Are you planning a trip to the Eternal City, Rome? This guide will help you because we have listed the top things to do and see in Rome during your trip.
Rome is known to be one of the most ancient cities in the world. The history of Rome dates back to as early as 753 BC, which makes it at least 2000 years older than Italy. Rome comes across as a culturally rich city with its rich history and architectural brilliance.
If you thought that most of the ancient remnants of Rome had been excavated, you are mistaken. You will be surprised to know that at least 90% of the city’s history is still buried 30 feet under the ground. What you see today is only the tip of the iceberg!
An interesting fact about Rome is that it is home to over 900 Christian churches, more than anywhere else in the world!
Things to see and do in Rome
A trip to Rome is incomplete without visiting the magnificent Colosseum. Constructed as early as 70 –80AD, Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, can accommodate up to 80,000 people at a time. Many centuries ago, people used to witness sports tournaments and other cultural events from the beautiful galleries of the Colosseum. Today, all you get to see are the remnants of the rich past. However, this structure gives you excellent angles to take memorable photographs.
Some tips – Please plan your visit early in the morning or a couple of hours before closing, to avoid the huge crowds. You will need an hour at least to visit the Colosseum; hence, you should plan accordingly.
The Vatican may be the smallest city in the world, but it is home to some of the most beautiful and religious structures, the most famous one being St. Peter’s Basilica. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church; therefore, you can spot many iconic and architecturally-brilliant structures here.
St. Peter’s Square is a huge, circular place that hosts many iconic events, and is the most important attraction in Vatican City. Statues of various religious icons and former popes adorn the columns here. At one corner is the famous St. Peter’s Basilica, in all its glory. Huge crowds of people gather in front of this church, to catch a glimpse of the Pope. This church, with a magnificent front façade, belongs to the amazing Gloria sculpture design, thanks to the contributions of the ace sculptors, Michelangelo and Bernini.
Some tips – You can climb up to St. Peter’s Basilica to get a panoramic view of the entire St. Peter’s Square. Also, don’t miss visiting the underground regions of the church to take a look at the culturally-rich grottoes. The Sistine Chapel, Vatican Garden, Vatican Necropolis and other important tourist spots can be covered when you take a guided tour of the Vatican city.
There are quite a few ancient and heritage-rich structures that come to your mind, when you think of Rome. The Pantheon is one of them. Today, it is the most preserved building in the old city of Rome. Emperor Hadrian constructed the structure that we see today, in 118 AD. However, before this structure, this place was home to a temple, which Agrippa commissioned, during the rule of Augustus.
The building has a huge rectangular porch, and the columns on the side are designed in such a way to show respect to Agrippa. Once you step inside, you will be blown away by the majestic interiors of Pantheon. While you will find a series of intricately-carved stone patterns on one side, you cannot help but admire the coffer in the middle of the structure. Light passes gently through this, making it a perfect blend of beauty and history.
Some tips – if you want to avoid the crowds, you can visit Pantheon early in the morning; however, if you want to take photographs, you have to visit between 11 AM and 1 PM, as this is the time that sunlight passes through the coffer. You need an hour at least to view the Pantheon and take pictures inside and outside.
What’s so special about the Trevi Fountain, that it finds its name in the top place to visit in Rome? Well, it is because, there is no other fountain in the world that is so architecturally beautiful and intricate as this one. Nicola Salvi constructed this fountain in 1762, and the place has been drawing thousands of tourists every day, since then.
Oceanus, the Roman God dedicated to this fountain, is beautifully sculpted in the façade along the fountain. This sculpture, where Oceanus rides his chariot pulled by Tritons, as he tames many Hippocamps, is a timeless treasure, as every tiny detail is intricately carved here.
Some tips – You cannot miss this fountain, as it is close to the Pantheon. Throwing coins into the fountain’s water is considered to bring good luck, but you need to be careful, as there are hundreds of people already rubbing shoulders with you here.
This is the best place to visit if you want to get a glimpse of Romans’ early public and political lives. The Roman Forum is a huge campus consisting of architectural remnants of temples, squares, and other structures that were buzzing with life many centuries ago. Every building, wall, and column you find here has a story to tell. It is located right next to the Colosseum; hence, you cannot miss it.
Some tips – If you are visiting the Roman Forum for the first time, you have to spend at least half a day here, to understand and appreciate the history of the place. So, you can plan other tourist spots accordingly.
When to visit Rome
Rome, the beautiful capital city of Italy, can be visited all through the year. However, the best time to go to Rome is between October and April. The weather is pleasant and slightly cold during this time. Since it is not the peak season for tourists, you can visit the top attractions in peace, without the crowds, during this time of the year.