The landscape of Rome includes some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks: the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and Saint Peter’s Basilica—or the Forum Romanum: a vast archaeological park cutting through the center of Rome. The neighbouring Palatine Hill is yet another highlight.
But the city’s long history unfolds at every turn: a long-forgotten statue, an ancient fountain, a ruined temple… A narrow street suddenly opening to a view of a triumphal arch.
Indeed Rome is hardly just the most famous sights. So we thought about giving you some essentials of the Eternal City—but not the usual ones.
Take a stroll and catch the sunlight on your face as you trod the streets. It’s fun to wander on your own and let yourself get lost in the maze of streets and piazzas. In Rome that’s about all you need to do to feel cool.
Besides, you can usually count on two things: a good weather and unreliable transportation, so walking is the best way to see the city.
While you at it, make sure to grab some real Italian gelato: e.g. at Il Gelato di San Crispino, by many considered to be the best ice-cream in Rome (and by extension in the world, Italians would claim).
2Do something touristy: toss a coin in the Fontana di Trevi
Tucked away in a tiny piazza and normally surrounded by crowds, the fountain is a rococo extravaganza of rearing sea horses and conch-blowing Tritons. Nowadays the grand Trevi serves as a Red Cross piggy bank—thanks to all the coins tourists fling into the water. So donate!
3Gobble up a stand-up pizza
There is way too much to see in the Eternal City—so don’t waste time for long lunches. Stop by some stand-up pizza place: the city is filled with these pizzerie al taglio, where ordering a slice of pizza is as easy as pointing through the glass toward the bit you like. Hassle-free and quick.
Of course if you feel like a sit-down, find a proper place, where the pizza is preceded by bruschetta and accompanied by—preferably—a bottle of beer…
4Get your camera out!
Rome is just such an amazing city for photography. Incredible architecture, history, light and colours: the photo opportunities are endless.
Quick travel photography tips:
- It is always good to get in close to your subject and make it fill the frame;
- The best light for photography tends to be in the early morning or late afternoon. At midday the sun is directly overhead and at its strongest, casting a harsh light on everything;
- Don’t use flash in dark churches: it doesn’t go too far, so it’s no use. Take a small tripod with you instead: it is a good way to avoid blurry images, resulting from the “camera shake”;
- And finally, don’t loose your camera—be mindful of the hit-and-run thieves on scooters. Bastardi!
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5Sip cappuccino by the Pantheon
If you wander long enough, you’ll eventually emerge onto Piazza della Rotunda to stare at one of Rome’s most glorious sights, the Pantheon. The world’s best-preserved ancient monument has always been a hot spot and today is undoubtedly one of the symbols of Rome.
The lovely piazza has plenty of cafes and trattorias—it’s a perfect spot for watching the world go by, especially in the afternoon, when the golden light casts shadows on the houses dwarfed by the Pantheon’s massive dome. Afterwards, go inside to marvel at the oculus in the dome—originally the only source of light inside.
Photos by Laskowski & Zadros, © TravelPlusStyle.com