You don’t get to be the Eternal City without keeping some pace with the modern world. Sure, the warmest of the European capitals has plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel—but when you visit Rome, the most irresistible quality may be how its modern-day trattorias and sleek coffee bars happily co-exist with ancient treasures, and how even hallowed spots like the Pantheon come to life with chatter and cappuccino drinkers after dark. Read on in this Rome travel guide to bring the millennia and marvels of this city into focus.
Things Not to Miss in Rome
• Tossing a few coins to get acquainted with the Fountains
• Walk through Ancient Rome
• Enjoying a cappuccino (or several) at a variety of coffee bars (don’t forget to tip)
• Tucking into a Roman-style pizza, followed by a gelato
• Explore Vatican City
• Browse the cutting-edge fashion boutiques in the “new” Monti (formerly ancient Rome’s red-light district)
• Check out the base of Monte Testaccio—a unique city-country hybrid right in Rome, where goats graze above nightclubs
When to Go to Rome
Most people travel to Rome in the summer, but keep in mind that it gets hot and crowded in the afternoons this time of year. Some other seasonal factors to consider for your Rome travel: Spring and fall—March to May and September to November—are the best times for sightseeing, since the temperatures are mild. Winter can be chilly, but not frigid, and it a little better for avoiding the crowds.
Weekday mornings mixing with salt-of-the-earth Romani dei Roma at Testaccio’s covered produce market.
Walking around the base of Monte Testaccio—an eye- popping slice of rural life right in the city, where goats graze above clubs that blast techno by night. (It’s also an archaeological site of an ancient Roman amphora dump.)
Exploring the “new” Monti (formerly ancient Rome’s red-light district) by browsing cutting-edge fashion boutiques on Via Leonina or getting your hair blown out at fab salon Contesta Rock on Via degli Zingari.