Over the years, I’ve heard from over multiple people Rome isn’t as magical as the movies make it seem.

For example, my sister- and brother-in-law thought it was way too touristy and crowded to enjoy. 

So, when I finally made it to Rome last year, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than lots of amazing food and wine.

Spoiler alert, I fell in love with it.

On my first evening in town, as I was walking across a bridge, eating gelato and gazing at the city lights as they glimmered, with street musicians in the distance, everything was right in the world.

If I had been on a date, it would’ve been such a romantic end to the evening.

I had just started dating my now boyfriend, and we’d text while I was exploring throughout the day.

I’d describe where I was and we’d imagine all the romantic moments we would share in the city one day when we returned together. 

After all, there’s nothing better than traveling with a partner when it leads to unforgettable moments. 

Since I know I’m not the only one who loves a bit of romance while traveling, check out this list of all the most romantic things to do in Rome.

Just be ready to fall in love with Rome (and probably your partner) as you experience all the romance this city offers.


Make a Wish at the Trevi Fountain

Okay, so you may not go full La Dolce Vita at the Trevi Fountain, but you can marble at its beauty and toss in the customary three coins together. 

Supposedly, you’re meant to throw one coin to guarantee your return to Rome, the next for new romance, and the third for marriage. 

If you want to hit up the fountain without many people around, head there late at night or early in the morning.



Wander Around Villa Borghese

A friend told me the Borghese Galleria was their favorite thing in Rome.

I had never heard of it before, but took their advice and went.

I was blown away by how beautiful the Villa Borghese gardens are, with all their fountains and musicians playing around every corner.

If you’re visiting during the warmer months, this is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic. 

You should also book tickets to check out the Borghese Galleria. The interior is incredible, and they host some amazing exhibitions. When I was there, I saw a marvelous Damien Hirst show.

Even if art isn’t your thing, you’ll absolutely want to take a stroll through this beautiful portion of Rome. 



Take a Cruise Along the Tiber

Walking along the Tiber at sunset was absolutely magical while I was in Rome, so I’m betting that same view from a boat would be super romantic.

The biggest thing I’d focus on for romance is booking a sunset boat ride.

I’ve linked a bunch of different cruise options below for you to check out. 

Just remember, book your rides early!



Check out one of these popular boat rides while in Rome!


Indulge in Some Gelato

Who doesn’t love gelato?

Make a day out of wandering around town and trying all the gelato places until you find your favorite one.

If you’re looking for a few of the top gelato spots in Rome, sample some of these spots:



Rent a Vespa

Ever since watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie, I’ve always wanted to rent a vespa to go sightseeing.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought her time on the back of Paulo’s scooter looked like a super fun and sexy way to see Rome. 

The major key here is that one of you will need to have an international driver’s license.

If you need to apply for one, do it early as it involves mailing in proof of license and photos. All the details for applying can be found here



Not sure about driving solo? Book one of these guided tour options!


Get Lost in an Opera

Plan a date night at the classic Italian opera at the grand Teatro dell’Opera.

While formal attire isn’t required, this is a great opportunity to dress up a bit for a fancy night out on the town. 

They host mainly opera, with some ballet performances scattered within their schedule.

The interior of the theater is seriously beautiful and totally romantic.

Also, don’t stress if you can’t understand Italian, they have English subtitles at the theater.



Walk Across the Ponte Sisto

Wondering what the “Ponte Sisto” is?

I wasn’t sure either when someone suggested I add it to the list.

Turns out it’s a beautiful bridge in Rome’s historic center that seriously oozes romance on a warm summer night with its lamps burning softly, and a view of St. Peter’s Dome glowing in the distance. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if you catch a proposal here. This spot is seriously one of the most romantic spots in the city.



Enjoy the Art at the Vatican Museums

Okay, so total disclaimer, there’s a part of me that still can’t believe this made the list.

Maybe because after going to Catholic school growing up, I find it hard for anything religious to be very romantic.

But the Vatican Museums won me over—even though they do have the same annoying dress code that Catholic school did.

You can easily spend hours wandering around the museum, enjoying their vast collection of art, sculptures, maps, and religious pieces. 

Trust me, nothing brings romance, like staring at Michelangelo, Rafael and even Salvador Dali.

Local’s Tip: Go early and check out the rest of the Vatican, like Saint Peter’s Square and the Dome. 



This place is normally sold out by the day of, so be sure to book entry early!


Take in the Sunset at Passeggiata del Gianicolo

Rome gets some pretty dreamy sunsets, and one of the best places to enjoy them is Passeggiata del Gianicolo.

Found at the top of a hill, this tree-lined avenue along the Tiber’s western bank is the best spot for incredible views of the sky turning colors along the skyline of Rome’s biggest attractions. 

To get there, climb the steps (there’s a lot of them) of the Salita di Sant’Onofrio off Piazza della Rovere just to the southeast of Piazza San Pietro. From there, follow the path and end your evening stroll at Acqua Paola fountain.

Fun Fact: You’ll likely spot a strange landlocked lighthouse on your walk. It was a gift from Argentina in 1911. There’s also a cannon that fires off a loud round at noon each day for people to keep time by.  



Eat All the Italian Food

One thing I learned quickly about Rome is that the very best Italian food is well outside of the major tourist spots. 

In fact, my favorite spot quickly became this delicious little spot owned by two brothers about a twenty-five-minute walk from the Colosseum. 

I loved it so much that I ended up dining there five out of the seven evenings I was in town. 

I did try new spots, some of which were very good, but then I’d hit up a disapointing spot.

I’d sit there thinking I should’ve gone back to La Taverna Italia

Their penne arrabiata and tiramisu is honestly the main reason I’m dying to go back to Rome again this year.

Head to this place for a date night, and I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret it.



Spend the Day Getting Lost in Trastevere

Trastevere is a beautiful old part of Rome with tons of delicious restaurants and cafes around every corner.

This was easily one of my favorite more low-key areas of Rome to explore. 

I’d suggest taking the afternoon to grab lunch here, then stroll around exploring the neighborhood until dinner time.

A lot of the superb places in Rome don’t take reservations, so make sure you line up early for a spot. 

Don’t believe me?

When I thought I was being smart about timing my arrival when a hot pasta place opened for lunch, I arrived and waited an hour for the next available table. 

Trust me, it’s worth it to wait if you see people milling around close to when a spot is opening.



Shop at Campo de Fiori

Head to the border between rione Parione and rione Regola to shop at the famous Campo de Fiori

It’s a market that’s open every morning from Monday through Saturday and is a popular place to pick up fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and beautiful flowers.

I highly suggest you visit the first day or so of your trip and treat your partner to a beautiful bouquet while you’re shopping.

Then you can both enjoy the flowers in your room over the time of your stay. 

Fun Fact: Campo de Fiori began in 1869, making it one of the oldest markets in Rome.



Enjoy Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is easily one of the prettiest squares in Rome and is absolutely worth visiting while exploring Rome.

It’s got tons of beautiful fountains, great people watching, and countless cafes and street performers.

Plus, it’s got history. 

Emperor Domitian built it in 86 AD as a stadium for athletic competitions. 

Later on, some gorgeous Baroque buildings replaced the stadium’s seating, and the square became a social one.

I’d grab either an early breakfast or sunset drinks in this area. I think either option would bring a bit of romance. 

Don’t forget to check out Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) while strolling around the square.

Local’s Tip: If you’re visiting during December, this square gets turned into an adorable holiday market. 



Explore Castel Sant’Angelo

This is a stunning castle I’m dying to visit on my next trip to Rome.

I actually walked by it a ton since my Airbnb was nearby, and it ended up being one of my favorite landmarks to see lit up as I was walking home every night. 

I’d recommend booking a visit for the afternoon and typing to time it so that you’re leaving the castle around sunset.

Castel Sant’Angelo is right on the river bank, and you’ll see some incredible views from the bridges and presumably from the castle. 



Book your tickets early, otherwise you may find that they’re sold out the day of.


Recreate Roman Holiday on the Spanish Steps

I’m not suggesting you get an impulse pixie cut while in Rome (if you’ve seen Roman Holiday, you know what I’m talking about).

What I’m suggesting is something so much sweeter.

Grab some gelato at Venchi Cioccolato e Gelato, then stroll over to the Spanish Steps to sit and enjoy your treat while you people watch. 

Bonus points if you’re meeting up here after some solo exploration and act out the run-in between Princess Anne and Joe Bradley.

Local’s Tip: Hit up Il Palazzetto at sunset for drinks and a spectacular view of the steps. 



Visit the Temple of Venus and Roma

What could be more romantic than visiting the temple of the Goddess of Love?

You’ll find this stunning piece of architecture in Colosseum Valley within the Forum.

I’d plan on spending at least four hours wandering around the Forum, maybe even six if you plan to visit the museum within the Forum. 

Your best bet is to buy tickets ahead of time. I got a special combo ticket when I was there, that let me visit the Colosseum and the Forum using the same ticket. 

Fun Fact: The Temple of Venus and Roma is thought to have been the largest temple in ancient Rome.



Watch the Sunset From the Roman Forum Lookout

While you’re planning you Forum visit, keep in mind there’s a ton to see and if you time it right, you’ll even get a romantic sunset in the mix.

Like I mentioned above, you’ll absolutely want to plan to be checking out the Forum for a solid chunk of the day. 

Since the Forum was the center of life in Rome back in the day, you’ll be checking out ruins of important religious and political places. 

I’d start at the bottom of the hill and work your way up. This way, you’ll be in a prime spot to enjoy the sunset.

Fun Fact: It’s believed that people first began meeting in the open-air Forum around 500 B.C., when the Roman Republic was founded.



Book early for your chance to see the Colosseum and the Roman Forum!


Enjoy a Night Tour of the Colosseum

Did you even go to Rome if you didn’t visit the Colosseum?

Cross this iconic spot off your bucket list together during a romantic date night.

If you time your tour around sunset, you will get some romantic views and photos.

Then after, take a twenty-minute walk to my favorite restaurant in Rome, La Taverna Italia



Create Your Own Wine Tasting Tour

Italy makes some of the best vino in the world, so it’s only natural that you spend as much of your time as possible sampling all their incredible wines (which are cheaper to drink in Italy).

I’d pick an evening and schedule a wine tasting to get the full knowledge of what you’re sampling. 

Or if you’re more into exploring the flavors of the wine yourself, pick a new one bottle each night to share and compare notes on. 



Join one of these popular wine tasting groups!


Stroll Around the City Centre at Night

This historic area of Rome is basically the older section of the city.

It includes The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon, amongst other sites. 

Grab a gelato after dinner and take a late night stroll through the area.

These places are super romantic, all lit up at night!



Look Around the Fori Imperiali

If you want to avoid having to look at the map too many times during your stay, head to Fori Imperiali.

It’s a road that runs straight from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. 

You’ll see some shopping, cafes, and, of course, tons of historical ruins, including the Forum.



Enjoy the View From St. Peter’s Dome

If you’re looking for one of the best views in all of Roma, head to St. Peter’s Dome.

Fair warning, to get this incredible view you must climb 551 steps which become progressively more narrow and winding as you reach the top. 

If you want the easier way, you can opt to pay a bit more to take the elevator most of the way. Then you’ll only need to climb the last 320 steps to the top.

But once you climb that, you can basically indulge in all the carbs you want without any guilt for the day.



Plan your visit by booking with one of these tour groups!


Catch the Sunset at Pincio Terrace

You cannot miss this 19th century terrace with fountains at sunset. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic little make out, or even a slow dance if there are musicians nearby.

I know it sounds a bit cheesy to couples dance slowly in the street, but trust me it’s not.

I’ve done it and it’s super romantic!

I’d hit up Museo e Galleria Borghese in the late afternoon, then stroll out through the park and into Pincio Terrace to enjoy the romance of evening.



Stroll Down the Lungotevere

Go down Lungotevere dei Vallati and across Ponte Garibaldi bridge for one of my favorite walks. 

This place is beautiful any time of day, and so worth walking on a warm afternoon or evening.

You’ll get a spectacular view of Tiberina island and then continue your romance with food and drinks in Trastevere.



Take a Pasta Making Class

Anyone else want the option of bragging about how they learned to make pasta in Italy?

This is an activity that’s high on my bucket list.

My sister, brother-in-law, took a pasta making class together for one of their anniversaries and they still joke that it’s the date that kept on giving.

They still make pasta together at home as one of their date night activities.


Check out one of these popular classes!



Book a Food Tour

There’s nothing better than a good food tour.

My favorite part is that after you buy the tickets you’ll have very little planning to do for the date.

You will see some incredible views of the city, plus all pasta, pizza, and vino.

What could be better?


Check out some of these popular food tours of Rome!



Head to Aventine Hill at Sunset

Hit up one of your local markets, then take the metro to either the Circo Massimo or Piramide stops.

If you visit in the spring, head to their beautiful rose garden, where you’ll see over 1,000 different varieties of roses on display.

You’ll also want to check out the orange garden, and Santa Sabina church while exploring the area. 

Fun Fact: Aventine Hill is one of seven hills that they built Rome on.



Indulge in Something Sweet

When most of us think of Italy, we think of pizza, pasta, and wine.

Dessert is never the first thing mentioned, but it deserves a place at the table.

You’ve obviously got to try gelato, cannoli, profiteroles, panna cotta, crème caramel, tartufo, and tiramisu when in town.

I highly encourage you to make a day out of jumping around trying desserts. You can even pair them with new wines you want to try. 

Local’s Tip: If you’re craving something sweet while you’re by the Pantheon, head to Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio for some chocolate. 



Gaze at St. Valentine’s Skull

I know, some of you are probably thinking, how did I not realize Valentine’s Day is a Saint’s holiday?

Apparently it’s believed they executed him on February 14th, dying for love and now a few places lay claim to having his remains, with his skull believed to be at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. 

While you’re in the museum, you should also check out the Mouth of Truth. You’ll recognize it from Roman Holiday. 

Legend has it if you stick your hand in the mask’s mouth, it will chomp down and take the fingers of any liars. 

Fun Fact: He secretly married christian couples when it was outlawed in Rome. So he’s considered the patron Saint of love. 



Get Drinks With a View

Last but not least, getting a cocktail with a view is always a good idea while traveling.

Trust me, it almost always leads to one of the most memorable evenings of the trip

These are the spots I’m dying to check out for romantic drinks the next time I’m in town with my boyfriend.


Wrapping Up the Romance

romantic things to do in rome romance in rome rome date night image of vatican at sunset

I hope you’ll fall in love with Rome as much as I have, and that you get to experience all the romance while there. 

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve got a romantic spot that deserves to be on the list!


Book one of these popular tours while in Rome!

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