This is a guest post by Sian from The Roman Guy.
Rome is a wonderful city to explore, because it has such a wide variety of activities to do. Particularly in the warmer months, there is a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy in and around the eternal city.
Here are 6 of the Best Outdoor Activities to add to your list next time you’re in Rome.
1. A Picnic in the Park
Rome is ideal for picnic-lovers, with a great selection of gorgeous parks to choose from. Villa Borghese, Villa Doria Pamphilj, Villa Ada and lots more. The supermarkets also have wonderful produce to choose from – cheeses, meats, pickled veggies and fresh breads to make the ultimate lunch basket!
Depending on where you are staying in Rome, start off by making your way to Villa Borghese or Villa Doria Pamphilj. Buy a tasty spread for a picnic lunch from one of Rome’s delis or supermarkets. Don’t miss out of Italy’s freshly baked breads, cold meats, many many cheeses, pickled veggies, carciofi, seafood selection, fresh tomatoes, wines, and and… Go and explore and make it special.
Villa Borghese is the fourth largest public park in Rome, and a popular because of it’s beautiful grounds and Gallery housing some of Bernini’s best work. This is probably Rome’s most well-known park and can be a little crowded at times.
- Address: There are many entrances to the park, with the main entrance at Gallery Borghese at Viale dell’Uccelleria
- Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset every day
Villa Doria Pamphilj is a historic residence that includes the largest public park in Rome. Located central-west, close to Trastevere, a gorgeous park with lots of different picnic spots to choose from. This is a less crowded more local park, and just as gorgeous as Borghese.
- Address: There are many entrances to the park, with the main entrance along Via di S. Pancrazio
- Opening Hours: 7am to sunset.
Local Tip: If you want to experience a more local side of Rome, Villa Doria Pamphilj is a much better option.
2. A Day of City Strolling
A lovely aspect about Rome, is that it’s often best discovered on foot. So, if you like being outdoors but don’t have a lot of time in Rome, get some fresh air while you walk through the winding streets of the eternal city. There is something special around every corner.
Rome is smaller than you think, so set aside a day where you can simply amble from one side to another. Zigzag through the streets, pop in and out of churches, taste local street foods, enjoy a caffè in a bookshop, relax on the steps of a piazza, get a gelato to cool off at the end.
If you want to see as much as you can on your city stroll, here is a suggested route:
Start at the Spanish Steps. Trevi Fountain. Pantheon. Piazza Navona. Campo de’ Fiori. Piazza Farnese. Ponte Sisto. Cross the bridge into the lovely area of Trastevere, and spend some time here exploring its charming streets. Enjoy an evening aperitivo or dinner in the bustling Piazza Santa Maria.
During your trip, you could allocate a morning or afternoon each day to a different city stroll. That way you can cover all areas, including the Colosseum, Vatican, and some of Rome’s best neighborhoods like Monti, Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto.
Local Tip: Fill up your reusable bottle at any of Rome’s 2500 fountains to keep you hydrated with fresh water as you explore.
3. See the Best of Rome on an Electric Bike
If you feel like a break from walking, but still want be explore outdoors with a breeze in your face, e-bikes are a great alternative.
Exploring Rome on a bike is lots of fun, especially on an electric bike as there is almost no pedalling necessary!
However, it can be a little hair-raising for some… with all the crazy driving and scooters all over the place. For this reason, instead of renting them out yourself, opt for an Electric Bike Tour of Rome where everything is organised for you, and you have an expert guide who’ll take you on the best route through the city.
You’ll get to see the Colosseum, Aventine Hill, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and and and… gelato!
You’ll see how easy these bikes are to ride, as you glide up Aventine Hill passing scooters on the way!
4. Walk along the Ancient Appian Way
For those willing to travel a little further, walking along the Ancient Appian Way, or Via Appia Antica, is a must-see!
This ancient road was built in 312 BC. It was basically an important stone highway, connecting the south of Italy. It was used for commerce, army pathways and more. It even had aqueducts, to provide water for those in transit!
Along this ancient road is lots to see. Many statues, monuments, ancient buildings, the Catacomb of Callixtus, an archeological site Capo Di Bove, and much more. However, the thing I love most about going for a stroll down Via Appia Antica is… the peace and quiet. It’s not far from Rome, and once you arrive and start walking down this ancient road you instantly feel relaxed. The while stone road is lined with trees, birds chirping, and overall a very peaceful atmosphere to spend an afternoon.
- How to get there: From Rome, start at the Metro station “Piramide”. From Piramide, take Bus 118, and get off at the “Catacombs of San Callisto” stop.
- Opening Hours: The Appian Way Regional Park does not close, so you can visit it whenever you like. However, some of the main attractions along it, like the Catacombs and the Circus of Maxentius, have particular opening hours. To get a complete list of opening times, visit Italian Parks website.
5. Take in the views
If you want to enjoy a gorgeous view of Rome, there are plenty places to head to.
One of the most beautiful panoramic viewpoints is Gianicolo Hill (Jianiculum Hill), not far from the area of Trastevere. If you plan a visit, be sure to visit for the daily 12 o’clock cannon that has been around since 1847. In those days, watches were expensive luxuries and church bells were rung at different times. So, the Pope Pio IX introduced this midday cannon to provide an accurate time for the city.
Another gorgeous viewpoint is the Giardino degli Aranci, the Garden of Oranges – a name given to Park Savello, located on the Aventino hill. The name was given to this pretty little garden from it’s many characteristic bitter oranges. Being very close to Circus Maximus, this is the perfect place to enjoy a break from the busy city, enjoying the gorgeous panoramic views of the eternal city. Right next to this garden you’ll also find The Knights of Malta Gate, where you can get a special peek-a-boo view of St. Peter’s dome through the keyhole on the gate – A hidden gem for sure.
6. Go for a Day Trip
Rome’s position in Italy is beautifully central, with an endless list of wonderful places to visit outside the city. If you’re coming to Rome, put aside a day where you can take a day trip and see something totally different.
Visit the exquisite gardens in Tivoli, the dying city of Bagnoregio, Frascati for local wine-tasting, the many beaches near Rome like the gorgeous Sperlonga. The options are limitless.
You could even visit must-see cities like Florence for the day. There is much to see in Florence so a few days would be ideal, but if you only have a day, go for it! Hope on a high-speed train and you’ll be there in 90min. Spend the day admiring incredible artwork’s like Michelangelo’s Statue of David or Caravaggio’s masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery. Enjoy Florence’s tasty food, and don’t forget to end of with an incredible gelato from Gelateria Santa Trinita. The perfect day out!
With so many options, your day trip from Rome will depend on what you want to do most. For more information, check out this blog post for more information on 5 easy day trips from Rome.
I hope you’ve found this useful, and that next time you plan a visit to Rome, you’re inspired to do some of the above outdoor activities. It’s a fabulous city for those whole love spending time outdoors, in nature or in the city soaking up the local life. Happy travel planning!
Sian Kate Lloyd
Author bio: Sian is an aspiring travel lifestyle writer and marketing voyager at The Roman Guy, an Italy tour operator and travel expert. Having moved to Rome over a year ago from South Africa, she is constantly out and about exploring the endless eternal city!