The 18 Best Things To See & Do In Rome
As the old saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. For those fascinated by culture and tradition, food and art, Rome is the place for you. The birth place of western civilization, Rome also is the longest inhabited city in Europe. According to Roman mythology, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC, however the area has been inhabited for much longer. Over the 28 centuries of Rome’s existance, the eternal city has played a central role in many of the world’s most transformative events as the home to the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire. When the empire fell in the west, signifying the beginning of the middle ages, control of the city gradually shifted into papal control in the 8th century. As the papal capital, the city would establish consistency in architectural and urban planning, and for the next 400 years Rome would become the centre for arts and culture. From the Renaissance to the Baroque and neoclassicism, artists nad sculptors flocked to Rome to inspire and be inspired. Join us as we explore the ancient ruins of the “Caput Mundi”.
What to do in Rome
1. The Colosseum
Constructed between 70-80AD, the colosseum is a amazing testament to the roman empire. The world’s largest ampitheatre hosted gladiators and public spectacles holding over 65,000 spectators. Spend the day discovering the fascinating history and events that took place on the colosseums hallowed grounds.
2. St.Peter’s Square
A magestic site with major religious significance, St.Peter’s Square is a large public space directly infront of St.Peter’s Basilica. Named after Jesus’ disciple, St.Peter is known as the first bishop of the Catholic faith. Take in the magestic sites within the embrace of the collonades arms of the maternal mother.
3. The Pantheon
Take some time to explore the temple of all the pagan gods. Originally built in 27BC by Marcus Agrippa, the original structure was burnt ot the ground. The Pantheon was then rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian built between AD125-128. Today, the Pantheon functions as an attraction, but also a Catholic church where people come toegether to catch a glimpse of the spectactular building and iconic circular hole in the ceiling.
4. St.Peter’s Basilica
Known as the holiest site in Christendom, St.Peter’s Basilica is a church dedicated to Jesus most revered disciple. Built in 1506 and consecrated in 1626, the basilica is home to phenomenal art pieces like Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture. Yhe Basilica can hold up to 20,00 under it’s impressive dome.
5. Palatine Hill
The most important of the hills in the city of seven hills, Palatine Hill is known as the original seat of the first nucleus of the Roman Empire. Take a day to discover the earliest days of Rome from the place where imperial palaces and rome’s wealthy elite once stayed. Visit the museum and check out hte artifacts.
6. Trevi Fountain
Make a stop in Italy’s Trevi district to see Rome’s largest Baroque fountain. One of the oldest sources of water to Rome, the fountain dates back to the completion of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct in 19BC. As hte old legend goes, throw one coin into the fountain to ensure a return to Rome, two for a new romance and three for marriage,
7. The Forum
At the centre of life in ancient Rome is the forum. This is where everything happened. The forum was the place of politics, religion, legal and social events that shaped the city and the empire. According to historians, leaders of Rome began meeting in hte forum as far back as 500 BC. After the fall of the Empire, the forum was left to fall apart, and was gradually reclaimed by earth. It was not until the 20th century that excavations began and the site returned to prominance.
8. Sistine Chapel
Find yourself in awe in the Vatican city’s greatest treasure. The Sistine Chapel holds tremendous significance as the place where popes are chosen. The Sistine Chapel is also home to Michelangelo’s masterpieces, like the creation of Adam and Final Judgement.
9. Vatican Museums
Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century, the Vatican Museums are best place to experience the extraordinary art works of Rome. The Vatican Museums located in Vatican City house many of the most famous renaissance art pieces by artists like Michelangelo and Raphael to name just a few. The museums contain over 70,000 pieces, 20,000 on display.
10. Piazza Navona
A lively Baroque style public square with fantastic fountains, vibrant energy and restaurants, the Piazza Navona is a popular nad well worthwhile stop in Rome. Built on the historic site f Stadium of Domitian, the square would hold 20,000 spectators viewing the athletic competitions of the day. There are three amazing fountains to check out, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), Fontana del Moro “Seashell Fountain.” and the Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune)
11. Piazza di Spagna & The Spanish Steps
12. Castel Sant’Angelo / Mausoleum of Hadrian
Built in 139AD by Hadrian the Emperor as a mausoleum to himself, the building would become a military building and by 403 was integrated into the Aurelian walls. In the 13th century a fortified tunnel to the vatican was constructed so that the pope could escape unharmed in the event of an attack. Check out the 5 floors from the cells in the lower levels to the papl residence complete with amazing frescoes nad an impressive collection of weapons from the past.
Explore the winding maze of cobbled stone streets in Trastevere. This exciting neighbourhood is built across the river Tiber and over the centuries has developed a ulture of it’s own. Discover the history from Rome’s first synogogue to some of the oldest churches in Rome like the 12th-century Basilica di Santa Maria. Trastevere is also home to world class dining with fantastic restaurants and bars in every direction.
14. Altar of the Fatherland
Built to honur the first king of Italy after the unification of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. The spectacular building stands at 70 metres tall and offers some of the best panoramic views of the city.
15. Villa Borghese Gardens
Spend some time taking in some fresh air at Villa Borghese, the most popular park in Rome. Known as the green lung, the park is a welcome retreat to peace and nature. The Villa Borghese Gardens can be found on the Pincian Hill, close to Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. The Gardens cover an area of 80 hectares and were developed in 1606 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who wanted to turn his former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome.
16. Knights of Malta Keyhole
Join the small queue near the non descript door for a view well worth the wait. Through manicured gardens framing St.Peter’s Basilica, this lesser known view is a part of the property belongong to the Priory of the Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic religious order of crusader knights that originated in Jerusalem in the 11th century. It is the oldest surviving chivalric order in the world and is a sovereign entity under international law.
17. Fiat Tour
Hop into a classic Fiat 500 and discover Rome in an exciting and fun way. Weave down small streets with your caravan of cute cars heading places tour buses could never reach. Uncover mysteries of Rome, learn of the legends and make your own magical memories on this epic three hour tour.
When in Rome, do as the Romans, begin your day with a perfectly prepared espresso. The coffee culture in Italy is world class nad perhaps the most sophisticated. If you find yourself in need a midday pick me up, stop by a cafe, nad take your espresso like the locals, short, strong, and quickly. Be sure to brush up on the etiquette beforehand to impress the locals.
When to Go to Rome
Late August: If you don’t mind a little heat and humidity, late August is a great time to visit Rome. Most of the crowds from the peak summer season have been reduced, and the Rome residents are also just returning from holiday, yet most of the shops and restaurants are open.
Mid-Late November: With still relatively mild temperatures and reduced crowds, Mid November is a great time to visit Rome, especially if you don’t enjoy the heat. With Christmas on the horizon, the city winds down and begins preparations for a busy holiday season.
What to Eat in Rome
Saltimbocca alla Romana: Thought to have originated in the northern italy town of Brescia, Saltimbocca has become a staple dish in Rome. Saltimbocca translates to “jump in your mouth” and it couldn’t be more aptly named. Typically consisting of veal, proscuitto and sage cooked in white wine and butter, this is a dish you will not soon forget.
Pasta Cacio e Pepe: Pasta Cacio e Pepe has taken off in popularity in recent years due to it’s simplicity of quality main ingreidents of pasta, cheese and pepper.
Carbonara: The most typical of Roman cuisine, Carbonara is made with egg, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. The cheese is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a combination of the two.
Best Events in Rome
Taste of Roma
The ultimate italian food festival, Taste of Roma brings together the cities best restaurants and chefs for four amazing days and nights of worl-class dining.
WIth 2000 wine labels, and 600 wineries, the VinoForum is a fantasic event to celebrate learn about Italian wine from industry leaders. Beyond wine, there are several top chefs nad restaurants providing incredible foods from around the region.
Citta della Pizza
The City of Pizza festival invites the best pizza makers in Italy to share thier delicious creations with guests from around the world. This three day celebration highlights ingredients nad techniques unique to the different regions of Italy.
Rome Film Festival
A relatively young, yet important festival for the film industry, the Rome film festival brings actors, directors to Rome to debut their creative works at famous venues throughout the city like the Auditorium Parco della Musica.