Rome is the capital and the largest city of Italy. It is also the only city in the world that encircles a whole country – Vatican City. With its 2500 years of rich history, Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting millions of tourists from all corners of the globe. Stunning ancient Roman monuments to impressive medieval Christian cathedrals and museums, Rome is a slice of history in itself. Add with it the La Dolce Vita (the sweet life) through its culture, cuisine, and fashion, and you have a vacation of a lifetime. There is so much to see and do in Rome that it is impossible to put those in a single post. But here is our pick of 10 attractions that you should not miss when visiting Rome.
- Capitoline Museums
With its rich history and culture, Rome is home to a number of museums. One of the most popular and historically significant of these is the Capitoline Museums. Its origin dates back to 1471 with a donation of artifacts by Pope Sixtus IV. However, the collections were put on display for the public from 1734. The museums are spread across 3 buildings on the top of Capitoline Hill. They are the Palazzo Senatorio, Palazzo dei Conservvatori, and Palazzo Nuovo. The first two buildings were designed by Michelangelo. It is a musty visit attraction for art lovers, especially for its rich collection of sculptures.
The Gianicolo, or Janiculum, is a hill situated on the western flank of the city of Rome. It is a favorite with locals and tourists for its sweeping views of the city of Rome. The hill has its own set of attractions like an ancient church and fountain. It is also home to a number of academic institutions.
- Via del Governo Vecchio
Italy has long been synonymous with fashion and shopping and there is no better street to best experience that than the Via del Governo Vecchio. This street is stacked with numerous boutique stores along with several vintage stores selling a wide variety of products. There are also a number of cafés where you can take a break from your shopping. However, if you are looking for flea markets, then head to Ponte Milvio, Villa Glori, or Piazzale di Porta Pia.
- Catacombs of Rome
The ancient catacombs of Rome were the underground burial places for Christians who were persecuted. It is believed that there are over 3 dozen of these catacombs, with several being discovered in the last few decades. These burials started sometime around the 2nd century AD and declined sharply by the 7th century AD. These catacombs are an attraction not only for their historical significance but also for the several Christian paintings that decorated the tombs and tunnels. Although there are a number of catacombs in Rome, the 2 most popular are the San Callisto and Domitilla.
The Vittoriano is a massive marble memorial located right next to the Piazza Venezia. It is dedicated to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy. The memorial was completed in 1925, after nearly 40 years of construction. It was, however, inaugurated much earlier in 1911.The impressive memorial features Corinthian columns, stairways, fountains, two statues of Goddess Victoria, and a statue of King Emmanuel. The whole memorial is almost 135 meters wide. At the lower level of the memorial is the museum of Italian Unification. You can take the lift of the memorial to have a 360 degree view of the city of Rome.
The Pantheon is an ancient church and one of the most prominent attractions in the city of Rome. It was originally built as a temple which was dedicated to all Roman gods. The original building on the site dates back to around 14 AD. However, the present building is believed to have been completed sometime around 126 AD by Emperor Hadrian. The Pantheon is considered to be one of the best-preserved examples of ancient Roman architecture. The façade, with its tall Corinthian columns, is one of the most recognized symbols of Rome.
- Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a large quadrangular plaza with ancient ruins located in the heart of the city center. According to historians, several of the important buildings and monuments of the ancient city were located in or around this Forum. Although most of the plaza is in ruins, it will give you a feel of how the ancient city used to look like. Situated between the Capitoline Hills and palatine, the Forum is a major tourist attraction with a footfall of almost 4.5 million every year.
- Trevi Fountain
Rome has a number of stunning fountains scattered all over the city but none so magnificent and popular as the Trevi Fountain. It was designed by architect Nicola Salvi and completed in 1762. The backdrop of the fountain rises to a height of 26 meters. There is a tradition that if you throw a coin with your right hand over the left shoulder in the fountain, then you will return to the city in the future. Following this tradition, near 3000 Euros are tossed into the fountain every day. In 2016, coins worth nearly USD 1.5 million were tossed into the Trevi Fountain!
- Vatican City
Although Vatican City is an independent country, it is completely encircled by the city of Rome. No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican. There are plenty of attractions in Vatican City which will take at least one whole day to complete. The highlight is certainly St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest and most impressive churches in the world. The neighboring Sistine Chapel is home to perhaps the most renowned fresco in the world, painted by Michelangelo. The Vatican museums, spread over 1400 rooms, have some of the richest collections from the Christian and medieval worlds. The beautifully landscaped 13th-century Vatican Gardens are at the back of the basilica. Finish your visit with a tour of the Papal palaces.
The Colosseum is one of the most well-known landmarks of Rome. This ancient oval amphitheater dates back to 80 AD and stands in the heart of the modern city. During its days of glory, the Colosseum could seat up to 80,000 spectators who came to see gladiators fight. It was also used for executions and for staging plays. However, its importance diminished from the early medieval period. In the centuries that followed, it was used as housing, a quarry, and even a shrine. The Colosseum suffered damage several times from fires and earthquakes. However, it is today one of the most enduring symbols of Rome and one of its major tourist attractions.
Originally posted 2017-06-07 05:51:52.