The best way to experience the essence of the city of Rome is by walking. You will not even miss the nooks and nuances of the ancient city. You will get the warm aroma coming out of a bakery, handmade leather goods made by craftsmen, the city square in a time warp, grandma hanging clothes and children running around on cobblestone-paved streets. Rome will always surprise you.
Though the city by itself is a museum, Galleria Borghese with its collections of antiquities, the Renaissance and the baroque art beginnings housed in a wonderful seventeenth-century villa presents an image of the Italian aesthetic. The Galleria visit has to be booked in advance and this gives you a chance to see Bernini Sculptures as well.
San Luigi dei Francesi
Here you can see the late Renaissance master Caravaggio’s most authoritative work after getting a feel of it at Galleria Borghese. You can see the painting ‘Calling of Saint Mathew’ in the Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi church. Two other works of Caravaggio St. Matthew and the Angel and Martyrdom of St. Matthew are also permanently displayed in the church. There is no entry fee, but you may have to put in a few coins so as to bring up lights to see the paintings.
Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum
You should not at any cost miss out on a guided tour of Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum where you can see the surrealistic masterpieces as well as the attic studio of De Chirico. The house in which he lived for over thirty years has been well preserved and gives you an idea as to how the upper crust lived for centuries.
Via del Governo Vecchio
Across Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum, you will see Via Condotti and on the other side of the downtown at Via del Governo Vecchio you can get the shopping experience of your life. You can buy whatever you want from bathing suits to fur.
Ponte Sisto Stroll
You can take the two-hour stroll to see quainter and affordable shops starting at Piazza Navona and heading south through Campo dei Fiori (the place for cafes, flowers and food) to Piazza Farnese with its Renaissance Palace and fountains. From there you can proceed to Ponte Sisto to see St. Peters Basilica.
Pizza al Taglio
It may so happen that you are hungry, but may not have the time for a sit-down lunch because of your hectic schedule. If it is so, you can try some of the best pizzerie al taglio. Near Trevi Fountain, Da Michele is the place for endless varieties of crisp kosher pizza. Another small pizzeria without a name is on Via del Piè di Marmo near Via del Gesù corner.
In Rome, you must visit Gianicolo, city of seven hills, to get a panoramic view of the city. At noon, you can hear a single cannon shot that marks the exact time. This tradition dates back to the nineteenth century. Another attraction at this place is the history lesson on Italian Risorgimento.
Your visit to Rome will not be complete without seeing the Pope on Sunday at noon at the Angelus prayer or Wednesday morning general audience in the Square or inside the auditorium. Two of the other things that you should not miss out when in Rome are food at Ristorante Al Presidente with its nice terrace and gelato at the famous Giolitti.