Visiting Rome can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path Rome travel guide, this isn’t for you. This post is designed for the first-time traveler to Rome. Perhaps, it’s the person who wants to see as much as possible in a short time frame. Or maybe, it’s the person who wants some tips and tricks about how to make the most of your time. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by all the attractions in Rome, and you’re trying to figure out the best tours in Rome to immerse yourself in everything Rome has to offer.
Basically, I’m not an off-the-beaten-Appian-way Rome traveler. I am, however, someone who is in love with how ancient Rome peeks around every corner of the city. I love the juxtaposition of modern and ancient and how they come together in such a complementary way. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, keep reading.
01/2023 Update: Added new hotel, restaurant, and tour recommendations.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for tours and products I love at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Getting Around in Rome:
Getting from FCO to the City Center
Leonardo Express (from FCO) – This beats taking a taxi all day every day. It’s a bit of a walk from baggage claim, but it’s worth it. You can buy a ticket from the automated machines or the Tabacchi shops on the concourse. It’s 14 euro per person and the journey takes about 30 minutes, but we spent two hours sitting in traffic on a Sunday evening during our honeymoon in Rome AND it cost 50 euro!! (Isa has more details on a second train option in her guide on how to get to Rome Termini from Fiumicino Airport.)
Using Public Transportation in Rome
Metro – In light of the terrorist attacks in France, we didn’t take the metro as much as we originally planned on our 2016 trip to Rome. When we did, it was quick, efficient and safe. The stations were quite crowded and the lines at the kiosks were LONG. We bought tickets from the Tabacchi shops. (Are you sensing a theme here?) On subsequent trips, we did branch out to using the buses. The Moovit app proved to be a valuable resource in determining which route to take. Google Maps works as well, but Moovit was more accurate, in our experience.
You can purchase the Rome Omnia card, which includes a hop-on-and-off bus tour of Rome and Vatican city. This will allow you to cross the city easily while getting off the bus when the urge strikes you for more site seeing. (You can save your feet for the museums!) The Omnia card is especially helpful if you have limited time in Rome but want to see as much as possible!
We took a few taxis. Do not get in a taxi if the meter isn’t running. After talking to a couple of taxi drivers about the best restaurant for cacio e pepe, they suggested a restaurant in Trastevere. We were so excited about our luck that we didn’t notice that they didn’t flip on the meter. A 7 euro cab ride ended up costing us 22 euro. Lesson learned. Learn from our mistakes. (Also, the restaurant they took us to wasn’t even open. Sigh.)
Walking in Rome
Truthfully, there’s no better way to enjoy visiting Rome than by foot. So much of Rome can’t be experienced in a cab, on the metro, or on a bus. You need to be able to peer in the foundations of buildings to see an ancient civilization, crane your neck in awe at gigantic structures, and appreciate the cobblestone steps used for horses. You need to roam (Rome?) the side streets to find tiny, delicious restaurants, cinnamon gelato, and ancient treasures. There are so many places taxis can’t go. There are few places in ancient Rome that the metros do go. Wander, get lost, and don’t forget to look above and beneath you.
Where to Stay in Rome:
If it’s your first trip to Rome, stay in Rome. Stay somewhere centrally located.
On our fourth (?) trip to Rome, we were only staying overnight before taking an early flight so we booked the Sheraton Parco de Medici. We decided that we wanted to go into Rome, and it was complicated. Despite having a car, finding parking near a bus or train line was challenging. The bus ride into the central sites was long (and bumpy). It was not nearly as enjoyable as staying in the middle of Rome and being able to take a break when we got tired. We did notice that several large, famous tour companies were also staying at the Sheraton and we truly felt bad for the guests who were not able to enjoy site seeing in Rome the same way we have been able to do on previous trips.
Rome loses some of its magic when you can’t experience the floodlit monuments and smaller crowds in the evening.
Pantheon Iconic Rome
One of the best things about visiting Rome so frequently is that we make new discoveries every single time. On our most recent trip to Italy in October 2021, we decided to extend our trip for a day and spend a night in Rome. We have the Pantheon Iconic booked for a longer family trip in November 2021, so we wanted to check it out ahead of time. I can confidently say this is absolutely my favorite hotel in Rome thus far.
The Pantheon Iconic is located on a small street a couple of blocks behind the Pantheon. Its location alone makes it excellent for exploring Rome, but the hospitality makes this hotel an absolute gem. We drove into Rome from Tuscany, and rather than wasting time returning the car, we decided to take advantage of the valet service offered by the Pantheon Iconic hotel. It’s truly door-to-door service. It starts with checking in at the garage that is a few blocks from the hotel. They drove us (and our luggage) to the hotel and then they took the car back to the garage. We let them know what time we needed the car the following morning, and they had it sitting outside the hotel before the arrival time.
We used a free night certificate from Marriott and were upgraded to a deluxe room as Titanium / Lifetime Platinum members. The deluxe room offers a small sitting area, a wet bar, a decent closet, and a huge bathroom. Our room had a walk-in shower and my favorite Jo Malone bath amenities. (I can’t even tell you how excited I was about that!) I wouldn’t mind using a Suite Night Award to check out the spa suite on a trip – what a dream after a full day of exploring Rome!
The bed was extremely comfortable, the room was well-designed for efficiency, and the AC worked REALLY well. (This is a definite must during the summer in Rome.) The rooms aren’t huge, which is the case at most Rome hotels, but they are very comfortable and very chic. The sleek hotel room design is a sharp contrast to the traditional Italian design of the exterior.
We felt very welcome by the hotel staff. They were, by far, some of the warmest hotel staff we have encountered in Rome. They wanted to make our sure our stay was perfect, made recommendations for us, and were happy to show us the rooms that we’ve book for our Thanksgiving trip to Rome. I can’t say enough good things about this hotel, and I’m looking forward to coming back for a longer stay and to check out the rooftop bar!
We stayed at Palazzo Naiadi on our honeymoon, as well as the second time we were visiting Rome. The location can’t be beat. It’s so close to Termini that we walked to it, rather than taking a cab, when our luggage was lost. We found the walk so easy that we ended up walking back (with luggage) to catch our train to Cinque Terre. There’s a metro station a few steps away, a taxi stand across the street, a supermarket a couple blocks away on Via Nazionale. It’s a (relatively) short walk from most of the major tourist sites. For those reasons (and more), we return again and again. There are definitely more beautiful neighborhoods with more authentic feels, but as far as a location that is convenient to sightseeing in the Centro Storico, the Palazzo Naiadi is a great option!
As for the hotel itself, it’s aesthetically traditional and beautiful. The service was perfectly polite, though not overly accommodating. They did, however, send up a bottle of wine and some snacks as our arrival gift. Full disclosure: we’ve never had a room with a view. The superior room is significantly larger than the classic room (we’ve stayed in both), though I can’t tell if they ever upgraded us beyond what we booked. Both rooms are well designed with an enclosed closet, safe, and minibar. I love the size of the bathroom in the superior room, but the water pressure is great, regardless of room. The beds are comfortable after long flights, but if I’m being totally honest, the best part of this property after a long flight is the ETRO Relent toiletries. I’m straight up obsessed with the bath salts (but I think those eBay sellers are insane). Seriously. I was sad that the Carlo IV in Prague didn’t have the bath salts.
Le Meridien Visconti Rome
If you’re looking for a less expensive hotel that is a little more central to the tourist sites, head across the Tiber River to the Le Meridien Rome. You can read more about our various stays at the Le Meridien Visconti, and I’ve found the rates are very reasonable every time we’ve been visiting Rome. This hotel offers a more modern design, well-equipped and recently renovated, and is within a 10 minute walk of most major sites. The bathrooms are especially updated with large stand-up showers available. It’s not as close to a Metro stop as the Palazzo Naiadi is, so if you are planning to use the Metro quite a bit, I would take that into consideration.
Other Rome Hotels to Consider
- Hotel Raphael – I’ve never met a Relais and Chateaux hotel that I didn’t enjoy. Right off the Piazza Navona, this hotel is perfect for Roman adventures. We stayed here in January 2023, and I loved the location but it was loud until late at night.
Now that American Airlines offers direct flights between DFW-FCO, I foresee that we might end up in Rome on either side of future trips. Here are a few more hotels that I have researched and saved for subsequent adventures:
- Palazzo Manfredi – if you (or your husband) loves the Colosseum as much as mine does, this hotel might be a dream come true for you. I think the location of the Colosseum is a little removed from the rest of the site-seeing, but they are opening a Metro station nearby soon. That being said, I truly believe there is nowhere more beautiful than the Colosseum at blue hour or at night. It’s magnificent.
- Hotel Barocco – We stayed at the sister spa hotel in Cortona in June 2021. The staff was lovely, the rooms were incredibly comfortable, and I love the location of the Rome hotel. This would be a great honeymoon hotel that is centrally located in the heart of historic Rome!
- Hotel de Russie // Hotel Hassler – These hotels are recommended by the family of the sweetest girls, Sophie & Maddy. I love the location near the Borghese gallery and Spanish Steps. It would be a great place for a quieter, more romantic stay when visiting Rome.
Where to Eat in Rome
Finding good food in Rome is hard. We’ve made multiple trips to Rome and we struggled to find good meals, especially in the heart of the old city. Most of the time, we give up and resort back to our tried-and-true favorites. For this reason, I strongly recommend that you take a food tour in Rome. This tour will introduce you to some of the more delicious Roman neighborhoods, allow you to try local specialities, and improve your dining options considerably in Rome.
Elise has a long restaurant list for the best pasta in Rome that I’ve been slowly working my way trough on our trips. As I mentioned on my eating in Italy post, there are a few rules of thumb to follow: make reservations when possible, skip the wait staff trying to shepherd you into their restaurant, and eat with the season.
La Montecarlo (Vicolo Savelli, 13) – Sit outside on the cobblestones, enjoy the boisterous Italians, order the pizza (or the Cacio e Pepe), drink the house wine, the fried meat-stuffed olives, and savor the fact that you’re in Rome! If you’re feeling up to it, you’re a stone’s throw from any of the beautiful monuments. On our last two trips this has been our first stop. It’s become a tradition for us to make the walk from Palazzo Naiadi to get over our jet lag, stretch our legs, and enjoy an easy meal on our first night in Rome!
Best Pizza in Rome (Testaccio)
Da Remo / Remo (Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice 44) – After we got ripped off by the cabbie for his favorite restaurant that did not exist, we found ourselves wandering around Testaccio in search of food. Most places were completely reserved for the evening, but Remo welcomed us like old friends. The pizza was crisp and tasty, the wine was cheap, and the servers were friendly. We were the only people speaking English in the joint and it filled up fast. I’m glad we got there early! (On a subsequent trip, we arrived at Remo at 9:30pm on a Saturday night, and he squeezed us into a tiny table. Pizza never tasted so good.) Love Remo.
Cheap Fast Food in Rome
I’ll admit it. I was dubious about this one. After getting dal Moro’ed in Venice, I swore I would never try cheap pasta to go in Italy. Then came the delicious fresh pasta stand at the Mercato Centrale in Florence… Maybe I could be convinced.
Enter Che Pasta in Rome. We stopped in around 2:00pm on Christmas Eve. There was no line. I was definitely skeptical. Tom ordered the Tagliatelle di Nonna Pina and I ordered the Ravioli di Papa. Not only were both absolutely delicious, but the chef is an absolute artisan, designing beautifully stacked pasta dishes with gusto. Lunch for two with water set us back less than 15 euro. We didn’t leave hungry either.
La Pizzeria di Mastro Ciccia is located a block or so behind the Piazza Navona and it is one of our favorite finds from visiting Rome over Christmas. In 2021, we went back in November and it was just as good as we remembered. The staff at the restaurant is incredible. They are friendly, easygoing, and happy. Every time we visit, I feel like they want to ensure that we have a delicious and memorable meal.
After being greeted with a welcome drink (“It’s Christmas!”), we ordered the fried olives, the garlic bruschetta, the rosemary focaccia, and pizza. When we visited with my sister, we tried the Saltimbocca, and it’s still one of my favorite versions of that dish. Everything – and I mean everything – is delicious. No matter how busy they are, our meals are served slowly with respect to each course. Everything is fresh, and nothing had an opportunity to get cold. At the end of the meal, our waiter brought us a digestif and a traditional Italian torte with jam.
It’s probably only a matter of time before this restaurant becomes as popular as the others on the street, so don’t be deterred by a lack of crowds or ease of reservation. Mastro Ciccia is delicious and its a fun experience. It is truly a gem in the heart of the old city of Rome.
Delicious Pasta in Trastevere
After taking a food tour of Trastevere in summer 2021, we discovered a lot more good food in Rome. One of my favorite places that we found on our own after the food tour was Tonnarello. This is a very popular restaurant in Rome with plenty of outdoor seating for people watching. It’s great for groups or when you don’t have a reservations. (We’ve found ourselves here more than a few times when my favorite suppli place is closed.)
What I love the most about some of the pasta restaurants in Trastevere is that they serve the pasta freshly tossed in the sauce. When they grate the fresh cheese over it, it is sheer perfection. I’ve developed a taste for Amatriciana over our last few trips to Rome, especially with when the guanciale is crisp and the cheese is freshly grated.
In addition to the pasta at Tonnarello, we also enjoy the rosemary focaccia and arancini (though my favorite are still at Suppli). I also really love the polpette (meatballs) as a secondi. Tom loves their diavola pizza. I find the service to be really great here, as it’s a good place to have on standby if you need a restaurant in Rome in a pinch.
Best Late Night Dinner near Campo di Fiori
Tucked away from the crowds and tourist traps near Campo di Fiori is Origano. We learned about this restaurant during our walking tour and cooking class in Rome and returned after walking 13.5 miles (literally) on Christmas Eve. It was our last hope for dinner on an evening when most of Rome was closing up for the holidays. We ordered the Rigatoni Amatriciana and Diavola pizza. Both were delicious and very reasonably priced. The Amatriciana included pork and slices of pecorino, but they have a vegetarian option, too. The Diavola is spicy salami. The pasta is cooked so perfectly that we can’t wait to go back and try some of their other dishes. Dinner for two with water cost us less than 25 euro.
Largest Grocery Store in Rome
Eataly (Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492) – Open until midnight every night, this “grocery store” offers multiple eateries inside its multi-level establishment. Housed in an old airplane hangars, you can do your souvenir shopping and feed anyone in your party. I didn’t believe the hype, but Eataly is worth a look when visiting Rome. (We have one in Dallas now – it’s good but not the same as the original.)
Tom enjoyed tasting all the samples from meat to cheese to everything in between, while I made difficult choices of what to bring home for friends. From the black olive pate bruschetta, to the proscuitto, to the pizza, to the pasta, I’m not sure we encountered anything we didn’t want to devour. We ended up taking a lot of things back to our hotel for picnic lunches in our room. Bonus: you’ll find the Roman pyramid, too. I recommend taking the Metro to save your feet.
Best Gelato in Rome
Don’t be fooled by bad gelato when visiting Rome. Giolitti is famous for a reason. It can be a little intimidating. You pay at the register before you order your gelato. There are so many flavors. The lines snake around every corner of this famous gelato shop. It’s completely worth it. I would go every day to try different flavors if I could. Use the opportunity to practice your Italian. They may switch to English, but I’ve found that my Italian buys a little more patience from the staff. (Don’t ask them to pick your flavors. This shop is constantly busy. No one has time for that.) I recommend bacio (chocolate hazelnut) e nioccola (hazelnut). The arancia (orange) is delicious and the pera (pear) is very sweet.
Slightly off the beaten track is the famous Gelateria del Teatro, which is an excellent choice. (They even offer a gelato academy, if you’re interested in learning more! I need to add this to my list of cooking classes in Rome to try!) It’s also a fun area to explore as there are some interesting art galleries and shops tucked into these streets. It feels far less commercial than other areas of Rome.
If you need a gelato fix near Vatican City, Gelateria Old Bridge is my favorite. Their fruit flavors (up to 3 in a cup!) are incredible.
Must See in Rome
- Watching the sunrise over the walls of the Vatican City and enjoying a peaceful morning in the Vatican Museum courtyard before going into the Sistine Chapel with a small group versus hoards of tourists.
- Watching the sunset in St. Peter’s Square and seeing the lights of the basilica slowly flicker on and illuminate the square with soft light. Everything is more magical at night.
- Spending a leisurely afternoon in the Borghese Gardens. You’ll definitely want to book tickets to the villa Borghese and/or Galleria Borghese in advance, otherwise you will probably not be able to visit.
- Watching the sunrise over the Roman Forum and bathe the ruins in soft light. I also recommend visiting the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps before all the tourists wake up – you’ll have until about 10:30 to see the Eternal City without as many people around. It’s worth getting up early for those moments.
- Take a food tour of Trastevere or a market tour of Testaccio. There’s no better way to find good food in Rome!
- Staring up at Colosseo and marveling at the fact that it’s still standing today. If your husband is a 300 fan, I also recommend making the walk around the Circus Maximus to indulge his gladiator imagination. There’s not much to see, but for the person who loves it, it’s worth doing.
- Making sure to visit every church you find. You never know what’s behind the facade. Some of the most plain churches in Rome are some of the most beautiful inside.
- Seeing Castel Sant Angelo at night. There’s an aura of mystery that accompanies it at night. I love the bridge leading to it, too. It’s one of the most beautiful bridges in Rome, and, believe it or not, I overlooked it on multiple trips. (Walk everywhere. Seriously.)
What to Do in Rome
I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a tour junkie. He might have gotten me hooked on them too. We’ve had some amazing tour adventures in every city, but here are my favorites when visiting Rome, particularly for first-time visitors. If you’ve already seen the “big sites” of Rome, I’ve included a “next-level” tour for the second (or third, or fourth) time visitor to Rome. Some of them are tours we’ve done, others are tours that intrigue me for future trips. Tom and I believe that there is always more to learn. (Our sixth trip to Rome was over Christmas – and we still booked tours for Christmas Day!)
If guided tours aren’t in your budget (whether because of expense or time), Rick Steves has a number of free audio tours of Rome. You can download the app, pop in your earphones, and DIY most major sites in Rome. We’ve done these before visiting Rome to get a sense of what we wanted to see. They are great.
Skip the Line Colosseum and Ancient Rome Tours
Igor is quite possibly the most knowledgable guide I’ve ever had in Rome. His stories about ancient Rome flow beautifully with the tour, and there wasn’t a single question that appeared to stump him. He was excited, enthusiastic, funny, but most importantly, knowledgable. The tour starts at the Colosseum and ends at the Forum. You’ll see the various levels of the Colosseum before ending on the floor of it, finding out which of the urban legends are true and which are false! You’ll understand (and marvel) how the ancient Romans were actually engineering geniuses and figure out who exactly is responsible for the European trend of paying for access to restrooms. (“Money doesn’t stink.”)
I originally booked this tour to satisfy my husband who keeps insisting that he’s going to name our children Vespasian, Hadrian, Leonides, and Thmysticales (sp?)… but I actually really enjoyed it, so ask for Igor!
Next Level Tour: Guided Tour of the Capitoline Museums – This tour is a serious next-level tour. You need to LOVE ancient Roman history. My husband does and I did this tour because I love him. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable, very engaging, and didn’t mind that I took a lot of pictures along the way.
Early Access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
When I was a poor college student, I was enamored with the idea of seeing the Vatican museums. That excitement quickly turned to frustration when I was being herded through the museums (and subsequently the Sistine Chapel) with hundreds of other tourists. There was no time to stop and enjoy anything. We just had to keep moving.
ENTER THIS TOUR.
Yes, early access to the Sistine Chapel requires you to start moving early in the morning. I believe our meeting time was 7:00am, which meant we were leaving our hotel even earlier than that. It is 100% worth it! We were divided up into groups of less than 20, ushered through security, and given a slower escorted tour through the museum. One of my favorite moments was sitting in the (empty) Vatican courtyard as the sun started to peek over the buildings. When we made it to the Sistine Chapel, there were less than 50 people in there. We were invited to spend as much time as we liked. I was able to sit in every single corner of that beautiful chapel and appreciate it from every vantage point instead of being packed into it like a sardine.
This is one of those amazing once-in-a-lifetime type of experiences that I think everyone should take advantage of when visiting Rome!
Next Level Tour: If you find yourself in Rome on Wednesday or Sunday, you can attend a papal blessing. I booked that tour as part of our honeymoon. If you’re looking for another once-in-a-lifetime experience, this waking up the Vatican tour looks incredible (and expensive). I’ve seen someone post about it and it seems like an incredible experience.
Day Trip to Tivoli and Hadrian’s Villa
I’ve been to Rome four times and this was the first time I’ve felt like I had seen enough previously to make the trip to Villa D’Este and Hadrian’s Villa. I had done a ton of research, and I ultimately decided that this tour was the most straightforward way to make this happen. Truthfully, at times, our tour guide was pretty difficult to understand, but the villas themselves were absolutely incredible. If you have any interest in engineering, architecture or design (the mosaic tile work is incredible!), this tour will leave your mind reeling.
The bus ride from Rome was quick and easy, and we were deposited at Hadrian’s Villa for a few hours before moving on to Tivoli and Villa D’Este. We had a little less than an hour for lunch which was just enough time to warm up (it was cool and drizzly that afternoon) before heading to Villa D’Este. Villa D’Este was absolutely beautiful despite the rain, and I could just imagine how incredible it must have been to live there and wander the gardens. I quite think I would enjoy that on a pleasant, warm, sunny day. (This is also the tour where we were wearing our 3-day old clothes after our luggage was lost. Excuse our appearance.)
Next Level Tour: Head to Pompeii. This day trip to Pompeii seems like a long day, but an interesting day nonetheless. If a trip to Naples and/or Amalfi isn’t on your agenda, you could visit from Rome.
Rome by Night Walking Tours
I believe that you need to book at Rome by night walking tour on one of your first visits to the city. Not only is it a great introduction of the city, but it also is what caused me to fall in love with Rome. Experiencing Rome by night is so different than seeing Rome by day. Tom really enjoyed this tour because it gave him a great sense of where he wanted to visit on the rest of our trip. We went from Piazza Navona to the Pantheon to the newly re-opened (!!) Trevi Fountain to the “Wedding Cake” of Roman to the Palatine Hill to the Forum and ended at the Colosseum. This tour starts early enough that you are able to experiencing the changing light of evening and how it changes Rome. It is absolutely gorgeous. You haven’t experienced Rome until you’ve seen all the monuments lit up, especially at Christmastime.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Rome at night, this is a fun collaboration post I contributed to with other travel bloggers.
Next Level Tour: See even more on this three-hour walking tour of Rome at night. We were near the top of the Borghese gardens at golden hour, and it’s one of the most beautiful times to see Rome. By blue hour, we were at the Trevi fountain. This tour covers a lot more ground and the guide provided many restaurant recommendations at the end.
Food Tour in Rome
After 7 trips to Rome, we finally decided to take a Rome food tour. WHY DIDN’T WE DO THIS SOONER? We wasted so many mediocre meals in Rome! I highly recommend the twilight Trastevere food tour, which combines some of the best foods from sit-down restaurants, street foods, salumerias, and bakeries. This will give you a myriad of options for your future meals, and your guide will be happy to make recommendations, too. Book this tour on one of your first days in Rome for maximum benefit.
Everything we tried, we liked. Every single restaurant ended up being a place that we would return to. We got to meet many of the owners, and it was clear that they take great pride in the delicious dishes they serve. We had a really good time, and I think this tour in particular is a really special experience.
BOOK THIS: Rome Food Tour
Cooking Classes in Rome
Have your tour and eat pizza too? When in Rome. This walking tour of Rome is a great introduction to the city, but I enjoyed the pizza making class more. Housed in a local restaurant, we were able to create our own individual pizzas with a master chef. Quattro frommagi for Tom, diavola for me. The chef even included a nutella pizza for dessert. The pizza is so tasty that Tom put it on our list of restaurants to return to in the future and we ate dinner there on Christmas Eve in 2019. (Bonus: it’s near Campo dei Fiori, so it’s pretty centrally located.)
Next Level Tours: Pasta Cooking Class in Rome, Pizza and Pasta Class in Rome, Pizza and Gelato Class in Rome, Pasta and Tiramisu Class in Rome… I’m sure you get the picture. There’s no shortage of delicious cooking classes when visiting Rome. You just have to decide what you want to learn first!
If cooking classes aren’t your thing, check out these Rome Food Tours.
More Travel Tips for Rome
I am still a book person. We take travel guides on all of our trips. Tom likes the Rick Steves book because of the walking tours (and his free audio tours). I love Rome Day by Day and the Top 10 Rome books. These fit easily into a day bag and include the best things by neighborhood. No matter where I find myself, there’s always a great recommendation. We used to purchase the updated version before each trip because Tom worried about opening hours changing, but we’ve made our peace with using our phones to verify. It also helps that we use TEP or Solis when we are visiting Rome. These portal hotspots keep our data costs to a minimum. (You can save 10% using my SOLIS promo code JOURNEYOFDOING.) We’re never far from google, but I still prefer books for advance planning.
And, if you still aren’t sure where to start, check out my itinerary for 3 days in Rome. Maybe you’ll even have me design one for you!