Join us as we venture through the well-trodden streets of Italy’s capital, Rome. As one of the most popular international travel destinations due to its many and varied attractions, it should feature on every travellers list. If you need a little more convincing that it should be in your custom itinerary, have a look at some of the top things to do in Rome below:
What is a trip to Rome without a visit to the Colosseum? Step back to a time when the Roman Empire reigned supreme and the Colosseum played host to exhibitions, executions, gladiator fights and chariot races. Since its construction, the structure has survived earthquakes and bombings during World War II. It has also been used as a church, cemetery and, occasionally, as a castle for nobility.
The Colosseum has since been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and attracts around 6 million tourists per year. Be sure not to miss it!
Take a short walk from the Colosseum to the Roman Forum. The Forum was historically a venue for religious and public activities. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, it was slowly buried, and had to be excavated in the 20th century. Here are the main sights to tick off on during your exploration of the Forum precinct:
- Via Sacra
- Arch of Titus
- Arch of Septimius Severus
- Temple of Antonius and Faustina
- Basilica of Mexentius and Constantine
- The Curia
- Column of Phocas
The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain was constructed in 1762 and derives its name from ‘Tre Vie’ (three ways), as it is situated where three main streets meet. It is also the largest fountain in Rome and a must-see attraction.
Not only is the Trevi Fountain a place of great beauty, but also of great mythical significance. The belief is that if you throw one coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome; if you throw two, you will fall in love with an attractive Italian, and if you throw three, you will marry the person you met.
For this to be effective, the coin must be thrown from your right hand over your left shoulder. We recommend making your way here at night to see it fully lit up.
The Trevi Fountain
Located a short walk away from the Trevi Fountain are the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna. The steps were built at the beginning of the eighteenth century. A total of 134 steps connect Piazza di Spagna and the Church of Trinita dei Monti. Descend the Spanish Steps to one of Rome’s most famous piazzas and the beautiful Fontana Della Barcaccia.
Rome’s towering Pantheon of Agrippa absolutely has to feature on your list of architectural masterpieces to be seen first-hand. Although the structure was built in 126 AD, the Pantheon is said to be the most well-preserved ancient building in all of Rome.
There are more than sixty catacombs made up of underground passages stretching over hundreds of kilometres. Currently only five are open to the public:
- Catacombs of San Sebastiano
- Catacombs of San Callisto
- Catacombs of Priscilla
- Catacombs of Domitilla
- Catacombs of Sant ’Agnese.
Created when Christians at the time refused to observe the pagan custom of burning bodies of the deceased. A lack of space and high price of land led to these cavernous underground cemeteries.
Last on our list, but by no means least, is St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Located in the Vatican City, the vast St. Peter’s Square is a beautiful prelude to the intricate Renaissance designs of St. Peter’s Basilica. The church is one of the largest in the world and the final resting place for numerous Popes. Do not let the façade fool you, this expansive church can accommodate up to 20,000 people.
St. Peter’s is also home to the original Pieta sculpture by Michelangelo. One of the most incredible parts of the Basilica is its dome. Originally designed by Michelangelo, the dome was expanded upon by Giacomo Della Porta, and later finished by Carlo Maderno in 1614. The view from the Dome is simply spectacular, so be sure to purchase tickets well in advance.
Known as one of the greatest treasures in the Vatican City and the world, the Sistine Chapel is steeped in history and visually spectacular. It is also the temple in which Popes are chosen and subsequently crowned.
Construction on the chapel took place between 1473 and 1481 by architect Giovanni dei Dolci. All the frescos on the ceiling are the work of Michelangelo and depict the nine stories of Genesis. As well as the Drunkenness of Noah and Separation of Light from Darkness, the Chapel is also home to one of the most famous frescos, The Creation of Adam. Additionally, if you look above the high alter, Michelangelo’s impressive masterpiece, The Final Judgement, occupies a space of over 13.7 metres in diameter.
Each of these sights should feature on every travellers list of things to do in Rome, and we look forward to welcoming you to this incredible city. Contact us today and let’s start planning your bespoke itinerary.