleria Borghese, which are located above the floor of the Pinacoteca and set up like a picture gallery. The storerooms may be visited by booking a time.

22. Fori Imperiali

rome streets

Heading on a walk down Via dei Fori Imperiali will be one of the locations with the best things to see in Rome! This is a must, no matter what you’re interested in! The Via dei Fori Imperiali links Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum. This ancient street in Rome runs between ancient Roman buildings, the Roman Forum, Trajan’s Column, and other important ancient buildings from the Roman Empire.

Via dei Fori Imperiali is one of the most beautiful streets of Rome, and it’s definitely something you must see! You can walk along 2000 years of history on just one street in Rome. You can find 2 luxury hotels, one near the Altare della Patria and one near the Colosseum, where you can enjoy an aperitivo while having an amazing panoramic view.

23. Wander in the Jewish Ghetto

things to do in rome

One of the top things to do in Rome is to wander in the “Jewish Ghetto”. This is one of those central neighborhoods in Rome where it’s recommended to put your phone away, and explore through narrow streets, and hidden alleyways. If you want to find the best restaurants that offer typical Jewish Italian dishes, like the Carciofi Alla Giudia (artichokes, Jewish style), make sure you do your research and head to the Jewish Ghetto for it!

This is a very lively neighborhood, and you can always see people sitting and chatting in tiny squares, and those who are only wandering around, visiting the ruins and churches. This area has lived some very sad days too, specifically speaking of the 16th of October 1943, when the Jewish Ghetto was invaded by the nazis, who deported many people from the neighborhood.

24. Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano

churches in rome

If we would want to cover the real number of how many churches in Rome you could find, this article would rather be a complete book. Basilica di San Lorenzo in Laterano was the papal residence before the popes established their residence in the Vatican City, after the exile in Avignon. The work on the church started in 313 and was enlarged and almost completely rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries. Originally it was a Constantinian church, which was respected in the baroque new version by Borromini.

The wide facade with large statues was done around 1735 by Alessandro Galilei. Inside the church, the magnificent timber ceiling dates back to the 16th century, while the 13th-century cloister on the left aisle was made by Vassalletti, a Roman artist family. Inside and out, the church is magnificent, and it’s a must for anyone who’s looking for churches in Rome.

25. Palazzo Pamphilj

things to do in rome

A still quite unknown place for the crowds, Palazzo Pamphilj is among the top things to see in Rome! You would never imagine what Piazza Navona’s simple building facades are actually hiding inside, but Palazzo Pamphili is a palace facing the popular piazza. It was built between 1644 and 1650. Since 1920, the palace has housed the Brazilian Embassy in Italy.

In 1644, Cardinal Giambattista Pamphilj of the powerful Pamphilj family, who already owned a palace between the Piazza Navona and the Via Pasquino, became Pope Innocent X. With this election came the desire for a larger more magnificent building to reflect his family’s increased prestige. The new project was to incorporate some existing buildings, including the former palace of the Pamphilj (whose decoration by Agostino Tassi was partially preserved) and the Palazzo Cibo.

The building work was overseen and managed by Pope Innocent X’s sister-in-law, Olimpia Maidalchini. While the Pope had his apartment facing the Piazza Navona, Olimpia had her apartment on the opposite side facing the Piazza di Pasquino. Borromini’s limited contributions included the stucco decoration of the Salone and the design of the Gallery.

The Gallery extends through the width of the block with a large Serliana window at either end. Between 1651 and 1654, the painter Pietro da Cortona was commissioned to decorate the Gallery vault. His secular fresco cycle depicts scenes from the life of Aeneas, the legendary founder of Rome, as recounted by Virgil. The Pamphili claim to be descended from Aeneas.

In October 1960, it became the property of the Federative Republic of Brazil in a purchase negotiation led by Ambassador Hugo Gouthier de Oliveira Gondim. The roof terrace is open to the public, with a renowned restaurant and bar that showcases the Roman skyline, and frequent concerts, often featuring Italian opera. You can only visit this place with guided tours.

26. Fine dining in Rome

One of the fun things to do in Rome is fine dining. I know some of you might not agree with me, and that is fine. This point is for everyone who appreciates beautiful restaurants with top-notch dishes from the most famous Italian chefs in Rome.

Fine dining can be pricy in some places, but compared to other European big cities, or American big cities for that matter, I’d say fine dining in Rome is a lot cheaper. Some of our recommendations are La Pergola, the one in the featured image above, which is located inside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which is a 5-star hotel.

Not only does it have a stunning panorama of the Eternal City, but the food is also exquisite. The main chef at La Pergola is Heinz Beck, who was born in Germany and is a three-Michelin-starred chef. Imàgo, Enoteca La Torre, and many other amazing places are to be explored. Check our article with the best fine dining restaurants in Rome.

27. Day trip to Ostia

Day trip to Ostia

Ostia not only sits among the best beach trips from Rome, but it is also a coveted archaeological area where you can enjoy ruins and the feel of summer around you. If you are looking for fun things to do in Rome, especially if you’re visiting in the summer, you might want to take a bus or train to Ostia.

When you are done visiting the antique part of Ostia, head on over to the modern town, two steps away from the beach, and grab an ice cream at the famous Time Out gelateria! Then, spend the afternoon at the beach, and find beautiful bars, restaurants, and even party places along the beach.

28. Hang out at a Rooftop Bar

hotels in Rome with rooftop bar

There’s no better type of bar in my opinion than rooftop bars. Of course, just like fine dining restaurants, there’s a dress code at rooftop bars too, but that’s literally why I love them. Beauty and elegance are what this beautiful city deserves from us in return for the beauty we receive from it.

Since the Roman skyline is very much controlled, so the beauty of the views above the city wouldn’t be ruined, sky bars are amazing to see the city from above. There are some unique places just by enormous monuments, which rooftop bars in Rome are actually offering the best views and perspectives, such as a view over the Colosseum at The Court in Palazzo Manfredi.

Also, the views are beautiful, service and menu are great at Terrazza Borromini, as well as at Cielo Bar, or at Les Etoiles too. This is what makes sky bars the top things to do in Rome! If you want to find out more about them, make sure you check our article with the best rooftop bars in the Eternal City!

29. Via Appia Antica

park in Rome Via Appia

The Via Appia Antica was one of the oldest and most important ancient roads in the Roman Empire. It was built and used for transporting military supplies to the South, as the Via Appia connected Rome with Brindisi, which at the time was a major port in the Mediterranean, on the Adriatic Sea. Now at the edge of the city, a part of the ancient road became one of the most fascinating parts for those who love ancient history, therefore it’s also one of the best things to do in Rome Italy.

Imagine that you can have a nice walk, or ride a bike along the more than 2000 years old ancient Roman road. A place that is filled with history, blood, and victories. I’m recommending you the Spartacus tv show to see before you’re visiting Rome because if you do, you will not want to miss the ancient Roman road, Via Appia near Rome. Why?

Crassus’ and Pompey’s armies captured thousands and thousands of rebels on the battlefield from Spartacus’ army. Between Rome and Capua, at a distance of 200km along the Via Appia, a number of 6000 slaves were crucified. The tv-show is really great, worth watching it! Thanks to the historical base of the storyline, you can learn a lot about the Roman Empire, its culture, and life. With this, your imagination can turn on the Via Appia, not just about merciless acts, but also about great victories.

These days you can visit many catacombs and mausoleums along the Via Appia Antica, there are bike tours, self-guided walking tours, and guided tours available in the area of this park in Rome. Locals usually come out this way for outdoor activities, sports, and picnics.

30. Spa Day in Rome

If I’d want to list all the great fun things to do in Rome, this list would have 100 entries, and it should be a book. You can find many suggestions for things to see in Rome on our website though! So, the last on our list is to go try a spa day in Rome. There are quite a few spas in the city. Roman spas, antique and new ones too.

Consider some places like Exedra Fusion Spa, Trilussa Palace Hotel Spa, or QC Terme Spa and Resort. There are plenty of lovely places to choose from. And there’s nothing like a spa day on vacation. Especially if you were roaming the city for days before. Check our article for more spas in Rome!

Wrapping up the best things to do in Rome Italy

As I have mentioned in the last point, I could go on for 100 or even 120 things to do in Rome. We have linked in plenty of extra content we cover from churches to pizza places, nightlife spots, and many, many, many, more. Make sure you go through the article once again and send the links. If you are planning only a stopover in Rome for your Italian holiday, I suggest you dig dip in Italy Best, as we cover almost the whole country, with plenty of information about hotels, restaurants, things to do, and how to travel around. Accommodations, gyms, and similar places you can find in articles for Rome too!

Everything we’ve got on the city, beyond the best things to do in Rome Italy

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