Traveling Throughout Europe :-)
Hi! I've been in Rome for two weeks and have TWO more fabulous weeks to spend here (I'm LOVING it).
Aside from the usual "Things to Do", I am looking for suggestions of more off the beaten path things to do that are either FREE or super cheap. Also potential day trips from Rome.
I love being outdoors and walking around. My style is to simply walk and discover.
Also - any delicious food recommendation that are friendly to a backpackers budget?
Try to stay in Roma Trastevere it is the most vibrant area and very easy to travel to the main sites by bus or tram. There are a lot of locals there so you can get better quality food for cheaper. Don't use taxi's, the bus service is easy to figure out with a bit of homework and they don't cost you an arm and a leg. The Pantheonis a must. the surrounding square also has great coffee shops. The best is hidden just up the block. It is called Tazza D'Oro Coffee Shop. Try the hot chocolate if it is a cold day. The best place to eat for real italian pizza, locals hanging out and a unique experience is Pizzeria ai Marmi. Affectionately known as the Mortuary because the tables are all marble slabs, it is cramped and busy and vibrant and fun and the food is UNBELIEVABLE. Back at the Pantheon, from there you can walk very easily to Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Colosseum , the Roman Forumand end up at the Palatine Hill . I used to be a tour guide there. I always suggested a 1. Roman forum and colosseum day, 2. Pantheon, Trevi, Spanish steps and then shopping day and 3. Vatican day with lunch somewhere with a view like the Capitoline Hill. Assuming you have down all of that, you have covered the main sites. For more quirky fun things: 1. Buy some good bread at the supermarket and then go to Campo de’ Fiori in the early morning and sample the olive oils and balsamic vinegars at the market that is there daily. 2. Enroll in Gladiatior School for a day. Its a bit touristy but fun. 3. Visit the cat sanctuary at Largo Argentina (just down the road from the Pantheon.) 4. Get an amazing view of Rome through the Knights of Malta Keyhole on Aventine Hill. Use the footpath Via San Sabina to Piazza Cavalieri di Malta. You’ll also get a great view of Trastevere and St Peter from the Orange Garden at Santa Sabina. 5. Recreate your own Roman Holiday movie scene and take a Vespa Tour by night. 6. Head to the Capuchin Crypt (Church of Santa Maria della Concezione) to see the bones of some 4,000 dead Capuchin monks and decayed skeletons strangely arranged in the most beautiful and decorative designs. That should do it!
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Try to see the sunset in Piazza del Popolo. There's like a hill behind the park. Great view!!!!
My absolute favorite thing to do in Rome is grab an outdoor table in Piazza Navona, drink a bellini and people watch. The setting is epic, there are equal parts tourists and locals - kids eating ice cream, people moving about doing their daily routines, and the backdrop of those gorgeous Bernini fountains.
Have someone direct you to the door that you can peek through the keyhole, to see the Popes secret garden. Right by this is some wondeful catacombs, and a private school for children that you can watch playing in the yard. Really neat area inside Rome by Vatican City.