1. Buy some good bread and then go to Campo de’ Fiori in the morning and sample the olive oils and balsamic vinegars at the market
2. Mail your postcards from Vatican City. Aside from the cool stamps and postmark, the Poste Vaticane is Swiss run and famously more efficient than the Italian postal system
3. Walk up to Gianicolo Hill and listen out for the cannon that fires every single day at midday and has done since the battle for Rome was won here! Then admire the view of all of Rome – just breathtaking!
4. Eat Carciofi alla Giuda (artichokes Jewish style) and buy fresh baked cookies in the Jewish Ghetto area
5. Pizza, a big bottle of beer (sold at any corner shop) and hang out in Piazza Madonna dei Monti in Monti district
6. Visit the Galleria Borghese (in Villa Borghese park) to see artworks by Caravaggio, Berninin and Titian. Both the art and the building are extravagantly breathtaking
7. Spend the day exploring the EUR zone of Rome where you’ll experience the city’s fascist architecture. Immerse yourself into ancient Roman life at the Roman Civilization Museum, get to know real, deep Italian folk culture at the Museo delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari and finally, see a modern, square colosseum
8. Take the elevator up the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (in Piazza Venezia and also commonly referred to as Palazzo Venezia or the Wedding Cake building) and take in a stunning panoramic view of the city
9. Get an amazing view of Rome through the Knights of Malta Keyhole on Aventine Hill – one of Rome’s best kept secrets. Use the footpath Via San Sabina to Piazza Cavalieri di Malta. You’ll also get a great view of Trastevere and St Peter from the Orange Garden at Santa Sabina
10. Visit San Giovanni in Laterano (or Saint John’s in Lateran) Church. San Giovanni is the first Christian Basilica built in the world and the original Papal seat until the 15th century, consecrated and dedicated to the Savior in A.D. 324
11. Head out late at night in Rome – when all the tourists have gone home safely tucked away in their hotel room beds and see the sites. Visiting the Trevi Fountain at midnight is magical – and probably the only time that you can get an unobstructed photo of the iconic fountain!
12. Walk around the San Lorenzo district. This studenty district, just to the south-east of Stazione Termini is Rome at its most alternative. Packed with cheap eateries, lefty-leaning bars and boutique shops, it’s a welcome break from the touristy centre. Plus, it’s the home of the best chocolate in Rome – the chocolate factory at www.said.it – try their hot chocolate, you won’t be disappointed!
13. Cool off on a hot day in summer by slipping into the dark, cool air of several Roman churches to check out these amazing Caravaggio’s: The Calling of St. Matthew at San Luigi dei Francesi, Madonna of Loreto in the Basilica of Sant’Agostino and The Crucifixion of St Peter and Conversion on the Way to Damascus in Santa Maria del Popolo
14. Just a 15-minute drive from the city centre, head to Monte Mario, Rome’s highest peak. Though it’s slightly off the beaten path for most tourists, the glistening view of the entire city is well worth an evening visit
15. Head to the local area of Trastevere and take a stroll around the cobbled streets before choosing one of the many excellent local restaurants. It’s a picturesque neighbourhood which has the look and feel of a traditional small Italian town, with people shopping, chatting and drinking espresso at the pavement cafes
16. Hire, borrow or beg a bike and cycle along the Tiber River from Ponte Della Musica to Ponte Marconi. Glorious, great and gritty perspective on the City. You’ll end up near Testaccio. You could cycle back and go to a concert at The Auditorium
17. Check out the Protestant Cemetery in Testaccio. A green and shaded space in the heat of summer, this non-Catholic burial ground contains some of the most famous and important graves anywhere in the world – including poets (Keats & Shelley), painters, sculptors, authors and diplomats
18. Head to the Capuchin Crypt (Church of Santa Maria della Concezione) to see the bones of some 4,000 dead Capuchin monks and decayed skeletons strangely arranged in the most beautiful and decorative designs
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