Sights of Rome

Rome is the capital of Italy that was built on the banks of the Tiber seven and a half centuries before our era. The eternal city on seven hills can boast such a rich history that it can be called one huge museum.

Today, the population of Rome stubbornly closes to three million. In addition, every year it is visited by thousands of tourists.

Facts About Rome

Country
Italy
Currency
Euro (€) (EUR)
Language
Italian
Population
Comune: 2,869,461 | Metropolitan City: 4,321,244 (2014)
Timezone
UTC+1

Map of Rome Attractions

Top 22 Sights in Rome

Trevi Fountain

Photo: Matt Boyd

One of the most famous, the most attractive and the most beautiful fountains of the world is located in Rome. This is Trevi Fountain. This is truly a work of art of the great master Nicola Salvi produces more than 30 years, having been established in 1762. Since that time, this creation has been devoted to a lot of musical masterpieces (one of them is a masterpiece of Ottorino Respighi "Fountains of Rome"), he was the protagonist of many films, and about the number of pictures of tourists with its participation.

By the way, in addition to the delights of sight, the fountain performs a practical function. For almost two thousand years conduit filled with pure spring water quenches thirst travelers and residents.

It is a well-known attraction in the Eternal City, which guarantees the fulfillment of all your desires for a small fee. If you want to go back to Rome - toss a coin, toss two - and find love, well, three - all guarantee a happy marriage. So it - is unknown, but the city becomes richer by seven hundred thousand euros each year, that is how much the most beautiful of the fountains "earns".

Church of St. Louis of the French

Photo: fhwrdh

French sanctuary of St. Louis of the French was built in 1589. Today it attracts the attention of connoisseurs of high art, not only for its beauty and harmony, but also for the fact that it is possible to "natural conditions", without the museum walls and highlights, to see the works of unrivaled genius of artistic skill of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Although many tourists admire the creations of Caravaggio, the construction of the temple of the soul is admirable itself. Everything is striking here: majestic dome, filling the building with human harmony and the surrounding space. The altar captivates with its value and marble and gold - an example of this church, you can simply explore the history of architecture.

The church is located in the city center; it is very popular among the local population, so it is easy to find it. Even if you just walk, it is highly recommended to visit this place, which is filled with the life of the city, but at the same time stands still in motion and eternity is the imprint of one of the pages of the Eternal City.

This is a functioning church, the schedule of its work and services should be specified in advance. Admission is free.

Santa Maria della Vittoria

Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria is not in the center of the Eternal City, and in its eastern part. It deserves to pay a special attention to it and take a look at the top, the standard of the Baroque style.

Santa Maria della Vittoria was built in 1605, its magnificent facade resembles a jewelry box, but in our case, the main value is the song "Ecstasy of St. Teresa," by the famous Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The history itself is very interesting, which served as inspiration for the creation of Bernini's composition. It was taken from the diaries of St. Teresa and tells the story of an event when an angel appeared in human form and pierced her with golden arrow with a flaming tip. This masterpiece is in the chapel of Cornaro, named in honor of Cardinal Federico Cornaro who ordered its building

But not only the described Chapel in Santa Maria della Vittoria is worthwhile being admired of. The church itself is beautiful, filled with not only the magnificent columns, exquisite moldings, multicolored mosaic images of saints, the incredible beauty and maintenance of painted walls, but also there is a special spirit of the Holy City, enigmas and inspiring charm.

Trastevere

Have you ever been to Rome? And what have you seen? St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican? Have you seen the true Rome, with its narrow streets width of one table, covered with a red checkered tablecloth, and a scooter standing nearby? Have you dined at the restaurant where the recipes of dishes account for a couple of thousand years? Have you seen the walls of Roman houses, overgrown with plants and pots decorated with flowers, which, like a hundred years ago, are filled with drying clothes? No? Then you have not seen the true life of Rome, and welcome to the Trastevere!

This is an amazing place – Trastevere. It is situated on the west bank of the Tiber, even its name literally means "beyond the Tiber". On someone's inexplicable and incomprehensible whim this masterpiece found itself a place outside of time and history. Today Trastevere carries all the identity and self-sufficiency of the Roman capital, transfers all its souls and moods.

You may ask what to see here? The answer is - all, or rather, everything. Here you just have to walk and watch, observe and absorb the beauty and simplicity of the Eternal City. Here you should definitely have a snack, or even better – have a dinner, enjoying the dishes prepared in the same way as a thousand years ago. And do not forget to promise yourself to return here someday.

Pantheon

To visit Rome and not visit the Pantheon - the Temple of all the gods, built in 27 AD, numbering nearly two thousand years, is an unforgivable mistake of any self-respecting tourist. This is an incredible and magnificent building that until the XIX century had no analogues. Its dome has a diameter of more than 43 meters and it is designed so that at noon, when the sun is at its zenith, a huge and strictly collimated light beam penetrates the colossal in size hole in the dome, and the sun, as furious spotlight illuminates the grandeur of the building. It is not enough to just convey emotions into words – you should feel everything by yourself.

Of course, now the hill, on which the Pantheon was built, has disappeared. There are no more unsurpassed gold and marble items, decorating it with the construction. But what is left makes Pantheon possible to give you lasting and big impression.

Many well-known, prominent and beloved personalities found their last resting place in the Pantheon. Some of them are genius of brush, leaving their creative works not only for Italy, but also for the whole of humanity. Among them there is such a prominent artist as Raphael.

The Pantheon is also required to attend because it has always been a true symbol of the greatness of the Roman Empire. And if they say that "All is afraid of time, but time is afraid of the pyramids", it seems that time is afraid of the Pantheon also.

Sant'Ignazio Church

Photo: Andy Hay

Rome has always been the cradle of Christianity. There are a huge number of temples and churches, wall paintings in which were written by the most famous geniuses of history Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo Buonarroti and other masters equally deserving both public love and attention.

Yet, the church of the Jesuits Church of Sant'Ignazio Di Loyola shocks us with its incredible, inspiring, absolutely "live" painted dome. It was made by not just an artist, but also a mathematician Andrea Pozzo, who, using the space of the flat ceiling of the church created the illusion of a dome. And suddenly, looking up, we can see the angels and saints, and blue sky. The painter blurs the lines between reality and unreality; architecture, sculpture, painting - all fused into one.

And who would have thought that such an impressive work of the great Italian we enjoy today for good reason: plans of the organizers of the construction were great, but they lacked money to finish the building. Therefore, it was decided to invite Andrea Pozzo, who, using a flat surface, with the help of his talent created a non-existent dome that delights and fascinates the audience in present days.

St. Peter's Basilica

The first association that comes into mind when pronouncing the word "Rome" is the majestic St. Peter's Basilica. It can be talked about for hours, days and even weeks, but even a part of the most interesting things will not be told.

St. Peter's Cathedral is the largest Christian church in the world, the main temple of the Vatican. The newly elected Pope holds its first service on the square in front of the cathedral. During the election of Pope people wait for the smoke that flocks from the pipe and will alert the Christian world about the newly elected Pope. At this place the first Pope – St. Peter was buried. In 1506, Pope Julius II ordered the famous architect of the time Donato Bramante to build the most beautiful one of the Christian churches, which should have eclipsed all the other churches of the world and became the embodiment of the reign of Pope on the earth.

Many geniuses participated in the construction of St. Peter's Cathedral – sculptors, architects, artists and painters, who gave it an even more solemn, monumental, majestic and graceful look. Here you can see the great works of Michelangelo Buonarroti, D. Fontana Della Porta, Antonio Pollaiuolo and others. In general, this is the case when it is better to see once.

Basilica of San Clemente

Rome is truly the Eternal City, and walking on it can be eternal. Being the heart of Christianity, Rome holds a huge number of religious buildings dating from the Pantheon, which is still worshiped to the ancient gods, ending present churches and temples. No wonder that the greatest buildings can be found at every step here.

And yet this church stands out among the crowd. In order to understand the full significance of this extraordinary and marvelous building you need to look a little deeper into the history of its creation. Basilica of San Clemente (built in the XII century AD), was built on the basis of other early church (VI century AD), and that, in turn, is another one. And it so happened that the lowest tier of the building dates back to the first century AD.

There is also one more interesting fact that the relics of St. Clement in 861 were taken and transferred to the Pope directly from Chersoneses (today - Sevastopol). This ancient town is known to public from the childhood of Saints Cyril, Methodius`s brother - the inventors of Slavic Literature. The relics of St. Cyril are in Rome today, in the church of St. Clement.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is the area of the Eternal City, made mainly in the Baroque style, which is decorated with three fabulous fountains (Fountain of Neptune, the Moor Fountain, and Fountain of the Four Rivers).

But this is Rome, so what is the square without a church? Thus, there are even two: Sant'Agnese in Agone, named in honor of the martyr St. Agnes (story says that she was exposed naked in front of a crowd of pagans, but then a miracle happened and she had grown in hair that covered the whole nudity) and Santa Maria del Sacro Cuore, (two hundred years ago was a Spanish church).

Piazza Navona is fabulous and magical, but it is very popular, and therefore already at 10 am there is a real Babylon here, the people in the crowd can be heard in more than a dozen languages and dialects. Therefore we recommend visiting it twice - once with a guide who will tell and show the most interesting things, and the second time, please, come by around 9 am. And in this second, coming we recommend you sitting in one of the many cafes, order a cup of tea or coffee, listen to different songs of fountains, watch various artists gather and exhibit their works, talking to each other ... and watch the Eternal City slowly wakes to write another great day in its chronicles.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

Photo: Sid

Santa Maria in Trastevere is a Church of the capital of Italy. It is amazing that today it has its original appearance; it is at the age of about 1700 years! This is a wonderful cultural heritage devoted to the Mother of God, and its name is translated as the Church of St. Mary beyond the Tiber. Historians tell us that in this place before, even in the III century BC, was blessed source of peace, which is believed to be scored in a moment of the birth of Jesus Christ, cried over all the land of his birth, and that the era of Christianity.

Today, most visitors are attracted to the church to admire its beauty and perfectly preserved mosaic gold hands of unsurpassed Pietro Cavallini. The brilliant artist tells us about the life of Mary, the birth of Christ in the cave, and of the coronation of Madonna. There are many amazing murals, sculptures and architectural masterpieces, which filled the church. All this combined with strict, grandiose and majestic columns creates a deep impression and makes you wonder about the true greatness of beauty.

Janiculum

Janiculum is a beautiful hill on the west of the capital of Italy. This is the second highest hill of Rome; it is located outside the ancient city to the west of the River Tiber. The name comes from the name of the two-faced Roman god Janus, which lets the sun every morning from the gates of heaven, and closes them every evening. Janus Sanctuary was on the site of today's Janiculum many centuries ago.

Now it's just one of the finest viewing platforms, which offers amazing and breathtaking views of the city. For this reason, in ancient times it was a strategically important place, which knew many heavy fighting and battles.

The whole town is seen from this place as on the palm. Numerous churches and temples, some of the monuments of architecture - you can spend unforgettable moments, remembering already seen sights and guessing their location with the height at which you are. If you have a free day or half a day, be sure to dedicate this time to admire the amazing Janiculum, which will seduce you with its beauty and grandeur of the Eternal City.

Vatican Museums

Be prepared that to visit the Vatican Museums you will need more than a day – to cover a number of masterpieces, unique pieces for the small amount of time is simply impossible. It seems that there is everything from Egyptian collections, ending brilliant works of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino ... How to choose from so many masterpieces the one that is more worthy of paying attention to?

The answer is simple: before visiting Vatican you must be prepared to choose the most desirable places for visiting, and to focus your attention on this. Unfortunately, despite the magnificence of the presented works, all people agree on one thing: there are terrible crowds in the Vatican Museums, people talking loudly, and a lot of pictures. Therefore, in order to see the masterpiece you are interested in, buy tickets in advance via the Internet, come earlier before the opening, and be one of the first visitors. And then, after enjoying your scheduled visit, you can wander through the halls, "bumping" in the priceless artifacts.

And do not despair if you were unable to see it all. It's a great reason to return to the Vatican Museums again.

Campo de' Fiori

Campo dei Fiori is a square in the center of the Eternal City. It was a very popular place for executions. For example, Giordano Bruno was burnt here. There is a statue to the philosopher that always reminds about this fact. It is located in the center of the square.

Today this place is full of life. In the morning (except Sundays) a lot of stalls with fruit, vegetables, fish and other Cancelled Product are opened here. And in the evening young people from all over the city walk here. Though it seems that you can fine dine because of the incredible number of restaurants and cafes, we recommend for this choose a nearby Trastevere - where you can find dishes prepared according to the true ancient Italian recipes. But if you are unpretentious food, and just need to "stay one's stomach» - Campo de 'Fiori will perfectly cope with this task.

Lovers of shopping will find many shops here, because along this area there are a huge variety of very colorful shops.

And by the inscription on the fountain in the center of the square, "Do good and let it be spoken of" we can see that it is place where people come to gossip and get the latest news of the capital.

Porta Portese

Porta Portese can be literally translated as Port Gate, because it was the gate that led to the ports of the ancient city, and served faithfully to Italian emperors. Now, when you say the Porta Portese, you mean not the gate. Now they have become very shabby for 400 years, and in comparison with other attractions of the Eternal City, the gate is not of particular public interest. It is now mostly known as a flea market.

However, please note that these concepts are separated. Flea market, which occupies a huge space and, in fact, called Porta Portese, is a huge market with very cheap and shoddy stuff. Many tourists do not like it, because all is dirty, there are many fraudsters and pickpockets. It works seven days a week. To get there, you need to get to the subway stop Piramide.

But there is another flea market, where you can find many interesting artifacts and antiquities. It works only on Sundays in the morning. There is quite different contingent here. There are a lot of tourists here. It is much easier to get here by tram, because if you go on the subway, you will have to go all the flea market. And it will be an absolutely not planned visit.

Roman Forum

Photo: Benson Kua

If you have already visited St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, and now do not want to touch the Christian shrine, and experience ancient city, to see what remains of the civilization that existed in the period of emperors - then welcome to the Roman Forum.

Why is it called Forum? Because on this place there was a market on which people met and shared gossip and news, later added to the ensemble of the People place where the immediate problems and prospects were stipulated, a few late to take judicial and political decisions by the Senate. That Therefore, all things which now is called the Forum took place here.

Time here has frozen in stone - each stone, each column and each surviving tree can tell you an amazing story. When you visit this place we suggest you contact a guide or join a guided tour, because it is pretty hard to navigate directly to the location by yourself. You can hire the audio guide in just 5 euros, but still it is a bit hard to understand it, exactly what ruins are being talked about.

We also recommend you to spend at least a day to visit the Roman Forum, because this area is huge. You will get exciting experience, and not only impose the atmosphere of the past and present. Please find a day and present it to Rome. Let it be engraved in memory as its inhabitants saw it in past times. And then you will definitely feel the 2,500 years civilization`s spirit.

Tivoli

Tivoli is a wonderful and interesting country town, located not far from Rome (25 km). The first data on it can be found even in the first century BC in the works of historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who stated that Tivoli had appeared before the Trojan War in the XIII century BC. This location is not very popular among tourists, which is very surprising, given what attractions are placed here. This is, in general, and for the better, because the less people, the calmer you can enjoy these works of art.

There is a medieval castle Rock Pia in Tivoli and three stunning villas: d`Este (luxury villa of the XVI century), Adrian (a huge territory, it is necessary to spend not less than a day here), and the youngest among them Villa Gregoriana of the XIX century. Moreover, you should also look at libraries, baths, temples, and rooms for servants, Marine Theatre and the park with olive groves that belong to Adrian’s Villa - all this belongs to UNESCO Heritage List.

Castle and Villas of Tivoli is not a composition, but simply detached buildings. They are located at a distance from each other (between the villas there is a kilometer distance). This must be remembered while planning to visit the town. Another important thing: despite the tourists who come here on weekends and during siesta, the Tivoli`s "infrastructure" does not work. Sometimes you will not even be able to buy some water here.  

Spanish Steps

For those tourists who are already a little bit tired of visiting cathedrals, museums and churches of the Eternal City, but still do not want to spend a day in vain and simply stroll through the streets of the city, it may be advisable to inspect Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna). It is called Spanish Steps, which has absolutely nothing to do with Spain.

The history of its creation is very interesting: in Rome there was a constant struggle and bickering between the Spanish who occupied the Palazzo di Spagna and the French, whose church which is located on a hill pinch. One diplomat who served there at that time, once had an idea to put the edge of this discord, and he bequeathed a huge amount of money that should have been used to build the symbol to reconcile the parties. Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) was destined to become such a symbol.

For a long time, for various reasons, but mostly just at the whims of the powers of all three parties - the French, the Spanish and the Pope, who has represented Italy, the construction was postponed for an indefinite period. It was completed in 1725. Francesco de Sanctis finished the project, using some symbols and heraldry of both the Pope, and the ruling dynasty of the Bourbons, to decorate the ladder.

Via Condotti

If you come to Rome not only for seeing the most high-profile attractions of the world, but also for shopping, you could not walk past the Via Condotti. As the most ancient street of the Eternal City, it is filled with a huge number of stores. There are not only Italian, but also global brands. Here you will find products of such brands as Louis Vuitton, MaxMara, El Salvador Feragamo, Italian Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and many others.

And finally, if your fate really brought you to the Via dei Condotti, please go to Via de Condotti, 86, and visit the oldest café in Italy and Rome – Antico Greco. Today you can meet celebrities, politicians, artists and writers there. Brilliant minds and the politicians have chosen Antico Greco since it was opened in 1760. Here you could have met the magnificent Casanova, mad King Ludwig of Bavaria. It really is a magical place. Just visit it, and it will be one of the most pleasant memories.

Capitoline Museum

The Capitol Hill is the beating heart of Rome. There is Capitoline Museum here – the world's first public museum, opened in 1734 by Pope Clement XII. The very idea of the existence of such attraction was born earlier. In, 1471 Pope Sixtus IV donated the symbol of today's capital of Italy - Lupa Capitolina and a huge statue of Constantine. The museum itself is located in three palaces, each of them with its own exposition.

Even if you do not go inside the museum, which presents priceless artifacts (for example, the beautiful statue of Marcus Aurelius, statue of centaurs from the rare black marble, dating from the IV century BC), you can just stroll through the square in front of Museo Capitolini. It is worth a separate story and attention.

Capitol Square is the heart of Museo Capitolini. All three museums are located around it. Although it takes a little (on site) space, its creator, Michelangelo Buonarroti, with the help of visual illusions expanded it. He used ellipse shape in its construction.

Appian Way

Photo: tjsalo

Appian Way has been the most significant and the most important road of Rome for the long time. Do not forget that roads had great significance for the city at that time: both political, social, and military. The construction works here began in 312 century BC. Here the Roman principle was used (the rough areas were leveled and became part of the whole). Therefore, the Roman roads were straight, as today's highways. Appian Way helped Rome in communication with Greece, Egypt and Asia.

Today it is a functioning monument of architecture: there are many tombs, monuments and arches, which has more than one hundred years. You can travel here either on your foot or by car. After the first five kilometers after leaving Rome the contemporary coverage ends, and you will have the opportunity to travel or go on the cobblestones, smoothed by time, cartwheels and horse hooves.

We recommend you to choose Sunday to walk here. In this day the road is closed for traffic and it can be safely walked on, thinking about the thousands of year’s inheritance, left by the ancient Romans.

Colosseum

Despite the fact that Rome is the center of Christianity, and it is possible to see the most unrivaled and rich temples and cathedrals of the world here, its hallmark is still Colosseum.

The historical film "Gladiator" was shown in 2000. It created a misconception that only in the movie you can see the magnificent Colosseum (and it is believed that the amphitheater in the movie looks more "solid" than it has been in history). And many people thought at that time that nearly nothing left from Colosseum. 

This is not true. Colosseum was built in 80 BC. This name is translated from the Latin as "grand, majestic". Not only today, but always Colosseum of ancient Rome showed the superiority of over the rest of the world, inspired respect and fear of the empire. On its construction 100,000 people were employed. The amphitheater was built for eight years. Its image adorned the coin of the Roman Empire of 80-year issue. This stunning building was to glorify the cult of the Roman emperor and stay in the memory of all mankind forever. We must admit that Colosseum coped with this task, and so far it is the most grandiose construction of the ancient world, that has left to our times.

Galleria Borghese

If the purpose of your visit to the capital of Italy is seeing all the sights with the help of inspection of the most important works of brilliant artists, visiting of the Galleria Borghese is a must. If you come to Rome to enjoy its true greatness and see masterpieces of ancient and present masters - all the same you should visit it.

It is located on the territory of the Villa Borghese in Rome. The gallery has a perfect collection of well-known princely family Borghese. It owes its existence to the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who, being the nephew of the Pope, sometimes used the lowest means, not disdaining any terrorizing, intimidation or theft to update his collection. In his posthumous testament Scipione Borghese ordered to transfer the collection only and exclusively to the representatives of the Borghese family.

As centuries passed by, various representatives of Borghese family were fond of horses. Therefore, all funds were sent to their breeding, forgetting about the collection. The paintings were taken away to other countries, were distributed as bribes to officials and, contrary to the will of the creator, and shared in the distribution of the inheritance. Many instances are now missing, but what is left, conquers the audience with its beauty and inspires during and after viewing. There are plenty of works by Caravaggio, Pinturicchio, Raphael, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Parmigianino, Rubens, Titian, and other equally talented artists. They all expect for you here – in the Galleria Borghese.

About Rome

Where to go, what to see in Rome?

To get started with just buy a guide. According to it the city cannot be moved at a gallop in the wake of a tourist group, it should be savored like an old expensive wine. The question of what can be found in Rome, the answer is very simple - everything!

Rome's main attractions are located in the central part of the city. Here is the Pantheon - the Temple, dedicated to ancient deities, and a stone's throw away majestic church of the Jesuits St. Ignazio di Loyla. There is also Piazza Navona loosely stretched, area unforgettable Baroque fountains, and resting place of the Roman bohemia.

Another area in the neighborhood is Campo dei Fiori; it is filled with boiling commercial life and seems comfortable and "home". But earlier it was a place of execution; it is here that Giordano Bruno was burned.

What to see in Rome necessarily? Touch the memory of bygone centuries, the easiest way, and walk all day on the Roman Forum. This is where once the Senate of the Empire took its fateful decisions. No need to leave aside the Capitoline Museum, a unique repository of works of art, as well as St. Peter's Basilica with Michelangelo and numerous Vatican Museums.

You will not be able to pass the Colosseum. It is a grand amphitheater, where once gladiator fights were held. Impress fans of the beautiful Church of the work of Caravaggio (San Luigi dei Francesi) and Santa Maria della Vittoria, located just south of the Galleria Borghese, a unique museum of Italian painting.

You should also have a nice walk on foot along the Appian Way. This cobbled thoroughfare once linked the city with the rest of the world. Today, it is a complex of monuments, tombs and fortifications, the distance between which seeks cobblestones.

What to look out for Rome to experience its modern rhythm? For example, walk slowly through the narrow streets of Trastevere, bright and bustling flea market Porta Portese, and then escape from the bustle of the oldest cafes in Rome on the Via de Condotti. Sit and imbued with the idea that Casanova and Hans Christian Andersen once rested here. And finally throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain - to return to the Eternal City again.