When In Rome…
While studying abroad in Rome, I not only experienced the super touristy spots, but I also had the opportunity to live like a local and explore the hidden gems of Rome. Here are my top five things to do in Rome (although there are a lot more!).
Explore The Monuments
A trip to Rome isn’t complete without visiting all of the historical Roman landmarks, no matter how touristy – and crowded – they can get. From the Pantheon to the Colosseum, the Roman Forums, and the Spanish steps, there is an abundance of sights to see in Rome, and it never gets old experiencing ancient, Roman history. Make sure to watch your belongings carefully, however, as pickpockets are abundant in crowded, touristy areas.
Bike Around Villa Borghese
A hidden, Roman gem I learned about – although it is still a bit touristy – is biking in Villa Borghese. You can bike around the gardens, stop for a picnic lunch in the grass, and walking through numerous museums and buildings. It is also close to many of the other monuments in Rome, making it easily accessible.
One of my favorite places in Rome is the neighborhood of Trastevere. From the cute little shops to the amazing restaurants, this area of a Rome is a must. Although there are many cool, and hidden, neighborhoods in Rome, I am biased as I lived in Trastevere and fell in love. I would highly recommend starting in la Piazza di Santa Maria – which is located right by the famous Santa Maria church – and walk around the area from there. This is a place you don’t want to miss!
Travel around the Street Markets
Another highlight of Rome is the street markets. Food, produce, gifts, and other goods are sold during weekday mornings and on the weekends. One of the most popular tourist markets is in Campo dei Fiori, which has food, any kind of pasta you could think of, and local, fresh produce. It is open every morning except on Sundays. Another amazing market – for fresh veggies, fruit, fish, and meat – is the Piazza San Cosimato market, which is open every morning except on Sundays. My personal market favorite, however, is the flea market located around the Via Portuense area in Trastevere. This market has EVERYTHING you could ever need at great prices! Clothing, toiletries, sunglasses, and other goods are sold here every Sunday morning-afternoon. Again, make sure to keep your belongings close at the markets, as the high volume of people brings out the pickpockets and other petty thieves.
EAT, EAT AND EAT!!
Of course, when in Rome you must eat! Here is a – very condensed – list of my favorite restaurants in Rome:
- La Gelateria Frigidarium – a touristy, but AMAZING, gelato place (near Campo dei Fiori)
- Dar Poeta – the BEST pizza I have ever had and I still dream about it (located in Trastevere)
- Pimms – a great place for cheap salads and good risotto (in Trastevere)
- Donkey Punch – a casual sandwich joint for a quick bite (in Trastevere)
- Capa Toast – slightly touristy panini place (located in Trastevere)
- Ristorante Maccheroni – a casual dinner place with some of the best pasta at great prices (in the Piazza delle Coppelle near the Pantheon)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jolie Blair is a rising senior at Emory University from Sun Valley, Idaho. She is double majoring in Theater Studies and Public Health and has a passion for the arts, writing, and traveling. She studied abroad for the 2016 fall semester in Rome, Italy and had an experience of a lifetime, which she loves to share with those who want to listen (and even those who don’t like her 140lb Great Dane!).