8 Places You Need To See in Rome
If you're looking for a place that is full of history and art, Rome is your place. Rome is a journey into the past and is a historical power house. It is Italy's capital with nearly 3,000 years of global influence in art, architecture and cultural display.
With it nearly 3,000 years of existence, there's enough to explore to keep you busy. From archeological sites, museums, eating the "authentic" Italian food and indulging on gelato, to shopping handicrafts or haute couture items in general.
Visiting Rome has always been in my bucket-list. It has been in many movies that I've watched throughout the years since I was a kid that inspired me to visit it one day. Rome is a beautiful travel destination with loads of interesting places and things to do. Rome is famous for its history and architectural monuments that surrounds the city. It's truly a great way to step back to the past.
I put together a few places that you MUST see that will give you the experience of how it was like during the Roman Empire.
Rome's great gladiatorial arena is probably the most thrilling of the city's ancient sights. Crowd will be extremely difficult to avoid, but definitely something you need to see. Inaugurated in AD 80, the 50,000 seat Colosseum was clad in travertine and covered by huge canvas. Inside, tiered seating encircled the arena. It consist of an underground complex where animals were caged and stage set prepared back in the day. Roman's way of fun and games involved gladiators fighting wild animals or each other. My husband totally enjoyed this tour. He was completely amazed of how the Colosseum used to function and how advance the technology was used back in the day.
2. Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is Italy's largest and most famous Baroque fountain standing 85 feet high and 65 feet across. It was built in the 15th century to mark the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo, the manmade channel erected in 19 B.C. that brought fresh water to Roman bathhouses. It was designed by a Roman architect named Nicola Salvi. Tossing a coin into Trevi Fountain, according to the legend, will guarantee a return trip to Rome. The fountain can be found in Rome's Piazza di Trevi in the Quirinale district, easily reached by bus or Metro or walking distance if you are staying in the area. I am so sad to say, but the picture I took with the fountain cannot be found in my drive. I will update once I find some from my husband's phone. ;)
3. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was the ancient Rome's showpiece center, a grandiose district of temples, basilicas and vibrant public spaces. The site was first developed in the 7th century BC. Like many of the ancient Rome's great urban developments, the Forum fell into despair after the fall of the Roman Empire.
4. Palantine Hill
Palantine hill is the most famous seven hills of Rome. It's located in between such attraction as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. It is believed that the hill has a strong link to Roman mythology. It was also the fashionable place to live due to the amazing view during Rome's Republican era. It was also stated by the historians that the air was cleaner on top of the hill and that those who lived on it were less likely to catch diseases of the working class back in the day.
The Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building of the ancient Rome. It is a Roman temple dedicated to all the God's of Pagan Rome. It was built between A.D. 118 and 125. Its magnificent dome is a lasting testimony to the genius of Roman architects and as the building stands virtually intact, it offers a unique opportunity for the moden visit to step back into the past and experience the glory of Rome.
6. Spanish Steps
Funny, when I first put my first step on these stairs, I had no idea it was something so special! The Spanish Steps, also known as Scalinata di Trinita dei Monti, were designed and executed in an era when people still took a holistic view of city planning. It's a staircase constructed using 138 steps. Designed in 1723 by Francesco De Sanctis, the steps are a mix of curves, straight flights, vistas and terraces. During 18th century, the steps became a meeting place for both artists, poets, etc. Today, you will find a cluster of artists painting different kind of things in here.
7. Ponte Sant'Angelo
Also known as the, "Bridge of Angels" in Rome. Ponte Sant'Angelo consist of ten beautiful angel sculptures designed by a famous sculpture, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The angel sculpture symbolized a part from the story of Jesus Christ's suffering and death by crucifixion. In 1349, the bridge was built in between the banks of the Tiber river in 134 AD by Emperor Hadrian in order to connect the center of Antique Rome with his newly built mausoleum. For many years, the bridge was used as passageway for Christian pilgrims on their way to St. Peter's Basilica. In 16th century, the bridge was used as a place to display bodies of executed in order to convey a warning to the people of Rome.
If this is your first time visiting in Rome, a visit to the Vatican is a definite must do. Vatican is just the north of the city center of Rome and can easily be reached by public transportation. If you book the hop on-hop off bus tour, the buses stop here too which is a great way to explore the area. Vatican is a country, and the smallest in the world. The Vatican is home to approximately 920 full-time residents and approximately 3000 people who work at the Vatican City itself.
While in Vatican, I highly recommend seeing the following...
St. Peter's Basilica
Sistine Chapel (not suppose to take photos inside btw...)
The Pope - if you get lucky!!
Also, do not forget to visit the shops and taste so many delicious food around! There's a ton to see and many are within the walking distance.
I was unable to capture everything during my trip due to I was literally burning up visiting Rome in July!!! I probably ate gelato every chance I get to stay cool. I recommend visiting when it's not summer time if you can. ;)