History of Rome spans two and a half thousands of years creating an incomparable intellectual and moral culture. This city is such as ancient place that prioritizing attractions and sightseeing can be overwhelming.
We’ve tried to put together a list of world’s famous sites and lesser-known destinations that will provide you with the full spectrum of experiences the Italian capital has to offer. Unlike in our previous city guides where it was easier to choose few must-visit sightseeing, with Rome we decided make several suggestions in few categories as there are so many places.
Take a leisurely walk
Explore the historic center of Rome starting from Piazza di Spagna. Climb the magnificent Spanish steps to the church Trinita dei Monti. Then take your way to the Trevi fountain, the biggest and most beautiful in the city and also one of the must see sites in Rome. As an interesting fact each night around three thousand euros is being collected form the fountain and all goes to charity. Tired of exploring beauty of Rome, then head back towards the Spanish Steps for a luxury shopping experience including flagship stores from Italian brands like Valentino, Bulgari and Fendi. Complete the tour with a lunch or dinner and some cocktails at J.K. Café, one of the trendiest places in the area.
You may want to visit Santa Marias del Popolo, a renaissance church at the edge of Piazza del Popolo. The place mostly draws visitors on the Caravaggio trail. Two canvases painted by that controversial and innovative artist hang in the chapel next to the main altar.
It goes without saying that you cannot leave Rome without visiting Vatican City, the most sacred site of Christianity. With our help you can get yourself a private tour with the best and most entertaining guide who will lead you through the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel and Basilica of ST. Peter. Then we suggest you visit Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire. After Colosseum if you are still not tired from all the ancientness and beauty you shall make your way to The Palatine Hill, a big open-air museum. There are emperors’ palaces, manicured gardens, medieval churches, and a terrace overlooking the Forum and beyond. Although the Palatine has monuments from every major era in Rome’s history, the real attraction is a 1st-century palace built by Domitian, a mad emperor with a very serious architecture addiction.
Villas and Gardens
Experience some of the most beautiful villas and gardens in the eternal city. Visit Villa Medici with its breathtaking position overlooking Rome, the place has been housing the French Academy since 1803 and now conceived as a museum with an art gallery. Also, one of the most beautiful parks located in Villa Borghese Park with several little lakes, statues and museums such as Galleria Borghese. Visit Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome’s largest public park is divided into small gardens, stretches of forest and bits of wild vegetation. There are wide open fields, as well as intimate corners for romantic picnics.
A stunning viewpoint
Parco Savello, also known as the Garden of Orange Trees is the first stop that you shall take when you wish to escape all the hustle of Rome. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful panoramic views of Rome, a small garden filled with orange trees, boasts exceptional views of the Tiber river, the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral and Santa Marina in Cosmedin, it is also known as the most romantic garden in Rome.
There’s plenty to do when the sun sets.When it comes to the best bars in Rome, a scene defined by old-fashioned enotecas (wine bars) and hip restaurants has been transformed in the past ten years by new speakeasies, rooftop lounges and even dive-y beer bars. Many of the best bars are found in the Centro Storico, from a wine bar with more than 1,500 bottles on offer, to a hotel bar with one of the best martinis in town. Other neighborhoods can offer jazz venues, late-night clubs and hip cabaret shows.See what bars we listed for you to choose from.
Arguably the most picturesque rooftop bar in Rome, Terrazza Borromini is located on top of the Borromini Hotel, right behind Piazza Navona, so it benefits from a privileged position that boasts some of the best views of the city. It’s a very popular place for celebrations, so be sure to book your table in advance, especially during the summer months.
Stravinskij Bar within Hotel de Russie is a veritable oasis in the heart of Rome. Set in the centre of the hotel, it’s a chic place to enjoy a spritz, Bellini or signature cocktails like the Stravinskij house punch, with fresh seasonal fruit and champagne, or the Stravinskij bloody Mary with a secret spicy mix. If you snag a table up on the terraced garden, you can enjoy your drink with a side of cultural heritage: few people know that this part of the garden used to be the historic vineyard of Villa Borghese.
Jerry Thomas Speakeasy
This 1920’s is named after the legendary American bartender Jerry Thomas, who wrote “How to Mix Drinks/The Bon Vivant’s Companion” back in 1862. One of the most famous bars in the world. It is accessed through a discreet door at number 30 Vicolo Cellini. An authentic speakeasy, the first of its kind in Italy when it opened in 2009, the concept has been much copied since in Rome. If you gain access, you’ll have to obey the rules – cash only, smoking in moderation, no flash photography, no calling friends, no talking about politics or religion, no sleeping on the tables and no vodka.
Dimmed lights, a trendy yet cozy atmosphere, chill-out music floating in the air, and the perfect mix of unique cocktails and art. This is Alembic, the funky bar in the heart of Trastevere. Wax dripped on wine bottles, beautiful chandeliers, great people and modern art everywhere. Sit in one of the chairs or couches or walk around and mingle. Whether it’s for aperitive or drinks, Alembic will deliver and will become your ultimate spot in Trastevere.
A secret 1920s jazz bar is hidden in the back room of the Osteria delle Coppelle restaurant. Accessed by a non-descript door at number 59 on the tiny Vicolo delle Coppelle backstreet, near the Pantheon, it’s a charming space with knights armor, a windowed bank cashier like bar and toilets hidden behind a bookcase. There’s live music and the cocktails come from the talented Patrick Pistolesi. There’s no passwords, no beer, just be smartly dressed and polite.
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