Enchanted by your first trip to Rome? Your second time will be even more exciting! Rome is a city with so much art, beauty, and humanity that finding new itineraries and sights to discover is never a problem. You'll feel like you're coming home – and looking for special and less known attractions will be that much easier. We've gathered some of our favorite things to do for your second Roman holiday – and we're sure that they will seal your relationship with the Eternal City!
It's almost impossible to visit all the main attractions during a first visit to Rome, and you probably missed some, too. How about the vestiges of Antique Rome? Did you visit the Forum and the Colosseum yet? Did you pay a visit to the magnificent Basilica of Saint Peter and the Vatican Museums with the many invaluable masterpieces on view there? Don't wait any longer – book your tickets to skip the line and dive into Imperial and Papal Rome! If you did see these famous sites, you may well want to come back for more – perhaps with a guided visit to deepen your experience and understand the works in their context.
The Borghese Gallery is one of the most important museums in Italy – and yet it is often missing from visitor's first taste of Rome. Step a little off the beaten path, make your way up into the Borghese Villa park, and discover this jewel! Lovers of the Baroque will be delighted, and you won't find a bigger collection of works by Bernini and Caravaggio in the world. The Borghese Gallery hosts the majority of cardinal Scipione Borghese's extraordinary art collection, masterpieces by some of the greatest artistic geniuses of the 16th and 17th century – including Raphael, Canova, Correggio, Caravaggio, Cranach, Titian, Bernini and Domenichino.
Alternately, you could discover ancient Rome with another unjustly overlooked museum – the National Roman Museum, hosting the archaeological collections of the city in four locations. A combo ticket will allow you to visit them all – starting with Palazzo Massimo and its splendid statues from ancient Rome, frescoes, mosaics, and what is considered the world's premier collection of Roman coins. Then there is Palazzo Altemps with the Egyptian collections, the Crypta Balbi with a wide variety of archaeological exhibitions, and the magnificent Diocletian Baths, the city's largest baths with impressive architecture plus Michelangelo's cloister of Santa Maria degli Angeli. For an in-depth experience, add the guided tour to your combo ticket.
Hungry? Once you have left the Diocletian Baths, head to the adjacent Piazza della Repubblica for a tasty and low cost stop. Try Er Buchetto (Via del Viminale 2F, 100 meters away from the Piazza), for excellent sandwiches with the best porchetta in Rome and other specialties, as well as great wine – perfect for a quick and light lunch.
If you'd rather start your day staying in one place and want to experience Rome through the goodness of the table, this is the activity for you - a late morning dedicated to the story and taste of the famous Fettuccine Alfredo. Under the expert guidance of the restaurant staff, using selected products, and following the principles of Alfredo alla Scrofa culinary art, you will learn the secrets behind preparing, cooking, and serving the original Fettuccine Alfredo, a dish loved by VIPs such as Maria Callas, Gary Cooper, and Marilyn Monroe. You'll get to work behind the scenes at the historical Alfredo alla Scrofa Restaurant, where you will of course also eat your lunch creation at the end of this special morning.
After lunch, take a stroll along Via Nazionale from the Piazza della Repubblica to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, which hosts fantastic temporary exhibitions as well as many fashion shops. Continue a little further on Via Nazionale, then take a right onto Via della Consulta. At the top of the hill you will find Piazza del Quirinale. Built in 1583 by Gregory XIII as a papal summer residence, the Quirinale palace is nowadays used as the official residence of the President of Italy. A charming walk down the Via della Dataria and then the Via dei Lucchesi will take you in a few minutes to the Fountain of Trevi, the unmissable Dolce Vita sight and Baroque icon.
Prefer to complete your day in an unusual way? A tour of the city on wheels might be just your ticket! If you're a fan of (mild) exercise and pedals, try the Bike Tour with guide, and visit Rome's most important squares and palaces, along alternative and picturesque routes.
Longing to try the Italian's favorite means of transportation? The Vespa Tour is a unique opportunity to do just that and experience the beauties of Rome at the same time! You have four Vespa tour options to choose from – the classic Grand Tour of Rome, or exploring the most magical places with the Secret Rome tour, or a visit to the periphery of the ancient city center with the Tour of the Hills, or a tour of Rome by Night, which will leave you breathless.
Rome is full of sightseeing options, but a journey out of town – to discover important archaeological sites, magnificent historical residences or timeless villages – can be an excellent option to enrich your trip and make it unforgettable. Some of our favorite day trip options include destinations such as Ancient Ostia, Tivoli, Naples and Capri, or Orvieto and Assisi. And if you'd rather stay in Rome, scroll down to a unique experience – the Angels and Demons Tour that will take you to the sites made even more famous by Dan Brown's bestseller.
Travel back in time as well as out of town! Just 32 kilometers away from Rome's center, Ancient Ostia is home to some of the best preserved Roman remains. Originally founded as Rome's harbor, Ostia grew with the power of the Empire, becoming a commercial town with almost 100,000 inhabitants. Ostia Antica is known for the many well-preserved apartments, taverns, shops, and mosaics, as well as for the amphitheater from the 12th century BC.
You’ll make the most of your day in Ancient Ostia with a tour - for example with the shorter Ancient Ostia Tour, which will take you from Rome to Ostia’s main sites and back. You can also choose to make your own way to Ostia and choose the more in-depth experience of the Private Guided Tour to Ancient Ostia, which starts directly at the gates to the archaeological district. Either way, you’ll travel back 2,000 years in time!
Curious to discover a settlement even more ancient than Rome? Take a day trip to enchanting Tivoli, about 30 km east from the city center. The two main sites are undoubtedly Hadrian's Villa and the magnificent gardens of the Villa d'Este, two jewels you cannot miss, both of them on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
Emperor Hadrian commissioned the architectural elements of his Villa in Tivoli to reflect the places he had visited on his campaigns and travels to the East – particularly Greece, which he ardently admired. Immersed in a park of over 100 hectares, Hadrian's Villa unites the best elements of the architectural heritage of Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the form of an 'ideal city'. The complex includes the remains of thermal baths, the Maritime Theater, the complex of the Canopus (formed by a large rectangular pool surrounded by sculptures), and the Museum, which preserves outstanding examples of the decoration of the villa.
Tivoli's Villa d'Este on the other hand is a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. The villa is beautifully built and decorated, but the real attraction is the park, one of the most beautiful in the world. Designed by Pirro Ligorio in the 16th century, and incredibly lively and full of decorations, caves, statues, and the exciting avenue of 100 fountains it was one of the first “giardini delle meraviglie” (gardens of wonder).
Make the most of your day in Tivoli by choosing a tour – the Tivoli tour takes you from Rome to discover the Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa Adriana, alternately you could make your own way to Tivoli and enjoy the two hour Private Guided Tour of Tivoli (starting from Hadrian's Villa).
Naples and Capri
Ready to whet your appetite for a future trip? Spend a day in the close-by destinations Naples and Capri! With this tour, you'll get a taste of some unmissable places – such as the picturesque historical center of Naples with the Royal Palace and the medieval Maschio Angioino castle. The tour begins with a visit to Capri island with the piazzetta and the Blue Grotto, famous for the unique colors of its water. You will fall in love with with both Naples and Capri – and be back!
Assisi and Orvieto
Leave Rome, and head north for a journey beyond the modern highways and large cities to discover the real Italy, where small ancient towns are just waiting to be discovered. Venture into the countryside of Umbria and southern Tuscany, and discover their cultural and agricultural treasures - Orvieto and Assisi, and the local wines and foods. Perched on a butte of volcanic tufa rock, the site of Orvieto is surely one of the most dramatic in Europe – but the Duomo is its crown, with one of the most stunning facades in Italy, adorned with bas-reliefs and mosaics. In the afternoon, after an enchanting drive through the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, you'll discover Assisi, birthplace of Saint Francis, nestled at the foot of the western flank of Mount Subasio. Our Assisi and Orvieto tour will show you the best of the region.
Angels and Demons
For a day out of the ordinary in Rome, join the Angels and Demons tour, inspired by the places of Dan Brown's bestseller. In addition to all of the sites mentioned in the book, the itinerary includes other popular sites of Rome, so you'll have a complete overview of the Eternal City. From the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums to the center of the city, including the Pantheon and the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, you'll discover some of Rome's most unusual secret places and points of view.
Your visit to Rome's Christian sites is worth the journey regardless of your religious orientation. Their importance goes far beyond being places of worship – these buildings witnessed defining moments in human history, and are home to some of the greatest works of art ever created. Discover the main sites with the Christian Rome tour, where an art and religion expert will guide you through centuries of history and faith.
Another classic itinerary includes the four Basilicas of the city – San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore, Saint Peter's Basilica, and San Paolo Fuori le Mura. Start your discovery from San Giovanni in Laterano (San Giovanni subway stop), the Cathedral of the dioceses of Rome and the official ecclesiastic see of the Pope. Its neoclassical facade is splendid, with five gateways characterized by fifteen great statues of Christ surrounded by saints. The finely decorated interiors are breathtaking – particularly the ceiling by the school of Michelangelo and the mosaic floor. Your second stop on this itinerary is nearby Santa Maria Maggiore (Vittorio Emmanuele subway stop). The largest Roman Catholic Marian church in Rome was built in 352. It has two magnificent chapels (the Sistine and the Pauline), and the truly breathtaking mosaics offer some of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary in late Christian antiquity.
Your unmissable next stop is of course Saint Peter's Basilica (Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani subway stop), the largest church of Christianity. Brave the 537 steps up Michelangelo's magnificent Dome and you will enjoy one of the best panoramic views in all of Rome. And while you're there, include the Vatican Museums in your visit. They are a Rome must – and you won't regret your visit to the marvelous Sistine Chapel and the papal apartments frescoed by Raphael. The final Basilica on your itinerary is Saint Paul Outside the Walls (San Paolo Fuori le Mura – San Paolo subway stop). Said to have been built over the final resting place of Saint Paul, it was consecrated in 324. Subsequently destroyed by a fire in 1823, it was restored over the original foundations. The facade is dominated by a glorious mosaic, and the interior is a triumph of beauty – marble, coffered ceiling, the ciborium (the canopy-like structure above the altar), and the resplendent gold mosaics of the apse.
For an altogether different experience of Rome, step into Underground Rome. You'll travel back in time through the overlapping layers of Rome's underground reality.
Complete your holidays in Rome by going beyond the much-visited Baroque districts, main sites, and fashion stores. For a full experience, venture into the popular districts. Here are two of our favorite choices.
The Tour into the former Jewish Ghetto departs from the Tiberine island on the Tiber river. Take this tour and you will discover the district created by Paul V in 1555, where Jewish people were required to live until after Rome became capital of Italy, in 1882. You'll see the Ottavia portico from the 2nd century, historic buildings belonging to some of the richest families of Rome (such as the Palazzo Albertoni Spinola and the Palazzo Capizucchi). And you'll walk through enchanting streets that lie outside the traditional tourist paths, full of picturesque views and the pulsing life of Rome.
Another option is the Trastevere and Janiculum Hill Tour. The Trastevere district still keeps its original character thanks to the winding cobblestone streets and medieval houses. The popular neighborhood is packed with excellent restaurants and night entertainment venues beloved by Romans from the entire city. And it includes beautiful churches such as San Crisogono and Sant' Agata, the oldest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Have a look at the temple of San Pietro in Montorio by Bramante at the top of the Janiculum hill – this is also the place to get the best view over the Eternal City and enjoy a final photo session to store up memories - until your next time in Rome!