What to do and see in Rome
Planning your trip to Rome
A famous quote says "Rome was not built in a day". It is very true as well as Yome CANNOT be visited in a day. The city hosts plenty of historic and artistic attractions. I usually suggest to stay at least three days and nights.
Where to stay? Rome is safer than most other capitals in the world including Paris, London and New York. Everywhere in the city center you can walk without fear. There is a lot of police around and even late at night the crime rate is very low. Nevertheless, the increasing number of immigrants from Africa and Middle East that are not used to western habits should make you more cautious when dealing with people you meet on the street.
I suggest you to stay near a metro station (there are two lines, blue and red, better to stay near the red line stations). My favorite areas to book your accommodation are near Piazza della Repubblica, Spanish Steps, Barberini, Ottaviano, San Giovanni, Colosseo, Piramide. You can book an hotel but recently many of my guests have been very satisfied with renting an apartment or a room in a B&B.
You may want to rent a car or use private vehicle but Rome is a city you must visit by walking to appreciate it most. That is why you should avoid staying far from the city center.
Only one day stay in Rome
One day is not enough to see Rome. However, if you do not have more time we suggest to take a tour (our full-day best of Rome tour for example). By this you will maximize the amount of attraction visited without rushing or wasting your time in entrance lines or looking at the maps.
Wake up early in Rome! The eternal city is wonderful in the morning when most of the sites are open. There is not much nightlife in Rome, not comparable to London or Barcelona, so you can sleep after midnight.
However, if you are a night person and you want to look for some fun you should go to Campo de' Fiori, Monti or Trastevere areas.
In only one day you should visit the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica of Saint Peter, the Colosseum, the Forum, Piazza Venezia, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and other smaller attractions on the way such as the Church of St. Ignatius and its fake dome. These are the must-see sites and you can barely cover all of them in one full-day. Plan your day ahead or you would regret the time was not enough!
You have only two meals to taste the local cuisine, I suggest you try the original Carbonara, Amatriciana and Cacio e Pepe (all invented in the area of Rome). In the winter-spring season try the artichokes (stewed or fried). In the summer stuffed zucchini flowers!
If you are staying one more day then besides the attracions mentioned above (in the one day stay) you can visit other great sites that are too often neglected.
I really like Castel Sant'Angelo, you can climb it to the top terrance for a breathtaking view.
During this second day you should also visit the Tiberine Island, the Basilica of San Giovanni (Rome's cathedral), Campo de' Fiori, San clemente subterreneans and the distrcit of Trastevere where you can relax and have dinner to try other specialties (saltimbocca alla romana, straccetti, rigatoni alla pajata).
On the third day of your stay you can take a bus or a taxi and reach the catacombs, miles of underground tunnels with thousands of christian burials. I suggest the ones on the Appian Way so you can visit the ruins on this Ancient Roman road too.
I really like the Capitol Museums and the National Roman Museum of Palazzo Massimo so I suggest to visit also one of them and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
If you are staying four days or more in Rome you are lucky and you made the right choice. you should visit the excavations of Ostia Antica (easily reachable by train), the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the walls, the Pyramid, the Gianicolo hill with its great view and many other sites that you can scroll in my tours catalogue.
a day excursion to Tivoli, its gardens and villas is really worth it too.