Rome is one of the most iconic and most travelled cities in Europe, with a long history to match. Come here and wander through ancient ruins, eat way too much pasta, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, and fall in love with our favourite city in Italy.
Here’s our ultimate Rome travel guide!
What To Do
A visit to Rome would not be complete with out spending some time exploring the famous Colosseum. The site of many bloody gladiatorial fights, the Colosseum, which was finished in 80 A.D., could then hold about 50,000 spectators.
Today, the massive complex is a favourite site amongst travellers, therefore it wont comes as a surprise that you’ll find lengthy lines almost anytime you visit. To beat the queues, we recommend you purchase your ticket at the Roman Forum, which allows you admittance to both and a line jump at the Colosseum.
The Roman Forum
Not as popular as the Colosseum, but located next door, some say the Roman Forum is more interesting … and free! The Roman Forum comprises much of Ancient Rome’s most important structures, from shrines to government houses to monuments. Although much of the complex is in ruins, you can see the remains of the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus and the House of the Vestal Virgins, among other structures.
We definitely recommend paying for an audio guide, which gives context to the Roman Forum ruins. The Forum is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Trevi Fountain
The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. Tradition has it that you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the fountain’s water basin. You should toss it with your right hand over your left shoulder (or left hand over your right shoulder) with your back to the fountain.
Open daily and free to enter, the Pantheon is definitely worth a visit. It’s most known for its perfect proportions — which amazes all as it was raised in 120 A.D! While you’re there, you can also pay your respects to Raphael, as well as Italian kings Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, who are all buried there.
One of Rome’s best known public squares, the Piazza Navona dates back to the end of the 15th century. It’s known for it’s cafes & street performers, but you’ll also find a number of impressive monuments here, including one by Gianlorenzo Bernini and another by Francesco Borromini.
You can reach Piazza Navona by hopping off the metro at Barberini and walking about 1.6km west.
Vatican Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica
The two main attractions that most visitors come to see within the Vatican City are the Vatican Museums & St Peter’s Basilica. Home to the world’s largest private portfolio of artwork, the Vatican is a must-see for visitors to Rome, and we think the best way to explore it is with a guide. Learn about Raphael’s Rooms, the Michelangelo frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, the ‘La Pietà’ sculpture in St Peter’s Basilica and more.
Read more: Why You Should Book A Tour At The Vatican
What To Eat
Known as the quintessential Roman street food, Pizza bianca (white pizza) is effectively plain pizza, simply sprinkled with coarse salt. For the best Pizza bianca we suggest heading to Forno Campo de’ Fiori.
Another street food item, Supplì is a fried ball of rice with meat and tomato sauce and a filling of melted mozzarella. For the best Supplì head to the restaurant with the most obvious name – Suppli.
Rome’s most famous pasta dish, carbonara is made with eggs, pecorino-romano cheese, guanciale (or bacon/pancetta), and black pepper and usually served over spaghetti. You can not visit Rome without eating a big bowl of pasta at least once. For the best bowl of Carbonara head to the bustling Da Enzo.
Pizza… Roman Style
Roman pizza is much different to the Naples version and is very, very thin. It does not have a lip on the crust and it is cooked to have a nice “char” on the base. To get a truly authentic slice of Roman pizza then opt for the pizzas with toppings such as anchovies and capers. For a nice slice of Roman pizza check out Ai Marmi.
Gelato isn’t just the Italian word for ice cream. It’s different than ice cream. And that means when eating gelato… you can expect a different flavor, and texture, than you would from ice cream back home. To try some delicious italian Gelato head to Il Gelato.
Where To Stay
Luxury Hotel: Boscolo Exedra Roma, Autograph Collection
Set in a former 19th-century palace, this opulent hotel is a minute’s walk from a metro station, allowing you to get to anywhere you want to explore.
Budget-friendly Hotel: Rome Times Hotel
Our choice of accommodation for our Italian getaway was Rome Times Hotel which is situated pretty much in smack-bang in the middle of the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, and everything else in between.
Hostel: Generator Rome
Generator is Rome’s first ‘poshtel’, a chic, boutique accommodation with a youthful vibe and a contemporary-meets-retro décor. The location is slightly out of the way, but is super close to nearby Termini Station.
Self-catered: Airbnb Mini Loft
This amazing new miniloft on Airbnb, was renovated in August 2012 and is located in the historic area of San John. It’s a 1 minute’s walk from the subway with which a few stops you can reach the most desired destinations in the city. Equipped with every comfort it’s the ideal place to spend a wonderful holiday in Rome.
Have you stayed in an Airbnb rental before? If not and you would like to sign up to Airbnb why not use this link here so you can receive a $50 Airbnb travel credit.
Anything we missed? What would you recommend travellers do, eat or stay during a visit to Rome?
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