Rome

Things to do in Rome

Even if you just stick with the iconic sights— such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the Vatican—you wouldn’t have any problem figuring out things to do in Rome. And there are also plenty of other things to do in Rome underneath the city—seeing the ancient tombs, bones, catacombs and other archeological treasures. An outstanding private collection of the noble Borghese family went public when they lost their fortune in the late 1800’s; today it’s the world’s most perfect small art museum. The works at Borghese Museum & Gallery are immediately impressive and provocative, from ancient Roman mosaics of gory amphitheater scenes to the topless statue of Pauline Bonaparte by Canova. Annibale Gammarelli is a tiny boutique in Old Rome has been an official tailor of papal Cossacks since 1792, but today Roman dandies flock to this Sartoria per Ecclesiastici in search of knee-high socks in cardinal red, bishop purple, or sober black. Rumor has it that a leading fashion designer or two has also been seen in the shop, buying up yards of clerical brocade and silk damask. Cufflinks and gloves are among a selection of ecclesiastic accessories that are popular with fashion-forward types.
As the oldest paper producer in Europe (founded in 1264), Fabriano Boutique not only invented the watermark, but also supplied artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Goya. Today, the company’s chain of boutiques still stocks exquisite handmade stationery and cards, as well as leather-bound notebooks, desk accessories, and art supplies. What to do in Rome with kids? Treat them to plenty of gelatos. Gelateria dei Gracchi may look spare, but its fruit flavors deliciously follow the seasons and, grownups will love their chocolate-and-rum frozen sensation, which uses pure fondant rather than the usual cocoa powder.

Regardless of your faith, encountering the splendid ceremony of the Catholic Church can be one of the most memorable events on a trip to Rome.

A longtime favorite of the artsy crowd who mingles here—and who know it simply as La Vineria. Its walls are lined with 600 wine labels.

Italy’s largest airport served more than 36 million passengers in 2010. Located in Fiumicino, approximately 20 miles from Rome’s historic center, this bustling airport is a hub for Alitalia.

Take a “time out” from the hustle and bustle of Rome and wander the gravel paths of public park Villa Sciarra, named after the adjacent 17th-century Barberini family villa.

There are no lavish, aspirational lifestyle displays à la Williams-Sonoma at this excellent back-to-basics cookware emporium; instead, the utilitarian racks overflow with nondecorative tools made of wood and stainless steel plus simple machines like tomato mills or Bialetti stove-top espresso mak

Named after King Louis IX, this church was built as a house of worship for French people living in Rome in 1518. The Italian marble façade and interior with touches of gold was constructed with funds from Catherine de Medici, who was married to King Henry II of France.

The Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO) is a contemporary art museum comprised of two separate locations. The original museum is housed in the restored 20th-century Peroni brewery with a glass-and-steel extension added by French architect Odile Decq.

Started in 1982, this interior design shop takes its namesake from owner Ilaria Miani, an Italian interior designer who is known for her proficiency in Italian rustic architecture and blending ancient and modern designs.

Famous for its luxurious cotton socks in bright, multicolored stripes, this Italian label also makes similarly vibrant clothes and accessories for men, women, and kids. Candy-colored bathing suits, neckties, tote bags, and sneakers make terrific sartorial souvenirs.

Coffee in Italy (and the culture that surrounds it) is a completely different animal than what you’re used to back home (e.g., Starbucks). When in Rome, stop in for caffè and cappuccino at as many different bars as you can.

Rome's hippest nightclubs are located among the reclaimed industrial buildings in Testaccio. As of late, this sleek dance club is the favorite of the clubbers that mingle around Via Galvani.

Gracchi looks spare—clinical even. But a just-delivered crate of wild strawberries fragrantly reassures you. So does Gracchi’s pistachio gelato, considered Rome’s best. It’s alive with the flavor of fresh-roasted Bronte nuts from the slopes of Mount Etna.