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Rome Backpacking Guide

Rome Backpacking Guide

Rom – the Eternal City has an infinite amount of things to see and do! Home of so much history, the Vatican, incredible food, and so much more. You can even technically visit two countries as Vatican City is internationally recognised as an independent state! It can be overwhelming to plan your time in a city with such vast options, so we’ve come up with the Rome backpacking guide!

Backpacking Guide Rome

General Tips

Rome is an ancient city, so be prepared to walk a lot during your stay. Underground metro lines aren’t as far reaching as they might be in other cities. But having said that, the surroundings will capture you so much you won’t even realise how far you end up walking!

We recommend wearing comfy shoes for your travels around Rome, and bring a reusable water bottle as the city has tons of free fountains (taps) where you can fill up on some fresh aqua. Just make sure you don’t confuse them with the monument fountains!

Entrance to churches and religious sites may be denied if your clothing is deemed unacceptable. For example, bare shoulders, short dresses, etc could be a problem. And this applies to all genders. We suggest bringing a light scarf to with you to ensure you won’t be denied entry.

Ancient Rome

First on the Rome backpacking guide is the ancient city. The Colosseum is likely where you’ll want to start. If you want to tour the interior, we recommend it! The ticket will also give you access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Other famous sites to see include: Capitoline Hill, Oppian Hill, Circus Maximums, and the Pantheon. These are all within walking distance from each other!

But the ancient history doesn’t stop there. You can find archaeological sites literally all over the city, and many have yet to be discovered. For example, Vicus Caprarius is a stones throw away from the Trevi Fountain! Only discovered in 1999, it’s alternatively known as the City of Water as its home to ancient aqueducts!

Churches & Holy Sites

What’s a visit to Rome without seeing some of the most grand churches of the Catholic faith? St. Peter’s Basilica is our first recommendation for things to see in Rome! This is the church of the Pope, and is located in Vatican City. While here, you can also visit the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Dome, the Catacombs, and the Sistine Chapel.

St. John Lateran, St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, and Santa Maria Maggiore are all worth a visit as well! For something extra special, we recommend Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano. It’s a 12th century church, built on top of a 4th century church. And it doesn’t stop there. Below there, there exists a 2nd century Pagan temple. Rome is full of treasures like this!

Jewish Ghetto

Like many places throughout Europe, Rome fell victim to Nazi occupation in WWII. However, this wasn’t the first time the city had designated an area to Rome’s Jewish residents. Religious tensions between Christians and Jews were the reasons behind it’s initial construction. In WWII, it was used as a way for the Nazi’s to keep all Jewish residents together and decide their often unfortunate fate from there. You can find several Stolperstein (stepping stones) in the neighbourhood which mark the former homes of Holocaust victims.

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when you accidentally take the photo you didn’t know you wanted. I can explain if you can suffer through more history with Nat ? • • This is a shot of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome. Built in 1555 and demolished in 1888, it was the last remaining ghetto in Western Europe before the Nazis reintroduced them in WWII. The Nazis disrupted, invaded, and forcibly moved countless Jewish people (among others) from their homes into these ghettos. In nearly every city where Nazi occupation occurred, you can find a ghetto. And in every city the Nazis touched, you’ll find Stumble Stones, or Stolpersteine. Nat, why are you talking about rocks?! • • I’m talking about those three golden stones you see at the bottom right of the photo. In 1992, artist Gunter Demnig began this commemoration project, which has turned into the biggest decentralized memorial in the world, spanning 22 countries. These stones are placed in front of the former homes of Holocaust victims, and lists their name, birth date, where they were deported to, and when/where they died (if the info can be found). I wanted to get some new pics of the area on this trip, but I didn’t even realize the stones in this shot until last week. • • I pass countless stones daily in Frankfurt, and they remind me of a low we cannot sink to again. There are 10 stages to carrying out a genocide; America is already on stage 7. Just because we have advanced technology doesn’t mean there aren’t people dumb enough to believe hateful rhetoric. Let’s fight together to end this hate! • • #lightroom #teamkaptainkenny #diewocheaufinstagram #italy #roma #pursuepretty #romegram #createexplore #discoverrome #stolpersteine

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Other notable things to see in Rome

Like we’ve said, there are tons of things to see in Rome! Aside from all the sites we’ve already discussed, you should also see:


Italy is known for fashion, and Rome’s shopping options are endless! Via dei Condotti is worth visiting for window shopping some of the world’s most expensive designers! Via del Corso is where you’ll find more affordable options.

There are also tons of street vendors selling souvenirs, hats, scarfs, wallets, etc. Don’t be afraid to barter with the vendors, either! What’s a Rome Backpacking guide without mentioning this tip?!

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R O M E ! ? #shopping#saturdaymorning @studiocreazioni

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Day Trips from Rome

While there’s tons of things to see in Rome, you might need a break from the hustle and bustle! You can reach all these destinations within 30 mins – 1 hour away! Here are our top 4 suggestions:

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a small glimpse into heaven

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While Rome is located inland, you can access the Mediterranean quite easy from here! Within an hour from Rome, you can reach Ostia, Santa Marinella, and Anzio, which are all great beach locations!


Last but not least on our Rome backpacking guide is for the sports fans! Rome is home to TWO football clubs: A.S. Roma und S.S. Lazio! Catch some of that European football fever and see a game!

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Rome Backpacking Guide

And that’s our Rome Backpacking Guide! Looking for more information on this destination? Check out our Rome Food Guide! Rome is also included on our 43 Ziele, 43 Instagram Hot Spots, and 15 Muss europäischen Flohmärkte besuchen posts.

Book Alessandro Palace & Bar for your famous accommodation in Rome! With a rooftop bar, close to the train station, and an in house bar, it’ll meet all your needs!

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