top 20 sights of Rome
Rome is a city steeped in history, with a wealth of stunning architecture and impressive landmarks. Here are the top 10 main sights of Rome that should be on every traveler’s must-see list:
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome, built in AD 80-90 under Emperor Vespasian. This oval-shaped amphitheater was the site of numerous public spectacles, including gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, and even mock sea battles. The Colosseum could seat up to 50,000 people and was the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. Today, visitors can explore the Colosseum’s ruins and learn about its history through interactive exhibits and guided tours.
Vatican City is an independent state within Rome and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The city-state is home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. Visitors can admire the ornate architecture and artwork of these landmarks, including Michelangelo’s famous ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel.
The Trevi Fountain is a Baroque masterpiece and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Built in the 18th century, the fountain features a central sculpture of the sea god Neptune, flanked by two Tritons. Visitors can toss a coin over their shoulder into the fountain, a tradition believed to guarantee a return trip to Rome.
The Pantheon is an ancient temple and one of the best-preserved buildings from ancient Rome. Originally built as a temple to all the gods, it was later converted into a Christian church. The Pantheon is famous for its impressive dome, made of concrete and still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. Visitors can admire the ancient engineering and artwork inside the building.
The Roman Forum was the center of ancient Rome’s political and social life. The Forum contains a collection of ruins, including the Temple of Julius Caesar, the Temple of Saturn, and the Arch of Titus. Visitors can learn about the history of ancient Rome and its political and social structures by exploring the ruins and listening to audio guides.
Piazza Navona is a bustling square in the heart of Rome, lined with cafés, restaurants, and street performers. The square features three fountains, including the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Visitors can enjoy the lively atmosphere and take in the Baroque architecture of the surrounding buildings.
The Spanish Steps is a grand staircase of 135 steps, leading from Piazza di Spagna to the church of Trinità dei Monti. The steps were built in the 18th century and are a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals alike. From the top of the steps, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Castel Sant’Angelo is a fortress that has served many purposes throughout history, including as a mausoleum, a prison, and a museum. The fortress was built in the 2nd century AD as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and his family. Visitors can explore the fortress’s history and enjoy the stunning views over the Tiber River from the rooftop terrace.
Villa Borghese is a large park in the heart of Rome, with several museums and galleries, beautiful gardens, and a stunning view over the city. The park was originally owned by the Borghese family and is now a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and picnics. Visitors can explore the Borghese Gallery, home to an impressive collection of Renaissance and Baroque art, including works by Caravaggio, Bernini, and Raphael.
Campo de’ Fiori
Campo de’ Fiori is a vibrant and bustling square in the heart of Rome, known for its vibrant outdoor market during the day and its lively nightlife scene in the evening. The square is home to a statue of philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake there in 1600 for heresy. Visitors can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the square, browse the market stalls selling fresh produce, and enjoy the many cafés and restaurants.
The Capitoline Museums
The Capitoline Museums are a group of art and archaeological museums located on Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. The museums feature an impressive collection of ancient Roman art, including sculptures, paintings, and archaeological artifacts. Visitors can also enjoy the stunning views over the city from the hill.
The Appian Way
The Appian Way is one of the most famous ancient Roman roads, dating back to the 4th century BC. The road was used for military and commercial purposes and is lined with ancient tombs and catacombs. Visitors can explore the road on foot or by bike and learn about its history through guided tours.
The Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla are ancient Roman public baths, built in the 3rd century AD under Emperor Caracalla. The baths were once the largest in Rome and could accommodate up to 1,600 bathers at a time. Visitors can explore the ruins of the baths and learn about ancient Roman bathing practices.
The Catacombs of Rome
The Catacombs of Rome are a network of underground burial chambers used by early Christians and Jews. The catacombs contain numerous frescoes, sculptures, and inscriptions, and are an important historical and religious site. Visitors can explore the catacombs and learn about the history of Christianity in Rome.
The Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome and is said to be the site of the city’s earliest settlements. The hill is home to several ancient ruins, including the Palace of Domitian and the Stadium of Domitian. Visitors can explore the ruins and enjoy the panoramic views over the city.
The Galleria Borghese
The Galleria Borghese is an art museum located in Villa Borghese, featuring an impressive collection of art and sculptures by artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Titian. The museum also features beautiful gardens and fountains, making it a popular spot for a leisurely stroll.
The Trevi Neighborhood
The Trevi neighborhood is located in the heart of Rome and is known for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and charming piazzas. The neighborhood is home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as several important landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain and the Quirinal Palace.
The Janiculum Hill
The Janiculum Hill is located just outside of the ancient city walls and offers stunning views over the city. The hill is home to several landmarks, including the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola and the Basilica of San Pietro in Montorio. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park and take in the panoramic views.
The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj
The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is a historic palace in the heart of Rome, home to one of the largest private art collections in the city. The palace features beautiful frescoes, sculptures, and furnishings, as well as stunning gardens and courtyards.
The Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto is a historic neighborhood in Rome that was established in the 16th century as a segregated area where Jewish residents were forced to live. The neighborhood has a rich history and is home to several landmarks, including the Great Synagogue of Rome and the Jewish Museum of Rome. Visitors can explore the narrow streets of the neighborhood, sample traditional Jewish cuisine, and learn about the history and culture of Rome’s Jewish community. The Jewish Ghetto is also known for its lively atmosphere and is a popular destination for nightlife, with several bars and clubs catering to a young and hip crowd.
Each of these top 20 main sights of Rome has a unique charm and history that is sure to leave a lasting impression on any visitor. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, art, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of a bustling city, Rome has something to offer everyone.