The Italian capital is like a time machine. You will be instantly transported to the time of Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire. There are so many attractions in Rome, so many things to see, places to visit. There are world-famous sights like the Colosseum and the Vatican City. There are beautiful city squares, fountains, sculptures, chapels, ancient temples, and so much more. Here is our list of the top 10 places to visit in Rome.
Rome can easily overwhelm you with its long history, cultural influences on the world, and art. The modern city is also impressive. You cannot possibly see and do everything in one visit.
Top 10 Places To Visit In Rome
Our list of the top 10 places to visit in Rome will help you decide if you are on a limited time.
The Vatican City
The Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the Pope’s official residence. Top attractions here include the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, and the stunning Raphael Rooms. You need to see them all. Vatican City is an independent country, with its own passport, stamps, flag, and anthem. This is a top attraction in Rome you don’t want to miss.
The Colosseum is an iconic landmark the world immediately identifies with Rome. It used to be an ancient gladiator arena. Gladiator and bullfights were held here. Exhibitions of exotic animals, prisoner executions, battle recreations, chariot races, and mock sea battles were also held here. It is one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. This ancient amphitheater is a top draw in Rome. A must-visit. Take pictures with people dressed as gladiators.
It is a huge public square in Rome that dates back to the 1st century. Piazza Navona was the site of a sporting arena in ancient Rome. You will find many painters, musicians, and street artists on the square. There are restaurants, cafes, bars, and antique stores all around. See the 3 fountains of Navona – La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, Fontana del Nettuno. Piazza Navona is extremely popular with tourists.
It is an iconic baroque stairway and a popular meeting place in Rome. A good place to relax and for people watching. See the unique Roman Baroque architecture. There are many attractions nearby, including the Keats and Shelly’s house, the Trinita dei Monti church, city squares, and shopping. Many walking tours of Rome start and end from the Spanish Steps.
The Roman Forum
The Forum was the center of ancient Rome. This used to be the main street during the Roman Empire – The Via Sacra was used by both the locals and the emperors. You can now see the excavated temples, senate, triumphal arches, squares, public baths, markets, government buildings, statues, and monuments. 4.5 million tourists visit the Roman Forum every year.
This 18th-century structure is the world’s most popular fountain. It is close to the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. See the statue of the Greek God of Sea Oceanus accompanied by Tritons and sea horses. Throw coins at the fountain, a famous custom, for wish fulfillment. The Trevi Fountain is one of the top photographed places in Rome.
Castel Sant’ Angelo
Castel Sant’ Angelo is a 2nd-century structure and the resting place of Hadrian, his family, and the subsequent Roman emperors. It was turned into a castle by Pope Nicholas III. Located on the banks of the Tiber River, there is a corridor that passes from below the river, connecting with the St. Peter’s Basilica on the other side. See the museum, beautiful frescos, arms, prison, and the torture chambers in the castle. The neighboring St. Angelo Bridge of the Tiber has many beautiful statues.
The Pantheon is a huge structure and the best-preserved temple of ancient Rome. It was built between 113 and 125 AD and dedicated to honoring all Gods. See the stunning and the world’s largest unsupported dome. The most famous tomb is of Rapheal. You will also find impressive artwork and the beautiful 16 granite columns. See the Piazza della Rotonda and the Santa Maria Rotonda church.
It is the catacomb of Rome below the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini church. You can see 4000 human bones of friars in the 6 chapels. There are full skeletons wearing monk dresses. The walls and ceilings are all decorated with bones and skeletons. The Capuchin Crypt is a macabre attraction in Rome. It is not for the faint-hearted.
Galleria Borghese is the most important and impressive art gallery in Rome. You can see many impressive sculptures, antiquities, and paintings from the 15th to the 18th centuries. There are works of Bernini, Titian, Caravaggio, and others on display. The gallery is a must-see if you are interested in Renaissance masterpieces. Galleria Borghese is located in a mansion in a beautiful garden. There are many tourist attractions nearby.