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The Ultimate Rome Checklist

Colosseum in Rome at night

Rome is one of my absolute favorite places to visit! The entire time we were there, all I kept saying was “I love it here!” Something about Rome made me fall in love. There is so much history, incredible food, beautiful architecture, and amazing art. This guide will provide you with the ultimate Rome checklist!

Between the amazing Italian food, the beautiful Colosseum, and the ancient history, you are sure to fall in love!

With this guide we will provide you with all our favorite restaurants, sights, and things to do in Rome. It is difficult to not enjoy your time here, so let’s begin!

Check out our guide of best packing tips for travelers!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Rome itinerary for first timers

Best Restaurants in Rome

We must begin with the best restaurants in Rome, because the food is that. good. Seriously, the best food I have EVER had was in Rome, so it HAD to be included on the ultimate Rome checklist! Still to this day when anyone asks me what my favorite meal was, it is this one:

The Trastevere Neighborhood

gnocchi and pasta on table

This neighborhood is full of all the very best restaurants in Rome. Any restaurant you go to here will be amazing. We originally went here in search of a different restaurant, but stumbled upon a different one, and I am glad we did!

We HIGHLY recommend I Vascellari. 

To date, we have still yet to have a better meal anywhere.

The gnocchi were so fluffy, the carbonara was to die for, and I am just drooling thinking about it. We even went home and bought a pasta maker to try to replicate the meal, but have since tried and failed multiple times.

You can easily walk here from the Colosseum (about a 10 minute walk), and it is 110% worth it! We would go back to Rome just to eat here again!

La Pace del Cervello

girl with pizza

Everyone told us not to eat at restaurants near the Colosseum, but boy were they missing out!

After touring the Colosseum, we walked down one of the alleyways in the neighborhood by it. We stopped at a restaurant called La Pace del Cervello. 

There were musicians playing outside, there was an amazing breeze on the hot summer day, and it just seemed right.

You can also see the Colosseum from here if you are eating outside, which is pretty awesome!

The pizza here was the BEST pizza I have ever had, and I am super picky with my pizza. 

Do yourself a favor and visit this amazingly delicious restaurant!

Tre Scalini Gelato

gelato in cones

We ate a LOT of gelato in Italy, and this was by far the best, so it had to be included on the ultimate Rome checklist!

The cones were filled with melty chocolate, and topped with 2 flavors of your choosing, plus whipped cream. 

Tre Scalini is located near the Spanish Steps. We grabbed a cone and found a spot to people watch near the area! 

Note: there is not a lot of seating in this area, so you might have to just sit on the sidewalk. 

Best things to do in Rome

The Colosseum

inside colosseum

Let’s start with the obvious: The Colosseum. 

You can easily get here from the train. At the train stop, it lets you off practically right at the Colosseum, so you cannot miss it! As soon as you get off the train, you will be struck with the beauty of the Colosseum!

Buy tickets ahead of time, here. Skip the group tours, especially if visiting during a busy time of year. It can get very busy, and group tours can become difficult to stay together. 

Instead, explore the Colosseum at your own pace, and take in its amazing beauty. After exploring, visit the ruins of Palatine Hill, right next to the Colosseum. 

Pro tip: be VERY careful of pick pocketers in this area. It is a hot spot for scams, so be observant, and take note of your belongings. People will yell and run to try and get tourists attention, only to pickpocket them. Don’t be alarmed if you see this happening. 

The Trevi Fountain

trevi fountain in Rome

It is said that if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, you will return back to Rome again.

If you throw 2 coins in the fountain, it is said you will return to Rome again and fall in love.

So, go ahead and toss some coins in this beautiful fountain.

Just make sure you toss them behind your shoulder or your luck won’t come true!

This area gets VERY bust with tourists, especially in the summer months, so be patient, and grab a spot on the edge of the fountain as soon as one comes available!

Pro Tip: Scammers are also common in this area. They will ask if you want your picture taken, then demand money in return. Just say no, and have someone in your party take your picture instead. 

The Vatican

decorated Vatican church ceiling

The Vatican is the headquarters of the Roman-Catholic Church. Whether you are religious or not, the Vatican is worth a visit. 

Buy tickets ahead of time here, because lines get VERY long. 

Admire the art lined ceilings, and visit the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo’s famous paintings lie. 

The Vatican can be extremely busy, and guards have no problem yelling at you to be quiet or to put your phone away, so be patient and respectful.

Also, make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. They will turn you away if you are not covered.

However, you can buy shawls from local venders in the area if you need to cover up. 

Pompeii

person and pottery in pompeii

Pompeii is not in Rome, but it is a day trip you should definitely consider. 

We rented a car and drove to Pompeii, which took about 2 and a half hours.

Driving is VERY difficult getting out of Rome, so keep that in mind. You can also take a high speed train to get here if you don’t want to drive. 

You can save up to 30% on car rentals here! 

Buy tickets online here to save on time and stress of lines. 

Plan on spending most of the day here. It is much bigger than we expected, but the history and sights here are something everyone needs to see!

Thank you for reading the the ultimate Rome checklist! Rome is a wonderful place to visit, and has something for any visitor! Consider reading our guide of how to take the best pictures on vacation while your here! If you have any suggestions on what else to do in Rome, please leave a comment below!

 

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About the Author

Hello!

My name is Erica Sailor and I am the creator and developer of My World Sights! I love traveling the world with my husband and sharing what we learn along the way! Read More

Erica Sailor

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