Bucket List: Tourist Spots and Attractions in Rome, Italy
Rome is a sprawling city with endless options for tourists. The vast number of choices can be overwhelming. This article will break the options into three sections: where to eat, what to tour, and what to see.
Address: Via del Gesù 87
This charming Osteria serves a hardy, authentic Italian lunch. In fact, it is not open for breakfast or dinner. Therefore, the only time to try this traditional Osteria food and atmosphere is in the middle of a long day of touring.
The menu is full of great options, but trying the meal of the day is a great way to choose. With a different home-style Italian meal featured daily, you might find yourself returning to try another!
Address: Via della Croce 39
This restaurant is loved by locals, having maintained proper Italian standards through the years. Open for lunch, dinner, and late night, this is a great spot just a short walk from the Spanish steps to enjoy the food you came to Italy for.
Since it is such a popular spot among the locals, it is often better to make a reservation beforehand.
Address: Via degli Spagnoli 27
This restaurant balances modern elegance with a cozy and intimate feel. It is right in the heart of Rome, making it an easy stop for delicious food near many hotel accommodations. There is also an excellent wine selection that is well paired with their high-quality food menu. The restaurant is relatively small, so it is best to make reservations.
Address: Via dell’Arancio 50-52
This is another excellent spot not far from the Spanish Steps. Though it is often busy, it is worth a stop-in for some delicious Roman food. If you’re choosing your first course, the chefs recommend Ravioli all’arancia (ravioli with orange sauce) or le Pappardelle con totani e Carciofi (pappardelle with squid and artichokes).
Address: Via Della Rotonda 22
And, of course, we would be remiss to exclude gelato from an Italian food list. Cremeria Monteforte offers homemade, quality gelato and a warm atmosphere. It is conveniently located near the Pantheon and the perfect place to stop for a cold treat while exploring Rome’s ancient history.
Their Strawberry Gelato is particularly favored – especially if you’re touring on a hot summer day! They offer unique flavors like chocolate oranges and even have gluten-free options for those who need them.
Tour the City
The Colosseum might be the most iconic symbol of Rome. It is the world’s largest amphitheater and a tie between the current city of Rome and the ancient Roman empire.
Although it is a profound example of ancient Roman brutality, it is also a fantastic display of their engineering ability. The splendor and gore of colossal entertainment was created by using trapped doors. This made gladiators and animals appear seemingly out of nowhere. It is difficult for us to imagine special effects without modern technology. But the ancient Romans when to great lengths to entertain the masses.
The Colosseum is a massive piece of world history. It is an iconic souvenir of an empire that once ruled much of the ancient world. With almost 2,000 years of history, it is easy for stories to change. Much misinformation circulates about what actually happened in the Colosseum, so it is worth taking a tour and hearing it from an expert.
Vatican City is technically separate from Rome but should not be left out of the ultimate Rome vacation. The Vatican Museums are made up of rooms, artifacts, and artwork collected by popes throughout the centuries. The most famous attraction, of course, is the Sistine Chapel. The renowned Michelangelo painted frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, drawing visitors from all over the world to see his masterpiece.
While in Vatican City, take a trip to St. Peter’s Basilica. This Basilica is a pilgrimage site for many Catholics and a beautiful display of Renaissance architecture. The Basilica is a work of art; many paintings, mosaics, and artifacts are also displayed inside. This particular church is rich in both spiritual and artistic significance.
The Villa Borghese is home to the Borghese Gallery and the Borghese Gardens. Not to mention, it is a beautiful park to enjoy and explore in its own right.
The Borghese Gallery is a collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiques begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The ground floor features brilliant and moving sculptures from the 1st to the 3rd century A.D. Upstairs, you’ll find stunning paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. (Don’t forget that tickets to the Borghese Gallery cannot be purchased at the door, they must be reserved ahead of time.)
While in the villa, enjoy the beautiful landscaping of the gardens, the view of the lake, and a few other buildings and attractions. It is easy to lose track of time in this romantic park, so take some to walk around and enjoy it.
Roman National Museum
Four separate locations throughout Rome make up the Roman National Museum. Palazzo Massimo, Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, and the Bath of Diocleziano offer different ways of exploring Roman culture and history.
But all in all, they display Rome’s prehistory and early history, with a significant focus on archeological findings. In keeping with true Italian fashion, museums also have many beautiful paintings and sculptures.
The catacombs are a little off the beaten path since they are outside the old city walls. However, visits to the catacombs are historically immersive and a spiritual experience for many Christians. In these underground graves and tunnels, the persecuted Christians of ancient Rome would bury their dead and hold secret religious services.
There are several different catacombs to see. The tickets are usually around 7 euros and include a guided tour. It is possible to find bus routes through online maps or to take a taxi.
Places To See
Of all of the fountains in Rome, the Trevi fountain is by far the most famous. It is the oldest fountain in Rome, and its artistic display of sculptures makes it easily the most beautiful. There is a romantic and nostalgic feel to the fountain.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming crowds can sometimes take away from the magic. However, it is a beautiful piece of art if you can look past all the people or go early enough to beat them there.
Not to mention, the magic of the fountain grants wishes to more than the visitors. Tossing a coin over your shoulder and making a wish is an age-old tradition. But now, it also brings better fortune to those in need. All of the money tossed into the Trevi Fountain gets donated to charity.
You can easily find this beautiful staircase covered by tourists and locals alike. While climbing the steps is a great way to experience a famous spot in Rome, the steps are also a great spot to sit and rest. Either option is popular among both tourists and locals.
Though the steps are a popular place to sit and talk with friends, it is not the place to stop and enjoy a Panino. This is because eating on the steps is not allowed to keep the steps clean.
If shopping is your thing, there are some great options at the Spanish Steps. These options can come at a higher price; there are some great things to find and bring back from your Italy vacation.
The history of this ancient site makes the Colosseum look modern. Historians estimate that the use of the Roman Forum for public events began in 500 B.C. but was built long before that.
Time was not kind to Roman Forum, which had become almost completely destroyed over the centuries. However, many excavation attempts have uncovered the ruins we can see today.
The Roman Forum was not only a central point for ancient Rome but is also an incredible source of information on ancient culture. Visiting these ruins provides a unique insight into the thousands of years behind Italy’s capiItaly’sy.
The Pantheon is a mystery of ancient preservation. While all other monuments of ancient Rome have suffered extensive damage from raids, natural disasters, and gravity over the years, the Pantheon remains completely intact.
This building was erected to dedicate a little over one hundred years A.D to all of the ancient gods.
Piazza Navona is a vast and impressive piazza in Rome. It has three beautiful fountains and a couple of smaller piazzas. Piazza Navona is an attractive option if you want a place to walk around and grab a coffee (meaning a caffè, espresso, of course).
There are many street artists and performers, which gives the piazza a vivacious feel around ancient art. Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels in Rome, Italy, via Agoda. You may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
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