15 best sights of Rome
Rome is one of the largest and oldest cities in the world. Sometimes Rome is called not only the capital of Italy, but of the whole world. The city is rich with beautiful architecture, a mass of interesting places and majestic sights. Rome should be visited more than once, because to explore all the tourist spots of the capital of Italy in one trip is unlikely to succeed. Below we have listed the most famous sights of Rome, which should not be missed.
The Colosseum is one of the main attractions of ancient Rome. Located on the Piazza del Colosseo. Construction was carried out in the period from 72 to 80 years. Its height is 50 meters. At the time of its functioning it could hold more than 50,000 people. Several times the Colosseum was destroyed. It was caused by two earthquakes and a major fire which resulted in the collapse of the outer and southern walls. It was after these events that the Colosseum acquired its present dilapidated appearance, attracting all visitors to Rome today.
2. Capitoline Hill.
One of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was founded. Today the Capitoline Hill can be safely called an open-air museum. There are ancient statues, observation decks, several palaces, and a beautiful square designed by Michelangelo. Here you can also visit the Capitoline Museum. This is a whole complex where ancient sculptures, statuettes, paintings and other works of art are displayed.
On the hill is the Palace of the Senators, also designed by Michelangelo. Both sides of the palace offer magnificent views of the Forum. A walk around Capitol Hill can take all day, and during that time you can learn a lot of new and interesting things.
3. Spain Square
Piazza de España is located in the center of Rome, in the Campo Marzio area. It got its name because of the Spanish embassy located there. The square is famous for several attractions. The Spanish Steps on the north side of the square have the 138 stairs and the Catholic Temple of Trinità dei Monti built in 1585. On the south side is the Spanish Palace, whose construction dates back to 1620. It is noteworthy that Piazza España is the heart of the Roman fashion district. From here begins Via dei Condotti, where you can visit the most prestigious and fashionable stores in Rome.
4. Pantheon in Rome
The Pantheon is one of the most popular sights in Rome that every traveler also wants to see. It is the most majestic ancient domed building that has survived to this day. The Pantheon was built in 126 AD by order of Emperor Hadrian. The building is a striking representative of Roman architecture.
The Pantheon in Rome has rich interior decoration. The main feature of the construction is a hole in the roof through which the sunlight enters the building. At noon, a beautiful pillar of light is formed, which every perfectionist will appreciate. Many famous Italian figures are buried in the Pantheon: Raphael, Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I.
5. St. Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s Square is the largest in the city. It is home to a number of other attractive sights in Rome, the largest of which is St. Peter’s Cathedral. The square was designed by Giovanni Bernini in 1656-1667. It has an oval shape, and if you stand at certain points, you can create an optical illusion when the columns of the rows of colonnade become one line. There are also two fountains in the square. One was designed by Alberto da Piacenza, the other by Carlo Maderna.
6. Roman Forum
Forum is located in the central part of Rome. It is one of the favorite places of tourists and residents of the Italian capital. For a long time, the Roman Forum was a place for public gatherings. The attraction has an impressive size and includes a huge number of interesting buildings: Temples, Arches, Basilicas and more. The most famous building of the Roman Forum is the Temple of Saturn. It was built in 489 BC It’s one of the oldest temples in all of Italy, and it is a must-see in Rome.
7. Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel was founded in 1473-1481 by Giorgio de Dolci. On the outside, this Roman landmark is a simple church building, but inside it is a true work of art. Today the Sistine Chapel is a full-fledged museum and a jewel of the Renaissance. Inside the chapel, visitors can enjoy masterpieces by such geniuses as Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and many others. The Sistine Chapel is a paradise and a must-see destination in Rome for art lovers.
8. Santa Maria Maggiore
Santa Maria Maggiore is a Catholic church, one of the main basilicas of Rome. It was built in the 4th century. In the church you can see the outlines of different eras. It has an ancient layout, but its interior decoration dates back to the 18th century. Inside you can see many mosaics, frescoes, paintings and decorations. It is Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most visited temples of Rome by tourists.
9. St. Peter’s Cathedral
The largest Catholic cathedral in the Vatican, where also goes every tourist in Rome. Several generations of great masters worked on its creation. St. Peter’s Cathedral includes 2 architectural trends: Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Inside the cathedral is no less beautiful than outside. Its interior is full of various statues, altars, tombstones, paintings and works of art. The cathedral is divided into several parts: the central nave, the right nave and the left nave. In each of them you can look at the works of the great masters.
10. The Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla are a famous attraction in Rome and represent a complex of huge boulders. Under construction from 212 to 217 B.C., the Thermae of Caracalla is a truly magnificent and worthwhile tourist attraction that can be visited beside the Appian Way, with its picturesque natural setting.
11. Castel Sant’Angelo
This castle was under construction from 135 to 139. The Emperor Hadrian had it built as a mausoleum for burying emperors. However, later (in the period of the Popes) the building was used as a fortress against enemy raids. Today the castle is used as a military history museum. During its existence the castle has undergone many destructions and restorations. That’s why it reflects the architectural styles of several eras. Wonderful place in Rome for history lovers!
12. Raphael’s Stans
Raphael’s stanzas are rooms located in the Pontifical Palace of the Vatican. They display the best works of Raphael and his pupils in the form of frescoes. The Raphael Stans are just a part of the Vatican museum complex. Rooms are quite small, but they fascinate with their grandeur and beauty. The works are in 4 rooms: Stanza della Señatura, Stanza d’Eliodoro, Stanza del Inchendio di Borgo and Stanza Constantina. Raphael’s stanzas are deservedly one of the most interesting places in the Vatican.
13. Vatican Museum complex
Vatican Museums complex was founded in 1506 and together with the Capitoline Museums is the oldest in the territory of Rome. The Vatican Museums have been operating for over 500 years, so they have works of art from different centuries. This is a true treasure of fine art. Today this complex carries the title of one of the richest museums in the world. The most popular attractions of the museum are the aforementioned Sistine Chapel and the Stations of Raphael. In total there are 54 galleries.
14. Vatican Library
The largest library in Rome, called the Vatican Apostolic Library. It was founded in 1475. The library has survived many eras, making it one of the richest in manuscripts and collections. The library is still being replenished today. It currently has over 1,600,000 classic books, 150,000 manuscripts, 100,000 engravings and maps, etc. The attraction has a rich interior and spacious reading rooms. There are all conditions for spending a pleasant time with a book. From the huge number of works you are sure to find something interesting.
15. Capitol Museums
One of the oldest museums in the world founded in 1471 by Pope Sixtus IV. Capitoline Museums in Rome is erected in the famous Piazza del Campidoglio, standing on the Capitoline Hill. The museums are located in three palaces: the Senatorial Palace, the Renaissance Palazzo Conservatory and the 17th-century New Palace. Each museum has spacious rooms in which you can see works from different eras. Here you can enjoy Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, numerous statues and frescoes, as well as interesting archaeological finds. The main collections are in the Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo dei Conservatori. The rich history and unique collections make the Capitoline Museums some of the most visited in the world.
Rome is a great city for art and culture lovers. Almost everything in this city is steeped in centuries of history. Rome has attractions from different eras: from the times of the empire to the Renaissance. Among all the places of interest are: Catholic churches, rich palaces, interesting museums, libraries and much more. To see all the sights of Rome in one week is impossible. The commonest place in the world, Rome is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Once you visit Rome, you will definitely want to go back there again.
Sights of ancient Rome, which should visit everyone
Are you attracted by ancient architecture and history? If so, you’re in for a treat with a selection of famous Roman monuments of ancient architecture. We have chosen for you the ten most important sights of the Eternal City that you simply must visit.
- Must-see Roman museums and galleries
The Roman Forum
The Forum Romanum in the modern sense of the word originated here in the 8th century B.C., in the square in the center of ancient Rome. It was the center of public life in the empire, where court meetings (commissions) were held, laws were issued, religious ceremonies were performed and trade took place. “Getting a spotlight on the Forum was the main goal of any aspiring Roman politician or orator.
After the fall of the Roman Empire Forum lost its importance, in the Middle Ages it was used as a source of building materials and pasture for livestock.
- When to visit: after 1 p.m. on a private tour
Literally translated Pantheon is the temple of all the gods. It was built in 126 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian on the site of the old Pantheon built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Hadrian preserved the name of the founder of the Pantheon on its walls, as well as information about the restorations made under Septimius Severus and Caracalla. The temple is the largest surviving domed monument of antiquity.
- When to visit: on a private tour of Rome at dawn
The Forum alone was not enough for the Romans. So for a century and a half grew an interesting architectural ensemble, later called the Imperial Forums. Some of the buildings of the forum are buried under the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
The Forum Cæsari, built in 46 B.C., is now a rectangular square with a temple of Venus. This goddess was especially revered by the Julii as their ancestress.
The main attraction of the forum of Augustus (Foro di Augusto ) 2 BC is the Temple of Mars the Avenger, a symbol of retribution to the murderers of Caesar. Now all that is left are a few steps and three 15 m high columns.
The Temple of Peace (Templum Pacis) at the Forum Vespasiani was built in 75 AD in honor of the victory over the Jews. The temple room contained valuable war trophies and one of its walls was decorated with a relief map of Rome.
The centerpiece of the Forum Nervæ (98), otherwise known as the Tranzitorium, was the Temple of Minerva. In 1606 the fountain Aqua Paola was built on its site by order of Pope Paul V.
The Forum Traiani (Forum Traiani) is the largest of the Imperial Forums of the 10s. It is decorated with the famous Trajan’s Column which was erected to commemorate the victory over the Dacians. The Trajan’s Markets are very well preserved and nowadays different cultural events are often held there.
- When: anytime. From April 13 to November 12, there are special interactive guided tours at night to the Forums of Augustus and Caesar. See the schedule and prices on the official website.
I suggest reading the biography of Emperor Trajan (Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus)
Another name for the Colosseum is the Flavian amphitheater. One of the largest structures of antiquity (72 – 80 years AD), which seated 50,000 people and is the most recognized landmark of Italy. It was built by Emperor Vespasian Flavius in honor of the end of the civil war in Rome. Construction of the Colosseum lasted eight years, the celebrations to mark its completion lasted 100 days.
- When and how to visit: on the Gladiator Mystery Tours
The largest of the famous seven hills, the history of Rome began on the Palatine. Here Romulus and Remus were nurtured by the she-wolf, and here Romulus founded the city after killing his brother. The Palatine was the seat of Rome’s elite. During the Roman Republic the patricians settled here. The emperors, starting with Augustus, also liked the Palatine.
“Nero’s Domus Aurea and the vast complex of the Flavius dynasty have long been jewels of this elite hill. The barbarian invasion turned the Palatine into a scorched desert, the revival of the legendary landmark only began in the 17th century.
- When and how to visit: on a special day tour of ancient Rome
The Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla over 11 hectares were the best gift from the Emperor to the Roman people in 217. They included facilities for individual and collective bathing, sports grounds and a library that was very rich for its time. Nowadays the site of the most famous of the ancient Baths is home to the Roman Opera.
- When and how to visit: with a professional guide and archaeologist Elena Vyaznikova
Thermae of Diocletian
The Emperor Diocletian set out to surpass Caracalla. He succeeded. The thermae of Diocletian (Termas de Diocleciano) were built in 305; they are more spacious, with a capacity of 3000 people. The baths were heated in such a way that part of the water always remained cold – an ancient prototype of the contrast shower. The baths were rebuilt in the Middle Ages and are now quite well preserved. Nowadays they are the gardens of the Piazza della Repubblica.
- How to visit: the ticket is 7 euros and includes a visit to the Roman National Museum – this is near Termini Station.
Marcus Aurelius Column
The largest column (Colonna di Marco Aurelio) in Rome, reaching 42 m in height. It was built to commemorate the victory over the rebellious Germanic and Sarmatian tribes (Marcomanni War). It was crowned by a bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, which in 1588 was replaced by a statue of the Apostle Paul. Inside the column is a staircase of two hundred steps leading to an excellent viewing platform at its top.
Piazza Torre di Argentina
The square (Largo di Torre Argentina) is named after the tower built here in 1503. In 1926, excavations began and uncovered four temples and the curia of Pompey where the Senate sat at the end of the Roman Republic. It was here that the Republican conspirators murdered Julius Caesar. Nowadays this legendary place is beloved by my dear Roman cats, and we have a shelter for them there.
- A sightseeing tour of the piazza is part of our itinerary for our dawn tour of Rome.
The Marcellus Theater.
The largest of the ancient theaters is the Teatro di Marcello. Its construction was begun by Caesar in 13 B.C. and completed under Augustus, who dedicated it to his dead nephew, Marcellus. The theater hall, decorated with columns of all styles, seated 20,000 spectators. Seats in the gallery were reserved for women, foreigners, and slaves – the arrangement took into account the hierarchy accepted in Roman society. Only the outer façade of the monumental edifice survived, and in the 16th century it was rebuilt into the Palazzo Peruzzi.
I am sure that now ancient Rome will become for you a little more accessible and interesting. I invite you to fall in love with the Eternal City with the team ITALY FOR ME.