Rome: Main Sights
The Eternal City
The expression "Roma, non basta una vita" ("Rome, a lifetime is not enough") pretty much sums it up! Between galleries, churches, historic palazzi, ruins, castles, and tombs, the Eternal City of Rome has many more monuments and museums than the average visitor has time to see.
The granddaddy of all Roman monuments, this arena hosted over four centuries of gladiatorial contests and wild beast hunts..."games," as they were called in antiquity. You can get a pretty good sense of the Coliseum just by walking around the outside, but going inside will give you a better idea of the seating areas, the structures beneath the arena floor, and the general enormity of the building.
- Roman Forum
This was the downtown area of the ancient city, where you could cross paths with Cicero or Caesar himself on their way to the political, religious, and commercial buildings which are still visible here today, 2000 years later, in various states of preservation. The Roman Forum is extremely evocative of the power of Rome in her Golden Age.
- Vatican Museum & City
Home to the head of the Roman Catholic Church the Vatican has been one of Rome’s most popular attractions for many years attracting millions of tourists each year from all over the world. The Vatican is the official home of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. It constitutes the world’s smallest independent state and is the richest country in the world per square foot with a total population of only 750 people. There's plenty to explore with the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Vatican Gardens. The surrounding neighbourhood, known as Borgo, has some hotels and restaurants but is fairly quiet. It's a good choice if you want to escape the noise of Rome.
- Trevi Fountain
The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. This impressive monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district. Visitors to Rome are encouraged to make a night-time visit to the fountain, to take a drink to toast to their return to the city and to throw coins into the water.
- Piazza di Spagna - Spanish Steps
This monument hardly needs an introduction as it enjoys a great reputation as THE place to go in Rome to meet those handsome young Italian men. Foreign women can almost certainly expect to be offered a rose and/or marriage proposal. Go at sunset, when the light on the piazza is divine and some of the bus tour groups have left.
Deemed one of the architectural wonders of the world due to its dome and its concept of space, the Pantheon is one of Rome’s most popular tourist sites. It is by far the best place in the city to experience the true splendour, harmony, and elegance of Roman architecture, inside and out.
- Castel Sant'Angelo (The Mausoleum of Hadrian)
During its many years of existence, the building functioned first as a mausoleum, then became part of the city wall and later was turned into a fortress before it functioned as a papal residence and finally as a barracks and military prison. It is currently a national museum.