Top 10 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Rome| Things to Do in Rome

All roads lead to Rome” this proverb is not just a proverb. Having been the center of one of the greatest civilizations the earth ever produced, Rome has exerted a huge impact over the world. It was the center of all forms of art, science, philosophy in its millennium long history.  

With ancient churches and basilicas wonderful palaces, grand Roman monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, there are few places in the world that is historically as rich as Rome. It is often quoted as ‘Eternal City’.

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Rome:

Too many mind blowing historical sites make it a tough task to select the top 10 must visit tourist attractions in Rome as we had to exclude many beautiful sites that we really didn’t want to. Well, here we bring the best things to do in Rome that should serve a primary view on Rome.

10. Campo de’ Fiori

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Rome, Campo de' Fiori
Campo de’ Fiori | image credit – Wikimedia/Benjamin Dahlhoff

Located on the south of Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori is a rectangular building used as a marketplace during the day, and party central for tourists and a college students at night. Campo de’ Fiori actually means “field of flowers”. The name was given during the middle Ages when the area was just a meadow.

The market is now a vibrant place, especially when the daily vegetable market is held here every morning except the holidays. People can buy fresh production as well as fish, meat, flowers and spices at the market.

9. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, places in rome
Piazza Navona | image credit – Wikimedia/Myrabella

Built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, Piazza Navona is one of the most famous of Rome’s many square. It was established towards the end of the 15th century and preserves the shape of the Stadium of Domitian that once stood in this place. Emperor Domitian built the stadium in 86 AD.

The stadium had a larger arena than the Colosseum and mainly used for sporting events and festivals. The square stand is surrounded by the buildings where the spectators once sat. Today, The Square features three magnificent fountains. People also come here to sip a cappuccino, shop, and watch street performers.

8. Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo, ancient monuments
Castel Sant’Angelo | image credit – Wikimedia/BjoernEisbaer

Built between 135 and 139 AD, Castel Sant’Angelo began journey as the mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian. Medieval Popes turned these buildings into a residence and castle by subsequently building strongholds on top of the mausoleum.

Until 1870, the building was used as a prison, but now it is a museum. It is a recognizable place as it was used as a setting of thriller movie “Angels and Demons”. You should definitely add this up to your things to do list in Rome.

7. Roman Forum

Roman Forum, Roman architecture
Roman Forum | image credit – Wikimedia/Hans E C Johansson

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum in Latin) was the teeming heart of Rome for centuries. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, It was the nucleus of commercial affairs, venue for public speeches and the place of triumphal processions and elections.

Today, The Forum today is a spreading ruin of architectural fragments. With the Arches of Septimius Severus and Titus, and the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina, the place is one of most visited Roman monuments in the world.

6. Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps, places to visit in rome
Spanish Steps | image credit – Pixabay/Seneca

Built between 1721-1725, the Spanish Steps is a truly monumental stairway of 135 steps. It was built with the help of French fund in order to link the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Holy See with the French church, TrinitàdeiMonti.

The place is always gathered with tourists as well as locals who use to come here gossiping. The steps are decorated with pink azaleas in the month of May. The Fontana dellaBarcaccia, a sober fountain designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the famous Piazza di Spagna (Spanish square) is at the foot of the Spanish Steps.

5. Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain, amazing monuments
Trevi Fountain | image credit – Wikimedia/Bodow

Trevi Fountain is a world famous Baroque style fountain. Built in 1762 to a design, it features a mythological sculptural composition of Neptune, god of the sea, flanked by two Tritons. The spot of the Trevi fountain marks the end point of the ancient Aqua Virgo aqueduct.

As its position at the junction of three roads, it was named ‘Trevi‘. It was a setting of an iconic scene in Italian film “La Dolce Vita” starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. It has become popular worldwide for the film. The local legend says that ‘who through a coin in the fountain, shall return to Rome one day‘.

4. Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums, ancient roman
Vatican Museums | image credit – Wikimedia/Karelj

The Vatican Museums inside the Vatican City features some of the most important relics in the world. It was founded by Pope Julius II in the 6th century. Main attractions of the museums include the spiral staircase, the Raphael Rooms and specially the exquisitely decorated Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo painted the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512 on special request of Pope. Among the paintings, the creation of Adams steals the limelight. Today this is considered one of the greatest museums in the world.

3. Pantheon

Pantheon | image credit – Wikimedia/Roberta Dragan

The Pantheon is one of the best preserved Roman buildings in the world. It was built as a temple for all the Roman gods in 126 AD. Since the 7th century, The Pantheon has served as a Roman Catholic Church. It comprises of a large circular portico with three ranks of mammoth granite Corinthian columns.

The portico opens into a rotunda which is topped with the oculus, a concrete dome with a central opening. The Pantheon’s dome remains s the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world since two thousand years.

2. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica,
St. Peter’s Basilica | image credit – Wikimedia/Fred Hsu

The Basilica of St. Peter is a great church with an interior height of 120m even the Statue of Liberty could fit inside. The Basilica is the center of the catholic world. It stands on the site where St. Peter, the apostle of Jesus who is considered the first Pope, was crucified.

The current building was constructed in 1615. Many famous architectures, painters and sculptors were worked on the complex and the surroundings. Bernini designed the great St. Peter’s Square while Michelangelo designed the dome.

1. Colosseum

Colosseum | image credit – Pixabay/tuku

The Colosseum is the largest and most famous amphitheater ever built in Roman Empire. It is also called ‘flavian amphitheater‘. Its building was started by Roman emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty in 72 AD and was completed 80 AD by his son Titus.  More than 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games of the amphitheater. The Colosseum was capable of housing about 50,000 spectators.

The visitors could enter the building through more than 80 entrances. Gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events were arranged in the Colosseum. Visitors were protected from the rain and heat of the sun by sails called the “velarium”, around the top of the attic. It is now iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and the most visited tourist spots in Rome.

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