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Top Things To Do In Rome Italy (Rome Points Of Interests)

Check out the top Rome points of interest! They are the best things to do in Rome when you have a limited amount of time to explore. Click here to see more.

‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’.

Everyone visiting The Eternal City recites this customary adage. The city where ‘la dolce vita’ originated, Rome is, without a doubt, the most indulgent city to to both educate and indulge.

From palatable pasta to gooey gelato, artisanal handicrafts to haute couture, prehistoric sites to baroque architecture, and a wholesome overdose of art and mastery- Rome is one place you can visit time and again.

Rome interests historians, archaeologists, artists, religious preachers and followers, designers and shopaholics alike. So for people from all walks of life, here is a list of things that you absolutely must see when you visit Rome.

The 8 Most Popular Rome Attractions

1. Visit the Largest Amphitheater of Rome – The Colosseum

The name reminds me of Gladiator. Colosseum was a half circus, half arena- the largest and most popular amphitheater of the Roman era. Inaugurated in 80 AD, Colosseum could accommodate around 50,000 spectators filling in from no less than 80 entrances.

Popular for man-beast fights, the place was occasionally used to feed felines. The prisoners were executed by leaving them unarmed in the arena to serve as a lion’s lunch.

Colosseum is one of the major tourist attractions in Rome. People flock in thousands to gape at (whatever is left of) the arena. The place opens everyday from morning until an hour before sunset. You can purchase the online tickets here.

2. Have an insight into Roman Catholicism at St. Peter’s Basilica

The epithetical center of the Catholic world, St. Peter’s Basilica is a grandiose church standing in the heart of the Vatican city. Peter (or arguable the first Pope) was crucified and buried here.

Make sure you follow the dress code properly- no shoulder or leg expose, no hats. The church opens everyday for free tours, except for Wednesday, when Pope appearances are made.

The more adventurous ones trek to the Dome top. Here you get a panoramic view of the eternal city. I’d suggest you to hire tour guides. Although it may cost you extra, but their insight into the history is worth every penny.

3. Gawk at the Ancient Ruins of the Roman Forum

Situated in a valley between Palatine and the Capitoline Hills, it includes Ancient Rome’s more significant structures such as Govt. houses and monuments, to religious shrines. The Roman Forum was a place for processions and elections, public speeches and commercial affairs.

It opens everyday between 8.30 am and 4 pm. Consider taking an audio guide, and see this baroque architecture come to life.

4. Check out the Architectural stunner- Pantheon

One of the most efficiently preserved Roman architectures, The Pantheon was a Temple for the Roman Gods. Raised in 120 AD, it later on served as a Roman Catholic Church since the 7th century.

Pantheon is also the burial place of the greatest master of art- Raphael, besides a few prominent Italian Kings. It’s Dome is still the biggest unreinforced concrete dome in the world even after 2000 years of existence.

Piazza della Rotunda, the center where it is located, is a commonplace for pizza, gelato and coffee.

5. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain

Completed in 1762, the Trevi Fountain features mythological presentation of Neptune, the lord of the Sea winged by the two Tritons.

Located amidst a cluster of hotels, shopping plaza and clubs, this magnificent fountain has a lore attached to it- if you throw a coin from your right hand onto your left shoulder into the water, you may return to Rome one day.

Trevi Fountain is at its best after dusk, when lights kindle this masterpiece.

6. Pay Tribute to the Vatican and its Museums

Vatican Museums were founded in the 6th century in the Vatican City. Beholding some of the most significant international relics, it attracts hordes of tourists every year.

Attractions such as the Spiral Staircase, Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel are the most important ones.

The Museums are awfully crowded on Saturdays, Mondays and the last Sunday of the month. So plan your visit accordingly. Tickets cost you 16 and 8 Euros respectively for adults and kids. Also, make sure you follow the dress code (no shorts or bare shoulders). I’d suggest you to go for an audio guide instead of a tour guide as it is cheaper. But DO take a guide to know the place in detail.

7. Clamber the Spanish Steps

A truly legendary staircase of 135 steps, the Spanish Steps were build to interlink the Bourbon Spanish Embassy and the Holy See with the French Church- Trinita dei Monti.

The steps are always crowded with tourists and locals. In May, they are gorgeously decorated with pink Azaleas. At the footsteps of the stairs is the Spanish Square ornate with a fountain by Bernini- Fontana della Baracaccia.

8. Admire the Beautiful Galleria Borghese

The Roman Garden Villa of Cardinal Scipione Borghese is home to some astounding art works. Borghese harvested the best artworks of that time here, including Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, Bernini’s magnificent sculptures of Apollo and Daphne, Correggio’s erotic Danae and a gaggle of works by Raphael and Caravaggio.

Flanking the mansion is a worthwhile bird-house along with a line of secret gardens. To alter the number of visitors, every tour slot has a 2-hour interval in between. So it’s better to book your tickets in advance. You may also have to pick your tickets 30 minutes before your entry time.

 

Best Rome Attractions and must see things

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14 Less Popular But Totally Awesome Rome Points of Interest

Rome is much more beyond the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel. The streets, the nightlife, the food markets- everything about Rome is intriguing.

So here are a few other places and things that might interest you.

1. Campo di Firo for day and night

Campo di Fiori or ‘Field of Flowers’ is south of the famous Piazza Navona. It serves as a bustling marketplace in the daytime and in the night, turns into a party hub for tourists and college students.

People come here in droves to buy fresh fruits and veggies. They believe this place hasn’t changed much since 1800’s, except for a multitude of cafes and restaurants dotting the periphery.

2. View the Modern Spires at MAXXI

Museum of the 21st Century (MAXXI) is designed by Zaha Hadid, a prudent architect who won the Pritzer Award for this building. With very subtle and laid back exteriors, the place hosts some really amazing exhibitions and retrospectives  on architectural themes.

Do take a stop at Neve di Latte, a tempting new-gen ice-cream parlor backing this museum.

3. Have a Panoramic view of Rome from Gianicolo

Rome is technically built on seven hills, and since Gianocolo isn’t one of them, it offers a spectacular view of Rome. Famous (or infamous) as a make-out spot, Romans gather here at dusk time.

You get to see the expansive beauty of the Spanish Steps and Palazzo Venezia and beyond from here. Prefer to take a motorbike or a car up there.

4. Delve into the Bohemian Town of Trastevere

Trastevere means across the Tiber. And you will notice the difference ince you cross the river. The aura of this place is hippie and bohemian. The cobblestone streets lining ocher buildings and houses reside many artisans selling handicrafts, jewelery and perfumes.

After dusk, the place becomes all the more vibrant with bars and clubs. There are umpteen good ones serving awesome aperitivo and cocktails with fresh fruits.

5. Splurge out at Galleria Alberto Sordi

Dating back to 1922, this gorgeous monument-turning-shopping plaza houses stores like Zara, Massimo Dutti and Italian mega bookstore La Feltrinelli. Via Condotti is for the designer boutiques while Campo Marzio and its neighborhood offers many Vintage and Italian Heritage Brands.

For a nice afternoon coffee break, hang out at the kiosk here.

6. Explore the Streets of Centro Storico

The narrow cobbled streets of Centro Storico start from Piazza Del Popolo leading to Piazza Venezia. The area branches out into hundreds of streets and alleyways. These streets are overflowing with baroque art, churches and museum turned villas. The shopaholics can find anything from wooden figures to precious ornaments.

For foodies, there are convivial gelaterias and cafes. This place has la dolce vita in its heart and soul.

7. Grab an Expresso

Rome may lack Starbucks. But its yummy Espresso makes up for it. Here are some unwritten rules to have coffee like a Roman and not look like a silly tourist.

First, Cappuccino is a breakfast drink. Second, order a shot of Espresso (un caffe) or one with a blob of steamed milk (un caffe macchiato) for lunch. Ordering a latte will get you only milk. In hot weather, try a cold espresso with extra sugar (un caffe freddo) or a Roman Frapuccino (crema di caffe).

Tazza d’Oro and Caffe Sant’Eustachio are two best cafes of Rome.

8. Chill out at the Aperitivo Hours

Italians love to hang out with friends and colleagues after work, to catch a drink with a couple of snacks. L’aperitivo are the Italian Happy Hours serve the classic Roman aperitivo, which includes a Spritz, Campari or Asperol along with sparkling water. Although you do have access to the whole cocktail menu.

Some of the most popular aperitivo buffet serving restaurants are Gusto, Salotto 42, Freni E Frizioni, Antico Caffe Della Pace, Fluid, Urbana 47, Bar Canova, etc. These restaurants serve drinks and aperitivo at very reasonable rates.

9. Try Giolitti for Gelato

Italy is nothing without its sumptuous gelatos. That obviously calls for competition. Giolitti serves as a favorite to many locals and tourists. Dating back to early 1900’s, it is located a few blocks away from Pantheon.

Fairly priced, a small cone of ice cream will get you two flavors plus some whipped cream.

10. Movie Buffs must go to Cinecitta

The Cinecitta studios have a history of classic movies being filmed here. Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Cleopatra, Roman Holiday and the latest one Gangs of New York have been shot here.

11. Spend a Fortune at the Monti’s Vintage Market

The beatnik quarter of Monti hosts an amazing urban market every weekend at Hotel Grand Palatino. It offers a perfect fusion of contemporary taste and vintage fashion. Be it furniture or clothing, from handicrafts to fancy designer-wear, you can buy everything.

12. It’s Party Time in Testacchio

Rightly said, Romans know how to party. After sunset, Rome goes wild with party animals and jags. Abundant bars and nightclubs line the locality of Testacchio.

13. A Date with the Sea

Although Rome is not directly on the Mediterranean sea, but you can find some amazing beaches in close neighborhood. If you have an extra day left, head onto Ostia Antica, Cerveteri and Fragene. The places are replete with options for rest and relaxation.

14. Enjoy a Free Film at the Borghese

Casa Del Cinema, launched in 2001 in the premises of Villa Borghese, is a film library-cum-cafe. Utopian for film lovers, the place has cutting0edge projection equipment.

Planning a trip to Rome may involve some serious thought into advance bookings and arrangements. Make sure you plan it out justly, so your time doesn’t go waste standing in the long queues.

People looking for a budget travel should opt for the autumn season to visit Italy. The airfares are lower, crowds are fewer, the temperatures are favorable. And the best part- it’s festive season here! For foodies, the harvest festivals have a great deal to offer.  

The challenge really is deciding what not to do. There is so much of art and beauty and nature all around. So plan Rome when you have a good length of time in hand. Enjoy your holiday like a Roman- relax and absorb the feel of this place.

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