The Eternal City is full of fun things to do and see. From architecture to history to art and food, Rome has it all.
The architecture in Italy’s capital city is incredible. The buildings are grand and spectacular, made up of massive columns, columned porticoes, and bright colored windows. Giant temples dominate the landscape while smaller buildings are tucked beneath shady trees. The streets are covered by pedestrian walkways and ornate fountains decorate the intersections.
Mix the history and architecture of Rome with its delicious pastas pizzas and gelatos, and you’ll enjoy a taste of the “dolce vita.” But there are many other fun things to do in Rome that most people miss.
From lively piazzas to chilling in quiet neighborhoods, here’s my guide on what to do in Rome, Italy when you visit. I’ve also included some of my favorite fun and unusual attractions that will make your trip extra special
1: Visit The Magnificent Colosseum
No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to the Colosseum. A popular tourist attraction in Rome, the Colosseum has been listed by UNESCO as one of “the 9 New Wonders of the World”.
This is the largest building ever built. It could hold 80000 people at one time. The audience would watch shows such as gladiator fights, executions, and plays.
The Colosseum is a popular place to visit in Rome. To get there, one must pay a fee of €12. But if you’re able to get there early in the morning, that fee will be spent much faster! Try to avoid those who are planning on waiting in line by purchasing a skip the line ticket online before
Opening Hours:8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (October to February – with longer hours during peak season)
2: See The Roman Forum
The Forum Romanum was a very important place of social, religious, and political activity during the time of the Caesars. It was also the site of many temples dedicated to different gods.
It’s easy to spend a few hours wandering around the Roman Forum to admire the architecture of ancient structures like the Arch of Titus, the eight remaining pillars of the Temple of Saturn, and the Temple of Castor and Pollux. It’s even easier to visit the ruins at a place called Rome. Here you can marvel at The Severus House of the Vestals and much more.
You can visit the Forum in Rome on its own or combine it with other major attractions like the Colosseum and Palantine Hill. With a combo ticket, you can see all four without spending more than is necessary.
3: Visit St Clement Basilica
Dedicated to Pope Clement I, the St. Clement Basilica consists of three layers. The uppermost layer is the basilica that was built in the middle ages.
The layer below is where senator Titus Flavius Clemens secretly converted to Christianity. He opened his home to secret worship services and also a temple of Mithras.
The lowest layer may have been a mint that was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD.
The Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano is one of the world’s best places to visit. It features Rome’s history, architecture, and art in one, easy-to-visit location.
Entrance Fee: €10 EURO
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 3 PM to 6 PM. Saturday: 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 3 PM to 5:30 PM. Sunday: 9 AM to 11 AM.
4. Marvel At The Architecture Of The Pantheon
The Pantheon was a very important building in Rome. It was built in the year 126 AD, on the site of a previous structure that was destroyed by fire in 80 AD.
The Pantheon is an amazing building. It’s circular in shape, with a diameter of 43.5 meters, and it is one of the largest buildings in the world. Its interior is home to masterpieces by master painters including Raphael.
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 AM to 6 PM
Looking for a great place to enjoy the Italian countryside? Head to the beautiful Villa Borghese Park and Borghese Gallery. Here you will find a scenic spot surrounded by old trees, as well as amazing artwork from many of the world’s best artists.
The Borghese Gardens is a large park located in the center of Rome. The Borghese family built the estate on the banks of the Tiber River in 1901. The park contains fountains and sculptures by famous artists, such as Antonio Canova and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Galleria Borghese or Borghese Gallery is housed in an elegant mansion in the park and showcases works by artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and Raphael. Chapter 8: Punctuation/Capitalization/Usage Original: I’ve decided to give up smoking.
Borghese Park is also home to the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre and the Bioparco zoo that’s home to over 200 species of animals.
Entrance to Villa Borghese Park is free from dawn to dusk but the park may become crowded if there are musical events or plays in the park.
Entrance Fee: €20 EURO
Opening Hours:Tuesday – Sunday from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Closed Monday through Friday.
6: Watch a Sunset from Terrazza Del Pincio
When the weather is clear or cloudy, the Terraza del Pincio offers picture-perfect views of the Piazza del Popolo with the Flaminian Obelisk at its center. Located at the top of the Pincian hill in Villa Borghese Park, it’s also the best place to watch the sunset
On the way to the Garden of Pius XII from Villa Borghese, you can also see a clock that shows time.
7: Throw A Coin In Trevi Fountain
One of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions is the Trevi Fountain. The fountain was first built during the rule of Emperor Augustus, but it was later remodeled by Nicola Salvi and Giuseppe Pannini.
The popular myth of throwing coins in the fountain to return to Rome or fall in love results in over 1 million Euros worth of coins being thrown into the water each year! The city collects this money and uses it to support good causes.
The Trevi fountain got its name from a family from Rome. As the family had been part of the aristocracy they lived in a big house with a garden and had a fountain as well. In those days, fountains were exclusively found at aristocratic houses and were called ‘the vie’ or three ways. The fountain was later
Rome Photography Tip: The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy is a great place to visit at night or before sunrise. The fountain sits close to the water of the Tiber River and is only crowded during the day. It’s an easy place to visit because it’s so close to the water, but if you go there just after sunset or just
See the largest stadium in Rome. Circus Maximus.
Chariot racing was a popular spectator sport in ancient Rome. No wonder the Circus Maximus or Circus Massimo is built to hold millions of spectators.
The Circus Maximus is a large circus that was built in ancient Rome. It filled the space between the Palantine and Aventine hills. It was perfect for a quick stopover on the way to see some of Rome’s historical sites.
9: Climb The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps or Scalina Spagna that were completed in 1725 serve an important purpose. These 135 steps were built by the funds donated by French diplomat Etienne Gueffier.
The Colonnade of the Pantheon is one of the most famous and beauà tiful monuments in Rome. It was built by Raphael during the middle of the 16th century as a monument to celebrate the victories of Julius Caesar over Pompey at Alexandria and against Marc Antony at Pharsalus. The Colonnade was
At the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna is a fountain designed by Bernini and a popular spot for tourists to take photos.
10: Test Your Fate At The Mouth Of Truth
The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Italy. Although its exact location is unknown, it can be found by following the steps leading up to the church of St. Francis. Legend has it that if you put your hand in this mouth and tell a lie Mouth of Truth.
This somewhat creepy marble structure was once located in the Piazza della Bocca della Verita and was moved to its current location, outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmendin, in 1632.
11: Capuchin Crypt Bone Church
You can easily miss the Capuchin Crypt Bone Church located on the street of Via Vittorio Veneto. Hiding in plain sight, it is easy to say that this church is small and unassuming. Yet inside you learn about quite a grim tale.
When a group of monks from the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini moved from their old monastery to a new one in 1631, they brought along over 3,700 skeletons of capuchin friars who had previously died.
The display of bones is a reminder of life’s mortality and how fleeting it can be.
Entrance Fee: €6 EURO
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 7 PM
12: Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
The Forum Argentina area, located in Rome, Italy, was first uncovered and excavated in 1929. This is where four temples and the Curia Pompei were found. Julius Caesar was killed here in 44 BC.
After the excavations of the Roman burial grounds, cats took shelter among the Roman pillars. Over time, the cat population grew quite large and volunteers care for them by spaying and neutering them.
Visitors to Rome can feed the city’s stray cats and purchase souvenirs that helps support running the cat sanctuary. I’m pretty sure this was Anna’s favorite activity to do in Rome.
Opening Hours:Monday – Friday: 12 AM to 6 PM. Saturday – Sunday: 11 AM to 7 PM.
13: Altar Of The Fatherland
Home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Altar della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) is 70 meters tall and 135 meters wide. Built by Italy’s first king it’s also called Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland).
It is located in the piazza Venezia, the altar is composed of a forum and an agora. It’s views are spectacular from the rooftop so you can either walk 196 steps to the top or pay 7 EURO for the elevator.
Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM
14: Via Appia Antica
In the early days of Rome, along military road was built connecting Rome and Brindisi. It stretched over 300 miles long!
Walking (or biking) the Appian Way lets you walk in the footsteps of Roman emperors, merchants, saints and even St. Peter himself.
Spartacus and other slaves who rebelled against Rome were crucified along the Appian Way, a road that led from Rome to Capua.
There are a number of catacombs and tombs you can explore along the path, such as the famous Catacombs of St. Sebastian.
The Appian Way is just outside the center of Rome, but it can be easily reached by taxi or public transportation. Or grab a ride with the #118 bus that runs every 40 minutes. You can also use Uber or another ride-sharing service to get there.
15: Quartiere Coppede Neighborhood
The Coppedge district of Rome is named after architect Gino Coppedge, who executed the plan for the area. The area’s design is entirely new and unique. Within the district, you can see architecture from different eras, including Roman and Baroque.
Some of the most impressive sights to see in Quartiere Coppedge are the beautiful Coppedge Entrance Arch and the Fontana delle rane (snake fountain) in Piazza Mincio.
16: Explore The Trastevere Neighborhood
Trastevere is the colorful and bohemian neighborhood of Rome. Here you will learn about the real people who call the Eternal City home. There are numerous local Italian restaurants and cafes that line the ivy-filled streets here.
If you want to get lost in Rome for a day just exploring this is the area to do it. Posting photos of the beautiful sights of Rome on Instagram has become quite popular among travelers visiting the city.
The neighborhood is located in the heart of the city, but it has a quaint small town feel. It’s only a 30-minute walk from the Vatican and Colosseum.