Rome is not called the “Eternal City” for nothing. Modern buildings stand amicably next to Roman temples and ancient ruins. The city can look back on three millennia of history. The capital of Italy is located in the Lazio region on the Tiber, which meanders through the city center.
Rome is lively and diverse. The Romans roar spiritedly through the narrow streets of the old town, honking their horns on their Vespas. In the evening, romantic restaurants with candlelight tempt you to pizza and pasta. Hardly any other city has so many attractions to offer in such a small space as Rome. Many can be easily reached on foot.
In the following we present you the most exciting tours, most beautiful attractions and best sights in Rome.
1. Colosseum Rome
It is the symbol of Rome and the city’s most popular attraction – the Colosseum. The ancient amphitheater was built under the rule of Emperor Vespasian in AD 72-80. Games for the edification of the people were held here. The arena, which was already technically very sophisticated, could be provided with different sets and even flooded. Animals had to fight against animals, humans against humans or animals.
In addition to the bloody games, acrobats, musicians and normal artists also performed. Later the Colosseum was left to decay. Natural disasters severely damaged the building and for a time the Colosseum was even used as a quarry. To date, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world ever built and it is one of the new seven wonders of the world.
2. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was the center of ancient Rome. Nestled between the Palatine Hill and the Capitol, not far from the Colosseum, the Forum is right in the heart of the city. Public and political life took place here. Temples and lively markets were the meeting places for the Romans.
War and peace were decided in the Senate, and it was from here that the conquests of the Roman Empire began. The Curia is only one of the surviving contemporary witnesses today. The considerable ruins of temples and churches allow visitors to immerse themselves in history. The Roman Forum is also where Julius Cesar was murdered.
3. St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s Basilica and the accompanying St. Peter’s Square are the heart of the Vatican and are among the most impressive sights in Rome. The 5-aisled St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and has space for 60,000 believers. The previous church of the basilica was built over the grave of St. Peter. In 1506 the construction of today’s St. Peter’s Basilica began. As artists, Michelangelo and Bernini had a great influence on the appearance of the ensemble. While Michelangelo laid the foundations for the imposing dome, Bernini created a monument for himself with St. Peter’s Square.
The 320 m deep square, which is designed in the shape of an ellipse around the Egyptian obelisk, is framed by two arcades with four rows of columns. If you stand in the focal points of the ellipses, which are marked by two marble slabs, the four rows of columns visually merge into a single one. This is where Bernini’s genius shows. A unique experience is the ascent to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. From above you have a unique view of St. Peter’s Square and all of Rome.
4. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
Over the centuries the Popes have accumulated treasures that are now kept in the Vatican Museums. They were founded between 1471 and 1484 on the initiative of Pope Sixtus IV and are among the most important museums in the world. Here you will find works of art from all ages, old masters and unique sculptures.
Many rooms are also a work of art, adorned with impressive frescoes and ceiling paintings. One day alone is hardly enough to see everything on display here. The highlight of every visit is the Sistine Chapel. Every time the Pope is elected, history is made under the famous ceiling painting by Michelangelo.
5. Castel Sant’Angelo Rome
Between 135 and 139, Emperor Hadrian built Castel Sant’Angelo as his mausoleum. Other rulers found their final resting place here. It later became the property of the Vatican and served as an escape route for the popes. An underground passage connects Castel Sant’Angelo with the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican State. Through this the popes could escape unnoticed in case of danger.
The name Castel Sant’Angelo goes back to a legend. While the plague raged in the city, Pope Gregory I the Archangel Michael appeared over the castle and announced the end of the plague. The stature of the archangel is enthroned as a memory over the Castel Sant’Angelo. From up there you have a wonderful view of the Eternal City.
6. Spanish Steps in Rome
Financed by the French and called the Spanish Steps, one of the most beautiful architectural purpose-built structures adorns the Italian capital. 135 steps lead from the Spanish Square up to the French Basilica of Santa Trinità dei Monti. Locals and tourists alike are attracted and stroll down the stairs or take a break on their flat steps. In the evening, the Spanish Steps become a romantic meeting place.
Street musicians, rose sellers and the illuminated Baracaccia fountain at their feet make the ambience perfect. The construction itself was preceded by a lengthy dispute between France and the Holy See. Eventually, the plans of French favorite Francesco de Sanctis were accepted and the staircase was built in the Italian Baroque style.
7. Trevi Fountain
The idea of another highlight of Rome arose from an architecture competition called by Pope Clement XII. Nicola Salvi won with his fountain design, which focused on the topic of water. Today the Trevi Fountain is one of the most visited sights and central contact point in Rome. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, you will return to Rome.
The 50 meter long pool and the baroque wall with the sea god Neptune dominate the small square of the same name. The Tervi Fountain is the largest fountain in the city. The countless coins that accumulate in the fountain bring in a good amount for charity every year and maybe one or the other wish will come true.
8. Pantheon Rome
The Pantheon is one of the oldest ancient buildings in Rome and served as a temple for all Roman gods. 27 BC It was built by Marcus Agrippa. After it was destroyed by a lightning strike, Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the building in its current form in 119 AD. The Pantheon is a mystical and impressive place.
The mighty dome spans the interior and served as a template for the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. A ray of sunlight falls through an opening into the interior, which for a long time served as a burial place for famous personalities. The graves of King Vittorio Emanuele II and the painter Raffael can be found here.
A little off the beaten track, on the western side of the Tiber, is the small district of Trastevere. Trastevere is like a village within a big city. Narrow streets with cozy trattorias and small shops invite you to stroll and relax. There are no museums or major sights here, but there is a real Italian flair and a relaxed atmosphere.
In the evening, the quarter attracts with its lively nightlife and inviting little bars. Two main streets run through Trastevere, but it is worth exploring the small alleys to the right and left and catch a glimpse of authentic Rome.
10. La Bocca de la verità
“The mouth of truth” is a curiosity of the city. This is a 19 cm thick round relief made of marble with a diameter of 1.75 m.The relief shows a face with eyes, nose and open mouth. Its age is 2000 years. It hangs at the entrance to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Its origin could never be fully clarified.
One assumption is that this is a kind of antique sewer or well cover of the Cloaca Maxima. An old legend says that if you put your hand in the mouth of the relief and lie, it will be bitten off. A famous film scene with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck from the film “A Heart and a Crown” made the Bocca della verità famous and a popular attraction.