Sundays are the perfect day to embrace the Italian way of “il dolce far niente”—the sweetness of doing nothing—so relax and enjoy the slower pace of this laid-back day.
Rain or shine, Sunday is the ultimate day to rest in Rome. Passionate soccer fans head to the Stadio Olimpico to catch a match, families enjoy a stroll through the center or one of the many parks, others flee to nearby towns for the day, and young people indulge in brunch or lunch. And unlike many in European cities, many of Rome’s shops and restaurants stay open on Sundays—so seize the day!
Go on a passeggiata
They say that “all roads lead to Rome,” and those roads sure are beautiful.
Spend a relaxing day strolling through the vias of the Eternal City. Walk into the world’s largest historic center, from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Venezia all the way to the Pantheon and Largo Argentina. Rome’s piazzas are a marvel, and a sunny Sunday is the perfect day to explore this millennia-old city.
Then, make your way across the river and get lost in the beautiful streets of Trastevere, amidst hanging clothes, colorful palazzos and bird’s eye views of the city. Grab a picnic blanket and enjoy reading a book in Villa Borghese or Villa Doria Pamphilj. Or better yet, rent a bike and explore the Parco degli Acquedotti with its Roman aqueducts. The options are endless.
While the concept of brunch hasn’t really kicked off in Rome, there are some great places where you can enjoy this delicious Sunday ritual.
If the weather is nice, enjoy a brunch picnic at the stunning Villa Doria Pamphilj Park—justreserve your picnic basket online and pick it up on the selected day at nearby Vivi Bistrot. The basket is complete with a bagel with salmon, cream cheese and arugula; organic yogurt with crunchy muesli and honey; pancakes with maple syrup; water; coffee and freshly squeezed citrus juice, all for just €25 per person!
If you’re in the Ostiense neighborhood, head to Sophie and Domenico’s Marigold for some delicious French toast, avocado on rye, eggs Benedict, cinnamon swirls and so much more! Another delicious option, just steps away from Piazza Navona, is Coromandel, with a range of delicious bagels, omelettes, pancakes and apple pie.
Catch a free museum on the first Sunday of the month
What better time to catch a gallery exhibition than on the first Sunday of the month, when many public museums in Rome are completely free?
This involves not all but some state-owned museums, galleries, parks and gardens. And yes, the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are on the list! Not to mention the Borghese Gallery—which requires you to book in advance—the Baths of Caracalla, and the stunning Villa D’Este and Hadrian’s Villa, both in nearby Tivoli.
Also included in this wonderful initiative are the four museums that hold the collection of the Museo Nazionale Romano: Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi and the Terme di Diocleziano. For the full list of state-owned heritage sights, visit the official tourism website of Rome. Just keep in mind that temporary exhibitions are not included in the site visit—only the permanent collection comes free of charge.
Local’s Tip: Instead of offering free access on the first Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums offer free entry on the last Sunday of the month!
What kind of a Sunday would it be without indulging in a delicious lunch? As we were saying before, you’ll be able to find plenty of restaurants open on Sundays in Rome!
For traditional Roman food, head to Testaccio’s Flavio al Velavevodetto and order a plate of cacio e pepe or gricia pasta. If you’re in Trastevere, head to the small and friendly Le Mani in Pasta for amazing seafood dishes and Roman specialties!
For something more light, Parioli’s Zero restaurant—serving healthy and delicious food from wok noodles to tuna tartares—is your best bet. While in the center of Rome, Ginger Sapori e Salute is another great healthy option. But the list is endless!
If you’re one of those soccer fans who just got out of the stadium and is searching for something to put in your stomach, head to Ponte Milvio’s Panificio Nazzareno for pizza and more, or Roma Beer Company for juicy burgers.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Rome? Just add your email address in the form below! ADD_THIS_TEXT
An Italian globetrotter with a gigantic crush on Rome, Federica has been travelling the world since birth and has lived in NYC, Tehran, Rome, Houston, Istanbul, London and Budapest. She loves sharing her passion for Italy’s food and culture, and has a personal travel blog about how to live la Dolce Vita around the world.