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Top 9 Things to Do in Rome

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Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Rome is the essence of Italy and the root of the connected culture across the peninsula. As the heart of Italian heritage, the remarkable architecture and access to sensational artworks only underscore the layers of history, evolution, and prestige. The Eternal City is timeless in its allure, from the towering Colosseum to the hidden catacombs, distinctive neighborhoods to dynamic local flavors, and there are so many essential things to do.

1. Celebrate Roman Heritage and Tradition

Roman Forum ruins in Rome, Italy

Roman Forum ruins in Rome, Italy

The past is a living, breathing element in Rome, with antiquity to the Renaissance towering over the streets. Whether looking for glamorous treasures and colorful artwork or dramatic architecture and preserved tradition, the cultural heritage of Rome has shaped the contemporary life of the city. With an alluring ambiance cast by the historic cobbled lanes and lapping waters of the Tiber River, Rome is an exceptional experience for cultural heritage with new discoveries whether it is your first or 10th time visiting.

Best Places to Visit for Cultural Heritage: Colosseum | Roman Forum | St. Peter’s Basilica | Pantheon | Santa Maria Maggiore  | Capitoline Hills

Best Time to Visit: April | May | October | November | December

2. Enjoy Traditional Food

Lasagna in Rome, Italy

Lasagna

The flavors of Rome emerge from the different neighborhoods that showcase the particular tastes of the city while also highlighting how preferences change between districts. Options for food vary across the food-centric city, with neighborhoods celebrated for their culinary specialties and prominence. No matter which area you choose to try, you will find a connection to history and tradition, even if sampling the most modern culinary styles.

Best Places to Visit for Food: Testaccio | Centro Storico | Jewish Ghetto | Trastevere | Prati | Monti

Best Time to Visit: April | May | September | October

3. Explore Underground Cities

Catacombs beneath the ruins of the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

Catacombs beneath the ruins of the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

Rome’s beauty does not just soar into the sky but also travels below ground with remarkable catacombs. The ancient burial grounds reveal the evolution of the city both in its beliefs and growth. The catacombs resemble entire cities buried beneath the edges of Rome, with every step offering a new perspective of the past. From early iconography to the burial grounds of venerated saints, Rome’s catacombs represent some of the oldest and best-preserved early Christian burial grounds in the world.

Best Catacombs to Visit: Appia Antic | St. Peter’s Basilica | Capuchin Crypt | St. Domitilla

Best Time to Visit: April | May | June | September | October

4. Indulge in Italian Wine

Wine tasting in Rome, Italy

Wine tasting in Rome, Italy

Wine in Italy is not just an accessory but part of life. The history of Rome is intricately entwined with the history of wine. Every sip of wine can bring rich traditions that inform preserved customs or new ideas. From rolling vineyards to vines draping over terraces, ancient soils to contemporary wineries, a glass of wine in Rome is part of the simple everyday pleasures for which Italian’s are famous.

Best Places to Visit for Wine: Colonna | Zagarolo | Aprilia | Ponza | Torrimpietra | Castelli Romani

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

5. Discover the Diverse Neighborhoods

Outdoor restaurant seating in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, Italy

Outdoor restaurant seating in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, Italy

Rome is a city where every neighborhood carries a distinctive ambiance. One street may brim with youthful culture while another lane takes you deep into the history for which the city is famous. Marble fountains and orange houses, lavish gardens, and antique walls all speak to the neighborhoods’ rich diversity. The best experiences in Rome immerse you in the glamour of the overall city and the specific charisma of each area found in the cuisine, wine, shops, and overall ambiance.

Best Neighborhoods for a Walking Tour: Tridente | Trastevere | Parione | Monti | Borgo | Aventino

Best Time to Visit:  May | June | October | November | December

6. Experience Arts and Crafts

Artisan ceramics for sale at craft market in Rome, Italy

Artisan ceramics for sale at craft market in Rome, Italy

Rome is a dream of hand-tailored crafts and fashion with traditions focused on style, poise, and glamour. The Eternal City captures the spirit of heritage and custom by preserving handmade crafts that teeter on the edge of artwork. From mosaics to candles, paper to shirt-makers, Rome’s winding alleyways provide a treasure trove waiting for discovery, whether uncovered in the shops or found in the bustling markets.

Best Places to Visit for Artisan Experiences: Ponte | Parione | Regola | Centro Storico

Best Time to Visit:  April | May | October | November | December

7. Wander the Museums

Gardens at Borghese Villa in Rome, Italy

Gardens at Borghese Villa in Rome, Italy

Rome is famous for its cultural heritage deriving from its history. The museums spanning the city capture past prestige and aesthetics for exceptional views of religious relics and ancient artifacts. The city feels like an open-air museum but the actual galleries offer insight into the evolving influences of the Renaissance and the foundations of the classical world built across the Mediterranean. One of the hardest decisions is deciding which museums to see as there are many.

Best Museums to Visit: Borghese | Capitoline | Vatican Museums | Castel  Sant’Angelo | Doria Pamphilj Gallery | Palazzo Massimo alla Terme

Best Time to Visit: March | April | May | October | November | December

8. Celebrate the Renaissance

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

The Renaissance is an empowering period in Italian history with monuments that decorate the Roman skyline and hidden piazzas. The images of artistic aesthetics bring new dimensions to different corners of the city by bringing new light and life to creative interpretations. From the Trevi Fountain to St. Peter’s Basilica, Villa Farnesina to Piazza Navona, the Renaissance monuments in Rome bring an elaborate glamour to the streets, galleries, museums, and piazzas.

Best Renaissance Monuments to Visit: Tempietto | Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne | Vatican City | Capitoline Hill | Piazza Navona | Piazza di Trevi

Best Time to Visit: May | June | October | November

9. Explore the Roman Roads

Biking down Appian Way in Rome, Italy

Biking down Appian Way in Rome, Italy

Rome is an exceptional destination for exploration, with each new street offering another layer of history. Cycling in and around Rome will immerse you in the city’s unparalleled beauty as you travel along the banks of the Tiber River or along the ancient Appian Way. Cycling can take you into the heart of Rome or along the city’s edges by connecting the historic center to the seaside, the vineyards to a nearby lake. The Roman Empire becomes yours to enjoy as you travel around Rome by bicycle.

Best Places to Cycle: Lungotevere | Appia Antica | Lago Bracciano | Castelli Romani

Best Time to Visit: May | June | September | October

More Travel Information & Tips

Angelo Bridge over the Tiber River and the Dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy

Angelo Bridge over the Tiber River and the Dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy

Rome’s ancient wonders offer a dramatic invitation to explore but the culture of Italy’s capital city maintains a preserved elegance that spans millennia. Whether you want a family-friendly gladiator school or a romantic dinner on the Tiber, Rome is endlessly classic. For more information and tips, our Italy Travel Guide can help you plan your perfect trip. Thinking of visiting Italy? You can speak to an Italy travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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