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10 Must See Tourist Attractions in Rome

When people dream of travelling in Italy, Rome is no doubt in the back of their minds. This country's capital is possibly one of the most important in the history of modern humans. As the conqueror of ancient worlds and the heavy influence on Western arts and literature, Rome is a must-see for history buffs and explorers alike.

The sheer amount of activities it holds can often be overwhelming for the traveller. It is best to have a plan of attack for visiting the sites in any city, but especially ones as densely populated as Rome. Whether or not you deviate from your set plan is your prerogative, but if you do, make sure that you pay a visit to each of these must-see destinations.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

It is impossible to imagine visiting Rome without visiting the Colosseum. This ancient Amphitheatre once held up to 80,000 people for the entertainment of the times. While the Colosseum also showed classical theatre and reenactments, it was most famous for its bloodshed. Gladiators, animal hunts, and executions all played out among the sands here. Recently, the passageways used to transport gladiators and animals (like those seen in the film “Gladiator”) have opened up for tourist to view. Now, a gentler attraction, the Colosseum still sees thousands of people visit each year.

You can find out more information about the Colosseum, including the opening hours and ticket prices, at the official website archeoroma.beniculturali.it.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum

One thing is for certain, and that is it is hard to get enough of all of the ruins in Rome. One of the most spectacular, located between the Capitoline and Palatine hills, is the group of remains known as The Roman Forum. These include the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of Saturn, the Shrine of Vulcan, and many notable ancient Roman buildings. For a day of looking at very old things and learning about priceless history, the Roman Forum will not let you down.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

Probably the holiest place that a Catholic can visit, St. Peter's Basilica also is of interest to non-Catholics. Construction on this site began in April 1506 and has been a point of pilgrimage ever since. Believed to be the resting place of the remains of St. Peter the Apostle, the Basilica is home to many different artefacts and relics. The Basilica is open and does do masses, but if you'd rather just appreciate the hundreds of statues, many paintings, and overall beauty of the Basilica it is best to see this place with a tour guide.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Next up on the tour of Roman churches is the Pantheon. This one is special because it was a Roman temple built around 118 AD. The towering structure still stands as a testament to traditional Roman Architecture. As well as catching a mass if desired, a visitor can visit the tombs of Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I, and Queen Margherita. At any rate, the clash of the ancient Roman style and the Christian modifications to the structure tell a fascinating story.

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel

For the ceiling alone, the Sistine Chapel remains one of Rome's most beloved tourist sites. Created in 1473, the chapel's ceiling was a four-year project done by one of the art's most beloved names – Michelangelo. The cost of a ticket to this Vatican museum will get you as much time as you could ask for with this beautiful work of art. Additionally, the chapel is the home of the Pope, making it another point of pilgrimage for many Catholics. If you happen to be in town for the selection of the next pope, this is where the process will happen. The reasons to see this landmark are numerous, and for good reasons.

Porta Portese

Porta Portese

Even if you have seen flea markets and Sunday markets, this ever-popular site is worth a visit. What you will get is a seemingly endless area of stalls, vendors, and food. Buy charming seashells, talk with the locals, and grab something to eat. It is an escape from the crowds of many of the most popular sites, but still a place to experience the local atmosphere.

Palazzo dei Conservatori

Palazzo dei Conservatori

A towering, ornate structure containing the Capitoline museums, the Palazzo dei Conservatori is not to be missed. Although this place is certainly not the oldest museum, its history can be traced all the way back to a donation to the Roman people from Pope Sixtus IV. Among the famous pieces of art housed here are the Capitoline Wolf, the famous sculpture of the wolf feeding Romulus and Remus that has become a strong Roman symbol.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

Built on the remains of an ancient stadium, the Piazza is now home to some of the loveliest fountains in the city. Being in the centre of the city, the piazza is also home to museums, such as the Museo di Roma, shops, and churches. In addition to these stalwarts of the community, the Piazza is often teeming with performers, making it both entertaining and utilitarian.

Trastevere

Trastavere

Trastevere is a popular neighbourhood for many reasons. With views of the Tiber River and the sunrise over it, morning strolls are perfect in this neighbourhood. Have breakfast or lunch at one of the many cafes, and watch the many performers that flock to the streets. Also, home to many ornate mansions that can be explored; this neighbourhood provides the adventurous tourist with authentic Italian sights and sounds.

The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain

Perhaps one of the most popular things a tourist can do is throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain. The locals there have the belief that if you throw in a coin, you will return to Rome in the future. The fountain, from the Baroque period, is the largest one in Rome. It used to serve as a display for the aqueduct that leads to the thermal baths. Whilst the original aqueducts were destroyed, during the early Renaissance, the heads to these places were decorated. You can choose to learn more about this place through a tour of Trevi, or you may just want to sit at its edge and contribute a coin to the already rich fountain.