Rome Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in Rome

8.1 /10
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Sistine Chapel
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The Sistine Chapel in Rome is named for Sixtus IV della Rovere, who was Pope from 1471 to 1484. The interior walls of the chapel are covered in exquisite frescoes painted by some of the greatest Italian artists in history, including Perugino, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, and of course Michelangelo, who painted the stunning frescoes which adorn the ceiling. The chapel is not only a work of art; it is in fact still used as a site of papal religious activity—the election of a new Pope takes place in the chapel, at an event called a conclave.

The fresco style of painting was used throughout the chapel. The word is derived from the Italian affresco, meaning "fresh". Fresco painting is simply painting which is done on a surface of plaster, either wet or dry depending on the method a painter chooses. For the frescos of the Sistine Chapel, layers of wet plaster were applied to walls, and then painted over, allowing the pigments to soak into the plaster... read more arrow
8.1 /10
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St. Peter's Square
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You are standing in a courtyard, surrounded by hundreds of other people who are equally awed by the majesty of the sights that you are all seeing. Before you, over 400 feet tall and almost 400 years old, rises the magnificent Saint Peter's Cathedral. As you turn to glance about the elliptical colonnade in wonder, you are greeted with the sight of hundreds of pillars holding up the ancient Baroque architecture. When your eyes reach the center of the square, you are greeted by the sight of an ancient Egyptian obelisk, dating back to the 13th century BC. To either side of the obelisk are fountains, and beyond it the road leading into the square. You are standing in Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City within Rome.

The architecture of Saint Peter's Square was designed to be awe inspiring, leading, as it does, up to the great Saint Peter's Cathedral (or the Basilica of Saint Peter). The design was by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and the Square was built over time from 1656 to 1667 by order of Pope Alexander VII... read more arrow
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Villa Borghese
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The Villa Borghese is a large natural park in Rome. It contains a few buildings, attractions and hosts the Galleria Borghese museum. It's main entrance is through the upward leading path of the Spanish Steps.

Greek Temple
The area was a vineyard up until the In the 17th century. Then Scipione Borghese, Cardinal and nephew of the Pope Paul the fifth, turned the area into a splendid garden. The vineyards of the Villa Borghese were quite famously renowned. Then, in the 19th century, the garden was given an English refinement twist. At the begining of the 20th century, the park stopped being privately held and became a public place for locals and tourists alike.

Etruscan Museum
The original villa was built by Flaminio Ponzio, Cardinal Borghese's architect... read more arrow
7.9 /10
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Roman Forum
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The Roman Forum, the heart of Rome. The citizens of ancient Rome spent a good part of their days there. The great place was surrounded with temples and legal buildings and filled with statues, bridges, arcs and columns. So the "Forum Romanum" was a remarkable marketplace center point for all business and shopping made by the ancient citizens of Rome.

The Forum was also used by Roman orators for public speaking. This created a shopping and trading ambiance that would get people stopping and listening. Many religious and festivals where also held at the Forum. It is also known to have been the cradle of the Latin population 26 centuries ago.

The creation of the forum, as market and public meeting space, was a roman integration of the Greek's agora. Forums also made their appearances in many other towns and Italy provinces... read more arrow

7.9 /10
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Trevi Fountain
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The Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular, and photographed, fountain in the world. This grand fountain, most likely the most beautiful one in Rome, is located in the Quirinale district and is clearly the masterpiece of the small Trevi square. "Trevi" is derived from the word "Trivium", meaning "where three streets meet". This monumental baroque Trevi Fountain is within a walking distance of the Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps.

Neptune
Trevi Fountain History

The fountain was designed by the artist Nicola Salvi, who was commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1732. Salvi based his designed on one that Bernini started one century earlier but he was halted after the death of Pope Urban VIII. It took about thirty years to build the fountain and it was finally completed in 1762... read more arrow

7.7 /10
Spanish Steps thumbnail
Spanish Steps
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The Spanish Steps is another very popular attraction that is located in the heart ("Centro Historico") of Rome. It is also one of Rome's favourite romantic spot and one of the most popular's city landmark.

The Spanish Steps has 138 steps that connects the Piazza di Spagna (or Spanish Square), one of the most elegant square, at the bottom to the Franciscan Trinità dei Monti church at a higher level. These nice and elegant steps were made by Francesco de Sanctis between 1723 and 1726. The Steps were built to create a nice path between the church on top of the hill and the Spanish embassy located on the Piazza below.

Spanish Steps with Flowers
The vibrant and stylish Piazza di Spagna is surrounded with 18th century buildings. Colourful flowers also gives the Spanish Steps an enhanced visitor experience... read more arrow
7.6 /10
Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, surrounded by the city of Rome, is a sight that delights the eye and captures wonder and beauty from every angle. With a dome that may have helped to inspire Saint Paul's Cathedral in London among others, Saint Peter's rises over Vatican City like a shining star.

The Saint Peter's Basilica, also known as the Basilica of Saint Peter, is the foremost place of worship of His Holiness, the Pope, who is the religious leader of the Catholic people. Public religious ceremonies officiated by the Pope are often performed within the Cathedral. This is primarily due to the size of the Cathedral, which can hold about 60,000 people, as well as the proximity of the Cathedral to the Papal Residence within Vatican City.

The Saint in question was Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, first Bishop of Antioch, and later first Bishop of Rome. Legend has it that Saint Peter himself is buried under the altar stone, although there are no biblical references to Peter having been in Rome or having been martyred there... read more arrow
7.2 /10
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Rome Coliseum
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The roman coliseum ("colosseum" or "colosseo") is probably the most ancient world renowned monument in Rome. It was one of the very first roman amphitheatres to be built. It is located between the Caelian Hills and the Esquiline on on marshy type of land. Records show that the coloseum was built over many years and was inaugurated around 80 A.D. Learn more about the coliseum's history >

Although the brutality of the spectacles to be presented in the colosseum was to put man's so call dignity to shame, it's history sparkled people's imagination for generations. Gladiator fights, human fed to hungry beasts and violent sporting events has nothing the human race can be proud of. However, it's architectural magnificence will always make the colosseum one of the greatest historical monuments of Rome.

The colosseum was built to contain 50,000 spectators which is a monumental feat at that time considering it could still be considered huge in modern standards... read more arrow
7 /10
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Piazza Navona
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Piazza Navona Fountain & Statues

From always, the Piazza Navona is synonymous with joy, festivities and popular entertainment. Today, Romans and tourists go hang there day and night besides street artists, musicians and portraitists. The medieval streets around the Piazza Navona are full of artisan shops, trattorias and pizzerias. There is an elegant and natural mixture of baroque and renaissance styled buildings.


Fountain Statue

Although the Piazza Navona reproduces in shape the antique Dominitian stadium, it is mostly an architectural celebration of the baroque and renaissance periods.


Since the beginning of the 16th century, the Popes wanted to embellish the small streets by building churches and palaces. Some of the elite people of the time made up their residences in the area which attracted librarians and other quality shops... read more arrow

7 /10
The Castel Sant'Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is located in the district of Borgo, in Rome. This cylindrical building was built on the right bank of the river Tiber between 135 and 139 AD. The ashes of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who died in 138 AD, were placed there when the building was completed, and up until the year 217 AD, the ashes of other Roman Emperors were also placed here, in a room deep inside the building's interior.

This imposing structure consists of a basement which is quadrangular in shape—each side is almost 90 meters long, and this part of the building is 15 meters high. The cylinder which sits at the top of this structure is 64 meters in diameter, and 21 meters high. The mausoleum was originally adorned with a roof-top garden, a statue of Hadrian, and a bronze statue of a four-horse chariot, called a quadriga. The whole was enclosed in a high wall with bronze gates, which were decorated with peacocks (these are thought to have been a funerary symbol)... read more arrow
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One part of the eternal city that epitomizes the free willed spirit of Rome is the Piazza Campo de'Fiori. A large languid city square in the heart of Rome, it is a place where you can hear the Roman heart-beat. Encircled by buzzing cafes, bars and inns since very old times the place is home to a thriving fruit and vegetable market in the mornings and a throbbing and pulsating nightlife.

The Piazza was once nothing but a flood plain of the river Tiber, and the first church was built there in the pontificate of Boniface IX. Later on the Orsini Palace which used to once stand there once was rebuilt. The square was actually never formally conceptualized, but remained the focus of commerce and street culture catering to the outpourings from the streets surrounding and leading up to it. These streets accommodated various trades like cross-bow making, tailoring, coffee making, hat making and the like, and were therefore named after them... read more arrow
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Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
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Imposing and elegant, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls - built in the 4th century - is one of Rome's four papal basilicas. About 2 km outside the Aurelian Walls (after which the basilica is named), this massive Roman church - and the second largest after St. Peter's Basilica- has undergone centuries of change and expansion. It was destroyed in a fire in 1823, rebuilt and reopened in 1840 thanks to the contributions of many faithful Christians from all over the world.

Inside, the Basilica of Saint Paul is marvelous, decorated with enormous marble columns and stunning gold mosaics. Due to the fire, parts of the Medieval basilica were destroyed, but some treasures survived, such as the 5th-century triumphal arch, with its restored ancient mosaics.

On the basilica’s walls, you should check out the papal portraits. Every pope since Saint Peter is represented here - there are 265 medallions - and a legend says that when there is no longer room for the next portrait, the world will fall... read more arrow

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (Cathedral) thumbnail
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (Cathedral)
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Most tourists are unaware of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, located over the Celio Hill on the south side of Rome. Even less might know that this splendid Basilica - and the oldest church in Europe - is the mother church of all Roman churches that ranks even above St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

The Basilica of St John Lateran is the official seat of the Bishop of Rome, (the Pope) and as such, it contains the papal throne. As the pope lives at the Vatican he rarely visits the church, however, it is used to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass.

Built in the 4th century - in honor of St. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist - the church has played a significant role throughout history; it was here that all popes were enthroned up until 1870.

The interiors are magnificent; the basilica is home to impressive columns, large statues, mosaics and ceiling-to-ground frescoes... read more arrow

7 /10

Rising above the trendy neighborhood Trastevere, south of the Vatican, is set the Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo in Italian). Some people consider it as the eighth hill of Rome. Nestled just outside the historical center, it is a peaceful place to visit and to get away from the hustle and bustle of Rome.

Janiculum played an important historical role defending the city; that's why its walking paths are full of sculptures of important heroes, including Giuseppe Garibaldi. 

The most attractive feature of Janiculum Hill is its sweeping view of Rome across the river that starts already when you walk up its pathways.

Janiculum is a charming location to stroll around; usually, there are activities for children, such as puppet shows or pony rides. You will find the following interesting landmarks as well:

1. The Botanic Garden, home to several thousands of plant species

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The Roman Ghetto (the oldest Jewish community in all of Europe) was established in 1555 on the banks of the Tiber. Here, until 1870, the city’s Jewish population was forced to live behind a walled gate, under severe restrictions and controlled by the Pope. It was built on low, malarial land subject to floods from the Tiber. Although the walls were torn down in 1888, today's neighborhood (located around Via del Portico d’ Ottavia) retains its culture. You will find a tightly knit, highly supportive community that still cooks meals together, celebrates holidays and festivals. The whole area arrays an authentic village feel.

When you visit this (Sant'Angelo) district you can't miss seeing the Synagogue of Rome along with the attached Jewish Museum. The today Synagogue was built after the unification of Italy in 1870 to celebrate the end of the Jewish Ghetto of Rome. 

The neighborhood is full of traditional restaurants serving Roman Jewish cuisine... read more arrow

7 /10

Once you've gotten a taste of the works of Renaissance master Caravaggio, you might want to head to the San Luigi dei Francesi church, to admire his most powerful works.

Located between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, this opulent baroque church is home to a celebrated trio of Caravaggio paintings: the Vocazione di San Matteo (The Calling of Saint Matthew), the Martirio di San Matteo (The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew) and San Matteo e L’Angelo (Saint Matthew and the Angel), known together as the Saint Matthew cycle. These masterpieces of art belong to some of the earliest religious works of Caravaggio. These stunning examples of Roman Baroque Art are mainly renowned for the incredible use of "chiaroscuro", the contrast of light and dark.

As no information is available about the painting inside the church, you might want to read up on the works before visiting. Once you have admired the interior of the church, step outside to see the panorama of Rome from the church's Franciscan garden... read more arrow

7 /10

Giorgio De Chirico spent thirty years living and working in the 17th-century “Palazzetto dei Borgognoni” in Piazza di Spagna in the center of Rome, the city's cultural and artistic heart.

De Chirico – who passed away 40 years ago - is known to have produced artwork in the neoclassical and neo-Baroque style and his works are also featured in art institutions like the Guggenheim.

Following careful restoration, the Giorgio de Chirico House-museum opened to the public in 1998 and offers visitors a guided tour of some of the artistic production of this master of surrealism. The first of two living rooms is dedicated to works executed during the 1940s and 1950s, including several self-portraits and portraits of his wife, Isabella. 

The second part of the apartment (extended during the 1960s) exhibits some de Chirico’s so-called Neo-metaphysical works, while the upper floor preserves the artist’s atelier.

A visit to the two-level apartment also lets you have a glimpse of how the city's upper crust has lived for centuries and has stunning views over the piazza... read more arrow

7 /10

Just like Milan, Rome is a cult for shopping. The eternal city is full of elegant shops, megastores and big brands shops, in the city center or on the outskirts. The hotspot for high fashion is the Tridente area; it stretches to Piazza di Spagna, Via Condotti, till Piazza del Popolo. It's the luxury center of the city - loved by tourists and Romans - and one of the most expensive shopping area in Italy.

Via Condotti (its complete name is Via dei Condotti) dates to the ancient Roman era. It was already a fashionable street in the18th-century when Caffé Greco opened its doors and was frequented by e.g. Goethe and Byron. Today it is a heaven for shopaholics.

Most of Via Condotti is known for its fashion boutiques including the Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Prada, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana. However, you will as well find highly skilled dressmakers, bookshops, and porcelain boutiques... read more arrow

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Ponte Sisto, or Sisto Bridge, is one of the most famous bridges in Rome crossing the Tiber River and connecting Rome’s historic center with the charming Trastevere neighborhood, where laundry swings overhead and flowers burst from window boxes.

The Ponte Sisto offers one of the most beautiful perspectives on Rome’s skyline, from the Janiculum Hill in the west to the St. Peter's Basilica in the north. Ponte Sisto was rebuilt on the ruins of the Roman bridge, “Pons Aurelio”, that was built under Emperor Antonino, with the aim to connect the two river banks.

The bridge is not only beautiful during the day, but even more at night when it is beautifully lit up. 

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Pope Francis holds a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square every Wednesday morning at 10:30 am that usually runs 60-90 minutes. During the winter months, they are held in the Paul VI Hall, and occasionally at the Pope’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo.

The Vatican website has an up-to-date schedule informing about the location the audience takes place.

The Pope greets pilgrims in his audience in every major language and then gives a series of small teachings and readings in Italian. In the end, the Pope prays with those in attendance and gives the Apostolic Blessing.

Tickets for the audience are always free, but you’ll need to get them in advance.

The easiest way to pick up your ticket is to get them from the Swiss Guards at the Bronze Doors (located just after security at St Peter’s Basilica) on the Tuesday before the audience between the hours of 15:00-19:00 (from 15:00-18:00 in winter) or Wednesday morning before the mass... read more arrow

7 /10

Italians have been doing quality street food much longer than some of us might think. Italians do a parade around the piazza with gelato, or slice of pizza in their hand.

The ionic pizza

There are various types of pizza in Italy, the Neapolitan, Roman, and the authentic pizza al taglio (“by the slice”). Designed to be held in hand and eaten on the go, this pizza is baked slower and longer in trays, so it gets a crispy bottom. As it is baked in a conventional oven, this pizza has as well a different flavor from the ones baked in the wood-burning oven.

Mostly available from lunch through midnight, it makes the perfect snack. Only in Rome, there are an estimated 5,300 places that make this "pizza by the slice" so you have a wealth of choice.

We give you some suggestions about where to get one of Rome's best:

1. Volpetti Più... read more arrow

6.8 /10
The Vatican Museums, located in the Vatican City in Rome, are public museums devoted to displaying works of art and sculpture from collections owned by the Roman Catholic Church. These museums are an exceptionally popular destination, receiving well over three million visitors every year.

The museums were founded in the sixteenth century, by Pope Julius II. The history of these museums began when the Pope purchased a sculpture of Lacoon, a Greek seer who figured prominently in the mythology of the Trojan horse. On the advice of Renaissance artist Michelangelo, the Pope displayed the sculpture at the Vatican, and from that time many artifacts were added to the collection. The Roman Catholic Church now owns an extensive collection of art and sculpture, which is overseen by more than three hundred employees.

The Vatican Museums include several museums dedicated to religious art, secular sculpture and Renaissance art, as well as a museum of contemporary religious and secular art... read more arrow
6.7 /10
Medieval Rome at its most earthiest and in some areas, its most charming – that is Trastevere. Its name means "over the Tiber", as it is separated from central Rome by this river that streams through the city. It used to be home to artisans during the medieval times.

Part of Trastevere's charm is the warren of narrow lanes that lead to street-corner shrines and garden terraces. All around, there is plenty of local color to be discovered and enjoyed. This includes cobblestone streets, vine-covered walls, homes adorned by flower boxes and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Trastevere is a great place for long, relaxing walks. The quiet lanes lead from over the Ponte Sisto (the graceful bridge) to Viale Trastevere and further on south. Ponte Sisto is Renaissance in design and is made of bricks and stones. Meander through the alleys and make it like a treasure hunt – uncovering treasures such as old houses, little squares and unpretentious restaurants... read more arrow
6.5 /10
The catacombs around Rome are places that always fascinated visitors. Going back to the first century, Christian Romans did not have their place to burry their dead. Until Christianity's acceptance, the Ancient Romans forbade, nor offered a piece of land for Christians to bury bodies in Rome. So before the catacombs, Christian and Jewish had to resort to other pagan common cemeteries. Saint Peter was buried on one on Vatican Hill in the great public "city of the dead" (know as "Necropolis") and Saint Paul was buried in one along the Via Ostience.

In the second century, Christian were granted small pieces land outside of Rome's precincts and started creating subterranean burial places. It became more practical and less costly for Christians to develop underground cemetery complexes than buying open-air properties.

There were about sixty catacombs near Rome mostly along the Appian Way... read more arrow
6.4 /10
The building of the Roman Pantheon was begun in 27 BC, commissioned by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. At that time, it was a classical temple, with a gabled roof supported by a colonnade. This building was destroyed by fire in 80 AD, and between 118 and 128 AD, it was completely rebuilt by Hadrian, the Roman Emperor of that era. The Pantheon was originally built with adjoining water gardens and baths, however these are no longer in existence. Some minor repairs and alterations were made by various Roman Emperors of the third century AD, however the building as it can be seen today is, with the exception of paintings added in the fifteenth century, almost identical to the building it was in the second century.

The word pantheon is derived from the Greek, and literally means "temple of the Gods. The original Pantheon was a temple dedicated to the seven deities of the state religion of Ancient Rome... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

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