The eternal city is a feast of unforgettable cultural and food experiences. Stay tuned to get the best of the Italian capital.
Things to see in Rome
San Lorenzo – street art almost no tourists
San Lorenzo is an old working-class district that was the last to stand up to the fascists, and today is more trashy and Berlin-like than anywhere else in Rome. It’s home to the university and is teeming with street art, small art shops, and good, cheap eats. Trattoria Pommidoro and the bar next door in Piazza dei Sanniti are great places to sit and observe locals and their ways. The small streets around are phenomenal to browse – especially at night.
San Calisto catacombs – morbid excursion
Originally, the Romans buned their dead and the ashes were stored in a so-called columbarium, but after the advent of Christianity, it became common to bury the dead. However, it was impossible to find space in the ground within the city walls, and the solution was to bury people in catacombs outside the city. The catacombs of San Callisto stretch over 20 kilometers in four layers, and visiting them is both a little spooky and very fascinating. It is not recommended for people who tend to be claustrophobic.
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere – an oasis in the city
St Cecilia’s Church is one of Rome’s quietest and most breathtaking sights. The church itself, and especially the garden in front of it, is really worth a visit if you need to rest your head and feet, and Stefano Maderno’s sculpture of the late Cecilia is one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque sculpture in the world. The church is open to the public every day from 9.15 to 12.45 and again from 16 to 18. From 10 am to 12.30 pm it’s possible to enter and see Pietro Cavallini’s Apocalypse fresco, and if the crypt is open, don’t deprive yourself of a trip down there.
Rome open tour – experience the city from sightseeing bus
In Rome, the sights are so close you can easily walk around and see them, but nothing gives an amazing overview like a ride in a sightseeing bus. There are several in Rome, but they all run more or less the same route and cost the same. They all stop on Via della Conciliazione, the wide road that leads up to St Peter’s Square. In theory, they should run every 20 minutes, but as with so much else in Rome, it’s best to just wait for a bus to arrive and not get too hung up on schedules and plans. The tour of Rome is particularly beautiful in the evening after dark.
Shopping in Rome
Visit the green market
Most people are familiar with Rome’s famous Campo de Fiori market, but Rome is full of markets large and small, where you can buy everything from scarves and cups to ciabatta bread and filleted sharks. For food, visit the large, covered Unitá market in Piazza dell’Unità or the small, cozy market in Piazza di San Cosimato in Trastevere. If you’re looking for flea markets, Porta Portese is a must.
Sciascia Caffe – the best coffee in the city
The Romans don’t make much of a fuss over breakfast, which for many consists of a single cup of espresso at the counter of one of the city’s many coffee bars. Sciascia Caffè has been brewing espresso for morning-weary Romans since 1919, and the walls of the shop are hung with photos that bear witness to a long history in the service of good coffee. They’re open from 7 am to 8 pm every day except Sunday, and of course, you can buy freshly roasted beans to take home. They don’t have a website but search for Sciascia Caffe’ dal 1919 in Roma on Facebook.
Maurizio Grossi – a statue for the garden
Should the thought “such a David statue would basically look good at home on the balcony!” suddenly arise during your trip, there’s a solution for that too. At Maurizio Grossi you can buy everything from full-size Venus sculptures and Caesar busts to marble candlesticks and decorative fruit.
Places to eat in Rome
Dal Toscano – Rome’s biggest stakes
This is said to be the favorite restaurant of Italian film director Federico Fellini. Whether this is true, we don’t know, but one thing is certain: If you like big, well-hung steaks, this is the place!
Via del Governno Vecchio – the coasiest food street
The narrow, cozy street winds parallel to the Corso, just behind Piazza Navona, and on the cobbled streets and in the cobblestones around you’ll find a wealth of lovely eateries. Mastro Ciccia, Pasquino, and Cantina e Cucina are just some of them, and on a warm evening, it’s great to sit outside and eat your food. Be careful though, as cars drive straight past, so keep your seat within the marked lines!
Hostaria Dino e Toni
Dino and Toni met in the army and decided that when they were done being in the military, they would open a restaurant together. The restaurant is small and doesn’t look like much from the outside, and there is no set menu. You just have to sit down and work up an appetite. The restaurant has no website, but the address is Via Leone IV 60, and it’s open daily from 12.30 pm to 3 pm, and again from 7.30pm to 11pm. Sundays are closed.
Hotels in Rome
Residenza Napoleone III
If you’re on a spending spree in Rome and want to try living in a real Roman palazzo, Residenza Napoleone III is the place. It’s luxurious from top to bottom and very decadent. Of course, the price matches the looks.
Hotel Raphael – amazing view
Located just behind Piazza Navona, the rooftop terrace offers wonderful views of the city’s rooftops, towers and domes.
Lancelot Hotel – great value for money
A good hotel for the price, which is rare in Rome, where good hotels are traditionally very expensive. It is in the pleasant Celio area behind the Colosseum, far from the noise of the city.
How to get to Rome
Rome is very well connected via low-cost airlines to many destinations in Europe, as well as high-speed rail, so getting there shouldn’t be a problem, or too expensive. However, keep in mind it one of the most popular destinations in the world so it will almost always be very crowded.