Oh Rome… from all the movies we see how many people dream about this city or fell in love there. Yes it’s a city which inspires and all the beauty of it makes you to forget all the bad things. I traveled to Rome two times and it was completely different, but amazing experiences.
First time I met my boyfriend in Rome, because at that time I was living in Austria, Graz and he was in Lithuania and the tickets were crazy cheap so we did a romantic getaway. Second time, we bought a bus tour to travel to Venice, Florence and Rome. So the first time we had only like two days and we just googled things what we want to do and the second time we were with a guide who explained why things are here how they are. So I hope my insights will help you to have an unforgettable experience in Rome.
Things to do in Rome, Italy
I believe you have heard about Romulus and Remus legend, right? Well, Palatine hill is a mythical place where she-wolf found the boys Romulus and Remus and saved them. Brothers decided to built a city here on the banks of the rivers. As we know Romulus killed his brother and that’s why this city is called Rome now. From Palatine hill you can see the Colosseum, Forum Romanum, remains of the Emperors’ palaces. Worth climbing for this view.
Address: Via di San Gregorio 30, Rome
It is one of the most important archaeological site, which you can find in the heart of Rome. This place used to be a marshland more than 3000 years ago. It was the center of the Roman Empire with taverns, markets, squares, basilicas and monument. It is so old and still here, crazy right?
For tickets and opening hours visit: CoopCulture
Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, Rome
The first night when we traveled to Rome we took a pizza from a local Pizzeria, bought some red wine and sat in front of Colosseum and enjoyed the evening. It was a great moment which can’t be recreated. Also, during that evening we saw how two guys tried to break in to the Colosseum, they managed to climb the fence and get in, but the police came after like a minute and arrested them. So don’t try this.
The Colosseum is the largest and ancient amphitheater in the world, also it is the most iconic place of the Rome. It has been used for gladiatorial competitions and battles, animal hunts and executions. There were space for 55 000 – 80 000 people who could enter the Colosseum through 80 entrances. Can you imagine how brilliant this architecture is that it still stands? It survives the weather changes, earthquakes, robberies. For tickets and opening hours visit: CoopCulture
Address: Piazza del Colosseo, Rome
Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica
Travel to Rome and do not visit Vatican? That’s just impossible.
St. Peter’s Basilica you’ll find in the smallest state in the world – Vatican. The size of this country is only 44 ha, pretty small right? The Vatican city is ruled by the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church. During Catholic celebrations the pope say the speech and congratulate everybody. My grandmother was in Vatican City during Easter and saw how the pope waves to the crowd, for such a Catholic as she is, it’s a big thing, she can’t stop talking about it for 20 years. Also, if you have an energy I recommend you to climb to the Duomo (Dome) of the St. Peter’s Basilica. We did that during hottest days of Summer and the space are super tight so it was really challenging, although the view is magnificent. Also, go inside the Basilica and enjoy the art, be prepared to wait, because the line to get in can be challenging as well, but it’s a must to see.
So the first time when I went to Rome I thought that I already saw most of the main object from the photos in my history books or just on the internet and I thought that it won’t surprise me. Although, when I saw the architecture in real life and how magnificent and huge those buildings are, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I stood there shocked and I didn’t want that moment to end. One of my favorite object was Pantheon. In Greek Pantheon name means “the temple of all gods”, it was built from 118 – 129 AD and it is a great example of ancient Roman architecture. When you enter the Pantheon you see the most famous feature, the Oculus which is the eye of the Pantheon. It is the only source of light and of course the main direction of the gods above.
Address: Piazza della Rotonda, Roma
Piazza Navona (Navona Square) and The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (the Fountain of the Four Rivers)
This piazza is a great example of Rome’s baroque period. It was the location of Rome’s main market for about 300 years in Renaissance period. The main attraction here is Bernini famous baroque masterpiece – the Fountain of the Four Rivers. As you can understand from the fountain’s name it is dedicated to the four rivers of the world: Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata.
When you’ll see this fountain you’ll instantly see that one of the sculptures covers eyes with its hand. The story behind it is that the church of Sant Agnese in Agone which is completely near fountain were designed by Bernini’s rival Francesco Borromini. As Bernini said his created this sculpture to protect its eyes from the distasteful church designed by his enemy.
Adress: Piazza Navona, Roma
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)
One of the most romantic places in Rome is Fontana di Trevi. There is a legend that if you will through a coin over your shoulder then you will come back to Rome one day. It’s the largest baroque fountain in Rome, built from 1730 – 1762 it was designed by the famous Bernini, the sculptor whose works can be found all other the Rome. The fountain is made of the stone called travertine which were brought from the nearby city of Tivoli.
Address: Piazza di Trevi, Rome
Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna (the Spain Square)
Don’t miss the Piazza di Spagna, especially if you are a creative person. This place inspired many artists, writers, poets, performers from the Renaissance period till today. For example, Bob Dylan inspired for his song “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and Bernardo Bertolucci in a film “Besieged”. During Summer this spot is covered with people and flowers, the atmosphere there is amazing so plan to enjoy and relax on those gorgeous steps.
Address: Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica (The Republic Square)
You will definitely notice this piazza, actually I do not know how you should travel to not go through the Republic square, because it is in between the main objects in Rome. It is the shape of exedra which were a popular design in Roman architecture.
Address: Piazza della Repubblica, Rome
A few tips for your travel:
- The best way to move in Rome is by metro, it is quite cheap, easy to understand the system and it goes near all the attractions.
- Always ask for a food and drinks prices in the restaurant if there is no menu there, I was scammed like that, not a great experience to pay 25 eur for a super plain salads. Also read my post “Things to Expect in Italy” if you travel to Italy for the first time.
- Also, be careful, because in Rome there is many pickpocket. Read my blog “How to Stay Safe While Travel Solo”
- In Summer don’t forget to drink water and please don’t buy water for 1 or 2 eur for 0,5l bottle which you can buy on the streets, in the supermarket you can buy the same water for 0,19 eur and also in Rome there is a lot of fountains where you can refill your bottle.
Don’t forget to enjoy the food
Italy is the country of amazing food, Italians really know how to cook and they use good quality food so just let them to impress you. Don’t forget to eat pizza romano, carciofo ala romano, gelato and pasta carbonara and forget about your diets, because this country is worth eating more calories than you actually need.
Enjoy your trip in Italy and please notice that if you visited Rome, that doesn’t mean you saw Italy. It’s a must to see the North and the South of Italy too.
Wondering what to pack? Check out my Packing list
Accommodation: find the best deals of hotels and hostels in Rome
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