Attractions in Rome
Hardly any city in the world has as many attractions and sights as Rome. Here you can come every weekend for the rest of your life without bringing all the treasures of art and architectural gems with you. Below is a selection of attractions and sights to see in Rome.
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of Rome, Italy. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican
St. Peter’s Basilica [see image above] is ranked as the world’s # 32 wonder on Hillman’s wonder of the World. It is the headquarters of the Catholic world. It is a fantastic building and you also have the opportunity to go to the top to get the best views of the city. St. Peter’s Basilica is located in the Vatican.
The resort is ranked # 30 by Hillman’s wonder of the World. The square, where you will find Rome’s largest amphitheater, is called Piazza del Colosseo. The plant was completed in year 72 and had approx. 55,000 seats. It was here at the Coliseum that gladiator fights took place.
At Piazza della Rotondo you will find perhaps the most exciting building in Rome. The Pantheon has its only light source from a hole in the church dome. Here is also Rafael buried.
The Spanish Steps
You will find the Spanish Steps at Piazza del Spagna. It is a meeting place for both Roman youth and tourists. It is a great architectural work, and the area around the stairs is known for its exclusive fashion boutiques.
San Giovanni in Laterno
This is the oldest church in the world. It has, among other things, statues of the apostles. The church is located at Piazza S Giovanni in Laterno.
This area, located next to the Coliseum, was the political and economic hub of historic Rome. Here you will see amazing ruins and arches. It’s free admission.
In the Vatican Museum you will find art treasures collected by the Roman Catholic Church. You could probably spend months in the museum and still not get everything with you. Meet up early as there are many visitors every day. Leonardo da Vinci’s roof painting is a must.
Castel Sant Angelo
Right by St. Peter’s Church (the street is called Lungotevere) you will find a charming castle that is definitely worth a visit. Castel Sant Angelo was originally built as a mausoleum.
Maxxi in Rome
After all, it could not be another name than Maxxi when Rome was given a new cultural building. It will house two new national museums, one for modern art and one for architecture.
The building itself is also spectacular, and will probably be a building that finds its way to many tourists’ digital cameras in the years to come. Architect is Zaha Hadid. This female architect is no one, once ranked as the 69th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
The museum was designed by Michelangelo himself and has one of Europe’s most important and valuable collections of sculptures. The Capitoline Museum is located at Piazza del Campidoglio.
At Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5 you will find Galleria Borghese. The gallery has the best sculptures of the famous Cardinal Scipione Borghese.
Fontana de Trevi
Nicola Salvi is the architect of this magnificent fountain from the 18th century. According to tradition, throw a coin in Fontana de Trevi over your shoulder so you can be sure to return to Rome. The address is Piazza di Trevi.
The Piazza Navona square was originally an arena for horse racing. Today it is a place where tourists meet people and take an espresso, a glass of wine or an ice cream. Here you will find the wonderful Quattro Fontena, Bernini’s masterpiece.
Once upon a time, this was the largest stadium in Rome with space for over 250,000 spectators. In the Middle Ages, Circus Maximus was destroyed. Today, the area is a park where people meet, but you see the contours of ancient grandeur.
Tourist in Rome
Rome’s historic center is relatively small, and you don’t need to take a guided bus tour to experience the various tourist attractions. The city is smaller in circumference than most people expect, and to see the historic center you need nothing but good shoes.
But are you not comfortable using the apostles’ horses so know that in Rome there are buses, there are trams and actually a subway, (with two lines). Besides, the city is so full of historical treasures and landmark buildings that you will surely have to come back many times to be able to say that you have seen most of it.
Day 1 in Rome
The first day in Rome will be spent on foot. Now motivation is greatest and form is best. We start the day at Rome’s largest amphitheater, the Coliseum. It is said that the Coliseum accommodated more than 55,000 people. Many tourist buses come here, and it becomes quite crowded in due course. We recommend that you visit this place quite early in the morning. The Coliseum is located at Piazza del Colosseo in the Forum district.
From the Coliseum to Piazza Navona
We suggest you take the road from the Coliseum down to the Victor Emmanuel Monument at Piazza Venezia. On the way from the Coliseum you will see drawings of the Roman conquests on walls next to the sidewalk. The Vicktor Emmanuel monument is both loved and hated in Rome. Some say it looks like a pie, others say it looks like a typewriter. Either way, the building impresses.
On the other side of Piazza Venezia (seen from the Victor Emmanuel Monument), you meet the Via del Corso road. Via del Corso has many shops (and shopping malls). We recommend you follow this street until you meet the tourist sign that shows the road to the Pantheon, which is located on the square Piazza della Rotonda. The Pantheon is Rome’s best-preserved ancient temple. From the outside, it may not look so great, but go inside and look up at the ceiling! After your visit we suggest you relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Do like the Italians – enjoy life!
Next stop is Piazza Navona. Here you will find many street artists and street artists, sales stalls, many trattorias and pizzerias. Relax and look at human life. Lunch is often enjoyed on the square, but the best food you can find in one of the nearby streets that leads from the long side of the square towards the river Tiber. Apart from human life, Piazza Navona is perhaps best known for his fantastic fountain Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, created by Bernini and featured in the book Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
You can now visit the pope. We recommend passing the River Tiber on the Angels Bridge or Ponte S. Angelo, as it is called in Italian. The easiest way is to exit the south side of Piazza Navona to Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Turn right (if you stand with Navona Square in the back) and walk until you meet the river. The bridge that follows the road is called Ponte Vittorio Emanuele. Ponte S. Angelo is the first bridge you come to if you follow the river to the right. If you choose this bridge, you come directly to Castel Sant Angelo. This slightly special castle has a wonderful history and an equally great location, opposite the St. Peter’s Basilica. There is the opportunity to visit the castle and from the top you have great views of Rome.
After visiting Castel Sant Angelo, go to the last stop of the day, which is St. Peter’s Church – the center of the Roman Catholic Church. A visit to the church will surely give you a lasting memory. Not least, the dome designed by Michelangelo impresses and extends more than 130 meters from the floor. It took more than 100 years to build the church, so Michelangelo never saw the dome finished.
After a long and hopefully rewarding day, it’s time to plan dinner. Romans eat long and hard. In Rome there are many tourist traps, and although the food quality is generally good, prices can vary widely. We suggest dinner in Trastevere. If you want a reasonably priced dinner, we suggest the Pizzeria San Calisto restaurant, located at Piazza San Calisto # 9a. Here you get huge pizzas. Try to get tables outside so you can experience the atmosphere of the area. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
Day 2 in Rome
We suggest you start the day with a wonderful walk in the Forum Romanum and up to the Capitol hill. The Capitol is located right by the Coliseum. Walk among the ruins and see the amazing walls, the road Caesar took to the Arc of Triumph, the pillars of the Saturn Temple and much more.
After that, visit one of the great museums in Rome. Take the Vatican Museum or Sistine Chapel, for example, which both belong to the museum complex in and around St. Peter’s Basilica. Calculate time to queue to enter. We can promise you that it is worth the wait. Both museums contain enough for you to walk around and look for months. The Vatican Museum has, among other things, a large collection of paintings with works by Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio in addition to a significant archaeological collection. The Sistine Chapel is best known for Michelangelo’s roof paintings.
Shopping and the Spanish Steps
Rome has many great shops and shopping centers. The very best you will find right on the Spanish Steps. You can easily reach the Spanish Steps by walking the Via del Corso Street. Here it is teeming with great design shops and haute couture. All famous fashion houses are represented. For most wallets, window shopping is perhaps most relevant. Via del Corso is also a good shopping street in itself with many different shops.
After shopping you can go to the Spanish Steps and sit down among the others in the crowd. Feel free to grab a coffee or a glass of wine at one of the many cafes nearby. If you want to be a bit of a tourist, visit the El Greco bar [see photo above] right on the Spanish Steps. This was Hemingway’s pedigree.
You are now close to the Fontana de Trevi, so take the opportunity to make sure you come back to Rome. All you have to do is toss a coin in the fountain. NB Remember to stand with your back to the water when tossing the coin. This fountain is perhaps the most beautiful of all the fantastic fountains in Rome. The main character is Neptune, and the fountain was built by Nicola Salvi in 1762. In the human frenzy, be careful with your purse, camera and wallet.
Football in Rome
If there is a football match at the Olympic Stadium (home of both Lazio and Rome), this is a great way to spend the evening. Italians love football, and more passionate football fans should look for a long time. The Olympic Stadium is very large and can seat more than 80,000 spectators. Tickets are purchased at the stadium. You will surely meet many black exchange sellers, but check the official ticket booths before purchasing any tickets from these avid sellers. Don’t be “fooled” into buying uncritically on the street before the stadium!