Your travel guide to the Eternal City
Welcome to our ‘Dream and Plan’ series. In this series of posts we will take you through the highlights of Italy – starting here with your ultimate Rome travel guide. Here you can learn all the basics of this fascinating city – where to stay, what to do, how to get around and everything in between.
We will be updating this post every so often, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back for new information! If you can’t travel right now, let these posts serve as inspiration. Dream and plan your ideal Italian getaway, and when international travel is once again possible, Monastery Stays is here to help!
The electric atmosphere, imposing historical monuments and vast array of art from over the centuries make Rome a traveller’s paradise. Add in their exceptional cuisine (that extends well beyond pizza and pasta), and you have a recipe for the ideal tourist city. Many people return to Rome, not content with just one visit.
The area surrounding Vatican City (including the famous Prati district) is popular for obvious reasons. Being a stone’s throw from St. Peter’s Square has its advantages, from being able to catch a Papal Audience to beating the crowds in the morning to explore the Basilica and Vatican Museums. With Metro links nearby to take you to other parts of Rome, the Vatican can be a great choice for your time in Rome.
If you want to be near the ancient history of the Roman Empire, then consider a stay near the Colosseum. The centre of life in Rome in days gone by, the Colosseum and adjacent Roman Forum are breathtaking. This popular area is full of restaurants, cafes and plenty to see and do. For history buffs, there are few better places on the planet to explore.
Maybe you’d prefer to stay right in the beating heart of the city? A short walk from the Pantheon, Piazza Navona or the Spanish Steps? The historic centre of Rome holds a dizzying array of attractions. Step out the front door of your monastery guest house, wind your way through the cobblestone streets and find yourself staring at the Trevi Fountain. Throw a coin over your shoulder and head over to the Quirinal Palace. You’ll never want to leave this enchanting part of Rome!
Other excellent areas include Trastevere, a charming suburb south of the Vatican. For the convenience of being close to Termini Station, Repubblica is a great option. Or to experience a lovely part of town near the famous Villa Borghese, you could consider the area around Via Veneto.
Roman cuisine is, in a word, sensational. Want to try some authentic Roman pasta? Look no further than cacio e pepe, carbonara or amatriciana. Fresh produce abounds in the famous markets in Campo dei Fiori, while you can find trattorias all over the city serving traditional Roman fare. To live like a local, start your meal with a serve of suppli, arancini-like rice balls native to Rome.
Of course, Rome is also full of all the best Italian staples – pizza, gelati, coffee and plenty of other traditional options are everywhere!
Wine from the surrounding areas in Lazio are also highly regarded, with white wine the more commonly produced type.
Sitting in the heart of Rome is the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, housed in the villa which shares the same name. Nestled off a bustling street in between the Pantheon and Piazza Venezia, this truly breathtaking gallery doesn’t have the crowds you might find at other Roman attractions. Take a tour through the various opulent rooms, with walls adorned with priceless artwork. Here you’ll find pieces by Velazquez, Titian, Caravaggio and Raphael. A truly incredible collection!
Two streets away from the Doria Pamphilj Gallery is Palazzo Colonna, home to a similarly breathtaking collection of art. An opulent palace, stunningly adorned royal apartments and immaculately manicured gardens round out this grand complex. Palazzo Colonna is only open on Saturday, however you can book a private tour seven days a week. The tours are run by expert guides in English, Italian, French and Spanish.
We have written extensively about Rome travel. We’ve compiled the following list of previous blog posts about the Eternal City for your reference. Happy planning!
- Rome from home – Colosseum
- Rome from home – Vatican Museum
- Where to stay in Rome – Vatican
- Where to stay in Rome – Colosseum
- Vatican City – photo essay