10 Awesome things to do in Rome
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Things To Do

10 Awesome things to do in Rome

Choosing which sites to visit first might be a challenge in Rome because it is such a historic and crowded city. How do you even start to figure out what to do in Rome? We have compiled a list of renowned and obscure locations in Rome, including museums, markets, archaeological and architectural wonders, to offer you a comprehensive range of exceptional experiences in the Italian metropolis. Whether you have a limited time of only one day or an extended period of a couple of weeks to see the city, this list will assist you in creating a memorable schedule.

Explore the "Eternal City" at your own pace with a Rome self-guided tour! Whether you're drawn to the iconic landmarks or hidden gems, a self-guided approach lets you tailor your itinerary and delve deeper into what interests you most. For a unique perspective, consider a colosseum audio tour, offering insights into the gladiatorial arena's fascinating history. If you prefer a structured experience, a Rome City Tour provides a comprehensive overview, including must-see sights like the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican City. No matter your style, Rome sightseeing promises an unforgettable adventure!

Immerse yourself in Ancient Rome gradually, not all at once

It is commonly acknowledged by Italians that Rome is chaotic, although they often follow up by stating that Rome's unique character is to be anticipated. Nowhere else in the world compares to it, therefore the best approach is to fully embrace all of its chaotic attractions. Despite the high probability of encountering large crowds, how could you overlook the unique sites that define the city?

Visiting Rome without standing in front of the Colosseum would be absurd, especially if you blend in with the crowd of gladiators-in-training. Visit the Pantheon and consider purchasing a skip-the-line ticket to avoid waiting in a long queue. It would be nearly inconceivable to not see the unique beauty of the Trevi Fountain.

Therefore, refrain. Absorb everything and let the experience to come to you. Reflect on the enduring stability of old structures as you touch their walls, or admire the incredibly detailed marble sculptures and statues. Explore the main attractions, come across the lesser-known ones, and keep in mind that you just need to go one or two streets away to discover a peaceful area of the city.

Planning tip: When organizing your itinerary in Rome, schedule the main attractions with intervals in between to allow yourself ample time to fully appreciate everything at a speed that is comfortable for you. For a three-day stay in Rome, consider spending half a day exploring the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Forum with an audio-guided tour. Reserve the remaining time in the afternoon or evening to wander through quieter areas of the city.

Visit the Vatican City for a day

The impact of seeing the Vatican for the first time is significant, whether you visit as a tourist or a pilgrim. The half-kilometer-square city-state is overshadowed by St Peter’s Basilica and surrounded by Bernini’s square. Visiting is worthwhile due to the impressive architecture, and once inside the Vatican structures, you will be amazed.

Begin your visit at the Vatican Museums, a compound consisting of 26 buildings that cover a distance of 7km (4.3 miles) filled with halls and galleries. A few hours is sufficient to grasp the extensive collection housed in the Museums, even if it would take much longer to view everything. Proceed through the narrow staircase to reach the Sistine Chapel, which remains awe-inspiring regardless of the number of visitors present.

After taking a break for lunch and rejuvenation, the Dome is ready for your visit. St. Peter's Basilica is an impressive feat of engineering, design, and determination. It took over a century to build and was influenced by many of Italy's most famous individuals. The Basilica is incredibly impressive, thus it may feel overpowering due to its sheer size during the first visit. That’s just another reason to come back. 

Planning tip: A strict clothing code is still being enforced. For safety, wear knee-length leggings or skirts and blouses that cover your shoulders. When in doubt, bring a light scarf with you (it's always worth having a scarf in Rome!).

Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza

Artists and architects in the Baroque era relied significantly on color and materials to make powerful visual statements. It was not Borromini who originally planned this splendid church for the Università di Roma. The maestro designed an interior environment that is both intimate and endless, simple yet complex, using basic plaster forms and natural light. Observing the interior design of St. Peter's Basilica by Bernini provides an opportunity to appreciate how his adversary achieves architectural excellence without relying on scale and color. There's no guide. Walk in, take a seat, and then breathe it in.

Galleria Doria Pamphilj

The museum has Rome's most extensive private collection, which was gathered by the Doria, Pamphilj, Landi, and Aldobrandini families and consolidated via marriage. The story takes place in a prestigious palace that is still owned by the Doria Pamphilj family. The elaborate rooms serve as a magnificent backdrop for the extensive art collection. The collection is highly praised by art enthusiasts of the 16th and 17th centuries but often goes unnoticed by the general public, despite its proximity to Piazza Venezia and the Forum.

Villa Doria Pamphilj

The greatest public park in Rome is separated among well-maintained gardens, forested areas, pine groves, and patches of natural vegetation. The area features expansive meadows and secluded spots suitable for romantic picnics. It is an ideal location for runners or cyclists looking to cover some distance without the disturbances of vehicle congestion and air pollution. Make sure to have a map when you visit, whether it's for a walk, a lunch, or a workout. The location is vast, and several exits go directly into residential areas.


Understanding the building's history will enhance your visit to the Colosseum and meet all expectations. Over several centuries, the location served as a venue for wild animal hunts, public executions, and gladiator battles. Eventually, it was repurposed into a residential complex by medieval Romans who settled in the massive remains. Visit the second-story exhibition area to see the artists' interpretations of the building's old and medieval forms, which will spark your curiosity.

Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums in Rome include a remarkable collection of antique sculptures and are surprisingly not often crowded. The museums draw school groups, local historical and artistic enthusiasts, or travelers who often wander among the different structures, two of which were designed by Michelangelo. Because of its collection and close location to Rome's primary archaeological sites, it is a convenient spot to visit after exploring the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

Santa Maria della Scala's Ancient Pharmacy

Stepping into this antique apothecary, the oldest in Europe, gives the sensation of traveling back in time. You access the ground floor of the structure, currently operating as a modern pharmacy, before proceeding to the historic version on the upper floor. 

Upon arrival, a friar greets visitors and provides explanations on the plants, potions, unguents, balms, and oils utilized for healing by the ancient Romans. He knows his stuff. Request to see authentic 18th-century timber furniture and the tools used for weighing ingredients and preparing remedies. Watch out for teriaca, a concoction made and used by the Romans as an antidote that contains viper meat among its ingredients.


MAXXI is a destination where visitors can spend many hours absorbing the full space without any specific agenda. Zaha Hadid designed Rome's contemporary museum, showcasing modern fashion, cinema, art, and architecture shows. It's worth going just to look at the building—it's a work of art. The intricate layout at MAXXI is astonishing. 

Despite being busy, the ample space makes it difficult to see the crowds. The expansive corridors lead to rooms of various themes and sizes, spanning five stories filled with continuous and remarkable artwork. Spaces encompass a variety of venues, including performing arts theaters, galleries showcasing contemporary artworks, and outdoor movies. This may seem a little illogical to some, but it makes sense if you consider it as a whole rather than in discrete areas.

Master the delicate skill of the aperitivo

Avoid from referring to it as happy hour, as the aperitivo holds a significance beyond just discounted drinks post-work. There is a specific method to doing it correctly: the aperitivo is a pre-dinner drinking tradition designed to stimulate the appetite, not satisfy it or overwhelm it with low-quality alcohol. The contemporary aperitivo originated in the late 1700s with the rise in popularity of vermouth and other herbal cocktails, despite evidence of similar practices throughout human history.

Italians have started socializing with friends and beverages before supper in more innovative ways. Currently, the aperitivo has evolved to include a wider range of options and is commonly served with more sophisticated appetizers designed to complement the drinks. Avoid overeating, as this is just a preview of what will be served at dinner.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Rome offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and culinary delights. Whether you wander through ancient ruins or savor authentic Italian cuisine, the Eternal City promises an unforgettable experience. Embrace the magic of Rome, where every cobblestone tells a story and every moment is a journey through time. Plan your visit and let the eternal allure of this remarkable city leave an indelible mark on your heart. Grazie e arrivederci, until we meet again in the eternal embrace of Rome!

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