If you intend to visit Italy, then Rome should be one of the first few places you should visit. It is indeed touristy, and busy but it’s clustered with attractions, history, art, culture and divine food. You just cannot go wrong with Rome, once you have seen this city you can venture out to quieter cities like Orvieto, and Bracciano but the point is this capital city of Italy is a must-visit.
You must have heard the quote ‘Rome was not built in a day’ well good things do take time and Rome is one of them. You will be overwhelmed with attractions and activities here so make sure you don’t skimp out on days here. Rome requires at least three good days and it will all be worth it. You want to take in the cities vibe, its love for Italian food, gelatos and coffee. There are gazillions of things to do here so you will never be short of activities, it’s always a good idea to plan your itinerary for this particular city.
Some of the most popular attractions here are:-
The Colosseum – Start your memorable journey from the Colosseum as it’s one of the most important attraction here. Back in the days the amphitheatre used to be the largest in the world and could seat a whopping 50,000 people. For a brief period of time, it was neglected and destroyed due to earthquakes but it still doesn’t take away the glory and the significance of the place. This is a must-see, you can either visit it on your own or with a guided tour for a detailed history of the Colosseum.
The Roman Forum – Just beside the Colosseum is the Roman Forum and The Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum is a site of ruins of many important political buildings from the past. A couple of prime sculptures of the bygone era were located close to the Forum, it was an important site for speeches, trials, and elections. You can combine your visit here with the Colosseum and the Palatine Hills.
Palatine Hills – Just a min away on foot from the forum is the Palatine hills, in the olden days this use to be the prime spot to live and was considered the most desirable neighbourhood. Out of the seven hills in Rome, this is considered to be the place Roman Empire started from. Today it stands as an archaeological site and you can visit this with the Colosseum entry ticket.
Piazza Venezia – After seeing the three chief sites of Rome walk towards the Piazza Venezia to admire the grand Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, he was the first king of unified Italy, his efforts to make Italy independent and the movement for Italian unification made him utterly popular. Four years after his death the monument was completed and till date attracts many tourists from around the globe.
Campo de Fiori – After that intense afternoon you can head for lunch at this square, it’s about 14min walk from Piazza Venezia. Every morning except on Sunday’s there is a market which takes place here, it gets quite busy and is one of the most loved places in the city. Here you can buy fresh vegetables, flowers and fruits. Today, this square has become quite a prime spot of Rome and in the centre of the square, you will find the statue of Giordano Bruno who was burned alive in the square in the year 1600.
Piazza Navona – Build in 1 AD, this square was used as a stadium and many sporting events were held here, and later this square was also used as a marketplace which got moved to Campo de Fiori. This square is always busy either there are tourists trying to take pictures near the fountain (piazza Navona fountain) or making their way to the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.
Pantheon – A four min walk away from the Piazza Navona is the Pantheon, it serves as a Catholic Church today and is one of the most well-preserved sites and is a UNESCO World Heritage. The current structure has survived for approximately 2,000 years and it was completed under the rule of Emperor Hadrian. There are many influential people who have been buried here like Vittorio Emanuele II, his son and his wife including a few more monarchs.
Trevi Fountain – Just like the Colosseum and The Pantheon another chief attraction of Rome is this fountain. It is said that about £3000 is thrown in the fountain by tourists daily in the hope of returning back to Rome. This spot is not only famous among tourists but also among film directors who have fancied shooting near the fountains, it makes for the perfect backdrop.
Spanish steps – These steps are quite a popular place to visit in Rome, it even attracts artists and painters who love to sketch these steps. Over the years they have been restored a couple of times and the last restoration took place in 1995.
Piazza del Popolo – Just less than a few minutes away from the Spanish step is this square, surrounded by churches, fountains and monument. You can see the two identical churches here, even though they have a lot of differences from within. Apart from the two twin churches, there is another vital church called Santa Maria del Popolo which was built to ward off the spirit of Nero (Roman Emperor). There is an abundance of churches, basilicas and cathedrals in Rome, so a bit of research depending on your likeness makes it easier to narrow out the ones you would love to visit. This square is also pretty close to the two famous streets like Via del Corso and Via dei Condotti.
Castle Saint Angelo – Emperor Hadrian ordered to build this mausoleum for him and his family. Back in the days, it was also the tallest building in Rome and it was used by the military, and pope. Today it’s used a museum and you can visit the seven-level of exhibits which is quite fascinating.
St Peters Square – The Vatican which is in this circular square is an independent country, It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope is the head here. You can visit the St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel but make sure to take a guided tour as there is a lot of stories, facts and history around it. I wouldn’t be biased if I said the first time I visited Italy was to witness ‘The Vatican’.
These are some of the most important highlights of Rome, and even though these are just a few attractions mentioned in reality the list can be endless. The above-mentioned attractions are based accordingly from the proximity of the next closest attraction which makes it easier for you to navigate your way. It would be ideal to follow this itinerary for around three days, but if you intend to stay for longer then you can even add Quirinal Palace (resident of the president), Villa Farnesina (Renaissance museum), Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the neighbourhood of Trastevere for restaurants and Galleria Borghese (art museum).
Rome is certainly a gigantic city filled with attractions having a fascinating history, it is one of the few places in the world which needs to be visited once in your life.