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Rome is one of a kind. No other city – not even Athens, Istanbul, London or New York – has as many world-class sites as the Eternal City. 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 the Vatican City with St. Peter’s Basilica and its incredible museums.
To help you make the most out of your visit to the city, our travel experts have created a list of the top-rated tourist attractions you simply cannot miss in Rome:
ColosseumBuilt under Emperor Vespasian in A.D. 70-72 and completed by his son Titus 10 years later, the Flavian Amphitheater or the Colosseum is a massive stone arena, which at its peak, could accommodate 80,000 spectators.
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.

Today, the Colosseum is Rome's most visited sight, which never fails to leave visitors awe-struck. Be sure to also come here at night when it looks even more magical.

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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.

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Roman ForumSandwiched between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, the Forum Romanum (Roman Forum) is an open-air forum that was once 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, 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.
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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.

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The Vatican CityHeadquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home to the Pope, the Vatican 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.
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St. Peter's BasilicaThe late Renaissance St. Peter's Basilica is an iconic landmark of the Vatican City, 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.
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Castel Sant'AngeloLocated on the right bank of the Tiber River, guarding one of Rome's oldest bridges, the Castel Sant'Angelo is an imposing cylindrical building, initially commissioned by Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. It was later converted into a fortress, a papal residence, and a prison. Now, it's a museum offering beautiful views of Rome.
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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 the 1st century AD, the square used to be a stadium for athletic competitions and could accommodate over 20,000 spectators. The backdrop of Baroque architecture, tourists, street artists, restaurants, and bars make it the perfect setting to cherish the moment.
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Day trip to Mount Vesuvius & Pompeii from RomeExplore one of the world's most fascinating archeological sites on a day trip to Pompeii from Rome.
Gain interesting insight from your expert guide into the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the city of Pompeii and the surrounding area. Walk through the cobblestone streets to see the ruins of the forum, bathhouse, individual homes, and even a brothel.

Plus, hike up the side of the volcano, walk along its ridge, gazing into the crater, and then enjoy dramatic views over the Bay of Naples.
Christopher Ott/Unsplash
Pasta Cooking Class in RomeItaly does not only attract tourists with the beauty of its landscapes and mesmerizing ancient sites: Italy's exquisite cuisine and passion for all things culinary is, arguably, an even more powerful draw.
And for a truly memorable experience in Rome, consider joining a cooking class. This one, in particular, will teach you how to make your own pasta by hand with the help of an expert Italian chef.
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Vespa Tour By NightHop on a vintage Vespa and explore the wonders of Rome, just like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the film Roman Holiday, in this fun and memorable evening tour.
It's a 3-hour sightseeing tour with a professional guide, which will take you around the Eternal City's most famous landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Mouth of the Truth, Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill, Saint Peter's Square, and the stunning Trevi Fountain. A quick stop for gelato and coffee is also included.
Karl Köhler/unsplash
Baths of CaracallaBuilt under the reigns of Emperors Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, the Terme di Caracalla 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.
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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.

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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 Roman Holiday and Bob Dylan's song When I Paint My Masterpiece.
However, since 2019 sitting on the steps is officially illegal.

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Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana)Once 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.
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Villa d'EsteA UNESCO World Heritage Site, Villa d’Este is an unparalleled example of Renaissance architecture, located just under an hour away from the city center in Tivoli (next to Villa Adriana). Marvel at its fountains, terraces, and gardens, explore the building from the inside and feel like one of the many artworks featuring Villa d’Este has come alive.
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Domus Aurea – Nero’s Golden HouseIn the year 64 AD, 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.
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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 are the venue for the opera company's outdoor performances.

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Museo di RomaThe Museum of Rome, 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 them warm.
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Parco degli AcquedottiAway from the city bustle of Rome, this park area is marked by what's left of two ancient aqueducts that once carried water. Both aqueducts were built by the Romans and are worth the ride out into Rome's suburbs.
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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, this 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.
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National Etruscan Museum of 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 here and a true example of art from the 6th century BC.
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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.
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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.
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Aventine HillThe Aventine 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.Catarina Belova/Shutterstock.com
VIGAMUS - The Video Game Museum of RomeIf 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.
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The National Roman MuseumFeaturing one of the world's most important archeological collections, The Museo Nazionale Romano, located across four different sites: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps, Therm di Diocleziano, and Crypta Balbi, displays exhibits from the pre-and early history of Rome, with a focus on archeological findings from the period of Ancient Rome.Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock.com
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, fresco-adorned insides, and enjoy the sounds of 17th-century melodies.
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The 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.
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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.
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Museo Delle Cere Di Roma (Wax Museum)While 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.
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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 currently resides.
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MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century ArtMAXXI, 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.
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Explora: The Children's Museum of RomeA few hours of challenging entertainment for Rome's youngest visitors await at Explora: Il Museo dei Bambini di Roma (The Children's Museum of Rome). Here, kids will learn all about the workings of the adult world, including jobs, wages, and personal budgets. The interactive experience is both engaging and educational.
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Raphael in the Villa FarnesinaVilla Farnesina, considered one of the most magnificent creations of the 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.
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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.
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