20 things to do in Rome year round

updated 1/6/2022
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Find 20 things to do in Rome from exploring museums and feasting on pizza to digging into catacombs, climbing domes and rambling round ruins. Take a look at the best things to do in Rome all year round. The information below is based on The Rough Guide to Italy, your travel guide for Italy.

1. Visit The Pantheon in Centro Storico

The Pantheon is the most intact ancient monument in Rome and has the largest, unreinforced concrete dome in the world. Give this marvel the attention it deserves and book a private tour with expert guides. Use where to stay in Rome an area by area guide to find hotels near the Pantheon.

The spectacular Pantheon dome and oculus, Pigna, Rome © Pavel Ilyukhin/Shutterstock

2. Eating pizza is always one of the best things to do in Rome

Rome's pizza is uniquely Roman and baked in a wood-burning oven. The base is thin, crispy and totally different from its Neapolitan counterpart. Take home a skill and learn how to make authentic Roman pizza in its home city.

Roman pizza: thin, crispy and baked in a wood-burning oven © Fabiano's_Photo/Shutterstock

3. See Rome's finest art at Museo Nazionale Romano

Museo Nazionale Romano has several locations and between them they contain Rome's finest art collections. If you're short on time, visit Palazzo Altemps, then visit Palazzo Massimo and stay nearby at Gigli d'Oro Suite on Piazza Navona.

Explore ancient art at Museo Nazionale Romano in Rome

4. Browse Galleria Borghese for Bernini sculptures

Galleria Borghese's beautiful 17th century villa is famous for its Bernini sculptures and incredible Renaissance art collection. This Roman icon is always busy, so skip the line and get your Galleria Borghese tickets in advance.

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5. Finish the evening with Gelato

Most nights in Rome finish with an after-dinner gelato and passeggiata - evening stroll - around the city streets. Make like a local and take a nightly wander round Trastevere or, better still, stay in the area at Hotel Santa Maria.

An evening stroll with gelato, one of the best things to do in Rome with kids © Irena Mila/Shutterstock

6. Go gaze at the Roman Forum and Palatine

Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine at the very heart of Rome. The ancient ruins may not resemble a mighty centre of power today, but they are still undeniably evocative, especially if you don't have to queue, so pick up a Best of Rome all-access pass.

Rome's rich history is also a reason the city is one of our magical places to visit with children before they grow up.

See the heart of the ancient world at the Roman Forum and Palatine

7. Make time for the Vatican Museums

The Vatican may be the world's smallest country, but it's also the world’s largest museum complex. To see as much as possible book a small group tour. Or, if you're determined to go it alone, don't miss the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms.

A visit to the Vatican is one of the essential things to do in Rome

8. Find the Trevi Fountain by chance

Coming across sights as you wander around is a classic Rome experience. So don't go looking for the Trevi Fountain, just find it by accident. Alternatively, do the opposite and stay at Hotel Fontana right next to the legendary landmark.

One of Rome's most iconic sights, the Fountain di Trevi © trabantos/Shutterstock

9. Visit Basilica of San Clemente, the epitome of Rome

It's often said that San Clemente epitomises Rome: an ancient temple, which sits under a slightly less ancient basilica and is topped by a faintly newer church. If you're tempted to go even deeper, discover the San Clemente catacombs.

Uncover the layered mystery of Basilica San Clemente in Rome

10. Domus Aurea, Nero's remarkable Golden House

Nero's Golden House was a remarkable find and its painstaking and meticulous restoration project is almost as incredible as the villa itself. Take a half day tour of Rome by car and catch Nero's work in progress and other unmissable city sights.

Domus Aurea, the fascinating restoration of Nero's Golden House © Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

11. Stroll around Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most famous piazza in Rome. Built in 1AD as a stadium, it's best known today for a trio of fountains which includes Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. If you want to stay nearby, book Hotel Teatro Pace.

Graceful Piazza Navona is the unofficial centre of Rome © Belenos/Shutterstock

12. Ostia Antica, ancient Rome's harbour city

The ancient Roman harbour city, Ostia Antica, is actually 26km west of Rome. This incredibly intact archaeological site was preserved in Tiber mud, so it's often compared to Pompei. If you want to know more, take a guided walking tour.

Ostia Antica, one of Italy's best preserved ancient Roman sites © Cosmin Sava/Shutterstock

13. See Ara Pacis, the Altar of Augustan Peace

For an insight into the grandeur of Imperial Rome you have to see the magnificent 9BC Ara Pacis in the city's Museo dell'Ara Pacis. It's another antiquity which attracts crowds, so skip the line and book your Ara Pacis tickets in advance.

The intriguing Ara Pacis in Museo dell'Ara Pacis, Rome

14. Catch Roma-Lazio at Stadio Olimpico

Football fans are in good company in Rome and the ultimate experience is the notoriously fierce Roma-Lazio Derby at Stadio Olimpico - the city's largest sports' stadium which holds a capacity crowd of 70,000.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Italy or Italy Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.

70,000 seater Stadio Olimpico is Rome's largest sports' stadium © horseman82/Shutterstock

15. Head to Campo de’ Fiori, day or night

Head to Campo de' Fiori in the morning and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Rome’s oldest street market. Switch it round and visit at night, when the Campo becomes the hub of Roman nightlife. Or stay at Casa Fiori nearby and do both.

16. Explore the Capitoline Museums

Leave plenty of time for the Capitoline. Both these museums are considered to be among the greatest in Rome and contain collections spanning antiquity to the Renaissance. Do them justice on a Full Roman Experience tour.

The Capitoline collections cover Roman statuary to Renaissance art

17. Villa Borghese, green space in Rome's centre

Green and beautiful Villa Borghese is the largest park in Rome and often described as the city's lungs. Visit for the galleries, Rome Zoo and the famously charming lake, or stay at Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese, right next door.

18. The one and only Colosseum

Rome’s best known monument, the mighty Colosseum is even more impressive in reality than in the millions of photographs taken of it every year. It's also incredibly popular, so avoid queues if you can and book tickets for the Colosseum in advance.

Nothing compares in size and ingenuity to the Colosseum in Rome

19. St Peter’s Basilica, the most visited church in Rome

Perhaps not the loveliest church in Rome, immense St. Peter's Basilica is undoubtedly the most visited. You can see it from almost anywhere in the city, but if you want to explore from top to bottom, book a St Peter's Dome to Grottoes tour.

St Peter's Basilica, the most impressive and significant church in Rome © Vladimir Sazonov/Shutterstock

20. Wander the evocative Protestant Cemetery

Rome's wildly beautiful non-Catholic cemetery in Testaccio claims to have the highest density of famous graves in the world. Both Keats and Shelly are buried here and unsurprisingly it's something of a place of pilgrimage.

The wild and poignant Protestant Cemetery in Rome © Vinicio Tullio/Shutterstock

Ready to travel to Italy? Find out about the best time to go and the best places in Italy as well as the best things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from our Italy Travel Guides and our local travel agents in Italy. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay in Italy once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

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updated 1/6/2022
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