If you've made the decision to take a trip to Rome, you've probably already done some research regarding the best things to see and do in the city. There are countless guidebooks and online articles dedicated to highlighting the best things to do in Rome, but if you're still trying to fill your itinerary with places to see, we've put together a list of Rome attractions that you won't want to miss. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the little things that aren't on any list, the hidden gems and nuances of the Eternal City that are sure to enhance your time and make your trip truly unique.
Even if you're not Catholic, it's not every day that someone gets the chance to see the Pope in person. Take this opportunity when it presents itself and visit Vatican City. The Pope isn't always in Rome, especially during the summer months, but most of the time he's around. See him give the Angelus prayer Sundays at noon from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square.
The Ponte Sisto offers a breathtaking view of Rome. You'll see the Gianicolo Hill rising in the west and St. Peter's Basilica in the north. Soak in the atmosphere as you cross the Tiber and arrive in the charming Trastevere neighborhood, which is seemingly stuck in time. Laundry hangs overhead and window boxes burst with color. This section of the city offers some of Rome's quainter and more affordable shops.
Nestled in the tiny Piazza di Trevi is the Trevi Fountain, where swarms of travelers crowd around to toss coins into its waters. Tradition says throwing a coin into the fountain will bring forth a speedy return to the Eternal City.
Rome may not be Italy's pizza capital, visit Naples for the best pizza of your life, but you can certainly find the perfect pie in Rome. From paper-thin Roman style slices, thick-rimmed Neopolitan styles and everything in between, travelers could spend days tasting every style.
Like pizza by the slice, gelato isn't hard to find in Rome. Most of the city's tasty, chilled creations are high quality, but some of the very best can be savored at the world-famous Giolitti, which is situated between the Italian Parliament and the Pantheon.
Finding the perfect souvenir anywhere you travel can be a challenge, but it's actually quite easy in Rome. Once you see past the clutter of tourist hot-spots that carry the same tacky goods (beach towels with the Pope on them, Coloseeum ashtrays, etc), you're sure to find that unique, one-of-a-kind gift you're searching for. With local vendors selling some of the finest leather in the world, beautiful scarves, trendy hats, hand-painted kitchenware, religious items blessed by the Pope, and wrapped, Italian sweets, there's something for everyone on your list.
As we've covered, using a car in downtown Rome is a mistake. Park your car at a garage or hotel before going downtown to sightsee, and pick it up after to see some of the best Roman ruins that are located just outside the city. Ostia Antica is not only renowned for its beaches; it also has some of the best ruins this side of Pompeii. Discover how people lived their lives as you explore remains of ancient housing and test the acoustics in the amphitheater from Augustus' time. The summer months may be one of the best times to visit Rome for their warmer weather and more comfortable walking conditionsa, but this high season of tourism can mean crowded downtown areas, making a trip outside of the city center an especially good idea.