Rome is a living museum with ancient architecture and historical gems around every corner, after all, it has existed for 2,000 years. There’s enough to explore to keep you busy for years, but here are the absolute must do’s when in Rome.
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1. Tour the Colosseum
Even though we live in a world of skyscrapers, the Colosseum remains one of the most impressive structures of all. Opened in AD 80 by Vespasian’s son and successor, Titus, the Colosseum stands as a reminder of Roman Imperial power and architectural ingenuity of the Roman Empire that dominated the ancient Mediterranean world for centuries. Used to host spectacular public entertainment events such as gladiator fights, wild animal hunts and public executions from 80 CE to 404 CE, the Colosseum now hosts millions of visitors from around the world and thus, no trip to Rome would be complete without touring it’s both internal and external structure. Admire the elaborate bowels of the amphitheatre, honeycomb of arches, passages, stairways and columns that allowed thousands of spectators to watch their gruesome games.
2. Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
Throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain has become a ritual to the thousands of tourists who come from all over the world to visit Rome. From the iconic “Roman Holiday” to “When in Rome,” the Trevi Fountain is so instantly recognizable as being part of Rome that it’s been the ideal backdrop for films for decades, and thus, the Trevi is almost a Roman celebrity in its own right. At 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, it’s the biggest fountain in the entire city of Rome and a must see for all.
3. Visit Vatican City
While Vatican City is technically its own independent city-state, no one visits Vatican City on its own without visiting Rome as well. Sign on to a good guided tour of the Vatican to help you navigate the maze of the Vatican Museums and help put the masterpieces of painting, sculpture and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries into context. The Museums include several monumental works of art, such as the absolutely stunning Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Beato Angelico, the Raphael Rooms and Loggia and the Borgia Apartment.
4. Explore the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is one of the most visited sights in the world and was formerly the political, administrative and religious centre of Ancient Rome. People first began meeting in this forum around 500 BC, yet, it still continues to serve as a gathering for tourists and locals alike. The Roman Forum shows remains from several centuries all together, due to the Roman practice of building over earlier ruins, making it a remarkable place to explore.
5. Climb the Spanish Steps
A spectacular example of Roman Baroque Style, the Spanish Steps consist of 138 steps placed in a mix of curves, straight flights, vistas and terraces. Built in 1723-1725, it’s unique design and elegance has made it a popular place for artists, painters, poets and tourists alike for hundreds of years.
6. Marvel at the Pantheon
In a city that is simply brimming with important historic buildings and monuments, the Pantheon still manages to stand out. One of Rome’s best-preserved ancient monuments, passing through its vast bronze stars and walking the marble floors where people have passed for 2,000 years is a wonderful experience. It’s so beautiful in fact, that when Michelangelo saw this wonder for the first time he said that it looks more like the work of angels, not humans.
7. St. Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica is designed as a three-aisled Latin cross with a dome at the crossing, directly above the high altar, which covers the shrine of St. Peter the Apostle, is one of the most stunning Church’s in the world. The interior of St. Peter’s is filled with many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art, among the most famous of which are Michelangelo’sPietà, the baldachin by Bernini over the main altar, the statue of St. Longinus in the crossing, the tomb of Urban VIII, and the bronze cathedral of St. Peter in the apse, meaning that there is plenty to admire.
8. Get lost in Trastevere
Perhaps the most charming neighborhood in all of Rome is Trastevere. Lose yourself down the winding cobblestone streets, dive into an authentic Roman trattoria admire magestic churches and indulge in splendid piazzas. One of the true beauties of Trastevere is Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Locals and tourists have always been mesmerized by this looker of a piazza because of its lovely outdoor cafès that are great for people watching, fountain and the glorious Santa Maria in Trastevere Church.
9. Browse the Campo dei Fiori Markets
If you want to see a morning market in Rome, the “Campo de’ Fiori” would be the best. Consisting of colourful vegetables and fruits, beautiful flower shops, processed ham and cheese, cloths and accessories for souvenirs, the market is a bustling and lively location. By day the piazza embodies a tradition of Rome that has managed to withstand the centuries: the outdoor market and by night the piazza is best known for its nightlife when the many bars skirting the periphery fill up with a rowdy crowd.
10. Indulge in Roman specialities
Italy is known world-wide for its delicious cuisine, and many can now be enjoyed no matter where you are in the world, but nothing compares to indulging in something that is popular speciality of Rome itself. Bucatini all’amatriciana is a pasta dish that is wonderful and very Roman for you to enjoy, no matter what season of the year that you’re there. Consisting of a tomato sauce (the sauce is made from egg yolks, pecorino romano, and pancetta) cooked with onion and a fatty pork called guanciale and spaghetti alla carbonara, the dish is enough to bring people back to Rome over and over again.
By Jacinta Frazzetto