One of the world’s most historic cities, Rome is packed full of activities and places to visit. The ancient streets are bustling with locals and tourists alike and the air is filled with aromas of genuine Italian cuisine.
There is an ancient Latin saying that goes: “non basta una vita”, meaning “a lifetime is not enough”, and this holds true because the city has a historical site around just about every corner. So it’s quite impossible to visit everything but here are some of the best-known and most-loved areas of Rome.
What to do:
Visit the Colosseum
The Colosseum was the heart of the ancient Roman city and one of the best-known landmarks in the world. Ancient Romans used to fill this amphitheater with up to 55,000 spectators to watch glorious battles between gladiators. The city offers spectacular guided tours of the Colosseum and some of the surrounding structures like the Roman Forum and Palatine. Nearby are the Capitoline museums filled with Renaissance art.
Take a tour of the Centro Storico
Directly translated as the Historical Center, Centro Storico is a short walk away from the Colosseum. In the Historical Center, you’ll find many places to shop, eat, and visit. Just a short list of places you can find in the historical center includes the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain. Each of these sites pays homage to ancient Roman architecture and their historical way of life.
Take a trip through Trastevere
Trastevere is a colorful part of Rome that contains numerous medieval churches along with their beautiful artworks. Many of the buildings are covered in ivy, giving this neighborhood some serious Old World European charm. The evening life is busy with many restaurants to visit and people to talk to.
Historically, it marks an area captured by the Roman Empire very early into its existence so that the empire could flourish near the waterway and the river nearby.
See Vatican City
One of the most unique things Rome can boast about is that it’s got an entire country locked within the city. The Vatican is a city-state, home to the Pope and many of his clergymen. Take a tour through the city to see iconic and historical landmarks and for the bragging rights of having visited the world’s smallest country.
Where to eat:
Have some pasta near the Vatican
In the region of Lazio, there are several authentic Italian restaurants which are family-run businesses with a proud Roman heritage. The friendly atmosphere is bolstered by outside tables with a wonderful view of the sunset. One of the local meals to try is the cacio e pepe – a pasta dish containing pecorino cheese and black pepper.
Try some meaty dishes in Trastevere
Some restaurants in Trastevere are so popular that there are lines of people waiting to get in. And it’s no surprise because the food is described as mamma-style cooking. There are unusual dishes on offer like rabbit, veal, hare, and for the more adventurous – pajata (calf intestines).
Unforgettable pizza in the Historic Center
And what would a trip to Rome be without a taste of traditional Italian pizza? The locals are very proud of their food and take particular effort to make sure it impresses travelers. And there is a great variety too because many places serve pizza al taglio, which in English is “pizza by the slice.”