History follows your every step as you make your journey around Rome. Whether you’re tossing a coin in the famed Trevi Fountain, people watching on the Spanish Steps, or hoping for a glimpse of the Pope at Vatican City, your footsteps are retracing history. Reimagine ancient Rome, once vibrant and lively, as you tour the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
Rome promises the perfect city break. Your biggest concern? Figuring out how to jam-pack all you want to do, to see, and to experience into your time in Rome.
Here are the top 7 things to do when you visit Rome:
Perhaps one the most romantic fountains in the world, the world renowned Trevi Fountain has also gained notice as Rome’s largest fountain. The nearly 65 foot wide and 86 foot high fountain draws travelers from around the world. Most visitors to Trevi Fountain follow the legend of the fountain by tossing a coin into its waters. Be sure to stand with your back to Trevi Fountain, hold the coin in your left hand, and throw it into the water over your right shoulder. Legend states that doing so will ensure you one day return to Rome. Toss a second coin and, according to legend, you’re destined for a new romance. A third coin promises marriage.
The heartbeat of the Catholic Church, Vatican City is home to the Pope, currently Pope Francis. Countless travelers flock to Vatican City each year, some on a religious pilgrimage, some with the hope of seeing Pope Francis, and others to experience the beauty that is Vatican City. Through October 30, 2015, travelers can visit Vatican City for a twilight tour. Those who have difficulty walking or who want a unique view of Vatican City can opt for a Train Tour, which takes travelers through Vatican City with stops at the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, the Pope’s residence, and the Vatican Gardens. Tours of lesser known areas of the Vatican Museums are also available by scheduling in advance.
Start planning your trip to Vatican City now at: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do.
Drink in the sheer beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica, a majestic church that required more than a century to complete, one of Italy’s most famous and most revered churches. Home to Michelangelo’s Pietà, St. Peter’s Basilica welcomes visitors daily, opening each morning at 7 a.m. with closing hours depending on the season. Audio guides are available and visitors are advised to dress appropriately for their visit. If you are interested in being part of the General Audience at St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday morning, you can request tickets ahead of time here: http://www.vaticanstate.va/content/vaticanstate/en/informazioni-utili.html.
Perhaps the centerpiece of Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is part of the Apostolic Palace, the home of the Pope of the Catholic Church. Original construction on the Sistine Chapel began in 1473 and it officially opened in 1483. Marvel at the mastery of Michelangelo’s artistic talents when you gaze at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Plan to spend plenty of time in Vatican City during your journey. For your convenience, purchase tickets online. Individual guided tours are available as are group tours.
To learn more about the Sistine Chapel, go to: http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/CSN/CSN_Storia.html.
No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at the Colosseum, a world renowned landmark located in the heart of the city. Debuting in 80 AD, the Colosseum was the centerpiece for entertainment – man versus animal – in ancient Rome. The 50,000 seat arena was often filled to capacity as Romans gathered to watch gladiators fight for their lives against wild animals or against other gladiators. The Colosseum welcomes visitors daily, starting at 8:30 a.m. until an hour prior to sunset, except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when it is closed. To avoid long lines, considering purchasing tickets in advance online.
The Roman Forum, centrally located between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia, takes visitors back to what defined the majesty of ancient Rome. Close your eyes and imagine the ruins – the basilicas, the temples, and markets swarming with people – during the seventh century.
The Roman Forum is generally open daily from 8:30 a.m. to an hour prior to sunset. Be sure to double check the hours, once you’re in Rome, before you head out for the day. Once there, you can embark on a self-guided tour or opt for a guided tour. Plan your visit by clicking here: http://www.italyguides.it/en/lazio/rome/ancient-rome/roman-forum.
Nestled in the heart of Rome, the Spanish Steps connect the Piazza di Spagna (at the bottom of the steps) to Piazza Trinità dei Monti (at the top of the steps). The stunning 138 step staircase dates back to 1725. At the bottom of the Spanish Steps, drink in the scene of the stunning Barcaccia Fountain and people watch from atop the steps. Be prepared for crowds of visitors, often relaxing on the steps while taking a break from shopping or sight-seeing, especially during the summer tourist season. Sitting on the Spanish Steps is permitted, but eating and drinking while on the steps is not allowed to ensure the area does not become cluttered with unsightly litter. Plan your trip to Rome’s Spanish Steps here: http://www.turismoroma.it/?lang=en.
- Rome Capital Tourism: http://www.turismoroma.it/?lang=en
- Rome Tourist Guide: http://www.rome.info/
- The 10 Best Restaurants in Rome: http://www.elitetraveler.com/finest-dining/restaurant-guide/the-10-best-restaurants-in-rome
- Rome Michelin Restaurants: http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurants/Restaurants-Rome-_-Roma-Italy?strLocid=31NDFsenkxMGNOREV1T0Rrd05UST1jTVRJdU5EazBNalU9
- Shopping in Rome: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/shopping-in-rome
- Bargain Shopping in Rome: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/blog/2012/mar/07/via-sannio-street-market-rome
- Leonardo da Vinci Airport: http://www.rome-airport.info/
- Transportation in Rome: http://www.rome.info/transportation/