i hope you find this helpful
Hi, welcome soon to Rome!
My name is Rita and I am a wedding and couples’ photographer living near the capital city of Italy! I have been living in the Eternal City (and nearby) for a long long time now, and I believe I can say without a doubt that I know the city quite well. I absolutely love walking around as if I were a tourist, because even after a lifetime, it never ceases to amuse me. I always find streets I have not seen or been before and new points of views of perspectives that give you beautiful views on the most amazing historical sights. As we all know Rome is probably the richest city in terms of history and things to see, I believe we can agree on that. So a couple days may not be enough to experience the city as a whole, but you still might be able to see most of the famous sights.
In this page I want to give you some information and hopefully usefull recommendations of places to go visit, and others to go to eat and drink to have an authentic experience of the Eternal City.
The water coming out from these fountains is drinkable, so I recommend you bring your own water bottle and refill. Rome is full of these all around. Water from the “normal” fountains is NOT drinkable though and you can not bath in them either. Especially don’t buy water from those illegal vendors.
Public transportation in Rome is unfortunately very bad. especially the buses–especially some buses. Those going from Termini to the city center are okay, they are mostly on time, but if you can, I highly recommend you walk for the most part, once you are in the center. Everything is pretty close and you will spare yourselves a lot of time, and ticket fares.
most well-known sight in rome
Like obviously. The most known sight of Rome and all Italy, you can not miss it.
I highly recommend seeing it from outside, it is also pretty cool inside, but unless you do not book the tickets prior to the trip, online, you will have to wait long lines to get in. Early morning (around opening hours) is the best time as there is less people.
Do not engage with those outside wanting to sell you tickets or giving you tickets, asking if you want a tour guide. You can book amazing tours with official guides like on Tripadvisor or “Walks”. If you want a photo with a “gladiator”, just know you’ll have to pay them.
I don’t really recommend eating or having a drink here as it is ridiculously more expensive than anywhere else and it’s only the view. Quality vise it’s not even the best. You can get there from Piazza Venezia by walk or by metro getting off at “Colosseo” station (it’s literally in front of the exit lol).
Make sure you go to the park from where you can a beautiful view on the Colosseum and eventually visit the Domus Aurea too!
After the visit to the Colosseum, it is almost a normal and walk towards Piazza Venezia, passing in front of the “Fori” on Via dei Fori Imperiali. You don’t need to visit it from below (although it is included in most Colosseum tickets and the view from above is really beautiful), you can also walk by and enjoy looking at it from the street. There are three terraces you can have a look down at it and they’re all magical! (will soon write about these more in detail)
If you want to enter the Fori get in from the side entrance (on Via dei Fori Imperiali, like halfway) instead of the one in front of the Colosseum which has always a line to wait for! As most Roman Museums, the Fori are free on the first sunday of every month.
Just above the Fori Imperiali is the Campidoglio (Capitolium which is the seat of the Municipality of Rome), and it has 3 beautiful terraces looking over the Fori Imperiali. I always love to go there either in the morning or afternoon, it’s impressive to see the remains of the fori so small/big! Highly recommended for sunset at Terrazza Caffarelli.
one of the two locations where you can get officially married in Rome is actually the Sala Rossa in Campidoglio. Not really recommended, it is really dark, and too red. Also, they mostly speak at 100mph to end the ceremony as soon as possible; unromantic as it can be 🙁
One of the most delicious and old caffe places near the Pantheon and with incredibly reasonable prices. Highly recommended!
photo from the web
The most old-school and vintage bar you will ever find. The kindest old man working there who will greet you twice by kindness. Close to Piazza Navona and highly recommended.
photo from the web
Great coffee but unfortuantely the people working are usually pretty rude. If you do go, you need to tell when asking the coffee if you want it with sugar or not! Coffee is usually good though.
photo from the web
My absolute favorite area of Rome, less touristic and still with the authentic feels especially in the morning! You can get there by crossing Ponte Sisto (pedestrians only bridge) from Campo Dei Fiori, stop on there to admire the “Cupolone” (St Peter) in the background. Trastevere is a great area to walk around either in the morning, with people working and going around, or in the afternoon for an aperitivo or delicious dinner. My favorite sposts to eat and drink are in this area! It’s all warm colored buildings, squares to hang out at, and gelato places to have gelato at!
my favorite restaurant is in this area: IL MIRAGGIO (in Via della Lungara): traditional roman food, great portions and authentic people.
great bar to have aperitivo and afterdinner drinks: FRENI E FRIZIONI, in Via del Politeama, 4 close to PIazza Trilussa. Another awesome one is BIG HILDA in Vicolo del Cinque.
some more insights
Located symmetrically in the centre of the two hemicycles of Bernini’s colonnade and aligned with the Vatican Obelisk, the “almost” twin fountains are due to the ingenuity of Carlo Maderno, creator of the facade of the Basilica, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a great exponent of the Roman Baroque and brilliant arranger of the square. Close by the fountains, there are two golden manholes that if you stand on them, you will see only 1 colonnade instead of the 4 that there are for real.
On the left of Giardino degli Aranci, you will find Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, designed by the famous engraver Giovan Battista Piranesi in 1765. From the lock of the door that leads to the Villa dei Cavalieri, you can see Saint Peter’s dome, framed by the garden hedges. It’s a wonderful optical “illusion” kind of thing, it’s incredible if you think how well thought out it is! and how far the two places are.
the closer you get to Saint Peter, the smaller the church looks! Go further and it will appear as if it gets bigger!
From here, you can admire the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica, the extraordinary Michelangelo‘s project, in a magical and unique perspective: walk along the road, keeping your eye on the dome, and the nearer you get, the further away it seems to go. On the other hand, if you move back, the dome appears to get larger and nearer.
It is a bizarre optical illusion, due to the layout of the buildings and observation point, that makes Via Piccolomini a very romantic place and one of the city’s numerous “magnificent deceptions”.
The green heart of Rome is just beautiful and includes the most amazing museum: Galleria Borghese! If you have time to visit one museum only in Rome, make it Galleria Borghese. Full of the most important pieces of art, such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Raffaello and many more of the most reknown painters and sculptors. End the walk in the park at the Pincio Terrace overlooking Piazza del Popolo 🙂 Walk around, enjoy the statues and the green alleys, the beautiful trees and why not, take a little boat ride in the small lake! It’s a romantic place <3
Galleria Borghese is not only the green heart because of the size of it, it's the biggest park, but it's also heart-shaped if you look at it from above. You can rent a little boat on the lake, it's cute and romantic!
There are two bars on the side of the churches, pretty fancy. I'd recommend the right one (watching the churches) even if they're not the kindest people. Also, don't sit down, it will cost you a lot and the view is not that worth it-- better at Pantheon or Navona to splurge a bit!
For more Rooftop Bars in Rome, please check out the following article (it’s in italian but you can easily find the names on google) : https://tg24.sky.it/lifestyle/2021/10/23/rooftop-bar-roma-aperitivo-terrazza#09
The Pantheon with the oculus on the top and Piazza Navona are just a few minutes of walk away from each other. It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history. It includes the tombs of Italy’s kings and also Raffaello’s. You’ll feel reeeeeeally small…
Did you know that for Pentecost sunday, the fireman walk up to the oculus, and launch a great amount of rose petals down to the Pantheon?! It’s really impressive, a rain of rose petals.
in occasion of the Pentecost (which is celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) from Easter Sunday) some firemen go up the dome and throw down a lot of rose petals, it's really a rose petals rain! it's really unique. you best go there early to assure yourself a spot ^^
Piazza Navona is just a few steps from the Pantheon and it was built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans went there to watch the “games”, and hence it was known as a “competition arena”. Today it’s a gorgeous square with restaurants (not recommended) and the fountains to admire. The surrounding little streets are adorable and colorful; Via Dei Coronari just behind the Piazza is the antiques street.
Bar del Fico is a really nice place: even in the morning or afternoon to have a coffee, you can find people playing chess. (in Piazza del Fico, just behind Pza Navona, in a small alley!)
Highly recommended also to enjoy an aperitivo on the rooftop "Terrazza Borromini".
It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The structure was once the tallest building in Rome. The bridge to access is it really gorgeous with all the statues and the view on San Pietro on the left. An impressive location to propose if you are thinking of it, even if a bit crowded. you have to wait for the pedestrians to get the red light on the other side of the street.
my favorite restaurant in rome: it’s authentic cuisine is delicious with the original receipes. the servings are abundant, and the waiters are local roman guys,
Always super crowded but majestic: this fountain is so particular cause it is the back of a buildin and it’s the biggest one of Rome! Also, you need to toss a coin into the fountain, facing it backwards and toss the coin over your shoulder! This means you’ll come back to Rome! Definitely my least favorite place to shoot at! I find it really mainstream for couple photos, but obviously it is a must go to 🙂
Indipendently on the time you’ll go there, it’ll always be crowded, of course afternoons are the worst. Highly recommended to go super early. Just enjoy being there, watch people walking around, if you hear whistles those are the local police, you can not climb on the side of the fountain of course. they'll bother you for anything (LOL).
there are quite a few accounts with tips and recommendations for rome, i suggest you check out these, they have a lot of insights!
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