Rome, the capital of Italy, is a multifaceted metropolis steeped in a rich history of culture. This city has a collection of numerous tourist’s spots and famous places in Rome. Located on the central-western side of the Italian peninsula, the city was founded on the shores of the river Tiber and has an independent country, the Vatican City, within its borders. The city occupies a central position in Western history, as is populated with nearly as many historical and cultural attractions as it has people. Historically, Rome could arguably be called the cradle of Western civilization. Capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman empire, the city has since become the 14th-most visited country in the world and a UNESCO Heritage site. You can see the power and might of the erstwhile Roman Empire in the ruins of the Colosseum, or revel in the architectural finery at Palatine Hill. The beauty of the artefacts at the Vatican museums are unparalleled and no one can leave Rome without seeing the Sistine Chapel! A visit to the Vatican itself would lay bare the deep Christian roots of the city, while the more adventurous sort have whatever is in the catacombs of San Calisto waiting for discovery! Italian is the most spoken language in the city. Here are one of the best places to visit in Rome:
Top 15 Beautiful Places to Visit in Rome
1. The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine
Let’s start this list of the must-see places in Rome with the Colosseum, located in the Historic Center also referred as “Centro Storico” in Italian. The Colosseum is also called the Flavian Amphitheatre, every year, about six million people visit this iconic building because it is a symbol of Rome. Such as the Basilica di San Clemente, Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli and Arch of Constantine, Colosseum is also close to other popular attractions in Rome. It’s the most emblematic monument to visit in Rome! With a capacity of more than 50,000 spectators, it’s the largest amphitheater in the Roman world. Quite a lot of blood was shed in these arenas, where the famous gladiatorial combats, animal fights and Roman games were held, always followed by horrific deaths. The visit isn’t free and you will probably have to wait for a few hours before getting there if you are going in high season.
Address: Address: Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Italy.
2. Vatican City
Considered one of the most sacred places in Rome as well as the planet, Vatican City is widely known as the world’s smallest country and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. This 44-hectare (108.7 acres) country within Italy’s capital city, aside from being a place of pilgrimage, has a vital part in the preservation of art and history. Every year, around five million tourists come to the Vatican to see its Renaissance treasures, such as the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Even before the arrival of Catholicism, this originally uninhabited marshy area on a low hill was considered a sacred place. It held a shrine dedicated to pagan deities, which remained active even after the old St. Peter’s Basilica was built. The sacred place in Rome was established as an independent state in 1929 under the Lateran Treaty, which resolved the struggles it faced during the tumultuous period of Italian unification. Today, it operates as an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the Pope. As of 2015, it has around 451 residents, including the clergy, Swiss Guard, and diplomatic staff.
Address: Vatican City, Vatican, Rome.
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3. The Pantheon
This extraordinary architecture and one of the beautiful places in Rome is said to be more than 2000 years old. It was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a temple for the Roman gods. Great Italian kings and Raphael, a famous Renaissance painter, are buried in the Pantheon. The dome is its most fascinating aspect, for it is unsupported yet it stands tall, without any damage, for thousands of years. Architects today are still in awe of its construction. Its interiors are shaped as a cylinder with no windows and just the hole on the top, which is called the eye of the Pantheon or the Oculus. This Roman structure is one of the best-preserved buildings from Ancient Rome.
Address: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome
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4. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is near the Colosseum and despite being a straggle of ruins, it is an oft-visited tourist spot in Rome. This rectangular plaza or Forum from the 7th century BC bears testimony to the city’s rich cultural past. This important place in Rome was a burial ground and over time became the illustrious empire’s commercial and socio-political heartbeat. In ancient times, several important structures were located near the Roman Forum such as the victory arch Arco di Settimio Severo, the Temple of Saturn and the Curia. This is a must-visit landmark for travelers.
Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma.
5. Trevi Fountain
This beautiful Baroque-style fountain is in Rome’s Trevi district and is one of the most photographed and best places in Rome. It was constructed in 1762 by Nicola Salvi and pays tribute to the Roman God Oceanus who can be seen riding his chariot pulled by Tritons and taming several Hippocampus. The Fontana di Trevi is 26.3 meters (86 feet) tall. This impressive fountain with incredible craftsmanship is a whopping 49.15 meters (161 feet) wide. You would be surprised to learn that the Trevi Fountain was built where three streets meet, giving the structure its name i.e. Three Street Fountain. While flipping a coin into the fountain is popular and honors the legend that visitors will return to Rome if they do so, beware of dipping into its riches as stealing coins from the Trevi Fountain is illegal.
Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma.
6. San Giovanni in Laterano (Basilica of St. John Lateran)
The Basilica of St. John Lateran also known as Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is the seat of the bishop of Rome: the Pope and is the most important of the four major papal basilicas in Rome. One of the most important places in Rome and the Catholic churches in the world, the archbasilica is decorated with rich mosaics, Cosmatesque floors, and 12 baroque statues of the apostles. More commonly known as the Basilica of St. John Lateran, it is named for its location at the Lateran Palace. Today, visitors can see the six papal tombs and larger-than-life-size statues of the Twelve Apostles. Many small-group tours also include visits of the Vatican City’s Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. You must keep in mind following tips before entering this sacred site: Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen if joining a walking tour of Rome, as there is a lot of ground to cover. Catholic churches have a strict dress code that requires knees and shoulders to be covered. Photography without flash is permitted inside the church. The basilica is fully accessible to wheelchairs or strollers via ramps inside and outside.
Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Italy.
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7. The Galleria Borghese
The Galleria Borghese is one of the most impressive and extensive private collections in the world. If they had to choose one museum to visit during your Roman vacation, many people would choose this over the Vatican. The Galleria Borghese is filled to the gills with Bernini, Raphael and artefacts like floor tiles from the Colosseum that are directly lifted from the blueprints of history. This best place in Rome to visit allows only 300 odd people to enter it every session, with every session lasting 2 hours. Buy your tickets in advance! The approach to the Galleria Borghese is the Villa Borghese, which can also turn into a beautiful stroll if you plan your day accordingly. The impressive building has a beautiful and ornate front facade that has many stone statues and decorations. Galleria Borghese is spread across twenty different rooms, the extensive Borghese collection includes works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Titan.
Address: Piazzale Scipione Borghese, Roma RM, Italy.
8. St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest temples in Vatican City. This same place in Rome is where Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples was buried in 64 A.D. Inside the Basilica are important works of art from Carlo Maderno, Bramante, and Michelangelo. It’s an enormous church that can accommodate 20,000 people. The Dome, completed in 1614, is an incredible piece of architecture. When you climb right to the top, you’ll get a stunning view of St. Peter’s Square. Nearby places that you can also visit include the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums.
Address: Piazza San Pietro. Vatican City, Rome
9. Castel Sant’Angelo
Built-in the year 135, Castel Sant’Angelo or The Mausoleum of Hadrian was originally ordered to be constructed as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor and his family. The Emperor, unfortunately, died before it was completed. It was Emperor Antoninus Pius, his successor, who completed the building and transferred the former Emperor’s remains together with that of his son and wife to the mausoleum. Several years later, this famous place in Rome was used as a refuge by the popes. Today, the castle has been converted into a museum. Inside, tourists can view several historical figurines, the Papal residence, and paintings from the Renaissance period. At the top floor, you can get a stunning view of the city. The closest attraction is the Piazza Navona and National Roman Museum.
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
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9. Sistine Chapel
Constructed in 1473 and completed eight years later, the Sistine Chapel is Rome’s most valuable treasure. This most important historical place in Rome is where the papal conclave is held. The entire walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel are covered with paintings by Luca, Botticelli, Perugino, and the renowned Michelangelo. The ceiling of the chapel is covered in exquisite paintings depicting the nine stories from the book of Genesis and the book of Revelation. The painters also worked on the stories of Moses, Jesus, and the prophets.
Address: 00120 Vatican City, Inside the Vatican Museums, in the Vatican City, Rome
MAXXI, a structure built by Zaha Hadid and recently opened in 2010, is the first museum in Italy dedicated to contemporary art. This historical place in Rome houses hundreds of modern art and architectural artifacts and even documents from artists around the world but most particularly from Italian artists. You’ll find modern photography collections, sculptures, and 21st-century designs. Apart from their regular exhibits, the museum also holds weekly workshops, performances, projections, and conferences.
Address: 4/a, 00196, Via Guido Reni, Roma RM, Italy
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11. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj
This private gallery in Rome showcases valuable art by Caravaggio, Raphael, Velazquez, and Bernini. Over 400 paintings from the 15th to the 18th century are inside this palace. This important cultural place in Rome consists of four wings with the Primitive Room and the Aldobrandini Room that houses the masterpieces of great artists. Art enthusiasts should definitely visit the small chapel that features several rooms such as the Ballroom with decors from the 19th century; Pussino Room that houses artwork by Pussino himself; Jupiter Room decorated with paintings by Weenix and Giovannini; Primitives Room that has a series of wood-panel paintings; and the Velvets Rooms, a room covered by damask velvets.
Address: Via del Corso, 305, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
12. Pyramid of Cestius
The Pyramid of Cestius is a funeral monument in Rome. Built during Emperor Augustus’ reign, this monument stands 100 feet (30 meters) high. On the east side of the pyramid, you’ll find a Roman inscription that says the structure was completed in 330 days. Inside this unique place in Rome are wall paintings that were only discovered in the 17th century. This pyramid when compared to those in Egypt, is too steep and pointed and is the only pyramid in Europe.
Address: Via Raffaele Persichetti, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
13. Trajan’s Market
Today, the Trajan’s Market is called the Imperial Forum Museum that features several exhibits. This was Rome’s first shopping center and is considered to be the first covered mall in history. This place to see in Rome used to house about 150 apartments, shops, and offices. The Apollodorus of Damascus built this complex in the year 100 and 110 AD. There are about six floors where the top level has the offices and lower levels house shops that sell vegetables, wines, fruits, and other items. The structure also contains a hall where speeches and concerts are held. Closest attractions are the Altare della Patria, Piazza del Campidoglio, and Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
Address: Via IV Novembre 94, Rome Italy.
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14. Palazzo della Civilta Italiana
Also known as Square Colosseum or Colosseo Quadrato, this structure was built in the 1930s for the 1942 world exhibition. Today, the building is the headquarters of Fendi, a high-end retailer in Rome. Inside there is a special Fendi exhibit located on the first floor, a cafe, a movie studio, and a plush theatre. If you’re in this most visited place in Rome, you may be able to catch a free movie by Fendi which runs every night at 9 pm. The Square Colosseum lets you take a break from the ancient Roman ruins, to enjoy a modern piece of architectural art.
Address: Quadrato della Concordia, Roma RM, Italy.
15. Piazza Navona
The Piazza Navona is among the most popular squares and popular places in Rome. The Piazza Navona was built in the 15th century, built on the site of the stadium of Domitian, and has remained a popular attraction ever since. This Baroque-style Piazza is extremely popular with tourists and provides plenty of opportunities for snapping pictures, especially near the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or the Fountain of the Four Rivers, which is at the square’s center. The vibrant Piazza Navona is buzzing with activity and is surrounded by charming terraces and eateries. You can spot street artists at the square and enjoy their performance while enjoying an espresso.
Address: Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma.
16. Appian Way
The Appian Way is one of the oldest and most important roads of Ancient Rome. Originally, it stretched 350 miles (563 kilometres) from Rome to Brindisi, a port town in the south of Italy. The building was completed in 312 BC, making the road over 2,000 years old. Ten miles (16 kilometres) of the road have been preserved as a regional park, and you can rent bikes for around 3 EUR (3.30 USD) per hour. It’s a lovely place to while away an afternoon, cycling and enjoying the flocks of sheep wandering about. In the regional park which is also known as one of must-see places in Rome, you can find ancient villas, ruins, and catacombs.
Address: Appian Way, Rome, Italy.
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