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The Marciana Library or Library of Saint Mark (Italian: Biblioteca Marciana, but in historical documents commonly referred to as Libreria pubblica di san Marco) is a public library in Venice, Italy. It is one of the earliest surviving public libraries and repositories for manuscripts in Italy and holds one of the world’s most significant collections of classical texts. It is named after St Mark, the patron saint of the city.

The library was founded in 1468 when the humanist scholar Cardinal Bessarion, bishop of Tusculum and titular Latin patriarch of Constantinople, donated his collection of Greek and Latin manuscripts to the Republic of Venice, with the stipulation that a library of public utility be established. The collection was the result of Bessarion’s persistent efforts to locate rare manuscripts throughout Greece and Italy and then acquire or copy them as a means of preserving the writings of the classical Greek authors and the literature of Byzantium after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. His choice of Venice was primarily due to the city’s large community of Greek refugees and its historical ties to the Byzantine Empire. The Venetian government was slow, however, to honour its commitment to suitably house the manuscripts with decades of discussion and indecision, owing to a series of military conflicts in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries and the resulting climate of political uncertainty. The library was ultimately built during the period of recovery as part of a vast programme of urban renewal aimed at glorifying the republic through architecture and affirming its international prestige as a centre of wisdom and learning.

The original library building is located in Saint Mark’s Square, Venice’s former governmental centre, with its long façade facing the Doge’s Palace. Constructed between 1537 and 1588, it is considered the masterpiece of the architect Jacopo Sansovino and a key work in Venetian Renaissance architecture.[1][2] The Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio described it as “perhaps the richest and most ornate building that there has been since ancient times up until now” (“il più ricco ed ornato edificio che forse sia stato da gli Antichi in qua”).[3] The art historian Jacob Burckhardt regarded it as “the most magnificent secular Italian building” (“das prächtigste profane Gebäude Italiens”),[4] and Frederick Hartt called it “one of the most satisfying structures in Italian architectural history”.[1] Also significant for its art, the library holds many works by the great painters of sixteenth-century Venice, making it a comprehensive monument to Venetian Mannerism.[5]

Today, the building is customarily referred to as the ‘Libreria sansoviniana’ and is largely a museum. Since 1904, the library offices, the reading rooms, and most of the collection have been housed in the adjoining Zecca, the former mint of the Republic of Venice. The library is now formally known as the Biblioteca nazionale Marciana. It is the only official institution established by the Venetian government that survives and continues to function.[6]

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Semantic SEO is a marketing technique to improve the traffic of a website by providing search engines with metadata and semantically relevant content that can unambiguously answer a specific search intent.

In 2011 as Google and other search engines began moving towards Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing to understand the searcher’s intent and the meaning of a query they started to work with entities and concepts rather than parsing questions and web pages using keywords.

As search engines got smarter and they started to dive into the real meaning of wordscontent owners have begun to move from creating web pages to describing these web pages using linked open data and semantic web technologies. This has become possible with the creation of the schema.org vocabulary, an initiative launched in 2011 by the world’s biggest search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo!) to implement a common data schema structure to describe web pages. On 1 November 2011 Russian largest search engine Yandex also joined the community.An overview of the schema.org vocabulary

An overview of the schema.org vocabulary

Why Semantic SEO?

In a nutshell, search engines need context to understand a query properly and to fetch relevant results for it. Contexts are built using words, expressions, and other combinations of words and links as they appear in bodies of knowledge such as encyclopedias and large corpora of text.

Semantic SEO is a marketing technique that improves the traffic of a website by providing meaningful metadata and semantically relevant content that can unambiguously answer a specific search intent. It is also a way to create clusters of content that are semantically grouped into topics rather than keywords. In a famous Google patent on context-vectors, an example with the word “horse” is provided. Same word but with different meanings in different contexts: a “horse” is an animal for an equestrian, a working tool for a carpenter, and a sport equipment for a gymnast. In Semantic SEO, much like Wikipedia does, content is cataloged and organized around each context in such a way that machines can understand and value its uniqueness.

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Elizabeth Raffald

Elizabeth Raffald (1733–1781) was an English author, innovator and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Doncaster, Yorkshire, Raffald went into domestic service for fifteen years, ending as the housekeeper to the Warburton baronets at Arley Hall, Cheshire. She moved with her husband to Manchester, where she opened a register office to introduce domestic workers to employers; she also ran a cookery school and sold food from the premises. In 1769 she published her cookery book The Experienced English Housekeeper, which contains the first recipe for a “Bride Cake” that is recognisable as a modern wedding cake. She is possibly the inventor of the Eccles cake. In August 1772 Raffald published The Manchester Directory, a listing of 1,505 traders and civic leaders in Manchester—the first such listing for the up-and-coming town. Her recipes were plagiarised by other authors, notably by Isabella Beeton in her bestselling Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861).

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This is a #lemon. This is a lemon.

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SEO Automation in 2021

SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) is a branch of web marketing which is aimed to improve the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s organic (meaning un-paid) search results (which are collected in a SERP). What kind of tactics does SEO use? SEO activities are divided into two main categories: On-page SEO:…automation is the process of using software to optimize a website’s performance programmatically. This article focuses on what you can do with the help of artificial intelligence to improve the SEO of your website. 
Let’s first remove the elephant in the room: SEO is not a solved problem (yet), and while we, as toolmakers, struggle to alleviate the work of web editors on one side while facilitating the job of search engines on the other, SEO automation is still a continually evolving field, and yes, a consistent amount of tasks can be fully automated, but no, the entire SEO workflow is still way too complicated to be entirely automated. There is more to this: Google is a giant AI, and adding AI to our workflow can help us interact at a deeper level with Google’s giant brain. We see this a lot with structured data; the more we publish structured information about our content, the more Google can improve its results and connect with our audience. 

This blog post is also available as Web Story ?  “SEO Automation in 2021 Web Story

An introduction to automatic SEO
Will Artificial Intelligence Solve SEO?
Automating Structured Data Markup
Finding new untapped content ideas with the help of AI
Automating Content Creation
Creating SEO-Driven Article Outlines
Crafting good page titles for SEO
Generating meta descriptions that work
Creating FAQ content on scale
How Does SEO Automation Work?

An introduction to automatic SEO 

When it comes to search engine optimization, we are typically overwhelmed by the amount of manual work that we need to do to ensure that our website ranks well in search engines. So, let’s have a closer look at the workflow to see where SEO automation can be a good fit..

  1. Technical SEO: Analysis of the website’s technical factors that impact its rankings, focusing on website speed, UX (Web Vitals), mobile response, and structured data.
    • Automation: Here, automation kicks in well already with the various SEO suites like MOZ, SEMRUSH, and WooRank, website crawling software like ScreamingFrog, Sitebulb, etc., and a growing community of SEO professionals (myself included) using Python and JavaScript that are continually sharing their insights and code. If you are on the geeky side and use Python, my favorite library is advertools by @eliasdabbas ? .
  2. On-Page SEO: Title Tag, Meta Descriptions, and Headings.
    • Automation: Here is where AI/deep learning brings value. We can train language models specifically designed for any content optimization task (i.e., creating meta descriptions or, as shown here by @hamletBatistatitle tag optimization). We can also use natural language processing (like we do with WordLift) to improve our pages’ structured data markup ?. 
  3. Off-page SEO: Here, the typical task would be creating and improving backlinks. 
    • Automation: Ahrefs backlink checker is probably among the top solutions available for this task. Alternatively, you can write your Python or Javascript script to help you claim old links using the Wayback machine (here is the Python Package that you want to use).
  4. SEO strategy: Traffic pattern analysis, A/B testing, and future predictions.
    • Automation: here also we can use machine learning for time series forecasting. A good starting point is this blog post by @JR Oaks. We can use machine learning models to predict future trends and highlight the topics for which a website is most likely to succeed. Here we would typically see a good fit with Facebook’s library Prophet or Google’s Causal Impact analysis.

Will Artificial Intelligence Solve SEO?

AI effectively can help us across the entire SEO optimization workflow. Some areas are, though, based on my personal experience, more rewarding than others. Still, again – there is no one size fix all and, depending on the characteristics of your website, the success recipe might be different. Here is what I see most rewarding across various verticals.   

Automating Structured Data Markup

Structured data is one of these areas in SEO where automation realistically delivers a scalable and measurable impact on your website’s traffic. Google is also focusing more and more on structured data to drive new features on its result pages. Thanks to this, it is getting simpler to drive additional organic traffic and calculate the investment return.

ROI of structured data
Here is how we can calculate the ROI of structured data
Here is a concrete example of a website where, by improving the quality of structured data markup (on scale, meaning by updating thousands of blog posts), we could trigger Google’s Top stories, to create a newflow of traffic for a news publisher. 

Finding new untapped content ideas with the help of AI 

There are 3.5 billion searches done every day on Google, and finding the right opportunity is a daunting task that can be alleviated with natural language processing and automation. You can read Hamlet Batista’s blog post on how to classify search intents using Deep Learning or try out Streamsuggest by @DataChaz to get an idea. 

Here at WordLift, we have developed our tool for intent discovery that helps our clients gather ideas using Google’s suggestions. The tool ranks queries by combining search volume, keyword competitiveness and if you are already using WordLift, your knowledge graph. This comes in handy as it helps you understand if you are already covering that specific topic with your existing content or not. Having existing content on a given topic might help you create a more engaging experience for your readers.  Here is a preview of our new ideas generator – write me to learn more

We give early access to our upcoming tools and features to a selected number of clients. Do you want to join our VIP Program?

Become a VIP

Automating Content Creation 

Here is where I expect to see the broadest adoption of AI by marketers and content writers worldwide. With a rapidly growing community of enthusiasts, it is evident that AI will be a vital part of content generation. New tools are coming up to make life easier for content writers, and here are a few examples to help you understand how AI can improve your publishing workflow. 

Creating SEO-Driven Article Outlines

We can train autoregressive language models such as GPT-3 that use deep learning to produce human-like text. Creating a full article is possible, but the results might not be what you would expect. Here is an excellent overview by Ben Dickson that demystifies AI in the context of content writing and helps us understand its limitations.  https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1303340597449822208&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordlift.io%2Fblog%2Fen%2Fseo-automation%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

There is still so much that we can do to help writing be more playful and cost-effective. One of the areas where we’re currently experimenting is content outlining. Writing useful outlines helps us structure our thoughts, dictates our articles’ flow, and is crucial in SEO (a good structure will help readers and search engines understand what you are trying to say). Here is an example of what can be done in this area. 

I provide a topic such as “SEO automation” and I get the following outline proposals:

  • What is automation in SEO?
  • How it is used?
  • How it is different from other commonly used SEO techniques?  

You still have to write the best content piece on the Internet to rank, but using a similar approach can help you structure ideas faster.  

Crafting good page titles for SEO

Creating a great title for SEO boils down to: 

  1. helping you rank for a query (or search intent);
  2. entice the user to click through to your page from the search results

It’s a magical skill that marketers acquire with time and experience. And yes, this is the right task for SEO automation as we can infuse the machine with learning samples by looking at the best titles on our website. Here is one more example that we’re working on: a trained model that can come up with great title suggestions given a few topics. Let’s try it out. Here I am adding two topics: SEO automation and AI (quite obviously). 

The result is valuable, and most importantly, the model is stochastic, so if we try the same combination of topics multiple times each time, the model generates a new title.

Generating meta descriptions that work

Also, we can unleash deep learning and craft the right snippet for our pages or at least provide the editor with a first-draft to start with for meta description. Here is an example of an abstractive summary for this blog post.  

Creating FAQ content on scale 

The creation of FAQ content can be partially automated by analyzing popular questions from Google and Bing and providing a first draft response using deep learning techniques. Here is the answer that I can generate for “Is SEO important in 2021?”

DISCLAIMER: these tools are not yet part of WordLift but are being tested with a selected number of clients. Do you want to join our VIP Program to automate your SEO? Drop us an email

How Does SEO Automation Work? 

Here is how you can proceed when approaching SEO automation. It is always about finding the right dataidentifying the strategy, and running A/B tests to prove your hypothesis before going live on thousands of web pages. 

It is also essential to distinguish between:

  • Deterministic output – where I know what to expect and
  • Stochastic output – where the machine might generate a different variation every time, and we will need to keep a final human validation step.   

I believe that the future of SEO automation and the contribution of machine/deep learning to digital marketing is nowSEOs have been automating their tasks for a while now, but SEO automation tools using AI are just starting to take off and significantly improve traffic and revenues.

Are you Interested in trying out WordLift Content Intelligence solutions to scale up your content production? Book a meeting with one of our experts or drop us a line.  


The image we used in this blog post is a series of fantastical objects generated by OpenAI’s DALL·E new model by combining two unrelated ideas (clock and mango).

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Best places to visit in Rome

Visit Rome: 25 Must-See Attraction

1. The Colosseum and its murderous games

Lets start this list of the must-see attractions with the Colosseum, located in the Historic Center (“Centro Storico” in Italian). It’s the most emblematic monument to visit in Rome!

With a capacity of more than 50,000 spectators, it’s the largest amphitheater in the Roman world. Quite much blood was shed in these arenas, where the famous gladiatorial combats, animals fights and Roman games were held, always followed by horrific deaths.

The visit isn’t free and you will probably have to wait for a few hours before getting there if you are going in high season.Voyage Tips Advice

Here is my tip: to avoid waiting in line for hours, you can:

  • Buy skip the line tickets for the Colosseum, with or without guided visit. You need to buy them here.
  • Purchase the Rome City Pass (click here), an all access pass with no time limit and free skip the line entrances to the most famous touristic sites of Rome and Vatican. (Colosseum is of course included). You also get rebates of 20% or more on other activities.

And you know the best about this pass? It also include a free 1 way airport transfert and a free audio guide.

It’s new and it offers an amazing value for money!

I have personally saved more than 50 euros thanks to the Omnia card during my stay in Rome! (And a few hours of waiting in line ?)

colosseum rome
The colosseum

2. The Roman Forum

The ticket purchased at the Colosseum also includes access to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill (I will talk about it just below), so it would be a shame to miss them, as the 3 touristic sites are linked together.

The forum was the centre of the city and you can see ruins of ancient markets, administrative and religious buildings. However, you will not find any explanation on the site, so if you’re interested in history, you should really opt for a guided tour.

Roman Forum
The Roman Forum

3. The Palatine Hill

This is the third point of interest included in the Colosseum ticket.

Palatine Hillone of the 7 hills of Rome, is according to mythology the place where the city was founded by Romulus and Remus. As you might know, they are the two twins who would have been found and suckled by a wolf in a cave.

At the top of Palatine Hill, you will have access to this cave and ruins of the residences of historical figures such as Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill

4. Piazza Venezia

Not far from the Roman Forum, at the other end of Via dei fori impierali, you can find piazza Venezia, one of Rome’s main squares. From there, all the streets leads to Rome’s main tourist attractions!

This is where you can admire the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, also called “Altare della Patria” or “Vittoriano”, a huge white marble building dedicated to the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II.

Next to the square, there is also the famous Trajan’s column, with bas-reliefs retracing the military conquests of the Emperor Trajan.

Monument to Victor-Emmanuel II, Piazza Venezia
Monument to Victor-Emmanuel II, Piazza Venezia

5. Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitol Square)

Climb the broad staircase leading to the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II and you will arrive on Capitol Square. Designed by Michelangelo himself, it was formerly the political and religious heart of Rome. On Capitol Square, you can see:

  • The Palazzo Senatorio or Senatorial Palace
  • The Palazzo dei Conservatori or Palace of the Conservators
  • Palazzo Nuovo or New Palace, which now houses the Capitoline Museums and the Museum of Art and Archaeology. One of the most famous art piece you can find there is the Capitoline Wolf statue: The one with the mythical she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. You may have already seen it, it’s in almost all history books! Don’t forget to buy your tickets in advance here.
Piazza del Campidoglio
Piazza del Campidoglio

6. The Pantheon

The Pantheon is the best preserved ancient building in Rome and another must-see touristic attraction to add to this list!

Originally dedicated to all mythology divinities, it became a Christian church in the 7th century. Don’t hesitate to enter, the visit is free of charge, which is rare enough to mention it!

Inside, admire the immense dome and the oculus (the opening in the dome), giving the place a unique lighting.

In the Pantheon, you can also see the tombs of Raphael (the famous artist) and Victor Emmanuel II (1st king of Italy, as mentioned above when I talked about the beautiful building dedicated to him on Piazza Venezia)

And if you want to get more historical information, you should get an audioguide. It can be booked here.

visit Rome Pantheon
The Pantheon, a free visit you shouldn’t miss in Rome

7. Piazza Navona

The Piazza Navona is located in the heart of the historic center, not far from the Pantheon. it’s one of the most beautiful and famous square of Rome! There, you can admire the 3 following fountains:

  • The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
  • The Fontana del Nettuno
  • The Fontana del Moro

It’s a great place to have a drink or eat ice cream on one of the many terraces, but beware, since this place is very touristic, the prices are too!

piazza Navona
The piazza Navona

8. Trevi Fountain

Also close to the Pantheon, you’ll find the most famous fountain of Europe: The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi in Italian). A must see for anyone visiting Rome.

Because of the legend surrounding it, this fountain is also renowned for hosting a large number of wedding proposals! Legend has it that in order to save her virginity, a young girl had to reveal the location of the source to the Romans.

In the basin, there are numerous statues representing an allegory of the sea, with Neptune on his chariot in the center. The tradition says you should throw 2 coins: one to make a wish and the other one to be sure to return to Rome. 

Behind the fountain, a large baroque palace contributes much to the charm of the place. Just one thing: the place is always crowded, so you will have a lot of trouble to make a perfect photo of the fountain with no unwanted heads!

Nevertheless, the Trevi Fountain is a major point of interest in Rome.

Trevi Fountain Rome
The famous Trevi Fountain, in Rome

9. Enjoy a gelato (Italian ice cream)

After Trevi fountain, to recover from your emotions (if you were proposed or if you knelt down on your knees while sweating with stress!) or simply to take a short break during the day, it’s time to enjoy an ice cream.

The great new is that you’re in the ideal place, very close to one of the 2 best ice cream shops of Rome: San Crispino located on the Via della Panatteria. The queue is often impressive, but the best things in life are the hardest to obtain!

And since opinions often differ on THE best ice cream in Rome, I also give you the name of San Crispino’s direct competitor, the gelateria “Giolliti” located in Via Uffici del Vicario.

Whichever you choose, you will face the same problem of long waiting line and multiple choice of perfume dilemma.

And yes, as you know from my articles on Nice or Annecy, I am a big ice cream fan! So I have a pro advice to give you: test both! It’s the best way to make up your own mind, isn’t it?

Italian Ice cream Rome
Italian Ice cream shop in Rome

10. Go shopping in Rome

If you want to do some shopping in Rome, it’s the right moment: You’re close to the 2 main shopping streets.

Go shopping in Via del corso

Go to Via del Corso to do some shopping at reasonable prices with big brands such as Zara or H&M.

Go shopping in Via condotti

If you have a higher budget or just want to admire the shop windows, continue your way on Via Condotti. It’s the most prestigious street of Rome with brands like Gucci, Armani or Prada. A bit like the Champs Elysée in Paris!

11. Piazza di Spagna

The Via Condotti will take you straight to the charming Piazza di Spagna, certainly one of the most popular squares, thanks to the beautiful perspective it offers.

The Piazza di Spagna is located at the foot of the monumental staircase leading it to the Trinità dei Monti church. The flowery staircase is the perfect place to take a short break for tourists and Italians alike. A popular gathering place!

On the square, you can also see the Barcaccia fountain ,which adds to the charm of the place.

Piazza di Spagna Rome
The Piazza di Spagna, in Rome

12. Visit Rome’s churches

As I was saying, at the top of the Piazza di Spagna stairs, there is the Trinità dei Monti church which offers a breathtaking view of the city. Its location makes it one of the most famous churches in Rome. Did you knew that the city has no less than 900?

Here is a list of the most beautiful churches in Rome, some of them are true architecture masterpieces!

Let’s start with the 4 largest basilicas in the world, which fortunately are all in Rome:

Some other interesting churches to see in Rome:

  • Chiesa del Gesù
  • Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
  • Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli
  • Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria della Concezione
  • Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola (my favorite in rome)
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

13. Villa Borghese gardens

North of Piazza di Spagna, there is the largest and certainly the most beautiful public park in Rome.

The Villa Borghese gardens offers a bit of very welcomed calm, after the crowded streets and tourist attractions! You will be able to walk in the wide shady alleys and at the edge of a lake surrounded by temples, statues and many fountains. The park also has a beautiful botanical garden.

To get there, go to Porta Pinciana or Piazzale Flaminio, the 2 park entrances.

Villa Borghese gardens
Villa Borghese gardens

14. Visit Rome’s museums

The Villa Borghese park is also home to 3 museums:

In addition to the museums located in the park, there are many others to visit in Rome, such as:

  • The Capitoline museums: On Piazza del Campidoglio, I told you about it a bit before
  • The Vatican museums: more than 13 museums grouped together in a huge architectural ensemble of nearly 7 kilometers long! Several possible routes ranging from 1h30 to 5 hours of visit. But don’t worry, all routes end at the very famous Sistine Chapel. To have more time to enjoy the visits, I highly recommand you to buy the skip the line tickets in advance. You will save a lot of time! Grab them here now.
  • Museo Palatino, with everything archaeologists discovered on Palatine Hill
  • Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica or National Gallery of Ancient Art, with a collection of Italian and European paintings. You should go there to admire the works of Raphael or Caravaggio.
museum rome Borghese Gallery
Borghese Gallery

15. Piazza del Popolo

The Piazza del Popolo or People’s Square is located near Villa Borghese.

It’s one of the largest squares of Rome. It’s a major point of interest, with its fountains, 3 churches and obelisk. From the square, climb the stairs to the top of the hill, you will have a beautiful view up to the Vatican.

piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo

16. The bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo

From the piazza, you can then follow the Tiber to the Sant’Angelo bridge and the castle of the same name located on the opposite bank.

The bridge is decorated with 10 statues representing angels, all designed by Bernini. From the bridge, you will have a magnificent view of the city and the river.

The Castel Sant’Angelo, on the other hand, was built by Emperor Hadrian to serve as a mausoleum. Later on, it started to play an important military role: it even served as a place of refuge for the popes during invasions! They have even created a direct access to the Vatican.

You can visit the castle, see the tombs and the ancient popes apartments. You shouldn’t miss the great view from the rampart walk.

Don’t waste your time waiting and buy the skip the line tickets in advance here.

The bridge and Castel Sant'Angelo
The bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo

17. The Vatican

A long corridor leads from the Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican. Even if you’re not a believer, a visit to the Vatican is a must during a stay in Rome.

It’s the smallest country in the world, yet is one of the most visited places during a tour in Italy. Only priests and nuns, some dignitaries, guards, and of course the pope are allowed to live there.

A little fact about the guards: they are only Swiss and must of course be Catholic. They swear an oath of fidelity to the Pope himself.

This tradition goes back to the sack of Rome in 1527, when the Swiss guards protected the pope during his escape to the Sant’Angelo castle.

Vatican

18. St. Peter’s Square

You will enter the Vatican through the famous St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro in Italian). Every year, millions of pilgrims and tourists comes to see this square!

St. Peter’s Square was designed with the following principle in mind: they wanted to allow the greatest number of people to see the Pope give his blessing from the balcony of  St. Peter’s Basilica.

Two colonnades surround the square, consisting of nearly 280 columns and 145 saints statues. In the center of St. Peter’s Square stands an Egyptian obelisk surrounded by 2 large fountains.

The long waiting lines to visit the basilica start from this square.

St Peter's Square Vatican
The huge St Peter’s Square, in the Vatican city

19. St. Peter’s Basilica

To visit St. Peter’s Basilica, you will have to be patient (or be smarter than others and buy the skip the lines tickets here!) However, once inside, the impressive basilica will make forget the long waiting hours. There, you can admire many altars and monuments and be impressed by the rich baroque decoration. To see:

  • The many funerary monuments of the popes
  • The famous Saint Peter’s statue
  • The gigantic dome designed by Michelangelo.

On the right side of the basilica, you can access the dome. You need to take an elevator first, and then, the hardest thing, to climb 323 extra steps.

It’s not recommended for claustrophobes, the ceiling is low and the corridors narrow, but your effort will be greatly rewarded by the magnificent view of the city of Rome.

The entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica is free of charge, you will just be searched at the entrance. Access to the dome has a fee.

St. Peter's Basilica
The St. Peter’s Basilica

20. Trastevere district

After the basilica and to stay on the right bank of the Tiber, I advise you to visit Trastevere district during your trip to Rome

This neighbourhood is becoming more and more trendy and a little “Hipster”, but for now it has retained all its original charm.

You will be (relatively) away from the crowd to discover its typical narrow and flowery streets. There is no big historical monument here like in the rest of Rome, but a real “Italian” neighborhood with its inhabitants and local shops.

I personally visited Trastevere in October, but it seems many tourists visit the area in high season and it becomes less quiet!

On your way to the north of the district, go up the Gianicolo hill to admire a beautiful panorama of the city.

Trastevere district, in Rome
Trastevere district

21. Where to eat in Rome: Have lunch in a trattoria!

The Trastevere district is also the ideal place to enjoy pizza or good pasta in a traditional trattoria. There are a lot of authentic local restaurants with nice small terraces and without too many tourists, it’s the perfect match!

Some nice places in the district:

  • Roma Sparita: Big terrace, traditional Roman cuisine. Don’t miss the speciality of the restaurant: the “cacio e pepe” spaghetti with pecorino cheese and pepper served in a cheese shell. This is my favorite for its great value for money. Requires reservation.
  • Antico Arco: Excellent dishes (especially the risotto) and a very good wine list. Bonus: they bring you a sample of your partner’s dish in a small plate so you can taste it.
  • Tonnarello: Typical, excellent cuisine on a very pleasant setting. Generous dishes at affordable prices.

Of course, if you’re not in the neighborhood for lunchtime, you won’t starve to death with the many choices of trattorias, restaurants and sandwich shops right in the heart of Rome’s historic centre:

  • Birra e sale: Located next to Piazza Navona. Sandwiches are delicious and made with fresh products. You should definitely try the cold cuts and cheeses!
  • Pizzeria Loffredo: Very good pizzas and fresh pasta. Great selection of dishes. Friendly atmosphere and very welcoming staff. Booking strongly recommended. Perfect price / quality!
  • Il Tamburello di Pulcinella: little family restaurant with food made by the mama. Pizzas, pastas, desserts, all home made for a reasonable price. Booking recommended.

22. Campo di Fiori

Since I’ve made your mouth water with Italian cuisine, let’s keep going! To enjoy the smell of fresh produce and admire their bright colors, I advise you to take a little walk through the campo di Fiori.

Every morning (except Sunday) there is a fruit, vegetable, meat and fish market. Although appreciated by tourists because it’s located in Rome historical centre, this small market has managed to preserve all its authenticity.

It’s the perfect place if you want to bring home high quality products from Italy, and it’s much cheaper than in Rome touristic areas!Voyage Tips Advice

If you want to discover Rome’s gastronomy and typical products, you should book a street food guided tour with a local guide.

It’s clearly the best way to discover off the beaten track places and enjoy great italian food!

This tour is so amazing that they offer you a full refund if you don’t enjoy your time.

To book it, you simply have to click on the button below:I book my Rome food tour now!I want to discover Rome’s best food

Campo de Fiori market
Campo de Fiori market

23. San Lorenzo district

Like Trastevere district, the San Lorenzo district is less known to tourist and clearly worth a look.

Originally a working-class district, it’s nowadays the student district, with Roman universities. In addition to students, it’s also the street artists favorite place.

And for amateurs, the nightlife is great and beer isn’t expensive at all!

24. Aventine Hill

A peaceful neighborhood, beautiful gardens and an incomparable view of the city, this is what the Aventine Hill (“Aventino” in Italian) has to offer!

You can also add:

  • Basilica di Santa Sabina all’Aventino
  • The famous Aventine Keyhole, located Piazza dei Cavalieri di MaltaYou will see people standing in line to look through the keyhole (I won’t say anything more!).

The Aventine hill will also offer you one of the most beautiful views of Rome. Did I say that already? ?

25. Visit the Catacombs of Rome

I will finish this list of the best things to do in Rome with an unusual activity: visiting the catacombs. I recommand you the Catacombs of Callixtus, the best to visit in my opinion!

Once used as cemeteries for Jews and Christians, they are the largest in the city and cover almost 15 hectares. On the walls, you can see representations of Christian life such as baptism and scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

The visit of Rome catacombs takes about 30 minutes and must be done with a guide.

If you want to visit Rome’s catacombs during your stay, the easiest is probably to go to the Capuchin Crypt, as it’s located downtown, next to the Trevi Fountain. You should book the tickets for the tour here (the guide is included).

Other catacombs such as San Sebastian, Domitilla or Catacomb of Priscilla can also be visited.

Rome catacombs
Rome catacombs

Things to do in Rome when it rains

If it starts to rain during your stay in Rome and you don’t really know what to do, no need to worry!

I have prepared for you a list of the best things to do in Rome on a rainy day:

  • Visit Rome’s museums: considering the number of museums in town, it can for sure keep you busy for a few days, especially if you go to the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel.
  • Going to the Pantheon: you may not know it, but when it’s raining in Rome, it’s actually raining inside the Pantheon! The central oculus is just a hole, so the rains falls through it. Inside, the ground has a slight slope and a few holes, allowing the water to drain away.
  • Discover (and probably purchase!) amazing local products at Eataly, an indoor market entirely dedicated to Italian gastronomy. The hardest thing will be not to overload your luggage!
  • Discover the catacombs, an unusual visit to do in Rome when it rains.
  • Take an Italian cooking class, to learn how to make pasta or pizza like a pro!
  • Go to one of the indoor karting race tracks: Beyond Roma, Karting Roma, Holykartroma.
  • Go play bowling: the Bowling Roma is the closest from the city center – Address: 181 viale Regina Margherita.

Things to do in Rome at night

Here is my selection of the best things to do in Rome at night, or in the evening.

  • Visit the Colosseum at night, VIP style. Yes! You can visit the Colosseum + its underground with a guide after it closes for the general public. The ambiance is totally different, it’s the most exclusive way to discover this marvel of Ancient Roman civilization. You need to purchase your tickets in advance here.
  • Discover Rome Catacombs at night: An even better way to discover the catacombs is at night, with this VIP tour. You have to book it here.
  • Visit Rome by night in Segway. This 3 hours guided tour in Segway is a lot of fun! It needs to be booked there.
  • Go have a drink in the Trastevere district, for sure the best place to enjoy Rome’s nightlife.
  • Simply walk around and discover the illuminated squares and monuments: Rome is extremely beautiful at night.
Rome Colosseum night
Visit Rome Colosseum at night, a mesmerizing experience!

 The 7 best things to do in Rome with family

If you’re planning a family trip to Rome, I have prepared for you a list of the best things to do with your kids:

  • Visit the Colosseum of course! The monument might not be what will captivate them the most, but the stories about gladiators and wild beasts will for sure catch their interest.
  • Go to Trevi fountain and let them throw a few “luck coins”
  • Go to Villa Borghese park for a family picnic and enjoy the greenery. There are several children playgrounds, you can rent a bike and you can even rent rowing boats. There is also a very nice zoo (you need to buy your tickets here).
  • Take your kids to the Gladiator school! This activity is a very fun way to learn more about gladiators, the whole family will love it! It must be booked in advance here.
  • Discover Explora, a museum designed especially for kids, with many interactive activities.
  • Enjoy an Italian ice cream: no need to search a lot to find an ice cream shop in Rome! And to be honest, your kids would never forgive you if you don’t buy them at least 1 during your stay in Rome ?
  • And  for the last one, something I suggest you NOT to do: the “Time Elevator”, a virtual reality 5D movie to discover Rome. The problem is that it’s actually pretty old and bad, so you should save your money and do something else! (who said buy more ice creams??).

Getting around Rome on foot

Here is a one day itinerary to visit Rome on foot. It will allow you to discover most of the city’s main tourist attractions. If you choose to do it in 1 day, you will have to content yourself with seeing the monuments from the outside only.

If you spend more time in Rome, you can split this walk on a few days: I will show you to the best way to do it a bit further down in this guide, in my itineraries to visit Rome in 2, 3, 4, or 5 days.

let’s start e-4b03-a07f-a85eff9e7ae6″ class=”textannotation”>this walking tour at the Colosseum, to admire its impressive architecture. Then, head to Palatine Hill and the n id=”urn:enhancement-dfda4206-a71a-4644-9c4a-6b5638d3cf3d” class=”textannotation”>Roman Forum, the 2 other touristic sites in the Ancient Rome area.

To continue this walk, let’s go to thetrong> piazza del Campidoglio and then piazza Venezia, where you can enjoy the beautiful Monument to Victor Pantheon and the famous Trevi Fountain.

After this, let’ass=”textannotation”>s go north, taking Via Condotti (Rome’s shopping street), it will take you directly to the <strong>

Arch of Constantine Rome

How many days to visit Rome?

The time you will want to spend in /strong>: you’re fast and don’t like idle times? Or do you prefer to take your time?

  • The season of your trip: In high season, the waiting lines are much longer!
  • If you are a ”fast” traveler

    It’s possible to visit Rome in 2/3 days. It’s really the ideal time to discover the italian capital main points of interest without any downtime.

    If you are a slower traveler (or with children)

    In this case, it’s better to plan about 4-5 days in Rome, which will allow you to explore the tourist attractions of the city at your own pace.

    If you only have one day, you will have to focus on one thing: The Ancient Rome or the Vatican. I give you an itinerary a bit below.

    Another solution for a quick visit to =”urn:enhancement-152″ class=”textannotation”>Rome is to only visit everything from the outside (and don’t have to wait in line!). In this case, it’s possible to see the vast majority of places described in this guide in a day.

    It’s nevertheless quite a run and you will have to walk relatively quickly! It’s the Itinerary I told you about in the “Getting around Rome on foot” section of this travel guide.

    If you don’t want to walk, you have 3 solutions:

    And the last one, which is the best if you’re planning to visit the whole city:

    Get the Omnia Card (Rome + Vatican Pass) or the new Rome City PassBoth give you skip the line tickets for the must-see attractions of Rome!

    The Omnia Card also offers free public transport + rebates on 40 touristic sites in the city.

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