Welcome to The Eternal City (Roma), the capital of Italy, found in the Lazio region. Rome is also known as the Eternal City or Caput Mundi. A unique city for the sheer number of archeological sites and things to do and visit.
As you all know by now, we love to make videos of the places we visit (see our #Vlog section), however, when I came across this video of Rome, the first thing I did was contact Oliver Astrologo (website link) and asked if I could use this for our post on Rome. He generously said yes and I cannot thank him enough for it. Enjoy this wonderful masterpiece on Rome and fall in love with The Eternal City, all over again. Oh and do not forget to read the ‘hidden’ treasures we found of course 😉
Welcome to The Eternal City
While you have probably all heard or even visited the biggest sites in The Eternal City (the Colosseum, the Vatican, Piazza del Popolo, Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona etc) there are also a lot of hidden treasures, within one of the most visited cities in Europe and the world! While we will do our best to keep adding new sites to the blog – it will not be easy getting to them all 😉 so if you think something belongs on this post – let us know via email@example.com.
Foro Romano (Roman Forum)
St. Paul Basilica (link to site)
Often snubbed for the more famous St. Peters Basilica, Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura (St. Paul Basilica outside the walls) is a true gem and easily accessible using Metro Line B (link).
This is a must visit when in Rome. Since you are on the Line B metro, you can work backwards and visit the Piramide Cestia (Pyramid of Cestius, yes! Even Italy has a Pyramid!), Circo Massimo, Colosseo, Cavour and finish at Termini, where you can change metro lines.
Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs
For those looking to explore another unique Basilica, where you will not find a horde of people, is the beautiful Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Piazza della Repubblica (stop Repubblica – Metro Line A (link) or approximately 700m from Termini Station on foot).
What makes this Basilica so unique? It is the last great architectural project of Michelangelo and Francesco Bianchini built a meridian line, a sort of sundial, within the basilica which was completed in 1702. What else makes this such a great Basilica to visit? There are never any line ups and it truly is a wonderful experience for all types of tourism – religious, art, culture, history. An all round experience.
You can check out the Basilica Website.
If you love food and more importantly Italian food, discovering the variety and delicacies Italy has to offer, Eataly is a must visit. It is also a great idea for original food/wine to bring back for yourself or your foodie friends!
Apart from being in a unique location (an old train station transformed into a hypermarket), here you have the chance to try a variety of local foods (from pizza/pasta to seafood) at reasonable prices. So it is also a great idea for a relaxed lunch enjoying quality Italian products. Ideal for a visit as it is easily accessible with Metro Line B or with the Lazio Regional Train (link – FR3 – Ostiense).
Eataly has become somewhat of a global sensation with shops in New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Istanbul and Dubai! See the Store Online.
Please do note that nowadays, more often than not, eating a good meal, at a good price in Rome, is becoming a rarity. This is a good option for a good lunch before continuing for the day. In our Restaurants post, we have provided you with a good list of places to try.
The Keyhole of Rome
You are wondering – what? A keyhole? Yes! Still a secret to many tourists, this is a great little site which is worth seeing. Why? For the breathtaking view of the Vatican, romance and proximity to ‘The Garden of Oranges’ (see below).
Found in Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, you take Metro Line B – stop Circo Massimo and a short 10 minute walk from there.
Have you been here? Share your photos and experience! Some people still do not believe this exists – we can assure you it does and it is always a ‘party favorite’! Did we mention that it is also free? The best things in life are normally free!
The market at Campo dei Fiori
The Garden of Oranges
Yet another free site with one very important unique point – breathtaking views over the city of Rome. This is a great place to visit (with some treats from Eataly) and have a little picnic in the park. Best part of visiting here? You are only a few meters away from ‘The Keyhole of Rome’ (see above).
We cannot stress enough how beautiful your photos will be and your friends will certainly be jealous 😉
Looking for a romantic walk? Breathtaking views? Your next photo in the office or at home or even your Facebook cover photo? Then the Gianicolo Hill is for you.
The Gianicolo walk (approximately 2km/1.2miles) is definitely a great way to impress your partner and for amateur or professional photographers alike, this is a great place to get a wonderful snapshot of the Eternal City. Not to mention a great way to burn all those calories from those delicious meals and glasses of wine you will enjoy during your stay. Lets not forget that Rome is home to the Vatican, so churches are plentiful and along the Gianicolo walk, there is no exception (see: S. Pietro in Montorio Church – link).
Piazza San Pietro, Vaticano (St. Peters Square)
Museum and Capuchin Crypt
Expect the unexpected in one of the most exclusive parts of Rome. This site is not for the faint of heart. The Capuchin Crypt is located in Via Veneto 27 (accessible via Metro Line A – Barberini stop) and is surrounded by the Barberini fountain, 4 star hotels and many ‘luxury’ (overrated) restaurants/bars. As you can expect, everything here is a tourist trap – except this place (6.00EUR entry – opening 9:00am – 6:30pm). More information on their Website.
*scroll down the site for information in English.
Described by Frommer’s as “one of the most horrifying images in all of Christendom”, here you will find five successive rooms decorated in ‘chapel like’ patterns and vignettes constructed entirely of human bones and mummified corpses. Yeap! You read correctly. Sure it is a little morbid but the history (constructed somewhere between 1732-75) it is still one of the best hidden treasures in Rome.
The Rome council has recently tried to push tourism back towards the Italian film studio’s Cinecittà. Accessibility is easy, as there is a Metro Line A – stop of the same name – Cinecittà. The studios were constructed during the Fascist era as part of a scheme to revive the Italian film industry by Mussolini. In the 1950s, after the studios were bombed and used as shelter in World War II, the number of international productions being made there led it to being dubbed Hollywood on the Tiber.
It is no Warner Brothers Movie world or anything to do with Hollywood today, however, like many things in Italy, it’s history is fascinating and for those that know movies such as Nero and Ben Hur or the likes of Sophia Loren or Federico Fellini – then this is a must visit. See full info, prices and times on the Cinecittà Website.
Note: On the first Sunday of every month, monuments, public museums and archaeological sites have free entrance. An initiative from the Rome council! More information Here
Have you been to Rome? What were your thoughts and experiences during your visit? Please make sure to tell us your story and what you discovered on your trip by leaving a comment below – we love to hear the perspective of other travellers visit our beautiful country.
Getting to and around The Eternal City?
Rome’s Central Station is Stazione Termini and is close to the historic center.
You can get from Fiumicino Airport using the Leonardo Express (link to site) to Termini. It is a non-stop train and leaves the airport every 30 minutes. Total time of travel approximately 30 minutes. Cost: 14.00EUR
Feeling adventurous or wanna feel like a local? Take the Regional F1 train from the airport in the direction for Orte, which will stop you at Trastevere, Ostiense, Tuscolana and Tiburtina. Ostiense and Tiburtina have metro access which can take you to Termini if required. It is a multi-stop train and leaves the airport every 15 minutes. Total time of travel approximately 50 minutes. Cost: 8.00EUR
From Ciampino (Rome’s secondary airport) you can take buses and a train to Termini. The Ciampino Airport Transport page (link to page) offers full details. Our recommendation is to go from Ciampino to Anagnina Metro Stop and from there stop in your required area. Full details at the ATRAL website (link to site). I personally use Moovit App as a trip planner. It is convenient and easy to use (and more importantly quite reliable).
The metro is not as extensive as probably Paris, London or New York, however, it is useful when visiting most of the major sites. The Metro Map (link to Rome.info) helps you understand the best way to get around. Tip: Termini is the central station so you can get to all metros from there.
Have a Car?
Lo Zodiaco – Viale del Parco Mellini, 88/92, 00136 Roma (link to Google map)
Looking to wander away from the city center or just wish to take a pleasant drive? Lo Zodiaco (The Zodiac) is certainly romantic, with breathtaking views. During the day, you will be able to see the Stadio Olimpico (a must see for Football/Soccer fans), piazzale Clodio, the Foro Italico and the quartiere Trionfale and Monte Mario areas. By night, with the city covered in lights, enjoy the ‘viale degli innamorati’, or ‘lovers lane’, for a truly unique and romantic experience in Rome.
While we have not added Lo Zodiaco in our favorite Restaurants list, the pasta is good and atmosphere is great. A little on the expensive side and the rest of the menu is standard but if you want to impress your partner, you cannot go wrong with the romantic atmosphere. Bookings required in spring and summer as it does get very busy.
The Madonna of Civitavecchia
Civitavecchia is located 80 kilometres west-north-west of Rome and it is a major cruise and ferry port, the main starting point for sea connection from central Italy to Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Tunis and Barcelona.
However if you are already on your way and want to see something particular of this town, which even the New York Times covered, then make sure to visit the Madonna of Civitavecchia. Check out the full story on the Civitavecchia Website.
On 2 February 1995, on the occasion of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of May, a small statue of the Madonna portraying the Queen of Peace and coming from Medjugorie, started to cry blood tears in the garden of a family living in the parish of S. Agostino at Civitavecchia. Read the 1995 article from The New York Times (link)
Have you been to The Eternal City? What did you love and discover, that you discovered from a local?