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Top 8 Things to do in Rome

Last Updated:
August 18, 2022

Top 8 Things to do in Rome

Rome is one of the most historical places to visit and is often known as the Eternal City. This city offers a glimpse into history through monuments, art, and architecture. These amazing sights, combined with great food and stunning views make Rome the perfect destination. Below are the top 8 things you should do in Rome.

1. Visit the Colosseum

The Colosseum is likely the most well-known location in Rome and is often what people first think of. After all, it is the largest amphitheater in the world, and once sat over 70,000 spectators. This is where gladiators battled, animals fought and the traditional Roman games were held. These days, the ruins offer an amazing look into the past and the various uses of the building through the years. It is recommended to book your ticket in advance and visit first thing in the morning to avoid long wait times.

2. Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

The Roman Forum marks the center of the Eternal City. Within this area, you will see ruins of ancient markets, administrative buildings, and religious buildings. Visit the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Caesar and the Senate House ruins. Finally, visit Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. According to mythology, Palatine Hill is the location of the cave where Romulus and Remus were saved by the she-wolf Lupa. While visiting, you will have the opportunity to access these caves. You will also be able to explore the ruins of Emperor Octavian Augustus’ palace.  Finally, Palatine Hill offers a panoramic view of the ancient city. Tickets to both the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are included with Colosseum tickets.

3. Visit the Pantheon

This must-see attraction is the most well-preserved ancient building in Rome. Originally a dedication to all mythological divinities, the Pantheon converted into a Christian church during the 7th century. The architecture of this building is unlike anything else during its time, with a large domed roof, and oculus. This roof design is not only an architectural marvel but offers amazing lighting. Within the Pantheon are the tombs of Raphael and Victor Emmanuel II. Best of all visiting the Pantheon is free, just ensure you get there early to experience the vast space.

4. Visit the Basilicas

Rome is home to the 4 largest basilicas in the world, among its 900 churches. Take the time to visit one, or all four of the basilicas below during your trip to Rome.

St Peter’s Basilica

This basilica is located within Vatican City and is where St Peter’s tomb is. This Renaissance-style church is the largest church in the world. Within the basilica are a number of outstanding sculptures, including Michelangelo’s Pieta.

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

This basilica is also known as the cathedral of Rome, where the Pope celebrates Holy Thursday Mass. This is the oldest public church in Rome and where the 12 sculptures of the Apostles are located.

Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura

This neoclassical basilica houses the tomb of Saint Paul and is the second largest church in Rome. Within this basilica, visitors can see 5th-century mosaics on the triumphal arch.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

This basilica is also known as Our Lady of the Snows and was built in dedication to the Virgin Mary. Built in Roman style, this basilica has been renovated many times and now has many baroque elements in its architectural design. Within this church, there are many major works of art, including chapel frescoes and tile mosaics.

5. Hang Out in Piazza del Popolo

Also known as the People’s Square, this is one of the oldest communal squares in Rome. It features an obelisk, various fountains, and three churches including the twin churches on either side. This was once the historical entrance to Rome and the starting point of the road to Ariminum. There are also often events held within the square for holidays and special occasions.

6. Walk the Sant’Angelo Bridge

The Sant’Angelo Bridge leads you from Piazza del Popolo to Castel Sant’Angelo. The bridge itself features 10 angelic statues and is one of the oldest bridges in Rome. All of the angel statues were designed by Bernini and sculpted by various artists. This is also the bridge that leads to Vatican City.

7. Visit Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world and has no taxes at all. The economy within Vatican City is supported by donations and the sales of stamps and souvenirs. It has one of the smallest populations, in fact, only priests, nuns, dignitaries, guards, and the pope live here. Furthermore, the guards must be Swiss and Catholic. Within Vatican City, you will find St Peter’s Square, the Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica. St Peter’s Square features 145 saints statues, and an Egyptian obelisk, alongside multiple fountains.

8. Eat at a Trattoria

Dining at a trattoria gives you the chance to experience traditional pizza or pasta in a relaxing atmosphere. Most trattorias have small terraces and offer an authentic Italian dining experience. Look for smaller, family-owned restaurants to get the best experience.

The things above are just a peek into what you can do in Rome. There are countless other activities and attractions to see within the city from exploring the catacombs to visiting the amazing museums. Start planning your trip to Rome today!

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