Rome Travel Guide

rome travel guide italy

First off, we have to say that we loved Rome SO much more than we expected to. Andrew had been there years ago and it was my first time. A few people had told us to skip it all together and that it’s just too touristy. After spending a total of nine days there, we couldn’t disagree more! It has history around every corner, so much to discover, and the food is INCREDIBLE as long as you know where to look. Just make sure you wear really comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing tons of walking! So, here’s our full Rome Travel Guide & Itinerary which includes everything we did, where we ate, and all of our absolute musts!

Where to Stay

St. Regis Rome – This was our first stop in Italy and we loved it. Beautiful architecture, centrally located, and it has the best breakfast buffet around! 

Hotel Eden – We stayed here for a few days during the last leg of our trip. It was chic, charming, and beautiful. Highly recommend checking out their rooftop Il Giardino restaurant & bar – it has an incredible view!  

Where to Eat

Checchino Dal 1887 – This might just be our favorite restaurant in Rome! It was recommended to us by locals last year and they were SO right. It’s not touristy and the food is so delicious! We ordered A LOT: bruschetta sampler of 7, Roman artichoke, rosemary potatoes, broccoli, cacio e pepe, rigatoni al sugo di coda (oxtail and tomato sauce), a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, tiramisu, and salted caramel panna cotta. We can’t recommend this place enough, you have to check it out! Here’s a recap of our experience.

Armando al Pantheon – Highly recommend going here! It’s such a great spot and the staff/chef are all so nice. You can’t go wrong with their pasta and the mozzarella was as good as we had anywhere!

Il Vero Alfredo – The absolute best Alfredo pasta we’ve ever had and it’s where the famous dish originated! They also had so many other amazing dishes – we can’t wait to go back. Check out our recap of it here.

Dar Poeta – The first bite of pizza we took in Rome and it may have something to do with why we loved the city so much. Located in Trastevere, casual, fun – DON’T miss it! 

Mimi e Coco – There are two locations in Rome, one in Trastevere and one at Via del Governo Vecchio (near the Pantheon where we went). My good friend and hairstylist Jessica Canzoneri recommended this along with many other places that didn’t disappoint. It had a really fun and lively vibe. Great for aperitivo and we went back for the lasagna after hearing it was a must. It was worth the trek and the meatballs should also not be missed! 

Felice a Testaccio – We can’t recommend this restaurant enough. Don’t leave Rome without trying their iconic Cacio e Pepe. See a reel on this here.

felice a testaccio cacio e pepe and pasta italian restaurant in rome travel guide italy 

CasaManco – Our friends Julia and Pino recommended this to us and it’s one of our favorite spots in Rome. The most delicious and unique pizza combinations served BY THE SLICE! They’ll even cut it based on exactly how much you want – the best news for anyone who wants to try a little bit of everything. Their bread and flavors are out of this world, especially paired with a lemon peroni. You can’t go wrong – TRY IT. 

La Tavernetta 29 da Tony e Andrea – We came for the penne alla vodka that many in this community recommended and it was simple & delish. Andrew ordered the carbonara and it was one of his favorites. Known for being family-run and serving up traditional cuisine.

Taverna Trilussa – Very iconic spot that definitely lives up to the hype. Everything was delish! Be sure to order the pastas. 

taverna trilussa pasta italian restaurant in rome travel guide italy

Osteria Da Fortunata – Great handmade and hearty pasta dishes. Come hungry! We liked their traditional roman pastas. the fettuccine al sugo, and tiramisu. Fraschetteria Giampiccolo – Loved this little spot we stopped by during our last couple of days in Rome – we couldn’t leave without trying porchetta and it did NOT disappoint!

Da Enzo al 29 – Well known spot in Trastevere – highly recommend. Although Enzo, who the restaurant is named after, passed away in the 80’s, the family that owns the restaurant has continued on his legacy by running the tavern the same way he did. Their fried artichokes were our favorite! Note that they’re closed on Sundays! 

Roscioli – Several locations that are great – we went to their Salumeria con Cucina which we loved. Their cured meats, tortellini, and house cocktail are our top recommendations.  

roscioli salumeria con cucina italian restaurant in rome travel guide italy

All’antico Vinaio – The BEST sandwiches – “La Paradiso” was our favorite. It has pistachio cream, stracciatella, hazelnuts, and mortadella. The original location is right in the heart of Florence. We dream about their sandwiches – PURE JOY.

CiPASSO Bistrot – Their ravioli cacio e pepe is a MUST and their fresh ricotta mousse with marinated pears inside cognac, roasted hezelnuts, lime and chocolate crumble was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.

Alfredo alla Scrofa – They claim to be the restaurant where fettucine Alfredo originated and technically, it’s partially true. Many still consider Il Vero Alfredo to be the ones who created the dish but it’s both. Alfredo di Lelio owned Alfredo alla Scrofa, created the fettucine Alfredo, and then sold the restaurant. He then opened Il Vero Alfredo where his grandchildren run the restaurant to this day. We prefer Il Vero Alfredo but Alfredo alla Scrofa is still good (just a bit more touristy)!

Tonnarello & Nannarella – It took us a few days in Rome before we realized these two hotspots are connected (same owners, same menu from what we could tell). We heard great things about them before arriving in Rome and went to Nannarella on our first night there. Located in Trastevere and very busy. The food is tasty, the place is packed, and it was good but there are some even greater places in Rome that are less frequented.

Bona – Pizza by the slice, similar to CasaManco!

Emma Pizzeria – Good place to stop for a quick lunch.

Pimm’s Good – Great for a spritz break or espresso pick-me-up! We also heard their pasta was tasty as well. 

Rooftop Bars – All of these options are centrally located, have a great view of the city, are perfect for sunset and serve delicious cocktails.

Adèle Mixology Lounge

Terrazza Borromini

Zuma Restaurant – Their bar is above the restaurant and has a nice view. We ate at their restaurant and it’s a solid alternative if you’re feeling like Asian flavors after all the pasta you’ve been eating.

Il Giardino bar at Hotel Eden – Mentioned this above. It’s not on the rooftop but it has a great view from the highest floor. We ate at the restaurant next to it (La Terrazza) and that also has a nice view.

Bar at Vittoriano

Cafes and Gelato

Giolitti – The best gelato we had in Rome! Get the pistachio and hazelnut. 

Antico Caffè Greco – Near the Spanish Steps and is great for pastries and coffee – the shakerato was my favorite and the closest I could find to an iced coffee in Italy haha 

Frigidarium – Popular gelato place – delicious!

Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè – Another nice spot to enjoy some coffee and pastries.

Pompi – Famous for their tiramisu – many locations Dolce Delizia Cornetteria – The Roman equivalent to a croissant – so good!

Here are a couple restaurants that we heard are great but we didn’t get a chance to go to: Checco er Carrettier and Piperno

What to Do

Grano & Farina Cooking Class – An absolute highlight of our trip! If you follow along on IG you may remember that we extended our trip just to make this class. Well… It was the best decision we could have made. We ended up taking 2 classes, Docli Italiani and Pizza Making, and learned so much. The owner’s, Chef Pino and Sfoglina Julia, are absolutely amazing. They’re not only the most welcoming and kind people, but they also taught us so much in a short period of time. We loved that this was far from your typical showy cooking class geared towards tourist entertainment. You actually felt like you were in culinary school and they shared the most useful tips & tricks. We also have to mention that it was the best food we had in Rome. See a reel on this here and check out their site here!

Colosseum – of course! 

Walk around Trastevere – Cute area with beautiful buildings/architecture that is reminiscent of a story book setting. Young vibe, lots of locals, and GOOD FOOD. 

Orvieto – It’s just over an hour train ride from Rome and is WELL worth it if you have time. It’s a beautiful little town perched on top of a hill in Umbria. It also has a huge duomo, lots of little shops and restaurants we ate at La Buca di Bacco di Edy), and so many streets and alleyways to get lost in.

Campo de’ Fiori Market

Giardino Degli Aranci – Our favorite sunset spot!

Gianicolo Hill – Another great spot to see the sunset

Piazza Navona 

Trevi Fountain 

trevi fountain in rome travel guide italy

Vatican/St. Peter’s Basilica/Sistine Chapel – HIGHLY recommend early access and Skip The Line. Otherwise, chances are you will be there all day, packed in like a sardine. Our tour guide, @davidebelloguide, is the best! He has SO much knowledge and made the experience super fun and seamless.

Pantheon Altar of the Fatherland – Breathtaking monument that commemorates the unification of Italy in 1861 

Farfa Abbey – Our friends from Grano & Farina invited us to the countryside to see their beautiful home in Sabina. It’s only an hour away from Rome by train and well worth checking out. It was incredibly peaceful and such a treat on our last day there – they made it pretty hard to leave. They took us to a quaint, charming, and historical spot called Farfa Abbey. It belongs to the Benedictine Order and it was absolutely stunning. If you’re looking for some adventure off the beaten path we would highly recommend checking it out. We saw the beautiful church, the school, and a ton of small artisanal shops. We also heard there’s an amazing cheese shop that was closed on the day we were there. We feel so lucky to have been able to see this place. Grano & Farina also offers some classes in this region so check out their availability here.  

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1 (Get all the touristy places out of the way early – it’s going to be a LONG day!)

  • Check into hotel
  • Coffee and pastries at Antico Caffè Greco
  • Spanish Steps and window shopping nearby
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Walk to Giolitti for gelato (Save some room to eat a lot more!)
  • Split a sandwich with a friend at All’Antico Vinaio (It’ll be your new favorite sandwich!)
  • Walk to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona
  • Lunch at Mimi e Coco
  • Head over to the Vittoriano
  • Walk to the Roman Forum
  • Go to the Colosseum and enjoy the view!
  • Watch the sunset at Giardino Degli Aranci (don’t forget to grab a bottle of wine and enjoy the view! Another option is Gianicolo Hill)
  • Dinner at Checchino Dal 1887
  • Drinks at Adèle Mixology Lounge (also a great spot for sunset)

Day 2

  • Breakfast at St. Regis hotel
  • Vatican/St. Peter’s Basilica/Sistine Chapel
  • Lunch at Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
  • Gelato at Frigidarium
  • Walk around and enjoy the city!
  • Aperitivo and sunset at Terrazza Borromini
  • Dinner at Armando al Pantheon

Day 3

  • Breakfast at hotel or local cafe
  • Grano & Farina cooking class
  • Grab a light bite at CasaManco
  • Lunch at Dar Poeta
  • Walk around Trastevere
  • Check out Ponte Sisto
  • Sunset and aperitivo at Zuma Restaurant rooftop bar
  • Dinner at Felice a Testaccio, Da Enzo al 29, Taverna Trilussa, or Il Vero Alfredo

giardino degli aranci park in rome travel guide italy

If you liked this Rome travel guide & itinerary and are interested in checking out more about Italy, we have several here!

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