Rome Italy skyline

Things to do in Rome

Unique Ideas for Rome Italy Sightseeing

Looking for the best things to do in Rome? There are so many choices for attractions in Rome it can be overwhelming.

If you would like do something a little different from the ordinary...you've come to the right place!

Here are a few Rome italy sightseeing ideas that are our favorites, unique or off the beaten track.

Best Rome Markets

Rome is a city with many outdoor markets or Rome open air market. This is a great way to get away from the crowded Rome attractions and slow down the pace of life on your Rome Italy vacation.

There are daily Rome markets in many neighborhoods. This is how the Romans shopped from it's early history and many of the markets remain.

Campo de Fiori Market Rome Italy

The other type of market you will find is the Rome Flea Market. These are generally only open on Sundays or limited to certain days or weekends in a month. Antiques, collectibles, vintage and used items are generally for sale at these flea markets.

A visit to a Rome market is a great thing to do in Rome if you love to shop, are looking for a deal, are staying in an apartment rental in Rome and need to buy groceries or just want to get a feel for daily life in the city.

Best Rome Walks

You can hardly avoid adding walks to your things to do in Rome list. There are many wonderful walks in Rome....here are some favorite and unique ones to consider.

  • Gianicolo Passagietto walk to the Vatican. This a lovely, peaceful walk through tree-lined streets with beautiful views of Rome!
  • Night Walk in Rome - Take a Rome walk in the cool of the evening to see the sights of Rome all lit up. See the heart of old Rome by starting at Piazzao Navona, then head toward the Pantheon, on to the Trevi Fountain and finish at the Spanish Steps. If you would prefer to not walk, consider this Rome-by-Night-Tour

  • Rome Trevi Fountain at night

  • Favorite Walking Tour of Rome - We discovered this great walk in Rome through charming streets and interesting neighborhoods on one of our Rome Italy vacations.

Best Catholic Things to Do in Rome

If you are looking for things to do in Rome that will "feed your soul" check out these ideas....


    Holy Stairs Santa Scala Rome Italy
  • Holy Stairs - The Scala Santa are the marble steps from Pontius Pilate's Palace that Jesus climbed on the day he was sentenced to be crucified. St. Helena, Emperor Constantine's mother, brought them back from the Holy Land.

    Pilgrims from around the world climb the wooden-covered steps on their knees in reverence and remembrance of Jesus saving sacrifice. There are a few places where you can see the steps stained with His blood.

  • Gregorian Chant - Consider visiting the Cistercian Community of Santa Susanna on Sundays.... Mass in the Church is sung in Gregorian chant at 5 PM and Vespers and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is at 6 PM. Also, there is Gregorian Chant for Vespers Monday-Saturday at 7:15pm at Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino.
  • Pope and Sunday Angelus - See the Pope and get a papal blessing at 12noon on Sundays in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus. You will see him at the window of the Papal residence above the square.

Best Cultural Things to Do in Rome

There are many things to do in Rome that are cultural including music, theatre, opera, ballet and more. Here are a couple of unique options to check out.

  • Opera House in Rome performs concerts, operas and ballet at the Caracalla Baths in July and August. This is a unique experience in an ancient setting!
  • Roman Nights at the Theatre Marcello - classical concerts every evening from July to September in an unique, ancient setting. There is a variety of music with Chamber orchestras and top soloists from around the world.

Best Churches in Rome

Exploring churches is one of our favorite things to do in Rome. There is literally a church around almost every corner. You will find fantastic art, fascinating relics and ancient history at these holy places.

  • St. Peter's Bascilica - of course! This church is amazing.....the size alone takes your breath away. Also, there is Michelangelo's beautiful Pieta, the bronze statue of St. Peter, St. Peter's tomb under the altar, the crypt of Blessed John Paul II, the ornate main altar by Bernini, the embalmed body of Pope John XXIII and the breathtaking view from the top of the Dome.
  • St. John Lateran Rome Italy St. Bartholomew
  • St. John Lateran, San Giovanni in Laterano - The inscription on the facade says "The Mother and Head of all the churches in the city and in the world". This important church was the Papal home for over 1000 years. The Cosmatesque floor, a style of geometric decorative inlay stonework typical of Medieval Italy, is quite distinctive.

    My favorite part of this majestic church are the gigantic statues of the apostles. Try to identify each apostle and his symbol.

    From the entrance on the left - Simon with a saw, Bartholomew with his skin & a flaying knife (he was skinned alive), James the Less with a book & walking stick, John the Evangelist with a book (Gospel) and an eagle, Andrew with an X-shaped cross (he was crucified on X-shaped cross), Peter and keys

    From entrance on the right - Thaddeu and a lance, Matthew and a book (Gospel), Philip and a cross overwhelming a dragon, Thomas with a set square and cross with dove, James the Great with a Pilgrim's Staff (missionary), Paul with a sword and book

    A precious relic is found incorporated into the high altar - a table on which St. Peter supposedly celebrated the Eucharist. The table is from the home of St. Pudens where the Apostle St. Peter stayed.

  • Santa Croce Gerusalemme, Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, is another one of our favorite churches. It is much smaller and less known than many of the other churches in Rome but it contains some treasures! The church structure is from about 325 and at one time the floor of the church was covered with soil from Jerusalem. St. Helena, Constantine's mother brought back relics of the Passion from Jerusalem.

    Passion Relics Santa Croce Gerusalemme Rome Italy

    The relics include 2 thorns from the crown of Christ, a nail and 3 small pieces of the True Cross. They are beautifully displayed in the Cappella delle Reliquie in a reliquery which visitors can view very closely. There are more relics in the chapel including: piece of the Good Thief's cross, bone of finger that St. Thomas supposedly put in the side of Christ and small pieces of....pillar where Jesus was scourged, Christ' tomb, the crib of Jesus and grotto of Bethlehem.

    The Chapel of St. Helena contains some soil from Calvary, mosaics from the 1400s and an altar with a large statue of St. Helena.

Hope these favorite things to do in Rome help you plan the best Rome vacations.

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