The bustling city of Rome is so much more than the third most visited city in Europe—it’s a sophisticated bustling bastion of history and culture chock full of world-renowned landmarks; scintillating scenery; and cosmopolitan vibes that wow visitors with a vibrantly eclectic food scene, stellar shopping, and streets overflowing with cobblestoned old world charm meets modern city vibes that define the Eternal City.

Rome has plenty of hidden (and not so hidden) nooks and crannies, too—exciting spots dotting the city’s frenetic landscape that offer a charm all their own. And the Vio del Governo Vecchio is one such spot: sandwiched in a 1/3 mile stretch just a few steps from Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most famous squares, the “street of the old government” is the perfect way to spend a day during a Roman holiday—lined with its fair share of bars, restaurants, and shops, it’s still removed enough from the traditional sightseeing spots, a place to stroll and sightsee without the hectic activity that often dominates the city’s more popular attractions. Below are some great ways to spend an afternoon (or even the whole day!) exploring the Via del Governo Vecchio—aka Rome’s best street.


RELATED: 10 Best Hostels In Rome To Save You Money

Seeing The Sights

Via del Governo Vecchio is full of a charming atmosphere all its own—a great place to stroll along the cobblestone streets and soak up the scenery. Many of the buildings here date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, so there’s no shortage of architectural gems to appreciate while meandering along this sophisticated street.

  • The clock tower of the Oratory of San Filippo Neri is a Baroque masterpiece designed by Francesco Borromini and a landmark of Via del Governo Vecchio
  • There are a number of palazzi worth checking out along this enigmatic street; some of the most notable include Number 39 (home to the former papal office); Number 41 (Palazzo Nardini, built for the governor of Rome); Number 123, former home to architect and painter Donato Bramante; and Number 34, former home of Catholic saint San Filippo Neri
  • Check out the Piazza Pasquino, home to the ‘talking sculptures’ where anonymous people would post political satire and public opinions on the news of the day. Be sure to check out the nearby G-Rough in Pasquino Square, a hip spot to hang out, scope some art, grab a drink at the Gallery Bar—or spend the night

RELATED: Lesser-Known Italian Cities To Visit During Your Rome Vacation

Shop ’Til You Drop

Via del Governo Vecchio is famous for its eclectic shops and boutiques that make it a great place to stock up on unique finds—everything from well-loved antiques to curated vintage finds can be found along this vibrant street tucked away amid the Eternal City.

  • Lovers of lit will find plenty of bookish buys at Otherwise, an independent English language bookstore; be sure to stop in at its parent store, the nearby Altroquando, another cool spot featuring Italian-language books, a hip gallery space, and a happening basement pub
  • Omero e Cecilia is one of the coolest vintage shops in Rome and chock full of a diverse collection of goodies—a true surprise around every corner of this hole-in-the-wall gem
  • Ciao Vintage is a great spot for shoppers to get their vintage designer fix
  • Looking for limoncello? Then stop in at the cute boutique shop La Boutique del Limoncello Roma

RELATED: These Historic Hotels Are The Best In Rome

Have A Sip And Take A Bite

Appreciate aperitivo time in style by stopping in at one of Via del Governo Vecchio’s many lively bars and restaurants—adventurous visitors will find everything from a cocktail to a light dinner, delish pizza places to famed dessert delights, all along this cool metropolitan street; tables packed along the sidewalk where travelers and sip, nibble, relax, and people watch throughout the early evening hours.

  • Vino lovers will want to head to a local fave like Cul de Sac, known for its stunning variety of vintages (over 1,500!) at  Piazza di Pasquino, 73
  • No frills, no fuss—just great-tasting pizza at the old school spot at Pizzeria Da Baffetto Via del Governo Vecchio, 114
  • A charming, quirky wine bar with a fun cocktail menu and delish dishes to match, Mimí & Cocó is a cool spot to wrap up a fun day in Via del Governo Vecchio at Via del Governo Vecchio, 72
  • Cool vibes and charcuterie rule the day at the casual spot Prosciutteria Cantini dei Papi—the perfect way to unwind with a budget-friendly bottle at Via del Governo Vecchio, 21

Any visit to the bustling Italian capital city of Rome would be incomplete without a sojourn into one of the city’s coolest streets—the Via del Governo Vecchio. Packed with fun vintage shops and boutiques; hip, trendy vibes; wine bars and delish restaurants, and old-world charm, the cobblestone “street of the old government” is the perfect day trip to escape Rome’s high-intensity tourist attractions through its microcosm of delightful and eclectic spots. Spend a couple of hours or spend the day (or night!), either way, this little corner of the Eternal City is worth a visit on any traveler’s Roman holiday.

NEXT: Guide To The Best Food In Bologna, Italy's Food Capital