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What To See In Rome Italy
Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole European Union. There are so many world famous landmarks in Rome that include the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican.
The Vatican City
The Vatican City is an independent state located entirely within the city of Rome. It is surrounded by huge walls known as the Vatican Fortress and is across the Tiber River from the center of Rome. To get into the Vatican City you have to walk around the walls (keep walking until the walls end) and you will come to a Grand Entrance way into the Vatican. For me walking in there the first time (and every time after that) gave me goosebumps. You know how you see something so magnificent and breath taking that you just stop in your tracks in awe of it all. Well, that is the Vatican to me.
The main street that runs straight to the Vatican is called the Via della Conciliazione. Driving up this street you are able to get an incredible view of St. Peter's Cathedral. The dome of the cathedral was designed by Michelangelo and visitors can climb to the top of the dome and enjoy a fabulous view of all of Rome. St. Peter's Cathedral is the largest and most famous Roman Catholic Church in the world. This is largely in part of the famous architects who helped contribute to this building (Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, etc) and this is also where the Pope lives.
Right in front of the Cathedral is St. Peter's Square (Piazza Pio XII). This square is surrounded by Doric columns that are huge. There are many things that go on in the square. This is where the Pope addresses the people, they have a Christmas ceremony here and millions of people visit here each year. My favorite part of the Square are the two beautiful fountains. They too are very large in size and provide great backdrops for photographs.
Inside St. Peter's Cathedral there are so many things to see. The lavish frescoes, golden artifacts, beautiful sculptures, the Throne of St. Peter, The Pieta by Michelangelo, the Baldachin Alter, and the inside of the immense dome are just some of the wonderful things to put on your "to see" lists.
Blood and gore and sport, who could ask for anything more?! The worlds most famous sports arena, with its large, stately oval shape and broken-toothed profile is a top sight for any visitor to Rome. This grand amphitheater housed fights between gladiators, as well as exotic animals, while onlooking emperors decided whether the loser got the thumbs up signal to live or thumbs down to be finished off.
As the empire slipped away, so did the Colosseum. Earthquakes shook its foundations, and folks many years later took it's stones and marble to construct other buildings. Inside the Colosseum, the original seats and wooden floors are gone. The main area is now a maze of walls, which were once holding pens and corridors for equipment, animals and gladiators.
One of our many trips to Rome we got to go inside the Colosseum. I took a picture of the price sheet in case I needed it at a later date. The best part is the tickets are valid for 2 days so you can go back if you need to. For adults we paid 12 Euro each and the kids were free because we lived in Italy. There are guided tours in Italian, English, Spanish and French for 4 Euro per person. You can also get the audio guide in many different languages for 4.50 Euro and a video guide for 5,50 Euro. For information and booking call +39.06.39967700.
The Arch of Constantine
Right next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine. This is a triumphal arch that was built to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in October of 312. The arch is heavily decorated with parts of much older monuments.
There was a main inscription on the Arch that can still be read:
IMP · CAES · FL · CONSTANTINO · MAXIMO · P · F · AVGUSTO · S · P · Q · R · QVOD · INSTINCTV · DIVINITATIS · MENTIS · MAGNITVDINE · CVM · EXERCITV · SVO · TAM · DE · TYRANNO · QVAM · DE · OMNI · EIVS · FACTIONE · VNO · TEMPORE · IVSTIS · REM-PVBLICAM · VLTVS · EST · ARMIS · ARCVM · TRIVMPHIS · INSIGNEM · DICAVIT
To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantinus, the greatest, pious, and blessed Augustus: because he, inspired by the divine, and by the greatness of his mind, has delivered the state from the tyrant and all of his followers at the same time, with his army and just force of arms, the Senate and People of Rome have dedicated this arch, decorated with triumphs.
Other things to see in Rome
Although I only touched on very few things to actually see in Rome there are so many more. If you get the chance, stop and check out these as well.
- Castel Sant'Angelo
- Palazzo di Giustizia
- Palazzo Senatorio - Large palace situated at the top of Capitoline Hill.
- Piazza Navona - One of Rome's most beloved squares that has two of Bernini's fountains. The Fontana dei Quatro Fiumi and the Fontana del Moro.
- The Ponte Vittorio Emanuele bridge that has amazing statues across it.
- The Spanish Steps - They lead up to the Trinita dei Monti church.
- The Trevi Fountain - Has a statue of Neptune and is beautiful in the day and and night.
- The Victor Emmanuel Monument - This monument was built in honor of the first kind of a unified Italy.
Other things to do in Rome
From biking to shopping to just plain hanging out and taking in the city scenery, you find much more of Rome to keep you entertained. Here's a few more things to do and see while in Rome.
- Sample cafe life in Piazza Navona
- Flex your shopping muscles around Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps)
- Hit the morning flower and veggie market on Campo de' Fiori
- Peek inside the many different churches
- Check out the popular hangout for Brits and Americans in Trastevere
- Pedal your way through the Villa Borghese or the Via Appia Antica
- Do some bargnaning at Rome's Porta Portese flea market every Sunday from 7am to 1pm
As a saying goes, it would take a lifetime to see all of Rome. I, however, think it would take a lot more then just one lifetime. Rome wasn't built in a day so you can't expect to experience it one day either. You can get a good sampling of it's wonderful sights in three or four days. Because you won't see everything before you depart, be sure to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain (hub written by bdegiulio)- legend has it that if you do, you are destined to return to Rome someday.