One of the most important aspects of Flytographer is our local, on-the-ground photographers in Southern Italy and beyond. We have a rich network of awesome people that don’t just take your photos, but act as your host to show you around their city. Naturally, we love to tap them for their Rome travel tips and insight every chance we get, and this week we reached out to Guido, one of our Flytographers in Rome, for his best tips on what you absolutely must do when visiting Italy’s Eternal City as soon as you touch down at Fiumicino (FCO) airport. ✈️

Photo: Roberta in Rome for Flytographer. Elizabeth and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Rome with a couple photoshoot at The Roman Forum.

1. Visit the major monuments at dawn

The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, Colosseum, Castel Sant’angelo, Piazza Navona — yes, you should see as many of these ancient Roman monuments as possible, but Guido’s pro tip is to do so at dawn to beat the queues and crowds. The best time for hotspot sightseeing (and your photoshoot!) is the magical golden hour as the sun is rising and the light is soft. ✨ You might think the monuments are closed, but press on and experience being alone at the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and all of the other tourist attractions in the city centre –– it’s going to be priceless. 🤌🏽

Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. Sara and their partner capture memories in Rome with a couple photoshoot at the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.

2. Devote yourself to eating

Not taking advantage of Rome’s food offerings would be a sacrilege, and thankfully Guido has cooked up an authentic hit list to steer you in the right direction. 🍝 At Trattoria Da Teo in Trastevere you should order the squid with artichokes or pasta “cacio e pepe” with lime (for the squeamish anti-tentacle people), head to Restaurant Roscioli for what might be the best carbonara in Rome, Felice a Testaccio for more “cacio e pepe, Mordi e Vai” inside of the Testaccio Market for the best sandwiches in Rome, and finally Flavio al Velavevodetto in Testaccio for the can’t-miss tiramisu. None of these delectable Rome travel tips should be considered before your “aperitivo” (pre-meal drink) though. We would recommend ordering a house wine or a refreshing spritz. 🍹

Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. Rui and their partner capture memories on their Honeymoon in Rome with a couple photoshoot at Trastevere.

3. Hit the Trionfale Market

Flag down a taxi driver, or save money by purchasing bus tickets or a Roma Pass for trams and public transportation, and head to Trionfale Market (Mercato Trionfale as they say in Roma). 🚎 This is a massive, year-round indoor market in Rome’s downtown off the Via Andrea Doria with more than 270 stalls of food, fruit, cheese, meat, veggies and vino (what else do you need?). This is most definitely where the locals shop and the most authentic “food tour” experience you will find in Rome. Be prepared to gesticulate while bargaining and keep at least one hand free for sampling olives and salami. 🫒 Speaking of hands, there is no way you could come out empty-handed. “Walk, get lost, and don’t rush!” advises Guido. 

Photo: Roberta in Rome for Flytographer. Marie Forleo and their partner capture memories on her birthday in Rome with a couple photoshoot with Flytographer.

4. Take a city tour

So much of Rome is lost on the casual observer who doesn’t know the history and didn’t pack comfortable shoes. 👟 That’s why it’s imperative that you take a self-guided tour, on foot, on bike or on a Vespa, and make sure your route takes you to the charming and cobbled street of Via Margutta. Guido says this is one of the streets of “la dolce vita” and it’s where Audrey Hepburn lived in the timeless cinematic travel classic, Roman Holiday. If this is your first time to Rome, consider a tour guide so you can learn about the rich local history. If you are travelling at peak season, be wary of pickpockets and don’t forget your water bottle with drinking water! Being among the sweetest of all Rome travel tips – one way to cool off from your adventure in the hot Italian sun is with a little gelato. 🍨

Photo: Roberta in Rome for Flytographer. Jamie and their family capture memories in Rome with a family photoshoot at The Roman Forum.

5. Take in sunset at the Janiculum Terrace

As the second tallest hill in Rome, Janiculum Hill, or Gianicolo as it’s known to the Italians, is one of the best, if not the best, places to get a dazzling view of Rome. Get there with plenty of time to see the sunset and wash the city’s domes with rich, gold light. The time has come to disconnect from your phone and soak in the Italian way of life. 🌞

Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. Debbie and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Rome with a couple photoshoot.

6. Get your cappuccino first thing

First of all, Guido says there’s an awesome cafe for coffee and croissants (which Italians call cornettos) behind the Pantheon named Sant’Eustachio Cafe that you should visit. 🥐 Second, you must remember that you can only order a cappuccino in the morning, it is “absolutely forbidden” (Guido is very firm on this) to order an espresso in cappuccino format after lunch. ☕️ He didn’t brief us on the social or criminal ramifications of such actions, but best to be on the safe side with these local Rome travel tips. 😉

Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. James and their partner capture memories in Rome with a couple photoshoot with Flytographer.

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7. Best places to take photos in Rome

  • Roman Forum: “My favourite place to shoot is Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. It’s a semicircular square designed by Michelangelo,” says Guido. “In the morning at dawn, there is a magnificent light. In such a small space there are many possibilities on where to shoot—columns, terraces, statues, stairs. Then when you stand looking out of one of its terraces and dominate the entire Roman Forum, with the Colosseum in the background, for me there is no doubt that this is one of the most beautiful places in Rome.” Another opposing view of the area is Palatine Hill, which lies on the opposite side of the forum. 📸
  • Trinità dei Monti, the Pincio & Villa Borghese: Start at the church of Trinità dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps and immerse yourself in the beautiful 16th-century architecture. Afterwards, take a stroll down the gardens of Galleria Borghese, 🌸  which contains not only flowers and eye-catching greenery but museums and other attractions. These gardens are right by the Pincio, where the best views of Rome are visible, making for some great photo backdrops. 
  • Trastevere: During the day, Trastevere is a colourful and lively neighbourhood that oozes Roman charm and Instagrammable places. At night, Trastevere is somehow even more of a photogenic site with its warm, golden lights on the cobblestone streets. After you take some photos, enjoy the many bars 🍷 and restaurants in the area. Or even choose to stay in one of the AirBnbs or hotels to take advantage of everything this trendy location has to offer.

Your camera roll will thank you after you’ve visited Guido’s top Rome photo spots!

Photo: Guido in Rome for Flytographer. Malaisha and their partner celebrate their honeymoon in Rome with a couple photoshoot at the Roman Forum.

Bonus Rome Travel Tips

Are you feeling inspired to live as the Italians do? Grab our Ultimate Rome Travel Guide and book those tickets! 🇮🇹 On your next trip to Europe or Rome — whether it’s your first visit or tenth — experience the magic of meeting a local and celebrating your story with a Flytographer shoot