Best Places to Visit in Rome
One of the most romantic cities in the world, Rome offers more than just tales of gladiatorial battles and crumbling ruins. It is a cultural hub that attracts millions of visitors every year. All history buffs arriving at the city will be spoiled for choice with the vast array of iconic buildings, monuments, and fountains and even the biggest expert on Roman life will learn more. Art lovers will marvel at the statues, paintings and mosaics found throughout the city. And those who like to take it easy and relax when exploring a new city will enjoy the places to eat, drink and people watch.
With so much to see and do in Rome, visitors can easily plan an itinerary perfect for their length of stay. Those visiting for a weekend can plan a packed itinerary complemented by guided tours of the city and those visiting for longer can enjoy a wonderful mix of self-guided strolls about the streets mixed with organised tours when they want an expert to impart them with extra knowledge about the place they’re in.
Things to do in Rome
When people think of Rome, the first image to pop into their heads is likely that of the Colosseum. The free-standing structure, famed for the violent entertainments which it hosted, is an iconic stop-off on your tour of the city. The Colosseum could hold 50,000 spectators when it was built and as you wander around the levels where they once sat you will get a sense of what those ancient spectacles would have been like.
Another of the most popular attractions in Rome is the Pantheon. Elegant and imposing this beautifully preserved monument contains the tombs of the Italian monarchy from the late 19th to early 20th century. The artist Raphael who died in 1520 also lays here. Despite the use as a tomb, the intended use of the almost 2000-year-old pantheon remains relatively unknown. The building itself stuns visitors when they first behold it however it is the interior that is truly designed to impress and it is guaranteed not to disappoint.
If you’d like to take in many of Rome’s archetypal monuments in quick succession then you can head to the Roman Forum. You’ll find the first Roman Senate House, the Curia, the Temple and House of Vestals, the Arch of Titus and Julius Ceasar’s funeral alter. You’ll recognise many of these landmarks immediately and you’ll find yourself delving into the history of the area faster than you can say ‘Roman’.
Home of the Pope, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world and an integral part of any visit to Rome. At the Cortile del Belvedere you’ll be able to see beautiful sculptures dotted around within the walls of the courtyard and enjoy views over to St Peter’s Basilica. If you love to hunt out the best artworks in a city then a visit to the opulent Raphael Rooms on the second floor of the Pontifical Palace is sure to satisfy. The sculptures, tapestries, and paintings are a testament to the artist Raphael after whom they were named. Vatican museums will also offer you the opportunity to see an art collection curated by Popes over the last 500 years.
Continuing within Vatican City you can take in the splendour of Michelangelo’s breathtaking frescos which adorn the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel. These instantly recognisable religious works of art bring the chapel to life. Just as incredible a spectacle is St Peter’s Basilica. Built upon the tomb of St Peter, this cathedral is the largest in the world and houses pieces of work by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Canova. As you can imagine, these sites are very popular and queues can form at the entrances so booking onto a guided tour can ensure queue jumps and a smoother flow to your day.
More Attractions in Rome
If you’re feeling like adding a little more exercise into your tour of Rome then you can visit the Spanish Steps. With 138 steps laying in a mix of straight and curved flights, you can take in the Baroque style beauty as you walk up and down them. And if you’re feeling a bit out of breath afterward then you can sit and relax as you take in the bustling Piazza di Spagna which sits at the foot of the stairs. Here you will also find the Baracaccia Fountain created by Pietro Bernini. Made to look like a sinking boat, the fountain’s name translates to ‘Fountain of the Old Boat’.
More of Bernini’s treasured fountains can be found in Rome including the Trevi Fountain. If, after touring around Rome you feel as though you couldn’t possibly leave then turn your back to the fountain and throw a coin into the water over your left shoulder. The story goes that if you follow this tradition then you are bound to return to Rome one day.
Conclude one of your days in Rome in the Piazza Navona. This square is one of the largest and most beautiful in Rome and showcases three fountains including another by Bernini, the Fountain of Four Rivers. The piazza is shaped like an oval as it used to be a stadium for festivals and sporting events but now it is the perfect venue to sit back, relax and plan your next trip to Rome which, if you threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, is a sure thing.