For this blog, we were given the challenge to share our top ten things to experience in Rome. It was so easy to come up with ideas of things to see and do in Rome – but narrowing it down to ten, that was quite tough. However, we managed. Read our ultimate guide to Rome, below:
Rome is full of ancient buildings – like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, however the Pantheon has looked the same, and stayed in good condition, for nearly 2,000 years. Part of the reason is that it’s never fallen out of use. It is an awesome example of what a Roman building looked like. Resting place to some Kings of Italy and famed artist, Raphael, it’s an architectural masterpiece. So much so that Michelangelo came here to study it prior to working on the dome of St Peter’s Basilica. The oculus in the roof is the only source of natural light (and rain – which runs off the floor which is gently sloped).
The symbol of Rome – the Colosseum.
So famous that you might feel familiarity with the Colosseum even if you have not yet been. It is an obvious choice, but for good reason. It shouldn’t be missed. The Colosseum once hosted gladiatorial battles. Now a ruin, it’s still one of the most popular sights in Rome. So when you go, there will be a line waiting to get in. Plan ahead and book a tour with a skip the line ticket offer. Once inside, you can’t fail to be moved by the size of the place, and its atmosphere.
The Vatican Museums
The Vatican is a state in its own right and there’s so much to see here that it can easily take up a full day, but it is a day well spent. Make sure your itinerary includes the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. If you can, book a tour with a tour guide, as you will get more out of the beautiful sights before you, if you know what you are looking at.
The Vatican – Saint Peter’s Basilica
Saint Peter’s Basilica is Italy’s largest and one of its most stunning churches. It is built on top of an earlier version, which dates back to the 4th Century. This building took 120 years to complete. Inside you will find Bernini’s baldachin at the altar, as well as Michelangelo’s Pietà.
The Spanish Steps
The recently refurbished Spanish Steps are a great place to sit, pause and soak up the atmosphere of Rome. They have long been a popular place for writers and artists, and it’s here you will find a house belonging to the famous poet John Keats. Just opposite the steps is the Via dei Condotti – one of the main shopping streets in Rome, full of designer boutiques.
The Trevi Fountain – perhaps by night.
The Trevi Fountain is another beautiful and well-known sight in Rome. Visit the fountain, turn your back and throw in a coin over your shoulder to guarantee your return to the Eternal City. This huge fountain dominates the setting it is in and it is very busy, but it’s something you can’t miss. We particularly like visiting in the evening when it is lit up – as it is even more atmospheric.
Eat with the locals
Rome, like the rest of Italy, is famous for its good food. Italians are passionate about it. The phrase, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’, has never been more apt than under this heading. For the best culinary experience, visit the restaurants the locals eat at. Check our recent blog that gives advice on this very subject.
Then eat Gelato
You will never have tasted ice cream quite like the ice cream in Rome. There are many good gelaterias. The most popular amongst tourists is perhaps Giolitti. Wherever you go, you won’t be disappointed.
The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.
These two ancient sites sit next to one another and you can walk freely between them. The Roman Forum was once the centre of political and social life in Ancient Rome. The oldest structures here date back to the 6th Century BC. Above the Roman Forum is the Palatine Hill – the centremost of Rome’s seven hills. Legend has it that this is where the founder of Rome, Romulus was born.
Climb Gianicolo and view the masterpiece before you. Rome.
What better way to round off your visit than to climb to the top of Gianicolo – the highest of Rome’s seven hills – and survey the beautiful city you’ve just explored.
How Gray Line I love Rome can help you explore Rome.
The largest provider of sightseeing tours of Rome – Gray Line I love Rome – is your best option for helping you to see the city’s most famous sights. Visit graylinerome.com for more information on tours like our Hop On, Hop Off bus tours that covers the entire city as well as our tours of Ancient Rome and the Vatican. You’ll find full details on our website at graylinerome.com.
The Gray Line Rome Team