All roads lead to the Ancient City

Vibe on the street: touristy, crowded, excitable.
Famous for: ancient ruins and archaeological sites, Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hills, on which stand the world’s oldest national museums.
All roads lead to the Ancient City
  • Ancient City is best known for the Roman Forum and Coliseum, two of Rome’s most important historical monuments. However the area also has several equally important museums, churches, restaurants and even evening bars which complement its ancient reputation.

    Nearby sights

    The two most recognisable sites in the Ancient City area are the Roman Forum and Coliseum, and are included as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage site, along with the rest of the historic centre. Sites equally important and worth your time are the Imperial Forums and Trajan’s markets. The forums can be viewed for free from the street along with Trajan’s Column or more in depth by visiting the Imperial Forums museum and walking through the market place. Largo Argentina is another free site with viewing from its perimeter wall. Crypta Balbi is a quiet hero for archaeological fan.

    The museum contains Roman and medieval house, metal and ceramic treasures, and a very large excavation site. The Capitoline hills have the very important Capitoline line museums, the first museums in the world. And immediately adjacent is the Monument to Victor Emanuel - aka the Wedding Cake - a large monument complex with museums, terrace café and amazing rooftop panorama. Finally, there are several historic churches throughout the entire area and are worth a peek inside when passing by.

    Eating out

    The Jewish Ghetto and its surrounding streets are a good option when it comes to looking for a great place to eat. Restaurant favourites include da Gigetto, Taverna degli Amici, Piperno and Ba Ghetto. More recently, the Velabro section (just west of the Forum) has surprised us with some great spots such as Ristorante San Teodoro and the famed pastry shop Cristalli di Zucchero. For something more family friendly, Largo Argentina’s Rosso Pomodoro pizzeria is the best solution.


    There’s not much nightlife in the very centre of Ancient City, though more recently Via San Teodoro and Via dei Cerchi have opened evening bars. Most would suggest heading toward the Jewish Ghetto area and Largo Argentina for bars and pubs. Or else take advantage of the proximity to Monti and the Centro.

For full information on our approach to users’ comments on our site, please see our publishing policy. Please feel free to contact us by phone or email if you have any questions about it.