Rome or Roma is the capital city of Italy and also the capital of the Lazio region. Rome is located in the central-western part of Italy along the shores of Tiber. It is also the European Unions’ third most populous city by population and tourism. Because of its history and heritage, this is listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city is renowned to be a major archaeological hub and contains an impressive collection of art, sculptures, paintings, frescos, and fountains from the old to the modern ages. Rome was the home of great artists and architects, such as Caravaggio, Carracci, Iaia, Arellius, Borromini, and many more. The city has one of the best cuisines and also widely recognized as one of the fashion capitals. The best things to do in Rome are:
Colosseum (Italian: Colosseo) is one of the biggest amphitheater and one of the man-made marvels in the middle of the city of Rome and can accommodate about 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Emperor Titus inaugurated the Colosseum with 100 days of games, which claimed a lot of lives. Gladiatorial contests and mock sea battles were held here. However, the building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. The famous movie ‘Gladiator’ gives us an idea of the spectacles which entertained people, but the movie was shot in a different location. The Colosseum was damaged by earthquakes and lightning and more recently due to vandalism. There have been multiple restorations of this mighty structure from the 19th century to date. In 2010, the subterranean passageways used for transporting animals and gladiators were opened to the public.
In recent years, due to restoration the passageways and the 4th level have also been opened to the public, but these sections are restricted to visit alone and if you’re interested can visit these sections with a special guide, booked online. The adult tickets cost 12€, however, if you consider taking the Roma City pass, you can skip the long queue and have a reduction in entrance fees for a lot of the touristic attractions.
2.The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum (Italian: Foro Romano) is an ancient plaza, which is surrounded by the ruins, were important government offices, located adjacent to the Colosseum. A lot of archaeological excavations were made here and is a classic location of the ancient roman history and political significance. Some of the important temples and arches namely temples of Saturn, Titus, and the Arch of Severus stood majestically a long time ago. Fortunately, we are able to appreciate the remains of ancient Roman history. I urge everyone to spend a decent time here to spectate and admire whatever is left now, the work of great artists and builders dating back to 6th century B.C. and understand the significance of this place. Purchase tickets with a combination including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palantine Hill. Roma Pass includes this tourist attraction.
3.The Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill is one of the 7 hills in Rome and once the neighborhood of emperors and aristocrats. The hill is full of lush green grasses and trees. Some of the ruins include Flavian Palace, Stadium of Domitian, and the Hut of Romulus can be observed even today. The remains of House of Livia and Augustus are open to the public in recent times.
The Colosseum and Roman Forum are located near to 40m Palatine Hill. According to Roman mythology, the hill is the location of the cave of Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf which kept them alive. The ticket for Roman Forum or Colosseum includes Palatine Hill. But you can also purchase separately, depending on your day of the visit.
The Pantheon also the temple of the gods is now a Catholic church located in Rome. The building is cylindrical in shape with large granite Corinthian columns and the sun rays falling inside are a delight to watch. Two kings of Italy ‘Vittorio Emanuele II’ and ‘Umberto I’ and Umberto’s queen ‘Margherita’ are buried in the Pantheon. Upon the entry, the enormous rounded room with a dome on the invites you to explore the church.
5.Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana de Trevi) is a lavishly built fountain designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini is one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain is a tribute to the Roman God Oceanus, who is riding the chariot pulled by Tritons. The sculptures have intricate detail and are a wonderful piece of art.
There is a tradition to throw coins into the fountain with your right hand over the left shoulder. Tossing one coin means you’ll return to Rome. Approximately, the fountain has 3000€ each day. The money thrown subsidizes a market for Rome’s needy. It is illegal to steal the coins. If you would like to take pictures leisurely without much disturbance, I would suggest early morning would the best time.
6.Relax at Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna is one of the major hangout spots for the locals and the tourists to catch up their breath or even just to sit and talk, as they are nearby the most popular streets Via dei Condotti and Via del Babuino, filled with a lot of luxurious shops and some of the impressive 18th-century villas. There are 135 steps in total and they are so beautiful with flowers in the spring season, finally ending up at Trinita dei Monti church built in the 18th century.
7.Explore the Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is a public space in Rome, built on the site of Stadium of Domitian in the 1st century AD. The public square has a big fountain at the center ‘Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi’ or Fountain of four rivers. Piazza Navona has two other fountains on either side. The southern end has Fontana del Moro and the northern end has the Fountain of Neptune.
This public square has plenty of restaurants, cafes, and artists. The artists take inspiration from their surroundings and portray them in their canvas and are for sale. All their paintings were meaningful and alluring. Piazza Navona is also a popular spot for shooting films.
8.Castel Sant’Angelo and the Bridge
The Castel Sant’Angelo also called Mausoleum of Hadrian is a cylindrical building very close to the Vatican. Roman emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for him and his family. Popes used this building as a fortress and now the Castel serves its purpose as a museum. We can also climb the top of the Castel to have a fantastic view of the streets of Rome and also the Vatican. The tickets cost 15€ for adults.
The Ponte Sant’Angelo is built over the span of the Tiber river. The bridge got its name from the statue of the archangel which stands atop the Castel Sant’Angelo. The bridge has 10 artistic sculptures of angels each with different titles. Sant’Angelo bridge is very beautiful at night and lights up with the Castle.
9.The Vatican – St.Peter’s Basilica
Since you’ve come so far to Rome, why would you wanna miss the smallest country in the world by area? Pope, the head of the Catholic church, heads the Vatican city. The Vatican holds many religious and cultural sights such as St.Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.
St.Peter’s Basilica is one of the most recognized and celebrated religious centers in the world and showcases the decadence of catholic religion. St.Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest shrines for its followers and pilgrims. Catholic tradition holds that the basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, the first Bishop of Rome. Michelangelo and Bernini were the major contributors in designing and furnishing the basilica respectively. Campanone is a 9-tonne bell, rings on Christmas, Easter, and announces the election of the new pope. Please do not forget to reach the top of the dome of St.Peter’s Basilica and enjoy the panoramic view of the St.Peter’s square.
St.Peter’s square is one of the world’s famous squares and located in front of St.Peter’s Basilica. Bernini constructed the square between 1656 and 1667. The square has 284 columns and 140 statues of saints above the columns. The obelisk was carried from Egypt to Rome in 1586. Generally, people wait in lines along the square for the security checkup and later to enter the basilica.
11. Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel
The Vatican Museum (Italian: Musei Vaticani) is a public art and sculptures museum. The museum holds a vast collection of the roman empire and the masterpieces from the Rennaissance art. The museum has close to 70,000 artwork, of which 20,000 are in display. The collections include the Pio Clemention Museum, Gregoriano Profano Museum, Room of the Aldobrandini Wedding, Chiaramonti Museum, Pinacoteca, Lapidary Gallery, and many more. You can easily spend close to 4 hours and the collections are never-ending. The museum also is an archaeological spot and has a collection of the Necropolis of the roman empire and Excavations of St.John Lateran.
Some of the other highlights of the museum are the ‘Red marble papal throne’, ‘Gallery of Maps’ is one of the showcases of the beautiful artwork on the ceilings of Belvedere courtyard which has the topographical maps of the whole of Italy. The ‘Bramante Staircase’ is very famous and is a double spiral staircase designed by Giuseppe Momo. The museum is open to the public for free on the last Sunday of each month, but the queue lines up to around the whole block, and you need to wait for hours to get a chance to enter the museum.
The Sistine Chapel (Italian: Cappella Sistina) is the official residence of the pope. The Chapel is famous for the frescos that are decorated in the interior and particularly The Last Judgement by Michelangelo. The southern wall is decorated with Stories of Moses and the Northern wall is decorated with the Stories of Jesus.
12. Enjoy your Gelato
After you have roamed a lot in the scorching summer, tasting the Gelato is a good way to relax and recharge yourself. Grab yourself a cone of multiple flavors or just one depending on your choice and sit by the Trevi fountain or Spanish steps and enjoy the delicious gelato. I tried in Venchi Cioccololato e Gelato and Gelateria Della Palma and both are famous for their 100+ flavors.
13. Try the Rome style Pizza
Italy is famous for pizzas, even though Naples is the birthplace of pizza the whole country has their own taste in every region and also surprisingly different styles of making a pizza. In case, you are hungry and wanna grab a bite on the go or sit, relax and enjoy the pizza with a knife and fork then try these places. All these pizza places have crazy pizzas and Suppli, a famous Lazio dish. Locals and tourists highly recommend ‘Pizzarium Bonci’, ‘La Gatta Mangiona’, and ‘Sbanco’. These pizzerias creators have played a vital role in developing the pizza scenario in Rome. These outlets are famous and packed, so wait patiently for your turn and savor the best pizzas.
I hope you would include all these things in your list to visit in Rome or probably a few. Have a wonderful and safe journey !!
How many days do you need to explore Rome : A minimum of 3 days, 2 nights.
What is the Language spoken in Rome : Italian
Do locals speak English : Very less, However, you can manage to go shopping and to restaurants without knowing Italian.
What is the Currency used in Rome: Euros ( € )