Jun 11, 2024 3 min read

Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome, Italy - Top Attractions

Top Attractions in Rome, Italy

Welcome to the Eternal City! Its capital Rome, is one of the most interesting cities in the world; a long time focal point of power, religion, culture and influence. This travel guide will take you through the best touring sites to make sure you are getting what you put in.

  1. Colosseum

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is the most famous monument in Rome. It was completed in 80 AD and could hold up to 80,000 spectators.

The arena was used for gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, and re-enactments of battles. Today, the Colosseum is one of the most visited sites in Rome, and it should be at the top of your list.

Some of the Colosseum highlights include the following:

  • The arena where gladiators once fought.
  • The underground chambers.
  • The Parabolic view from the third and fourth levels. Visitors should buy the tickets in advance to avoid the long lines and take a guided tour to learn more about the Colosseum’s history and architecture.
  1. Vatican City

Vatican City is a country that lies completely within the borders of Rome. It is the smallest independent state in the world and is home to the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church . Some of the highlights of Vatican City include:

  • St. Peter’s Basilica – see Michelangelo’s Pietà and climb to the top of the dome for the stunning view of the city.
  • Vatican Museums – visit the extensive art collections, architecture, and the Raphael Rooms.
  • Sistine Chapel – view the ceiling painted by Michelangelo. Visitors to Vatican City should dress modestly as the shoulders and knees must be covered, and it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowd.
  1. Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the few ancient Roman buildings that still stand, although it was originally a temple for all the gods. Some highlights include:

  • The remains of the dome and central oculus.
  • The tomb of Raphael, the renowned Renaissance artist. Entry is free, but donations are appreciated. Visit during off-peak hours for a more serene experience.
  1. Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the center of political and social activity in ancient Rome. Today, it is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and temples. Some highlights include:

  • The Arch of Titus and the Temple of Saturn.
  • The House of the Vestal Virgins.
  • Views from the Palatine Hill. A combined ticket with the Colosseum often includes the Roman Forum. Wear comfortable shoes as the terrain can be uneven.
  1. Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and one of the most famous in the world. Some highlights include:

  • Neptune and Tritons - a neat sculptural composition.
  • The tradition is that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome. Visit early in the morning or late at night to avoid the crowds. This famous part of Rome is a good place to watch out for pickpockets.
  1. Spanish Steps
  2. The 135 steps that make up the Spanish Steps join Piazza di Spagna with the Trinità dei Monti church. Some highlights include:
  • At the bottom is the Barcaccia Fountain.
  • The breathtaking views from the steps. Don't sit on the steps though. Visit luxury shopping streets such as Via Condotti, just a short walk away.
  1. Piazza Navona
  2. Piazza Navona is a Baroque square famous for its architectural and artistic landmarks, most notably the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and the Fontana del Moro. Some highlights include:
  • The Four Rivers Fountain by Bernini.
  • Sant'Agnese in Agone. Wonderful place to hang around at one of the outdoor cafés and watch people passing by. Don't miss the evening show when the square fills up with street entertainers.
  1. St. Peter's Basilica

One of the largest churches in the world, St. Peter's Basilica is an architectural masterpiece and a major pilgrimage site. Some highlights include:

  • Bernini Canopy Over the Papal Altar.
  • The view from the dome. It's free to enter, but there is a charge to climb the dome. For those able to, attend a Papal audience on Wednesday.
  1. Sistine Chapel
  2. The Sistine Chapel, part of the Vatican Museums, is famous for Michelangelo's ceiling and The Last Judgment frescoes. Some highlights include:
  • Creation of Adam by Michelangelo.
  • Images of the frescoes in high detail and vibrant colors. No photography is allowed inside. Expect long lineups; opt for a line-skip ticket.
  1. Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is a vast landscape garden in Rome, the gardens were founded in the beginning of the 17th century by the Borghese family. Some highlights include:

  • Galleria Borghese, Collezione delle sculture, foto di Bernini, Caravaggio, Raffaello.
  • The peaceful row boating lake surrounded by stunning park land. Book Galleria Borghese Tickets in advance. Rent a bike to cover the entire park or row a boat on the lake.

Check out this full Rome travel guide to have a great time travel experience in the Eternal City!

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