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A visit to Rome, the capital of Italy, is an absolute must for anyone traveling to the country. Known as “the Eternal City,” Rome encapsulates thousands of years of history within its borders. Serving as the epicenter of the ancient Roman Empire, Rome’s rich heritage can be witnessed throughout the city, with iconic landmarks like the Coliseum and the Forum serving as tangible remnants of its glorious past.
Throughout the medieval era and the Renaissance period, Rome retained its significance as it became the spiritual hub of the Catholic Church. The influence of the Church is evident in the awe-inspiring art displayed within Vatican City and the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica, both of which captivate not only Christians but people from all walks of life.
Aside from these monumental attractions, Rome boasts numerous other remarkable sites, such as the world-renowned Trevi Fountain and the captivating Spanish Steps. The sheer number of notable places to visit in Rome is staggering, and it’s impossible to provide an exhaustive list. The best way to truly appreciate them is to experience them firsthand.
Travel Station has compiled the best things/sights to do and visit in Rome in 2023. Lets go to the list below.
The Colosseum is an iconic tourist destination, drawing millions of visitors worldwide every year. This historic landmark in Rome offers a unique opportunity for tourists to transport themselves back in time and witness the grandeur of ancient Rome.
Its remarkable architecture, characterized by towering arches and a majestic façade, leaves visitors in awe. Stepping inside the Colosseum allows tourists to imagine the intensity and thrill of the gladiatorial battles that once took place within its walls. Moreover, the Colosseum offers panoramic views of Rome, allowing tourists to admire the cityscape from a new perspective.
Informative displays and exhibitions further enrich the visitor experience by providing insights into the Colosseum’s historical significance and cultural heritage. Whether exploring its exterior or venturing inside, a trip to the Colosseum promises an unforgettable journey through time, making it an essential stop for tourists seeking to delve into the captivating history of ancient Rome.
The Pantheon is a famous historical site in Rome that attracts numerous tourists each year. This ancient temple-turned-church is renowned for its remarkable architecture and rich history. The Pantheon was built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD and has a distinctive circular shape with a massive dome at the top.
The dome, considered an architectural marvel, is made of concrete and remains the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. The Pantheon’s interior is equally impressive, with its grand marble columns and a breathtaking oculus, an opening in the center of the dome that allows natural light to illuminate the space.
The Pantheon serves as the final resting place for several notable individuals, including the artist Raphael. Visitors are captivated by the sense of grandeur and tranquility within the Pantheon, and they often take the time to appreciate its historical and artistic significance. As a symbol of ancient Roman engineering and a testament to the enduring power of architectural design, the Pantheon continues to be a popular tourist destination and an integral part of Rome’s cultural heritage.
Few fountains in the world can match the opulence and artistic grandeur of the Trevi Fountain. Crafted in 1762 under the masterful hands of Nicola Salvi, this fountain stands as a magnificent homage to the Roman God Oceanus. The awe-inspiring sculpture depicts Oceanus, astride his chariot, accompanied by Tritons and taming a group of Hippocamps.
The level of intricate detail in the sculptures is simply breathtaking, transforming the entire façade into a true masterpiece of artistry. It has become a beloved tradition for visitors to toss coins into the crystal-clear waters, symbolizing their hopes for good luck. However, navigating through the crowd of fellow tourists to do so can be quite a challenge!
Situated in close proximity to notable landmarks such as the Pantheon and the Quirinale Palace, the Trevi Fountain is an absolute must-see when wandering through the enchanting streets of Rome.
Over the course of many centuries, a remarkable collection of classical and historical artworks has been meticulously curated by various popes, transforming the Vatican Museums into a veritable treasure trove. Within its hallowed halls, some of the most significant and renowned artworks in the world are displayed.
Nestled within the borders of the Vatican City, these museums house an astonishing array of over 70,000 artistic masterpieces. To fully appreciate the artistic wonders on display, it is highly recommended to obtain a dual ticket, granting access to both the Sistine Chapel and the museums, and to allocate sufficient time for exploration.
The museums are divided into several distinct sections, each offering a unique theme and a diverse range of artworks. Among them are the Museo Pio-Clementino, the Museum Chiaramonti, the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, and the Museo Gregoriano Egiziano, each holding its own invaluable treasures.
Notable highlights within the Vatican Museums include renowned works such as Raphael’s Transfiguration, Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ, and the breathtaking Gallery of Maps, which captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring cartographic masterpieces.
St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica, arguably the most globally recognized and revered religious edifice, stands as an exceptional testament to the grandeur and opulence of the Catholic faith, revered as one of its holiest sanctuaries.
Situated at the far end of St. Peter’s Square, the Basilica boasts a magnificently designed frontal façade adorned with statues depicting the Apostles and Jesus.
Upon entering the Basilica, one is immediately enthralled by its divine architecture and exquisite ornamentation, earning it a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful structures. The sheer abundance of decoration and intricate detail is awe-inspiring, and the interplay of light that cascades through certain points at different times of the day is nothing short of mesmerizing.
The collaborative efforts of Michelangelo and Bernini left an indelible mark on the Basilica’s design, evident in the colossal dome and the breathtaking Gloria sculpture.
A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica would be incomplete without ascending to the pinnacle of the dome to behold a panoramic view of St. Peter’s Square. Embark on a guided tour that encompasses the square and the Basilica, allowing you to ascend to the uppermost level of the dome, where you can savor the sweeping vistas of Rome. Additionally, venture underground to admire the historic grottoes, adding yet another layer of fascination to your exploration of this magnificent site.
Emerging from the grounds where the stadium of Domitian once stood, Piazza Navona has thrived as a beloved destination since its construction in the 15th century.
Nestled in the heart of the city center, this expansive square offers a delightful respite for those exploring Rome, especially due to its proximity to iconic landmarks like the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.
Piazza Navona bustles with life, attracting a vibrant array of artists and street vendors. The surrounding buildings gracefully frame the open expanse, creating a captivating ambiance.
The square boasts notable features, such as the Fontana del Moro and the Fountain of Neptune, adorned with magnificent sculptures. Additionally, the architectural splendor of Palazzo Braschi and Palazzo Pamphilj adds to the allure of the surroundings, while the Saint Agnese in Agone church stands as a striking presence within the square.
Renowned as one of the most significant Roman ruins in Italy, the Roman Forum stands as an ancient site that once served as the bustling center of Roman public and political life.
Within this expansive complex, numerous remnants of temples, squares, and arches can be found, including notable structures such as the temples of Saturn, Titus, and Vesta, as well as the impressive Arch of Severus.
Remarkably, much of these architectural marvels still endure to this day, allowing visitors to witness the remnants of arches, building foundations, and walls that once adorned this historic site.
Nestled alongside the Colosseum and the Altar of the Fatherland, the Roman Forum holds immense historical significance, making it an imperative destination to explore.
Tickets are available for admission to both the Forum and the Colosseum, and it is highly recommended to allocate ample time to fully immerse oneself in the exploration of these ruins, while delving into the captivating history that breathes life into this remarkable place.
The Castle of Saint Angelo, also recognized as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is a circular fortress and castle complex that held the distinction of being the tallest edifice in Rome during its early years.
Constructed in 129 AD, this castle boasts an ancient origin, originally intended to serve as the final resting place for the Emperor Hadrian.
Over time, the castle underwent transformations and became integrated into the Vatican state, linked to St. Peter’s Basilica by way of the grand Passetto di Borgo corridor.
Today, the castle has been transformed into a captivating museum, housing captivating exhibits that delve into the structure’s rich historical heritage.
Visitors have the opportunity to ascend the castle’s ramparts, granting them breathtaking panoramic views of St. Peter’s Square and the captivating city of Rome.
Located within the Borghese Villa complex, the Galleria Borghese stands as a significant art museum showcasing a diverse array of exquisite paintings, sculptures, and antiquities.
Dating back to its establishment in 1903, the Borghese complex finds its place in the northern region of the inner city, adjacent to the Via Pinciana road.
The museum’s grand edifice is truly impressive, adorned with a beautifully ornate front façade adorned with an abundance of stone statues and intricate decorations.
Spanning across twenty distinct rooms, the extensive collection housed within the Borghese Museum includes masterpieces by renowned artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Titian.
To fully appreciate the artistic treasures on display and immerse oneself in the splendor of the Borghese experience, it is advisable to allocate ample time for exploration. Additionally, be sure to explore the magnificent Borghese Villa gardens, which serve as a captivating complement to the museum’s artistic offerings.
Situated atop the Quirinal Hill in the heart of Rome, this majestic compound serves as an official residence for the current President of Italy.
Encompassing an impressive area of 110,500 square meters, this expansive complex stands among the largest palaces worldwide.
Within the main section of the palace, visitors will discover a series of lavishly adorned rooms, courtyards, staircases, and chapels, each exuding a sense of grandeur.
Those interested in exploring the palace can partake in a guided tour, which offers a captivating glimpse into its rich history and multifaceted usage. Additionally, several exhibitions provide further insights into the palace’s significance.
The Quirinale gardens, which surround the palace, are equally awe-inspiring, boasting a profusion of plants, trees, intricate floral arrangements, and captivating water features. The beauty of these gardens is often considered a sight to behold.
St Peter’s Square
Within the city of Rome lies a remarkable enclave, a sovereign state known as the Vatican.
This independent territory holds immense religious significance, standing as one of the most revered religious sites in the world. At the forefront of the Vatican state, you will find St. Peter’s Square, a place steeped in iconic moments and historical events.
Contrary to its name, the square is actually circular in shape, adorned by two grand colonnades that encircle it. These colonnades are embellished with splendid statues depicting religious figures and past popes.
Commanding the center of the square is a majestic obelisk, originally sourced from Nero’s Circus, which exudes an Egyptian aesthetic rather than a Roman one.
Towards the distant end of the square proudly stands the iconic St. Peter’s Basilica, while in front of it, rows of chairs are often arranged in anticipation of papal ceremonies.
Take a moment to absorb the grandeur of the square, witness the throngs of people yearning for a glimpse of the Pope, and consider it a captivating starting point for your exploration of the Vatican.
Palatine Hill, located in modern Rome, holds a significant place as one of the oldest areas in the city, occupying a central position within the Tiber region.
Elevating 40 meters above the historic Roman Forum, it offers an awe-inspiring vantage point, presenting a panoramic vista of Rome spread out before you.
According to Roman mythology, this is the legendary site where Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were said to have been discovered and later established the city.
Numerous structures have endured on this site, including the impressive Flavian Palace and the Temple of Cybele, serving as a testament to its historical significance.
When visiting the Roman Forum, admission grants you access to Palatine Hill as well, making it a must-visit destination. Ensure you ascend the hill and embrace the opportunity to explore this remarkable viewpoint, allowing the captivating vistas to leave an indelible impression on your visit to Rome.
Altar of the Fatherland
Situated at the center of Rome, the Altar of the Fatherland is yet another monumental structure that pays tribute to King Victor Emmanuel, the first monarch of unified Italy.
This imposing stone monument stands in close proximity to renowned landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon.
Prominently positioned at the forefront of the monument is a grand bronze statue of King Emmanuel, accompanied by a plethora of additional stone sculptures.
The front facade of the monument boasts an impressive row of ornate columns and is lavishly adorned with intricate decorations.
Beneath the monument’s base, an intriguing museum awaits, devoted to the history of Italy’s unification and its formative years.
A visit to the Altar of the Fatherland offers not only the chance to admire its grandeur but also to delve into the captivating narrative of Italy’s unification, making it a noteworthy destination for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.
The Piazza Venezia, situated in the heart of Rome, is renowned as a bustling hub and vital thoroughfare, serving as a meeting point for several major roads.
Nestled at the foot of Capitoline Hill, this vibrant square acts as a pivotal junction, connecting various significant streets, notably including the Fori Imperiali, which leads to the majestic Colosseum.
The square itself is adorned with prominent monuments, among them the Piazza Venezia, the Altar of the Fatherland, and Trajan’s Column, each bearing its own historical and architectural significance.