Rome sightseeing and popular attractions

Sightseeing

Rome is a cultural city with an ancient history. There are dozen of sites and monuments and things to see in Rome, like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican and much more.


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Travel information

One of the most important things you need to plan ahead before visiting Rome is to choose the place to stay. We made a preselection of the finest hotels to choose from in various areas of Rome.
 

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Rome excursions

A guided tour in Rome gives a better picture and explanation of things to see and know about Rome. Planning things ahead and getting tickets upfront can save time waiting in long queues, for instance, skipping the line at the Vatican Museum.

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Newsflash

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna To Re-open On October
After months of being partially closed, the famous Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna or GNAM is expected to be reopened to the public on October since the renovation work is nearly completed. Cristiana Collu, the new director of GNAM, announced that the renovation will entirely be finished on […]
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Rome with children

Rome doesn't solely have historical monuments. There are so many activities, water parks and theme parks that makes this a great place for families with young children. Checkout these highlights Read More...

Basilica's and churches

The Saint Peter and the Vatican museum are very famous. But there are plenty more religious places wich are worth a visit Read More...

Do's and dont's in Rome

Italians are in general friendly and warm people. But some take advantage of the ignorance of tourists. Prepare yourself and don't fall into the traps ! Read More...

The best thing about Rome is its versatility. No matter how often you visit Rome, every holiday offers a different experience. That is what I experienced from all the visits of the city with Patrick. And lateron with our kids. The experience you get when you go there with your children while you look for other off-the-track sites to explore is different from the experience you get when you roam around the city as a couple. For instance, if you travel with your kids, the whole family will surely enjoy a visit to the Zoomarine theme parks, Explora Rainbow Magicland and the children's museum. But your kids may also like to see great monuments such as the Colosseum.

I mean what other place in the world offers a gigantic amphitheater of the Roman times? And how about the world famous Saint Peter’s Basilica which is impressive not only for being so huge but also for all its symbolic interior decorations and art? And then there is the breathtaking view of the Vatican City and Rome from the top of the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

As an art lover, I'm also love the museums. In college where I studied at the Academy of Art and Design in Den Bosch we visited art museums regularly. So I took my training in Venice for the Biennale where I met Italian art. Every art lover will definitely love Rome. My favorite art museums in Rome are the Galleria Borghese and the GNAM where you can find an impressive display of the art works of Andy Warhol. These museums can be both found in the park of Villa Borghese. Apart from its rich history, culture and arts I also love Rome for having the finest thin crusted pizzas in the world. You will find most of these delicious treats at the local streets lined with traditional pizzeria.



 
Angelina - writer, artist and Rome aficionado, owner of Citytrippers Online


 
Patrick, programmer, photographer and Rome fan

Ever since childhood, I have always been a huge fan of movies set in the Roman era. And from the moment I learned how to read, I started to love reading comics about Asterix and Obelix, my favorite heroes. And their stories took place in the ancient Roman empire.

The nice thing about Rome that I admire most is actually the fact that it looks like an open air museum where you can vividly see how the Roman Empire actually looked like 2000 years ago. This might be because of the number of buildings around the city which are more than 2000 years old that are still in good condition.

Apart from the famous structures such the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Trevi fountain, Rome also offers a lot more must-see museums, buildings and squares like the Piazza del Popolo square and the Twin Churches as well the Castel Sant Angelo and the Angel Bridge from where you can enjoy breathtaking view. These sightseeing spots might be less crowded and less well-known and they are just as impressive and beautiful as the most famous ones.

Every time I visit to Rome I discover something new.

For this website, my wife Angelina did the writing. And I take care of building and make sure that the website works properly. I also take part in selecting the best excursions, museums and parks in Rome which makes my vacation in Rome more exciting and enjoyable.

There are so many beautiful things to see in Rome. The decision as to which should you visit first is very subjective and would definitely depend on your own personal preferences. To help you with, we have prepared a list of the top 20 best sights in and around Rome that you may like to visit. Of course, apart from the top 20 sights you can also find plenty of other beautiful attractions in Rome on this site.

 
1 Colosseum

The Colosseum is the best known landmark in Rome. It is also the most gigantic stadium ever built during the Roman Empire era and in fact considered as among the greatest architectural and engineering works of the Romans. The Colosseum is so huge that it can hold as many as 50,000 to 80,000 spectators at a time. This more than 2,000 years old world wonder used to stage gladiatorial battles, political speeches and other public entertainment performances like classical mythology theatrical play.

More information about the Colosseum.

2 Vatican Museum

The Vatican may just be a small state but it certainly offers a lot more interesting sites to visit. Among those you can see in this rich, powerful and historically beautiful state are the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s masterpieces like the magnificent paintings of the “Creation of Adam” and the “Last Judgment” at the ceiling of the chapel; the Vatican museum; St. Peter’s Basilica (one among the world’s largest churches) and its great dome; Castel Sant'Angelo (the Mausoleum of Roman Emperor Hadrian); the massive St. Peter's Square; and the Vatican Apostolic Library.

More information about the Vatican Museum or online tickets.

3 Forum Romanum

The Roman Forum, also called in Italian as Foro Romano, served as the center of Roman life in ancient days for a couple of centuries. It was a rectangular plaza that was enclosed by a handful of ruins of various of significant antediluvian government structures. It can be found at the heart of Rome, in Via dei Fori Imperiali, between the Capitoline Hills and the Palatine. It was originally known as a Forum Magnum or a marketplace. For long, it was known as a venue where ceremonial parades and governmental elections were held. Civic activities such as public speaking, gladiatorial battles and prisoner prosecutions were also done at the forum.

More information about the Forum Romanum.

4 Saint Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica is also regarded as among the most celestial places on earth. Aside from being known as the greatest of all the Christendom churches, it is likewise popular for being the first of the seven pilgrimage churches in the Eternal City. St. Peter's Basilica was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Michelangelo, Donato Bramante and Carlo Maderno. It is situated within the walls of Vatican City.

More information about the Saint Peter’s Basilica.

5 The Pantheon

The Pantheon is hailed for its fascinating architectural structure that comprises a series of interconnecting archways. It was originally built over 1800 years ago, in 27 BC. The Pantheon is one among the well-preserved ancient Roman structures that are popularly known worldwide. It was offhandedly identified as "Santa Maria Rotonda" because it was used as a basilica that was devoted to “St. Mary and the Martyrs”. It was also used as the Eternal City’s temple for all the pagan gods. Located at Piazza della Rotonda.

More information about the Pantheon.

6 Spanish Steps

This well-known monumental stairway is consists of 135 steps with its base set on the ground of Piazza di Spagna and its peak at the Piazza Trinità dei Monti where the French basilica called the Church of Trinità dei Monti is situated. The Spanish Steps is a very cozy place for couples who want to take a romantic moment with each other especially during the daybreak and the twilight. It is also a perfect site for pilgrims, writers and artists to find an inspiration for their masterpiece.

More information about the Spanisch Steps.

7 Trevi fountain

The Trevi Fountain or Fontana di Trevi is the biggest Baroque fountain in Rome. And is also features in a number of movies. The fountain is popular not only because of its exquisite design but also because of the traditional belief that it can help ensure someone to come back to Rome once he throws in a coin over the water basin. As folks say, a visit to Rome would not be complete without throwing a coin over the fountain.

More information about the Trevi fountain.

8 Castel Sant Angelo

On a short walking distance from the St. Peter square, we found the magnificent Castel Sant Angelo and the Angels bridge crossing the Tiber. This Castel has an ancient story. At some point, Rome was infected by a pestilence. Pope Gregory, who was the reigning pope at that time, kneeled before God to put an end to the petrifying incident. It was said that the appearance of Michael the Archangel in the middle of the outbreak stopped the Roman nightmare. On the very site where Archangel Michael appeared, Pope Pius II erected a chapel with the savior angel’s bronze statue standing at the top.

More information about the Castel Sant Angelo.

9 Piazza Del Popolo

Piazza Del Popolo consists of a symmetric shaped sphere with surrounding statues, a fountain with lion statues in the center and a view of the Twin Churches. The Twin Churches, the Santa Maria di Montesanto and the Santa Maria Dei Miracoli, are the two identical churches in Rome that are located in Piazza del Popolo. They are set on Piazza del Popolo’s entry to Via del Corso, directly facing the northern part of the entrance of the Aurelian Walls. These two churches are called twin churches because their external appearances literally look very similar although both the details of their exterior design and plan have a couple of differences actually.

More information about the Piazza Del Popolo.

10 St. John Lateran Archbasilica

St. John Lateran Archbasilica is known in many different names such as the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the St. John Lateran's Basilica or simply The Lateran Basilica. It is one of the major papal basilicas in Rome and one of the seven pilgrimage churches as well. It is known as the main and the oldest basilica in Rome and the West. It is the official ecclesiastical seat of Rome’s Bishop, the Pope. St. John Lateran Archbasilica is also labeled as the ecumenical mother basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. On the opposite side of the basilica lies the 28 white marble steps called the Scala Sancta or Holy Stairs. The stairway is believed to be where Jesus Christ climbed to the praetorium of Pilate during his Passion.

More information about the St. John Lateran Archbasilica.

11 Rainbow Magic Land

Rainbow Magic Land is an amusement park in Rome that is especially dedicated to the whole family. It can be found in Valmontone, just 49 kilometers from the historic center of Rome. The Rainbow Magic Land covers a total land area of 600,000 square meters. It features 35 different attractions that both kids and adults will definitely love. Aside from the main attractions, the park also stages ten variety shows of which the most favorites are the very interactive Bombo show, the Winx fairies show, the aquatic ballet and the theater performances.

More information about Rainbow Magic Land.

12 Victoria Emanuelle 2

The National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II) is a remarkably large building made of white marble. This monument was built in honor of Victor Emanuel II. Its color stands out in an array of earth-colored buildings. The focal point of the monument is the statue of a horseman. This is made to be a representation of Victor Emanuel II. It was completed in 1889 and was inaugurated in1911. Inside you find the Altar of the Fatherland, this is where the tomb of an unknown soldier is found. And also a war museum is found inside this building. What I love most however is the bar on the first floor which offers the best aerial view of ancient Rome you can find.

More information about the Victoria Emanuelle 2.

13 Villa Borghese

Strolling around this big public park in Rome is one of the most interesting activities you should not miss doing when in Rome. It houses a number of different museums, building, tourist attractions and zoo. Among the interesting spots you can visit in the gardens are the Museo Civico di Zoologia, Giovanni Vasanzio’s Casino Borghese garden, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, the Museo Pietro Canonica and the home for the French Academy in Rome called the Villa Medici.

More information about Villa Borghese.

14 Zoomarine

Zoomarine is a fantastic water park in Rome that is located in Torvaianica, Pomezia. It occupies more than 34 acres of both water and land. Among the biggest attractions of this water park are its spectacular exhibitions of various animals. Visitors can be able to enjoy the breath-taking presentations of the ever perennial favorite Dolphins.

More information about the Zoomarine waterpark.

15 Capitoline Museums

Pope Sixtus IV began to build the Capitoline Museums in 1471. Three buildings compose the Capitoline Museums. These group of museums showcases art and architecture collections from Rome in antiquity and the Renaissance. Most of the sculptures are Roman Emperors and great philosophers, one of which the most famous is the Venus Capitolina. The Capitoline Venus is an over-lifesize marble statue of the goddess Venus.

More information about Capitoline Museums.

16 Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona offers three magnificent fountains. The Fountain of the Four Rivers, also known as Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, is one of the greatest, the most popular and the largest works of the famous artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Fontana del Nettuno features the ancient god of the sea Neptune battling against an octopus and surrounded by the sea nymphs. The Fontana Del Moro, or Moor Fountain, is located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona and takes its name from the group of figures representing an Ethiopian fighting with a dolphin, which is my favorite see photo.

More information about Piazza Navona.

17 The Mouth of Truth

La Bocca della Verità, popularly called in English as the Mouth of Truth, is one of the interesting sculptures in Rome. It was believed that if a person is telling the truth, the mouth will never move a muscle. However, if the person is telling a lie, the mouth would close and then cut off the hand of that person.

More information about The Mouth of Truth.

18 Bioparco Zoo

The Giardino Zoologico di Roma, also popularly known as the Bioparco di Roma or simply Bioparco, is a 42 acres enchanting zoological garden in the Eternal City. It is set on a portion of the original area occupied by the Villa Borghese estate. The Bioparco zoo houses as many as 1114 creatures of 222 different species.

More information about Bioparco Zoo.

19 Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus was once a stadium, now a renowned public park. It used to be a huge stadium in Rome dedicated to chariot racing. It is located in between the Palatine Hills and the Aventine Hills. The Circus Maximus is known to be the very first and the most gigantic arena in ancient Roman times. It can accommodate as many as 250,000 spectators and more at one setting. Its dimension is 118 meters in width and 621 meters in length. Because Circus Maximus has historical importance it just had to be on this list, unfortunately only a small part is reserved and still in good shape.

More information about Circus Maximus.

20 The Markets of Trajan

The Markets of Trajan is a ruin complex located in the slopes of Quirinal (one of the Seven Hills of Rome), north-east from the center of the city and situated opposite the Roman Forum on the Via dei Fori Imperiali. The highlights of the Markets of Trajan are probably the remains of its library and the marble floors. In October 18, 2007, the Museo dei Fori Imperiali was established within the Markets of Trajan. Exhibited here are sculptures, architectural remains, and reconstructions of the Imperial Forums.

More information about The Markets of Trajan.

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