Rome… One of the most visited cities in the world and yet if you ask any of those millions of visitors I am sure they would love to return to Rome again and again. There are so many things to see and do in Rome that for a first-timer it may even seem a little bit overwhelming, so a well planned Rome trip itinerary will come in handy when traveling to this magnificent city.
But traveling isn’t really about galloping the must-see sights and taking selfies with every piece of stone. No, it’s about authentic experiences, it’s about feeling the atmosphere, absorbing the beauty around and just living the moment. That’s what traveling to any new place should be like. And as a reflection of this idea, I want to put the focus back on the true Italian experiences that await you with this Bucket List of 22 things to do in Rome.
1. Walk the gladiator tunnels in the Colossem.
The building of ancient Roman Colosseum is truly fascinating and worth a visit maybe even on the very first day. But what’s even more exciting is to walk through the same hallways, enter the same rooms/cages where thousands years ago gladiators where kept before the contests. Look at the stone walls around you. Hundreds of gladiators have been here before you, have stared at those walls, have broken their fists on those walls in despair. Those walls have seen, heard and felt so much, can you imagine it?
2. See the remains of Roman Forum.
Prepare you feet for the walk through history. I suggest taking a break somewhere in between your walks and read a few lines about this place and appreciate the fact that you are here right now.
3. Enjoy the lively noise at Roma Termini station.
Believe me this is not just an ordinary train station. Termini has been there since mid 19th century and is such a busy and vigorous place that never sleeps and is always fresh and peppy. Feel the motion. And why not, have a quick shopping spree 🙂 .
4. Take a train to… anywhere!
If you love traveling on train, don’t miss the opportunity to go on a day trip to pretty much any other Italian city. All of them have something to offer.
5. Take an evening stroll around the city center.
Rome is especially beautiful by night. The streets are actually just as busy but the feeling is different, more relaxed and easy. You will meet lots of street artists that will accompany your walk with live music and a spirit of celebration.
6. Drink from the water fountains.
Yes, it’s all drinking water in the fountains around Rome, which is a true heaven for a traveler. Stay hydrated and enjoy drinking fresh water almost anywhere you are.
7. Eat true Italian gelato.
Being in Italy is a huge opportunity to taste true Italian ice cream and not just one, but many. Try to find the flavor that you like the most.
8. Make a wish at Trevi fountain.
Though always crowded, Trevi fountain is a marvelous place to sit down and relax, maybe with a bottle of white wine. Breathe in the Roman air, just feel the moment and when you’re ready throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish! (…to come back some time again!)
9. Relax and enjoy yourself at the numerous piazzas in Rome.
This is one of the most iconic Italian experiences that every visitor should have. There are a whole lot of piazzas in Rome and each of them is uniquely beautiful and inviting. I personally would suggest Piazza di Campidoglio as a perfect spot to rest your feet, stare at the beauty around you and have a snack.
10. Have a romantic dinner at a random restaurant.
What can be better than outdoor seated dinner at a cafe or restaurant on a small but lively street with cheerful street performers filling the air with festive Italian tunes and a sense of magic.
11. Taste true Italian pasta and pizza!
Try to opt for Italian dishes instead of things you can anytime have in your home country.
12. Drink wine instead of soda.
Turn into a native Italian with just a glass of house wine with your dinner instead of soda or orange juice.
13. Go to Vatican city.
14. Stand at the very middle of Piazza di San Pietro and just look at the splendor around you.
15. Take an epic selfie with Swiss Guard.
Only just one! 🙂 Remember you are here to enjoy the present moment instead of being busy capturing it for showing off.
16. Stroll around the Campo dei Fiori.
A beautiful street market that reflects a pure Italian colour through lots of tiny booths and colorful genuine Italian products.
17. Indulge yourself with some Italian leather item.
Not necessarily a Dolce Gabbana bag. It could be a small hand made purse bought from a street market.
18. Get a hand drawn portrait or a caricature at Piazza Navona.
19. Visit the epic Dan Brown movie sights.
The Pantheon, Piazza del Popolo, Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, etc
20. Walk around Trastevere district.
This neighborhood lives its own life and has a very unique atmosphere. There are more locals and less tourists in Trastevere, which makes it a great place to explore everyday local life in Rome.
21. Have a morning coffee like an Italian.
This means standing in a long line for a REAL cappuccino/espresso/whatever and then enjoying every sip of it while standing in an overcrowded small coffee shop. But, well… that’s an incredibly sweet experience you don’t wanna miss.
22. Get lost…
Now put down the map, leave your camera, take a bottle of water and get lost in this magnificent city of Rome!