There’s a reason why the adage, “When in Rome do as the Romans do,” was coined. Italy’s capital is flooded with art, ancient and modern architecture, imperial ruins, food, culture, and curious tourists.
It’s the ultimate dream destination for most travellers and as such, was listed as the 14th most visited city in the world in 2016, 3rd most visited within the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and Colosseum are among the world’s most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists each year.
Add these locations to your travel itinerary the next time you’re in Rome.
Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum seats approximately 50,000 people and was inaugurated in AD 80. It features a circled, tiered seating design which was built over an underground complex known as the hypogeum. The architectural marvel was formerly used to host events like public executions, fights between gladiators, and brutal fights between gladiators and wild animals.
The temple, now a church was built between 118 and 128 AD. It was commissioned by Hadrian and was built over a smaller temple by Marcus Agrippa in the early 27 BC. It’s known as the best preserved architectural remnant of Ancient Rome. The Pantheon was initially a burial ground for royals; and had the world’s largest dome before modern architecture.
A walk through the Pantheon with the natural light flooding is an architectural wonder.
3. The Vatican Museums:
Founded in the early 16th Century by Pope Julius II, it houses the world’s greatest and massive art collection including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The exhibits range from Egyptian mummies, Etruscan bronzes, ancient busts, to old masters and modern paintings.
The palace has 1,400 rooms and highlights include Raphael’s private quarters, antique sculptures and paintings.
4. St Peter’s Basilica:
It was built atop a 4th-century church, and was consecrated in 1626 after 120 years of construction. It’s considered to be Italy’s most largest and spectacular Basilica. Its lavish interior contains many spectacular works of art, including three of Italy’s most prestigious masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29m-high baldachin over the papal altar.
5. Villa Doria Pamphilj:
This is Rome’s largest public park. It has perfectly manicured gardens, stretches of forest, pine groves, and bits of wild vegetation. Tourists who are looking to get away from the bustling city typically find this area appealing.
It’s the perfect destination for runners, nature lovers, and people looking to take a quiet stroll.
The park also has intimate nooks for romantic picnics.
6. Piazza Navona:
One of the most popular public spaces in Rome, the magnificent, oval shaped Piazza Navona is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, souvenir shops, and the Museo di Roma inside the Renaissance Palazzo Braschi.
For three centuries, it was the city’s central market. The outside area is lined with tourists with or without shopping bags, street hawkers, and artists.