Top Ten Best Things To See In Rome
Even before you eat your first Roman meal, your eyes can indulge in a visual feast of ancient architecture blending with cosmopolitan style; around every corner of the majestic city of Rome. There’s so much to explore, that you should allow at least a couple of days to simply get lost among the splendour, but here’s ten sites to whet your appetite.
1. St Peter’s Basilica
One of Italy’s most spectacular cathedrals, St Peter’s Basilica, located in St Peter’s Square, incorporates a dome designed by Michelangelo and a bronze baldachin by Bernini. It took 120 years to construct and, now, the interior houses lavish works of art and what experts believe to be the tomb of St Peter, though this hasn’t been confirmed.
2. The Colosseum
Your first sight of the Colosseum is sure to be one you’ll remember. You can take a guided tour of the gladiator arena, infamous for a long and bloody history. It was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre and it was commissioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian.
3. The Pantheon
Characterised by a 43-metre high dome which was once the largest in the world, the Pantheon is one of the most popular attractions in Rome. A magnificent example of the city’s wonderfully preserved monuments, just walking across the ancient marble floors is enough to satisfy any history buff.
4. The Vatican Museums
Perhaps most famous for the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums house incredible masterpieces collected by popes across the centuries. Among paintings, sculptures and art works, you’ll find Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’, Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’, Leonardo Da Vinci’s unfinished ‘St Jerome’ and the Gallery of Tapestries.
5. The Roman Forum
Step back into once was the heart of Rome, at the imposing Roman Forum, where citizens shopped at markets, conducted business deals and held political meetings. It’s located right next door to the Colosseum and you can explore The Temple of Saturn, The Temple of Julius Caesar, The temple of Venus and Roma and The House of the Vestal Virgins.
6. II Vitoriano
Some people see it and fall in love, others hate it on sight. Whatever your opinion, ‘The Wedding Cake’, or the Victory Monument to Victor Emanuel II sits at the centre of Rome, in all it’s flamboyant glory. You can ride the elevator to the top to experience 360-degree views of Rome or simply get the all-important photo from the busy road out the front.
7. Campo die Fiori Markets
For a wonderful day of shopping in one of Rome’s oldest open air markets, visit Piazza di Campo dei Fiori. You’ll find everything from souvenirs to fresh vegetables, ceramics, spices, kitchen utensils and homewares. It’s not the cheapest of shopping options, but worth it for the location and the bustling atmosphere.
A charming pocket of medieval Rome, the neighbourhood of Trastevere is separated from central Rome by the Tiber river and it’s a marvellous place to wander the cobbled streets, visit quaint chocolate shops, admire vine-clad garden terraces and discover churches and local restaurants.
9. Circus Maximus
The Circus Maximus was the largest stadium in ancient Rome and, at one stage, reportedly seated over 200,000 people. It was the home of Rome’s most popular pastime; chariot races. Now, it’s a public park and you can view the monumental size of the site and imagine history as it might have been.
10. Trevi Fountain
The most famous fountain in Rome has appeared in several movies and is the spot all tourists flock to, in order to throw a coin in and someday return to Rome. The Baroque structure centres around Neptune, God of the Sea and two Tritons and, if you can get near it to take a photo, the beauty of it does live up to the reputation.
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