What are the best things to do in the Vatican area?
Depending on your itinerary and accommodation, some visitors only visit the Vatican area one time during their stay in Rome. If that’s the case, we made a list of the top 5 things to do in the Vatican area:
Visit the Trionfale Food Market. Just around the corner from the Vatican Museums is Rome’s largest food market. Spend some time perusing the stalls and check out the incredible fresh produce, fish and meat available. Stock up on fresh buffalo mozzarella, savory cured meats and vine-ripe tomatoes for a picnic or to keep in your accommodation. There is even Lazio wine sold by the liter that can be sampled before purchase, taking all of the guesswork out of buying wine in a supermarket. Most importantly, the Trionfale Market is a reminder of what visitors find most charming about Italy - the incredible fresh produce and the irresistible Italian charm that combine for a delicious experience.
ADDRESS: Via Andrea Doria, 3, 00192 Roma RM
HOURS: 07:00-19:00 TUE/THU/FRI; 07:00-14:00 WED/SAT; CLOSED SUN
PRICE: below supermarket prices
Walk Bernini’s Bridge of Angels. The Aelian Bridge links the Vatican to Rome’s historic center and is lined with statues designed by the great Gianlorenzo Bernini. The ten incredible angels each hold an instrument of the Passion of Christ and are meant to encourage contemplation as pilgrims once used this bridge to reach the Vatican. The striking view of the angels overlooking the Tiber river with Saint Peter’s Dome in the background is a uniquely Roman experience for any visitor.
ADDRESS: Ponte Sant’Angelo, 00186, Roma RM
HOURS: Always open
Hang out at the Castel Sant’Angelo. Construction on the Castel Sant’Angelo began in 135 AD by the Emperor Hadrian. He intended for the structure to be used as a mausoleum for himself and his family. In 271 AD the Emperor Aurelian included the castle as part of the Aurelian walls that lined the city. The castle’s strategic position saw it become a defensive bastion against Barbarian attacks and, by the Middle Ages, it had become an unassailable fortress. A statue of the archangel Michael sits atop the Castel Sant’Angelo as a reminder of the end of the terrible plague of 590 AD. While a visit inside the Castle itself is a bit pricey (€15), the shaded park around the monument offers benches and a bit of relaxation after a long day at the Vatican Museums.
ADDRESS: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma Rm
HOURS: 09:00-19:30 EVERY DAY
CONTACT: +39 06 681 9111
Enjoy a breathtaking view of Rome from the Gianicolo Hill. The Gianicolo Hill lies between the Vatican area and the neighborhood of Trastevere. Technically located outside of the city walls, the Gianicolo is not considered one of Rome’s “Seven Hills,” but it boasts some of the most spectacular views of the Eternal City. It is a bit of a hike to get to the top, but the views of Rome are definitely worth it. For an especially breathtaking view of Rome, make sure to time your visit with either sunrise or sunset.
ADDRESS: Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi, 00165 Roma RM
HOURS: Always open
Smell the roses at the Flower Market. The Flower Market on Via Trionfale is a little-known gem of Rome. This two storey market is fragrant and colorful, and it’s where local florists purchase their flowers and plants. For a truly relaxing break from Rome's hustle and bustle, chat with local vendors and immerse yourself in the rows of beautiful flowers. This is a great spot to visit after a day full of crowds in the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica.
ADDRESS: Via Trionfale, 45, 00187 Roma Rm
HOURS: 10:00-13:00 TUE
CONTACT: +39 06 3973 8027