Is Rome Worth Visiting? My Honest Opinion, Pros & Cons

So I have lived in Rome for about 20 years and when someone asks me “Is Rome worth visiting?”, the question always takes me aback. If you want my short, straight answer, I will tell you that I find Rome the world’s most beautiful city so yes, it’s definitely worth visiting.

Whether you are interested in history, art, photography, food, you name it, it’s always worth planning a trip to Rome. The Eternal City has been the dream of artists, historians, academics, and travelers for centuries and guess what? It’s not showing any sign of cooling.

Still not convinced? Read on to find out if Rome is worth visiting for you or if you should head to another destination in Italy.

Image: Angela Corrias of Rome Actually in Piazza del Popolo in Rome.

Is Rome worth visiting? Pros and cons of traveling to Rome

What I like about Rome

The history

It’s not a mystery that its long and important history is one of the reasons why Rome is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. From the archaeological sites of Ancient Rome to the wonderful Baroque palaces and churches, there are layers of history that make sightseeing in Rome unique and utterly fascinating.

Places like San Clemente Basilica, Piazza Navona and its undergrounds in the Domitian Stadium, the Roman necropolis of the Vatican, and Santa Cecilia in Trastevere Basilica with its stunning crypt are fantastic examples of sites where you can appreciate the multiple layers

Image: Piazza Navona is where to go if you are wondering if is Rome worth visiting.

The wonderful architecture

Strictly linked to its history, Rome’s architecture has attracted researchers and historians for centuries. Starting right from the incredibly skillful ancient Roman architecture. Buildings like the Colosseum, the aqueducts, and the baths, for example those of Caracalla are all a precious testimony to the excellent engineering and architectural skills of ancient Romans.

Fast forward to more modern times, we can admire the architectural feats of leading Baroque architect and artist Francesco Borromini in buildings like Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane church, and Sant’Agnese in Agone church in Piazza Navona.

Image: Angela Corrias of Rome Actually in Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome.

The art

Given the importance of its history and architecture, we often forget that in Rome there are countless masterpieces from paintings to sculptures to mosaics. While Florence is most famous for its art galleries, Rome is mainly known for its ancient ruins. But many fantastic museums in Rome are also a big display of the work of ageless artists such as Bernini, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio.

Rome’s museums are often hosted in notable palaces and important artwork is displayed there as well as churches. For example, St. Peter’s Basilica is home to fantastic artwork including Michelangelo’s La Pietà. Similarly, what we visit now as museums have been residences, including the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, Palazzo Pamphilj, and Palazzo Barberini.

Image: Highlights of the Vatican Museums.

The views

Being such a stunning city, there are many viewpoints to enjoy the scenery, the rooftops, and the ancient ruins.

Whenever I’m in the city center, I try not to miss climbing the Pincio Terrace in Villa Borghese for a view of Piazza del Popolo and the Tridente roads. I absolutely love the view from the terrace of the Capitoline Museums as well as the one from the Vittoriano rooftop. And if you are looking for a great view over the Roman Forum, the best spot is behind the Campidoglio!

Image: The Roman Forum is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome. Photo by

The perpetual discovery

I have been living in Rome for almost 30 years and I’m far from seeing everything the city offers. Business owners or architects might not agree with me, but I love the fact that whenever they start digging or renovating, there is a new discovery and the cultural department of Rome’s Council puts a halt on everything.

Whether it’s an ancient theater, a Roman domus, or a piece of an aqueduct, every day there is a new discovery followed by related excavation. Some of the newest sites that have been discovered and/or opened to the public have been Largo di Torre Argentina and parts of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct that you can now see in the underground of La Rinascente shopping mall in Via del Tritone and in Vicus Caprarius.

Image: Rigatoni carbonara during Rome Testaccio food and market tour

The food

Rome is Italy’s capital geographically and food-wise, I’d say. The variety of restaurants, eateries, bakeries, international cuisines, food markets, street food places, and so on that you will find in Rome is deliciously overwhelming.

I suggest trying traditional Roman foods but if you feel like plant-based dishes or international recipes, rest assured that Rome will deliver. Any type of culinary experience you are craving, from a casual bistro to a stylish cafe to the family-run trattoria, the city has it all.

If you want to discover the local gastronomy with an expert, you can always take a food tour, while if you wish to learn how to make typical dishes, a cooking class is what you need!

The dolce vita

Enjoy the piazza lifestyle, sip a delicious espresso with the view of a Roman monument, tuck into a typical Roman dish, or simply sit near a fountain and savor a gelato with the water sound in the background.

I’m aware that Rome gets incredibly crowded especially in spring, but try to take your time to enjoy your trip instead of rushing just to tick off as many sights as you can off your bucket list.

Image: Ostiense is a good neighborhood in Rome to live for expats.

The different neighborhoods

While I love walking around the cobbled alleys of the city center, I enjoy and recommend getting off the beaten track and exploring other neighborhoods. In Ostiense, for example, you are going to have a very different experience than in Monti, but that’s still Rome and it’s great.

The same can be said about Testaccio, Garbatella, and the Trieste/Nomentano areas.

What I don’t like about Rome

The traffic

Not only do I get headaches when I drive in Rome but also when my husband drives and I’m supposed to be just the passenger. Even though my husband says it’s always the same, it seems to me that traffic in Rome gets worse by the day.

Driving through the red lights, not giving right of way, not stopping at the stop sign, pedestrians crossing just about everywhere without watching, motorbikes invading your lane from the opposite direction and surpassing left and right. These are only a few of the elements that make driving in Rome a reckless adventure.


Strictly linked to the previous point, finding parking in Rome is next to impossible, and not only within the free white line but also along the paid blue line. Recently, also parking in the (expensive) paid covered garages has been proving quite hard, especially around the city center.

The public transport

To reach the city center, using public transport is still my favorite option, but there is plenty of room for improvement. From the often-broken elevators and escalators to the long bus waits to the old and dirty metro stops, I think Rome’s council should make an extra effort to improve the service.

Pinterest image with one photo of Rome and a caption reading "Is Rome worth visiting?"

Is Rome very touristy?

Rome is very touristy. Even though the most crowded seasons are spring and fall, there are tourists in Rome all year round. In winter and around Christmas, you will probably see more Italian tourists, while in spring and summer travelers come from all over the world.

Is Florence better than Rome?

I might be biased but I prefer Rome over Florence. Florence is good for you if you are looking for a compact city center easy to walk around and to spend hours in art galleries. Even though Rome also has plenty of museums, it’s more famous for its open-air archaeological ruins.

Image: Piazza Navona in Rome.

While Rome is much bigger than Florence, don’t forget that also Florence requires quite a walk from one sight to another.

Is Rome better than Milan?

Rome and Milan are two very different cities and if your goal is sightseeing, Rome has a lot more to offer. Milan is a business hub and even though home to a variety of historical and artistic landmarks, it’s nowhere near Rome in the amount of monuments to explore.

Should you go to Rome or Venice?

I think Venice is gorgeous, mysterious, and really one-of-a-kind. I find it hard to suggest one over the other because they offer very different experiences. Venice is incredibly romantic and a stroll along its canals and bridges is really unparalleled.

But yet, if you are interested in ancient history and art masterpieces, Rome is your best bet.

Are you still wondering whether Rome is worth visiting or not? Our top reasons to visit Rome might help you decide!

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About The Author: Angela Corrias

Hi, my name is Angela Corrias! I am an Italian journalist, photographer, and blogger living in Rome. After over ten years of living abroad, I finally came to the conclusion that in order to better organize my future adventures, I needed a base. Since I know and love Rome so much, I moved back to the Eternal City. This is how Rome Actually was born. Here, I cover everything about Rome, from the local food to the culture to Roman history.

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