Top 35 best sights in Rome – description, photos, map

Rome sights

Rome Sights. The most popular and interesting sights of Rome – descriptions, photos, location on the map.

Rome sights

Sights in Rome are found on every corner: in ancient streets, ancient squares, among ancient ruins and magnificent palaces. Witnesses to the centuries-old history of the “eternal city”, some of which have known prosperity, decline, but continued to live with it. By the number of attractions Rome can easily give up any city in the world. Here we will talk about the main sights of Rome, those that just have to see every tourist with descriptions, photos and location on the map.

Popular sights in Rome

Colosseum

The Colosseum or Flavio Amphitheatre is probably the main attraction of Rome. The grandiose amphitheater, which accommodated more than 50,000 people, a true symbol of the greatness of the Roman Empire. It was built in 80 BC in just 8 years. For almost 3 centuries the Colosseum was the center of Rome, the place where gladiatorial fights were held.

The Colosseum - the main tourist attraction in Rome

The Colosseum – the main attraction of Rome

With the decline of the Roman empire the Colosseum lived through grim times: it was pillaged by barbarians, shaken by earthquakes, dismantled for new buildings. But this giant has survived through the millennia, not in all its splendor, but unbroken. So the Colosseum is a unique and breathtaking building of ancient Rome.

Also near the Colosseum you can see the remains of the ancient Roman road, the Arch of Titus and Constantine.

Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus is a triumphal arch with a single arched opening. It was built in the late 1st century after the death of Emperor Titus. Fragments of the ancient Roman road remain.

Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine’s Triumph (Italian: Arco di Costantino) is an arch built in 315 and commemorates the victory of Emperor Constantine in the Battle of Milvia Bridge. It is located at the foot of the Colosseum. Some of the decorations on the Arch of Triumph were taken from other, more ancient monuments. The arch is 21 m high, 25.7 m wide and 7.4 m deep.

Arch of Constantine in Rome

Arch of Constantine in Rome

Mode of operation of the Colosseum – in summer from 8.30 to 19.00 and in autumn and winter from 8.30 to 17.00. Cost – adults – 12 Euros, EU citizens from 18 to 25 years – 7,5 Euros, persons under 18 years – free entrance. There is a trick: not to stand in line at the ticket offices of the Colosseum you can buy tickets at the Roman Forum. They are also valid to enter the Colosseum.

How to get there: subway – lines B and B1, Colosseo, buses – 51 75 85 87 117 118 N2, Colosseo, streetcar – 3 8, Piazza Del Colosseo.

Vittoriano

The Vittoriano is a grandiose (albeit somewhat controversial) landmark in Rome, built in honor of the first king of united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, and located in Piazza Venezia. The Vittoriano was built for 50 years until 1935. In front of the building is a twelve-meter bronze equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II.

Vittoriano

Vittoriano

How to get there: from the Colosseum: Metro line B1, Colosseo. Streetcar – 8, Venezia. Bus – 51 60 63 80 83 85 118 160 170 628 H N4 N6 N8 N9 N1 N18 N25, Piazza Venezia.

From Vittoriano you can walk along the Via del Teatro di Marcello to the Cordonata, the majestic staircase to the Capitoline Square, designed by the great Michelangelo in the 16th century. In the corner of the square is the famous Capitoline She-wolf, a small bronze sculpture. The sculpture depicts a she-wolf nursing with her milk the infants Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.

Capitoline Wolf

Capitoline she-wolf

Roman Forum

Next, you can admire the ruins of the Roman Forum or explore them up close. The Roman Forum is an ancient square, the center of social life of the ancient city. Witness Caesar, the center of political life in Rome, the square in which history was made. Even if today it is only a majestic ruin, the Roman Forum is still breathtaking.

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Roman Forum

Roman Forum

The cost of visiting the Roman Forum for adults is 12 euros. With this ticket you can also go to the Colosseum and the Palatine. Open from 8.30 am to 6 pm.

How to get there: Tram – 8, Venezia. Bus – 51 60 63 80 83 85 118 160 170 628 H N4 N6 N8 N9 N1 N18 N25, Piazza Venezia

Pantheon

The Pantheon is a well-preserved Roman antique attraction and a grandiose domed building of the 2nd century. The Pantheon was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian and means “temple of all the gods”. Nearly two millennia of history have hardly damaged the Pantheon. You can enter the Pantheon absolutely free. Be sure to look out for the oculus, a hole in the center of the giant dome through which a strong column of light pierces through, which does not dissipate and becomes almost palpable. Resting in the cool of the Pantheon, walk around its perimeter – here are the tombs of great men: Raphael and Kings Victor Emmanuel II (King of United Italy) and Umberto I.

Pantheon in Rome

The Pantheon in Rome

Getting there: Take bus 70 81 87 492 628 N6 N7, Corso Rinascimento. Metro – Line A, Barberini (walk 30-40 minutes).

Trevi Fountain

Although there are many beautiful fountains in Rome, the Trevi Fountain is a real gem, the largest fountain in Rome. It is a magnificent Baroque fountain built in the 18th century by Nicola Salvi. Trevi Fountain beckons tens of thousands of tourists, so in the morning, afternoon and night there are always a lot of people. The center of the fountain is a sculpture of Neptune. He sits on a seashell pulled by tritons and hippocampi. In niches on either side of Neptune are statues, above which are bas-reliefs. Water to the fountain comes from an ancient aqueduct. To return to Rome, be sure to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

How to get there: Metro – Line A, Barberini. Bus – 53 62 63 71 83 83 85 160 492 N4 N5 N12 N25, Tritone- Fontana Di Trevi.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is the old city market square in the shape of a strongly elongated rectangle. Piazza Navona is a very popular tourist spot. There are beautiful fountains: the Fountain of Four Rivers – designed by the great Bernini, a sculptural composition representing four statues of river gods, the main rivers of the four parts of the world (Nile, Ganges, Danube and La Plata), surrounded by a pseudo-Egyptian obelisk, the Neptune Fountain, the Moor Fountain.

Piazza Navona in Rome

Piazza Navona in Rome

How to get there: Bus – 30 70 81 87 492 628 N6 N7, Senato or 70 81 87 492 628 N6 N7, Corso Rinascimento.

Piazza de España and Spanish Steps

Piazza de España and the Spanish Steps are a popular tourist attraction in Rome. The Spanish Steps were built in the 18th century and lead to the top of Pincio Hill. At the foot of the stairs is a beautiful fountain – Barcaccia.

Spain Square and Spanish Steps

Piazza de España and Spanish Steps

How to get there: Metro line A, Spagna. Bus – 117, Trinita dei Monti.

Castel Sant’Angelo or Mausoleum of Hadrian

The Castel Sant’Angelo or Mausoleum of Hadrian is a monumental structure on the banks of the Tiber in Hadrian’s Park. It is a tall cylindrical building. It was originally a tomb for the emperor and his family. During the Papacy there was a fortress and a prison. Today, the Castel Sant’Angelo is a museum, one of the most visited in Rome. The castle can be accessed by the Bridge of St. Angel, a pedestrian bridge over the Tiber, decorated with statues of St. Peter and Paul and the ten angels.

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San Angelo Castle or Hadrian's Mausoleum

Castel Sant’Angelo or Mausoleum of Hadrian

How to get there: Bus 34 40 46 62 64 916 982 N5 N15 N20, Corso Vittorio Emanuele- Ponte Vittorio or 34 49 492 990, Crescenzio- Orazio. Streetcar – 19, Risorgimento- San Pietro. Metro – Line A, Ottaviano.

Vatican City

The Vatican City is a miniature state within the borders of Rome, the center of Catholicism. If you are an art lover, then you should definitely visit the Vatican Museums – there are hundreds of unique and valuable creations: paintings, sculptures. Vatican museums are very popular with tourists, so there are usually long lines. It is best, of course, to visit them in groups.

View of St. Peter's Cathedral from the banks of the Tiber River

View of St. Peter’s Cathedral from the banks of the Tiber

One of the main attractions of the Vatican is St. Peter’s Cathedral – the largest Christian church in the world, the most important Catholic church. It is the largest and most grandiose building in the Vatican. On creation of the cathedral worked the greatest masters of the time: Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini. Capacity of the cathedral is about 60 thousand people. The interior of the cathedral amazes with its harmony of proportions, and its huge size. There are a lot of statues, altars, tombstones, works of art by famous masters: Raphael, Michelangelo and others. Get into the cathedral is absolutely free from St. Peter’s Square.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter’s Square

Another major attraction at the Vatican is St. Peter’s Square, a huge square in the shape of two semicircles in front of St. Peter’s Basilica designed by Bernini.

How to get there: Metro – Line A, Ottaviano. Streetcars – 19, Risorgimento – San Pietro. Suburban routes – Pisa – Livorno – Grosseto (Rm) (Tirrenica Sud) FL3 FL5, Roma S.Pietro.

Undiscovered sights in Rome

Trastevere

Trastevere is a quarter of Rome on the east bank of the Tiber, an area of narrow green streets, colorful cafes.

Trastevere

Trastevere

Trastevere is certainly not home to many attractions, but it’s here that you can feel the spirit of Italy and Rome, and taste the delicious Italian cuisine. Trastevere is alive during the day with its cafes and trattorias and at night with its clubs and bars and the squares and narrow streets filled with street singers and merry young people.

Trastevere

Trastevere

Getting there: Termini: By bus: H N8, Gioacchino Belli. Via Isola Tiberina: Metro line B1, Circo Massimo. Walk along the Great Circus to the Tiber. Streetcar – 8, Arenula – Ministero Grazia E Giustizia. Bus – 23 63 280 N8 N10, Piazza Monte Savello.

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo (Italian: Piazza del Popolo) is a square designed by architect Giuseppe Valadier in 1811-1822.

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo

In the center of the piazza is a 36-meter Egyptian obelisk bearing inscriptions praising the deeds of Pharaoh Ramses II. Until 1826 Piazza del Popolo was a place of public executions. The square is now a pedestrian area.

The mouth of truth

The Bocca della Verità (mouth of the truth) is a circular marble slab from Antiquity (made in the 4th century BC) depicting the mask of the god Triton. Since the 17th century it has been housed in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedina. Most likely the slab used to serve as a manhole of the Great Cloaca (sewer) or was part of a fountain. In the Middle Ages there was a legend that if a liar put his hand in his open mouth, the deity would bite his hand off.

Mouth of Truth

The mouth of Truth.

The Orange Orchard (Savello Park)

The Orchard of Oranges (Parco Savello) is a small park on the Aventine Hill. It is a beautiful romantic place. From here you have a beautiful view of Rome. You can relax in the cool shade from the bustle of the city. We recommend to visit this place at sunrise or sunset. It’s also a great place for photo shoots.

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Orange Garden (Parco Savello)

The Orange Orchard (Savello Park)

The Island of Tiberina

Isola Tiberina is a small island on the Tiber. Located a little south of the Vatican. You can get to the island by two ancient bridges, Fabricho and Cestio.

Tiberina Island

The Island of Tiberina

The island had a notoriety in antiquity. According to the legend it was formed from the mud and silt that stuck to the corpse of the tyrant Tarquinius, who was thrown into the Tiber by the Romans. This is why the island remained uninhabited for a long time. At the height of the plague, a sanctuary was built on the island to Aesculapius, the god of healing. A sign of this was the snake, which crawled out of the ship that landed on the island. The snake is an ancient symbol of healing. On this occasion, the island was shaped like a boat. The shores were lined with travertine stone. On the island is also the church of San Bartolomeo.

Interesting excursions

Hidden corners of Venice

€200 for a tour

Hidden corners of Venice

Medieval, graceful, fragile – walk through the most authentic quarters of the city and grasp its soul

Rome - sightseeing tour of the main sites and the undiscovered ghetto

€120 per excursion

Rome – a sightseeing tour of the major sites and the undiscovered ghetto

Follow the city’s journey from antiquity to modern times and learn about the people of the past and present

Top 30 sights in and around Rome: photos, descriptions, addresses

Description of the main and little-known sights in Rome. Sights on the map. Where to buy tickets.

Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums.

Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and supplemented by successive pontiffs, the Vatican Museums boast one of the greatest collections of art in the world.

The exhibits, which occupy about 7 km of halls and corridors, are as varied as possible: from Egyptian mummies and Etruscan bronzes to ancient busts, from paintings that are classics to contemporary works.

The main places to visit are the impressive collection of classical sculptures in the Pio Clementino Museum, several exhibition halls with frescoes by Raphael and the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo.

Address: Musei Vaticani, Viale Vaticano, Rome, Italy.

Admission: payable. Tickets to the Vatican Museums.

Can be visited as part of excursions:

  • Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Cathedral
  • Through the Vatican Museums with an art historian in a small group
  • Vatican Museums – history of masterpieces and “mirror” of the eras

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum.

Rome’s great gladiatorial arena is the most fascinating of the city’s ancient landmarks. Opened in 80 AD, the 50,000-seat Colosseum, also known as the Flavius Amphitheatre, was built of travertine and covered with a huge tarpaulin tent raised on 240 masts.

Inside, the arena was surrounded by tiered grandstands, and it was built over an underground complex (hypogeum) where animals sat and decorations were prepared. The games involved gladiators fighting wild animals or each other.

Address: Colosseo, Piazza del Colosseo, Rome, Italy.

Admission: Fee.

Tickets:

  • Tickets for Vatican City, Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica

The Colosseum can be visited as part of excursions:

  • Colosseum and Ancient Rome.
  • The Grandeur of Roman Civilization: The Colosseum and the Roman Forum
  • The Colosseum and Forum: Antiquity not just for show.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum.

A collection of ruins, the Roman Forum was formerly the centerpiece of ancient Rome, a grandiose district of temples, basilicas and lively public spaces.

The site, originally an Etruscan burial ground, was first settled in the 7th century B.C., and over time developed into the social, political, and commercial center of the Roman Empire. Attractions include the Arch of Septemius Severus, the Curia, and the Vestal House.

Like many of the great cities of ancient Rome, the forum lost its importance after the fall of the Roman Empire, until it was eventually used as pastureland. In the Middle Ages it was known as Campo Vaccino (“Cow’s Field”) and was plundered for stones and marble.

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The area began to be systematically explored in the 18th and 19th centuries and excavations continue to this day.

Address: Foro Romano, Via della Salara Vecchia, Rome, Italy.

The Roman Forum can be visited as part of excursions:

  • The Grandeur of Roman Civilization: The Colosseum and the Roman Forum

Capitoline Hill

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The Capitoline Hill is one of the seven hills on which Rome stands. In ancient times there was an impregnable fortress on the hill whose center was the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter. In the VI century the temple was completely destroyed. Hardly recovered by archaeologists part of the foundation and a fragment of one of the walls are stored in the Palazzo Conservatory Museum.

In the Middle Ages the top of the hill was decorated with a single structure – the Basilica of Santa Maria in Araceli, the rest of the area was occupied by the city market. In the 16th century, the Renaissance Palace of the Senators was built on Capitoline Hill and today houses the City Hall of Rome.

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio

The main sights can be seen on your own on a walk, but the journey will be much more fascinating if you take a sightseeing tour of Rome with a local guide.

Borghese Museum and Gallery

Borghese Museum and Gallery

Borghese Museum and Gallery.

If you only have time to visit one art gallery in Rome, come here. It is home to what is often called “the queen of all private art collections”: the gallery boasts paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian, as well as some unknown sculptures by Bernini.

There is plenty to see overall, but look for Bernini’s Ratto di Proserpina (Abduction of Proserpina) and Canova’s Venere vincitrice (Venus Vitrix) first.

In order to limit the number of visitors, they are allowed in two-hour intervals, so you need to book tickets in advance and know the entrance times.

Address: Museo e Galleria Borghese, Piazzale Scipione Borghese, Rome, Italy.

Pantheon

Pantheon

Pantheon.

A magnificent temple with 2,000 years of history, now a church, the Pantheon is the best preserved of the ancient Roman monuments and one of the most influential buildings in the Western world. Built by Hadrian on the basis of the earlier temple of Marcus Agrippa in 27 B.C., it has stood here since about 125 A.D., and although its gray exterior matches its era, it is still a unique and exciting monument.

You should definitely go through the huge bronze doors and look at the largest unreinforced concrete dome.

The temple of Hadrian was dedicated to the classical gods, hence the name Pantheon, derived from the Greek words pan (all) and theos (god). But in 608 the temple was consecrated as a Christian church and now officially bears the name Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martires.

The real charm of the Pantheon lies in its enormous size and impressive dome. Considered the greatest architectural achievement of the ancient Romans, it was the largest dome in the world until the 15th century and is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome.

Its harmonious appearance is due to precisely calibrated symmetry – the diameter of the dome is exactly equal to the Pantheon’s interior height of 43.4 meters.

At its center, the 8.7-m diameter oculus, which symbolically connected the temple to the gods, plays a vital role for the geometry, absorbing and redistributing the huge tensile forces of the dome. Rainwater enters but drains through 22 almost invisible holes in the sloping marble floor.

Address: Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, Italy.

Can be visited as part of a tour:

  • From the Colosseum to the Pantheon: mysteries of ancient Rome
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Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain.

The Trevi Fountain, site of Anita Ekberg’s bathing scene in La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), is a striking baroque ensemble of mythical figures and wild horses that occupies the entire side of the 17th-century Palazzo Poli.

After a Fendi-sponsored restoration in 2015, the fountain shimmers brighter than before. A tradition that guarantees a return to Rome is maintained here: the tossing of a coin into the water. On average, about 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain every day.

Address: Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Italy.

The Appian Way

Appian Way

The Appian Way.

The road was named after the consul Appius Claudius Cecus, who laid the first 90 kilometers in 312 B.C. It was the main road of Rome, later extended in 190 B.C. to Brindisi.

The Appian Way was for a long time one of Rome’s most exclusive places, a beautiful cobbled highway surrounded by grassy fields, Roman buildings, and tall pines. The most splendid building on it was the Villa dei Quintili, so desirable that the Emperor Commodus killed its owner and took possession of it himself.

This road has a dark history – it was here that Spartacus and 6,000 of his slave followers were crucified in 71 BC, and it was here that the first Christians buried people in three hundred kilometers of underground catacombs. You will not be able to visit all 300 kilometers, but the three main catacombs of San Callisto, San Sebastiano and Santa Domitilla are open to the public.

Address: Parco Regionale Appia Antica, Via Appia Antica, Rome, Italy.

Private guides in Rome

Russian private guides will help you to get acquainted with Rome in detail. There are 33 registered Russian guides in Rome on the site Experts.Turister.Ru.

All guides and companies (33)

Video “Sightseeing in Rome”

Trastevere District

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It is in Trastevere, an ancient district of Rome, where you can feel the spirit of the real Italy. In Italian Trastevere means “Zarechie”. The area is indeed on the opposite side of the Tiber from the center on the Janiculum hill. Etruscans, Jews, and Syrians have lived here for years, making Trastevere a unique multicultural neighborhood.

You’ll find cobblestone streets that wind through winding streets and cobblestone streets leading to homestyle taverns, tiny shops, and ivy-covered houses. The neighborhood is home to one of the city’s oldest churches, Santa Maria in Trastevere. From Mount Gianicolo you can literally see Rome at your fingertips.

Address: Trastevere district

Palazzo Barberini.

Palazzo Barberini

Palazzo Barberini | Photo: Stin Shen / Flickr.

Palazzo Barberini, built to honor the Barberini family’s rise to papal power, is a sumptuous Baroque palace that impresses even before you see the breathtaking art. Many famous architects worked on it, including rivals Bernini and Borromini.

Among the masterpieces, don’t miss Pietro da Cortona’s Il Trionfo della Divina Providenza (The Triumph of Divine Providence, 1632-39) and the most spectacular frescoes on the ceiling of the palazzo in the main hall on the first floor.

Address: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini, Via delle Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy.

The Baths of Caracalla

Thermae of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla.

The remains of the Baths of Emperor Caracalla are some of the most impressive Roman ruins. The complex was opened in 216 AD and covered an area of 10 hectares. There were baths, gyms, libraries, stores, and gardens. Up to 8,000 people used the complex every day.

Most of the ruins are what’s left of the central bathhouse. It was a huge rectangular building surrounded by two gymnasiums and located in the center of the frigidarium (cold room) where bathers stayed after the warm tepidarium and the caldarium with a dome (hot room).

Address: Terme di Caracalla, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy.

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