Italy is one of the most sort after tourist destinations of the world, but what makes it more famous, is Rome. Rome needs no new introduction as it is one of the best places to visit in Europe.
Being the centre of the Roman Empire along with historical involvement before and after that period, the entire city is a reminder of the period. Every nook and cranny of the city has a historical evidence dating back to up to 5th century BC.
The most sort after things to do in Rome are:
1. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
This is one of the only remaining of the four Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome. Aging back to the 600 AD, the Basilica has a long history attached to it. It is also known as “our lady of the Snows” and is located in the Esquiline Hill summit.
The Church has been renovated and restructured many time over the past centuries, however the 13th century mosaic art form along the outer walls of the basilica still remains as the most stunning designs of them all.
Visiting this Basilica is definitely a must if you really want to know about the Roman Empire and its extension until the 5th century.
Tel. +39 06 698 86800 – Fax: +39 06 698 86817
Timing – 7AM to 7PM (in winter 6PM), on Sundays and holidays from 9:30 AM to 12:00 noon.
Formerly Pantheon was known as the temple of all Gods, however currently it is a church in Rome. The word Pantheon in itself means “to honour all Gods”. The structure of the building is circular, constructed out of large granite in Corinthian order.
Almost after two thousand years of building it, Pantheon dome is still denoted to be the world’s largest concrete dome. The composition of the additional fixtures used during construction of the Pantheon resembles the modern day Concrete.
This in itself has been a source of baffle for many historians and experts. Though it is among the only few remaining monuments that are extremely well preserved contrary to their age, the mystery surrounding its survival even during the Barbarian age is still unsolved.
Referred to as Flavian Amphitheatre, It is an oval shaped amphitheatre which is located in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. It is the largest amphitheatre of the world that truly represents the Roman architectural marvel.
In the early medieval era, the amphitheatre was the main location of entertainment as it often housed dramas, gladiator showmanship’s etc. However, later it was reused for various other purposes like – housing, quarters for a religious order, workshops, a quarry etc.
Currently a major portion of the structure is ruin due to extensive natural calamities over the years. Built in the early 70 AD, this mega amphitheatre is a pure architectural marvel, considering the lack of machinery or equipments required during the age for such a massive and intricate project.
The Colosseum is perhaps only few remaining evidence of the extent of the power of the Roman Empire at one time.
4. Roman Forum
It also known as Forum Romanum in Latin is a rectangular shaped plaza which is surrounded by the several important government buildings in the centre of the Rome city.
In early days citizens of the ancient city of Rome used this space originally as a marketplace. The entire plaza today consist of Temple of Antoninus Pius, Temple of Castor and Pollux, Temple of Saturn, Arch of Septimius Severus, The Curia, Temple of Vesta, House of the Vestals, Arch of Titus.
Taking a lazy stroll along this ancient plaza is a really worthy choice. Soak yourself in the beauty of the ancient era as you walk through the remnant of the market of Ancient Rome.
Address: via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma
Phone: +39 06 0608
Timing – 8.30AM – 7PM (Monday to Saturday)
5. Galleria Borghese
Also known as Borghese Gallery in English, it is an art gallery located in the city Rome, Italy. Previously the building was integrated with its gardens but now it is known to be one of the best known tourist attractions.
The architecture of this building was designed by Flaminio Ponzio. The Gallery is home to some of the most famous works of Bernini, Caravaggio’s Boy with a basket of fruit, ST Jerome WritingSick Baccus among many others.
Titian, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Federico Barocci are other classic world famous artists whose paintings are displayed in this Gallery. This is a paradise for those entire art aficionados who really want to see these classics in reality.
Many have been known to get inspired and explore art further after visiting this Gallery.
Address – PiazzaleScipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM
Timing – 9AM–7PM (Monday Closed)
6. Palatine Hill
It is the centremost located hill among the Seven Hills of Rome, also known to be one of the ancient parts of the city. When looking down upon on the one side we have Roman Forum and on the other side, we have Circus Maximus.
From the top of the Hills, one can easily see the ruins of the ancient Rome very easily. The main spots to explore from Palatine Hills are Domus Flavia, House of Livia, House of Augustus, Farnese Gardens, Hippodrome of Domitian, and Palatine Museum
Domus Flavia – built in 81BC this was the public and official residence of the Emperor Domitian.
House of Livia – One of the best preserved structure from the 1sst BC, this structure has some amazing mosaic and fresco all along the walls and ceilings.
House of Augustus – The private residence of Octavian Augustus, this double storied private residence still has many of the frescos remaining for us to see.
Farnese Garden – One of the oldest and foremost botanical gardens of Europe, this was designed during the 16th Century surrounding the palace of Tiberius.
Hippodrome of Domitian – This was a mini amphitheatre used for the purpose of circus and race.
Palatine Museum – This museum houses the excavation discoveries from all the adjoining areas. From frescoes, mosaic patterns, sculptures and pottery remnants from the centuries before us, this museum is worth dropping at.
7. Trevi Fountain
This is a fountain located in the Trevi district of city Rome, Italy. It is 80ft (26.3 meters) high and 161.3 ft (49.15 meters) wide and its construction dates back to the 9th century.
Being one of the most famous fountains in the world and one of the largest fountains in the city of Rome, this fountain has been a part of numerous movies and novels in the last century. In the year 2016 alone, 1.5 million $ in coins were acquired from the fountain.
The fund collected from the fountain is often used at the subsidized market for the needy. The Fountain is also one of the main sources of water for the interior of the ancient Rome. Though crowded most year round, the fountain is too much famous to not drop by at least once.
8. Piazza Navona
This Piazza was built on site of the Stadium of Domitian in 1651. This Piazza was regarded as one of the most beautiful in the entire city of Rome and was designed by Bernini himself.
It follows the open space of the stadium located at the centre of the city and was built in the 1st century AD. It is also known as Circus Agonalis, as the ancient Romans went there to watch “games”.
Over the time the name has finally changed to Navona. The centre square of the Piazza is the home to three exquisite and gigantic fountains Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana di Nettuno, La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi with its large obelisk as the centrepiece.
The backdrop that makes this Piazza more stunning is the baroque church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.
The Trastevere is the 13th traditional administrative division of the city of Rome located on the west bank of Tiber. Trastevere is a Latin name which means “beyond the Tiber”.
Its logo has a lion with a golden head with the red background, the meaning of the logo is uncertain. Though unconventional, this is a spot worth experimenting if you want to know a bit more about Roma.
10. Museo Nazionale di Castel San’Angelo
This spot is also known as “Castle of the Holy Angel” in English. It is a cylindrical 5 floored tower in the city Rome that can be accessed all the way to the top through the spiral ramp.
Initially this structure was commissioned by Roman Emperor Hadrian for him and his family. Being the tallest structure of the time, later on as the power changed hands, it was used as a fortress and a castle due to its better distant visibility.
Currently it is a museum as over the centuries many historical personalities were incarcerated here.
Timing – Tuesday – Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm
Entry Fee – Adults: 10, 50€; EU citizens (aged 18 – 24): 7€
Castel Sant’Angelo and Terrace Tour € 38
Buses to and from the Castle – : 23, 34, 49, 64, 87, 280, 492, 926 and 990
11. St. Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica is regarded as one the holiest Catholic shrines and one of the largest church in the world. St. Peter’s is a famous place for pilgrimage’s and for their liturgical performances located along the border of Roma and Vatican.
The Basilica has a strict dress code for all the tourists. Men must were long trousers and full length shirts while women also should not wear anything sleeveless or above knees.
Though entry to the Basilica is free, there is an extremely long queue thus visiting this needs really long time.
Timing – April-Sept 7am-7pm and Oct-March 7am-6pm