Visiting Rome - What to See and Do

(Rome Ciampino Airport CIA, Italy)

No other city in the world compares to Rome. The Italian capital is arguably the globe's most exciting sightseeing destination. Since its glory days as the centre of civilisation, Rome has basked in an aura of unconquerable wealth. Today, this wealth is apparent in the plethora of ancient highlights, some of which are the most enthralling landmarks that the world has ever seen.

From the Vatican's breathtaking basilica to the ruins of ancient stadiums that once hosted mighty gladiatorial battles, Rome's amazing attractions glisten with historical value. The Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Villa Borghese GardensÉthe sightseeing list goes on and on.

Nestled among the archaeological and architectural sights rests the Italian capital's cultural brilliance. Stroll in and out of the artisan workshops and boutique stores along the city's many side-streets and alleyways. Enjoy the marketplaces of Campo de Fiori. Walk the winding cobblestone lanes of Trastevere, one of Rome's most underappreciated historic districts. Of course, al fresco dining alongside magical piazzas cannot be missed too.

Ten things you must do in Rome

  • The Colosseum is the shiniest doubloon in Rome's treasure chest full of gold. This ancient stadium was once the home of gladiator competitions and wild animal combat. Today, its mere skeleton is enough to invoke memories of the ancient past. Tours are available, but visitors can pick up one, two or three day individual passes and explore the monolithic structure independently.
  • Visitors should explore the Roman Forum, but must take their time in doing so. This majestic ancient site was the political and legal centre of the entire Roman Empire. The Temple of Saturn, the Basilica Aemilia, the Curia, and the Temple of Julius Caesar make up some of the forum's main landmarks. Tour guides and audio guides are available.
  • St. Peter's Basilica is the heart of the Catholic world, so visits to this landmark shouldn't be taken lightly. Everything about the cathedral is enormous, including its silent aura. Venture to the peak of the dome, which stands over 120-metres / 394-feet high, giving miraculous views of the Vatican and nearby Rome. Naturally, the gateway to God requires strict dress codes.
  • Get away from the tourist-rich attractions of Rome and wander through the ancient streets, alleyways and markets of Campo de Fiori, in the Old Town district. The market is a fulfilling landmark, and the plethora of artisans operating throughout the winding cobblestone streets will steal visitors away from modernity. Of course, café culture is sparkling within this area too.
  • When it comes to Ancient Rome, no site stands prouder than the Pantheon. Originally built for the Roman Gods, it was later transformed into a Catholic church, which it is still used for today. Nevertheless, this Greco-Roman structure is among the oldest and best-preserved of its kind in the world. Of note, the Pantheon is especially famous for its domed ceiling.
  • A must-see park in the Italian capital is the Villa Borghese Gardens. These beautiful large gardens also boast plenty to see, including the famous Borghese Gallery, the 14th-century Villa Giulia and the National Modern Art Gallery. Children will be enticed by the local zoo and zoological museum located within the grounds.
  • Find a day pass for the Capitoline Museums and enjoy the splendor of these historic, intriguing and downright entertaining cultural centres. There are three museums found at the Piazza del Campidoglia, including the Nuovo Palace, the Conservatory Palace (Palazzo dei Conservatori) and the Congiunzione Gallery underneath. Medieval and Renaissance art, as well as Roman statues, coins and pottery relics, are the main attractions in this square.
  • When St. Peter's Basilica has been seen beyond content, the next best site has to be the Vatican museums. Annually, some five million people stroll through the complex, which is actually a series of galleries and museums, rather than one large centre. The Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's illustrious fresco artwork can be seen en route.
  • Rome is dotted with an amazing list of fountains. However, none hold a candle to the Trevi Fountain - Italy's most decorative water feature. The fountain is massive and nestled in the backstreets of the modern centre. Visitors will be extremely lucky if the fountain is not crowded, but this only adds to the majesty of this baroque-styled marvel.
  • Climb the 138-step staircase in the Piazza di Spagna. The famous 'Spanish Steps' are the widest and most astounding stairway in Europe, leading to the top of Pincian Hill. Hordes of people rest upon the steps day and night, so tourists may enjoy a rejuvenating rest and watch thousands pass by too. Nevertheless, the views from atop Pincian Hill are quite breathtaking, especially on a busy afternoon.

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