Visitors often have trouble deciding what to visit in Rome during their stay. By offering top ten destinations in the city of Rome we hope to help our visitors in deciding how best to spend their time in the eternal city. These are our 10 suggestions, but keep in mind that there are numerous things to do and see in Rome and that you may choose numerous other attractions under the categories - museums, sights and religious sights.
Top ten attractions in Rome
1. Coliseum in Rome
Coliseum is the largest amphitheater in the world that once could hold between 50 and 80 thousand people. As the place for public spectacles, for centuries in Coliseum were organized duels between gladiators, gladiators and animals, re-enactments of historical battles, hunting spectacles etc. As you walk through the corridors of this incredible structure, you can only try to imagine how it looked once, when organized spectacles lasted for even 100 days. And now imagine famous navel battles, when the arena would be filled with water!
2. Saint Peter’s Basilica
Saint Peter’s Basilica is maybe the most visited sight in the city, one of the most important and largest religious buildings in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Religion. One thing is sure, after entering the building it is clear it was built in order to leave no one indifferent. Apart from the basilica, the dome of the basilica and the square in front of it are two very important attractions of Vatican.
3. Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain is the largest fountain in the city of Rome and a magnet for all modern tourists, who cannot resists its charm and a chance to take photos, toss a coin and make a wish. Even though this baroque fountain was built to impress, it also tells a more profound story about Roman Aqueducts, Roman Mythology etc.
4. Pantheon in Rome
In the time before the Christ, this temple was built by one of very important characters from the ancient Roman history, Marcus Agrippa, a consul, a general and a very close friend of the first Roman Imperator, Octavian Augustus. The fact that Pantheon was built by such important characters, that it survived till this day and that its architecture is so impressive even after so much time can prove to be overwhelming, at least for the visitors who read a bit of this building's history before visiting. If only the walls could talk, what stories we could hear!
5. Capitol Hill in Rome
Capitol Hill is one of the seven famous hills of Rome, a hill that was one of the centers of almost all important events in the city, from the beginnings of the ancient Roman history, the history of important Roman Imperators, Caesar, Vespasian etc. A world famous artist Michelangelo designed the square you may visit today, however this design was only finalized by Benito Mussolini, since Popes feared that inadequate symbols were hidden in the original Michelangelo’s design.
6. Vatican Museums
No words are needed to describe the Museums of Vatican, which are on the wish list of most tourists that come to Rome, and which are visited by millions of people each year. The incredible number of ancient Roman statues, The Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s rooms, the Gallery of Maps etc. are just some of the reasons why so many people visit these museums. It is a place of beautiful frescoes, sculptures and paintings and certainly a place where art meets the religion.
7. Piazza Venezia in Rome
Piazza Venezia is a very large city square in the center of Rome. It is best known for the impressive monument built in white marble called Vittoriano. This monument is a symbol of the Italian unification, but also a great place to enjoy one of the best panoramic views on the eternal city and a chance to take eautiful photos.
8. Capitoline Museums in Rome
Capitoline Museums is actually museum located on the Capitol Hill in the buildings designed by the famous artist, Michelangelo. This is the place where you encounter history of the ancient Rome, and thus the history of most of the world. Here you may see the statue of the female wolf raised Romulus and Remus according to the legend, the head of once colossal sculpture of Imperator Constantine, the statue of Imperator Marco Aurelio on a horse and much, much more.
9. Borghese Art Gallery
Borghese Art Gallery is the place of pure beauty, art and luxury. Is it enough to only mention that ill be able to seeancient Roman mosaics and statues, Caravaggio’s, Raphael’s, Titian’s and Bellini’s paintings? If we add that these art pieces are exhibited in the beautifully decorated rooms of the villa, which are just breathtaking, you will understand why this art gallery is one of the most prized art galleries in the world.
10. National Gallery of Modern Art
Are you familiar with the modern art? In case you are you will get lost in the incredible collection of the National gallery of Modern Art In case you are not, this art gallery is a perfect place to start and we are sure you will not get borede collection is so rich, covering numerous art movements that it is almost impossible not to find something that will impress you and take you on a journey, the limits of which are defined by your imagination.
Tourist sights in Rome
Apart from previously mentioned attractions you should consider visiting the following sights:
Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome
Castel Sant’ Angelo in Rome is actually an ancient building constructed by the imperator Hadrian, to serve as a mausoleum for his and his family’s ashes. Apart from Colosseum and Vatican Museum, Castel Sant’ Angelo is one of the most important tourist attraction of Rome. It is one of the buildings that survived from the ancient times, and whoever decides to visit it will be amazed by the view from the last level of the structure, from where Rome glows in its raw beauty.
Rome’s Zoo Bioparco
Bioparco is a very large and beautiful zoo located in the park called Villa Borghese, not far from the city center. For tourist, at least those that enjoy nature, it may be an interesting destination in order to have a nice walk, enjoy the animals and have a break after visiting so many historical sights.
The Forum was a structure used as a marketplace and a gathering place and represented the center of the public life. Roman Forum is an ancient structure that was built even before the age of Roman Imperators and the Roman history that we all know very well. Therefore, do not be deceived by the current look of this area, once it was a center of the known world. Here, like probably nowhere else in the world, every stone has a story to tell and when you know them all, you know Rome.
Spanish Steps and Spanish Square
Spanish Steps or in Italian Piazza di Spagna is one of the most well-known city squares in Rome which was named after the palace that hosted the embassy of Spain to the Holly Chair. On this square there are three cultural monuments, all of which deserve closer attention.
Villa Borghese Park
Villa Borghese is one of the largest parks in Rome. Every year it draws a vast number of tourists for various reasons: a pleasant walk in the park, a chance to enjoy a romantic boat ride on a small artificial lake in the park or to visit some of the beautiful galleries and museums located in the park. In this park there are numerous tourist attractions: Rome’s zoo, The National Gallery of Modern Art, Borghese Art Gallery, The Museum Carlo Biloti, The Museum Pietro Canonica etc.
Piazza del Popolo in Rome
Piazza del Popolo or People’s Square is one of the stunning city squares in Rome. This ellipsoid piazza is surrounded by three churches, it has an Egyptian obelisk in the middle of it and a belvedere that offers an amazing view of the city bellow.
Piazza Navona in Rome
Piazza Navona is one of the most well-known city squares, with fountains and architecture that make it an irresistible tourist attraction. This piazza is a testimonial of all the historical changes that happened in the city. It went through many transformations, from the ancient roman stadium to one of the most visited touristic sites of the city.
Museums in Rome
Apart from few museums already mentioned that fall under top tan tourist attractions, there are numerous other museums in Rome. These museums fall into different categories and cover the period of the ancient Rome, Renaissance art, modern art etc.
Imperial Forums in Rome
These Forums were cultural, political and religious centers of the empire and were built in order to contrast Roman Forums built during the period when the empire was a republic. Imperial forums are monumental squares built by the Roman imperators in the period from 46 BC to 113 AD.
National Gallery of Ancient Art in Rome
The National Gallery of Ancient Art or Palazzo Barberini is famous for the exhibited works of art that were created by some of the most well-known Italian artists: Caravaggio, Raphael, El Greco, Tintoretto, Titian etc. Once it was Pope’s residence, and one can still observe and admire its beauty and luxury of that leaves no one indifferent.
Villa Torlonia Museums
The beauty of the villa Torlonia did not escape the eye of Benito Mussolini who made it his residence during The Second World War. Today, villa is a museum that consists of three buildings that you can visit. Museums are located in a beautiful park which is close to the city center. In the middle of the park there is a so-called main villa that will leave most of the tourists speechless.
Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome
Macro museum exhibits contemporary art pieces from the second half of the 20th
century. However, the exhibition space is a masterpiece on its own and attracts a large number of visitors each year. The large futuristic hall of the museum and the clean lines of the exhibition rooms alone are worth seeing.
National Roman Museum Palazzo Altemps
Palazzo Altemps Museum is dedicated to ancient Roman and Greek sculpture and it is conveniently located really close to Piazza Navona. It exhibits mostly statues from different periods, some of which are so famous that you might even remember them from your elementary school textbooks. It is just one of four museums that you can visit with the price of one ticket- The Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Massimo Museum, Balbi Crypt are also included.
MACRO Testaccio Museum
Together with Macro Museum, Macro Testaccio Museum is dedicated to contemporary art. This ex slaughterhouse represents a cultural venue where visitors may enjoy Italian and international modern visual works of art.
Maxxi Museum in Rome
MAXXI Museum or National Museum of 21st Century Arts is a museum that offers both a permanent collection and numerous temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art, architecture and design. In addition, this gallery is located in an architectural masterpiece, a building designed just for this purpose with the aim of integrating an innovative design into the urban fabric of Rome.
Baths of Diocletian
Today, Baths of Diocletian belong to the National Museum of Rome and are dedicated to the ancient Roman art and artifacts. However, these baths were built during the ancient Roman era and were later transformed by a famous artist and architect - Michelangelo. The baths are a monumental complex most famous for its size and how well preserved they are, having in mind the period when they were built. The visit to Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo Museum and Balbi Crypt are included in the price of one ticket.
Palazzo Massimo Museum in Rome
Once, Palazzo Massimo was a Jesuit College and the first High School of the united Italy, today this is the National Roman Museum in which ancient art masterpieces are on display. The collection is composed of statues and art works from the Republican, Imperial and late-Imperial era of the Roman Empire. Again, the visit to Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo Museum and Balbi Crypt are included for the price of one ticket.
The Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla were once a colossal structure that served as thermal baths. This large structure was completed during the reign of imperator Caracalla in 3rd
century AD. Even though the glow of the baths has faded, each part of the complex tells a story about the former Roman Empire and is definitely worth peeking into.
Ara Pacis Museum in Rome
Ara Pacis is a common name for Ara Pacis Augustae (The altar of Augustan Peace). This monument was constructed by the Senate on the northern part of the Mars Field with the aim to honor the first Roman Imperator Augustus and the prosperity he brought to Rome.
The Napoleon Museum in Rome
The Museum of Napoleon or in Italian Museo Napoleonico
is a very interesting museum with the collection that reflects the greatness of the Bonaparte family. This museum is an interesting place to visit since it is close to the Castle Sant’ Angelo and the entrance is free of charge.
Museum Pietro Canonica in Rome
Museum Pietro Canonica or in Italian Museo Pietro Canonica
is a museum dedicated to the famous local sculptor Pietro Canonica. This museum is located in, probably the most beautiful park in Rome- Villa Borghese. Also, the entrance is free of charge.
The Museum of Rome
The Museum of Rome or in Italian Museo di Roma
is one of the attractions of the famous Navona Square in Rome. Located in the Braschi
building, this museum offers the overview of the history and culture of the city between the 18th
Museum of Italian Resurgence in Rome
The Museum of Italian Resurgence or in Italian Museo Centrale del Risorgimento
is a museum located inside the Vittoriano Monument on Piazza Venezia in Rome. It occupies several rooms inside the famous monument built out of white marble. Even though Vittoriano monument is a quite visited tourist attraction that offers a magnificent view on Rome, the museum is not that popular, mainly because tourists are not aware of its existence. However, tourists interested in Italian history and the events that led to the final unification of the Italian lands can find this museum very interesting.
Balbi Crypt in Rome
The Balbi Crypt is a museum dedicated to the ancient Roman period and exhibits numerous archeological findings. Also, beneath the museum there is an underground crypt, which is the most interesting aspect of the museum. These underground passages can be visited and can be an interesting tour for those that are not claustrophobic and afraid of the dark.