Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world. This 2,000 year old city is home to many of the worlds most famous monuments and religious structures. While visiting you will be able to take a step back into the past and imagine what life was like under the Roman Empire. Here is our list of the top ten things to do in Rome.
Built sometime in 120 A.D. as a temple for the gods, the Pantheon is known for its amazing architectural prowess. Often called the “perfect building” due to its intricate dome the pantheon was the burial place for Roman kings and prominent figures such as Raphael. This free attraction is often quite busy so it is best to visit in the morning.
2. Trevi Fountain
This notable fountain was constructed by Nicola Salvi in 1762 to honor the Roman God Oceanus. The Trevi is the ultimate example of baroque design. Tourists flock to the fountain to toss coins into the water over their shoulder in hope for good luck. Be prepared for massive crowds and street vendors when visiting.
3. Peter’s Basilica
The worlds largest church encompassing 18,000 square yards is one of the most recognized religious buildings. Each year thousands of Catholics pilgrimage to the church in hopes of seeing the pope and to honor Saint Peter. The church still holds mass services open to the public. The church is open daily for free from 7am to 7pm.
4. Sistine Chapel
Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is the home of the Pope. Inside you will find some of the world’s most influential artwork including Michelangelo’s Last Judgment and ceiling painting. The museum offers guided tours for $21 and is open Monday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
Constructed between 70 A.D. and 80 A.D the colosseum was used for thousands of bloody gladiatorial matches. It was the largest amphitheater during the Roman Empire, and could seat upwards of 50,000 guests. Today the building remains mostly intact and is visited by four million people each year. This iconic monument is open daily from 8:30am to 7pm depending on the seasons.
6. Roman Forum
Once the marketplace for the Roman Empire this rectangular space is home to the ruins of various temples and political buildings. The forum will bring you back to what life may have looked like as a Roman citizen. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased online to avoid waiting in lines.
This neighborhood is perfect for visitors who want to experience authentic Roman Life. Translated to “across the Tiber”, Trastevere is located across the river a little further from the city’s center. The cobblestone streets are lined with ancient houses, cafes, and restaurants. Stop in Trastevere for a traditional Roman meal away from the crowds.
8. Piazza Navona
Built in the 15th century, the Piazza Navona is Rome’s most popular public square. You will find a variety of gelato shops, restaurants, boutiques, and street vendors in the piazza. In addition, famous baroque art can be found inside including Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers. Located near the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon the square is a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat in between attractions.
9. Spanish Steps
Located between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita dei Monti, the 174 stone steps were built by Etienne Fueffier in 1725. Trinita dei Monti church is found at the top of the steps and was originally built as a French Catholic church. At the bottom of the steps you can find great shopping and restaurants in the Piazza di Spagna.
10. Galleria Borghese
Originally built in the 17th century to store Cardinal Scopione Borghese’s art collection, the Galleria is now an impressive art museum. The museum is the home to important baroque statues, paintings, and antiques many by the artist Caravaggio. You must reserve the $18 tickets in advance as the museum regularly sells out.