No trip to Italy is complete without a visit to Rome. This ancient city is filled with history, art, and culture. There’s no shortage of things to do in Rome, from touring the Colosseum and the Vatican City to visiting charming churches and restaurants. Here are some of the best things to do in Rome!
Diving straight in with one of the most recognised landmarks in Italy, the Colosseum is one of the most iconic buildings in history.
Located in Rome, Italy, it was built over 2,000 years ago and is considered one of the greatest achievements of Roman engineering.
The Colosseum was used for a variety of entertainment, including gladiatorial battles, animal hunts, and public executions.
It could seat up to 80,000 spectators, who would typically watch from tiered seating that allowed for good visibility.
Today, the Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. It is estimated that over 4 million people visit the site each year.
2- St. Peter’s Square
Located in the heart of Rome, St. Peter’s Square is one of the most visited places in the city. The square is home to a number of famous landmarks, including the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
Every year, millions of people visit Rome to see these sights, and St. Peter’s Square is often their first stop.
The square is surrounded by a massive colonnade, which was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century.
In the center of the square stands an obelisk, which was brought to Rome from Egypt by Pope Calixtus III in the 15th century.
And at the far end of the square is the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter, which was built over the tomb of Saint Peter, the first Pope.
With its mix of art, history, and religion, St. Peter’s Square is truly a unique place.
3- St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rome.
The basilica was built on the site of an earlier 4th-century church that was destroyed during the Sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths.
Construction of the current basilica began in 1506 and was completed nearly 100 years later in 1626.
St. Peter’s is designed in the Italian Renaissance style with a massive dome that dominates the skyline of Rome.
The interior of the basilica is lavishly decorated with marble, mosaics, and statues, and it contains many important works of art, including Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Visitors can also descend into the crypt to see the tomb of St. Peter himself.
With its incredible size and beauty, it’s no wonder that St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world.
4- Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Rome.
Located in the Vatican City, the chapel is best known for its incredible ceiling frescoes, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.
The chapel is also home to a number of other important artworks, including two of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper paintings and a number of sculptures by Pietro Perugino.
Today, the Sistine Chapel is still used for its original purpose – as the site of the conclave, where new Popes are elected – and it is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rome, attracting millions of visitors each year.
5- Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s most gorgeous landmarks.
Located in the heart of the city, the fountain has been a popular gathering spot for centuries. Visitors to the fountain can enjoy its magnificent architecture and sculptural details.
The fountain is also a popular spot for making wishes. According to legend, if you throw a coin into the fountain, your wish will come true.
Although the fountain is usually overrun with tourists, it is still worth a visit. Seeing the Trevi Fountain in person is an experience you won’t soon forget.
6- Roman Forum
The Roman forum was the center of public life in Rome. It was a large, open space where people could gather to buy and sell goods, meet for business deals, or simply enjoy the company of others.
The forum was also the site of many government buildings, including the Senate house and the law courts.
In addition, it was home to some of Rome’s most famous temples, such as the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Vesta.
The Forum was also the site of Julius Caesar’s famous speech in which he declared himself “dictator for life.”
The forum was a busy and vibrant place, full of the sights and sounds of daily life in Rome.
Today, the Roman Forum is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can explore its fascinating history while getting a taste of what daily life was like in ancient Rome.
The Pantheon is one of the most exemplary buildings in Rome. Built in the 2nd century AD, it was originally commissioned as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome.
However, it was later converted into a church, and today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.
The Pantheon is particularly famous for its massive dome, which is over 143 feet in diameter and still holds the record for the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
The interior of the Pantheon is just as impressive as its exterior, with marble floors and columns and a beautiful stained glass window at its apex.
Whether you’re interested in architecture or history, a visit to the Pantheon is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Rome.
8- Palatine Hill
Rome is a city with a rich history, and that history is on display at Palatine Hill. The hill was once the site of a grand palace, and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome.
Visitors can explore the ruins of the palace, which date back to the first century BC. They can also see the Roman Forum, which was once the center of political life in Rome.
Palatine Hill is a great place to learn about the history of Rome, and it offers stunning views of the city as well.
9- Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia is one of the most frequented squares in Rome, Italy.
The massive white building in the center of the piazza, called the Palazzo Venezia, was once the home of the doges of Venice.
Today, it houses a museum with a collection of Roman and Renaissance art. The piazza is also home to the national monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy.
The monument is made up of several hundred steps, and at the top is a statue of the king on a horse. Visitors can take an elevator to the top for panoramic views of Rome.
Piazza Venezia is a popular gathering place for tourists and locals alike, and it’s easy to see why. With its stunning architecture and rich history, the piazza is truly a sight to behold.
10- Piazza del Campidoglio
Piazza del Campidoglio is one of Rome’s most beautiful squares.
Located atop the Capitoline Hill, it was designed by renowned Renaissance architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in the 16th century.
The square is home to several important landmarks, including the Palazzo Senatorio (Senate House), Palazzo dei Conservatori (Conservators’ Palace), and the majestic statue of Marcus Aurelius.
Visitors to the square can also enjoy stunning views of the Roman Forum and the city beyond.
Whether you’re admiring Michelangelo’s architecture or soaking up the square’s history, Piazza del Campidoglio is a must-see on any trip to Rome.
11- Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo is a towering cylindrical building in Rome that was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman emperor Hadrian.
The castle has a long and storied history, serving as a fortress, a papal palace, and even a prison. Today, it is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.
Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and corridors, which are filled with art and artifacts from throughout its history.
They can also enjoy stunning views of the city from the castle’s rooftop terrace. Whether you’re interested in history or simply looking for a unique place to visit, Castel Sant’Angelo is sure to impress.
12- Piazza Navona
Rome is a city with no shortage of amazing sights, but one of the most phenomenal is undoubtedly Piazza Navona.
This massive public square was once the site of Roman chariot races, and today it remains a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
The square is defined by three beautiful fountains, the largest of which is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi.
This baroque masterpiece was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and features an impressive statue of River God flanked by four figures representing the major rivers of the four continents.
Visitors can also enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many cafes that line the square, or simply take in the atmosphere and soak up the unique history of this Rome landmark.
13- Galleria Borghese
The Galleria Borghese is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s easy to see why.
This lavishly decorated museum houses an impressive collection of artwork, sculptures, and antiquities, making it a must-see for any art lover.
The Galleria Borghese is located in the heart of Rome, and its beautiful garden setting makes it a perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Visitors can stroll through the gardens, admire the sculptures, and take in the stunning views of Rome.
The Galleria Borghese is a great place to learn about the history of art and culture in Rome. The museum offers guided tours that provide fascinating insights into the collection.
The Galleria Borghese is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of art.
14- Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II
Rome is a city with a long and storied history, and the Altar of the Fatherland is one of its most famous landmarks.
Also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, it was built to honor the first king of a unified Italy.
Completed in 1911, the massive white marble monument stands over 150 feet tall, making it one of the tallest statues in Rome.
Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the monument for sweeping views of the city, or simply admire its grandeur from below.
Either way, the Altar of the Fatherland is a must-see for anyone visiting Rome.
15- Piazza del Popolo
Rome is a city of contrasts, and nowhere is this more evident than at Piazza del Popolo.
This grand square was once the site of executions and public gatherings, but today it is a peaceful oasis in the bustling city.
The twin obelisks that flank the entrance to the piazza date back to ancient Egypt, while the church of Santa Maria del Popolo was built in the 15th century.
The large fountain in the center of the piazza was added in the 19th century, and today it is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.
Whether you’re admiring the architecture, people-watching, or simply soaking up the atmosphere, Piazza del Popolo is a must-see on any visit to Rome.
Once a working-class district, Trastevere has undergone a transformation in recent years, becoming one of the most desirable areas to live in Rome.
Despite its gentrification, Trastevere has managed to retain its charm, with narrow cobbled streets and picturesque piazzas.
The area is also home to some of Rome’s best restaurants, serving traditional specialties like Roman-style pizza and carbonara.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to stay or a lively nightlife scene, Trastevere is the perfect spot to experience the best of Rome.
17- Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers, is one of the most magnificent monuments in Rome.
Located in the city’s Piazza Navona, the fountain was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1651.
The fountain is decorated with four statues, each representing a different river: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube, and the Plate.
The fountain is also adorned with symbols of other classical elements, such as winged lions and dragons.
Today, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi remains one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.
Visitors come from all over the world to admire its beauty and take photos in front of its impressive backdrop.
18- Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four major basilicas in Rome. It is located on the summit of the Esquiline Hill, the highest point in the city.
The basilica was built in the 5th century, and has been rebuilt and renovated several times over the centuries.
Today, it is a major tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. The basilica is particularly renowned for its mosaics, which date from the 12th century.
These mosaic scenes depict various Bible stories, and are considered to be some of the finest examples of Romanesque art.
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is also home to a number of other works of art, including an 11th-century bronze statue of St. Paul and a 12th-century marble statue of the Virgin Mary.
19- Basilica di San Clemente
The Basilica di San Clemente is a church in Rome that dates back to the 12th century. However, the current building is actually the third church to be built on the site.
The first church was constructed in the 4th century, and it was expanded in the 6th century.
That church was destroyed by fire in 1084, and the second church was built in its place. The second church was itself damaged by an earthquake in the 12th century, leading to its replacement by the current structure.
The Basilica di San Clemente is thus a fascinating example of how layers of history can be preserved within a single building.
Visitors to the basilica can explore not only the 12th-century church, but also the ruins of the earlier churches that lie beneath it.
20- Campo di Fiori
Campo di Fiori, or “Field of Flowers” in English, is one of the most popular markets in Rome.
Located in the heart of the historic center, Campo di Fiori has been a popular gathering place for centuries.
During the day, the square is filled with stalls selling fresh produce, flowers, and other goods. In the evening, the market transforms into a lively nightlife destination, with bars and restaurants spilling out onto the cobblestone streets.
Whether you’re looking for a cheap meal or a place to enjoy a glass of wine under the stars, Campo di Fiori is the perfect spot.
21- Catacombs of Rome
The Catacombs of Rome are a network of tunnels and caves that have been used as burial grounds for centuries.
Located outside the city walls, they were originally created to provide a place for Christians to bury their dead away from the persecution of the Roman authorities.
Today, the Catacombs are a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the dark corridors and view the ancient frescoes and sarcophagi.
Although spooky, the Catacombs offer a fascinating glimpse into Rome’s past, and they are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the city.
22- San Lorenzo Neighbourhood
The San Lorenzo district of Rome is best known for its lively atmosphere and its abundance of cheap eats.
Students from the nearby university often congregate in the area, and the streets are always buzzing with energy.
In terms of food, there are endless pizzerias and trattorias to choose from, as well as a few more upscale restaurants.
The district is also home to a number of bars and clubs, making it the perfect place to enjoy a night out on the town.
Whether you’re looking for a cheap meal or a fun night out, San Lorenzo is definitely worth checking out.
23- Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks. Located in the heart of the city, the steps lead up to the church of Trinita dei Monti.
The steps were built in the 18th century to provide a grand entrance to the church, and they have been a popular spot for tourists and locals alike ever since.
With their sweeping curves and central location, the steps are often crowded with people taking photos or simply enjoying the view.
On a hot summer day, it’s not uncommon to see people cooling off in the fountain at the base of the steps.
Whether you’re looking for a photo op or just a place to relax, the Spanish Steps are definitely worth a visit.
24- Via del Corso
Via del Corso is one of the most famous streets in Rome. It’s a busy, vibrant place, full of energy and life.
The street is lined with shops and restaurants, and there’s always something going on. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a new outfit, Via del Corso is the place to go.
And if you want to people-watch, it’s the perfect spot. You can spend hours people-watching on Via del Corso – it’s one of the best ways to see the true character of the city.
So next time you’re in Rome, be sure to check out Via del Corso.
25- Secret Keyhole in the Aventino
If you’re ever in Rome and find yourself short on things to do, why not check out the Secret Keyhole?
Located on the Aventino hill, this curious landmark is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look.
The keyhole is actually part of the private gardens of a villa belonging to the Knights of Malta.
From the right angle, you can peek through the keyhole and get a perfect view of St. Peter’s Basilica – it’s like looking through a frame!
Of course, the Vatican isn’t too happy about this little “secret,” so they’ve tried to block it off with shrubs on occasion.
But if you’re feeling curious, it’s definitely worth seeking out the Secret Keyhole.
Who knows, you might just get a unique perspective on one of Rome’s most well-known landmarks!