Rome has plenty to offer. From the best food to the best places. Here are the best things to see in Rome, Italy you can’t miss. Rome is surprisingly beautiful. However, what does this Italy’s capital has?
With breathtaking buildings and twisted architecture, the historic, but religious city of Rome is definitely worth a visit. Not just at least once but many times as it has its unparalleled beauty.
Further, Rome has everything. There are hundreds if not, thousands of reasons to enjoy and pay Rome a visit. So, let us uncover the true beauty of Rome. Right now.
Best Things and Places to See in Rome, Italy
Let me uncover the naked beauty of the eternal city, Rome. This list is just some of the many places you can enjoy in Rome. So, let us start our journey!
1. The Pantheon
Wait, let me tell you a story first. The moment I saw Pantheon I cried. I felt so amazed by its natural beauty and its history. Until now, I am still thinking about how lucky I am to witness it.
Pantheon is a Roman temple from the past. And now it is a Museum and a catholic church in Rome Italy. The Pantheon was built by a great Roman emperor, Hadrian, and dedicated about 126 A.D. Moreover, Pantheon is known to be one of the most preserved and influential buildings of ancient Rome. Its name, comes from Greek words pan, meaning “all” and theos, meaning “gods”.
The Pantheon is 142 feet in diameter. Pantheon is extraordinary for its size, design, and construction. After decades of building the said Roman temple, Pantheon was destroyed in a fire around 80 A.D. It was rebuilt by an emperor, Domitian. Unfortunately, during 110 A.D., the Pantheon burned down again. No wonder the color of Patheon itself is quite dark and smoky.
Fact: The Pantheon that you today is not the real Pantheon. It is not original. However, don’t worry—it’s still ancient. It just so happens to be the third version of the building already.
The Pantheon is just one of the many things and places to see in Rome, Italy.
2. The Colosseum
A 2 minutes walk from the Arch of Constantine– a triumphal arch in Rome devoted to the emperor Constantine the Great, Colosseum is standing. The Colosseum or Colosseo in Italian is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Colosseo is an oval amphitheatre in the heart of Rome City, Italy. Built of molded limestone, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it was the largest amphitheatre ever built at the time and held 50,000 to 80,000 sightseers.
But, why they created the Colosseum and made it as one of the best things to see in Rome, Italy?
Purpose of Colosseum
Colosseum is an icon in Rome. They started building it during 70 A.D. So, imagine how old it is. After that, when the Colosseum first opened, an emperor named Titus celebrated with a hundred days of gladiatorial games.
But, the real question here is, why they built the Colosseum? The Colosseum was built as part of an imperial effort to reinvigorate Rome after the tumultuous year of the four emperors, 69 A.D. (69 AD, the year of the Four Emperors, was a period in the history of the Roman Empire in which four emperors ruled in succession: Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian.) As with other amphitheaters, the emperor Vespasian intended the Colosseum to be an entertainment venue. In addition to that, they also used Colosseum in hosting gladiator fights, animal hunts, and even mock naval clash.
There are plenty of things to see in Rome, Italy. However, Colosseum is one of my favorite spots. Its stories and designs are just shocking.
3. Trevi Fountain
In addition to the best things to see in Rome, Italy is the Trevi Fountain. Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy. Fontana di Trevi in Italian is one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is also the largest Baroque fountain in the city of Rome. The fountain was designed by an Italian architect, Nicola Salvi, and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and among others.
Fontana di Trevi is truly stunning. Let us talk about its legend. Do you believe in luck? According to legend, tossing one coin into the Trevi Fountain means you’ll absolutely return to The Eternal City, Rome. What if two coins? Tossing two coins means you’ll return and fall in love. And three coins? Tossing three coins means you’ll return, find love, and ensure to marry him or her. How romantic it is, right. I didn’t know about this before till I did it myself. And guess what happened to me next. With luck or no luck, your money goes to a good cause. Money is not wasted definitely. Therefore, don’t miss to visit Trevi Fountain as it is one of the best things and places to see in Rome, Italy.
Want to learn more about Trevi Fountain? Check on the Surprising Trevi Fountain Facts.
Purpose of Trevi Fountain
Many of us are wondering why they built Trevi Fountain. To clarify, they built the fountain as a water source in Rome during ancient Roman times.
In addition, during the construction of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct in 19 B.C. which provided water to the Roman baths and the fountains of central Rome, the Trevi fountain was built. Meanwhile, It’s said that the Aqua Virgo, or Virgin Waters, is named in honor of a young Roman girl. According to legend, she led thirsty soldiers to the source of the spring to get water to drink.
At the endpoint of the aqueduct, the fountain was built at the junction of three roads. These three roads (tre vie) gave the Trevi Fountain its great name, the Three Street Fountain.
Don’t get surprised if Rome is full of fountains. Yes, Rome is one of the biggest cities in Italy that has plenty of water fountains. Most of the fountains here are drinkable.
Firstly, Piazza Navona is a big square in Eternal City. Likewise, this large travellers’ square with an amazing fountain in the middle is really outstanding. The square is nestled between famous restaurants, along with a beautiful backdrop of Sant Agnese Church, make this area a charming destination to witness.
With live performances from street artists and musicians, Piazza Navona can often be the perfect place to de-stress, pause, rest, indulge in some Italian gelato, and take in the atmosphere Rome has to offer.
Piazza Navona was built in the 1st century A.D. on the site of the Stadium of Domitian. During the time of ancient, they used to go there to watch the agones, and hence it was known as “Circus Agonalis”. Piazza Navona originally designed as a ring in the Roman Empire. Later, they used the site as a market before Pope Innocent X decided to reconstruct it as a memorial to his family in the mid-17th century.
During the summer, it is not the best time to visit the square. Apart from being hot during the summer, expect also a huge crowd of tourists. The scenic here proves that Piazza Navona is one of the best things to see in Rome, Italy.
5. Roman Forum
Firstly, no one can afford to miss Roman Forum while walking towards the Colosseum. Roman Forum is known as Forum Romanum in Latin. Located at the heart of Rome, the Forum contains many of Rome’s ancient government palaces and churches. In addition, the Forum is just a minute walk from the Capitoline Hill- one of the seven hills in Rome and earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn.
Most of the structures built at the Roman Forum were constructed during Julius Caesar’s time and during Augustus, his successor’s reign. Therefore, if you wish to take a snapshot of the Roman Forum, head to Capitoline Hill or Capitolium.
Roman Forum is one of the best places and things in Rome to see and get charmed by the history of ancient people.
6. Spanish Steps and Fontana della Barcaccia
Dating from 1723, with 135 steps, Spanish Steps is just waving at you. Next to our best places and things to see in Rome, Italy is the Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Eternal City (Rome), Italy, ascending a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna (at the base) and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church (at the top).
The staircase is a favourite spot among tourists to rest, loosen, and enjoy the charming views of Piazza di Spagna. Likewise, Piazza di Spagna is spacious and contains a variety of shops and cafes you will surely enjoy.
Spanish steps are one of the busiest spots in Rome. Just right in front of the famous tramps, there is a scenic fountain where people sit and enjoy the charming view. The fountain named ‘Fontana Della Barcaccia’ (Fountain of the ugly boat).
The Fontana della Barcaccia is molded as a boat and has the emblems of the Barberini family (the Noble family of Pope Urban III), bees, and a sun carved. Anyway, Pietro Bernini, father of the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini is the designer of the fountain.
7. Altar of the Fatherland
A national monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Unified Italy, Altar of the Fatherland is standing. The monument is also known as Altare della Partia or Il Vittoriano. Meanwhile, the large stone monument is located in Piazza Venezia near Roman Forum and Colosseum.
This impressive building is the emblem of Italy in the world and a symbol of change. In memory of the first world war, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier was placed in the center, near the Statue of Rome, in memory of all the fallen and missing in the various battles.
Certainly, the altar of the fatherland is a compulsory stop for every traveller, Italian or not! Definitely one of the best places to see and experience in Rome, Italy.
8. Castel Sant’Angelo
A towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Castel Sant’Angelo is rising. To clarify, this is not a castle dedicated to kings and queens. Castel Sant’Angelo originally commissioned by the Roman Emperor, Hadrian as a charnel house for himself and his family. After that, the castle was later used by the popes. They use it as a fortress and personal palace.
Further, in 1277, an 800-meter fortified corridor was built. It connected the castle to Vatican City. Therefore, the Pope could escape in the event that he was in danger. Pope Clement VII used the fortress as a refuge during the blockade which happened in Rome during 1527.
When we speak about the best things to see in Rome, Italy, Castel Sant’Angelo is always there.
9. St. Peter’s Basilica
One of the largest Roman Catholic church, St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest temples for Christendom. Famous architects designed the temple. For example, Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno among others. The construction began in 1506 and finished in 1626.
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Wondering why the Vatican was built in Rome and not in Israel or in some other historical places? Have you ever wondered about its name, Basilica di San Pietro? I learned the answers during my Vatican Museum tour. The basilica was called St Peter’s after one of Jesus’s twelve disciples known as Saint Peter, who became one of the originators of the Catholic Church and was killed in Rome and buried where the Basilica now sits. Interesting, I know.
Meanwhile, entering St. Peter’s Basilica is free. There is no need to pay. Therefore, St. Peter’s Basilica is definitely one of the best things and places to see in Rome, Italy.
Similarly, going to Rome without experiencing the Roman style is like eating a pizza margherita without tomato sauce. So, heading up to Rome? Make sure to stop also in Trastevere, a neighborhood where authentic Roman life is. Eat like a local and experience like a traveller.
Sited on the west of the River Tiber, Trastevere is the 13th rione of Rome. Along the ancient houses from the looping streets, many bars, restaurants, and coffee shops are waiting for you. The area is very common for authentic Italian culture and traditions. You can hear people shouting from building to building. This is the real Rome, bold, confident, and shameless. At least in good ways.
Never miss Trastevere when going and to see Rome, Italy. So, pay a visit to Trastevere for a real spice of Roman culture and take to the road at night to enjoy some dynamic nightlife.
Alright, enjoy your trip with these 10 best things to see in Rome, Italy. Because Rome is full of mysteries and histories that will turn you back in time.
See you there!
Hi! It’s me! I am a hospitality professional and a part-time blogger! I am a travel dreamer and world conqueror based in Rome, Italy.