One of the most visited cities in the world, Rome is never lacking in beauty. The buildings and ruins from a bygone era blend with the modern day to create a sense of timelessness that is hard to find elsewhere. Today, it is common to see tourists walking around aimlessly, but if you know where to look, many magnificent sights await you.
Here are 10 beautiful sights in Rome that will leave you thinking about what it would be like to live in this historical and cultural wonderland.
1. The Pantheon
The largest rectangular building from ancient times, the Pantheon, is made entirely of concrete and is located in the Piazza della Rotonda (The Round Square) in the modern-day centre of Rome. While it has been a church, mosque and now even a library and museum, there is still an opening at the top which allows sunlight to enter through the oculus and create a halo. This is fitting, as the Pantheon was built to honour every god in Rome.
2. The Trevi Fountain
Also known as Fontana di Trevi, this stunning fountain in the Baroque style Piazza del Triperuno (Triumphal Square) is modelled after Neptune’s chariot racing on his sea creatures. While it is a magnificent sight, it also has a pretty interesting story. During the 1700s, the water from this fountain was used to help finance the construction of the current church, San Marco. However, due to a lack of funds and people constantly throwing coins in from around Rome and beyond, it became obvious that whoever threw them must have wanted something more in return than money. So, as a superstitious omen, newly-wed women would throw a coin in the fountain, which is said to ensure that they will return to Rome one day.
3. The Spanish Steps
Located in the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square), these steps were built around 1725 and lead up to the Trinità dei Monti Church. This is a popular meeting place for young people and tourists in the evening. Many take romantic photos or enjoy the view from the perch just below.
4. The Colosseum
What is better than an ancient Roman Colosseum? An ancient Roman Colosseum that was used for sporting events, that’s what. This famous amphitheater once held thousands of spectators, located in the Piazza dei Gladiatori (The Gladiators Square). It held hundreds of wild animals, gladiators and combatants, until it was finally deconstructed in the early 1900s. While it is still the symbol for the city of Rome, it is also a reminder of the Roman Empire’s conquest and control over much of Europe. Many tourists come to visit this beautiful ancient monument, but they don’t know that underneath the entire thing is a maze of tunnels and catacombs. If you go on a Colosseum Underground Tour through these underground regions, you’ll be able to explore areas the public can never access.
5. The Roman Forum
Another one of Rome’s attractions from ancient times, this forum was built halfway through the 700s BC and was much larger than you would think. It was used as a meeting place and market by the poorer Romans who needed a break from their 9 to 5 jobs. It also doubled as a place for political gatherings. While this may sound dull, it was the central place for much of Rome’s history. There were even executions here, and the artwork on the walls is just as powerful today as it was thousands of years ago.
6. Piazza Venezia
This piazza is the largest and busiest square in Rome, where you will find the Palazzo Venezia (Vatican Palace) and St. Peter’s Basilica. While it was always in the middle of something big or small, it was also the site where many speeches were given, and proclamations would be made. It is a popular meeting place for locals as well.
7. Santa Maria della Vittoria
This baroque masterpiece is considered one of Bernini’s most beautiful works and was built to honour the Virgin Mary in 1631. Located on Via XX Settembre (September 20th Street), this church also houses Bernini’s sculpture, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa.
8. The Spanish Steps (part 2)
Continuing with the popular Spanish Steps, you will find the steps on the side which lead to Piazza di Spagna. You will find a street full of vendors selling antiques and artwork on this side. While it is not nearly as busy as on the opposite side, it still makes for a nice view of Rome’s downtown area and is a place to take pictures at night after seeing all of the other sights during the day.
9. The Fountain of Neptune
Located at the bottom of Via delle Terme Di Tito (Titus Baths Street), this fountain has a powerful story behind it. It was built to honour the water from the Trevi fountain and was used to help finance the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. People come here to throw coins and make wishes all the time; however, legend has it that if you drink from this fountain, you will one day return to Rome again.
10. The Fontana Del Moro
If you have ever seen “L’Avventura”, this fountain is the one that Monica Vitti’s character, Claudia, designed. Located in the Piazza Mattei, this structure was built in 1575 as a water source for the poor and wealthy. While it has no meaning, it is a popular stop for several different types of people and has become a symbol of the area; however, it is not used as much today due to regulations against public drinking fountains.
11. The Monti Circus
Also known as the Piazza dell’Aracoeli (Arcades), this is where you will find a group of massive, beautiful buildings. It was originally built in 1591 as a theatre for the military and was later used by papal troops and Catholic nobles but eventually fell into disrepair. Today, however, it is again being utilised as a place for exhibitions and concerts.
You can also take Colosseum Tour to ease your journey for Colosseum. No matter what you decide to do while in Rome, whether going to a museum, eating and drinking like the locals or taking in some history and culture, there is never a shortage of things to do. For instance, if you want to take in several different churches during the same day, you must walk around for about 20 minutes until you find another one. If you want to see more than just churches, then exit one of them and head towards another attraction.