Maps are low-key awesome. And yes, it is the 21st century, so maps have upped their game- they are interactive, they’re on apps, and they can, if you let them, take your trip to Rome to the next level.
So let’s look at the following 15: everything from movies, literature, gelato, and cats (yes, cats).
1. Official Roman Tourism Board Map
First things first, let’s get back to basics. The original and now iconic Roman Tourist map. The environment-loving folks at the Roman Tourism board (Turismo Roma) are now charging for an actual paper copy, but you can download the PDF for free from their website.
It’s a classic, and I have a soft spot for it. You’ve got a map of Rome attractions, significant stations, and info points.
2. Ultra-Detailed and Accurate Map From 1748
This interactive map is the mother of all maps. OK, maybe you’ve figured out I have a thing for maps by now, but I challenge you not to be bowled over by how intricate this bad boy is.
Designed by Giambattista Nolli, an architect and surveyor, he created this giant map in 1748. It was so accurate that all future maps of Rome were based on it until the 1970s.
Rome is the Eternal City; you can zoom in on this map for days and realise that not much has changed since 1748.
Over 1000 streets, monuments, and buildings have been numbered and are clickable, revealing a drop-down description, the year it was built, and the name of the architect.
It’s worth a look.
3. 3D Map of Rome (& More)
Maps-Rome.com have thought of almost everything. From street maps to tourist maps, major attractions, shopping, and transport, you’ll find a very useful and well-designed array of maps to choose from here.
If you want to hone in on Rome’s neighbourhoods and better understand the city’s layout, click on the Districts tab.
4. Time Travel Rome Map App – For all The Ancient Roman Sites
For a deep dive into ancient Roman sites, this app has got you covered.
It shows you what to see and how to get there so you can cherry-pick your way through ancient Rome without getting overwhelmed.
I mean, it’s Rome- you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting something ancient and important. It can get a bit much.
And speaking of cats…
5. A Slightly Unexpected Cat Map
Stray cats are and have been part of Roman city life for millennia. In fact, harming a stray cat is punishable by law, so entrenched are they in the fabric of society.
The city has three major cat colonies, and their digs are not too shabby!
Spot them perched atop the ruins at Largo della Torre Argentina (only some of the most important ruins in the city where none other than Julius Caesar was murdered.) A sanctuary’s also on-site, so they’re well looked after.
You’ll also find them up at Verano Cemetery, a huge and green monumental necropolis straddling Nomentano and San Lorenzo.
Lastly, head to the Pyramid and the protestant cemetery. You’ll see them casually strolling past John Keats’ grave or languishing by the 2000-year-old white pyramid, the rather lavish burial grounds of Emperor Cestius.
6. Cinema Map of Rome (Rome in Movies)
Movie buffs, look no further than Setjetters. Simply type in the name of the movie, and it will give you a list of locations all identified on a map.
Not only does it specify the scene in the movie, but it also gives you some historical background on the IRL location. So it’s a win-win for movie buffs who also like a bit of history on the side.
Another fun feature of this app is Challenge Scene – here, you see a still from a movie whose coordinates and exact location still need to be confirmed. If you are there and you are able to submit the coordinates to them, you will get attribution for the scene.
For those of you who want to keep it simple, someone made a very sensible movie map on Google Maps. A list of a dozen or so movies on the left, watch with a corresponding icon. Click on the icon, and a short description of the scene is shown.
7. Architecture Tour Map
This young architect spent several months in Rome and compiled a fantastic architectural guide to Rome.
What I love about it is as well as focusing on the classic, ancient Roman structures (including detailed explanations about everything you’ll see at the Forum), there’s a lot on Rome’s twentieth-century buildings too (uncomfortably yet fascinatingly Fascist).
The above example shows all the major points of interest at EUR (in south Rome) with photos, addresses, and explanations. Great job, Virginia Duran. Head to her site for a link to a very detailed map (with drop-down explanations) and a downloadable PDF.
Attention all book and art lovers from the Romantic era. How high can your brow go?
Let’s put it to the test. Picture the scene; you’re taking a stroll through the Vatican City. You open up this map and click on St Peter’s. The pop-up takes you to a page with a poem about St Peter’s by Lord Byron and a painting of the basilica by Turner (with an explanatory caption). Sounds appealing?
This concept is behind the interactive map: to pair monuments with 19th-century art and literature. It comes from a 2016 online exhibition called City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics hosted by the Morgan Library in New York, and I think they did a fantastic job.
9. Public Transport Maps
If you like maps of public transport, this is where to go.
That said, I would highly recommend downloading the Moovit app for up-to-date public transport information since buses and trains are kind of a law unto themselves in Rome. (Moovit is more reliable in Rome than Google Maps for transport).
Romans have long dreamt of a more structured, integrated, and complete transport network. This is what we’re currently working with, but the next map is what we want (what we really really want).
10. Fantasy Public Transport Map
What is so unusual about this map, I hear you ask…It looks pretty typical for a capital city, doesn’t it? Oh, would that it were, would that it were.
Every Roman (or adopted Roman) gets full Shakespearean at the thought of it. This map is the brainchild of many talented digital artists at Tic Edizioni in 2013. The title of the map is ‘I Have a Dream‘. The dream is simple: more metro lines and trains to the coast. Just more trains.
Take a closer look at it (and other great pieces of poster art) at the Fox Gallery on Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
11. Green Map: Parks and Nature Reserves
Rome may be the Eternal City, but I’m always amazed by how many green spaces there are. While this map is in Italian (no English version is available), it is intuitive. Simply zoom in and click on each green space (there are many) for more info. It’s beneficial for taking a closer look at all the nature reserves available to visit just outside of Rome and the things you can see there.
12. Street Art Maps
This fantastic map was created in 2015 by the Roman Tourist Board but sadly seems to have been neglected, but it does give you an idea of the breadth of choice. Street Art is no longer limited to the confines of one or two particularly disenfranchised neighbourhoods. It has become ubiquitous and is now part of the city’s new fabric. Rome may be eternal, but there are shifts in the tides here and there.
For a more dynamic street art map experience, download the Street Art Cities app, where users upload photos of street art with details of the artists, the exact address, and built-in navigation.
For a small subscription, you get full access to walking routes and artist information. If this is your thing, I’d say it was entirely worth the small investment- at least for the time you plan to stay in Rome. Another advantage is that the community platform exists across multiple cities worldwide, so you would also support local creators.
For the most up-to-date street art, check streetartmap.com. Confusingly, there is no actual map here per se, but lots of addresses and photos where you can check out excellent street art in Rome.
Finally, what map collection of Rome would be complete without showing you where to get your mangare on.
Here are three that do just that:
13. Map of All the Best Suppli Joints in Rome
Suppli- deep fried cheese stuffed tomato and rice balls – Roman street food par excellence. Someone went to the trouble of making a map which has you covered. North, south, east or west- these suppli will be the best. Having sampled a good few of these places myself, I can personally vouch for this person. They have excellent taste in suppli. Hats off.
If markets are your thing, this map and guide do a great job at highlighting Rome’s main mercati.
Hover over the blue points for helpful details like opening times and days once you’ve followed the link above. Mercato Trionfale, Testaccio, and Piazza Vittorio stand out for me in terms of authenticity.
15. Best Gelato Map
Finally, how about an excellent gelato to round things off? Not all gelato are made equal, mind you. So, if you’re looking for something to write home about, look no further.
These guys dedicated a lot of time and effort into compiling a thorough rundown of the best places in central Rome. While that may be subjective, something tells me they’d become experts by the time they got to compile this post. There’s a detailed downloadable PDF with all the info here.