Testaccio Market is at the corner of Via Beniamino Franklin and Via Aldo Manuzio. The pizzeria is only open in the evening so during the day head to the massive Eataly complex for four floors of air-conditioned food shopping and restaurants. Search for more hotels near the Colosseum here. After looking around for an hour, we managed to get one. The Non-Catholic Cemetery is on Via Caio Cestio, 6. Entrance costs €8.50. It was fascinating to explore this underground city of the dead. Over the centuries the church grew in size and splendour. Including Santa Maria della Concezione Crypts, Domus Aurea, and The Mithraeum at Circus Maximus. Instead, the Catholic order insists it’s a reminder of our mortality. I stood at the threshold and mentally shook off the expected creepies before stepping into the hallway. Located on the other side of the Tiber River is Trastevere (Its name comes from the Latin trans Tiberim, meaning literally “beyond the Tiber”), originally the home of the working class this neighbourhood boast some of the most beautiful streets in Rome. Orto Botanico is at Largo Cristina di Svezia, 24. It’s pretty tasty and worth visiting if you are vegan or craving vegetables. This page contains affiliate links. The base is the lightest, softest dough. Tours only take places on weekends, last 1.5 hours, and cost €16 including booking fee—advance booking on the Coop website is essential. They are divided by body part—skulls, pelvises, and shoulder blades all collected together. It’s situated between the Testaccio neighborhood and the Circus Maximus (and Colosseum beyond). Thank you. EUR (Esposizione Universale Roma) is a residential and business area in southern Rome that’s very much off the beaten path and different from the rest of the city. Even the light fixtures above us in the corridor were made from bones. It’s easier to book with Get Your Guide online. Spend 3 days with these things to do in Rome. The Appian Way is one of the oldest and most important Roman roads and stretches all the way to Brindisi—some sections still have the original Roman cobblestones. Enter your email to sign up for our monthly newsletter with exclusive travel tips and updates. The ruins only opened to visitors in the last few years and as it’s still a working archaeological site it feels more adventurous than a typical ruin visit—you even have to wear a hard hat. The Baths of Caracalla are at Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 52. After a stroll through Borghese Park in the northern part of Rome, we took a detour to the Quartiere Coppede, a surprising area of flamboyant architecture in a residential neighborhood. For those of you who prefer to explore with a guide, I have included suggested tours where relevant. Photo by Ivan Kurmyshov/Adobe Stock because this is a really difficult photo to take! Drinks are expensive (€15 for a glass of Prosecco or wine, €25 for cocktails), but the views are so special that it’s worth it. It’s open every day from 9 am to 6.30pm (5.30pm in winter). Where is your favorite place to eat and see something unusual in Rome? The Baths are free on the first Sunday of the month (now only from October to March), but they are much busier then so either arrive at 9 am or visit on a quieter day. Eating Italy’s Taste of Testaccio food tour is the best way to learn about the Testaccio neighborhood and its history, all while eating delicious food from many different stops. There aren’t many restaurants in this residential area so head down the hill to Testaccio. More affordable options in the centre with excellent reviews include Maison Giulia, Campo de Fiori Prestige Rooms, and Colonna Suite Del Corso. My first look erased all fear and replaced it with awe. Also, if one is a lover of art, the Borghese Gallery is a must see, with prior purchase of tickets. For something more classically Roman, the Chiostro del Bramante is a cafe above an art museum with balcony seating looking down on lovely fresco-covered cloisters. The Eitch Borromini is a luxury hotel overlooking Piazza Navona and the terrace bar has stunning 360º views of the city including St Peter’s, the Pantheon, and Piazza Venezia. This is one of Rome’s oddest attractions. The second floor was closed on our visit, but we had more than enough to see without it. 30 minute tours are €8. Last year, on my fourth trip to Rome, we were able to see the Capuchin Crypt. Check prices here. The yawning maw of this pagan visage is said to bite off the hands of liars. ! No photos allowed. This grand Renaissance villa built in 1506 features ceilings covered in beautiful Raphael frescoes. It’s open every day except Tuesdays from 8.30am to 7.30pm. Entrance to the church is free (€4 for the cloister and museum). What we loved most about these ruins is the use of Virtual Reality. The absolute best place we’ve eaten in the centre is Armando Al Pantheon. Instead of eating in this touristy area, I recommend heading to the nearby neighbourhood of Monti, only a 10-minute walk from Domus Aurea. There are no bones here as most were stolen, and any remaining have been moved to another part of the catacombs to protect them. I only wish we’d allotted a full day rather than an afternoon as there is a lot to see in this upscale and historic area a … It is full of beautiful and unknown places. Access is by tour only which takes place on a glass floor above the ruins of two Roman villas from the 1st–4th centuries AD. We will be staying at a BnB that has a view of the Pyramide and are really looking forward to exploring this area. Entrance is €12 including audio guide. St. Valentine’s city isn’t all roses and romance. After visiting the Domitilla Catacombs and Villa di Massenzio, we continued down the Appian Way and soon reached a quieter section of the road which feels like the countryside with meadows of long grass, fields of sheep with jangling bells, and tall cypress and umbrella pine trees lining the cobbled street. On our next trip, we plan to treat ourselves to a stay in the 5-star Grand Hotel de la Minerve in a 17th-century mansion with views of the Pantheon and a rooftop terrace. Wander Around the Baths of Caracalla Built in the early third century, the Baths of Caracalla (or Terme di Caracalla in Italian) were Rome’s second-largest public bathhouse. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. These would have been very grand private residences, and the tour includes the hot and cold baths and some beautiful mosaics. Rome is definitely one of those cities that keep drawing you back! It’s a quiet, leafy residential neighborhood with some worthwhile free attractions. See our Testaccio neighborhood guide for more details including where to eat and stay. Should you visit? This Off the Beaten Path 3.5 Hour Walking Tour in Rome includes Teatro Marcello as well as some of the places below (Appian Way, Testaccio Market). Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is a grand private family palace dating back to the 1600s when a member of the family, Innocent X, was pope. It’s a stunning church and far less crowded that St Peters. Go to Palazzo Barberini at 9 am. It’s open every day except Tuesdays from 9.30am to 6.30pm. We had lunch at Hostaria Antica Roma, a large and rather upmarket restaurant with extensive gardens. We arrived at 10 am and they had already sold out of VR headsets (reserving them in advance is a good idea). The original sections feature massive stone slabs with deep cracks between them that were impossible to cycle over (although some professional-looking mountain bikers managed it). Good hotels in the area include Hotel Villa San Pio in a garden setting and the elegant Hotel San Anselmo. It’s absolutely stunning and more of a local hangout than a tourist attraction. To find the best spots you can take this Ostiense street art walking tour or use this Rome Urban Art map for a self-guided walk. The Bernini statues are incredible and, when we return to Rome (hopefully this October) we are on a hunt for more Bernini’s, Ostiense street art and aqueducts. Rome is known as a popular travel spot in Europe, and many tourists visiting Italy enjoy the variety of the things to do in Rome. Don’t miss Antico Forno Roscioli for the best pizza bianca in the city—fresh out of the oven and sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s huge, peaceful, and the perfect escape from the crowds for a walk or picnic. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. There’s some fantastic large-scale street art in Ostiense. From optical illusions to secret neighbourhoods, discover the quirkiest, most unusual things to see and do in the Eternal City. Here is an itinerary to get you started. My favourite is Fatamorgana, but Gelateria del Teatro and Gelateria dei Gracchi are also excellent. It’s remarkable that a restaurant so close to a major attraction has managed to maintain its quality since the 1960s. Too bad I have already limited my trip to just 3 days in Rome. Do you want one of Caravaggio’s best works to yourself? If you only visit the major sites, you’ll spend more time fighting through tour groups than enjoying the atmosphere of the city. Italy’s impact on the world can be seen all over the country, in the beautiful artwork, crumbling ruins, and impressive palaces and castles that dot the horizon. It’s certainly one of the most unusual things to do in Rome, but it’s also very disturbing. You acknowledge that your email will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. It’s open every day from 7 am until sunset. Start with the Trevi Fountain as it’s the most crowded spot. Opt-out at any time (an unsubscribe link is at the bottom of every email). Enjoy Italy – April is a lovely time to visit. It’s easiest to use the Happy Cow app to find vegan restaurants – there are quite a lot of them although they aren’t always central. It’s open every day from 9 am to 7 pm. The building above, Palazzo Valentini, is a 15th century Renaissance villa which was built on top. Avoid the touristy cafes near Piazza Navona and instead head to Barnum Cafe, a rather hipster cafe with vintage furniture and comfy couches (and you’re not charged extra to sit down!). You should be able to find plant-based options in Rome. It was chosen in the 1930s as the site of the 1943 World Fair where Mussolini planned to celebrate 20 years of Fascism. It’s close to the Circus Maximus. First-timers. There are a few other Roman ruins nearby that most people don’t know about including one of the most cool things to do in Rome. 1.5 hour tours cost €13.50 and advance booking is recommended. That tour is currently unavailable, but the same company has Vivaldi and opera performances in a private room of the palace on Saturday evenings. There’s also a display of some beautiful mosaics and the railway carriages of Pope Pius IX, and when we visited, a special exhibition about the Etruscans and Egyptians. There are also elements of Greek, Baroque, Medieval and Gothic design. Bonus Tip #1: Walk around the prettiest streets in Rome. So happy I found your blog! It’s much easier to get a selfie at the Trevi Fountain if you go early! Luckily there’s so much incredible art and history in Rome that it’s easy to escape the crowds by getting off the beaten path and visiting less well-known attractions. In the evenings it can be crowded with tourists and locals strolling the cobbled streets and visiting restaurants and bars, but there are a few attractions to visit during the day that are usually quiet. Most of the art was removed when Trajan built on it, but you can see some small sections of mosaics. Entrance is by group tour only. The museum doesn’t get busy and their audio guide (included in the price) is excellent. Find rating TOP-65 things to do in Rome. The small museum before the chapels features the Caravaggio painting St Francis in Meditation, but we’d just seen the original at Palazzo Barberini—this is a very good copy. The menu of the day wasn’t long but they were able to cater for us vegetarians and we enjoyed our vegetarian antipasti and pasta. The extravagant Gallery of the Mirrors is similar to the one at Versailles. Many of the tours and sights you can book with Get Your Guide. Trastevere is one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Rome and it’s just over the river from the historic centre. St Pauls is one of the four great basilicas of Rome and it is immense. The skull dates back to the 12th or 13th century. The top things to do in Rome are, of course, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Vatican, but there are many more unique wonders and experiences to catch up with in the Eternal City. You can reserve VR headsets (4D guides) in advance on the Coop website (€2 extra booking fee). Continue on to the Roseto Comunale or Rose Garden, another tranquil retreat from the city with a beautiful display of roses and city views. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Rome, Italy on Tripadvisor: See 5,111,886 traveller reviews and photos of Rome tourist attractions. I wouldn’t stay in this area as it’s always so crowded. Entrance is €10 including audio guide. The coffee and fresh juices are excellent, and I’ve heard good things about the cocktails and food. It’s not a high priority in Rome, but it’s worth a visit if you are interested in modern architecture or, like us, need to go to the Apple store at the Euroma 2 mall. It’s open from 9 am to 7 pm every day except for Mondays. The collection includes paintings by master artists such as Caravaggio, Caracci, and Velaquez, as well as a Bernini statue of Pope Innocent. First time visitors may mistake Teatro Marcello for the Colosseum. This page contains affiliate links. That’s such a difficult question. A small keyhole in a nondescript door of the Knights of Malta property reveals a perfectly framed view of St Peter’s Basilica through a shrubbery tunnel. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. At 7 am though, especially on a Sunday, you’ll have it almost to yourself and can really enjoy the beauty. See. No photos allowed. If you have limited time, here are our top picks for unique things to do in Rome: The Centro Storico or historic centre is the heart of Rome and where you’ll find many of the famous piazzas, fountains, and churches. Our issue is with the presentation of the museum—it’s treated as a holy place with religious music playing and photos and talking banned. Early Christians used the catacombs to bury their dead as there wasn’t enough space above ground. We are staying in an apartment with a full kitchen. This hidden Art Nouveau courtyard is an opulent feast for the eyes. If you are feeling hungry by now, walk down Via dei Giubbonari, past the cute little piazza Largo dei Librari, to Via dei Chiavari where you can buy freshly baked pizza bianca from Antico Forno Roscioli (it opens at 8.30am on Sundays, 7 am on weekdays). After being banned for a decade and a half, this Roman classic is back on the table. Advance booking is essential—you can book directly with Roma Opera Omnia, but you have to email them for availability and pay by PayPal. It was magical to hear an incredible soprano and Baroque guitarist perform in rooms such as the ballroom where the Pamphilj family’s guests would have danced to similar music hundreds of years ago. For the best view of Rome head up Janiculum Hill for sunset. No photos allowed. The relationship between Rome's cultural heritage sites and the burger chain is long and contentious. It’s open 7 am to 2 pm Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays). These botanical gardens are a peaceful retreat from the city and feature Japanese, herbal, and medicinal gardens as well as a lovely city view from the top of the hill. It’s open every day except Mondays from 8.30am to 7 pm (the ticket office closes at 6 pm). Entrance is €8. Pizzeria Ostiense is our favourite pizzeria in Rome, and it’s conveniently located down the street from one of our favourite gelaterias, Gelateria La Romana. Continue your walk past the Pantheon (it doesn’t open until 9 am on Sundays) to my favourite square, Piazza Navona, where you can admire the gorgeous fountains without anyone else around. Everybody wants to travel to Rome, but not everyone knows how to do it right. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. We usually stay in the neighbourhoods of Trastevere (closer to the centre) or Testaccio (further away but less touristy), but on a short visit, you’ll be close to everything if you stay in the historic centre. Centrale Montemartini is at Via Ostiense, 106. For some reason this gallery is overlooked and we had it completely to ourselves. As for the others, I can’t really say – it depends whether you feel a strong urge to see them. The Roseto Comunale is at Via di Valle Murcia, 6. Sightseeing on a shoestring budget in Rome? Required fields are marked *. The first tomb was created in 200 AD. Galleria Sciarra was built in the late 19th century for the wealthy Sciarra family and was originally due to be a shopping mall but instead became the headquarters of their magazine. We, too are planning a trip to Rome for 2 weeks in April. Things to do in Rome (on your second or third go- around) Can you keep coming back to Rome and always discover something new? If you have limited time, here are our top picks for unique things to do in Rome: Outdoors: Appian Way; Art Gallery: Palazzo Doria Pamphilj; Roman Ruin: Baths of Caracalla (with VR headset) Church: Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls We've gathered together a few of them here in our travel tips. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is at Via del Corso, 305. Tours: Catacombs and Appian Way 3-Hour Tour or Appian Way, Aqueducts & Catacombs Full Day Bike Tour. 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