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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

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

5 Must-Try Gelaterias in Rome

No trip to Italy is complete without a cup (or 3) of gelato, but the number of Roman gelaterias can make it difficult to know which to choose. Below are 5 gelato shops – recommended by our staff –  you don’t want to miss! Each shop is also easily accessible from one of our tours. There’s no better way to end an afternoon of touring the Vatican or the Colosseum than with a serving of this delicious Italian treat!

1. Gelateria Frigidarium 

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(cc: @annieyhan)

Don’t let the line steer you away, it is definitely worth the wait! Located just a short walk from Piazza Navona, Frigidarium offers seasonal flavours and aritisanal craftsmanship. For all the chocolate lovers out there, Frigidarium also gives you the option of dipping your cone in freshly melted chocolate – think Dairy Queen dipped cone but 1000 times better.

Where to find it: Via del Governo Vecchio, 112 (3 minutes walking from Piazza Navona)

Our recommendation: Lemon and Raspberry

2. Gelateria Della Palma 

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(cc: @nina_liang)

This centrally located shop offers more than 150 flavours to choose from! Need we say more?

Where to find it: Via Della Maddalena, 19-23 (5 minutes walking from Pantheon)

Our recommendation: stracchietella & pistacchio
3. Gelateria Fassi 

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(cc: @misssholeh)

Operating since 1880, Gelateria Fassi is the place to go for a traditional gelato experience. This family run establishment is known for its artisanal flavour choices that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Hint hint: they are also known for their tiramisu.

Where to find it: Via Principe Eugenio, 65 (not far from Termini Station)

Our recommendation: Fiore di Latte
4. Gelateria dei Gracchi

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(cc: @katieparla)

Just a short walk from the Vatican, this charming shop is your go-to for organic and gluten free ingredients.

Where to find it: Via dei Gracchi, 272

Our reccomendation: Banana and hazelnut
5. I Caruso 

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(cc: justafoodienyc)

Also located near Termini station, I Caruso is the place to go for simple, fresh and artisanal flavours. Their hand whipped panna will also leave you dreaming.

Where to find it: Via Collina, 13

Our recommendation: anything with panna on top, also be sure to try their coffee!

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Do you have any gelato favourites in the city? Leave a comment and let us know! 

 

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