An essential experience of visiting Rome is touring the Colosseum. Constructed between 70 and 80 AD, Romans came here to watch gladiators compete against wild animals or each other on its massive stage. Sort out the places to visit in Rome.
The Pantheon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Rome’s most iconic structures; free to tour but expect long lines when visiting.
1. Vatican Museums
Over the centuries, popes amassed an extraordinary art collection. From Roman artifacts and religious relics to paintings, their popes amassed an extensive art collection that spans Roman objects to holy antiques and paintings. The Vatican Museums boast 54 exquisitely decorated rooms for visitors’ viewing pleasure – with Michelangelo frescos decorating Sistine Chapel being among them! To avoid long lines at peak times, reserve skip-the-line tickets in advance.
Early spring or autumn are ideal times to visit the Vatican Museums. Crowds are less congested than during peak summer or Christmastime periods, and temperatures are more comfortable for sightseeing.
Be sure to visit the Raphael Rooms, featuring stunning frescoes by Italian Renaissance artist Raphael – such as “The School of Athens.” Additionally, Lapidary Gallery showcases beautiful gemstone sculptures dating back from 15th and 16th century Italy.
History buffs shouldn’t miss visiting the Colosseum – this UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to 72 AD on the orders of Emperor Vespasian and was completed under Titus. At its peak capacity of 80,000 spectators watching gladiator shows and other spectacles simultaneously! For an immersive experience, buy tickets for admission to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most stunning squares, making it a great place to enjoy lunch or coffee while looking out at Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers and two additional impressive fountains (Fontana del Nettuno and Fontana di Nettuno).
Visit Centrale Montemartini for an unusual museum experience in an old power plant. Here, visitors will discover Green and Roman statues and modern art.
2. St. Peter’s Basilica
Visit one of Rome’s iconic landmarks – St. Peter’s Basilica- an absolute must! No matter your religious views or art interests, St. Peter’s Basilica should not be missed on your trip to the Eternal City. Take time to walk clockwise around this church, taking notice of any side chapels or Michelangelo’s cupola, designed as one of the most enormous domes ever created – one of only 13 worldwide designed by him!
The Basilica is home to some of Rome’s most notable art and serves as the headquarters of Roman Catholicism. Be sure to admire Michelangelo’s La Pieta sculpture and marvel at its realistic marble walls, Bernini’s Baldacchino, or any of the popes buried therein.
Colosseum is another popular tourist attraction and amphitheater used by Romans to view gladiatorial combat and public executions, among other uses. There are countless tours available to enable you to discover this excellent site.
Castel Sant’Angelo can be found just outside Rome’s city center. Intended initially as Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum, its purpose later changed. It became a medieval citadel and prison, even serving as a haven during political unrest for Popes during their stay here – now one of Rome’s most impressive ruins!
One of the best things to do in Rome is explore its magnificent fountains – particularly the Trevi Fountain, designed by Nicola Salvi and inspired by the legend of Romulus and Remus, who established Rome.
3. Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s iconic landmarks and an attraction for visitors worldwide. Perfect for coffee or gelato and people-watching, as well as featuring shops. However, to avoid crowds, come at night.
Piazza di Spagna steps are free to visit, though vendors often vie for your attention. Travelers have different opinions of this attraction; some see them as must-sees, while others find them underwhelming. To see them without crowds, visit late at night or on weekdays.
At the steps, you’ll find a church called Trinita dei Monti with stunning frescos called the Trinita dei Monti, with Contarelli Chapel that contains Caravaggio’s paintings as a highlight. Or visit Fontana del Bottino with its large sarcophagus with three figures on either side; either option makes for a fantastic visit!
Pantheon, another nearby attraction, offers free admission but has a lengthy line for entry. This unique building, temple, and mass hall remain a popular tourist destination while remaining an incredible example of ancient Roman architecture.
Doria Pamphilj Gallery features works by several renowned Italian artists, such as Caravaggio and the Flemish Masters; one of Rome’s more unusual attractions is housed within Rome’s first electrical power plant, which has since been transformed into a museum. Additionally, Keats Shelley House allows visitors to retrace in some small way English Romantic poets such as Shelley and Byron’s footsteps in an intimate yet informative museum setting.
4. Campo de’ Fiori
Campo de’ Fiori stands out as an exception to Rome’s 15th-century architectural structure by being an area where street culture and trade have long been at its core. You can still witness this evidence in surrounding streets, such as Via dei Cappellari (hatmakers), Via Giubbonari (tailors), and Via Balestrari (crossbow-makers). Since 1869, its main draw has been its market, which has operated daily with a shout, ing locals adding an authentic experience while acoustic music completes it all!
By day, Rome’s Piazza is an exciting square with bustling market stalls and restaurants that provide a relaxing environment. However, by nightfall, it becomes one of the city’s premier nightlife locations, with packed clubs and lively outdoor cafes providing lively nighttime entertainment.
Campo de’ Fiori may now be known as a place of life and celebration, but that wasn’t always the case. Campo de’ Fiori used to serve as the site of public executions, like in 1600 when philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned alive before having his statue installed as a symbol of free thought facing the Vatican.
Campo de’ Fiori offers many notable sights, with the Palazzo Spada, designed by famed Baroque architects Carlo Maderno and Giacomo della Porta, standing out as highlights. Inside this iconic structure can be found art from Titian, Guido Reni, and Artemisia Gentileschi, as well as its famed trompe l’oeil by Borromini located near its entrance.
Piazza Navona is one of the city’s most beautiful public squares and an important historical site, boasting lively performances by street performers and artists who add positive energy to this magnificent space. Surrounded by beautiful fountains and churches that deserve your consideration for visiting, Piazza Navona makes for a delightful and historical site to experience!
First up should be Rome’s world-famous Trevi Fountain – this Baroque fountain is unmissable for visitors. Legend has it that Bernini covered up Nile Giant’s eyes to shield it from his rival church being built nearby; additionally, its name comes from the Italian words tre vie, which means three streets.
Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, designed by Giacomo Della Porta and home to many works by Car, Caravaggio such as his masterpieces, The Calling of Saint Matthew, Inspiration of St Matthew, Martyrdom of St Matthew, etc. If you want to learn more about them, join a Caravaggio tour of Rome!
Palazzo delle Cancelleria, an impressive and underrated neoclassical palace on the south side of Piazza, houses the Borghese Gallery, which displays works by some of history’s greatest artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Canova – making this museum free to enter when visiting with either the Roma Pass or Omnia Vatican & Rome Card.