The Best of Rome
I was lucky enough to visit Rome twice during my time abroad, with a great tour guide I might add… Peter studied in Rome while I was in Florence, so on the few weekends I was there he was sure to show me the best of the city! We sat down to compile this list, which is hopefully helpful to you as you venture to la citta eterna.
Without a doubt, the Trevi Fountain is the best place to snap a picture and make a wish for your own Paolo. We spent a lot of time recharging and people watching here too!
The Pantheon is another great stop because it’s free to walk in and the architecture is very unique. There seems to be good music around there during the day.
Another iconic sight is the Spanish Steps which are surrounded by high-end shops to window shop during the day.
Without a doubt, the Vatican is something that all travelers need to explore. Leave yourself a few hours to walk the hallways and view the paintings in this historic landmark. Be careful to tuck away your camera in the Sistine chapel, security is very strict there. Pro tip: make sure to buy tickets ahead of time, if you buy them on the street they could be more expensive.
Again, here’s an obvious one: tour the Colosseum. There is nothing quite like seeing ancient architecture of this magnitude. I recommend paying for a tour that guides you into the Roman Forum afterwards (about $50).
For a quick tour of the eternal city, Hop on - Hop off bus tours are the best solution. Tickets are sold across the city for usually about $30/day.
Hop on a segway in the Villa Borghese park to explore the land much faster than you could by foot. It’s not as scary as it seems, I promise. ($15/hr) There are is also paddle boat rentals and a small zoo in the park.
Follow Via Del Corso for lots of shops.
Go to the top of the Italian National Monument for a really cool overlook of the city. Also tour the Sant’Angelo Castle, which is across the Tiber river and near the Vatican, to get another cool scenic city view.
Trek to the secret Aventine keyhole to get a really cool view of the Vatican. This is near Circo Massimo, where the Romans held their chariot races for 100,000+ people. After the keyhole, stop by the Orange Garden for a beautiful sunset.
Tip: Look through the keyhole at night and get an even prettier view of the Vatican.
Rent bikes and ride up to the Janiculum Terrace (Gianicolo) for more awesome views. Then head over to Villa Doria Pamphili, a huge Roman park.
If you like soccer, the Stadio Olimpico is the place to catch a Roma game. Even if you don’t like soccer but love people watching, you need to go.
One of our favorite bars is Scholars Lounge Irish Pub for it’s live music and mature crowd. Other popular bars for students include The Drunken Ship, G Bar and Shari Vari.
Go to Buddy Cafe for good breakfast.
If you’re near the Colosseum, Via Cavour is lined with good food.
If constant pasta is leaving you stuffed, try L’Insalata Ricca for a salad that is more than the typical mozzarella and olive oil.
Some of our favorite American food places are the Perfect Bun and T-bones Station...sometimes you just need a juicy burger.
My favorite place of all is the Gelataria Della Palma. 150 flavors of gelato. Enough said.
Hosteria Del Moro Da Tony is another favorite for students. For only 20 euros, you can enjoy a 4-course meal with unlimited wine. Need I say more?
The best advice we got was the 4-4-4 rule: When leaving a populated area (i.e. the Trevi) and looking for something to eat, walk 4 blocks away from that area and the food will be 4x better and 4x cheaper than the restaurants near you.
When walking to the Vatican there are plenty of people selling tickets for tours that day.
All of the water fountains are drinkable mountain water.
Use the train system. There is an underground metro system that you can take fairly cheaply.
Trastevere is a great city to grab a bite, like Tony’s and the Drunken Ship.
If you’re around at noon on Sundays, head to the Vatican and watch the Pope give a blessing to the crowd. Yes, in Italian, but it’s you don’t have to understand the words to feel the pride people have.
Fair warning: they don’t cook their meat as thoroughly as we do, so if you’re not a fan of pink burgers be sure to request it’s cooked well.
There ya have it, the Eternal City summed up in a few short bullet points! Let me know if you are headed this way so I can get excited with you!!
Cheers! xoxo - Katie