The Italian capital of Rome is the city that was famously not built in a day. So tourists who visit the city shouldn’t expect to take it in, all in a day’s trip. After all, the city was the center of the world, first as the capital of the enormous Roman Empire and later on as the seat of the Pope. All this warp and woof of history has left an indelible and tangible imprint on the city, which tourists come to experience for themselves. Rome is a must on every traveler’s bucket list because, in the end, all roads lead to Rome.
Places to Visit in Rome video
Attractions in Rome
Colosseum: This magnificent and timeless structure is arguably the symbol of Rome. Built in 80 AD, the massive amphitheater has seen everything from gladiatorial battles, executions, animal hunts, and even mock naval battles. While all of that may have stopped years ago, the Colosseum still attracts thousands of tourists who wish to take in its beauty each year.
Roman Forum: Located at the center of ancient Rome, this area was the center of Roman life. In this plaza, various speeches, celebrations, processions, funerals and commercial activities were held. It is the ideal spot from where tourists can take in the grandeur and splendor of the Roman Empire. Although most of it is in ruins, it isn’t too difficult to imagine how the place was in its heyday. Monuments at the site include temples, basilicas, government buildings, pools and much more.
Pantheon: The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved structures amongst various ancient Roman buildings. It remains all the more impressive considering it was built nearly 2,000 years ago. The tall columns and expansive interiors with the arched vault are a sight to behold, especially the Oculus, 27-foot home at the center of the rotunda through which natural light streams through. The Pantheon was initially dedicated to the Roman gods, but it was converted into a church and still holds mass on Sundays.
Vatican City: The Vatican City is already a major pilgrimage destination for Catholics. However, its impressive architecture and massive collection of art forms attract tourists of all hues and religions. The magnificent St. Peters Square is where tourists start their journey and right at the center is an Egyptian obelisk and the square is surrounded by colonnades. St. Peter’s Basilica is located straight ahead and is considered to be the holiest church in all of Christendom as it is the location of the grave of St. Peter. The Vatican Museum has a collection of some of the greatest works of art in history. At the end of the Museum is the Sistine Chapel, which is a stunning work of art given its breathtaking frescos painted by some of the greatest Renaissance artists in history including Michelangelo.
Piazza Navona: This Square is one of the most popular places in Rome, thanks to a number of restaurants and cafés found here as well as the number of street performances that one can see here. Piazza Navona is made even more beautiful by the three fountains here, the most impressive of which is the Fountain of the Four Rivers designed by Bernini, one of the greatest artists in history.
Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is one of the most iconic fountains in the world and is considered one of the greatest examples of Baroque art. One of the biggest reasons why it is so popular with the tourists isn’t just due to its size or even its beauty, but due to the traveler lore. It is said that by throwing coins into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder, you are guaranteed to return to Rome.
Capuchin Crypt: One of the most unique and morbid tourist attractions in Rome, the Capuchin Crypt features human bones of the Capuchin friars that are arranged to depict Christian artwork. The aim of the Crypt is not to mortify visitors, but to remind them of their own mortality and the flux of time. The macabre displays are a unique interpretation of the church’s teaching of good, evil, and eternity.
San Luigi dei Francesi: Known in English as Church of St. Louis of the French, the church is located not too far away from the Piazza Navona. The church was built for the French community in Rome and features a beautiful baroque architecture. However, its art found in the interior of the church that attracts visitors. Inside the church, visitors can find three of the most famous works by Baroque painter, Caravaggio, namely The Calling of St Matthew, The Inspiration of Saint Matthew, and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew. Visitors to the church will also be greeted by beautiful frescos painted by renowned artists like Dominichino, Cavalier D’Arpino, Muziano, Giovanni Baglione, and many others.
Galleria Borghese: Rome may be overflowing with art, but even so, a visit to the Galleria Borghese is a must for any lover of art. The collection is housed in the Villa Borghese Pinciana has a substantial collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities by the masters of the Baroque style of art. Some of the highlights of the collections are sculptures by Bernini such as the Truth Unveiled by Time, Apollo and Daphne, David, and more as well as sculptures by other artists. Some of the most famous paintings here include St John the Baptist by Caravaggio, Lady with a Unicorn by Raphael, The Scourging of Christ by Titian, and many more. Outside the Villa Borghese Pinciana is the Villa Borghese garden which is the third largest park in Rome.
Via del Governo Vecchio: The Via del Governo Vecchio is the place in the city to engage in retail therapy. The streets are lined with some of the trendiest boutiques and cafés and the prices at these stores are quite high. However, what shoppers get great value for their money when they shop here for fashionable clothing and accessories, not easily available elsewhere.
Gianicolo: While not considered to be one of the seven hills that make up Rome, Gianicolo or Janiculum hill, located west of the Tiber River is definitely the one that offers the best views of the city complete with its many domes and bell towers. The hill is also a great place to get to know a bit more about the modern history of Rome that led to the unification of Italy. At noon each day, a cannon is shot to mark the time — a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.
Accommodation in Rome
Hotel Lodi and Hotel De Monti are excellent choices for budget travelers. Mid-range accommodations are provided by Mercure Roma Piazza Bologna and the Montecarlo Hotel. High-end travelers should check out the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, and the Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese.
Facts about Rome
- According to a legend, the city was founded by Romulus who, along with his brother, Remus, was sucked by a wolf.
- The phrase ‘all roads lead to Rome’ comes from the fact that Rome had an extensive network of roads throughout the whole empire.
- Every day, nearly 3,000 Euros are thrown in the Trevi Fountains. These are collected and donated to needy families in Rome.
- Read: Facts about Italy….
Where is Rome?
Rome is located in the region of Lazio in Italy.
How to Reach
Leonardo da Vinci Airport, also known as Fiumicino, is the airport that serves Rome. It is about 26 km from the city center.
Roma Termini Station in Rome is a key station in the whole of Italy.
Being the capital of Italy, Rome is well connected to all parts of the city by road.
Best time to visit Rome
The best time to visit Rome is between the months of October and April as the tourists are lesser and the hotel rates cheaper.
More on Rome
What is the best way to get around Rome?
When in Rome, it is advisable to do as the Romans do and rent a moped to take yours around town. Tourists can also hire electric cars that can accommodate up to four people.
What type of clothing should be worn in Rome?
While Rome is generally quite open when it comes to clothing, there are some exceptions, especially at religious locations. When visiting a church or Vatican City, it is advisable not to wear shorts, cropped tops, and miniskirts. If you are wearing sleeveless garments, it is advisable to carry a sweater or a scarf that can be wrapped around the shoulders before entering a church.
Image credits: russavia
SB20150806Published On: Monday, July 27th, 2015