10 authentic experiences to do in Rome
Rome is a very popular destination for many travelers who succumb to the beauty of its ancient monuments. Although the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are among the best things to discover, some other experiences also deserve our attention as they perfectly show the real local life. Here is our selection:
1) Visit the Villa Borghese, one of the finest gardens in the world. With its romantic English style, fountains and sculptures, it immerses visitors in a Shakespearean décor. What’s more, during the summer, the villa hosts some Shakespeare’s performances. The 80 hectares surrounding the Villa Borghese also include various museums and cultural institutions.Nota bene: the Villa Borghese offers free WiFi network
2) Drink water and fill your bottle directly in the public fountains, the “Nasoni” (name referring to their shape resembling a nose). The water of Rome is very good, and always cool, even in summer. The city of Rome and its suburbs now counts more than 2,500 fountains that were built in 1874 to provide fresh drinking water to residents during the hot summers. The historical center of Rome counts about 300, with 3 dragon-shaped ones (one of them is in front of the Pantheon).
3) Admire the amazing baroque architecture of cathedrals and Roman churches. Whatever your religion, be curious and dare to cross the heavy doors of the holy places. Their interiors are amazing and reveal incredible architectural and ornamental work. The Romans spared no expense to make their most beautiful churches in the world. Rome is also the city with the largest number of churches in the world.
4) Eat in the “Aperitivo” bars. The aperitif culture is very popular in Rome. In late afternoon, it is common to hang out in one of these little bars to share a friendly moment and nibble a snack while waiting for the evening meal. But you can also eat a full dinner there: in many bars, when buying a drink, there are always small “antipasti”, sandwiches and pasta offered for free.
5) Listen to live music in trendy bars. Music is omnipresent in Italy, and Rome, as a capital, has everything to tickle your ears from Monday till Sunday. The best places are the Nags Head (rock, folk, near Piazza Venezia), the Jazz Café (near Piazza Navona), and the Big Mama (blues, jazz).
6) Take part in a cooking class. Nothing better to learn how to prepare pasta like a real Italian chef and impress everyone upon your return from vacation. The city offers many private courses during which you will be completely immersed in the local gastronomic culture, from the creation of the pasta dough to the sauces that accompany them.
7) Discover Italian cinema during a guided tour of the filming locations of iconic movies such as The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1948) La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960) or To Rome with Love (Woody Allen, 2012) ; and attend film screenings in the Casa del Cinema (located in the Villa Borghese) or in the Arena of San Cosimato.
8) Enjoy a tasting of local products in the Campo di Fiori market (open daily, except Saturdays): crispbread dipped in artisan olive oil, ham, parmesan, tomatoes, homemade pastries and even wine… You can taste them all thanks to the generosity of the merchants!
9) Take care of oneself in a spa. Since the ancient times, the Romans have always devoted a significant part of their time to relaxation. Baths, massages, scrubs and other rejuvenation treatments are part of the local culture. Rome has a plethora of spas and thermal baths of which the best are the Victoria Regeneration Spa and the Acanto Day Spa.
10) Take a coffee break… On a shaded terrace during summertime or in a warm cosy place during wintertime: the coffee break is the ultimate Italian tradition. You don’t like coffee? This may be because you have not found your favorite yet. Espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, doppio, ristretto, lungo, schiumato etc… The possibilities are numerous, especially at Caffè Sant’Eustachio and La Casa del Caffè Tazza D’oro, two historic sites close to the Pantheon, considered among the best cafes in the city.
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