Plan your trip
Before visiting Rome make a plan what would you like to see. Depends how long are you planning to stay make a selection of top attractions. I spent 3 days in Rome what was just enough for major attractions but not see everything.
Top attractions of Rome
In a city that is simply replete with important historic buildings and monuments, the Pantheon still manages to stand out. The Pantheon looks today – inside and out – much the way it has for nearly 2,000 years. Those marble floors you’re walking on? Yeah, people have been walking on them for two thousand years.
History in the Roman Forum
The ruins are so ruined in most cases that it’s impossible to really see the grandeur of what used to be. A good tour guide helps immensely to understand the history better. When we booked our trip we got a very funny guide who explained a lot of “stories from the kitchen”.
Circle the Colosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum is today the most recognizable of Rome’s Classical buildings. It was the first permanent amphitheatre to be raised in Rome, and the most impressive arena the Classical world had yet seen. And with accommodation for 60,000 seated and 10,000 standing, all of whom could enter and leave in a matter of minutes, courtesy of 80 entrances, this is a structure that the designers of modern sports stadia could learn from.
Altare della Patria
The ‘Altar of the Fatherland’ (Altare della Patria) is the largest national monument in Italy and it was inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III during the 50th anniversary of the unification of Italy at the Universal Exhibition on June 4th 1911. The monument was originally designed to commemorate King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy. He was the first king of Italy and was known as the ‘Gentleman King’ and the ‘Father of the Nation’. The monument is dedicated to him and with him the whole Risorgimento (the movement which led to the unification of Italy). For this reason it is often known as the ‘Vittoriano’.
This Fortress was built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian (AD130-139), but it has also been a prison and a papal residence. It was used by former Popes who absconded there for protection in times of danger. The National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo inside retraces its history. The castle has various exhibits ranging from Renaissance paintings and pottery to antique military weapons.
Perhaps the most charming neighborhood in all of Rome is Trastevere. Though some say the neighborhood is slowly losing its Italian touch due to the increasing popularity of American and international student life, Romans still consider it one of the most beautiful areas in the Eternal City. As you lose yourself down the winding cobblestone streets and dive into an authentic Roman trattoria, you’ll soon discover why everyone falls in love with this magnifico quartiere ‘just across the Tiber’ as its name suggests.
The Trevi Fountain
I admit that this place is seriously touristy, and can even be kind of a pain in the you-know-what to visit in the height of the tourist season because of the crowds. No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Fontana di Trevi. Located in the Quirinale district of Rome, the Trevi Fountain is known as one of the most stunning fountains in the world. But there’s a lot more than just beauty behind this famous fountain! Though it was one of 1,352 fountains in 4th century Rome, the Trevi Fountain has always stood out from the rest. After a prolonged closure while it was being refurbished by the fashion house, Fendi (who reportedly spent a cool $2.2 million), the fountain has just re-opened better than ever, so it’s time to book tickets and get to Rome to see it!