Few, if any, cities in the world can compete with the Eternal City in terms of sheer numbers of attractions. In fact, limiting it to just the top 10 things to do in Rome is quite a task in itself. If you’re looking to discover incredible history and artistic masterpieces, then this is definitely the city for you. Take a closer look at 10 of the best below.
1) Explore the Colosseum
One of the world’s most recognisable attractions, construction of the Colosseum began in 70AD under Emperor Vespasian. At its peak it could hold up to 80,000 spectators who would gather to watch bloody gladiatorial battles, ceremonial games and even maritime recreations – as it was occasionally filled with water.
2) Visit the Circus Maximus
The sporting centre of ancient Rome, 250,000 people would gather at this huge stadium to watch thrilling chariot races. These days you can still make out the size and scale of the Circus Maximus and imagine what race days must have been like. You can almost hear the thundering chariots approaching as the roar of the crowd builds.
3) Commune with the gods at the Pantheon
Rome’s most complete masterpiece, this architectural gem is the epitome of proportion and elegance. It’s believed that the hole in the centre of its domed roof was a direct line to the gods above – a conduit to the next world.
4) Feel the power at the Roman Forum
The Forum was the heartbeat of Ancient Rome. This is the place from where an empire was commanded and where emperors lived. Wander the ruins and feel the power that once flowed through these halls. Imagine how it must have felt to rule the known world from this very spot.
5) Read poetry on the Spanish Steps
Built in the mid-18th century, the graceful Spanish Steps have been inspiring poets and artists for centuries. Take a book of your favourite poems, find a quiet spot on the steps and spend an hour or two reading. You never know – you might just be inspired to write your very own epic.
6) Climb St Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s may be the biggest church in the world, the spiritual home of the Catholic church, and the burial site of St Peter himself but above all its an engineering and artistic marvel. Gaze around you at the majestic Renaissance architecture. If you’ve got the energy, climb the 500 steps to the top of Michelangelo’s stunning dome.
7) Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
Legend has it that anyone who tosses a coin over their shoulder into the fountain will ensure a return visit to Rome. If you’d love to come back to the Eternal City, you best start warming up your throwing arm. This is always one of the most popular Rome attractions.
8) Stroll the Vatican Museums
With more than 9 miles (14.5 kilometres) of galleries to explore and in excess of 1,400 rooms and chapels, you probably won’t have time to see everything. Make your way through, discovering hidden gems next to world famous artworks, including Raphael’s Stanze della Segnatura.
9) Take a Sistine Chapel tour
One of the most famous artworks in the world and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, this stunningly decorated ceiling took over four years to complete. Gaze up in awe at a truly incredible feat of creativity. Then think about the fact Michelangelo wasn’t able to see the finished article until all the scaffolding was removed at the end of the process.
10) Unearth treasures at the Palatine Hill & Museum
One of Rome’s most incredible archaeological sites. Much of what has been discovered dates to between the 1st and 4th century AD. Marble statues and architectural decorations are just some of the pieces carefully uncovered and placed on show. Legend has it that this is the birthplace of ancient Rome.