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11 Places to Visit in Rome

Updated on October 26, 2015
Places to Visit in Rome
Places to Visit in Rome

Winner of British Invention of the Year 2013!

It is difficult to talk about the Eternal City in a few words and even more difficult to choose only 11 places to visit in Rome. Every street, every corner and every monument in the capital of Italy has its own unique history. The capital of the empire Rome, the Rome of the gladiators, the Rome of the popes, but also the most romantic Rome, making you fall in love with a simple ride in "vespa". And the capital of Italy is such an attractive destination as few cities in the world. Here is the list of the 11 places you have to visit in Rome to breathe a bit of the past and the charm of a city that you will surely come back to visit again. Guaranteed!. And if you have anything longer than a short break it will not be difficult to find another 13 things to do in Rome. And remember it all started from a small settlement of shepherds in the Palatine Hill, and a she-wolf who suckled two children as if they were puppies.

1. Colosseum

Legend has it that when the Colosseum falls, Rome will fall and with it also the world. Hopefully this building can hold for a few more years! When it opened it was called Flavian Amphitheatre and only in a second time his name was changed Colosseum, probably because of the huge statue known as the "Colossus of the Sun God", formerly located nearby, which had the appearance of Emperor Nero . The emperors of ancient Rome delighted the populace here with fights between gladiators and wild animals or simulations of naval battles. The construction of the Colosseum began under the reign of Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty, and continued for many years. Tito, son and successor of Vespasian, added two more rows of bleachers to the structure and to celebrate the fulfillment of the works in 80 AD, proclaimed 100 days of games. The Colosseum is today one of the most important icons of Rome and Italy, which imposes its majestic presence in the city center with a silhouette recognizable worldwide. Near the colosseum it's easy to find the "Centurions" dressed in the traditional clothing of the Roman wrestlers who have become part of the tradition too. Even without knowing the history and architecture, all are fascinated by the monument for which Rome is famous worldwide. And the best thing is to see at night with spotlights illuminating the facade: really indescribable!

Places to Visit in Rome; Colosseum
Places to Visit in Rome; Colosseum

2. Pantheon

With its impressive hollow dome and portico, the Parthenon is one of the most famous monuments of Rome. According to legend, it is where Romulus, at his death, was captured and taken to heaven by an eagle. Temple dedicated to all gods (Pan Theon, from the Greek = all gods), was built by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD to replace an earlier temple dedicated to Marco Agrippa Mars and Venus. In 609, the Roman temple became a Christian basilica with the name of Santa Maria ad Martires. In 1870 he became the sanctuary of the kings of Italy. Inside are the tombs of Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia, in addition to the great Raphael. What characterizes this beautiful building more than anything is the great hemispherical dome, with a diameter of 43.3 meters, exactly the same distance from the ground, on top of which there is a great and unique opening 9 m The oculus (eye). from this hole enter the light but also the rain even though it flows quickly through the holes in the soil that prevent puddling. So it's not true what the legend tell, that the rain did not dare to fall into the Pantheon. While it is true that when it rains, the opening creates a "chimney effect", ie, it creates an air current upward crushing raindrops, creating a feeling of less rain from the outside.

Places to Visit in Rome; Pantheon
Places to Visit in Rome; Pantheon

3. Trevi Fountain

If you are in Rome and you want to return, then you will have to throw a coin into the famous Trevi Fountain, in order to fulfill your wish. Designed by architect Nicolò Salvi, the famous fountain is fed by the Vergine aqueduct from the time of Emperor Augustus, that is for over 2000 years. The central theme is the sea and the baroque meets classicism in perfect harmony. The Trevi Fountain was film set, theater and stage of events on countless occasions. The most famous film shot here is definitely "the Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini. But be aware about one thing: Only Anita Ekberg can afford to bathe in the fountain. If you try you will have to fight with an angry Italian police and he is not going to take very good your attempts to emule the movie stars. The beauty of the fountain is really impressive for its grandeur and its location, in a square apparently too small to host such a masterpiece.

Places to Visit in Rome; Trevi Fountain
Places to Visit in Rome; Trevi Fountain

4. St. Peter's Basilica

With its Michelangelo's dome and the imposing facade of St. Peter's Basilica it has unique sights to the porch with St. Peter's Square columns, the masterpiece of architect Bernini. Heart of Catholic Church, the basilica was built in the place where in 324 Constantine built a shrine in honor of the first apostle in that place was crucified and buried (saint Peter). In 1506, Pope Julius II commissioned Donato Bramante to design the construction of what would have been the world largest church (22,000 square meters). Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, were just some of the architects who succeeded in the construction of St Peter's basilica, in more than one hundred years it took to complete the great work. The greatest artists of the Renaissance and the Roman Baroque have left extraordinarily beautiful masterpieces, just think of the Pieta, the monument of Pope Urban VIII or the magnificent canopy of Bernini. whether or not you're a believer, this place can not miss your way around Rome. Tip: If you run away to Rome in summer, remember to wear appropriate attire if you do not want the guards ban you from entry

Places to Visit in Rome; St. Peter's Basilica
Places to Visit in Rome; St. Peter's Basilica

5. Trastevere

It seems that the coat of arms of the district, the head of a lion on a red background, is not random. People says, that in fact, a lion lived in Capitol Hill, symbol of majesty and power, which was sacrificed when he killed a young man who got too close to the cage. When it was the time to choose a symbol that would identify the district "beyond the Tiber" in the new division of the city, it was chosen the historic lion, because the poor kid was killed was from this neighborhood. Trastevere is one of the most characteristic areas of the city, which better preserves the essence of the Italian capital, with its narrow cobbled streets lined with medieval houses with small balconies adorned with flowers. During the imperial period the area was populated by the aristocracy and here were found the houses of important people, such as Julius Caesar. During the Middle Ages, however, Trastevere becomes a maze of narrow and dirty streets and half abandoned. Today it is one of the favorite places of Roman night life: the night is filled with young people who gather in the Trilussa square for a drink in the bars that populate the narrow streets of Trastevere. Do not miss the beautiful Basilica of St Mary in Trastevere, in the square, lively meeting place for the Romans.

Places to Visit in Rome; Trastevere
Places to Visit in Rome; Trastevere

6. Imperial Forums

As mentioned earlier, the monuments of Rome are easily available to tourists, as they are located within walking distance of each other. A visit to the Coliseum will be completed by default with the Imperial Forum. Stepping into the forums you'll get an idea of what life was like in the days of ancient Rome. Forums were really nothing more than the main squares of the city, where there were public buildings, the market was held and business was carried. In particular, the Imperial Forums stand out because they were built in different years for over a century and a half, from 46 BC to 113 AD. Despite 20 centuries of history the majesty of this place remains the same. In addition to the Imperial Forums, you can also visit the Roman Forum and the open-air museum on the Palatine.

Places to Visit in Rome; Imperial Forums
Places to Visit in Rome; Imperial Forums

7. Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano

Piazza Venezia is perhaps the most important crossroads of Rome. It connects to the Colosseum and the imperial forums through the monumental Via dei Fori Imperiali, and here you will find via del Corso, which goes directly to the vast and beautiful Piazza del Popolo. Certainly the square becomes even more spectacular by the presence of the Vittoriano: the majestic monument dedicated to King Victor Emanuel II, the first king of Italy and father of the nation. Even today, the monument is the center of the solemn public ceremonies and celebrations for the Day of the Republic on June 2. For those visiting the square, there is no better scenario that you can see from the balconies above the central staircase. Do not forget you also make your own personal tribute to the Altar of the Fatherland with the tomb of the unknown soldier. And if you have time take a stroll through the Central Museum of the Risorgimento, located on the same side of the Vittoriano, to discover more about the history of the unification of Italy.

Places to visit in Rome; Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano
Places to visit in Rome; Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano

8. Piazza di Spagna

The famous staircase of Trinita dei Monti, with its beautiful church on top. The Fountain of the Four Rivers, of Bernini, father and son. The statue of the baboon, one of the six "talking statues" in Rome, where satirical poems are published. And the Museum of Giorgio de Chirico, the home of the poets Keats and Shelly, the English Tea House Babington's. This square is full of attractions and monuments. But most importantly it is one of the cornerstones of the nightlife in the historic center of Rome. Sit on one of the rungs of the ladder to enjoy an ice cream, or better yet biting a panini (sandwiches) with porchetta of Ariccia (an amazing sausage), you will live even more the flavor of this city.

Places to visit in Rome; Piazza di Spagna
Places to visit in Rome; Piazza di Spagna

9. Baths of Caracalla

As is well known, the Romans loved baths. There is no place in his empire with a spring of hot water that has escaped his architectural genius. And public restrooms were a pleasure that everyone could enjoy not only the rich. In fact the Baths of Caracalla were par excellence the Baths of commoners, the people rather than the patricians, the higher social classes. However, the buildings are not lacking in elegance and in fact, they were considered as luxury baths throughout the capital. The beauty of these ruins is in the fact that they have come down to us as the Romans saw no added too many unnecessary that occurred in subsequent periods.

Places to visit in Rome; Baths of Caracalla
Places to visit in Rome; Baths of Caracalla

10. Janiculum Hill

The Janiculum Hill is not part of the famous seven hills of Rome, but it is certainly one of the most beautiful and picturesque areas of the city where you can enjoy the best view of the Eternal City. With its 88 meters high stands the historic district of Trastevere. Many of the best hotels in Rome are also found in this picturesque village, where you can enjoy the best view from the terrace of the hotel room. Curiosity Janiculum, is the famous canyon loaded with blanks to shoot accurately at noon each day.

Places to visit in Rome; Janiculum Hill
Places to visit in Rome; Janiculum Hill

11. Piazza Farnese


This square is one of the most beautiful in the world of the Renaissance. It was built by Cardinal Farnese, who later became Pope Paul III, as space in front of his palace, which can still be visited today. Other famous buildings around this place are the French Consulate, the convent church of Santa Brigida, the palace and the palace Mignanelli Rooster Roccagiovane, all in a splendid Renaissance style.

Where to go in Rome; Piazza Farnese
Where to go in Rome; Piazza Farnese

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    • Linnea Lewis profile image

      Linnea Lewis 21 months ago from South Carolina, USA

      Nice guide, and lots of interesting information here, good job!