It might be easy to get lost in the Eternal City, so here’s a guide to the top 10 amazing places you have to see in Rome.
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1. The Colosseum
The Colosseum, also known as the Flavius Amphitheater, was built in 80 A.D. Despite the charm it has today, it was definitely not like any other theaters in the time it was built. Romans would go there to watch gladiators fight to the death, wild beasts fight against prisoners or Christians (during the time Christianity was banned from the Roman Empire), and other witness other brutal games that offered the audience shows that had nothing on modern movies.
Tickets for the visit can be bought online if you want to skip the line, and you can also include tickets to visit the Forum and the Palatine Hill.
All three sites are definitely among the top 10 must-see places in Rome.
2. Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps
Although there was a law that forbids people from sitting on the steps recently passed, the Piazza di Spagna has to be in the top 10 must-see places in Rome. You can either walk there from the Colosseum, go through Piazza Venezia and then Via del Corso, or you can take the metro A and get off at Spagna directly.
You can drink water from the famous fountain in the middle of the Piazza and then walk all the way up the stairs and enjoy the breathtaking view.
3. Villa Borghese
If you keep walking from the top of the Spanish steps, you will arrive at the heart-shaped park that offers Romans and tourists a beautiful setting for pictures, walks, and relaxation. Once in Villa Borghese, you have to see one of the most beautiful museums in Rome, the Galleria Borghese. It closes at 7 pm, so make sure you get there on time!
The Pantheon in Rome is proof that, more often than not, the most beautiful things in life are free!
If you are coming from Piazza Venezia, make a quick stop at Largo Argentina. Allegedly, it is where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a member of the Senate. The ruins that were once stained with Caesar’s blood are now home to many stray cats.
If you walk past the St. Francis Holy Stigmata church, you will find yourself right next to the Pantheon. Completed by Hadrian in 126 A.D., the Pantheon was first a temple for all the gods and goddesses (hence the name), and it then became the tomb for most kings and queens.
5. Trevi Fountain
This is definitely in the top 10 must-see places in Rome. The Trevi Fountain is one of the symbols of the city. Though no one can guarantee that tossing a coin in the fountain will make your wish come true, there is no harm in trying!
If you can, try to go there at night. It will have extra charm and fewer tourists.
6. Piazza Navona
As you walk from Largo Argentina to Vittorio Emanuele II street, you won’t have to go far before you see the corner of Piazza Navona on the right. The best time to visit is at Christmas. There are stands with handmade nativity scene characters, games for kids, carousels, local artists, and much more. Right behind it, there is the Chiostro del Bramante, where you can find unique and interesting exhibitions all year round. And, either before or after your artsy moment, stop at the famous Café del Fico for an aperitif!
7. St. Peter’s Square and Basilica and Sistine Chapel
The line here is always long, so make sure you either get there very early in the morning or later during the day. It’s better if you avoid standing in line in the extremely hot summer sun.
If you go to St. Peter’s square at noon on any Sunday, you will see the Pope at the window for his weekly speech.
Anywhere you go, you will see signs for catacombs. Pick the ones that are more interesting for you and make sure you go there knowing a little bit about the history in order to fully enjoy the experience.
If you are claustrophobic, consider skipping the catacombs.
9. Bocca della Verità
Another iconic symbol of Rome, the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is often listed in the top 10 places in Rome. It is tradition for tourists to stop there and put their hand inside the mouth of a marble mask on the wall. If you have secrets to hide and lies to cover, your hand will be bitten off! It is worth stopping there just to have an Audrey Hepburn-and-Gregory Peck moment!
10. Castel Sant’Angelo
This might not be as famous as the other attractions, but it is surely among the top 10 most amazing places one has to see in Rome.
The Castel Sant’Angelo is very close to St. Peter’s, and it was built between 135 and 139 A.D. as the mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian. The building went through changes during the centuries and it then became the house of many Popes in the past.
Today it is an interesting museum worth a visit, both for the view from the top and for the history behind it.
©Photo Credits: Colosseum (Photo by BENCE BOROS ); Spanish Steps (Photo by Chantal Lim); Villa Borghese (Photo by Leo Nordén); Pantheon (Photo by Daniel Klaffke), Fontana di Trevi (Photo by Cristina Gottardi); Piazza Navona (Photo by Michele Bitetto); Saint Peter’s Square (Photo by Kévin Langlais); Catacombs of San Callisto (Photo by Author); Bocca della Verità (Photo by Caetano Candal Sato); Castel Sant’Angelo (Photo by Michele Bitetto)