Rome: A Guide to the Eternal City

Rome: A magical place to explore day or night.
Rome: A magical place to explore day or night. | Source
The Roman Coliseum at night
The Roman Coliseum at night | Source

Rome, Italy: Travel and Tours of the Eternal City

Few cities in the world evoke as much awe and wonder as Rome, Italy. Once the capital of the vast Roman Empire, the city of Rome is a sprawling, amazing collection of historical ruins, incredible artwork, glorious churches, beautiful people and delicious food. Rome is a city which will catch you by surprise, no matter how much you thought you knew about it or were prepared for her beauty before you arrived. Of course, Rome is so large, and full of so many attractions to see, that a visit to the city requires careful planning - and the knowledge that you will simply have to return in the future to see more of what you will have missed the first time.

Read on to learn more about the unique sites, scenes, tastes and adventures to be found in Rome, Italy, a city like no other place on Earth. Whether you will be on a tour of Rome for one day or staying in Rome for a week or more, you'll find information to make the most of your visit.

Whether you are religious or not, Rome's churches are worth visiting for their magnificent art and architecture.
Whether you are religious or not, Rome's churches are worth visiting for their magnificent art and architecture. | Source

Touring Rome, Italy: Plan and Be Prepared

How to Make the Most of Your Rome Travel Experience

Rome can be intimidating, frustrating and challenging to the unprepared tourist. There are many scam artists out there on the city's streets, ready to con you out of your travel money - especially near top tourist destinations like the Colosseum. Some museums require advance ticket purchases, others are closed at odd hours and days of the week, and the same is true for many of Rome's historic churches. You need to make a definite itinerary before visiting Rome and be ready to face certain challenges. Check out my detailed 10 Travel Tips for Enjoying a Roman Vacation article and you'll be well on your way to enjoying a great visit to the city.

Top Tourism Guides to Rome, Italy - Books (and Maps) You Shouldn't Leave for Rome Without

Although the internet is a great resource for learning out tourist destinations like Rome, there are still many reasons to purchase at least one or two travel books to take with you. Having a good pocket guide to museums, historical sites, and handy maps will make your life easier when you can't get internet service or don't want to pay high wifi fees! These are some of the best books on Rome to take with you on vacation.

Streetwise Rome Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Rome, Italy - Folding pocket size travel map with metro map, subway
Streetwise Rome Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Rome, Italy - Folding pocket size travel map with metro map, subway

A good map is essential when walking through the streets of Rome. This laminated map will hold up to hundreds of foldings and openings, and fits nicely into a coat pocket or purse.

 
It can be easy to get lost in Rome without a good walking map.
It can be easy to get lost in Rome without a good walking map. | Source
Rick Steves Rome 2015
Rick Steves Rome 2015

Easy to read and full of great practical information, you simply must get - and read - Rick Steves' Rome before you go to Italy. Learn how to maximize your time visiting the Vatican, Borgese Gallery, and other historical sites while discovering unique facts and helpful tips. A definite must-have.

 
Rick Steves Italy 2015
Rick Steves Italy 2015

Get Rick Steves' guide for all of Italy if you're planning to visit areas beyond Rome during your vacation.

 
Inside one of the magnificent palazzos of Rome.
Inside one of the magnificent palazzos of Rome. | Source
Top 10 Rome (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides)
Top 10 Rome (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides)

The "Top 10" guides are great for travelers who may be short on time and don't want to miss any highlights of a city. Lists for Top 10 museums, attractions, dining destinations and more!

 
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Rome
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Rome

For a more learned guide to Rome, check out the DK Eyewitness Guide. This book is full of historical information and great detail on the evolution of the city and how to explore it today.

 
Roman Artichokes
Roman Artichokes | Source

Dining Out in Rome, Italy

Enjoying the Restaurants and Food of Rome

Because Rome is such a popular destination, it is easy to get suckered into eating less-than-stellar food in overpriced tourist traps throughout the city. But that would be a true shame as Rome has much to offer from a culinary perspective, if you know where to look for it. The city is well-known for its pasta, Jewish Italian cuisine, and creative uses of organ meats. For more information, check out my guides to Authentic Dishes to Enjoy in Rome and Dining Out in Italy. You might also want to check out my Rome restaurant reviews for details on some of my favorite restaurants in the city. Your stomach will thank you for it!

Rigatoni Carbonara - a true Roman classic dish!
Rigatoni Carbonara - a true Roman classic dish! | Source

Museums You Must Visit in Rome, Italy - Top Destinations in Rome for Art and History

Rome is full of fantastic museums, palaces and historical collections of art, sculpture, and archaeological artifacts. These are some of the museums and galleries to put near the top of your itinerary list.

The museums of Rome house some of the world's finest painted and sculptural works, along with a vast array of historical artifacts.
The museums of Rome house some of the world's finest painted and sculptural works, along with a vast array of historical artifacts. | Source
Laocoön and His Sons
Laoco├Ân and His Sons | Source

Sculpture in Rome, Italy

Important Works of Sculptural Art Worth Seeing

Rome is an amazing city for experiencing truly incredible sculptural art. Even if you have never really appreciated sculpture as an art form, you will be amazed by the work you see on display in this city's various museums, churches and public piazzas. Be sure to check out my guide to 10 Sculptures You Must See In Rome, Italy for a list of some of the most important works on display in Rome.

The Best Rome Travel Links - Tour Rome Prepared with the Best Information

Get the most out of your Roman holiday by exploring the resources and information available at these sites. They will help you find the best deals and city tours, as well as information on how to see Rome as the Romans themselves do.

A Great Book to Read Before Your Tour of Rome, Italy

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World

This non-fiction book is an easy read which will give you a flavor and taste of Rome before visiting the city. The author spent a year in Rome, experiencing the city through all four seasons and while raising newborn children. It's also a fun read AFTER you visit Rome, as you will be familiar with the streets, sights, areas and way of life in the city.

 
The Gesu Church in Rome, Italy
The Gesu Church in Rome, Italy | Source

The Churches of Rome, Italy

Seeing Rome's Religious Sites Beyond The Vatican

Everywhere you turn in Rome, you will be confronted by stunning churches, both large and small. Go on and step inside, whether you are religious or not. These churches are worth visiting for their beautiful architecture and artwork, from stunning ceiling frescoes to elaborate marble tombs. Important religious artifacts can be found in many of Rome's churches, and they provide an important perspective on life in Rome, particularly during Renaissance times.

Keep in mind, please, that there are certain rules of courtesy and etiquette to follow when visiting historic churches in Italy. Dress modestly and be mindful of those who are there to worship, not just to sight-see.

One of the cats in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome
One of the cats in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome | Source

The Protestant Cemetary and Pyramid Cat Sanctuary of Rome, Italy

A Unique Tourist Destination Off the Beaten Path

Do you need some quiet, peaceful time when exhausted by the tourist crowds in Rome? Spend a reflective afternoon in the tranquil beauty of Rome's Protestant Cemetery, located in Rome's Testaccio district. Beautiful grounds await visitors here, where several notables are buried including poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.

Visiting the cemetery is also a must for cat lovers as the grounds are the home to the Pyramid Cat Colony. Cats have come to the Cemetery and nearby Cestia Pyramid for shelter since around 1850, and today the colony of nearly 80 cats survives on volunteer care and donations from visitors.

More photos of the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, Italy

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Is a Holiday in Rome in Your Future Plans?

The Coliseum at night
The Coliseum at night | Source

Are you planning a trip to Rome in the future?

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The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - Visiting this historic district of Rome is a life-altering experience.

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Please let me know if this guide has been helpful to you in planning a trip to Rome - or remembering one you've already enjoyed!

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When in Rome...? 4 comments

PoorPinoy profile image

PoorPinoy 5 years ago

very detailed of Rome. Hope i can go to Rome and see all the places..


sockii profile image

sockii 5 years ago from New Jersey Author

@PoorPinoy: Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm working on my guide to Venice now :) I love Italy...


Zut Moon profile image

Zut Moon 4 years ago

It's an AMAZING City. Unfortunately I was only there for a few hours. Somebody on the street sold me 2 tickets for the front row for the gladiators fights that evening and when I found out they were discontinued, I couldn't find him to get my money back !!! ...oh .... BTW .... Blessed.


LisaDH profile image

LisaDH 4 years ago

I've always wanted to visit Rome. Maybe some day...

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