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Take Viator With You – Download Our Insider’s Guide to Rome

At Viator, our goal has always been to help travelers find the best things to see and do around the world. Our team of travel insiders handpicks every tour, our mobile apps keep you connected on the go, and our blogs bring you tips and advice from real locals. Now you can also download our Insider’s Guide to Rome so you can have our best recommendations at your fingertips – even when you don’t have a wifi connection.

In this guide, our local insiders share their top recommendations for the best things to see and do in Rome, including tips on avoiding the crowds at the most popular landmarks and museums; how to shop, eat, and drink like a local; and some of the coolest activities and attractions you’ve never heard of!

We’ve handpicked the very best of what makes Rome so special — both on and off the beaten path — so you can travel like an insider in Rome!

Rome has earned its ancient nickname of The Eternal City – no matter how many places in Italy vie for our attention, there’s no city that compares to Rome. Here you can walk the same streets that Caesar once walked, then turn a corner to see how modern Romans live alongside the city’s historic splendor. The vastness of Rome encompasses everything from the epicenter of the once-mighty Roman Empire to the smallest independent nation on earth – but this city won’t truly grab your heart until you get past the must-see list and dig a little deeper into its neighborhoods. Watch artisans at work, sit with locals enjoying their afternoon coffee, and explore the cracks between the attractions. That’s where the charm lies.

Download the guide here!

Take Viator With You – Download Our Insider’s Guide to Rome from Viator Rome

How to see the Pope in Rome

Pope Benedict - Papal Audience in Rome

Located within the city of Rome is a separate city state, the Vatican. The head of this state is the Pope. Many people make the pilgrimage to the Vatican every year – as they have done for centuries – to see the Pope. Here are the best ways to do this:

The Pope holds a General Audience with the public on Wednesdays at 10.30am. This is held in St Peter’s Square except in winter when it is in Paul VI Hall, just to the left of St Peter’s Square. They are free but you must have a ticket which you’ll need to organize in advance. In the days leading up to a Wednesday audience you can obtain tickets from the Swiss Guard by going to the Bronze Doors of the Apostolic Palace. For large groups or to book further in advance contact: Santa Susanna Church, the American Catholic Church in Rome.

Sunday at noon is when the Pope prays the Angelus standing at the second window from the right in the Apostolic Palace. He also gives the crowd a blessing. You do not need tickets for this and it is free to attend but it does get crowded. During summer (July and August), the Pope is often not at the Vatican so check beforehand whether he is in residence to give the blessing or not.

If the Pope is at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo he will say the prayer there. Again tickets are not required but space is much more limited than at the Vatican. Castelgandolfo is 16 miles from Rome.

The Pope says special masses during Christmas and Easter each year at various locations around Rome.

During Holy Week there is a Papal Mass held on Palm Sunday in St Peter’s Square. On Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday the Pope says mass in the Vatican Basilica. He also follows the Way of the Cross to the Coliseum on Palm Sunday.

Each month there is at least one Papal Mass in the Vatican Basilica. The program for 2012 can be found here.

-Philippa B.

Planning a Trip? Browse Viator’s Rome tours and things to do, Rome attractions, and Rome travel recommendations. Or book a private tour guide in Rome for a customized tour!

How to see the Pope in Rome from Rome Things To Do