Welcome to the Eternal City. Encompassing everything from the ruins of an ancient Empire, to a seat of the Renaissance, to a modern day metropolitan city, Rome has something for everybody. After spending a summer writing for a travel guide in Rome, I’ve picked out my five favorite places that you must go to in order to catch a glimpse of this beautiful city. Spend plenty of time looking at the famous sights listed here (you need at least one good photo with the Colosseum in your Facebook album), but also take the time to just be in Rome. Eat at small pizzerias, order as much pistachio gelato as you can, and spend nights dancing away to old American hits that Italians seem to love at discos. Hey, when in Rome.
As a sprawling metropolis, it’s hard to find one central location in Rome. But with a name like Centro Storico, it’s a good place to start. Spend some time here wandering through iconic cobblestone streets. Eat gelato, visit the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and when the sun sets, head to Campo de Fiori for some Bacchic revelry.
Head across the Tiber to Trastevere where more charming streets and shops await. Climb Gianocolo Hill, smell flowers at the Botanical Gardens, then come back down to drink beer at Piazza Trilussa at night. If you’re here in the summer, check out Lungo Il Tevere, a river festival by the Tiber. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, take the buses down to Testaccio, Rome’s hotspot for discos and nightclubs.
Make your way across the Tiber and head behind the wedding cake. Time warp! You'll find yourself back a couple thousand years. Welcome to the Ancient City. Here you'll find crowd pleasers like the Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine and Capitoline Hills. They're all here and as breathtaking as ever - so put those years of high school Latin to use while you walk by ancient ruins, temples, and guys dressed up as gladiators. They're everywhere.
Keep heading north and you’ll run into Northern Rome (surprising, we know). Here you can find luxury in Palazzo Barberini and famous Berninis in the Borghese Gallery. Plan a picnic in the Borghese Gardens. Check out Piazza del Popolo, a beautiful square where you can sit on lion fountains and watch summer music festivals. And then head down the busy Corso for some designer shopping and more postcard worthy sights like Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.
If you ever need a quick daytrip from Rome, take the 40-minute train ride down to Ostia. The price is the same as any metro ticket and you can spend the morning wandering through ruins in Ostia Antica and then head down two more train stops to the beautiful beaches at Lido to work on that tan.
Okay, so it’s a different country, but you can’t go to Rome and not stop at the Vatican. If you have time, try to go see the Pope’s general audience on Wednesdays. Or come any time to wait out the lines and get inside the beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums, which are a must. To escape the crowds, grab some gelato and walk around the beautiful neighborhoods in Prati, Then come back to watch the sun set behind St. Peter’s Square, which is a pretty ideal way to end any trip.
Ciao! My name is Priyanka and I'm a 19-year-old college student at Harvard. I live in the lovely state of Massachusetts and currently study linguistics with a minor in classical languages and civilizations. Over the past summer, I worked as a researcher-writer for the travel guide company Let's Go in Rome, Naples, and Capri. Which basically means that for eight weeks, it was my job to be a professional tourist and traverse all the roads that led to Rome while visiting over 200 hostels, restaurants, churches, museums, sights, bars and more to find the best places to spend your time and throw your euros while in the city. And by chance, through all my backpacking, I also fell in love with Rome. It happens sometimes. I've lived here by myself for a summer, befriended locals, eaten at new places everyday, and had more gelato than I'll ever admit (almost always pistachio, of course). I've had the opportunity to visit the Colosseum on 3am whims and I've danced away in almost every Testaccio disco until the morning buses started running again. I've experienced Rome and I've loved it. And there is nothing I want more than to use my research and time spent here to help others carpe diem and guide them in seeing the very best this beautiful city has to offer just as I did. Full profile ⋅ Leave a Review
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