The cosmopolitan capital of Italy; Rome is one of the most history, architecture, art and culture rich countries of the world. The centre of the Roman empire, this city has so much to see and do, as it is a blend of ancient and modern features, so we've recommended the top ten attractions in Rome that you cannot miss whilst in this ancient city.
1. The Colosseum
Can you really ever say you've been to Rome if you haven't visited the colosseum? A majestic architectural accomplishment, the colosseum can be seen from miles away with its towering structure and hundreds of arches. One of the 7 wonders of the world, the roman colosseum is breathtaking, and its incredible to think that it still stands in relatively good condition, when it was built in just 80AD.
As this is a hugely popular attraction in Rome I would recommend purchasing tickets in advance online. Furthermore I would also recommend purchasing tickets which include the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill as these are located next to the Colosseum and are also listed in my top 10.
Tickets from €12 for Colosseum alone and €20 including the forum and palatine hill
METRO: Colosseo Line B
2. Roman Forum
An incredible archaeological feat, the forum is incredibly preserved, giving you an insight into the life of those during the Roman Empire. Originally developed in 7 B.C, there remains impressive structures and buildings still preserved and is a great site to wander around after your visit to the Colosseum. The forum covers a large area and is really spacious, which makes a nice change to some of the busier attractions in Rome.
Admission included in the Colosseum tickets
METRO: Colosseo Line B
3. St Peter's Bascillia - Vatican
Arguably one of the most glorious catholic churches in the world, St Peter's basilica is a site you must not miss whilst visiting Rome and more specifically the Vatican city. The Basilica attracts millions of visitors every year so it is important to be prepared before visiting this holy destination. St Peter's is also home to the magnificent Sistine Chapel with stunning frescoes by Michelangelo, including the world recognized 'Creation of Adam'. There are so many things to see inside the basilica, it is 100% up there with my top 3 tourist attractions in Rome.
Book a tour group or visit for free, if you are going without a guide be prepared for BIG queues.
METRO: To vatican city Ottaviano Line A
4. Day Trip to Pompeii
Now I know technically this is closer to Naples than Rome, but during our trip we took a tour to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, visiting the momentous location of the eruption 79AD. It only took a few hours to reach the city of Pompeii and this was definitely a highlight of our trip to Rome, therefore I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has enough time to take a day trip out of the city. Read my blog on Pompeii for more info here.
5. The Pantheon
Another ancient building of Rome, the Pantheon is a temple built between 118 and 125 A.D and is dedicated to the gods of pagan Rome. Whilst from the outside, this now church appears rectangular inside this enormous building it is entirely round and featuring an oculus, a large round opening in the roof of the temple. An architectural masterpiece the pantheon is a must when visiting Rome, but this means this is often busy with noisy tourists. To make the most of this magnificent building visit early in the morning, to get a glimpse of the sunrise through the unique opening in the roof.
METRO: Barberini Line A
6. Piazza Navona
Home to the fountains:
Fontona dei Quattro Fiumi - depicting the four river Gods The Nile (Africa), the Danube (Europe), the Ganges (Asia), and the Rio del la Plata (America).
Fontana del Moro - a titan or Neptune taming a dolphin, luckily the statues in this fountain are replicas, in which the originals were moved to the villa borghese gallery, as they were vandalized in 2011 with a hammer.
Fontana del Nettuno - Neptune controlling the water beneath.
The square is one of the most visited in Rome and during our visit was host to an art market, with artists selling prints of top attractions in the capital of Italy, as well as offering portraits. This is a beautiful square to eat and drink in and is a great spot to people watch and admire the fountains.
METRO: Spagna Line A
7. Capitoline Museum
Home to the original Capitoline Wolf depicting the founders of Rome; Romulus and Remus the Capitoline museum is located on the top of Capitoline hill (shock) and is one of the oldest public museums in the world. It is beautifully decorated inside and contains an enormous collection of Roman art and sculptures, if you were to visit one gallery/museum in Rome I would definitely recommend this one, its huge, breezy and an architectural masterpiece in itself, (if you love painted callings like me, this place is a treasure trove).
€15 entry fee
METRO: Colosseo Line B
8. Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese gardens are the largest public garden in Rome and the villa gallery is a magnificent building home to hundreds of impressive sculptures and paintings alike. Aside from the impressive ancient art inside the gallery, the building itself is gloriously decorated, painted from ceiling to floor and paved with marble. We were lucky enough to visit during a fashion exhibition, where dresses were displayed across the gallery in ghost mannequins. Bare in mind that the gallery has strict rules about entry, you have to book a 2 hour time slot online as only around 350~ people are allowed in at any one time and this must be booked in advance online.
To reserve tickets visit their website here.
Tickets start from €20
METRO: Spagna or Flaminio Line A
9. Spanish Steps
While we all wish that we were visiting the Spanish steps to do our weekly shopping, the odd Chanel bag here, a Prada coat there, the majority of us will visit this glamorous hotspot for the window shopping and to gawp at the shop after shop of luxurious wares. The spanish steps themselves are 135 stairs curving towards the Trinita dei Monti and twin tower church, mostly however they are dominated by tourists and locals alike, enjoying snacks and drinks whilst watching the rich stagger by with their thousands of euros of purchases.
METRO: Spagna Line A
10. Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
Admittedly an unusual tourism attraction, as an avid cat fan I have to make an honorable mention to the cat sanctuary we visited in the center of Rome. Amazingly the shelter is set within the ruins of the ancient city, with cats climbing and weaving between the crumbling columns, and is home to over 150 felines. If you're looking for something a little different to go and see or you just really love cats this place is definitely worth visiting.
Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary