Things to do in Rome

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

Like a Local: Aperitivo

While walking through the streets of Rome, you may see a variety of bars offering what is commonly referred to as aperitivo. But what does it mean? In this article we hope to share this distinctly Italian practice with you, as well as give you some of our recommendations for the best aperitivo in the city.

What is Aperitivo? 

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The word “aperitivo” comes from the latin word “aperire” – meaning to open and stimulate the appetite.  Although the practice can be traced to the northern regions of Italy, today aperitivo is served across the country and is seen as being an important part of socialization in Italian culture.

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Although aperitivo may be different depending on where you go, it can be simplified in one fundamental concept: a drink paired with small snacks that is meant to open the appetite and kickstart digestion before dinner. Some locations keep it simple with small snacks such as olives, mixed nuts and potato chips; while others offer a full buffet of pastas, sandwiches, cheeses, etc. It is also becoming more common to find aperitivo featuring international dishes like chicken curry and cous cous. You will usually find aperitivo being served between 18:00 – 21:00 and range from 5€ to 15€. 

Traditionally, an aperitivo drink is made with a bitter liquor such as Campari or Aperol.

Aperitivo in Rome: The Spritz 

Traditional Italian Spritz cocktail against lake Como, Italy

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Although there are a few drinks that are traditionally served with aperitivo, the Spritz is probably the most popular in Rome.  The Spritz can be traced back to the Venice region in the 1800s when soldiers of the Austrian Empire asked for their wine to have a small amount of water sprayed into it to make it lights.  In the 1900s carbonated water was substituted for still.  Later, bitter liquors (such as Campari or Aperol) were added.

5 Aperitivo Spots in Rome 

1. Gusto al 28

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Gusto al 28 is  wine bar located near Piazza Popolo, just off of Via del Corso.  In addition to their industrial-chic decor, they offer an extensive wine list and cocktail menu.  Their aperitivo is excellent – including pastas, pizza, and a variety of fried snacks.

Where: Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 28 (Via del Corso)

Price: around 10

2. Salotto 42

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Nestled in the perfect central location, Salotto 42 offers artisinal cocktails and a generous aperitivo buffet.  You can also sip you cocktail while enjoying the view of Hadrian’s temple. Salotto 42 is also located close to the Pantheon, making it the perfect stop after our walking tour of Rome at night.

Where: Piazza di Petra, 42

Price: around 10

3. Fluid

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This ultra-modern cocktail bar is one of the the best aperitivo bars in the city. Despite its, well, interesting decor Fluid is known for its extensive selection of liquors and cocktails.  In addition to their drink selection, Fluid has a huge aperitivo that features both Italian and international options.  It is also located just down the street from Piazza Navona – perfect for a post Ancient Tour aperitivo!

Where: Via del Governo Vecchio, 46

Price: 10€ – 15€

4. Freni e Frizione

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This trendy bar is located in one of Rome’s trendiest neighbourhoods – Trastevere. With expert mixologists manning the bar, its no surprise that Freni e Frizione is one of the best places to go for a cocktail.  They also feature an aperitivo bar in the evenings with pizza, pastas, and salads as well as an outdoor terrace between Piazza Trilussa and the Tiber. Check out aperitivo at Frene and Frizione after our walking tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto. If you want to learn more about Trastevere, head over to our previous post where we explore the area and give you our highlights. 

Where: Via del Politeama, 4/6

Price: around 10

5. Panella

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Although their cocktails may be a bit pricey, you don’t want to miss out on Panella’s aperitivo.  They offer a wide selection of gourmet breads, fried foods, bruschette, crostini, and more.  Located in the trendy Monti district, Panella is also the perfect place to go for a stroll and a bite to eat near the Colosseum.

Where: Via Merulana, 54

Price: 15€-20€


Where is your favourite place to go for aperitivo in Rome? Let us know in the comments!

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November 19th – 24th in Rome

The month of November is flying by! Here are 5 things to add to your calendar this week:

1. Rome Jazz Festival 

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(cc: romajazzfestival.it)

Rome’s 40th jazz festival continues this week through the 23rd of November.  Performances this week include Fabrizio Consoli, Paola Ronci, Jacky Terrason Trio, and many more.  Head over to the festival’s website for more details.

More information: romajazzfestival.it

2. Life of Wine

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On Sunday November 20th, Rome will be hosting an interesting wine tasting opportunity.  Organized by Florence’s Studio Umami, the event seeks to highlight the relationship between wine and time by featuring vintage selections.  The event includes over 60 wineries, guided tastings and panel discussions.

When: November 20th, 11:30-19:30

Where: Hotel Radisson Blu Roma, Via Filippo Turati 171

Entrance: 20€

3. Monti Unplugged: Emily Jane White 

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On November 21st, Emily Jane White will be performing as part of the Monti Unplugged acoustic concert series! The California native will be playing at Blackmarket in one of Rome’s coolest neighbourhoods.

When: November 21st, 21:00

Where: Blackmarket, Via Panisperna 101

Entrance: Free

4. Arnoldo Foa Exhibit

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(cc: arnoldofoa.it)

Rome’s Teatro di Villa Torlonia is holding an interesting event dedicated to an Italian film icon.  Until December 30th, visitors have the chance to see a variety of photographs, film clips and personal items that showcase the life and career of Arnoldo Foa.  Foa is considered to be a staple in Italian film as he appeared in over 130 movies between 1938 and 2014.

When: Until December 30th

Where: Teatro di Villa Torlonia, Via Lazzaro Spallanzani 1A

Entrance: Free

5. International Festival of Sacred Music and Art 

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The International Festical of Sacred Music and Art will be in Rome until November 21st.  The festival features a variety of events that you don’t want to miss including performances by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

When: Until November 21st

More information: http://www.festivalmusicaeartesacra.net/en/programm.php


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Explore With Us: Navona

The city of Rome is made up of various neighbourhoods/districts that each have their own sentiments and atmospheres.  Twice a month, Enjoy Rome will be exploring these neighbourhoods and providing you with our tips to make the most out of your visit.  This week we are exploring the Navona neighbourhood; one of Rome’s most historic areas.  Book your spot on our guided tour of Ancient Rome to learn more!

The area surrounding Piazza Navona is commonly referred to as the Navona neighbourhood, but it is technically part of the Parione district.  Parione is the 6th district (or rione) of Rome and refers to much of the historic centre.  The large neighbourhood was actually split into two sections when Corso Vittorio Emmanuele was constructed in the late 19th century – a northern section surrounding Piazza Navona and a southern section surrounding Campo de’ Fiori.  If you want to read more about Campo de’ Fiori, check out last week’s Mercato Monday post.  You can also book your tour of Campo de’ Fiori by clicking here.

Here are our Navona highlights, as well as recommedations of what to see/do before or after your Ancient tour:

TO SEE: 

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No visit to to this area is complete without going to the piazza that is at the heart of the district – Piazza Navona.  The piazza was actually built on top of Domitian’s stadium from Ancient times! Although you can no longer visit the stadium itself, it is fascinating to imagine while standing amongst the Baroque palazzi, ornate fountains, and colourful street art that has come to define the square.  Piazza Navona is the final stop on our Ancient tour.

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At the centre of the square is one of Bernini’s most famous masterpieces, the Fountain of Four Rivers, that is said to personify the four major rivers – Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Plate).

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Also located inside the square is Chiesa Sant’Agnese in Agone.  The baroque-style church was built in the 17th century on the site where Saint Agnes was said to be martyred. Just next to the church you will also find Palazzo Pamphilj.  The palace was built by Pope Innocent X, but today is houses the Brazilian embassy.

Find interest in the supernatural? Piazza Navona is actually said to be haunted! Legend has it that the ghost of Costanza Conti de Cupis (a noblewoman from the 1600s) can be seen in the windows looking down on the piazza, but only when there is a full moon.

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Just outside Piazza Navona you can also find Museo di Roma – which was founded during the fascist era in order to preserve “old Rome”.  Today, it is largely a museum of art that is part of Rome’s network of civic museums.

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Not far from Piazza Navona you will find Piazza Pasquino.  The piazza itself has a lot to offer including a beautiful church and great restaurants.  However, the most interesting part of this small piazza is is the statue that is referred to as one of Rome’s “talking statues”.  The statues have been used for centuries as a means for political expression and anonymous civil disobediance. Even today you can see poetry and other forms of political commentary posted next to the statue.

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Chiesa Nuova (also known as Chiesa Santa Maria in Valicella) is located just a short walk from the Piazza along Corso Vittorio Emmanuele and features incredible frescos.  It was built in 1577 and also has an impressive library inside.

TO WALK: 

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Via Governo Vecchio is one of the areas main streets.  Grab a gelato and  to admire the cobblestone streets, boutique shops, and renaissance era homes. Via Coronari and Via della Pace are also worth a stroll.

TO SHOP:

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Piazza Navona has no shortage of places nearby to sharp, but the most noteworthy are the vintage and leather shops along Via Governo Vecchio. During the day (as well as sometimes at night)  you can also find a variety of artists and craft vendors in the actual piazza, as well as the surrounding area.

TO EAT: 

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The Navona neighbourhood has a ton to offer in terms of restaurants and the winding streets are home to many authentic italian restaurants.  Cul de Sac in Piazza Pasquino offers a large selection of wine and locally curated meat/cheese plates.  Pizzeria Baffetto is the place to go for pizza and eating in this family-run establishment is an experience in and of itself.  On the other side of Piazza Navona you can also find The Old Bear, whose pasta menu changes daily to ensure the freshest ingrediants.

TO DRINK: 

In addition to everything else it has to offer, this neighbourhood is also known for its nightlife.  Whether inside the piazza itself or on one of the many sidestreets, there are a variety of places to get a quality cocktail and people-watch.  We recommend Bar del Fico; they have an artisanal cocktail menu, aperitivo and even live music.  Mimi & Coco and Il Piccolo offer the perfect people-watching locations. If you are looking for your sports fix, Via Governo Vecchio is also home to an Irish pub called The Abbey. 

Want to learn more about this historic neighbourhood? Book your tour of Ancient Rome and experience it with a live guide!


What’s your favourite part about the Navona neighbourhood? Let us know in the comments! 

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By |November 16th, 2016|Food in Rome, Restaurants in Rome, Things to do in Rome|0 Comments

Mercato Mondays: Campo de’ Fiori

Situated in the heart of the historic centre, Campo de’Fiori is one of the most vibrant squares in Rome.  The name Campo dmercatomondayse’ Fiori translates to “field of flowers” and dates back to the middle ages when the square was simply a meadow.  In the mid 15th century however, Pope Callixtus III decided to develop the area.  This led to the construction of numerous important structures such as Palazzo Corsini. As a result, Campo de’Fiori became a popular gathering place for the neighbourhood’s powerful.  Since then, Campo de’ Fiori has cultivated a rich and fascinating history – most recently, the piazza has become one of Rome’s most important markets.  Join us as we explore Mercato Campo de’ Fiori and share  some of our highlights with you.

Where: Piazza Campo de’ Fiori

When: Monday – Saturday, 7:00-14:00 (Note: during high tourist season the market also opens on Sundays)

Want to learn more about the history of Campo de’Fiori? Book your spot on our Trastevere tour to experience Campo de’Fiori with a live guide! 


The market in Campo de’ Fiori is one of the oldest open-air markets in Rome. Each morning, the piazza is transformed into a colourful local marketplace that is enjoyed by both residents and tourists. Despite the large number of tourists that flock here each day, the market has been able to retain many of its traditional characteristics – thus providing a window into everyday Roman life.   From fresh seasonal fruits/vegetables, to spices, to pastas, to kitchenware, to  even clothing – Campo de’ Fiori offers an incredible range of products in a quintessentially Roman setting. Here are some of our highlights:

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Just like the piazza’s name would suggest, Campo de’ Fiori is one of the many places in Rome where you can get fresh flowers. Here you can find a variety of indoor/outdoor plants, as well as seeds to plant yourself.

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One of the best things about Campo is the fresh fruit stands.  If you are looking for a healthy breakfast or snack on the go, look no further. Here vendors offer bowls of freshly chopped fruit, as well as fresh-squeezed fruit juices.

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Seasonal produce is also in abundance in Campo de’ Fiori.  Each vendor offers locally grown produce – some of which is even pre-chopped.  You know soup season has arrived when the Minestrone mix (pre-chopped vegetables for soup) is front and centre.

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The market also offers a variety of housewares – we recommend checking out the wide range of ceramics.

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Some vendors specialize in artisinal meats and cheeses.

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While others specialize in Italian leathers.

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Although it may not be part of the actual market, Forno Campo de’ Fiori has become a staple in the piazza.  The bakery offers some of the best pizza bianca in the city!

Ever wonder who the statue in the centre of the piazza is of? Head over the Halloween edition of Enjoy Rome’s blog to read about Campo de’ Fiori’s dark past. 

Click here to book your tour of Campo de’ Fiori!

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By |November 14th, 2016|Things to do in Rome|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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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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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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Explore With Us: Trastevere

The city of Rome is made up of various neighbourhoods/districts that each have their own sentiments and atmospheres.  Twice a month, Enjoy Rome will be exploring these neighbourhoods and providing you with our tips to make the 0-1most out of your visit.  This week we are wandering through the charming streets of Trastevere, one of Rome’s most interesting districts.  Book your spot on our guided tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto to learn more!

The Trastevere neighbourhood, the 13th district of Rome, is an off-the-beaten-path gem that is rich in history and culture.   Trastevere (which means “across the river”) is a unique district filled with winding cobblestone streets, greenery and even graffiti.  You can find this charming area on the West side of the Tiber River via Ponte Sisto, just a short walk from the busy city centre.

The origins of Trastevere can be traced to Ancient Rome when it was mostly inhabited by sailors, fishermen, and slaves. It also became home to the city’s first Jewish community before the Ghetto was established in the 1500s. Fast forward to the 1970s, the culture of Trastevere is comparable to the 1960s counter-culture in San Francisco – attracting writers, acitivists, and musicians en masse. It is clear that Trastevere was considered to be on the periphery for centuries, however it is this position that allowed it to develop the unique personality that is tanglible in the district today.

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Here are our Trastevere highlights, as well as recommendations of what to see/do before or after your tour:

TO SEE…

Although Piazza Trilussa is located at the edge of the district, it remains one of Trastevere’s main squares.  Here you will find both locals and tourists sitting on the steps of the fountain, enjoying a beer and listening to live music. On the weekend, Trilussa becomes a hotspot for Rome’s youth before they head to one of Trastevere’s many bars.

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Porta Settimiana is an ancient gate in Rome’s Aurelian walls.  In Trastevere, you can sip a cappuccino at the nearby cafe while observing this piece of antiquity.

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Head to Trastevere’s main square – Piazza Santa Maria – to see Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere.  The piazza itself is often bustling with visitors and street artists including musicians, performers, etc.  You will also find it is a common past-time to sit and people watch on the steps of the fountain.  The Basilica itself dates back to the 4th century and includes incredible 12th century mosaics.  Experience Basilica di Santa Maria in detail on our guided tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto! 

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Basilica di Santa Cecilia (the patroness of music) is also located in the Trastevere district. The church itself was built in the 9th century and is said to have been constructed on the site where St. Cecilia’s home once stood. Inside you will find one of Cavalini’s most famous frescoes, as well as Stefano Maderno’s sculpture of St. Cecilia. The church was built during the reign of Pope Paschal I who also had St. Cecilia’s remains moved there from the San Callisto Catacombs. Book your tour of the San Callisto Catacombs to see St. Cecilia’s orginial resting place.

You can also find Palazzo Corsini in the Trastevere district – an 18th century boroque palace built by the prominent Corsini family. The palace now holds the National Gallery of Antique Art.

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Also worth mentioning is Piazza San Cosimato.  Each Sunday morning, the Piazza holds Trastevere’s only open-air market.

TO WALK…

As previously mentioned, Trastevere has some of the most charming streets in the city. Many of the district’s cobblestone streets are lush with greenery and romantically lit at night.  Enjoy Rome recommends Via del Moro and Via dei Genovesi.

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Just above Trastevere is Gianicolo Hill where you can find some of the best views of the Eternal city.  It is about a 20 minute walk up-hill, but so worth it.

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TO SHOP…

One of the best things about Trastevere is that it has some of the most interesting shopping in the city. Here you will find a variety of flagship/concept stores and studios with an ecclectic selection of items.  It’s a “you won’t find this anywhere else” kinda place.

We recommend the Almost Corner Bookstore for a wide selection of international literature and Polvere di Tempo for a magical mix of globes, clocks, etc.  Also be sure to stop into Ferrara for artisanal italian food products.

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TO EAT…

Trastevere has emerged as one of Rome’s most prominent foodie neighbourhoods.  Whether it is traditional italian dishes, international cuisine, or street food, Trastevere has it all.  We recommend Dar Poeta – a quaint family-run pizzeria tucked away on a quiet street.  La Renella is the place to go for pizza al taglio (Roman pizza by the slice), fresh breads, and baked desserts.  Additionally, Checco has built a reputation for having some of the best Roman cuisine in the district.  If you are looking to satisy a gelato craving Fior di Luna‘s selection of fruit flavours are some of the best.

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TO DRINK…

Trastevere is central to Rome’s nightlife.  On the weekends (as well as many weekdays) you will find the streets street buzzing with local youth and international students.  As a result, the neighbourhood has cultivated an interesting variety of cocktail bars.  We recommend Freni & Frizioni if you are looking to mingle with the locals and Santo if you are looking to try top notch mixology. Bir and Fud also offers a wide selection of Italian brewed beers.

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Want to see more? Book your tour of Trastevere with Enjoy Rome! 

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By |November 2nd, 2016|Best places in Rome, Food in Rome, Things to do in Rome|0 Comments

Mercato Mondays: The New Testaccio Market

Although it has formed the reputation as being the hub of Rome’s nightlife, Testaccio has also been recognized as the original foodie dimercatomondaysstrict in Rome
where you can find both authentic cuisine and modern twists on classic dishes. The New Testaccio Market is
located in the heart of the Testaccio neighbourhood – a working class neighbourhood tucked away from the bustling centre of Rome.  The original market was located in the main piazza and was one of the oldest markets in the city.  In 2012, however, the New Testaccio Market was officially opened with 103 stands where vendors offer local products to buy and to taste.

The market offers an authentic local market experience in a quintessentially Roman distict;

That is why we chose the New Testaccio Market for this week’s Mercato Monday.

Where: Entrances from Via Aldo Manuzio, Via Galvani, and Via Franklin.  You can take Metro Line B, Piramide, Bus #23, or Tram #8 to get there.

When: Monday-Saturday, 7:00 to 15:30

Entrance: Free entry


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The market itself is located inside a modern building strewn with skylights that keep the natural sunlight pouring in. This market is the place to go to get basically everything you need under one roof.  From fresh produce, to high quality meats/cheeses, to cannolo, to wine –  Mercato Testaccio has it all.  There are even some vendors selling kitchenware, clothing, and other home goods.  It is the perfect place to go to experience a slice of local life. Here are some of our highlights:

Mordi e Vai is a must try at Testaccio market.  This Roman deli offers authentic Roman stuffed sandwiches.  The shop owner and chef Sergio has transformed traditional cucina Romana into an assortment of savoury sandwiches including tripe, meatballs, braised beef, and sausage – all served on freshly baked bread.

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La Prosciutteria di Enzo e Lina is the place to go for meats and cheeses.  The shop owner prides himself on high quality products and will tell you all about it if you ask.  Here you can choose from a wide selection of meats and cheeses from Norcia – the headliner is definitely the prosciutto.

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Tucked away in the centre of the market you will find Le Mani in Pasta where you have the opportunity to purchase fresh noodles and fully prepared pasta dishes to take home or indulge in their dishes on site.  Options include classic Roman dishes such as carbonara and cacio e pepe with truffles. All of their pastas are made from organic products and are hand-made in front of your eyes.

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On the outskirts of the market you will also find a vino sfuso.  Vino sfuso is traditionally known as wine that comes from grapes that are not good enough to be bottled.  Nowadays, vino sfuso locations can be found all over the centres of Italy’s major cities offering a wide selection of prosecco and wines for incredibly low prices and the quality will suprise you! At Mercato Testaccio’s vino sfuso you can grab a glass of wine or prosecco for 2€ and enjoy it while to explore the rest of the market.

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While strolling through the market you will also find a variety of fruit/vegetable vendors selling the fresh seasonal produce and artisanal products such as sauces, spreads, etc.

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Last but not least is Strit Fud, just on the edge of the courtyard.  Although this place may not be the most traditional in practice, it is worth drawing some attention to.  Strit Fud offers take-away meals that have been heavily influenced by classic Roman recipes. However, the chef has used his creative license to create modern versions of cucina Romana – such as his take on pizza.

One of the great things about Mercato Testaccio is that it is so much more than just a place to buy food.  It truly is an authentic cultural space where you can partake in Rome’s version of la dolce vita.


Whose your favourite vendor at Mercato Testaccio? Let us know in the comments! 

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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 28th – November 3rd in Rome

It may be hallows-week, but there is still plenty of other things to see and do in Rome! Here are 5 interesting events to add to your calendar this week:

1. Van Gogh Alive: The Experience 

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(cc: @claire_larsson)

This multimedia exhibition brings the works of Vincent Van Gogh to life! Using Sensory4 Technology, the exhibit uses 50 high definition projectors to display more than 3,000 graphics and pairs them with a powerful soundtrack – immersing visitors in Van Gogh’s most famous pieces from 1880-1890.  Experience a new depth to Van Gogh’s masterpieces and his unique style at this exhibit.

When: October 25th to December 31st / Monday to Thursday 10:00-20:00, Fridays and Saturdays 10:00-23:00, Sundays 10:00 to 21:00

Where: Palazzo degli Esami – Via Girolamo Induno, 4

Tickets: 12€-15€

2. Via Margutta Art Exhibit 

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(cc: @simoncaruso)

This event is not your average art exhibit.  From October 28th to November 1st visitors and locals have the chance to explore the open-air art exhibit on Via Margutta.  More than 100 painters will be showcased and visitors have the opportunity to purchase the works they see. You may have heard of Via Margutta before; not only is it one of Rome’s most charming streets, but it is also one of the locations where Roman Holiday was filmed.  In the movie, Gregory Peck’s character lives in an apartment on Via Margutta, 51.  Experience a bit of Hollywood while also supporting local artisans!

When: October 28th to November 1st / 10:00 -21:00 daily 

Where: Via Margutta (Close to the Spanish Steps) 

Tickets: Free entry

3. All Saints Day 

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(cc: lifeinitaly.com)

All Saints Day (Festa di Oggnisanti) is both a religious and national holiday in Italy celebrating the Saints of the Catholic Church. Its origins date back to Ancient times and it has been a public holiday since 1949. Important Information: Since Oggnisanti is a public holiday, schools and many businesses will be closed. These closures may be partial or the entire day depending on the business. The Vatican Musems will be closed and St. Peter’s Basilica will be operating on a Sunday schedule: 7:00-18:30 with masses every hours between 7 and 12, as well as an evening mass at 17:00. The Colosseum will be operating normally.

When: November 1st

4. Edward Hopper Exhibit 

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(cc: @ludicapo)

This exhibit features one of the most well-known American artists of the 20th century. Edward Hopper was a prominent realist painter whose paintings have provided interesting insights into American culture for the past century. Hopper was best known for his oil paintings, however he was also very talented with watercolours and print-making.  This exhibit features 60 of Hopper’s works – highlighting Hopper’s focus on the common features of American life as well as seascapes and rural landscapes. Featured works include Le Bistro or The Wine Shop (1909), New York Interior (19211), and South Carolina Morning (1955).

When: Through February 12th / Monday to Thursday 9:30-19:30, Fridays and Saturdays 9:30 to 22:00, and Sundays 9:30 to 20:30

Where: Complesso del Vittoriano, Via di San Pietro in Carcere

Tickets: 12€-14€

5. The Cure in Concert 

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(cc: correttainformazione.it)

British rock/punk group the Cure will be playing a live concert at the Palalottomatica Sports Arena on October 30th.  At this point it appears that most tickets are sold out, but you never know!

When: October 30th

Where: Palalottomatica Sports Arena – Piazzale Pier Luigi Nervi, 1

Tickets: Prices vary

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