Top 10 Things to Do in Rome

 

With a history of over 2,000 years, the options of things to do (and see) in Rome are almost limitless. So our experts put together a list of Top 10 Things to Do in Rome, to make it a little easier for you. If you can’t get through all of them…you’ll just have to come back for another visit!

THE must-see destinations when in Rome:

1. Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel. St. Peter’s Basilica – The most beloved places to visit in Rome, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica are a must-see for your itinerary. We’ll let the tour guides fill you in on the sites but can recommend a great place to grab a drink before or after your Vatican City visit. If you’re craving the pub-vibe, look no further. Literally just steps from the Vatican, Ris Café has a good mix of locals, students, expats and tourists. And one of the best burgers in town!

2. Colosseum & Ancient Forum – Explore one of the most remarkable places to visit in Rome. Avoid expensive tourist traps and make your way over to neighboring Monti after some historical sightseeing. There are a few restaurants with this name in Rome but there is only one La Carbonara. This real-deal, no frills spot has been serving inexpensive yet equally delicious Roman pasta since 1906.

3. The Pantheon – The most unique and impressive monument in Rome, the Pantheon is rich with history. But if you are in the mood for some rich gelato, go to nearby Della Palma where they offer about 150 delicious and distinctive flavors.

4. Trevi Fountain – Your Rome itinerary would not be complete without a visit to the grandiose Trevi Fountain – the largest and most famous fountain in Rome. We recommend you grab a quick bite as this area is heavily populated and foot traffic can be fast moving. Within walking distance of the crowds is Pane e Salame, offering a selection of breads and cured meats in a chic setting.

5. Piazza Navona – A square famous for its three fountains by Bernini, there are a ton of options to eat and drink. But this area can be quite expensive and oftentimes the quality of the meal does not match the price. There is one place in particular that is loved by locals and tourists alike – Armando Al Pantheon. This institution has been around since 1961 and tables are always in demand, so be sure to book a reservation well in advance!

6. Campo de’ Fiori – A square that is market by day, pub destination by night, Campo de’ Fiori has many different options for dining. If you want lunch or a snack on the go as you continue your sightseeing adventures around Rome, Il Forno is the best place for pizza bianca (extremely light and delicate bread that you can eat plain or as a sandwich).

7. Spanish Steps – No food recommendations here – this area is strictly for shopping. Gucci, Versace, Armani, Cavalli, just to name a few of the big guys. And newly reopened, you can now enjoy the beautiful view of the Spanish Steps and snag a seat if the weather is nice enough. But if you’re feeling fancy and didn’t spend TOO much money shopping, Babington’s Tea Room & Cafe (established in 1893) is worth a visit for some high tea.

8. Castel Sant’Angelo – Originally built in the Roman era but successfully converted into a Papal prison in the 14th century, Castel Sant’Angelo’s history is as impressive as its structure. This massive castle and the beautifully sculptured bridge leading up to it has been featured in movies like Roman Holiday and The Great Beauty, and was even the last scene in Puccini’s famous opera, Tosca. http://castelsantangelo.beniculturali.it/

9. Galleria Borghese & the Borghese Gardens –  This art gallery housed in the former Villa Borghese includes 20 rooms containing the most recognizable works of art from Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini. And outside lies the third largest public park in Rome. Weather permitting, you can spend an entire day picnicking or walking around the beautiful park grounds. http://www.galleriaborghese.it/it/

10. Piazza del Popolo – One of the larger squares in Rome, it literally means the “People’s Square”. But historically, the piazza lies inside the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls, where you can still see part of the ancient door.  http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/piazza-del-popolo?lang=en

National Unity and Armed Forces Day

Wonder why there were jets flying over the centre this morning? Or why Piazza Venezia was closed to traffic?

National Unity and Armed Forces Day

On November 4th, Italy celebrates National Unity and Armed Forces Day – which commemorates the end of World War I on the Italian Front and soldiers lost in battle.  The day is also meant to pay respect to those actively serving in Italy’s armed forces around the world.

On November 3rd 1918, Italian and Austrian-Hungarian forces agreed to and signed an armstice agreement at Villa Giusti in Padova, Italy.  On November 4th, 1918 the ceasefire between Italian and Austrian-Hungarian forces took effect – ending the First World War on the Italian Front and contributing to the conclusion of the war shortly there after.

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(cc:difesa.it)

The ceasefire was the result of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in northern Italy where Italian forces defeated Austrian-Hungarian forces.  Some Italians see this victory as the cumination of the Risorgimento Nationalist Movement that unified the country in the 19th century.

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(cc:difesa.it)

National Unity and Armed Forces Day at Altare della Patria in Rome

Each year, Rome commemorates National Unity and Armed Forces Day with a ceremony at Altare della Patria. During the ceremony more than 1000 service members participate in the military parade.

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The ceremony also features the President of Italy placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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There is a fly-over by the Italian Air Force’s aerial acrobatics team Frecce Tricolori.

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(cc:difess.it)

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By |November 4th, 2016|Events in Rome, Holiday|0 Comments

November 4th – 11th in Rome

1. Roma Jazz Festival

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(cc: romajazzfestival.it)

From November 6th to the 23rd, Rome will be holding its 40th annual jazz festival! The festival includes various events and performances to be enjoyed by the public.  This week You can see Radical Gypsy at Casa del Jazz (November 6th), Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau Duo at Sinopoli Hall (November 8th), and Jacob Collier at Petrassi Hall (November 9th).

Where: Locations vary, please visit website

When: November 6th to 23rd, specific times vary

Tickets: Also varies based on performance

2. Exhibit: Star Wars: Play

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(cc: ilvittoriano.com)

Until January 29th, visitors have the opportunity to experience the cinematographic history of the Star Wars francise right here in Rome.  The exhibit includes over 1000 items including scale models, toys, costumes, vintage prints and many more. Experience another level of the universe that has captivated audiences for decades.

Where: Complesse del Vittoriano ala Brasini, Via San Pietro in Carcere

When: Until January 29th – Monday to Thursday 9:30-19:30, Friday and Saturday 9:30 to 22:00, and Sundays 9:30-20:30

Tickets: 8€ – 10€

3. Cinema2Day

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(cc: @cinema2day)

Thanks to the Italian Culture Ministry, it will only cost 2€ to see a movie next Wednesday! The nationwide initiative hopes to encourage culture through the cinema and applies to over 3000 movie theatres nationwide. The initiative will also continue through the second week of February, offering 2€ movies on the second Wednesday of each month.

Where: Locations vary, please go to the Cinema2Day website for more details

When: November 9th

Tickets: 2€

4. Exhibit: Art and Politics

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(cc: museomacro.org)

“Arte e Politica” is MACRO’s newest exhibition exploring differenct political and social themes.  From 1930s paintings reflecting sentiments surrounding Fascism to more recent social/political attitudes and issues, this exhibit is both thought-provoking and fascinating.  The exhibit includes works by Mario Mafai, Claudio Abate, Ines Fontenla, and many more.

Where: MACRO, Via Nizza 138

When: Until May 10th – Tuesday to Sunday 10:30-19:30

Tickets: 9€-11€

5. MAXXI Raises Funds to Help With Earthquake Aftermath 

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(cc: @valentina_pascale)

Following a series of earthquakes in central Italy, the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art has decided to raise funds to help restore historic buildings, churches and other aspects of Italian cultural heritage that were damaged.  On Saturday November 5th, all proceeds from ticket sales at MAXXI will go directly towards these efforts.  This is a great opportunity to experience one of Rome’s best museums while also giving back to the community!

Where: MAXXI, Via Guido Reni 4

When: Saturday November 5th – 11:00-22:00

Tickets: 8€-12€


What are your favourite events in Rome this week? Let us know on Facebook! 

Visit our website to book one of our many guided tours of Rome! 

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Haunted Rome: 5 Spooky Places to See This Halloween

Hallows-week is here! What better way to celebrate than exploring the city’s spookiest sites? With thousands of years of history, Rome has no shortage of potentially haunted locations – some of them may even surprise you.  Here are 5 spooky places to visit this Halloween in Rome:

1. Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo

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Castel Sant’Angelo is a staple of the Roman skyline, but it also has a dark past. Particularly during the Renaissance era, Castel was one of multiple sites in Rome where papal executions would take place. A multitude of executions took place on the bridge in front of Castel, Ponte Sant’Angelo. The papal state also used it as a prison where many died while waiting for their sentence. Considering the history of the landmark, it is not surprising that it has been the site of many ghostly sitings.

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(@artitalyapp)

The most well-known haunting of Castel Sant’Angelo and the nearby bridge is the story of Beatrice Cenci.  Beatrice was the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat who was sentenced to death in 1599 for the murder of her father.  Beatrice was executed at the gallows once raised in front of Castel Sant’Angelo. Since then, both visitors and locals have claimed to see her headless ghost walking across the bridge on the night of September 10th to 11th. However, sightings of Beatrice are not limited to September 11th, so perhaps she will make an appearance this Halloween.

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(telesanterno.com)

Castel is also allegedly haunted by the ghost of Mastro Titta – who is commonly referred to as the legendary executioner of Rome.  Between 1796 and 1864 Titta executed 816 prisoners on behalf of the Papal State.There have been many claims that Titta can be seen walking Ponte Sant’Angelo at dusk wearing a red cloak. It is said that he offers passersby tobacco, just like he used to do for those awaiting execution.

Where: Lungotevere Castello, 50

When: 9:00-19:30 daily

Entrance: 11€-16€

2. Death’s Portal

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St. Peter’s Basilica is home to 5 sets of bronze doors – each depicting important Catholic beliefs or experiences. The most prominenet of these doors is the Holy Door – which is only open on Jubilee years.  Less prominent are the set of doors referred to as the Doors of Death.  Located to the far left of the Basilica’s portico, the Doors of Death depict morbid scenes including the deaths of Jesus, Mary and St. Peter.  Considering the content of these doors it is not surprising that they were used for funeral processions. Many even refuse to walk through these doors for fear of being cursed.

You can see the Doors of Death on Enjoy Rome’s tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.  Go to www.enjoyrome.com to book! 

Where: St Peter’s Basilica, Piazza San Pietro

When: Open daily 7:00-18:30

3. Campo dei’ Fiori and the Ghost of Giordano Bruno

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Campo de’ Fiori is one of Rome’s most lively areas. However, both visitors and locals often overlook the ominous statue located at the centre of the piazza.  The statue is of Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher and astrologer who is best known for his theories of the cosmos. Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition and sentenced to death. On February 17th, 1600 Bruno was executed in Campo dei’ Fiori.  Many have claimed to see his ghost wandering the piazza at night or looking down on the crowd from one of the terraces above.

Where: Piazza Campo de’Fiori

4. Crypt of the Capuchin Friars

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(No photos are allowed inside; digitized postcard; author unknown)

This location is both creepy and fascinating all at the same time, thus making for the perfect Halloween visit.  The Crypt of the Capuchin Friars is located within catacombs of the Church of Our Lady of Conception of the Capuchins.  The church itself was completed in the 17th century . It is not exactly known when the catacombs were constructed, however it is believed to have been between 1732 and 1775. The crypts themselves are comprised of 5 rooms decorated with the bones of 4,000 friars.  The decorations include instricate designs and patters such as crosses, crowns, and even a chandelier.  Not to mention the eerie plaque that reads “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be”.

Where: Via Vittorio Veneto, 27

When: Open daily 9:00-12:00 and 15:00-18:00

Entrance: 4€-6€

5. San Callisto Catacombs

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(No photos are allowed inside; digitized postcard; author unknown)

There are many catacomb sites in and around Rome, but the most popular are probably the San Callisto Catacombs located on the Appian Way.  The catacombs are a massive underground burial complex where popes, martyrs and other Christians have been buried for centuries – including the original crypt of St. Cecilia.  It is difficult to get much spookier than miles of dimply lit crypts where the souls of thousands were buried.

Want to learn more about the San Callisto Catacombs? Book your spot on our guided tour of the Catacombs and the Appian Way! 

 

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By |October 29th, 2016|Holiday, Things to do in Rome|0 Comments

October 21st-28th in Rome

October is quickly coming to a close and November is just around the corner. Here are 5 must see events to add to your calendar this week:

1. International Photography Festival of Rome 

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(cc: http://www.fotografiafestival.it/)

This year marks the 15th edition of the International Photography Festival of Rome. Entitled “Roma, il Mondo”, the exhibit aims to highlight the juxtaposition of international culture in Rome through photography. The exhibit features works by both emerging and established Italian photographers, as well as international entries.

When: October 21st – January 8th, Tuesday to Sunday 10:30-19:30

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art – Via Nizza 138

Tickets: 9€ – 11€

2. Exhibit: Valeriano Ciai 1928-2013

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(@romeartweek)

This exhibit features 30 works by the famous Roman painter Valeriano Ciai – tracing the development of his life, artistic career and the city of Rome itself. Hosted by the Museum of Rome in Trastevere, this exhibit provides an interesting exploration of Italian realism and abstract art from 1928 to 2013.

When: Until November 6th – Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-20:00

Where: Museo di Roma

Tickets: 5€-6€

3. Giornata del Teatro 

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(cc: mrkbzl)

October 22nd was declared the national Day of Theatre in hopes of providing the public with the opportunity to re-explore theatric world.  As part of this declararion, all of Italy’s theatres will be open to the public on Saturday for tours as well as live performances.

When: Saturday October 22nd – times vary

Where: Please note that the specific location depends on which theatre you would like to visit.  Check out our blog post dedicated to Giornata del Teatro  5 theatres to see in Rome for more information!

Tickets: Free

4. Notte Bianca at Villa Medici

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(cc: @luna_m)

Villa Medici will be celebrating Notte Bianca – or the White Night – on October 27th.  The nocturnal celebration will feature art installations throughout the Villa as well as the gardens!

When: October 27th at 19:00 – October 28th at 4:00

Where: Villa Medici – Viale della Trinita dei Monti

Tickets: Free

5. Rome’s Film Festival Continues

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As we discussed in our previous post, Rome’s 11th annual film festival continues until October 23rd! The festival includes over 40 official film selections including Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep, as well as Oliver Stone’s highly anticipated film Snowden. In addition to film screenings the festival will also include art/film exhibitions, debates and panel discussions. Events will be held at the Parco Della Musica Auditorium, Maxxi Museum, and more.

When: Until October 23rd

Where: Event locations may vary; please visit romacinemafest.it for more details

Tickets: Tickets vary depending on the event; please visit romacinemafest.it for more details

October 21st-28th in Rome

The theatre holds an important place in  Italy’s culture and history. This has led to the Italian Minister of Culture declaring October 22nd Giornata del Teatro (Day of Theatre) in Italy.  On this day, the public has the opportunity to re-discover the value of the theatre by way of free access, tours and performances at Italy’s major theatres/opera houses.  Here is a list of 5 historical theatres/opera houses in Rome to explore on Giornata del Teatro:

1. Teatro Argentina

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(cc: atravelintime.worpress.com)

Located at Largo di Torre Argentina,  this 18th century opera house is one of the oldest in the city.  The theatre was designed by Italian architect Girolamo Theodoli after being commissioned by the Sforza Cesarini family.  Teatro Argentina officially opened in 1732 and has since been regarded as an architectual jewel ever since. In addition to its beauty, the opera house has also cultivated a great deal of historic importance over the years.  For example, a variety of notable premieres have taken place here including Rossini’s Barber of Seville in 1816.  The location of the theatre itself is also incredibly interesting as it is the same square where the Curia of Pompey stood in ancient times – also known as the site where Julius Cesar was assasinated during the Ides of March in 44 BC.

Where: Largo di Torre Argentina, 52

2. Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

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(cc: @operaincasa)

Teatro dell’Opera di Roma was originally opened in 1880 with a seating capacity of over 2,200.  Famous for it’s lavish decor/design, the opera house was commissioned by Domenico Costanzi and designed by Milanese architect Achille Sfondrini. The theatre has held a prominent position in Rome’s cultural circles as it was the host of 46 premiere performances from 1880 to 1926. Although renovations have limited its orginal seating to about 1,600, the theatre is still regarded as a cornerstone of opera culture in Rome as performances continue today.

Where: Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 1

3. Teatro Quirino 

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(cc: teatroquirino.it)

Teatro Quirino was built in 1871 and is located in the heart of the historic centre. It was commissioned by Prince Maffeo Sciarra who was inspired to name it after Rome’s origins – Quirinale Hill (one of the seven hills of Rome) and the mythological god Quirinus. The theatre has been tranformed over the years by various renovations, however it remains a hub for theatric arts in Rome today.

Where: Via Delle Vergini,7

4. Teatro Sistina 

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(cc: ilsistina.it)

Teatro Sistina was officially inaugurated in 1949 as a cinema-theatre and was designed by Italian architect Marcello Piacentini. Although Sistina is much younger than the other theatres/opera houses on this list, it has become one of the most important theatres in Italy.  The theatre was made famous by the works of Italian playwrights Garinei and Giovannini.  It has also hosted many prominent artists, comedians and musicals over the years.

Where: Via Sistina, 129

5. Teatro Valle 

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(cc:italymagazine.com)

Teatro Valle was built by Italian architect Tommaso Morelli in 1726 after the Capranica family commissioned it for private use. Although the theatre has been renovated many times since its opening, it was originally designed as a classical Italian theatre – a wooden horseshoe shaped structure with 5 tiers of viewing boxes and a gallery.  Teatro Valle has been home to many notable premieres over the centuries such as works by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.  The theatre has also become an important symbol of artistic independence in Rome since it was occupied by a group of protestors in 2011 who were arguing against the theatre’s possible privatization.

Where: Via del Teatro Valle, 21

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By |October 15th, 2016|Best places in Rome, Concerts in Rome, Events in Rome, Holiday|0 Comments

October 13th-20th in Rome

Fall is here and so are a variety of new things to see and do in the Eternal City! Here are 5 things to add to your calendar this week:

1. Outdoor Festival 2016 

(cc: @disarmonico)

This October marks the 7th annual Outdoor Festival in Rome. This unique, month-long event seeks to give new life to the city’s neglected urban spaces by transforming them and putting them to use. This year’s festival takes place at the former military barracks referred to as Ex-Caserma. Throughout the festival there are a variety of artistic and cultural events scheduled including dedicated Saturdays to each participating country and film screenings on Sundays.

Where: Ex-Caserma di Via Guido Reni, 7

When: Until October 31st; please see website for specific event times www.out-door.it

Tickets: 8€ entry fee

2. Rome Film Festival 

(cc: @romacinemafest)

Rome’s 11th annual film festival begins on October 13th! The festival includes over 40 official film selections including Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep, as well as Oliver Stone’s highly anticipated film Snowden. In addition to film screenings the festival will also include art/film exhibitions, debates and panel discussions. Events will be held at the Parco Della Musica Auditorium, Maxxi Museum, and more.

When: October 13th-23rd

Where: Event locations may vary; please visit romacinemafest.it for more details

Tickets: Tickets vary depending on the event; please visit romacinemafest.it for more details

3. Exhibit: Love 

(cc: @evitzan)

This collection of contemporary art explores how artists of the past century have expressed love in their works. Using a variety of different mediums, these works explore different themes in the context of love – passion, jealousy, etc. Artists include (but are not limited to) Francesco Vezzoli, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselman.

When: Until February 19th; Mon-Fri 10am to 8pm / Sat-Sun 10am to 9pm

Where: Chiostro Del Bramante – Via Arco Della Pace, 5

Tickets: 11€ – 13€

4. Exhibit: La Spina Del Borgo 

(cc: @museiincomuneroma)

This exhibit gives you the chance to explore Rome’s changing urban landscape. Hosted by the Capitoline Museums, this exhibit focuses on La Spina del Borgo – a renaissance era block that once stood near St. Peter’s. This block was demolished under Mussolini’s regime in the 1930s to make room for today’s famous Via Della Conciliazione.

When: Until November 20th; open daily 9:30am to 7:30pm

Where: Museii Capitolini – Piazza Del Campidoglio, 1

Tickets: 11€-15€

5. Exhibit: Roma Anni Trenta 

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This ecclectic assortment of artistic works explores multiples themes/ viewpoints with the aim of showing the significance of art in Italian culture.  From the Roman School to the Fascist Era, this exhibit is made up of a vast selection of works including sculptures, paintings, mosaics, historical documents, and photography.

When: Until October 30th; Tue-Sun 10:00am to 6:30pm

Where: Galleria d’Arte Moderna – Via Francesco Crispi, 24

Tickets: 6,50€ – 7,50€

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