10 Things To Do in Rome on Sunday as a Local

Hi and welcome to my Blog. In this FREE guide, I will show you the 10 best things to do in Rome on Sunday as a local. In particular, in this Blog Post I will try to make you spend a Sunday as a Roman, relaxing and enjoying the city. Here, you will find all the most important information about activities and things to do in Rome on Sundays by Roman people. Spending time in local food markets in Campo de Fiori or stopping in a local “trattoria” to eat a Carbonara. These are the best ways to spend a sunny Sunday in Rome as a local.

And what about ending the day chilling by watching an amazing sunset on a beautiful terrace? Trust me, this is the best way to enjoy your Sunday in Rome. Don’t worry, in this article I will show you the best places to experience all that! So, stop wasting time and go on discovering the 10 best things to do in Rome on Sunday as a local!

Hi, I am Marianna

Before starting to talk about the best things to do in Rome on Sunday as a local, I would like to introduce myself. Nice to meet you, I am Marianna and I am the founder of The Italian Vibes. I am really glad to virtually meet you and I am looking forward to helping you organize the most interesting itinerary to visit Rome! I am an Italian girl and I come from a little town near to the Amalfitan Coast. In 2010, I moved to Rome to enroll at University and started my life far away from my hometown. But moving to Rome was the best decision I have ever made. 

I definitely fell in love with this historical city and even though I have been living here for 13 years, I get excited every time I walk all around the city. It’s difficult to express the feelings I experience every time I have a walk along Fori Imperiali or every time I stop in front of the Colosseum. I feel like I am in the most beautiful city in the world and I just can’t get enough of it.

So I decided to launch my Blog, with the aim to make you feel the same feelings that I experience when I travel around Italy. In particular, in this blog you will discover Rome and Italy like a local. It will be a breathtaking trip, I promise.

things to do in Rome on Sunday

Things to do in Rome on Sunday as a local

When Roman people think about Sundays there is only one thing in their mind: relax. Yes, Italians consider Sundays as the “Day of Rest” and it is something that is deeply respected. According to the period of the year, Sundays can be dedicated to watch Football matches on Tv on the sofa or wearing the best dress and going outside to enjoy the city. Personally, I hate watching football matches and I definitely love spending time walking all around the city. So you are lucky because in this article I will show the best things to do in Rome on Sundays as a local. Ready to take notes?

Explore the Local Markets

Picture yourself waking up to the gentle embrace of sunlight streaming through your window. It’s Sunday, and we Romans have a special way of savoring this day of rest. Yes, we love exploring the vibrant local markets that breathe life into our neighborhoods. So, grab your shades and your curiosity. We’re about to embark on a leisurely adventure through the heart of Rome’s local culture.

As you step out into the bustling streets, you’ll find that Sundays here are a world apart from the frenetic pace of the workweek. The city takes a collective deep breath, slowing down to a rhythm only Rome knows how to play. You won’t find the tourist hordes of other days; instead, you’ll join the city’s residents as they embrace la “dolce vita and immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of flavors, colors, and traditions.

Campo de Fiori Local Market

First on our journey is the famous Campo de’ Fiori market. Located in the heart of Rome, this square transforms into a vibrant sea of stalls each Sunday. Vendors from nearby towns and villages gather here to showcase their wares, creating a bustling symphony of voices and aromas. Your senses will be tantalized by the riotous colors of seasonal fruits and vegetables and the sight of handmade artisanal products that speak of generations of craftsmanship. It’s the perfect place to pick up ingredients for your Sunday meal, but more importantly, it’s a chance to witness the daily life of Romans. Here you will listen to them chatting animatedly with the vendors, haggle over the price of artichokes and exchange recipes passed down through generations.

Porta Portese Local Market

But our exploration doesn’t stop at Campo de’ Fiori. There are other hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Just a short walk away lies the charming market of Porta Portese, Rome’s largest flea market. Here, you’ll uncover a treasure of vintage goods, antiques and curiosities that tell stories of the city’s past. Whether you’re in search of unique souvenirs or retro fashion, Porta Portese will transport you back in time.

Enjoy a Leisurely Breakfast

Now that you have immersed yourself in the lively energy of the local markets, it’s time to embark on other things to do in Rome on Sundays – savoring a leisurely breakfast. Italians consider breakfast on Sunday as a relaxing ritual. After spending the whole work week running from one thing to another, Sunday is the only day of the week when Italians can relax. So, forget about rushing through your morning routine or grabbing a hasty bite to eat. In Rome, we’ve elevated breakfast to an art form, a chance to indulge in the simple pleasure of starting the day off right.

The meaning of Sunday breakfasts

For me, Sundays are all about embracing the unhurried pace of life. I love to begin my day at a local café, a place where the barista knows my name and the regulars are like family. I always choose to have my Sunday breakfast sitting on a table outside to enjoy the Sunday vibes. Roman people are able to spend hours simply sitting in a café, reading newspapers and drinking cappuccino. It’s like the most important ritual of the week and nobody has the power to make me cancel it. 

As you step into one of Rome’s charming coffee shops, you’ll notice the familiar hum of conversation and the enticing aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. The morning sun streams through the windows, casting a warm glow on the marble countertops. It’s a scene that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Rome’s slow and soulful mornings.

Whether you prefer an intense espresso shot to kickstart your day or a creamy cappuccino to savor slowly, this is the moment when time seems to stand still. It’s not just about the coffee. It’s about the connection and the sense of community that’s woven into our breakfast rituals.

Best places to have an Italian Breakfast in Rome

You have to admit it. You are looking forward to sitting in a charming Italian café tasting your creamy cappuccino and eating a bite of “maritozzo con panna”. Don’t worry, I am here to help you find the best amazing Italian café where you can enjoy the Italian Sunday breakfast.

Caffè Sant’Eustachio
  • Address: Piazza Sant’Eustachio, 82, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Known for: Renowned for its exceptional coffee and creamy cappuccinos. Try their famous Maritozzo con la Panna, a sweet Roman pastry.
  • Caffè Sant’Eustachio is one of the most well-known traditional café in Rome and a stop in a lot of tourist itineraries organized by Roman Tour operators. 
Tazza d’Oro
  • Address: Via degli Orfani, 84, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Known for: Serving some of the finest coffee in Rome, and their granita di caffè (coffee granita) is a must-try. 
Caffè Greco
  • Address: Via dei Condotti, 86, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
  • Known for: Historic cafe with a luxurious atmosphere, ideal for enjoying a cappuccino and pastries. Frequented by famous writers and artists.
Panella – Il Forno
  • Address: Via Merulana, 54, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
  • Known for: A bakery and cafe known for its delicious pastries and coffee. You have to try their “coffee with cream”, it is simply delicious! Their cream is called “zabaione” and it is made with sugar, eggs and milk. Trust me, it will be unforgettable!
Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria
  • Address: Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 16, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Known for: A delightful place to enjoy a cappuccino and a variety of pastries, including maritozzi. Roscioli is one of the best place to try Italian salumi and cheese produced by artisans located all around the Country.

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Attend Sunday Mass

Now, as we continue our journey through things to do in Rome on Sunday, let’s take a moment to appreciate the profound importance of attending a Mass in this deeply Catholic city. While I may not share the same religious beliefs as many of my fellow Romans, I wholeheartedly understand the reverence and significance that the Mass holds in their lives.

Religion is an integral part of the cultural fabric of Rome, and attending Mass on Sunday is a time-honored tradition for many residents. It’s not just a religious ceremony; it’s a communal experience that brings people together. Attending a Mass in Rome on Sunday is a way to transcend differences and connect people through shared values and spirituality.

Why attending a Sunday Mass in Rome

In a city adorned with magnificent churches, attending Mass offers a window into the spiritual heart of Rome. The echoes of hymns, the flickering candlelight, and the timeless rituals are a testament to the faith that has shaped this city for centuries. Whether you choose to participate actively or simply sit in quiet contemplation, the experience of attending a Mass in Rome is a chance to witness a profound connection between its people and their deep-rooted beliefs.

If you are lucky, you could have the opportunity to attend a ceremony like a Baptism or a Wedding. In fact, Churches in Italy are always open to visitors, even during celebrations. Personally, I had the opportunity to make my group attend a Mass in Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, near to Piazza della Repubblica. This is one of my favorite Church in Rome, built by Michelangelo when he was only 86 years old! It is like a hidden gem, mainly known by residents. It was such a deep emotion!

things to do in Rome on Sunday mass
things to do in Rome on Sunday holy mass

Where attending a Sunday Mass in Rome

Rome is home to numerous churches where you can attend Mass, and some of the best experiences can be found in local and hidden churches frequented by locals. Here’s a list of some of these churches:

St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
  • Address: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
  • Why Visit: As the epicenter of the Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Basilica is an architectural masterpiece and a place of deep religious significance. Attending Mass here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Chiesa Santa Maria in Trastevere
  • Address: Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: This ancient church in the lively Trastevere neighborhood is known for its stunning mosaics and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere
  • Address: Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 22, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A hidden gem tucked away in Trastevere, this church is dedicated to Saint Cecilia and is known for its peaceful ambiance.
Chiesa Santa Maria sopra Minerva
  • Address: Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Located near the Pantheon, this church features a unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
San Pietro in Vincoli
  • Address: Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/a, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Famous for Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, this church offers a serene environment away from the crowds.

Savor a Traditional Roman Lunch

Now, let’s dive into the heart of things to do in Rome on Sunday – having a Sunday lunch. Oh, how we Romans adore our cuisine! If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have an insatiable love for food and wine. And when it comes to savoring a traditional Roman lunch, it’s not just about feeding your body; it’s about nourishing your soul.

Picture this: a charming trattoria tucked away on a cobblestone street, where the aroma of simmering sauces and sizzling “guanciale” fills the air. It’s midday, and the sun casts a warm glow over the outdoor tables adorned with checkered tablecloths. This is where you’ll truly experience the essence of Roman life. In Rome, we take our time with lunch. It is like an art form, a leisurely affair that stretches into the afternoon. The slow-paced, extended lunches are a cherished part of our day. It means a time to unwind, share stories and savor every bite. 

It’s not uncommon to see locals lingering over a bottle of wine, laughing, and indulging in animated conversations. We believe that food is meant to be enjoyed, not rushed.  When you sit down to dine at a local trattoria, you’re in for a treat. Start with a classic Roman antipasto, perhaps some bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and basil or a plate of thinly sliced prosciutto. Then, it’s time to delve into the heart of Roman cuisine with dishes like carbonara—a creamy, dreamy pasta adorned with eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and crispy guanciale. Or try the bold flavors of amatriciana, where tomato, pecorino, and guanciale (cured pork jowl) come together in perfect harmony.

things to do in Rome on Sunday sunday lunch
things to do in Rome on Sunday lunch

Best trattorias in Rome

Rome offers a plethora of trattorias and restaurants where you can savor authentic Roman cuisine. Here’s a list of some of the best, including local and hidden gems in the city center and Trastevere, often frequented by locals:

Trattoria da Teo
  • Address: Piazza dei Ponziani, 7, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A cozy trattoria known for its homemade pasta dishes and classic Roman recipes. A local favorite.
Osteria da Fortunata
  • Address: Via del Pantheon, 55, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Famous for its handmade pasta, especially cacio e pepe. A hidden gem near the Pantheon.
Da Enzo al 29
  • Address: Via dei Vascellari, 29, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A hidden gem in Trastevere serving authentic Roman cuisine, including superb pasta dishes.
Osteria der Belli
  • Address: Piazza S. Apollonia, 11, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A cozy osteria known for its traditional Roman dishes and welcoming atmosphere.
Da Gildo
  • Address: Via dell’Orso, 38, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A charming trattoria tucked away in Trastevere, known for its Roman specialties and welcoming ambiance.

Discover a hidden neighbourhood

Now, if you share my passion for the arts, architecture, and the unmistakable Roman vibe, you’re in for a treat. It’s time to venture beyond the well-trodden paths and delve into the hidden neighbourhoods that hold a special place in the hearts of us Romans. You see, these lesser-known corners of the city are where you’ll truly uncover the beating heart of Rome, where centuries of history, art, and the unmistakable Roman spirit converge.

For us locals, exploring these hidden neighbourhoods is not just an occasional adventure; it’s an integral part of things to do in Rome on Sunday. It’s where we escape the bustling crowds and find solace in the enchanting side streets, charming piazzas, and quiet corners adorned with ivy-clad buildings. It’s where we stumble upon small artisan shops, boutiques, and family-owned trattorias, each with its own story to tell. These neighbourhoods are a treasure trove of history, culture, and the timeless allure of Rome.

Personally, I love walking around the streets of Trastevere. It is like being immersed into the history of the most popular and authentic neighbourhood of Rome. Streets are covered by “sampietrini”, the typical stone used by Romans during the Roman Empire time. I don’t know how I can describe the positive vibes that you can feel in the area of Rome. Another neighbourhood that I suggest you visit is Rione Monti. It is located near the Colosseum and it is one of the place most attended by locals and by tourists. Super suggested!

Visit Local Art Galleries

Sundays offer an opportunity to immerse in the cultural heartbeat of this city. Rome comes alive with exhibitions and galleries, perfect ideas to spend a day in a different way. From contemporary installations in modern galleries to retrospectives of the masters in historic museums, there’s something for every art lover.

Attending an exhibition it’s an opportunity to discover the stories and emotions that have shaped our culture for millennia. As you stroll through the hallowed halls or modern galleries, you’ll be enveloped in the vibrant Roman vibes that have inspired artists throughout the ages. It’s a reminder that Rome isn’t just a place where art is displayed, but a place that continues to inspire the creative spirit of people. 

Best museums and Exhibitions in Rome

Here are three of the best museums and exhibitions in Rome for classical art, followed by three of the best contemporary museums and exhibitions for modern and contemporary art.

Vatican Museums
  • Location: Vatican City, Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Home to an unparalleled collection of classical art, including works by Michelangelo, Raphael, and the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Musei Capitolini
  • Location: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Houses a superb collection of classical sculptures, including the iconic Capitoline Wolf, as well as ancient Roman artifacts.
Galleria Borghese
  • Location: Villa Borghese, Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Features an exquisite collection of classical and Renaissance art, including sculptures by Bernini and paintings by Caravaggio.
MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Arts
  • Location: Via Guido Reni, 4A, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Italy’s premier museum for contemporary art and architecture, featuring innovative exhibitions and a striking modern design.
MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome
  • Location: Via Nizza, 138, 00198 Roma RM, Italy (MACRO Via Nizza)
  • Why Visit: Showcases a diverse range of contemporary art forms, from installations to video art, in a historic building.
GNAM – National Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna)
  • Location: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Houses an extensive collection of Italian and European modern and contemporary art, including works by Modigliani, Balla, and more.
things to do in Rome on Sunday aperitif

Enjoy The Aperitivo Time

You can’t leave Rome without enjoying at least one Aperitivo! Enjoying the Aperitivo Time is in the list of things to do in Rome on Sunday. As the sun casts a warm glow over the city, we gather at local bars, cafes, and terraces, embracing the art of the aperitif.

The aperitivo is more than just a pre-dinner drink. It’s a moment to socialise and savour the pleasures of life. During the weekdays, we usually meet in bars and cafés in our neighbourhoods, to drink something in an easy way. Oh, you should know that Romans never leave their neighbourhoods during the week. In fact, during the weekdays we conduct a normal and easy life trying to avoid moving by car. Being stuck in a traffic jam is not the best way to spend the aperitif time. 🙂

The Aperitivo Time starts more or less at 7 p.m. and it can last until 9 p.m. When you are in a good company, chatting about easy and funny things, time passes very quickly. If you want to try to real Italian aperitif, you can order a “tagliere of salumi and cheeses” and a drink. Tagliere is like a wood plate totally covered by different type of salumi, cheeses, honey and other local products.

The most popular choice for this beloved ritual is undoubtedly the Aperol Spritz. Its vibrant orange hue and refreshing taste capture the essence of an Italian summer. It is a mix of bitter, sweet and bubbly notes that dance on the palate. Sipping an Aperol Spritz while nibbling on a plate of delectable snacks is a joyous Italian experience that you will never forget!

5 places for aperitif in the city centre of Rome

Here’s a list of five of the best places in the city centre of Rome to enjoy the aperitivo time:

Salotto 42
  • Address: Piazza di Pietra, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A chic lounge near the Pantheon, known for its creative cocktails and stylish ambiance.
Jerry Thomas Speakeasy
  • Address: Vicolo Cellini, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A hidden gem in the historic centre, famous for its expertly crafted cocktails and speakeasy-style atmosphere.
Freni e Frizioni
  • Address: Via del Politeama, 4/6, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Located along the Tiber River, this trendy bar offers a wide selection of drinks and aperitivo snacks, with a lively atmosphere.
Il Goccetto
  • Address: Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A charming wine bar with a vast wine list, artisanal cocktails, and a cozy ambiance, perfect for a relaxed aperitivo.
Bar del Fico
  • Address: Piazza del Fico, 26, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: A popular spot for locals, this bar offers a diverse menu of drinks and tasty aperitivo offerings in a lively square setting.

Witness the Roman Sunset

For someone like me, who treasures the sunset as a timeless ritual, there’s no place like Rome to indulge in this breathtaking spectacle. The city transforms into a canvas of warmth, casting a spell that’s impossible to resist. In particular, the sky becomes a masterpiece painted with shades of pink, orange, and purple. From the Colosseum to the Spanish Steps, monuments are bathed in a soft light that seems to hold time still. It’s a moment when the city takes a collective pause and people gather to witness the magic.

The feeling that washes over you as you stand in awe of the Roman sunset is nothing short of transcendent. It’s a mix of serenity, gratitude, and wonder. It’s a reminder that life is full of beauty and that even in the heart of a bustling city, there are moments of quiet introspection. You must know that I love to define myself as a “sunset catcher”. Every time I visit a new city or a new Country, the first thing I do is discover the best places to see the best sunsets. During your stay in Rome, I hope that you will do the same thing. It is one of the best way to appreciate this breathtaking city.

things to do in Rome on Sunday roman sunset
things to do in Rome on Sunday sunset in rome

Best spots to see sunset in Rome

Here’s a list of some of the best places in the city centre of Rome to enjoy the sunset time, including my favourite ones: Ponte dell’Angelo and Lungotevere!

Gianicolo Hill (Janiculum Hill)
  • Location: Via Garibaldi, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Another fantastic panoramic viewpoint, Gianicolo Hill provides a picturesque backdrop for sunset views of Rome, including the iconic dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Terrazza del Pincio (Pincian Hill Terrace)

  • Location: Viale dell’Obelisco, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Situated at the edge of Pincian Hill, this terrace offers a superb vantage point to watch the sunset over the city. The view of Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps is particularly captivating.

The Roman Forum (Fori Imperiali)

  • Location: Via di San Gregorio, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: Stroll along the Fori Imperiali, the road leading to the Colosseum, during sunset hours. As you walk toward the Colosseum, you’ll witness the sun setting behind this iconic monument, creating a mesmerizing scene.

Ponte dell’Angelo (Angel’s Bridge)

  • Location: Lungotevere Vaticano, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
  • Why Visit: This picturesque bridge over the Tiber River provides a lovely setting for watching the sunset with views of St. Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’Angelo.
Lungotevere
  • Location: Lungotevere, Rome, Italy (Various Locations)
  • Why Visit: The Lungotevere promenades along the Tiber River offer various scenic spots to enjoy the sunset. You can find peaceful spots along the riverbank to soak in the views and colors of the setting sun.

Savor Gelato 

A perfect Sunday in Rome can only end up tasting a artisanal “gelato”. Making gelato in Italy is a form of art and one of the best way to understand how much Italians love good food. In fact, the art of preparing “gelato” is something that has been passed from one generation to another one. 

Many “gelato” producers in Rome don’t want to share their original recipe to prepare the best gelato. It is more than a secret! The real motivation is in the fact that only the best ingredients can create the best “gelato”. For example, if you want to taste the best Nut gelato, you should only go the one of the best artisanal “gelato producer” in Rome. And you are really lucky, because Rome is full of amazing places where you can eat tasty “gelatos”!

sunset in rome
best sunset in a sunday in rome

Evening Passeggiata

After a long Sunday chilling in the city, before coming back home, it is always time to say another goodbye to our magnificent city. So this is the perfect reason to move to Lungotevere and have the last relaxing evening walk. You can call it “passeggiata serale”, as we called it in Rome. 🙂 It is more than a simple walk. It is like walking surrounded by beauty, getting lost in the streets always with the nose up to see a new stunning detail. For someone like me, who finds solace and wonder in the simple act of walking, this is when the city truly reveals its soul.

My favourite path for an evening passeggiata leads me to the serene banks of the Tiber River, along the picturesque Lungotevere. Here, the city’s heartbeat slows to a gentle rhythm, and the gentle breeze carries whispers of history and romance. As I wander, I find myself getting lost in the magic of Rome—the graceful arches of ancient bridges, the soft murmur of the river, and the warm glow of street lamps that seem to guide my way.

The beauty of a Roman evening passeggiata is that it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. It’s about the unexpected discoveries—the hidden piazzas, the cozy gelato shops, and the sound of distant laughter from a bustling trattoria. It’s a chance to witness the city’s transformation from day to night, as Rome gracefully transitions from the vibrant chaos of the day to the enchanting serenity of the evening.

10 best things to do in Rome on Sunday like a local

We have just arrived to the end of our FREE Guide about all the secrets of living a Sunday in Rome as a local. I had a lot of fun in writing down this article, because it was like a sort of investigation in my daily life. It was really amazing! 🙂 I hope that this guide will help you to know more about my precious Rome and why Italians love it so much. Oh, sorry, I have to be honest with you. We Romans love and hate Rome in the same time.

But maybe the love we feel for this stunning city is definitely bigger than the hate. 🙂 If you need some information about how to organise the best itinerary in Rome, feel free to leave a comment on this Blog Post. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Xoxo, 

You Italian Friend, Marianna

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