Rome is capital of Italy, it provide the archaeological evidence of human occupation about 14,000 years ago. Once you walk around the Rome you will be hooked. You can find glorious ancient buildings, fountains and museums.
1. Colosseum Rome
The Colosseum is the most astonishing monument among all the top attractions of Rome. It reflects the glorious history of Rome; it is a place where gladiators met in mortal combat and throw prisoners away to hungry lions. It is usually jam packed with visitors and you will have to endure a lengthy queue at ticket office but wait for your turn and get through.
2. The Trevi Fountain
Rome’s largest and most famous fountain, Trevi Fountain, is located at the centre of capital. Here is a tradition to throw coins into the fountain and it is believed that first coin will get you in love with an Italian and second will get you marry with him or her. Although I am not sure that how many wishes come true here but I am sure that each day $3,500 are thrown away in this fountain.
The Trevi Fountain
3. St Peter’s Basilica
Vatican City is renowned for its astonishing churches and all these churches are dazzled by St Peter’s Basilica. The most spectacular in design and huge in size, it is a greatest monument where the artistic genius of centuries has culminated. You need to be dressed up properly in order to view it; shorts or miniskirts are not allowed here. Here audio-guide is available for €5 at a desk on entrance.
St Peter’s Basilica
4. The Pantheon
Standing for last 2000 years, Pantheon is no doubt a symbol of excellent construction and glorious Roman history. Enter this Roman temple thorough its great doors and it will feel like an entry to back in ancient times. Historians told that this temple was built by the emperor Hadrian around AD 120.
5. Vatican Museums
Spread on 5.5 hectare and comprising of two grand palaces, Vatican Museum is another top attraction located in Vatican. Waiting in a queue first for ticket and then for security check is a real test of your patience. However, such endurance gets rewarded when you visit this world’s greatest museum. This huge museum cannot be explored in a one go; therefore, it is advisable to be selective.
There are priceless treasures placed in each gallery, but visiting all galleries in one go is not possible. My recommendation is to go for the Pinacoteca, Galleria delle Carte Geografiche, the Sistine Chapel, and Stanze di Raffaello.
6. Castel Sant’Angelo
Having a spectacular cylindrical shape, Castel Sant’Angelo is a prominent building in Rome. It was originally built as a mausoleum for Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family. However, in the 6th century popes started using this magnificent building as a fortress and thus secured themselves from impending danger of enemy. It is a wonderful experience to view Rome standing on terrace at 6th floor of this superb building.
7. Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Established by Constantine in AD 324, the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano has always been a great church in Christendom and still today it has a status as a Cathedral Church. It is also official seat of Bishop of Rome who is the Pope. In addition, Roman Catholics have given this grand church a title of ecumenical mother church.
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
8. Piazza Navona
A magnificent example of Baroque Roman architecture and art, Piazza Navona is a significant city square in Central Rome. With its ornamental fountains, it just looks like a decoration piece placed in the centre. It was built during 1st century at the site of Stadium of Domitian that was comprised of 30,000 seats. This stadium was used for games that were enjoyed very much by ancient Romans.
9. Galleria Borghese
It is popular saying that city of Rome itself is the best museum; however, such saying loses its worth when you visit Galleria Borghese, a wonderful art gallery. The building is 17th century villa that houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities placed in 20 different rooms. Moreover, Bernini sculptures housed in Galleria in the northeast corner of the sprawling Villa Borghese Park is also worth seeing but you will have to reserve for its visit in advance.
10. San Luigi dei Francesi
After having a taste of art work by Caravaggio, a late Renaissance master, at Galleria Borghese I got anxious to visit San Luigi dei Francesi, a church, where his art work is at its culmination. Two of his artefacts, St. Matthew and the Angel and the Martyrdom of St. Matthew makes one strongly believe that 400-year-old art was boldly modern. Similar to other basilicas, this church also offers free entry.
San Luigi dei Francesi
11. Ponte Sisto Stroll
Nothing can fascinate you more in Rome than a two hour stroll starting from the busy Piazza Navona and then towards Campo dei Fiori in the south where tasty food shops and cafes gives you a chance to have a snack with your favourite coffee and move further to Piazza Farnese to view romantic pair of fountains and grand Renaissance palace. Do not stop here but continue strolling further to Ponte Sisto, a historic bridge, along the Gianicolo hill mounting toward the west and St. Peter’s Basilica toward the north. Crossing the Tiber, you will reach magnificent Trastevere Neighborhood where colourful flowers from window boxes amuse you with their smiles. The fascinating charm will keep on growing throughout this stroll.
Ponte Sisto Stroll
12. Pizza al Taglio
If you get hungry but do not want to waste your time waiting for your meal sitting in a restaurant then stand-up pizza is a solution. The best thing that quite easily available in Rome is pizzerie al taglio (sliced) and interesting thing is that pizza can be ordered in 2-3 smaller portions in various varieties, margherita (tomato sauce and mozzarella), zucchini pizza, and kosher pizza (meat, but no cheese). It makes a deal more tempting.
13. The Pope
Pizza al Taglio
You might have met many VIPs in your life and got impressed with their stature; however, meeting with the Pope is a unique inspiration. He lives usually in Rome apart from few of his foreign trips; so get it confirm with your hotel. The Pope can be listened at noon on Sunday during Angelus prayer when he speaks from his window over St. Peter’s Square. He has devoted Wednesday morning especially for general audience so reach in the square to hear his address free or buy a ticket for Pope Paul VI auditorium to listen him.