Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it's also one of the oldest. It has a lot to offer its visitors, with thousands of years' worth of history packed into a relatively small area. Here are some of my favorite places to visit when you're in Rome:
A guide to the best sites in Rome
If you're short on time, here's a list of the best sites in Rome:
- The Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica are both must-sees. If you have only one day to explore Rome, start at Vatican City and make your way towards St. Peter's Basilica (the Church). You'll get a great sense of history as you walk through the streets of Vatican City and see what remains from ancient times.
- The Colosseum is another popular attraction for tourists in Rome—it’s well worth visiting! With so much history surrounding this site, it’s hard not to feel awe-struck by its grandeur as you stand there imagining all those who fought for their lives inside its walls over thousands of years ago.
- Pantheon is another great site where it will give you some insight into Roman history while also showing how far humanity has come since then! This temple was built almost two thousand years ago but still looks beautiful today thanks to its caretakers over centuries past who made sure no damage occurred (unlike many other monuments).
- Spanish Steps - everyone loves walking down these steps but they don't know why they love them so much! These steps lead up onto Piazza di Spagna which offers stunning views over Rome below; both locals and tourists alike use these steps regularly during their stay here because they offer such peaceful surroundings away from all traffic jams etcetera...
The Vatican City is the smallest country in the world and it's located in Rome, Italy. It was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty. As you can imagine, the Vatican is home to many religious monuments and sites that are not open to tourists.
There are several museums you can visit such as:
- Pinacoteca Gallery of Modern Religious Art which features paintings from 15th century to 20th century
- Museum of Egyptian Antiquities which has a collection of Egyptian artifacts including mummies and sarcophagi
- Vatican Secret Archives where you can view historical documents that were kept secret for centuries
The Colosseum was built in 80 AD by Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus, who wanted to create a venue for shows such as gladiator battles. It was the largest amphitheater ever built and could hold up to 50,000 people during public events. The Romans didn't build it with safety in mind — there were no guards or warnings about what you might see inside, which allowed people from all over the empire to attend these events. In fact, one of the most famous conflicts between Rome and another empire happened here: Spartacus's slave revolt began when he escaped from a gladiator battle at this very location!
The Colosseum is one of the most visited sites in Italy (and possibly all of Europe). Each year more than 3 million tourists flock here to marvel at its grandeur; if you plan on visiting yourself then be sure not to miss out on some pretty amazing photo opportunities!
The Pantheon, built in 27 BC by Emperor Hadrian, is an impressive building with a large dome. The interior is still intact and has been designated as a church since the 7th century.
The building itself was consecrated to all the gods of ancient Rome by Marcus Agrippa. However, almost two centuries after it was built, when Christianity came into power under Emperor Constantine, it became associated with St. Mary and St. John the Baptist (whose remains are entombed there) and no longer used as a temple of worship. The main altar faces east towards Jerusalem; this orientation has led some people to believe that this was done intentionally because most other churches during that time faced west towards Rome or Constantinople rather than towards Jerusalem like this one does now (although modern thinking tends not to support that idea).
This is absolutely worth seeing if you're in Rome!
The Spanish Steps are a popular meeting place for tourists and locals alike. The steps were designed by Francesco de Sanctis in 1723, but they're named after the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, which was located on the top of the stairs. The stairway itself is comprised of around 100 steps and descends from Piazza di Spagna down towards Via Condotti.
The steps have been featured in countless films over the years including "La Dolce Vita" (1960) and "The English Patient" (1996).
Fontana di Trevi
- Fontana di Trevi: Located to the southeast of Piazza Navona and designed by Nicola Salvi, with its most recent restoration completed in 1999 by Raffaele D’Amato, Fontana di Trevi is a Baroque fountain in Rome. It was built as part of an ambitious project designed to bring water to an area that was then beyond the city's medieval walls.
- Films: In addition to appearing in several scenes from Roman Holiday (1953), Fontana di Trevi was also used as a location for Danger UXB (1979), Il Postino (1994), and Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Piazza Navona is a large piazza in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian.
It is considered one of the most beautiful urban spaces in the world and is often referred to as "the jewel" of Baroque architecture.
The piazza has been famous since it was laid out in 1656 as part of an ambitious urban plan by Pope Alexander VII. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and built over a period from 1657 to 1666.
Located in the Piazza di Trevi, the Trevi Fountain is one of Rome's most famous landmarks. It was built in 1762 by Nicola Salvi and depicts Neptune holding a trident, surrounded by four Tritons who are each holding a conch shell. If you toss a coin into the fountain over your shoulder with your right hand while facing away from it, legend says that you'll be guaranteed to return to Rome some time in future.
The fountain is 2 meters deep (6 feet) and holds 200 cubic meters (7000 cubic feet) of water - just enough for someone to swim in if they wanted! The marble used was travertine which comes from Tivoli near Rome; this is also where it gets its name from as "Trevi" means "three waters".
Castel Sant Angelo Bridge and Museum
Castel Sant'Angelo is a castle and museum in Rome, Italy. It was once the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Hadrian. The ancient city of Ostia Antica is situated nearby on the banks of the River Tiber.
In Antiquity, Castel Sant'Angelo was known as "Adrian's Mausoleum". Sanctified by Pope Gregory I in 590, it was originally built by Emperor Hadrian as his tomb shortly after he acceded to the throne from 117 to 138 CE., only to be later converted into a fortress under Pope Leo III during 796 when invading Lombards were plundering Rome and entering through Porta San Paolo (the so called "Bocca di Leone").
Santa Maria in Trastevere Church and Square
Santa Maria in Trastevere Church and Square
The Santa Maria in Trastevere Church is a Roman Catholic church located in Rome’s Trastevere district. It has been one of the oldest churches in the city since its establishment in the 4th century AD. The square surrounding the church was first developed around 1090, when Pope Urban II decreed that all Roman citizens should have access to their parish churches on major feast days. Today, it remains an important tourist destination for visitors wishing to see some of Rome's most beautiful artworks and sculptures.