Are you planning a trip to Rome but don’t know where to start? Look no further. In this guide, we’ll cover the must-see sights, hidden gems, and local favorites to make the most out of your Roman holiday.
Exploring the Ancient City
Rome is known for its rich history and breathtaking architecture. Start your journey by visiting the Colosseum, the iconic amphitheater that once hosted gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. Get a deeper understanding of Roman history at the Roman Forum, the political and social center of ancient Rome. Take a stroll through the Pantheon, a former temple and now a church, to admire its impressive dome and marble interior.
Off the Beaten Path: The Aventine Hill
Escape the crowds and discover the charming Aventine Hill. Here, you’ll find the peaceful Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden), a hidden gem with stunning views of Rome and the Tiber River. Walk down the hill to explore the ancient Baths of Caracalla, once a lavish public bathhouse and now a popular venue for concerts and events.
Local Favorites: Trastevere
Cross the Tiber River to reach the vibrant and bohemian Trastevere neighborhood. This lively area is known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and lively nightlife. Visit Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, a beautiful square with a stunning church and plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy a drink or a gelato.
Savoring Italian Cuisine
When in Rome, indulge in the city’s rich culinary scene. Start your day with a cappuccino and a cornetto (a sweet pastry) at a local café. For lunch, head to a trattoria (a casual Italian restaurant) to try classic dishes like spaghetti carbonara or cacio e pepe. Don’t forget to save room for gelato, a refreshing Italian dessert made with milk, sugar, and flavorings like fruit or chocolate.
Off the Beaten Path: Mercato Centrale
For a true foodie experience, visit Mercato Centrale, a bustling indoor market in the heart of Rome. Browse the stalls for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local specialties. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many food stands, offering everything from pizza to fried seafood.
Local Favorites: Testaccio
Explore the Testaccio neighborhood, a foodie’s paradise known for its traditional Roman cuisine. Visit the Mercato di Testaccio, a lively outdoor market selling fresh produce, meats, and cheeses. Stop by one of the area’s many trattorias for a hearty meal, like the famous oxtail stew known as coda alla vaccinara.
Enjoying the Outdoors
Rome is not only a city of history and food, but also of beautiful parks and gardens. Take a break from sightseeing and enjoy the fresh air and greenery.
Off the Beaten Path: Villa Borghese
Escape the crowds and visit Villa Borghese, a sprawling park with lush gardens, fountains, and museums. Rent a bicycle or a boat to explore the park’s many paths and lakes. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Galleria Borghese, a museum housing a collection of sculptures and paintings by Italian masters like Bernini and Caravaggio.
Local Favorites: Appia Antica
Take a trip back in time and walk along the ancient Appian Way, a historic road lined with tombs, catacombs, and ruins. Rent a bike and explore the countryside, stopping at vineyards, farms, and olive groves along the way. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Catacombs of San Callisto, a fascinating underground cemetery with tombs dating back to the 2nd century AD.
Rome is a city rich in history, culture, and food. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover. Follow our guide and make the most out of your Roman holiday. Buon viaggio!