The city that has stemmed from thousands of years of bloody history is also the city
brimming with religious significance. The same city that nearly burnt to the ground
2,000 years ago is the same that today still harbors the world’s most opulent cathedrals
and basilicas. With thousands of years behind it, Rome is one of the most interesting
cities the world has to offer.
If it’s possible, Rome might actually have too much to see and do. As you walk
down the cobble stone streets, every building looks as if it could be the most significant
building on Earth, but in Rome it simply blends into the shadows of an ancient history
that spawned an unprecedented dynasty. There are ruins and churches around every
corner, making you feel almost guilty for not showing them each their due respect. But
with our help I’ll set you on the right path to enjoying Rome with the time you have.

Getting Around
Rome does not have the most intuitive rail system (it is actually one of the
smallest in Europe), but it can get you around the city to many of the main points. If you
fly into Fiumicino Airport (FCO), you can take the Leonardo Express train straight to the
Termini Station in the middle of Rome city for $14 one way. It takes about 30 minutes
and runs 7 am to 11:30 PM. Taxies from FCO can be closer to $50. You can also take a
bus for about $6 but takes closer to an hour one way.
The metro or subway has three lines, orange, blue, and green, and does get you
close to most sights. The reason the metro lines are so limited is because every time
they try to expand the tunnels new archaeological remains is found.

Best Things To Do in Rome

  1. The Vatican
    They say that if you spent three seconds looking at every piece of art in the
    Vatican you would be there over a year. The Vatican is a transcendent
    experience and not only the best thing to do in Rome but one of the best things
    to do in the world. Entrance Fee: $20 USD
  2. The Colosseum
    One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this bigger than life arena is one of the
    most visited monument on the planet. You can grab a view from the outside but
    the inside gives you a whole different perspective. There are many tours
    available including ones that go under the arena. Entrance Fee: $20 USD includes
    Colosseum, Forum, and Palatine Hill.
  3. Go Sightseeing
    What brings us all to Rome are the the magnificent structures left for us to
    admire today. Take your time and go see some of the most amazing structures in
    the world.
  4. Eat Like A Roman
    Get your lips on some of the best Italian food the world has to offer. Eat as much
    as your stomach can handle because this isn’t going to be your neighborhood
    Olive Garden spaghetti.
  5. Toss a Coin in Trevi Fountain
    Built in the 18 th Century, this iconic fountain encompasses the elegance of
    Roman art. It is said that over a million dollars in coins is collected from the
    fountain each year.
  6. Take A Cooking Class
    It doesn’t matter if you are an Iron Chef or a microwave hero you can learn how
    to cook that authentic Italian cuisine from a native chef. These courses range
    from one hour to four and range from $50 to $90 USD.
  7. Visit the Galleria Borghese
    One of the best exhibitions of ancient Roman art in the world; this museum is an
    essential visit for anyone wishing to be engulfed in Roman marble. Entrance Fee:
    $13 USD
  8. Rent A Vespa
    Live the Italian dream with the wind in your hair and the sun in your face as you
    zip down the cobble stone streets looking for your next gelato shop. Rental: $60
    per day.
  9. Check Out The Capuchin Crypts
    Deep below the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini are tiny
    chapels decorated with over 3,700 skeletal remains of diseased Capuchi friars.
    The eerie sight is chilling and unforgettable. Price: $7
  10. Visit Trastevere
    Away from the tourist on the west banks of the Tiber is the small neighborhood
    of Trastevere with a truly Italian authenticity for those seeking to slow down and
    relax with local Romans.
  11. Catacombs of San Sebastiano
    Rome has a number of mysterious catacombs but the ones under San Sebastian church are a creepy walk through an ancient Christian burial system. Price: $8

Free (and Cheap) Things to Do in Rome

  1. St. Peter’s Basilica
    The focal point of St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica took 120
    years to build and today is the largest church in the world and center of the
    Catholic Church. Price: Free
  2. Sight See and Take Pictures
    Most of the sights in Rome are so huge that you don’t have time to go inside
    them anyways. Just wander around and take some pictures to add to that
    Instagram feed. Price: Free
  3. Go Pope Watching
    The window of the Pope’s actual living quarters can be seen from the ground of
    St. Peter’s Basilica. You never know when he will pop his head out to wave at the
    crowd below. Price: Free
  4. The Pantheon
    This is the best preserved building from ancient Rome and is an architectural
    wonder as its dome provides near perfect natural light. In a city of ruins the
    Pantheon remains as it was 2,000 years ago. Price: Free
  5. People Watch At The Piazza Navona
    One of the most vibrant piazzas in all of Rome, filled with tourist and venders of
    all kinds waiting to sell a souvenir or draw your portrait. Price: Free
  6. Visit Trastevere
    This quite, out of the way, Roman neighborhood is a perfect spot to get away
    from the tourists and enjoy a real Italian neighborhood with out all the gilts and
    glamor. Price: Free
  7. Picnic at Villa Borghese Gardens
    Probably the best public garden in Rome. this story book garden is the perfect
    place to bring a bottle of wine and some cheese to relax and let time pass while
    relaxing your afternoon away. Price: Free
  8. Free Walking Tour
    As we all know, Rome has some of the grandest history of any city in the world.
    It is worth it to have someone who is passionate about the city to tell you that history.
    Remarkably, Rome has completely free walking tours. Check them out here.
  1. Say A Prayer in St. Peter’s Square
    The picturesque outdoor center of the Catholic Church, which encompasses St.
    Peter’s Basilica, is one of the best places to snap beautiful pictures, especially at
    night when the square is lit up. Price: Free
  2. Test the Mouth of Truth
    Bocca della Verita, or the Mouth of Truth, is a giant marble mask outside of
    Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church which has grown world wide fame as legend
    says if you place your hand in its mouth it will bite that hand off if you hold a lie.
    I doubt this is true, but I’m not about to test it. Price: $2 USD
  3. Hike Janiculum Hill
    This is another spot outside of the tourist hot spots in the ancient city. It is a
    quaint, relaxing area but the big payoff is the panoramic view of the city from
    atop the hill. Price: Free
  4. Walk the Appian Way
    The Appian Way is the oldest highway in Europe and was built in the 3 rd Century
    BC. It’s historical significance as a military rout over the next two centuries is
    significant to this day. Price: Free
  5. Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli
    This breathtaking church is not only a photographer’s dream but it also harbors
    Michelangelo’s massive marble depiction of Moses and a holy relic in the chains
    which bound St. Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. Price: Free
  6. Area Sacra di Largo Argentina – Ruins Filled With Cats
    This city block sized archaeological site houses the ruins of a Roman temple but
    now is home to dozens of stray cats that have claimed the old ruins as their
    home. Price: Free
  7. Camp de’ Fiori
    This outdoor market is a lively and vibrant square filled with vendors selling fruits
    and vegetables during the day and wine by the case at night. The market is free
    to enter but what you buy is up to you. Price: Free

Best Sights To See in Rome

  1. The Colosseum
    The greatest sports arena in the history of the world is the essential sight to see
    in all of Italy. The 2,000 year old arena is still to this day the largest amphitheater
    ever built. MUST SEE
  2. St. Peter’s Basilica
    The 20,000 person church is one of the holiest locations in the Christian faith and
    one of the most breathtaking temples in the world. MUST SEE
  3. The Sistine Chapel
    This marvel of human achievement is not only Michelangelo’s masterpiece but
    one monument that everyone should not only see but EXPERIENCE at least once
    in our lives. MUST SEE
  4. Trevi Fountain
    Trevi Fountain is one of the icons of Rome and one of the most extravagant
    sculptures there is on Earth. Trevi Fountain is a 100% must see in Rome. Toss
    some coins over your shoulder and try your luck. MUST SEE
  5. The Pantheon
    The most well preserved Roman structure from ancient times is an architectural
    wonder and with out a doubt a sight to see in Rome. MUST SEE
  6. Castle St. Angelo
    Sitting on the right bank of the Tiber, the castle was built by Emperor Hadrian to
    house him and his family which still holds their remains today along with a
    number of following emperors. MUST SEE
  7. Santa Maria della Vittoria
    This basilica may not have the clout of St. Peter’s but the interior is as awe
    inspiring as any museum. The frescos and marble sculptures combine to form
    one of the most opulent churches in the world. MUST SEE
  8. Spanish steps
    Walk (don’t sit) on the charming steps leading from the Piazza di Spagna to the
    Trinita dei Monti. It is a full 360 photo opportunity. MUST SEE
  9. Altar of the Fatherland While just a baby compared to other Roman monuments, this lavish structure stands over 230 feet high and 440 feet wide and is one of the most complete
    monuments in the city. IF YOU HAVE TIME
  1. Roman Forum
    In the shadow of the Colosseum, the Forum was once the epicenter of ancient
    Roman life consisting of government buildings, monuments, and markets. Today
    it is a skeleton of a civilization that once was. IF YOU HAVE TIME

Veteran Tips For Rome
Get A Vatican Tour
Besides telling you how amazing the Vatican is, the one thing people will tell you is that
they made a mistake not getting a tour of the Vatican. You will not only gain knowledge
but you will skip the line and save hours of your day. If you plan to walk up and buy a
ticket on that day you will likely stand in line for up to three hours. Don’t say I didn’t
warn you.
Buy Tickets On Line in Advance
Many places, including the Colosseum, are so overwhelmed that they can not take walk
up patrons. If there is something you really want to see you need to plan it out and
purchase a time slot well in advance.
Remember to Cover Up
Keep in mind many of the places you will visit are active places of worship and are
viewed as very holy to those taking care of it. I know it is hot in Rome and we all like
wearing weather appropriate clothes but THEY WILL call you out for wearing low cut
shirts and certain shorts. Bring something light to toss on when you enter these places
or they may not let you in.
Lodging Location
Like I have said, the Rome train system is sufficient but limited. When you book a hotel I
always recommend getting a place in the ancient city close to a train stop. Convenience
over money in this case.
Every last Sunday of every month many of the places you would have to pay to enter is
free to enter! This includes Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Check online for
booking times. If you want to save a few bucks keep this in mind when planning your

Lodging Recommendations
The city of Ancient Rome is not terribly big and you will notice that a lot of attractions
are close together. The cheaper hotels will be near the Termini Station area (the main
train station) and will increase more as you branch out. This is a fine place to stay and
you have good access to the train system.
For those of us backpacking on a budget, because there are so many hotels in Rome you
can still find hostels under $50.
There are also some campgrounds in the area. You can check out Seven Hills Camping &
Village, among others. Still, the location and amenities of a hostel could make them a
better value depending on the circumstances.

Restaurant Recommendations
Hostaria La Botticella
This is the Italy you fly across the world to see and eat. Tucked in the Trastevere area of
Rome it is a quaint restaurant with the best food and atmosphere. Price: $$
La Tavernetta 48
If you don’t want to venture across the River Tiber to Trastevere you can eat at this
wonderful spot situated in between the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Castel Sant
Angelo. Price: $$
La Terrazza
If you are looking for a world class fine dining experience try this modern-style Italian
restaurant and experience the best Rome has to offer. Price: $$$$
Best Rome Souvenirs
A Rosary Blessed By the Pope
Yes, you can buy a catholic rosary blessed by the Pope, himself. Check out small
vendors close to the Vatican walls.

By: Ricky S.

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