Rome Italy

Why visit Rom?

The Ancient Romans considered Rome “Caput Mundi,” or the capital of the world. The Eternal City may no longer be the center of the known universe, but it remains full of world-class museums, incredible restaurants, and iconic sights such as the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel. Catch a flight to Rome to wander down the cobblestone streets of the charming Trastevere neighborhood, lose yourself in the art and architecture of the Renaissance palaces, and learn where to eat in Rome to end the day with homemade pasta.

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Rome, Italy, Couple

Rome airport information

Getting from Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport T3 to the city center

    The Leonardo Express travels directly from Aeroporto Fiumicino to Stazione Termini, the main train station in central Rome with a journey time of about 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased online, or at the airport station before boarding. The FL1 Line also links the airport to other smaller train stations in central Rome every 15 minutes but makes multiple stops in the city suburbs. From Terminal 3, it takes about eight minutes to walk to the airport train station.
  • BUS
    There are no direct public buses from Fiumicino Airport to central Rome, but it is possible to switch lines and arrive in about 90 minutes. Private coaches, on the other hand, are plentiful and leave regularly throughout the day and night. These connect the airport to stops near the Vatican as well as to Termini Station in the center of Rome.
    Taxis are readily available at all hours at the official taxi rank outside of Terminal 3 Arrivals. The trip takes around 35-45 minutes to reach the city center depending on traffic.
    Motorists arriving on a flight to Rome should take the A91, then exit for central Rome using Via Cristoforo Colombo or Via Portuense.  

Things to do in Rome

Coloseum, Rome, Italy

Visit the Colosseum

Visiting the Colosseum is one of the best things to do in Rome, Italy and the monument is regularly named the most popular attraction in Europe. The ancient amphitheater was completed in 80 AD and could seat 65,000 Roman citizens who gathered here to watch gladiator fights or even see naval battles recreated for their entertainment. A special guided tour is available if you wish to visit the underground area and see the inner workings of the historic arena.

St. Peters Basilica, Rome, Italy

Climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest cathedral in Europe, is one of Rome’s most recognizable landmarks. The main church in Vatican City is free to visit and includes a staggering amount of gold. In addition to admiring works by artists like Michelangelo and Bernini, visitors can also purchase a ticket to access the rooftop around the dome. An elevator will whisk you above the crowds inside the basilica, but for the best views climb the 320 stairs past this first level to reach the top of the church. The reward is a breathtaking vista of St. Peter’s Square and the rest of Rome.

Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy

See the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

Afternoon is the best time to visit the Vatican Museums, but it is always a good idea to book tickets online in order to skip the line. The famous art gallery inside the Vatican houses some of the greatest masterpieces of Italian art in the world. Start with the ancient marble statues such as the Laocoon and Belvedere Torso, while winding your way through the Gallery of the Maps and the Raphael rooms. The frescoes of the Papal palaces are stunning, but nothing quite compares to the beauty of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel at the end of the museum’s winding corridors full of treasures.

Shop at Campo de’ Fiori

When in Rome, shop like a Roman. Campo de’ Fiori square is the best place to soak up the atmosphere of the city’s daily markets and wander through the stalls of fresh food, sample local cheese, and even pick up some souvenirs. In the evenings, the same square transforms into a popular place to sit at a café with friends and plan out where to eat in Rome for dinner.

Fried street foods

As if the carbs included in the multiple course of pizza and pasta aren’t indulgent enough, most meals in Rome start with fritti. These fried appetizers range from battered cod (filetti di baccala) to deep fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies (fiori di zucca).


Regardless of where you eat in Rome, great gelato is always right around the corner. The frozen treat is similar to ice cream but made with lower fat cream without sacrificing any flavor.  The fruit-based gelato (known as sorbetto) tends to change depending on what’s in season but you can always find flavors like stracciatella (chocolate chip) and zabaione (custard). Look for gelato shops that promise gelato artiginale (meaning artisan or homemade) and ask for panna to have it topped with whipped cream.

Spend time in the Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the Rome tourist attractions that is completely free to visit. The temple was rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian in 120 AD and is now the best preserved ancient structure in the world. Designed to be a house of the gods, the roof was left open so that deities could come and go. Today it is a Catholic Church and the final resting place of King Victor Emmanuel II, as well as the famed Renaissance painter Raphael.

Pasta specialties

Pasta tops the list of what to eat in Rome because the city is famous for several well known recipes. The best among the local pastas is carbonara, which is made with a creamy egg yolk and pecorino cheese sauce that is topped with pork.  For a vegetarian option, try cacio e pepe pasta, which has a delicious cheese and black pepper sauce. Amatriciana (with a pork and tomato sauce), and gricia (made with pork and pecorino), round out the four best pastas to try on a Rome vacation.

Take in Piazza Navona

Not every masterpiece in Rome is tucked away in an art gallery. Piazza Navona proves that some of the most beautiful sculptures can be seen right in the middle of the city’s public squares. The piazza was used as a chariot racing stadium in Ancient Rome, but it was transformed by three gorgeous fountains during the 17th century. The most impressive was designed by Bernini and is known as the Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Walk through the Roman Forum

Located next to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum was the center of political life in Ancient Rome. The area is filled with temples and beautiful arches that tell the stories of the emperors who once ruled the Eternal City. A tip is to climb to the top of Palatine Hill to admire both the ruins and the modern city from above. History buffs can learn even more about Ancient Rome by visiting the nearby Capitoline Museums which are filled with art and artifacts that were uncovered inside the forum.

Crispy-thin Roman pizza

Traditionally eaten for dinner, Roman pizza is cooked in a woodfire oven until the edges are slightly blackened. The dough is spread thin and the toppings are delicious but kept to a minimum. This means that each pizza is a single serving, and there is no need to share your personal pie. If you prefer to sample multiple flavors, opt for pizza al taglio, which is Rome’s fast food version of pizza by the slice.

Scale the Spanish Steps

The sprawling Spanish Steps at the end of ritzy Via Condotti are one of the city’s favorite gathering places. The staircase was built in 1723 and still serves as one of the most postcard worthy things to see in Rome. The city recently banned sitting on the steps, but it remains an essential stop on a Rome sightseeing walk between the Trevi Fountain and Piazza del Popolo.

Explore the Trastevere neighborhood

Once considered to be on the wrong side of the Tiber River, a visit to the Trastevere area is now a must when it comes to things to do in Rome, Italy. Set about a mile away from sights like the Colosseum, the neighborhood is filled with delicious eateries and handicraft shops. Immerse yourself in daily Roman life while walking down the ivy-draped streets and stopping for coffees and gelatos as the mood strikes. Around sunset, street musicians gather in Piazza Santa Maria, providing a romantic soundtrack for your trip to Rome.

Admire the Trevi Fountain

You will hear Rome’s most famous fountain before you see it, but rounding the corner to this Baroque masterpiece is an unforgettable experience. Toss in one coin and legend says you will return to Rome some day; two coins means you will fall in love in the Eternal City; and throwing in three coins is said to guarantee a Roman wedding in your future.

Watch the sunset from Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is the largest public park in central Rome, and is filled with paths for walking to stretch out after a flight to Rome.  There is a small lake in the middle where it is possible to rent row boats, as well as a shady café for drinks and snacks. For a serious art fix, you can also visit the beautiful Galleria Borghese museum that is set in the heart of the park. The best time to visit the villa is around sunset, when the park’s Pincian Terrace offers a birds eye view of the changing light as the sun fades over the city’s domed skyline.


Best time to travel to Rome

High season

The busiest times for Rome vacations are between Easter (which usually falls in mid-April) to September. The city can be very busy at this time, with long lines at the major Rome tourist attractions. However, many Romans take their annual holidays in August, which means that local businesses may close during this time. From June to August, the weather in Rome can be quite hot, with average highs of 87°F (31°C), so be sure to pack for a heatwave.

Low season

Fall and winter are the quietest times to visit Rome. The weather is mild but can occasionally be quite rainy though it is rare for the temperature to drop below 32°F (0°C). Early December or January can be an ideal time for a Rome vacation because the city is relatively quiet while the streets and areas around the monuments are beautifully decorated for Christmas.

Skyline, Rome, Italy
Skyline, Rome, Italy

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