For any tourist, Rome offers some of the most emotional unforgettable moments available in travel. This has to do with its rich historic spirit and its ancient, middle-ages and Renaissance sites that are breathtaking. Rome is a city full of treasures and heritage which are second only to Athens, Greece. Of course, the cuisine and the wines of Rome are an experience to behold all on their own. There are so many remarkable historic and cultural attractions in Rome that it is actually impossible to list all of them. However, the following places are among the must visit attractions if you travel to Rome. A trip to the eternal city is rewarding and uplifting.
Top Tourist Attractions in Rome
This is the most popular attraction of all in Rome. It was completed by the Emperor Titus in the year 80 A.D., and is well known for the events held there featuring gladiators. Its most impressive feature was that it could be flooded completely in order for sea battles to be reenacted. The dark side of this site’s history is that it was the site of the death of thousands of early Christian slaves and wild animals.
This is the most well preserved building from ancient times in the world. Completed in 126 AD when Christianity prevailed. It was later converted into a church. The dome which is the biggest unreinforced concrete home ever is one of the most amazing features next to its mosaic floors. The renowned painter Rafael is entombed here.
The Roman Forum was once the centre of ancient Rome in terms of all things judicial, administrative and social and today it’s sprawling mass of ruins still evokes something of the grandeur that this place must have had in its heyday. Statues, monuments and ornate buildings both romantically ruined and intact can all be seen on wandering around this large area. The oldest part of the Forum houses what remains of several temples and palaces which include the Temple of Vestra and the Complex of Vestal Virgins which is where the temple’s priestesses lived. Little remains of the Temple of Vestra but it is still possible to ascertain that the temple was of Greek architecture with Corinthian columns and made of marble. One of the buildings from the time of Julius Caesar remains wholly intact and was erected in 44 BC as a result of his attempts to overhaul the judicial systems and undermine the power of the Senate. Visitors pay a small fee to enter it, but the ticket includes a visit to the Colosseum as well as Palatine Hill.
Piazza di Spagna
Also called the Spanish Steps, this 138-step staircase is the longest in Europe. As a tourist, you will enjoy sitting there drinking wine, reading a book, or just taking in the view of the beautiful square. Lucky tourists will catch a view of beautiful models walking down the steps dressed in high fashion.
Fontana di Trevi
There are hundreds of fountains in Rome but this fountain is the most beautiful. It is a 10 minute walk from the Piazza di Spagna. Tourists are invited to throw three coins into the fountain to make sure that they are able to return to Rome. It is believed that nearly €3000 are thrown in there every day. This fountain is featured in Fellini’s famous movie “La Dolce Vita.”
This imposing, circular building which stands on the banks of the Tiber was originally commissioned and built around 137 AD as a mausoleum by Hadrian, hence its alternative name of the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Hadrian’s ashes were indeed interred here along with those of his wife when she died and the mausoleum was subsequently used as a burial place for other emperors. In the 14th century the castle was used by a succession of popes as a castle and a fortified corridor led from here to St Peter’s Basilica now situated in the Vatican City. Later still the Castel Sant’Angelo functioned as a prison and a place of execution.
Via Veneto is the ultimate Roman shopping mall. Here, some of the most expensive boutiques in the world are housed in between many cafés including the very famous Café de Paris and Harry’s Bar. Via Veneto is worth at least one visit, even if just to browse rather than shop.
The Vatican is the religious center of Catholicism, and it is also the smallest independent state on the globe. It is dominated by St. Peter’s Basilica in the square. This is the largest church in the world capable of holding 60,000 people. It is also the resting place of St. Peter. The 12000 square foot Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo is not to be missed on a trip to Rome.
Originally the home of a 17th-century palace, the Villa Borghese is now Rome’s biggest park. Stroll along to view sculptures, fountains and gazebos and pay a small fee to enjoy stopping in at the Museum. There is also a great view of Rome there from the De Popolo.
Guided tours in Rome
Guided tours offer a great way to experience Rome. Generally, guided tour operators offer full and half day tours in Rome, most of their trips can be grouped into the one of the following categories: Classical Rome, The Vatican Museums, Christian Rome and Ancient Rome. One of the Rome-based tour operators, Eternal City Tours is not only organising mainstream Rome sightseeing tours but some of their guided trips are focusing exclusively on the religious aspect of Rome. Three of their excursions (Rome Papal Basilicas Tour, Passion of Christ Tour and Christmas in Rome Tour) are extremely popular among Catholics and other pilgrims coming to Rome in Christmas. Rome is indeed a very beautiful place to visit at Christmas. Some of the special Christmas period attractions in Rome are the following: the Midnight Mass with the Pope, the huge Christmas tree in St Peter’s Square, the large, beautiful and lively Christmas market in Piazza Navona.