Tips on What To Do in Rome
The Eternal City will be overwhelming, especially if you have only a limited amount of time. Travel experts recommend pacing yourself. Take time to take to experience bella Rome's La Dolce Vita (or the sweet life), like character Marcello learned to do in the applauded film of the same name. Whether you're touring the city's historic sites or treading churches' hallowed ground, do as the Romans do and move slowly, enjoying each drop of your Italian vacation. Some of the top traveler-recommended things to do are tours; Eden Walks, Miles & Miles Tour Company and Vina Roma are among the top-rated ones.
- Don't exhaust yourself in a mad dash around all of Rome's attractions: Leave time for soaking up the atmosphere of its piazze and alleyways; this is just as much a part of the experience of the city as are its frescoes, statues, and ruins." -- Concierge.com
- Don't Miss … Walking around the base of Monte Testaccio -- an eye- popping slice of rural life right in the city, where goats graze above clubs that blast techno by night." -- Travel and Leisure
- Modern Rome is not without its downsides: The traffic is nightmarish, and scandals have left residents feeling down about their government. But head out to a tiny palazzo at night, and all that seems to be washed under a rug of high energy, homemade pasta and mythological characters that still have a hold on the Italian imagination." -- Forbes Traveler
The Vatican Museums, located in Rome's northwest corner, are a trove of artistic wealth and feature artists, such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio among others. Ancient Rome's Capitoline Museum (Museo Capitolino) showcases the bronze Capitoline Wolf nursing Romulus and Remus -- the city's mythic founders. Although these are two of Roma's most heavily touristed museums, the city boasts of many more that are well worth a visit.
- Leave plenty of time to tour the Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museums), which house numerous masterpieces, including Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel and Rapahel's School of Athens." -- Travel Channel
- Without a doubt, a visit to the Galleria Borghese should be a part of any Roman itinerary. Reservations are required, however, as tickets sometimes sell out one month in advance." -- Let's Go Rome
- To enter the Musei Vaticani, the Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica di San Pietro you must comply with the Vatican's dress code, or you will be turned away by the implacable custodians stationed at the doors. For both men and women, shorts and tank tops are taboo, as are miniskirts and other revealing clothing." -- Fodor's
Rome is rife with historic attractions, some of which are 2,000-plus years of age. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain are obvious must-sees, but history aficionados should also pop inside the city's numerous historic churches, which are works of art in themselves. Repubblica's Santa Maria della Vittoria is one example of a church with an unassuming exterior with a breathtaking interior: Bernini's breathtaking Ecstasy of St. Theresa sits inside, swooning.
- Save time at the Colosseum … Do yourself a favor and skip the long lines here. Instead go to the much shorter lines at the Palatine Hill and buy a combined ticket for the Colosseum and the ruins of the Palatine, which is also worth seeing." --Sherman's Travel
- No matter how many times you walk through the Colosseum and Roman Forum, the cracks in its historic facades never lose their appeal. Apart from the tourist sites, this area's winding back alleys make for a charming stroll through the Renaissance, and its many hotels and restaurants in the Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona are worthy stops." -- Forbes Traveler
Italians love their designers -- their high-end Italian designers, to be specific -- and Armani, Ferragamo, Versace and many other couture shops can be found clustered around the Spanish Steps. For one-of-a-kind Roman gifts, try the areas surrounding Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori.
- Big-name fashion designers cluster around the foot of the Spanish Steps, but there are exciting surprises lurking all around the centro storico." -- Concierge.com
- Shopping hours are generally Monday from 3:30 to 7:30pm, and Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 or 10am to 1pm and 3:30 to 7 or 7:30pm. Some shops are open on Monday mornings, however, and some shops don't close for the afternoon break." -- Frommer's
- Don't Miss … Exploring the 'new' Monti (formerly ancient Rome's red-light district) by browsing cutting-edge fashion boutiques on Via Leonina." -- Travel and Leisure
- The Corso … This broad avenue stretching from the Piazza del Popolo to the Victor Emmanuel Monument is lined with stores and shopping malls featuring familiar names like Adidas and Diesel as well as shops selling knock-offs." -- Sherman's Travel
Roman flea markets are great places to pick up a souvenir or two, and Sunday morning's Porta Portese in Trastevere is the biggest in the city. And for a slice of Italian life, spend an appetizing afternoon at Testaccio's food market or those at Campo de' Fiori and San Cosimato.
- Don't miss weekday mornings mixing with salt-of-the-earth Romani dei Roma at Testaccio's covered produce market." -- Travel and Leisure
- We've never discovered an original Raphael at Rome's Porta Portese flea market (which locals call mercato delle pulci). But we've picked up some interesting souvenirs over the years. The market, the largest in Europe, began after World War II when black marketers needed an outlet for illegal wares." -- Frommer's
- Porta Portese great value Rome's best flea market offers great bargains on antiques, clothes, housewares, and just about anything else you can imagine. Just keep your hand on your wallet at all times." -- Sherman's Travel
Sports & Leisure
In the United Kingdom, they have football; in the U.S., it's soccer; and in Italy, it's calcio. Calcio, calcio, calcio. Catch a game at northern Rome's Stadio Olimpico. If you want to play calcio yourself or simply get in a good jog after all the pasta and gelato, Villa Pamphili and Villa Borghese are green, open-air retreats amidst the marble city.
- Most tourists don't take excursions into Italy's Fascist past, but you do precisely that along a pretty stretch of the Tiber that’s the setting for the Foro Italico, a series of sports arenas and sports-related artwork commissioned by Mussolini." -- New York Times
- Rome's biggest park, Villa Pamphili, offers the sporty types the perfect playground. Runners flock to this park to work up a sweat -- no Roman is crazy enough to run in the street." -- Lonely Planet
- Tickets to intense soccer matches can be obtained at the stadium before a game, but beware long lines and sold-out games; if you're buying last minute, watch out for price gouging and fake tickets." -- Let's Go Rome
Nightlife abounds in this Italian city. For a bit of culture, buy tickets to the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in Repubblica or the Teatro di Roma - Argentina in Campo, though if you're looking for entertainment in English, try out the English Theatre of Rome. The contemporary Auditorium-Parco della Musica is a large, performing arts venue in Roma's northwest. Cinemas usually show American films dubbed in Italian.
As for clubs and bars, check out the Testaccio, the southern district of Ostiense or Trastevere. Travel writers also say to visit the areas surrounding the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, too, and to note that some clubs close down for the summer months.
- For high-density clubs offering anything from salsa to live jazz to international DJs, head for well-established Testaccio or newly buzzing Ostiense. A more laid-back smart set occupy the trendy bars of the alleys in the 'triangolo della pace' area just west of Piazza Navona. Visitors with little grasp of Italian take comfort in one another's company in Trastevere." -- Concierge.com
- Even if you don't speak Italian, you can generally follow the listings of special events and entertainment in La Repubblica, one of the leading Italian newspapers. The minimag Wanted in Rome (www.wantedinrome.com) has listings of jazz, rock, and such. The daily Il Messaggero lists current cultural news." -- Frommer's