If you’re planning a trip to the ‘Eternal City’, you’ll want to know the top sights in Rome. Famed for its rich history and artistic heritage, the Italian capital is a popular city break destination. In fact, it’s one of the most visited cities in Europe. There’s something for everyone in Rome, from the religious significance of the Vatican City to the mouth-watering flavours of Italian cuisine. Romantic, historic and dynamic, don’t miss out on these top sights in Rome when you visit!
One of the 7 wonders of the world, the Colosseum is Rome’s most famous attraction. The largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, it first opened its doors in 80 AD! Situated in the centre of the city, visitors can explore the stands, the arena and underground areas of the Colosseum. Amazingly, in its heyday, the Colosseum could host 65,000 spectators at a time! As one of the top sights in Rome, visitor numbers can be high, so book tickets in advance to avoid queues on the day.
A true symbol of Roman grandeur, the Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. Originally a Roman temple, the Pantheon has served as a Catholic church since the year 609. Built by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD, the Pantheon remains one of the most treasured sights in modern-day Rome. Whilst the outside is striking, with Roman columns and inscriptions, the interior is simply spectacular. With marble floors and a domed ceiling, visiting the Pantheon instantly transports you back in time and reveals much about the city’s fascinating history.
St. Peter’s Basilica
The spiritual centre of the Catholic church, St. Peter’s Basilica is another of the most unmissable sights in Rome! Situated in the heart of Vatican City, this Renaissance-style church was constructed in the 17th-century. It’s famous for its enormous size and for being one of the holiest places in the Catholic Church. Home to the tomb of Saint Peter, the Basilica was designed by Renaissance greats such as Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Whether you’re religious or not, this important sight is sure to leave an impression!
Found within Vatican City’s Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel is famed for its incredible frescoes. Constructed in the 15th-century, the chapel’s ceiling and walls are adorned with the spectacular paintings of Michelangelo. Most notable is The Last Judgement, perhaps one of the most famous religious paintings in existence. Other highlights include the Creation of Adam, also by Michelangelo, and a set of tapestries by Raphael. Although an important spiritual site, the Sistine Chapel is a must-see for anyone interested in Renaissance art.
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Trevi Fountain. Tradition states that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you’ll return to Rome one day. Whether you’re superstitious or not, you can’t miss the chance to see this 18th-century fountain. At its centre stands a statue of the Roman god Neptune, who rides on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by two horses. If you do throw a coin, remember to stand with your back to the fountain and toss the coin over your left shoulder!
Delve deeper into the city’s Roman heritage at the incredible ruins of the Roman Forum! Once the centre of the Roman-era city, the Forum is one of the top sights in Rome. Founded around the 8th-century BC, the Forum was at the centre of everyday life in ancient Rome. It was once lined with shops and market stalls and was also a site of public meetings, law courts and gladiatorial battles. One of the best sights in Rome, visitors can walk amongst the ruins freely and imagine what life was like all those centuries ago!
Connecting Piazza di Spagna with Piazza Trinità dei Monti, the Spanish Steps are another of the most famous sights in Rome. Roccoco in style and often decorated with potted flowers, this steep set of stairs date back to the early 18th-century. The three sets of stairs symbolise the Holy Trinity, and there are 135 steps in total. At the top of the staircase is the Trinità dei Monti and an Egyptian Obelisk, from where you can enjoy excellent views of the Piazza below. Of course, the Spanish Steps offer one of the most quintessential backdrops for a photo if you’re visiting Rome!
The landscaped gardens of Villa Borghese offer a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Rome. One of the largest and most beautiful public parks in the city, Villa Borghese was once the estate of a wealthy cardinal. Today, it’s the perfect place for a peaceful stroll. Home to an array of interesting Roman-style buildings, a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe and an art museum, the park is always busy on warm summer days!
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