16 essential things to do in Rome

This is a city steeped in history, boasting beautiful buildings and awe-inspiring ruins. There are plenty of things to do in Rome that will give you a solid sense of its past, from touring ancient government headquarters to paying your respects at a storied cemetery. For a glimpse at a more modern Rome, steel yourself with a drink at one of the city’s best bars and then brave the rowdy crowds at a football match, enjoy some outdoor music or partake in the annual city marathon. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, you’ll be treated to stunning views, world-class attractions, friendly locals and the ultimate history lesson. These are our top 21 things to do in Rome.

1Draw your mind back to Ancient Rome visualise the Colosseum in all its splendour filled with an encaustic audience of supporters waiting and watching out for their favourite Gladiators to do battle against each other. Listen for the hushed voices and anticipation of the crowd, let your Rome private tour guide show you the way on any one of the best ancient Rome & skip the line colosseum tours.  Early Access Skip-the-line Vatican Private Tours

2If you want the VIP treatment then this is the tour for you, with early access and skip the line tickets this Luxury trip around the Vatican is the tour you want to book. Be mesmerised as you stroll through the Vatican Museums, Raphael Rooms and the highlight is, of course, The Sistine Chapel. As you stand and look up you will marvel at the sheer size and scope of the work Michelangelo did. Rome Catacombs Tour with Bone Crypt

3Scary but thrilling customise your Roman holiday to include a haunting tour to the Catacombs, and the Bone Crypt. As you are escorted around the underground maze and tombs you will see the many cave rooms with the remains of the many monks. The frescos are in unbelievably great condition considering where they are situated but it is thought that the buried monks stand as protection for the catacombs.Guided Papal Audience with The Pope

4The highlight for many Catholics is a Guided Papal Audience with the Pope watch the Sea of people come to respect and pay homage to the Holy Father. If the Pope is in town, he speaks from his window on a Sunday morning and you can get tickets for the weekly general audience on Wednesdays. This is a unique once in a lifetime experience for many people visiting Rome and it is not to be missed.  Private Guided Rome Walking Tour

5Pantheon and the Colosseum tend to get most of the attention; the Roman Forum is yet another fantastic location full of history and stories to tell. Nowadays, the ruins are very much as the term describes so it can be hard to tell what everything used to look like but it can still be an experience to enjoy. If you manage to join a tour guide on this trip, you will start to build an image of what the location used to offer.Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Tour

6These Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Tours are an excellent way to see the City at your pace.  You can book these fun Rome packages if you want to know the history of the city, visit where the ancient Romans lived then Rome bus tours are for you.  This is one of the best ticks, it has it all the monuments, churches, palaces, famous squares and historic sights on a jump on and off system.     Skip the Line – Borghese Gardens & Gallery Tour

7Skip the Line at the Borghese Gardens & Gallery Tour and see one of the most famous galleries and gardens in Italy. If you customise your Roman Holiday to include this tour you will not be disappointed you will see the walkway up to the great house will show you how they spared no expense building and decorating this mini-palace. You won’t be bored when you go inside and see the series of frescos and paintings around the house/palace.Capri Private Day Tour From Rome

8This Capri private day tour from Rome will show you the chic and unique island at its best. Chaperoned by your Capri and Rome private tour guide you can take a rowboat over to the see the lovely Blue Grotto and start your tour in style. Then it’s onto Capri town where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch and visit some sights when your there. Explore the stunning and quaint hilltop village of Anacapri.  Florence tour by High-speed Train from Rome

9All aboard the high-speed train from Rome to Florence for a day tour you won’t forget. You can visit some of the most important and enjoyable places in Florence like The Baptistery, The Cathedral, the Uffizi and the Bargello.  Sightseeing tours in Florence to the church of Santa Maria Novella are a must or you can sit back relax and watch the world go by while you are sipping an apéritif.Wonderful Tuscany! Food & Wine Tour in Chianti

10Campo Dei Fiori is the most famous street markets in Rome. If you are planning to visit, you should be aware that they can only be found in the morning and you should probably brush up on the market rules. For example, vendors believe that all their food is of high-quality which means that it is considered a little rude for you to touch any of the merchandise. Other than that, the fun to be had in the market is brilliant.Day Trip to Pompeii from Rome

11Apart from The Vatican escorted Rome Guided excursions to Pompeii on a full day tour by speed train are one of the most popular tours in Italy. The fact that there were little or no survivors will not surprise you when you see the city covered in the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii was decimated and time has stood still in the ancient city. Tour guides will escort you around to see how time stood still of this small nation.   Cooking Class in the Roman Countryside

12Live a gourmet experience far from the beaten path with a cooking class in the Roman Countryside. Private cooking tours and classes are available and you will visit one of the ancient villages like Mazzano Romano, where you will make your way to a lavish garden and farm abounding with fresh vegetables, spices and eggs. There, you will pick all of the ingredients necessary to create the menu you’ll be preparing in a cooking lesson. 

Things to Buy in Rome or Italy

Leather and Shoes

Italy is known for its leather and shoes. Home to renowned designer houses like Bruno Magli and Giovanna Zanella Caeghera, Caliga Pelle the country has built a long-standing reputation as a go-to place for handcrafted, long-wearing footwear. If in Rome, try your luck on the Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Steps) for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci flagship stores, along with a plethora of other international brands.

If these expensive shoe brands aren’t quite the thing, there are smaller vendors who also sell quality merchandise. However, be careful to inspect the merchandise carefully; cheap footwear masquerades as high-quality goods the world over, and Italy is no exception. A good shoe will cost in the three-figure range, with bespoke footwear ranging into the thousands.

Clothes

Of course, this top-tier shoe haven is also home to a wide range of prime apparel. Clothing ranges from moderate in price to expensive, with some vendors forward enough to walk up to tourists on the street with knock-off wares. Italy is rife with fraudulent designer goods, so make any purchases from actual store locations, not street vendors.

When in Rome, try sampling the wide range of stores that the city has to offer. While the usual super-brands hold appeal, venture outside of your comfort zone to the Borghetto Flaminio market stalls, or to M.A.S. in the not-so-well-off section of town. For more upscale or rare finds, try Maga Morgana on the Via del Governo Vecchio, or NuYorica on the Piazza Pollarola.

Food

Italians prize fresh food and often visit the market on a daily basis. A few of the goods can be brought home, so journey to the markets and pick up some Italian food items as a souvenir. Cheese, in particular, is a great selection, although it’s important to remember that only pasteurized, hard cheeses can be brought back through U.S. customs. Wrap the cheese well and pack it in your carry-on luggage. Another good option is dry pasta, which can be packed carefully in a checked bag since it will stay fresh for months.

Furniture

Since Italy is the centre of the design, the furniture market is also full of great design pieces to compliment any decor. However, Italian furnishings can be quite pricey, not to mention expensive to get back home. Unlike the United States, Italy has no furniture superstores where you can grab cut-rate deals; and most of the big brand names (like Minotti, B&B Italia, and Cassina) sell only through speciality stores. However, some of the outlet centres, such as the Milan Factory Outlets, do sell some choice pieces at a nominal discount. As always, when looking for great deals, beware of cheap knockoff products and fraudsters.

Wine

It’s hard to leave Italy without a few bottles of wine. In this day of tight carry-on restrictions, however, you’d be best served to ship your finds rather than packing and flying with them. Since shipping can be expensive, it’s best to save your wine money for bottles that offer significant savings over the purchase price in the states. If you’re a fan of small-scale vintners, stock up on those rarities. If you favour more popular makers, it might be best to simply purchase your bottles stateside.

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