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Romantic Things to Do in Rome
Insider Tips from Rome's Best Writers

Looking for romantic things to do in Rome? I think Rome is a pretty romantic city all by itself, don’t you? 

st peters at night and tiberStanding on a bridge and looking across the Tiber at night, to Michelangelo's magnificent dome - St. Peter's Basilica

Romantic Things to Do in Rome - How to find the best spots

If you are looking for some special things to do and ways to make your visit to Rome even more wonderful, you will need to choose wisely. 

top of spanish stepsThis is what the top of the Spanish Steps is usually like, and at night, even more so. The view is lovely, but it's not very private.

Many of the romantic things to do in Rome are also popular things to do in Rome.

So it can be a bit jarring, especially in high season, to think you’ll have a nice romantic moment someplace, only to find yourself surrounded by lots of chattering tourists.

Below are some suggestions for romantic things to do in Rome that are a bit more unusual and special:

Romantic Things to do in Rome - Insider Advice by Rome Bloggers

I have a few ideas about romantic things to do in Rome. I did marry a Roman so I know a thing or two about it!

I thought I’d also check in with some of the other Rome experts I know; Rome/Italy bloggers and writers who know Rome oh so well, and they've generously agreed to share their secrets with us!

These are their favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome, in their own words.

They are all equally fabulous, so this is in no particular order.

You have places to eat and drink, hidden romantic symbols around Rome, hints for where to have spectacular views, and suggestions for how to spend a romantic day or evening in Rome.


Chiara Ercini

Chiara is the publisher of the most widely followed Italian blog about Rome, A Day in Rome.

Follow her on Instagram if you want to see the most exclusive shots of everything Rome - her blog is in Italian, but her photos speak for themselves!

Chiara is a wonderful writer, and I am almost sorry to have had to translate her poetic contribution to "Romantic Things to Do in Rome" from Italian.

Here it is, in her own words, translated by me:


"Stroll alongside the Complesso Vittoriano, towards the via dei Fori Imperiali.

Head up to the right passing the Risorgimento Museum, the museum on the side of the complex that houses splendid exhibitions of contemporary art.

Then, go down to the Belvedere overlooking the western branch of the Roman Forum . . ."

roman forum at nightView of the Roman Forum at night

". . . To the right, you can almost touch the Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus, symbol of Ancient Rome.

A few meters from your shoulders, stands the Mamertine Prison, the oldest in Rome: Two superimposed levels of caves dug at the southern foot of the Capitol alongside Gemonian stairs.

Rome rushes along the imperial artery, not far from here.

Cars work out their shocks on the cobblestones, the mopeds buzz by without peace, sellers sell, the Centurions flatter to get pictures.

You will not hear anything of this chaotic mosaic.

Embrace each other in silence, lost in the landscape of the Roman Forum. Let yourselves go.

It will not be an ordinary kiss, just like any other.

It will be The Kiss!"



The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.


Livia Hengel

Livia is a travel writer, photographer and culture enthusiast with a penchant for la dolce vita and a severe case of wanderlust.

She writes about Italian culture and lifestyle on her website and has been published in The Independent, Forbes, Fodor's and USA Today.

Here are some of Livia's favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"I love going to the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma to see a ballet or an opera: with red velvet seats, frescoed ceilings and gilded details, the whole atmosphere is so beautiful and stepping inside the theater transports you to a different era. Tickets are also really affordable compared to other opera houses in Italy, especially if you opt for gallery seats in the upper tier, so there's no reason to miss out on this special experience!"

Rome Opera Theatre. InteriorAttending the opera at Rome's gorgeous Opera House is one of the most Romantic things to do in Rome. Photo by Livia Hengel

"One of the best kept secrets in Rome, Terrazza Caffarelli is located right beside Piazza del Campidoglio and the Capitoline Museums but lies largely overlooked by tourists. It's one of my favorite places to catch the sunset and has a wonderful view of the domes of Rome - without any crowds."

Capitoline Hill. Caffarelli Terrace. Wonderful viewEnjoying a quiet sunset on the terrazza Caffarelli can be one of the most romantic things to do in Rome. Photo by Livia Hengel

- Livia takes stunning photos all over Italy. Check out her Instagram! -


Disclosure : If you make a purchase or a booking through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!


Elizabeth Minchilli

Elizabeth is a best-selling author, longtime Rome resident and Rome expert, and publisher of the popular food blog Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome.

Here is one of Elizabeth's favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"One of the most romantic things I can think of in Rome is stopping by my favorite chocolate shop, Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio, and choosing chocolate for my valentine . . . "

chocolates from Confetteria Moriondo e GariglioChocolates at Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio - photo by E. Minchilli
Red box at Confetteria Moriondo e GariglioSweet red gift box at Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio - photo by E. Minchilli

" . . . I like to go old school. I choose my size of red-ribboned box, they line it with gold foil, and then I start choosing which hand made chocolates should go in. There is something about putting together my own choices that I love."

Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio, Via del Pie’ di Marmo 21/22

- Elizabeth has thousands of followers on Instagram, there's a reason! -


Rick Zullo

Rick Zullo is an American who has lived many years in Rome, and publishes the popular blog Rick's Rome.

He is author of several eBooks all about Rome and Italy, and has his own podcast to boot!

Here is one of Rick's favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"One of my favorite romantic spots in Rome is Castel Sant’Angelo at night. Only at night. During the day it swarms with tourists. But when they (occasionally) open it up after dark, it’s uncrowded and the evocative mood recalls furtive affairs, forbidden trysts, and tales of heroic lovers risking the dungeon in order to fulfill their hearts’ desires. . . "

castel sant angelo at nightCastel Sant'Angelo at night. Even gazing on it from the outside is one of the most romantic things to do in Rome!

". . . There’s even a “secret passage” lined with tiny lights that winds all the way to The Vatican, should you feel compelled to confess your sins after the affair is over. "

Rick even has two posts on his blog related to our theme: Valentine's Day and Dating Rules in Italy.

Looking for unusual but yet romantic things to see in Rome?

Check out my page Cemeteries in Rome (and near Rome) that you can visit!


Diana Simon

Diana Simon is the owner and publisher of the wildly popular blog Browsing Italy.

Here is one of Diana's favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"I love sunset moments and the Pincio Terrace is one of the most romantic places to take in the stunning light show when in Rome."

sunset on pincioWatching a glorious sunset from the Pincio. - Photo D. Simon

"To make it even more special, head to Casina Valadier to enjoy a spectacular view over drinks and dinner that will make for an unforgettable evening.

It’s an exclusive place doesn’t come cheap but you’ll have a sensational experience."

- Catch Diana's beautiful Italy pix on Instagram


Maria Pasquale

Maria is an Italian-Australian living in Rome, and publisher of the wonderful blog HeartRome.

Maria's writing has been featured in Fodor’s, USA Today Travel, 10Best, CNN, EasyJet, Rough Guide to Italy and more.

Her first book, which she calls her love letter to Rome, Heart Rome is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

She's recently published her second book, How to Be Italian. A must read!

Maria shares one of her favorite Romantic Things to do in Rome:


"A walk to Rome's Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) is a must on any romantic Rome trip.

While this may not be on of the official seven hills of Rome, it sure offers a spectacular view."

pink sunset from gianicolo hill in romeRomantic pink sunset from Gianicolo hill. - Photo M. Pasquale

"The panorama of the eternal city spreads out like a postcard before your eyes and hell - if you can steal a kiss under the moonlight, this could very well be one of the most romantic spots in the world."

- Want to see more photos from Maria? Follow her on Instagram -


Gian Pietro Leonardi

Gian Pietro Leonardi combines a passion for art (he's content curator of Rome's Civic Museums Social Networks), literature (he publishes the blog Queerographies), and travelling.

Follow his wanderings on Instagram.

In his own poetic words, here are Gian Pietro's favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"St. Valentine's Day in Rome can be very queer when you're gay and vegan but it can also be fun: follow me through the streets of the Tridente as I am reaching my husband for a romantic dinner out."

"Let's begin our stroll from via di Santa Maria dell'Anima (the same spot where Elio and Oliver kiss in André Aciman's book Call Me by Your Name) and then walk through the vicoli (little streets) of the Rioni Parione and Sant'Eustachio."

"The typical pink sunset of Rome is the natural background of our walk that leads us to Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) but before we reach it there is time for another stop, by the Hotel d'Angleterre, the place where Oscar Wilde stayed in 1877 when he visited 'the one city of the soul'"

Rome Hotel Angleterre.Cozy and romantic interiorHaving a pre-dinner drink at the one and only Hotel L'Inghilterra can be one of the most romantic things to do in Rome

"I don't want be late for my date: Il Margutta vegetarian food & art is the right place to spend a romantic evening with your significant other, especially when you love quality vegan food, biodynamic wines and a creative atmosphere."


SASKIA BALMAEKERS

Saskia is CEO and publisher of the most popular Dutch blog about Italy, BlogCiaoTutti

She is the author of dozens of ebooks, including several guides to Rome and other parts of Italy (in Dutch.)

Saskia knows the city as well as, if not better than, any local. She gives us a unique example of Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"Everywhere you go in Rome, you meet the great sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, the Triton Fountain in Piazza Barberini, the splendid statue of Apollo and Daphne in the Galleria Borghese, the cleverly designed St. Peter's Square that embraces the numerous visitors and pilgrims.

In the square there is a stone connected to a sad love story "

st peter's basilica showing where to look for bernini's heartSt Peter's Basilica showing where to look for Bernini's broken heart

"When Bernini worked on St. Peter's Square, he was very in love with a Roman lady.

He could only think about the color of her eyes, her silky hair, the sound of her voice.

Unfortunately, despite Bernini’s dreams, his love was unanswered. Moreover, Bernini had to focus all his time and energy on the major papal project; there was no time for love.

Bernini hid as a sort of antidote to his broken heart into the pavement of St. Peter's Square. You’ll find his broken heart close to the marble plate with the wind (Libeccio) north of the obelisk."

bernini's broken heart st peter's squareBernini's broken heart can be seen in the bottom right corner. Photo S. Balmaekers
bernini's broken heart st peter's squareCloseup of Bernini's broken heart. Photo S. Balmaekers

"Once you have found Bernini's broken heart, forever set in stone, you will look at his masterpiece with mixed feelings.

What did he have to give up for this major project? What sacrifices he did he have to make to pave the most important square of the eternal city?" (caveat here**)

- You can follow Saskia on Instagram for a daily dose of beautiful Italy - 


Eleonora Baldwin

Eleonora Baldwin is a TV host, journalist, author and culinary connoisseur based in Rome, Italy.

Her writing appears in several food and travel publications. Her show “ABCheese” is broadcast on Italian food network Gambero Rosso.

Eleonora’s co-owned company Casa Mia Italy Food & Wine designs custom Italy vacations for food and wine lovers.

Eleonora reveals her secret Romantic Things to do in Rome:


"I believe in day-long dates. I need to be charmed, entertained, knocked off my feet.

And on a full stomach. In my book, a romantic Rome jaunt should include idyllic, sappy and picturesque spots for a full day of romance, with pitch-perfect mood, food and ambience.

Meeting place: Giardino degli Aranci, an orange orchard on the Aventine hill, located next door to the city’s most famous keyhole"

giardino degli aranci romeRomantic park and view at the Giardino degli Aranci on the Aventine Hill in Rome

"Leaning over Rome’s most romantic balustrade is for tourists.

I much prefer a private watercolor/sketching class for two. Sketching Rome Tours does a magnificent job. Your teacher will provide all materials, you remember to bring the ice bucket and the bubbly. 

Renting a vespa and kissing on Ponte Sisto just as the sun dips behind the Renaissance skyline is so Roman Holiday. Nothing beats the romance of that languid, pink-tinted panorama. Church bells chime, sparrows dive overhead and hearts skip a beat."

Lungotevere at nightLungotevere glows at night, making Rome's bridges romantic places to steal a kiss...

"If zipping on two wheels is not your idea of flirtation, book a couple’s wellness treatment at a spa, like Argileto Piccola Metro Spaor AcquaMadre Hammam."

- Eleonora and her team have beautiful food pix on Instagram! -


Gillian Longworth McGuire

Gillian publishes the wonderful blog Gillian's Lists, with all kinds of insider info on fun things in Rome.

As stated on her blog, she is an "information curator, traveler, coffee and cocktail drinker."

Gillian publishes a fantastic newsletter full of great pix and writing about her adventures in Rome and other parts of Italy.

She always seems to be the first to find something new in Rome!

Here is Gillian's pick of Romantic Things to do In Rome:


"Rome is at it’s most romantic when you feel like you have the place to yourselves. Take an early morning walk along the Fiori Imperiali stopping for a selfie near the temple to Venus (goddess of love) and Rome."

"Wind your way up to the Campidoglio and admire Michelangelo’s magnificent public square with only local police in sight."

campidoglio early morningMichelangelo's piazza Campidoglio in the early morning light - Photo G. Longworth McGuire

"Cross over to the Circo Massimo and finally find the Giardini di Aranci on the elegant Aventino hill with a view out towards San Pietro."

"Have an indulgent pasta lunch with a glass of wine and decadent tiramisu at Flavio al Velavevodetto (via di Monte Testaccio) in Testaccio."

- You'll definitely want to follow Gillian on Instagram! - 


Natalie Aldern Kennedy

Natalie takes beautiful photos, and has an engaging and witty writing style.

In her own words: "Natalie has been eating far too much gelato in Rome since 2010. She blogs at AnAmericaninRome.com"

Here's Natalie's insider hint for one of the more unusual Romantic Things to do in Rome:


"Most people wait in line to see the Mouth of Truth, but few realize that St. Valentine’s skull lies just inside the same church (and there is no queue to see it)."

"The skull of the priest is bedecked with flowers inside Santa Maria in Cosmedin – but bones are rarely romantic. What IS romantic is the sake St. Valentine gave his life for: love."

st valentine's skull in santa maria in cosmedinYou can pay homage to one of the most romantic saints there is - Saint Valentine, whose skull rests inside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin

"The priest secretly married Christian couples at a time when it was outlawed in Rome. He had to let the romance live, and was willing to pay the ultimate price." (caveat here**)

- Don't miss Natalie's beautiful photos on her Instagram account -


Linda Martinez

Linda and her husband Steve Brenner (both American) have been running the popular and wonderful Beehive Hostel in Rome for nearly 20 years.

You will find Linda's wonderful blog on the Beehive website.

Here is Linda's take on Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"I consider Rome one of the most romantic cities in the world. It's a beautiful mess and sheer poetry to me. When we first moved here we eventually bought a scooter and that changed everything."

"On a scooter with my arms around my husband, the wind on my face, the hum of the engine and that intangible feeling of freedom is pure romance.

Zipping along under the warm golden glow of the street lamps, I feel like I'm living in a movie and even Rome's defects are captured lovingly in that magical light."

glimpse of colosseum at duskAs you ride around Rome, you can catch glimpses of some of its most beautiful monuments, like this view of the Colosseum at dusk. Photo by Steve B

Some prime scootering spots are the road up the Gianicolo hill in Trastevere to catch the sunset, the Lungotevere (post rush-hour only), and anywhere in Rome's center especially at night."

You can rent a scooter at one of Rome's many scooter rental companies such as Bici & Baci or Vespa Style.

- Check out Linda's fantastic Instagram account for wonderful pix of all things Rome - 


Georgette Jupe Pradier

Georgette publishes the enormously popular blog Girl in Florence. which covers lifestyle in Italy, curated travel tips all over Italy and the globe and plenty on where to eat. Georgette has been chronicling her story of love, romance, and marriage, to her true love Nico. Over the past few years, the couple have have spent many a long weekend in Rome. 

Here is Georgette's take on Romantic Things to do in Rome:


"The Eternal city for me is always more beautiful at night when the monuments are delicately illuminated. Walking home after dinner can be a breath-taking affair."

"Ideas for romance (from a non-local) include a romantic rowboat ride in the adorable laghetto of Villa Borghese’s public park (reminiscent of the Notebook), or a fancy drink in the picturesque courtyard of Hotel de Russie..."

cocktail at hotel de russieCocktail at the iconic Hotel de Russie. Photo by Georgette Jupe Pradier.

"Wine lovers might prefer iconic wine bar Il Goccetto. Last but certainly not least is a classical music or opera show at 'hidden in plain sight' gallery, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj."

"A beautiful opportunity to enjoy one of the city’s most ornate, and interesting, historical galleries that many people miss despite its central position."

- Check out Georgette's Instagram account for fun and beautiful photos. As a bonus, her sweet beagle, Ginger, has her own Instagram account! -

How Romantic - a Picnic for Two

As a bonus romantic thing to do, you can also take an e-bike tour and enjoy a picnic basket in the Villa Borghese park.


Catherine Simes

A dyed in the wool Yorkshire lass, Catherine was enticed to Italy some years ago and has lived and worked in Rome ever since. Love for both the faults and the merits of her birthplace and new Italian hometown are regular topics on You Can't Take the Girl Out of Bradford

Here are two of her favorite Romantic Things to Do in Rome:


"The bar at the Hotel Locarno is a little bit of hushed luxury close to the busy Piazza del Popolo..."

"...Go there for pre-dinner drinks or linger for longer with an aperitivo – a selection of choice nibbles will accompany each drink you order. The atmosphere evokes an old style glamour which is neither stuffy or formal. I’ve had cocktails with friends here, but it’s best with a significant other. In summer there is a leafy garden courtyard with hidden corners and in winter the art-deco bar is cosily lit with a real roaring fire.

strolling along the appia antica in romeStrolling along the Appia Antica in Rome can be one of the most Romantic Things to Do in Rome!

Rome is a city to stroll through hand in hand - try to find a view from one of the many hills, a square or a bridge particularly at sunset. However, if your idea of romance calls for something less chaotic than the city centre, escape to the peace and tranquillity of Rome’s most ancient highway and walk back through the ages along the original Roman road, the Appia Antica..."

"...This tree-lined ancient stone path travels across miles of Rome’s countryside and provides catacombs to explore, ancient mausoleums and monuments and an occasional sheep along the way. Stop at L’Archeologia Restaurant for lunch and you have the pretty perfect day."

- Follow Catherine on Instagram for some beautiful photos of Rome and beyond! -



A heartfelt thanks to all the talented writers who've generously contributed their time and creativity to making this page about Romantic Things to do in Rome more complete.


PHOTO CREDITS

Some of the writers who contributed to Romantic Things to Do in Rome provided photographs, where noted. If not credited to them or a third party, then the photos are mine.


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**Just a little note on the romantic legends about Rome (and surely anywhere) - sometimes you have to take these with a grain of salt.

It may not be true that Bernini built a heart into the cobblestones. That may not really be Saint Valentine's skull in the church. This is often the case with legends, myths and typically with relics. Time passes, there may be no proof and well, we just don't know. So it's up to us to believe or not. 


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