Must See in Rome: Touristy But Worth It

Our ultimate list of things to see in Rome

Appian Way (Via Appia Antica)

This is the great ancient road that stretched from Rome down to Brindisi. Part of this road is now a nature and archaeological park. Great for renting bikes and visiting tombs and ancient ruins.

Ara Pacis

An altar to peace commissioned by the Roman Senate in 13BC. Also interesting to view the award-winning and controversial modern exterior that houses the altar.

Campidoglio/Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini)

Piazza designed by Michelangelo and a group of art and archeological museums on top of the Capitoline Hill. Also great views over the city.

Campo dei Fiori

The piazza with the most famous fruit, vegetable and flower market in Rome. Where Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake and honoured with a statue.

 

Castel Sant’Angelo

The Mausoleum of Hadrian commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Beautiful day or night and a very popular museum inside.

Colosseum (Il Colosseo)

The most iconic monument of Rome built in 80AD. Worth seeing from outside even if you don’t have the time/patience to line up to enter inside.

Imperial/Roman Forums (Fori Imperiali)

The ruins of ancient government buildings and squares created between 46 BC and 113 AD. Truly mind-blowing to walk through the remnants of the great Roman Empire.

Monument of Victor Emanuel II (Il Vittoriano)

The enormous white monument dominating Piazza Venezia. Worth climbing up to see the frescoed ceilings and splendid view over Rome.

Orange Garden (Giardino dei Aranci)

A gorgeous and romantic garden filled with orange trees and a view over the river Tevere. Nearby is a secret view of St Peter’s Basilica through a keyhole.

Pantheon

The piazza is touristy but this is one monument that will not disappoint. This temple created to all the gods of ancient Rome was originally built in 27BC. You must go inside to view the ingenious central opening in the dome.

Piazza del Popolo

Best viewed from the entrance to the Villa Borghese park at the terrace/lookout called Pincio. Also great to sit in a cafe/restaurant and people-watch in what translates literally as ‘The People’s Square’.

Piazza Navona

Arguably the most enchanting piazza in Rome built in the first century AD – fountains, restaurants and atmosphere day or night. Loved by Romans and tourists equally.

Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

Aside from the picturesque Trastevere itself being a must-see, this charming piazza with its golden church, buskers and young crowd is sure to please.


Santa Maria Maggiore

While you may think you have seen enough churches in Rome, this one has an interior worth checking out. Built in 440AD and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

 

Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)

The chapel known for its exquisite frescoes, particularly ‘The Creation of Adam’ and ‘The Last Judgement’ by Michelangelo.

Spanish Steps/Piazza di Spagna (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti)

A beautiful, lively piazza and home to the widest (and most iconic) staircase in Europe.

St John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano)

Church San Giovanni in Laterano is a striking basilica, which is the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, the Pope.

St Peter’s (San Pietro)

Worth a trip even just to see the truly impressive piazza. The Basilica is the Christian church with the largest interior in the world.

The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verita’)

The ancient lie detector featured in Roman Holiday and said to be part of a first century Roman fountain.

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

The fountain made famous in La Dolce Vita and the largest Baroque fountain in the city.

Via dei Condotti

The most chic street in Rome flanked by designer stores such as Bulgari, Fendi, Gucci and Prada. A classic even if you can only afford to window-shop.

Villa Borghese/ Galleria Borghese

Rome’s most famous park offers views, museums, galleries, a lake, restaurants, a cinema and activities for kids. The extravagant Galleria Borghese houses artworks by Caravaggio, Bernini and Titian. Both the art and the building are breathtaking.

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