Cultural things to do in Rome
As one of the world’s most celebrated cultural capitals, Rome is filled with fascinating museums, cutting-edge galleries, timeless attractions and architectural delights. Starting with the colossal Vatican Museums, this two-day itinerary of the Eternal City takes visitors on an all-encompassing journey through Roman culture, past and present.
Begin the day with a 20-minute drive to the Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
The Vatican Museums
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a novice, the Vatican Museums are a major cultural highlight of Rome. Home to one of the most important art collections in the world, the museums contain masterpieces amassed over the centuries by a succession of Popes. Spaces such as the Raphael Rooms, the Pinacoteca and the Sistine Chapel (the ceiling of which features Michelangelo’s famous frescos) are must-see destinations for art lovers.
Leave Vatican City and take a 15-minute drive to the next destination.
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Towering over the Trastevere neighbourhood, the Romanesque church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest in the city. The basilica is best known for the colourful mosaics that cover its walls inside and out. The oldest collages, created by the likes of Italian artist Pietro Cavallini, date back to the 13th century.
Then, take a 10-minute drive or a 20-minute walk to reach the Musei Capitolini.
Located in a cluster of grand palazzos flanking the Piazza del Campidoglio, the Capitoline Museums house works of great historical, cultural and artistic importance. Visit to discover an extensive array of ancient Roman artefacts, grand statues, and works from artists such as Caravaggio and Rubens, arranged in several galleries throughout the various palazzos.
Next, take a 10-minute walk to the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj
Continue your artistic education at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. Spread across the four wings facing the grand house’s internal courtyard, the Gallery offers visitors an exclusive glimpse of the large private collection of statues, paintings and furniture collected by the Doria Pamphilj family. Among the many masterpieces on display is Velázquez’s 17th century Portrait of Pope Innocent X, widely considered to be one of the world’s finest portraits.
Reach the final location of the day with a 10-minute drive or a 20-minute walk.
Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Bring the day in Rome to a stylish finale at the city’s famous opera house, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Built in 1880, the theatre has an opulent interior and a busy programme of shows, from operas and concerts to dance performances by some of the world’s greatest stars. Find out about the shows taking place during your stay through the hotel concierge.
After the show, hail a taxi and enjoy a 10-minute ride back to the hotel.
Start Day Two with a 10-minute drive or a 20-minute walk to the National Roman Museum at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.
National Roman Museum
Housed in a 19th century palace, the branch of the National Roman Museum at Palazzo Massimo encompasses an impressive collection of classical art. Visitors can explore four floors of exhibitions, with spaces devoted to frescos and mosaics, ancient coins and jewellery, and classical sculptures.
Next, take a 15-minute drive to MACRO.
Fast-forward to the 21st century at MACRO, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome. Housed in a former Peroni brewery, it’s an essential stop for modern art lovers. Designed to inspire conversation, the museum presents bold temporary exhibitions by international talents, and a permanent collection of significant Italian works from the 1960s to today.
Then, take a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute walk to Galleria Borghese in the Villa Borghese Pinciana.
Examine works by the Italian masters of the Renaissance at Borghese Gallery; focusing on the period from 15th – 18th century, the gallery displays ancient mosaics as well as sculptures and paintings by celebrated artists such as Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Raphael, Caravaggio and Canova.
To reach the penultimate destination, take a 15-minute drive.
MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts, is home to two significant spaces: MAXXI Arte, an institute dedicated to contemporary arts; and MAXXI Architettura, the country’s first national museum of architecture. No matter your area of interest, there’s something for everyone to discover here.
Take a 10-minute walk to the Auditorium Parco della Musica.
Auditorium Parco della Musica
Indulge in an evening of music at Auditorium Parco della Musica, a state-of-the-art complex encompassing three concert halls and an al fresco amphitheatre for warmer seasons. Complete your Italian cultural journey with a musical education in classical music or jazz from one of the venue’s resident orchestras, or keep an ear out for visiting international acts.
To return to the hotel, hire a taxi for the 15-minute drive.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.