Tips and advice

Top 10 Things for your Rome Bucket List

Be adventurous, put the guidebook down and think outside the box with this bucket list of top things to do in Rome. Aside from the popular Rome attractions like the Coliseum and Vatican – which are a given – there are so many more places to go and see. So we’ve spoken to the locals and got some recommendations for you to make your trip to Rome even better.

  1. Have an ice cream at Fatamorgana
Rome is one of the best places to go for good food and good wine. Among the many options to suit everyone you can’t miss the delicious organic and authentic gelateria Fatamorgana in the uber trendy Monti district. Just a 5-10 minute walk up from the Coliseum and Roman Forum it’s a great place to go to cool off and get a sugar hit. From sweet sorbets to creamy chocolates it’s well worth a visit.
  1. Toss a coin into Trevi Fountain and make a wish
One of Rome’s most iconic landmarks, Trevi Fountain is undeniably bucket list worthy. In these selfie stick days at least it makes getting a picture in the crowds that bit easier! Did you know that throwing a coin into the fountain is meant to bring you good luck and ensure you will return to Rome? You may as well throw in a handful to raise your odds! We also recommend visiting Trevi Fountain after dark when the baroque marble is lit up, plus it's normally a lot quieter.
  1. Walk around the Orange Garden
A hidden gem, the Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci) is a quiet sanctuary right in the middle of the bustle of Rome. You wouldn’t know it but just a few streets up from the busy road circulating the Circus Maximus you’ll find this orange tree filled garden. It’s a great place to watch the sun go down, especially if you've planned with a bottle of wine for a romantic picnic.
  1. Have a selfie with a Gladiator
One of the main symbols of Rome are the Gladiators stationed outside the Coliseum and Roman Forum 24/7. Dressed up in their Spartan gear, a selfie is mandatory before you leave the Eternal City. Don’t forget with the Roma Pass you can skip the lines and visit the Coliseum and Roman Forum for free!
  1. Views at the top of St Peter’s Dome
Undeniably one of the best views of Rome is from the top of the dome of St Peter’s Basilica. Nothing can quite prepare you for the breathtaking panorama over Rome from this unrivalled vantage point at the centre of the Vatican, overlooking the rooftops of Rome in the distance and the iconic piazza underneath. With 360 degrees of uninterrupted city it really is a non-mover on the bucket list.
  1. Walk around the ruins at Appia Antica
Not many people think to venture that far out of Rome but there is so much more to discover outside the city centre – if you just dare! Vast ruins lie waiting to be explored, such as Appia Antica, one of Rome’s historic attractions, an archaeological site that was built back in 312 BC to connect the road to the south. Stroll through the Appia historic park and you’ll see tombs, ruins and catacombs that will unlock Rome’s rich past.
  1. Hire a go cart around Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is a must-visit during your trip to Rome as it’s one of the most accessible parks in the city. In the summer you’ll find it busy with sunbathers, picnickers and roller-bladers, but what’s even more fun though is if you hire a go-kart and have a go at pedalling your way around yourself. You can hire these at various locations around the park, usually for one hour or even half a day. It’s great fun and definitely not something you’d do every day! Make sure the more confident driver is at the wheel as there are a few bumpy bits and steep inclines!
  1. See the dome in Sant’Ignazio
One of Rome’s best hidden gems is the church of Sant’Ignazio just around the corner from the Pantheon. From the outside this church doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary, in fact it looks a lot like every other city church. However, when you step inside and look up at the ceiling you’ll be taken aback by the optical illusion painted on the roof. Don’t be fooled into thinking the church’s dome is actually concave; the painter, Andrea Pozzo, painted it on a flat surface with the 3D effect! Very clever...
  1. See the traditional guards at the Vatican
London’s Tower of London has its Beefeaters, but at the Vatican, visitors can see the (semi-equivalent) Papal Swiss Guard in all their finery. At St Peter’s Basilica you will see them stationed at various posts in their yellow and purble robes. Their institution dates back to the 15th when and they traditionally served as guards to foreign European courts, now, the Swiss Guard's role is like a bodyguard to the Pope and they have to match a certain criteria such as having completed basic training with the Swiss military.
  1. Campagna Amica Market
The Forum Boarium, the oldest Roman Forum, is home to two ancient temples and was once Rome’s ancient cattle market. It’s now a selling point of the most exclusive neighbourhoods with unparalleled views over the Forum, Circus Maximus and the Capitoline Hill. On the weekend, we recommend you head down to the Campagna Amica market to sample some locally sourced delicacies from smooth olive oil to fresh prosciutto. If you want to make a morning of it, why not have a coffee at Cristalli dello Zucchero first to get your caffeine hit.
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