Rome is the capital city of Italy and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. A plethora of historical and cultural attractions reflect the centuries of different people who have left their mark on the Eternal City. As well as all of these landmarks, the city boasts incredible cuisine and gastronomy!
In this article, we’ll take a look at 7 of the most popular landmarks in Rome. You might find it hard to believe, but it’s been hard to pick the 7 most interesting attractions in Rome. That’s because there are so many historical and cultural attractions in the Eternal City. However, with our insider’s guide, it’ll help you to plan and make the most of your trip. You can even book some of the best vacation rentals in Rome so a place to stay in this city is not a problem for tourists.
The Colosseum and The Roman Forum
Having stood for almost 2,000 years (it was built between 72 and 80 AD), the Colosseum is possibly the most recognizable of all the landmarks in Rome. In fact, the amphitheater is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world! One side is intact, but its dilapidated state is what makes it so distinctive.
It’s still the largest amphitheater in the world and originally Romans would come to watch Gladiators fighting each other, or a number of other games. It could hold up to 50,000 people.
It’s right next to the Roman Forum, the center of power in Ancient Rome. These ruins were once the government buildings of one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen!
Not quite as old as the Colosseum, but equally impressive is the Pantheon. It’s the best-preserved building from Ancient Roman times. It started off as a temple but is now a church, and incredibly, still has the world’s largest unsupported concrete dome. That’s not the only interesting architectural feature either – the floor drains the water that comes through the open roof.
The Pantheon is the final resting place of a number of Vittorio Emanuelle II, the first King of unified Italy, and the artist Rafael. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome.
The playful valley built under the reign of the fifth king of Rome, Lucio Tarquinio Prisco in the 6th century B.C. Since then he dedicated himself to games and historical events, in a place that radiated the splendid nature of a valley. The Circus Maximus could house up to 12 cars at a time, four (quadrigae) and two horses (bigae). Each one corresponded to what we would call today a team, with its sponsors and fans. They were very dangerous races for both horses and charioteers and it was not uncommon for someone to die in a race.
Today is a splendid place to walk and enjoy the nature that houses and the history that breathes.
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St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican gardens
Although St Peter’s Basilica is in Rome, you’ll be entering a different country once you visit! Yes, the Vatican City is the smallest country in the entire world, and you could fit it into New York’s Central Park 8 times.
However, it does have enough space for the largest church of Christianity in the world in those small borders. Ascend to the enormous dome and you’ll get a fantastic view of Rome. After you’ve left the church, The Vatican Museums are another must-visit on your trip. They house Roman sculptures, Renaissance art, and Michelangelo’s beautiful Sistine Chapel, just to name a few things.
The Vatican Gardens are another part of the Vatican City and is an authentic oasis among the crowd that visits other places such as the Basilica or the Vatican Museums.
The green space of 32 hectares and dating from the year 1,279 seduces, above all, a nature lover because of the calm it radiates, its harmony and perfection, being totally recommended for those who want to deepen the history of the Vatican.
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Lose yourself in the backstreets of Rome’s Trevi district and you’ll come across another of the city’s highlights. Dating back to the 18 th century, this is the largest Baroque fountain in the Eternal City, adorned with statues of Gods. That symbol at the top? It’s the Papal Coat of Arms being held up by angels.
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It’s a curious attraction, The Trevi Fountain. You can come across it almost completely by accident, as there’s no sound of rushing water to follow! Even so, the monumental fountain is built upon one of the most important aqueducts of the Roman Empire. The Trevi is a magical place to visit at any time, but especially during the night. It’s a little quieter than the daytime. To get an idea of how popular this place is, more than €3,000 is thrown in every day. In small change.
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After leaving the Trevi Fountain, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to another of the most iconic attractions in Rome. The Spanish Steps! Piazza di Spagna is connected to the beautiful and Trinità dei Monti Church by these 135 steps placed there by the Bourbon Kings of Italy. The Baroque architecture became even more popular in the film Roman Holiday which starred Audrey Hepburn. Around the Spanish Steps, you’ll find some of the best-designed shops in the city. So, this is a good place to sit down and have a rest from carrying your heavy bags!
Bocca della Verità
Along the banks of the Tiber, you’ll find an unassuming church which is likely to have a huge queue outside of it! The Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church is where you’ll find another of Rome’s top attractions – the Bocca della Verità. To those who aren’t familiar with Italian, that’s the mouth of truth. But why is this sculpture so famous?
The sculpture is dedicated to the Roman God of the Sea, and the cylindrical disc is made of marble. It shows his eyes and mouth. You’re supposed to insert your hand into the mouth and say your confessions. If you lie, you’ll have your hand bitten off! In the past, husbands and wives would take their partner their when suspected of adultery…
Piazza Venezia and L’Altare della Patria
Sometimes known as the Wedding Cake Building, there are no prizes for guessing what this building looks like! One of the more modern landmarks in Rome, the building that stands in Piazza Venezia is an imposing piece of architecture to commemorate the Italian Unification.
L’Altare della Partia is dedicated to the first King of unified Italy (Vittorio Emanuele II), who we earlier mentioned was buried in the Pantheon. Piazza Venezia is also home to a number of important buildings. One of these is the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s mother. The square is also at the centre of Rome, and is the base of Via del Corso, Rome’s main shopping thoroughfare. It’s close to many of the other attractions on this list, including the Pantheon and the Colosseum.
So, now that you know a little more about the 7 most popular landmarks in Rome…
We hope you’ve found our list informative and helpful when it comes to booking your trip! For more fascinating travel listicles, tours, and ecotourism advice check out the Nattule.