What to see in Rome

Rome Attractions

They say 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do', but in a city filled with more than two millennia of history, there's much to do and even more to see. Among Rome's more renowned historic attractions are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon. The Vatican, seat of the Roman Catholic Church, lies within Rome's borders and alongside is the Sistine Chapel with its famously painted ceiling. Once the seat of the mightiest empire in existence, the culture of Rome has shaped the face of art, architecture, law, warfare, literature and language in the Western world today; in fact, some refer to Rome as the 'cradle of Western civilisation'.

Most of the historic sites are within walking distance of one another, and it is advisable to walk and take in the city's architecture while the frantic road traffic passes you by. Otherwise, a taxi or bus is the recommended means of travel. A bustling metropolis, Rome is constantly abuzz with tourists and locals; however, in the late summer, around August, a short holiday window sees locals heading out of the city and providing a little congestive relief.

As of January 2011, the local authorities in Rome implemented a supplementary 'tourist tax' charged on all museum and monument entrance fees. All visitors who do not hold a valid Rome ID will be charged the small extra fee. The revenue collected will be used on the maintenance and upkeep of the city's treasured sights. The same tax is added to hotel fees: tourists to the Eternal City are required to pay a supplementary amount per night for stays in hotels; the amount varies depending on the quality of the accommodation.

Basilica di San Giovanni

The Basilica of St John Lateran was built in the 4th century by Constantine the Great and was the first church built…

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Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill was the original capital of Ancient Rome and continues to serve as the seat of the city's government.…

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The stately Pantheon is one of the world's most inspiring architectural designs; almost two thousand years after it was…

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Roman Forum (Foro Romano)

The site of Ancient Rome's commercial, political and religious centre rests in the valley between the Capitoline and…

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St Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)

The Basilica lies above the reputed site of St. Peter's tomb. It has an overwhelming interior, containing notable sculptures…

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The Colosseum

Known to be one of the most impressive buildings of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was the largest structure of its…

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The Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna

The graceful Spanish Steps, built in 1725, elegantly curve their way from the Piazza di Spagna to the Church of Santa…

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Separated from central Rome by the Tiber River, Trastevere is a picturesque medieval neighbourhood characterised by a…

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Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

The tiny Piazza di Trevi has been immortalised through this fountain, built for Pope Clement XII. Arguably the most famous…

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Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel

The Vatican City is a remarkable entity in that it is an independent state administered by the Roman Catholic Church,…

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Villa Doria Pamphili Park

Rome is a busy, crowded city and it can be difficult to find some peace and quiet, or open spaces for exercise. The best…

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Our Travel Expert

Paulina Pimperova is a licensed tour guide in Rome and a passionate traveller, and is never happier than when seeking out hidden corners of the Eternal City. After 15 years of experience in international tourism as a tour leader accompanying groups in Italy and abroad, she decided to dedicate her energy mostly to the study of Rome.

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