Things to Do in RomeMaridav/Shutterstock.com
Rome is one of a kind. No other city – not even Athens, Istanbul, London or New York – has as many world-class sites as Rome. Walking down Via del Fori Imperiali towards the Colosseum will impress even the most spoiled and shopping-crazed teenager. The city has so much to offer: besides the Roman heritage, there are also medieval neighborhoods, well-designed squares, colorful markets and Vatican City with St. Peter’s Basilica. Read on for more on the best of Rome.ColosseumPerhaps Rome's most famous landmark, the massive stone amphitheater was built under Emperor Vespasian in A.D. 70-72 and completed by his son Titus 10 years later. As in the movie "Gladiator", it has hosted violent and brutal displays of gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights, all just for the delight of crowds. Inauguration lasted one hundred days, and approximately 9,000 animals and 2,000 gladiators were killed during the event. At its peak this place hosted 87,000 spectators.
Today, it is Rome's most visited sight, which never fails to leave visitors awe-struck.
Read More...Address: Piazza del Colosseo 1, Rome
Phone: +39 06 3996 7700
Operating Hours: Monday–Sunday 8:30am–7pm
Fontana di TreviDesigned by Salvi and completed by Pannini in 1762, the striking Trevi Fountain amazes onlookers with its 26.3-meter (86 ft) height and 49.15-meter (161.3 ft) width, making it the largest Baroque fountain in the city and the most famous one in the world. Several movies, including Roman Holiday and Fellini's La Dolce Vita, have contributed to its fame. In 2016, Fendi chose the fountain as the stage of one of its memorable shows ever, wherein a clear plexiglass runway stretched across the Trevi Fountain.
Some useful tips before visiting Rome's iconic Trevi Fountain:
- It's illegal to fish out coins from the fountain.
- It's strictly forbidden to bathe in the fountain.
Read More...Address: Piazza di Trevi, Rome
Operating Hours: Open 24/7
PantheonAn astonishing 2,000-year-old temple, now a church, the Pantheon is a remarkable building to see when in Rome. The Pantheon, built as a temple to all gods, is the best-preserved marvel from Ancient Rome. Its main and most fascinating feature is the design of the dome and open oculus, the only source of natural light. Tourists from around the world flock into the Pantheon to see what Michelangelo defined as an “angelic and not human design”. The Pantheon also houses the tomb of the great painter Raphael.
The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. It is located near Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori so take the opportunity to stroll around in this area, there is much to see.
Read More...Address: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome
Phone: +39 06 6830 0230
Operating Hours: Monday–Saturday 8:30am–7:30pm, Sunday 9am–6pm
Forum RomanumIn the city center, you will find Forum Romanum sandwiched between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. The open-air forum was the commercial, political, social, and religious hub of Ancient Rome. Throughout the Imperial Period, Emperors like Julius Caesar and Augusts expanded the Forum to include temples, statues and monuments, a senate house, and low courts. Today, the Forum Romanum is one of the most visited archeological sites in the world and offers insights into the Roman civilization.
Read More...Address: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome
Phone: +39 06 69 9841
Operating Hours: Daily 8:30am–7:15pm
Galleria BorgheseRome falls short of Venice and Florence when it comes to art, but this gallery is an exception. The bi-level art gallery, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana, displays masterpieces by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Tiziano. The adjacent gardens are as breathtaking as the artwork showcased in the gallery.
Tip: Because of its popularity, it is highly recommended to book tickets in advance.
Read More...Address: Villa Borghese park, Rome
Phone: +39 06 32 810
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 9am–7pm
Piazza NavonaThe elongated Piazza Navona with its three impressive fountains, including the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi with the Egyptian obelisk at its center, is Rome's most famous and vibrant square. Built-in 86 AD, the square used to be a stadium for athletic competitions and could hold up to over 20,000 spectators. The backdrop of Baroque architecture, tourists, street artists, restaurants, and bars make it the perfect setting to cherish the moment.
Read More...Address: Piazza Navona, Rome
Operating Hours: Open 24/7
Domus Aurea – Nero’s Golden HouseIn the year 64, Emperor Nero built a palace almost one mile long—stretching from the Palatine Hill all the way to the Oppio Hill. Some parts were covered in gold, precious stones and featured splendid decor. After Nero’s death, it was all filled in with earth to obliterate the tyrant’s memory. It was accidentally rediscovered in the 15th century, and today you can walk through 30 of Nero’s 150 underground rooms.
Read More...Address: Via della Domus Aurea 1, Rome
Phone: +39 06 399 67 700
Operating Hours: Monday–Friday 9am–1pm / 2pm–5pm, Saturday 9am–2pm
Angela N Perryman/Shutterstock.com
Santa CostanzaRome is home to many astonishing churches that boggle the mind, such as the Mausoleum of St. Costanza. Tucked away outside the Aurelian Walls, the 4th-century church is an example of Early Christian art and architecture. Its mosaics of natural elements, such as birds, palms, and plants, along with the dome, and the unusual design make it the perfect setting for couples to exchange their wedding vows.
Read More...Address: Via di Santa Costanza, Rome
Phone: +39 6 86 20 54 56
Operating Hours: Monday–Saturday 9am–12pm / 3pm–5pm, Sunday 3pm–5pm
Museo di RomaThe Museum of Rome or "Museo di Roma", housed in the neoclassical 18th century Palazzo Braschi—the former headquarters of the National Fascist Party—receives critical acclaim for its exclusive collection. The museum holds approximately 40,000 pieces of artwork all depicting Rome's history from the Middle Ages until the 20th century.
After the Second World War 300 families were evacuated to this location and many of the frescoes were damaged by the fires that were lit in order to keep warm.
Read More...Address: Via di S. Pantaleo 10, Rome
Phone: +39 06 0608
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–7pm
Spanish StepsNamed after the nearby Embassy of Spain, the Spanish Steps link Piazza di Spagna with Piazza di Trinità dei Monti. The monumental stairway is famous for being a gathering point for both tourists and locals who grab a front-row seat to the spectacle of Rome's street life after an exhausting day of shopping or sightseeing. During spring, the Spanish Steps bloom with azalea flowers, making it one of the most photogenic attractions in Rome. The steps became famous all around the world thanks, in part, to Audrey Hepburn's film A Roman Holiday and Bob Dylan's song When I Paint My Masterpiece.
Mind that a new regulation now prevents anyone from having a picnic or lunch on the steps.
Read More...Address: Piazza di Spagna, Rome
Operating Hours: Open 24/7
The Vatican CityVatican City is an ecclesiastical state and the smallest state in Europe, both in dimension and population. Though teeny tiny, the state holds 11 noteworthy museums, including the Michelangelo-decorated Sistine Chapel (perhaps the greatest gem), St. Peter's Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square. Marvel at Vatican's treasures with your booked-ahead tour and avoid lining in notoriously slow-moving queues.
Read More...Address: Vatican City, Rome
Teatro dell'Opera di RomaTeatro dell'Opera di Roma is an Opera House that still preserves its distinctive features of the 19th century. Since its inauguration in 1880, major works have been staged here, including the premiere of Puccini's Tosca. With its red-and-gold interiors and absorbing history, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma is worth a visit even if the Opera Theatre isn't your cup of tea.
Note that during summer, the ravishing ruins of the Baths of Caracalla is the venue for the opera company's outdoor performances.
Read More...Address: Piazza Beniamino Gigli, Rome
Phone: +39 06 481601
Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa GiuliaSet in what used to be the country retreat for Pope Julius III, the Etruscan museum in Rome stores some impressive artifacts of the mysterious Etruscan and pre-Roman treasures. The Sarcophagus of the Spouses depicting a reclining man and woman on its lid is the masterpiece in here and a true example of art from the 6th century BC.
Read More...Address: Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9, Rome
Phone: +39 06 322 6571
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Friday 9am–8pm, Saturday 9am–12am, Sunday 9am–8pm
San Clemente BasilicaThe Basilica of San Clemente is more than a simple church; it is a real museum that houses layers and layers of history. Behind the humble doors of the 12th-century church lie the remnants of the original basilica dating back to the 4th century, the remains of a 1st-century Roman villa, and breathtaking Byzantine mosaics beautifully adorning the ceiling.
Read More...Address: Via Labicana 95, Rome
Phone: +39 06 774 0021
Ara Pacis MuseumBuilt in honor of Emperor Augustus after his triumphant return from the wars in Spain and Gaul, the Ara Pacis Augustae or the Altar of the Augustan Peace is dedicated to Pax Augusta. Originally in Campus Martius, the Altar was installed to its current position only in 1938.
Read More...Address: Lungotevere in Augusta, Rome
Phone: +39 060608
Operating Hours: Daily 9:30am–7:30pm
Aventine HillAventine Hill is one of the Seven Hills on which ancient Rome was built. The real off-the-beaten-path gem offers magnificent views of the city and leads to fabulous rose gardens and impressive religious structures, including the Basilica of Santa Sabina (the oldest Roman Basilica in Rome). The highlight here is the keyhole of the Knights of Malta, where people line up to enjoy the stunning view over the Dome of Saint Peter’s.
Read More...Address: Via di Santa Sabina, Rome
Operating Hours: Open 24/7
VIGAMUS - The Video Game MuseumIf you love video games, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit VIGAMUS. Discover well-known characters, look back on history and explore the various fun areas the museum has to offer.
Read More...Address: Via Sabotino 4, Rome
Phone: +39 06 4547 5940
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–8pm
Scuderie del QuirinaleSet atop Rome's tallest hill (Quirinale) are the Papal Stables used as an impressive exhibition space of nearly three thousand square meters. The complex is located right next to the Palazzo del Quirinale, where the Italian president now lives.
Read More...Address: Via XXIV Maggio 16, Rome
Phone: +39 06 3996 7500
Operating Hours: Sunday–Thursday 10am–8pm, Friday–Saturday 10am–10:30pm
St. Peter's BasilicaThe late Renaissance St. Peter's Basilica is an iconic landmark of Rome, a monumental structure that the likes of Michelangelo helped bring into existence. Today, the basilica is open to visitors wishing to explore its inside naves and chapels, and see works of art by great masters such as Raphael and Bernini. While here, don't miss out on climbing to the top of the dome where the stunning view of St. Peter's Square awaits you.
Read More...Address: Piazza San Pietro, Rome
Phone: +39 06 69883731
Thermae of CaracallaBuilt under Emperor Caracalla, the Thermae Antoninianae is what remains of once functioning ancient public baths. It is, as of today, one of the best (and largest) remaining examples of a similar structure.
Read More...Address: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52, Rome
Phone: +39 06 3996 7702
Operating Hours: Monday–Saturday 9am–6:15pm
sofifoto / Shutterstock.com
Wax MuseumWhile a wax museum might not be among the Eternal City's top attractions, it will probably interest second- and third-time visitors with its curious collection of well-known Italian and international figures (from Pavarotti to Winston Churchill) and a waxworks laboratory open to guests.
Read More...Address: Piazza SS. Apostoli, 68a, Rome
Phone: +31 06 679 64 82
Operating Hours: Daily 9am–9pm
Villa AdrianaOnce the temporary retreat, and later home to decorated Roman Emperor Hadrian, Villa Adriana dates back millennia when it was conceived as an "ideal city" with baths, pools, fountains, and lush gardens. The structure combined elements of Greek, Roman and Egyptian influences.
Since 1999, Villa Adriana belongs to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Read More...Address: Largo Marguerite Yourcenar, 1, Tivoli RM, Rome
Phone: +39 0774 530203
Operating Hours: Daily 9am–5:30pm
Palazzo delle EsposizioniRoman Palazzo delle Esposizioni is an art and cultural event venue that frequently hosts various events, ranging from film screenings to book readings and exhibitions of modern art, along with musical and theatrical performances. There is a pleasant Italian restaurant on the rooftop.
Read More...Address: Via Nazionale 194, Rome
Phone: +39 06 3996 7500
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 10am–8pm, Friday–Saturday 10am–10:30pm, Sunday 10am–8pm
Explora: the Kids' MuseumA few hours of challenging entertainment for Rome's youngest visitors await at Explora: the Kids' Museum. Here, children will learn all about the workings of the adult world, complete with jobs, wages, and personal budgets. The interactive experience is both engaging and educational.
Read More...Address: Via Flaminia, 80/86, Rome
Phone: +39 06 361 3776
Operating Hours: Book ahead to visit the museum
The National Museums Of Ancient RomeThe National Roman Museum, which possesses one of the world’s most important archeological collections, is located across four different sites: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps, Therm di Diocleziano and Crypta Balbi.Website: www.rome-museum.com/national-roman-museum.php
Sant'Agnese in AgoneLocated in the beautiful Piazza Navona, Sant'Agnese in Agone is a stunning 17th-century Baroque church with frequent live music concerts. Marvel at its beautiful, frescoe-adorned insides, and enjoy the sounds of 17th-century melodies.
Read More...Address: Piazza Navona, Via S.Maria dell’Anima, 30/A, Rome
Phone: +39 06 6819 2134
Operating Hours: Monday–Friday 9am–1pm / 3pm–7pm, Saturday–Sunday 9am–1pm / 3pm–8pm
Keats–Shelley Memorial HouseDedicated to the Romantic poets – Keats, Shelley and Byron – who each stayed in Rome and died tragically young, this charming period house contains a chain of rooms lined with rare books and relics, including Keats’ last resting place. There’s also a gift shop, introductory film, and a spacious terrace.
Read More...Address: Spanish Steps, Rome
Phone: +39 06 678 42 35
Operating Hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–1pm / 2p,–6pm
Goethe HouseFrom 1786 to 1788, the great poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) lived with other German artists in the center of Rome. Today, the museum Casa di Goethe commemorates the famous guest and his Italian journey with exhibitions and cultural events.
Read More...Address: Via del Corso 18, Piazza del Popolo, Rome
Phone: +39 06 32 650 412
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm
MAXXIMAXXI, Italy’s first national museum devoted to the arts of the XXI century and designed by Zaha Hadid, is a platform open to all forms of contemporary creativity, from art to architecture, from photography to design, from fashion to cinema. A place for meetings, exchange and collaboration.
Read More...Address: Via Guido Reni 4A, Rome
Phone: +39 06 320 1954
Operating Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm
Raphael in the Villa FarnesinaVilla Farnesina, considered one of the most magnificent creations of Italian Renaissance, was built by Baldassare Peruzzi for the rich Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, called the “magnifico”. He lived the splendid life of a Renaissance merchant, in a setting of pomp and splendor, entertaining artists, poets, and noblemen with sumptuous banquets. The interior is richly decorated with frescoes by great masters such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as Sodoma, and Peruzzi himself.
Read More...Address: Via della Lungara 230, Rome
Phone: +39 06 6802 7268
Operating Hours: Monday–Saturday 9am–2pm, closed on Sunday and holiday, open the second Sunday of the month
More Info: Special opening on request
Tickets: Full price ticket: 10 Euro / Reduced price ticket: 7 Euro / Gardens visit: 2 Euro