The ‘Eternal City’ once the most important city in the world is home to some of the most breathtaking architecture and world famous historical monuments that have ever been built. Rome is a fun, vibrant city, filled with welcoming people, delicious food and more than enough sights to keep you entertained. Here is a roundup of my top things to see while in Rome:
# 1 Place to See – Trevi Fountain
A must for all visitors to the city, the Trevi Fountain is a favorite with tourists and although it can get particularly crowded here it is certainly a must see when visiting Rome. Completed in 1762, the Fontana di Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. The water that flows from the fountain travels a staggering 20km (12.5 miles) to get there. The fountain depicts a scene of Neptune, god of the sea, flanked by 2 Tritons which symbolise the contrasting moods of the sea. Legend has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain you are guaranteed a return visit to the city; it is thought that over 3,000 Euros a day can be found in the fountain. Money from the fountain has been used to build a supermarket for Rome’s less fortunate; however, the coins in the fountain are often targeted by thieves.
# 2 Things to See – Vatican City
While strictly speaking Vatican City is an independent city in its own right, separated from the country’s capital by a walled perimeter, you can’t visit Vatican City without visiting Rome. Touring the Vatican is a full day’s excursion, and it’s highly recommended you sign up for a good walking tour. A good tour will help you navigate your way around the Vatican and the Vatican Museums, so you don’t miss out on any of the top sights. A tour guide will also help you understand what it is that you are seeing and the history and relevance behind it. Vatican City is the smallest city in the world; just 800 people reside there. The crowds that are drawn in to marvel at the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Gardens and St. Peter’s Basilica ensure that the area is often far from quiet.
# 3 Place to See – The Roman Colosseum
Rome’s most famous monument, the Colosseum is the largest remaining Roman-era amphitheater (which in its hay-day was capable of seating over 50,000 spectators) that is left anywhere in the world. The queues to see this historical masterpiece can be long; however the chance to experience a small part of what life might have been like in that ancient rather gruesome civilisation is fascinating. It is worth buying a good guide book or to join an organised walking tour with a guide to truly understand what it is you are looking at. A fun day out for all ages, particularly for children interested in the Roman Empire who will enjoy a photo with the actors dressed as Roman Gladiators.
# 4 Place to See – Pantheon
The Pantheon was built in 125 AD, and looks today as it did over 2,000 years ago. It is the best preserved Roman building not only in the city but anywhere in the world, despite being in constant use since it was first built. Pantheon means ‘all the gods’. Originally the building was designed as a temple for the Roman people to worship all 7 of their gods. In 609 the Pantheon was changed to a Christian church which ensured its survival. To walk on floors that are exactly as they were 2,000 years ago and see what those around at that time would have seen is a fantastic experience and allows visitors to Rome the chance to quite literally step back in time.
Good Video on What to See in Rome