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Unusual Things To Do In Rome Italy

Enjoy An Aperitivo In One Of Rome’s Rooftop Bars

Unusual things you can find in Rome

There’s nothing like sipping a drink on a rooftop bar to make the experience feel more glamorous and cultured all at the same time. Way different to a hotel minibar. Time Out have curated 12 of the best rooftop bars in Rome but I’d like to highlight the following:

  • Hotel Raphael – made famous by Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love, this prosecco spot lies close to the landmark Piazza Navona. Prices are not for the faint of heart.
  • Minerva Roof Garden – serves 16 different types of martini within a hop, skip and a jump from the Pantheon.
  • Hotel Capo d’Africa – watch the Colosseum lit up at night. Good enough for me.

Visit St Peters Basilica

St. Peters Basilica is actually located in Vatican City, a small city-state found in the very center of Rome. Built over a site thought to be the tomb of St. Peter, this is the most famous church in Christendom, a sumptuous and splendid example of Renaissance and Baroque style. Inside, youll find the works of prominent artists such a Michelangelos Pietà Berninis Baldacchino and Chair of St. Peters Bramante and Vignola. The church has 11 chapels, 45 altars and many beautiful mosaics.

The church is free to access, but youll have to go through security before being let in, and youll need to be dressed modestly cover your shoulder, chest and knees and youll have no trouble walking in.

To make the most of the church, you may want to consider joining a guided tour. You can book it here. For a tour that also goes to the underground grottoes and the Dome, click here.

Drop By An Exhibition At Palazzo Delle Esposizioni

If you find yourself craving a more modern exhibition in Rome, youll likely find what youre looking for in the innovative Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Via Nazionale 194.

The Palazzo has hosted all sorts of cultural icons, from Rothko to Pixar, and offers interactive learning opportunities for all the family with many of its immersive events.

The Palazzo delle Esposizioni recently underwent a full refurbishment, and is now an ultra-modern space for culture and ideas at an international level. The peaceful, quiet, open air space makes the Palazzo a perfect break from the hot Italian sun, busy tourist spots. The Palazzo also contains a 136 seat cinema, cafe, bookshop and restaurant. For more information and tickets visit

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Visit The Colosseum After The Gates Have Closed

Want to make it even more special?

Well, here you go!

Colosseum night tours are some of the most exclusive and enjoyable ways to visit Romes most famous ruin.

The crowds are smaller, the views better, and the experience much more intimate.

Youll start near the Jewish Ghetto for a look at the Teatro di Marcello, an ancient theater that looks like a miniature Colosseum, then head over to the main event just as the last of the daytime crowds empty out.

Youll experience the arena in all its glory as you explore the nearly empty ruin with your expert guide telling hair-raising tales of its bloody past. Your experience wont just be more intimate, it will be much more comfortable now that the sun has gone down.

Pig Out On Some Serious Porchetta

5 Fun Things to Do in Rome Italy

If your heading to or have just come out of the Vatican City and are feeling peckish, this is the perfect stop off to fill your belly up. And it wont blow a hole in your travel budget either.

Heres the address: Angrypig Birretta e Porchetta, Via Tunisi, 38.

Theres a selection of several different sandwiches with fillings such as sun dried tomatoes and grilled aubergines accompanying the perfectly cooked porchetta.

Theres a good range of beer or wine on offer, just help yourself. And you can even leave your review of the place on the walls. Really cool place on our list of unique things to do in Rome.

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Largo Di Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

Recommended by Cindy of Travel Bliss Now

Largo di Torre Argentina is a town square in the heart of Rome, just a few blocks from the Pantheon. Chances are that youll notice the ruins just below street level at Largo di Torre Argentina. What you might not know is that this is the very spot where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Nowadays, its a cat sanctuary.

The ruins of four temples and the remains of Pompeys Theatre date back as far as the 4th century B.C. Julius Caesar was killed on the steps of the theatre on the Ides of March 44 B.C.

When the site was excavated in 1929, feral cats moved in. The cat ladies of Rome started looking after them and eventually established a shelter in one corner of the site. Now, 130 cats live in the ruins. And thats what also makes this place more special to visit not just the history, but also the cats.

Good to know: You cant access the ruins, but can see the site and the cats, at no cost, from street level. And because this place is so central, you can easily add it to your itinerary, even if you only have a day in Rome. You can also visit the shelter itself, where about 20 elderly or disabled cats live. To get there, take the stairs down to the site at the corner of Via Florida and Via di Torre Argentina.

Practical information: The cat sanctuary is open from noon to 6 PM on weekdays, and 11 AM to 6 PM on weekends. There is no charge to visit, but donations are welcome. You can find more information on their website.

Throw A Coin In Trevi Fountain

One of Romes tourist attractions thats always crowded is the famous Trevi Fountain. It originated as one end of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct in 19 BC. The current version of the fountain was built by Nicola Salvi and Giuseppe Pannini.

The popular myth that throwing coins in the fountain to return to Rome or fall in love results in over 1 million Euros worth of coins being thrown in every year! The city collects this money and uses it to support good causes.

How did the Trevi fountain get its name? Since the fountain is at the junction of three streets, the fountain was called three ways or Tre Vie.

Rome Photography Tip: The Trevi fountain is super crowded all day long. Its a very popular Instagram photography spot. But if you make a dedicated visit in the middle of the night, or just before sunrise, you might have it to yourself for a while .

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Dont Bring A Towel To Caracalla Baths

See the weird and wonderful ways the Romans would relax, study and play sport at this ancient spa!

Among the colorful mosaics and equally colorful gossip of the day, the engineering and architectural ingenuity to keep the water hot and the building standing is thoroughly impressive.

A welcomed change from the tourist traps, the Baths give a glimpse into ordinary Roman life.

Unusual Things To Do In Rome That Arent In Your Guidebook

10 Unusual Things to Do in Rome that Aren’t On Your List YET!

Rome is a city of secrets secret areas, secret history and secret stories. These ancient streets have

influenced many artists, writers and poets, but so much of the alternative side of Rome gets missed by the majority of tourists. The Coliseum and the Vatican are spectacular and beautiful in their own right, and of course

must-visit locations, but theres so much more to the city than just landmarks like these. Choose to do some of the alternative things to do in Rome and you will find unusual experiences, quiet historical sights and local traditions that stretch back thousands of years. See the Vatican like never before or step down into the ancient catacombs that run underneath the city and come face to face with thousands of human skulls – there really are some unusual things to do in Rome. Ive lived here for sixteen years now and in that time Ive been able to find a collection of my own hidden places in Rome that I love to visit and would love more people to know about. Here are my sixteen years of knowledge, in one alternative Rome guide.

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Pyramid Of Cestius Most Unusual Things To Do In Rome

The Roman Empire and Ancient Egypt were two powerful civilizations reigning at the same time on either side of the Mediterranean Sea border. They crossed paths in the late century BC, most famously when Cleopatra joined alliances with both Julias Caesar and Anthony, two important members of Ancient Roman history.

Prior to this Egypt had captivated the Romans attention with their treasures and centers of academia, well-renowned at the time, as well as their spectacularly grand architecture. It set a trend at the time with much of the Roman architecture becoming influenced by the Egyptians.

Around 1812BC an important habitant of Rome assigned the construction of a 36 meter high pyramid, which is now near the Porta of San Paulo. It is the only Egyptian pyramid in Europe and the original burial tomb for Gaius Cestius, a member of the Epulones religious corporation. Little more is known about him, apart from the inscription on one of the marble slabs covering the great concrete blocks that make up the pyramid shape calling him the praetor, tribune of plebs.

Listen To Musica At The Teatro Di Marcello: The Colosseum’s Little Sister

First time visitors to Rome may mistake the Teatro di Marcello for the Colosseum, but it’s safe to relax. This was a real theatre, not another location for blood, guts and gore.

Commissioned during the reign of Julius Caesar but incomplete at the time of his murder, it had a rocky start to life but grew to become the most important theatre in ancient Rome. Today, you can still sit and listen to classical music amid the crumbling columns and it makes a good option to pair up with a visit to the Jewish Quarter.

Where? Via Del Teatro De Marcello, Rome.

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Track Down Bernini Sculptures In Rome

My absolute favourite statue in Italy is the ephemeral statue of Apollo and Daphne by Bernini in the Galleria Borghese. This amazing sculpture is a confection of weightlessness, magic and marble.

Ever since I first laid eyes on it, Ive been obsessed with this 17th-century sculptor, beloved of popes and aristocrats alike.

Rome is a treasure trove of Bernini sculptures, both indoors and outside, and following a Bernini trail will leave you breathless as you track down each famous landmark especially when you realize his work includes such blockbuster Rome attractions as:

  • The Fountain of Four Rivers in the Piazza Navona
  • The bronze canopy that hangs over the high altar at St Peters Basilica. .
  • The two famous sculptures of David and The Rape of Proserpina at the Galleria Borghese on your cool things to see in Rome list.

To help you out, heres my guide to the best Bernini sculptures and fountains in Rome

Spend Saturday Morning In The Private Palazzo Colonna

36 Unmissable, Fun And Cheap Things To Do In Rome nel 2020

Palazzo Colonna is one of the oldest and largest private palaces in Rome. Home to the Colonna family , the 14th Century palace is a sprawling stately residence filled with grand marble staircases, colorful salons, impressive hallways and a beautiful open courtyard at its center.

While the palace remains a private home for the Colonnas, it opens its doors to the public on Saturday mornings. Tickets are 12 euro and include a guided tour at specific times. Special guided tours of other restricted areas of the palace are also available for an additional cost and weekday tours are by appointment only.

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See The Owls Of The Casina Delle Civette

Plenty of tourists overlook the rustic House of the Owls, home of former Prince Giovanna Torlonia Jr., but its a hidden gem certainly worthy of a visit!

The owl motif appears everywhere: stained glass windows, in the furniture, and in the decor!

All up, the decorative house is a petri dish of experimental artistic expression with mixed aesthetics.

Have A Picnic At The Villa Doria Pamphili Gardens

The gardens around the 17th-century villa earn the title of the largest public park in the city!

The sea of greenery with statues and fountains throughout is a great place to settle down and relax on a sunny afternoon with a rustic Italian picnic lunch, before touring the opulent Villa itself with a magnificent display of sculptures.

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Ride The K2 At Hydromania Water Park

Hydromania water park has something for everyone: water aerobics sessions, a jacuzzi pool and beach area to chill in the water, a restaurant, and waterslides of all kinds!

The pick for thrill-seekers is K2, where with two parallel slides, you and your mate can see each other one last time before a 3-second drop!

Rent A Boat In Villa Borghese

Top 10 things to do in Rome handpicked by locals

Rome has several huge beautiful villas, where Villa Borghese is one of the most notable and charming. It attracts visitors because of the largest private collection of art located in Borghese Gallery , but not only. The area is full of greenery and attractions for any age. One of them is renting a boat on the artificial lake in the middle of the villa. The price for 20 min rent is 3 euro per person. You will have an unforgettable experience since the ambiance is so peaceful and romantic.

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Where To Eat In The Historic Centre

For a Quick Snack

Dont miss Antico Forno Roscioli for the best pizza bianca in the cityfresh out of the oven and sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary, its absolutely delicious. The suppli at Supplizio are another typical Roman snack.

For a Full Meal

The absolute best place weve eaten in the centre is Armando Al Pantheon. Its remarkable that a restaurant so close to a major attraction has managed to maintain its quality since the 1960s.

Everything we ate there was delicious including the melanzana alla parmigiana to start, the spaghetti cacio e pepe , and the spaghetti verde with rocket, pecorino and lemonso simple but so good. You need to book a few weeks in advance.

If you didnt manage to get a reservation at Armando, LOrso 80 is touristy, but its a good option if you are craving vegetables.

Their 15-dish antipasti plate of grilled vegetables and beans costs 15 and was enough for us to share for lunch .

If you are very hungry, order the 2-person antipasti and watch your table fill with bowls of vegetables, beans, cheese, and prosciutto.

For a Coffee and Break

Avoid the touristy cafes near Piazza Navona and instead head to Barnum Cafe, a rather hipster cafe with vintage furniture and comfy couches . The coffee and fresh juices are excellent, and Ive heard good things about the cocktails and food.

For something more classically Roman, the Chiostro del Bramante is a cafe above an art museum with balcony seating looking down on lovely fresco-covered cloisters.

See The Sacred Steps At The Archbasilica Of St John Lateran

Romes oldest basilica is a stunner!

There are relics dating back to Ancient Egypt, giant mosaics, marble statues, Renaissance artwork, a gothic altar, and the Sacred Steps where Jesus climbed during the Passion!

If youre really lucky, the divine Holy Door is opened once every 25 years, with its next opening in 2025!

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Eat A Fabulous Meal Below Pompeys Theatre At Hostaria Costanza

Since youre in the area anyways, staring at the site of Caesars murder, trying to deal with the mind-bending thought that this all took place, right here, making you realize that Rome, perhaps more than anywhere else, makes history come alive, you might as well grab a good meal nearby.

After all, isnt eating one of the best things to do in Italy?

The Hosteria Costanza is a Rome hidden gem, a restaurant at Piazza Paradiso 63/65 that sits under the subterranean arches of the old theatre. Very near the Campo de Fiori, its a delicious way to sightsee. was divine.

Want to dive deep into Romes food culture? There are plenty of food tours you can join.

Check out the Rome Half Day Food and Wine Tour here, or a 4-hour Food Tour of Rome at Night that takes you to some of Romes top food-centric neighbourhoods here.

Go In Search Of Art Nouveau

9 of the most unusual things to do in Rome, Italy

If you are a fan of Art Nouveau, you really have to go on a search for the gems you can find scattered around town. Some of the best examples of this artistic trend can be found in Quartiere Coppedé, which is not far from Borghese Gardens.

Another place to look for Art Nouveau is Galleria Sciarra, a short distance from Trevi Fountain. This was built between 1885 and 1888 upon orders of Prince Maffeo Sciarra and was meant to serve as an upscale shopping mall, but it now hosts mostly offices.

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See All Of Romes Iconic Squares And Fountains

The squares and fountains are the citys lifeblood, so whatever things you do in Rome will involve them!

Take a tour to discover the coolest ones, including a fountain shaped like a half-sunken ship and the Campo de Fiori which had a medieval market.

The squares are brimming with life and tales for you to hear!

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