Today, Rome is the most populous and biggest city in Italy, located in the middle of the Italian peninsula, the city is easily accessible from most important places both in Italy and abroad. The popular buildings in Rome fascinate more than anything. There are many ways to reach Rome whether by plane, rail or bus if you are in Europe. Fiumicino Airport is just 26-km south-west of Rome which is for both domestic and international air services. There are also night bus services between Stazione Tiburtina and the airport, so you can easily reach the airport. Ciampino airport, 13-Km south-east of Rome, is a subsidiary airport used mainly for domestic flights and international charter flights. Rome can be reached via Eurostar train and by an efficient railway line that links it with the most important Italian and international cities. The climate is temperate, with breezy winters and hot summers. It would take more than one lifetime to see everything the Eternal City has to offer, so we’ve compiled a brief tour guide for the historical buildings in Rome you absolutely can’t miss during your trip:
List of All The Famous Buildings in Rome
This enormous stone structure and building in Rome was once the venue for gladiator fights, prisoner executions and exotic animal exhibitions in the ancient times. More than 2000 gladiators were killed when the emperor Titus started the 100 days of games. For several years, the Colosseum entertained the Romans, 2000 years later, this imposing structure still stands after earthquakes and bombings. 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.
Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy.
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2. Teatro Marcello
The Theatre of Marcellus was an ancient open-air theater that inspired from the Colosseum. However, Teatro Marcello is a semi-circular theatre while the Colosseum is a circular auditorium. Originally this old building in Rome was commissioned by Julius Caesar, who was murdered before its construction began and finished by Emperor Augustus in 11BC. It was named for his nephew, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who died at the age of 19, five years before it was finished. It is located near the Tiber River, it could hold up to 20,000 visitors at a time and was a fabulous structure at its time. With arches, tunnels, columns, and ramps, it shows the finest ancient Roman skill and artistry.
Address: Via del Teatro di Marcello, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
3. Ara Pacis
Because it fuses new and old in a truly innovative way, the contemporary Ara Pacis Museum is a fascinating sight. The museum’s unique structure was designed by American architect Richard Meier in 2006 to act as a home for a single (but exquisite) ancient altar. Dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace, the elaborately carved marble structure was once part of a massive complex. Built-in 13 BC to mark the return of Emperor Augustus to Rome, the altar was reassembled in its current location near the Tiber River in 1938. Since the end of the Fascist era, this heritage building in Rome was the first architectural space to be built in the historical centre of Rome.
Address: Lungotevere in Augusta, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
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4. Corte Suprema di Cassazione
Right near The Vatican City this is an amazing building. The architecture is breathtaking. Not like most of the historical areas nearby this building dates from the 1920’s. Rome’s Palace of Justice, the seat of the Supreme Court of Cassation is a giant structure that dominates the banks of the Tiber River in the Prati district. It is often called “Il Palazzaccio” and its large size, beautiful decorations and lengthy construction period make it a major point of attraction. Inspired by Renaissance and Baroque architecture, it remains one of the most visited buildings in Rome. The Palace of Justice is a grand new building which followed the proclamation of Rome as the capital city of the Kingdom of Italy. You can get a good view of it from the bridge Ponte Umberto I or from the Piazza Cavour, so both front and back look impressive. It is completely covered with Travertine limestone inspired by late Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Address: Palazzo di Giustizia, Piazza Cavour, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
5. Il Vittoriano
Another building which was built between 1885 – 1925 to honor Victor Emmanuel who was the first king of Italy. This popular building in Rome to Vittorio Emanuele II is so grandiose and ornate that it’s almost overwhelming. The tomb of the unknown soldier is sobering and almost diverts attention from the magnificent statues of horse drawn chariots on the roof of this enormous building. The detail of the interior is incredible and the artworks are spectacular. You can also take the lift to ‘il Cielo sopra Roma’ to see the 360 degree views over both modern and Ancient Rome. Well worth the extensive waiting time for the lift to the rooftop.
Address: Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
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6. St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is a place where Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, was buried in 64 A.D. It is one of the holiest temples in Vatican City. Inside the Basilica are important works of art from Carlo Maderno, Bramante, and Michelangelo. This religious building in Rome is an enormous church that can accommodate 20,000 people. Completed in 1614, the Dome is an incredible piece of architecture. You’ll get a stunning view of St. Peter’s Square when you climb right to the top. Include the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums nearby places that you can also visit.
Address: Piazza San Pietro. Vatican City, Rome.
It is believed that the extraordinary architecture of Pantheon is more than 2000 years old. As a temple for the Roman gods it was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Along with famous Renaissance painters, Great Italian kings and Raphael are buried in the Pantheon. For thousands of years, the dome and its most fascinating aspect stands tall without any damage. Architects today are still in amaze because 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. The architecture of this Roman building is one of the best-preserved buildings from Ancient Rome.
Address: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome
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8. Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo or The Mausoleum of Hadrian was built in the year 135 and 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 ancient building 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. Closest attraction is the Piazza Navona and National Roman Museum.
Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy
Zaha Hadid left her mark on Rome with her innovative MAXXI in 21st Century Arts and this National Museum is now situated in Rome’s northern Flaminio neighborhood. MAXXI, a structure built by Zaha Hadid and recently opened in 2010, is the first museum in Italy dedicated to contemporary art. This modern and beautiful building 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: Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy.
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10. Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana
This structure was built in the 1930s for the 1942 world exhibition and also known as Square Colosseum or Colosseo Quadrato. Today, this iconic building in Rome is the headquarter 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. You may be able to catch a free movie by Fendi if you’re in the city which runs every night at 9 pm. To enjoy a modern piece of architectural art, the Square Colosseum lets you take a break from the ancient Roman ruins.
Address: Via del Corso, 305, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
11. 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 modern building 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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12. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj
This private gallery and most visited building 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. It 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
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