- Comfortable Walking Shoes – Rome is a very walkable city! In fact, the proximity of many of the major city attractions like the Colosseum, Roman Forum ruins, Markets of Trajan, the Pantheon and Vatican City are along a 3 or 4 mile route. Rome Toolkit has also put together a few self-guided walking tours so you can tour parts of the city on your own!
- Travel Charger Convertor
- Your own reusable waterbottle – The ancient Romans left behind a large number of free, and very safe (it’s licensed by the City of Rome and tested for purity FREQUENTLY), drinking fountains all over the city. They’re referred to as “Nasoni” or “big nose” – and you’ll soon see why! Some of the oldest ones can be found in the Trastevere district.
- Cacio e Pepe – Also known as “Cheese and Black Pepper” and is traditionally served as the “sauce” with pasta. There’s a great restaurant right around the corner from the hotels that serves this dish perfectly, called Cacio e Pepe and is located at Via Giuseppe Avezzana, 11, 00195 Roma.
- Aroma Restaurant – located at the Palazzo Manfredi – overlooks the Colosseum with stunning views. BOOK EARLY if you’re interested in dinner here as they tend to fill up quickly!
- GELATO – We knew it went without mentioning, but this blog has some great recommendations on where to go for Gelato.
- Trattoria Da Augusto – Cash Only. Wait in Line. No frills. But the menu is FULL of Roman and Italian delicacies and comes highly recommended by Lindsay! Piazza/Vicolo De’ Renzi, 15 – 00153 Roma
- Frascati Wine – It’s been produced in the countryside surrounding Rome for two decades, so as they say – “When in Rome…”
- Stroll through the Villa Borghese Gardens
Villa Borghese is the most popular park in Rome and is considered its green lung. It’s also FREE OF CHARGE to visit the gardens. The Villa Borghese Gardens are located on the Pincian Hill, close to Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. The Gardens cover an area of 80 hectares and were developed in 1606 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who wanted to turn his former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome. In the same period, the Cardinal commissioned the building of the Villa Borghese Pinciana to the architect Flaminio Ponzio; today this elegant building houses the Galleria Borghese, The gardens were completely redesigned in the naturalistic English style in XIX century and became a public park in 1903.
- Book a tour at the Borghese Gallery
The Galleria Borghese Museum houses and exhibits a collection of ancient sculptures, bas-reliefs and mosaics, as well as paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 19th century. Among the masterpieces of the collection, whose first and most important nucleus dates back to the collecting of Cardinal Scipione (1579-1633), nephew of Pope Paul V, there are works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini and the sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Canova.
The works are exhibited in the 20 frescoed rooms which, together with the portico and the entrance hall, constitute the rooms of the Museum open to the public. Over 260 paintings are kept in the Deposits of the Borghese Gallery, located above the floor of the Pinacoteca and set up as a picture gallery. The building was constructed by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese himself, who used it as a villa suburbana, a country villa at the edge of Rome.
For safety reasons related to the historic nature of the building, access to the Museum is regulated in rounds of visits of two hours each, for a maximum of 360 people each, with mandatory exit at the conclusion of the tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
- Visit the Vatican – more info
Vatican City became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929), and it is a distinct territory under “full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction” of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state’s temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. With an area of 121 acres and a population of about 825, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.
Within Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by donations from the faithful, by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.
- Rome Vacation Tips provides some great advice on using public transportation, and includes maps and recommendations as well!