Things to do in Rome and event guide for 2020
Roam through Rome’s streets to find local delicacies, ancient sites and history around every corner.
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Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world and is a hot spot for tourists. Spend your day shopping streets lined with designer boutiques or marvel at the architecture of the Pantheon and Sistine Chapel. Find all of these can't-miss places when you visit Rome below, including visiting the Colosseum and a foot tour through the streets of Rome.
1. Get historical and discover the Colosseum and Roman Forum
As the largest amphitheatre ever built, the Colosseum is an iconic Italian landmark and a must-visit while exploring Rome. The structure, built of concrete and sand, housed gladiators in ancient times. The Forum is behind the Colosseum and features the ruins of government buildings. Take a tour with skip-the-line access to avoid the crowds and as your guide tells you about Rome's long and interesting history.
- Pocket-friendly option: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Tour
- The ultimate experience: Guided Colosseum Tour, Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
2. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain
Toss a coin over your right shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. If it falls into the fountain, you'll return to Rome. Throw in a second coin and you'll find a new romance. Throwing a third coin into the fountains suggests marriage is on the cards. Found in the Trevi district of Rome, this 23.6-metre high fountain is one of the cities most visited landmarks and is featured in many films. Take yourself to the fountain, or join a tour with a guide that will tell you all of the myths and legends behind the Trevi Fountain.
- Pocket-friendly option: Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps Walking Tour
- The ultimate experience: Best of Rome Walking Tour with Trevi Fountain Visit
3. Marvel at the Pantheon
Once a Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a church and is regarded as one of the most influential and best preserved buildings to have survived ancient times. Once you step into the building, you'll notice the dome-shaped roof, which features an incredible design for the time it was built in 118-125AD.
- Pocket-friendly option: 35-Minute Rome Pantheon Audio Guide Tour
- The ultimate experience: Discover Pantheon: Guided Tour of the Glory of Rome
4. Eat as much Italian food as possible
What's a trip to Italy without indulging in the country's world-famous and loved cuisine? Try local delicacies including cured meats, pizza and gelato, and wash it down with locally made beer and wine as you take a food tour in the city and treat your taste buds to authentic Italian dishes.
5. Visit must-see sights and attractions
They say Rome wasn't built in a day, and the sights are a telling sign of that. There are so many attractions to visit in Rome, you don't want to waste any time getting from A to B. The "I Love Rome" Panoramic Hop On, Hop Off pass gives you access to nine "I Love Rome" bus stops around the city that are close to the main attractions of interest. The Roma Pass gives you access to the best attractions in Rome, with the choice of one or two participating museum and archaeological attractions.
6. Take a day trip down to the ruined city of Pompeii
A visit to Pompeii will have you exploring the ruins of an ancient city that was wiped out by a volcanic eruption. The once thriving city in southern Italy is now an archaeological site with well preserved ruins that you can visit and explore. The city was covered in metres of ash after the Mount Vesuvius eruption and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pompeii is around a 3.5-hour drive from Rome and you have multiple tour options that will transport you to and from Pompeii.
7. Join a Segway tour
There's a certain magic around Rome during twilight hour. Segway the streets of the city as it lights up at night making your way to sights like Capitoline Hill and Piazza Navona, and get the opportunity to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
8. Visit the Vatican at night
Enjoy an intimate Vatican experience with a night tour of the prominent sight where you can visit the museum's exhibits and the Sistine Chapel after the crowds disappear. You can add dinner to your experience, with a 3-course meal at the Le Carrozze restaurant located inside the Vatican.
- Pocket-friendly option: Rome Vatican and Sistine Chapel Night Tour with Skip-The-Line Admission
- The ultimate experience: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel with Dinner
9. Explore Rome on a night bus tour
If you are short on time to see the sights or you want to spend the night relaxing while taking in the views, a bus tour around Rome is a great way to explore. Choose between a double-decker bus or minibus that will whisk you around to the most popular landmarks so you can capture panoramic shots of your picturesque surroundings.
- Pocket-friendly option: Panoramic Bus Night Tour
- The ultimate experience: Romantic Rome Bus Night Tour with Dinner
10. See the Pope
If the Pope is in town on Wednesday, you have the chance to catch a glimpse of him at the General Audience. The Pope will give a speech and pray in front of the audience before giving blessings to people, bibles and rosaries – though you'll need to get there early to get to the front of the crowd.
11. Walk the Spanish Steps
You've probably come across pictures of people sitting on the Spanish Steps, but new rules in Rome indicate that you are no longer allowed to sit on the iconic attraction. Don't fret though, as you can still climb the steps and take pictures along the way. You're likely to find artists at the top of the stairs painting portraits of visitors, and many attractions are close by so the Spanish Steps make for a great pit stop on the way to your next location.
12. Visit Piazza Navona
Whether you visit during the day or night, there's always something going on at Piazza Navona. Street performers and artists fill the streets, making it a great place to relax and take in your surroundings. There is a free walking tour that departs from Piazza Navona, though you don't need to leave the square to see popular attractions including Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone.
Things to do in Rome in summer
- Estate Romana
- Festa de' Noantri
- Isola del Cinema
Things to do in Rome in winter
- Six Nation Rugby
- Piazza Navona Christmas Fair
Things to do in Rome in autumn
- Roma Jazz Festival
- Festa del Cinema di Roma
Things to do in Rome in spring
- Primo Maggio
- Natale di Roma
- Mostra delle Azalee
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