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What to see in Rome

Rome Attractions

Legend has it that Romulus founded Rome from the top of Palatine Hill in 753 BC. With more than two millennia of history, the city offers a spectacular and unmatched array of sights and experiences.

Rome's most famous ancient attraction is the Colosseum, the great arena of the gladiators dating back to 80 AD. Nearby lies the Roman Forum, established in the 7th century BC, and now the ruins of what was once the social, political and commercial centre of the Roman Empire. Next on the list of historic attractions is the Pantheon, where tourists enter the great church through massive bronze doors to marvel at the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built. Watching the sun stream into the church through the oculus is an unforgettable experience.

Within Rome's borders lies the independent state of the Vatican City. Its museums house one of the world's great art collections, culminating in Michelangelo's famous frescoes adorning the Sistine Chapel. Rising above these spectacular works of art is Italy's largest basilica, St Peters. Michelangelo was also the architect behind the soaring dome that looks down over St Peter's square and beyond.

Tourists still thirsting for art can visit the Museo e Galleria Borghese for paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian, and sculptures by Bernini. The Capitoline Museums are the oldest public museums in the world, dating back to 1471, and house an incredible collection of sculptures.

Those tired out by the endless attractions can fall back into the Roman way of life. Wander the streets, relax at cafes and watch the world go by before heading to a pizzeria or trattoria for authentic Roman fare, gelato and a shot of strong Italian coffee.

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 in Rome. As the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, it ranks…

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Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill was the original capital of Ancient Rome. Once housing the Senate, it's the smallest but also the most famous of the Seven Hills. The main feature of the area is…

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The Pantheon is one of the world's most inspiring architectural designs. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's is still the world's largest unreinforced…

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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 Palatine Hills. The Forum's main thoroughfare, Via Sacra, slices…

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St Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)

The Basilica lies above the reputed site of St Peter's tomb, containing notable sculptures including Michelangelo's Pieta. In the central aisle stands Arnolfo da Cambio's bronze…

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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 era. Once holding crowds of 55,000 spectators entering via…

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The Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna

The graceful Spanish Steps elegantly curve from the Piazza di Spagna to the Church of Santa Trinit dei Monti, a pastel-tinted neoclassical building. The shopper's paradise of Via…

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Separated from central Rome by the Tiber River, Trastevere is a picturesque medieval neighbourhood characterised by a quirky Bohemian atmosphere. Its narrow cobblestone streets…

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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 and most beautiful fountain in all of Rome, it's also…

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Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel

Scandal has somewhat tarnished the Vatican over the years, but this does not detract from the magnificence of the art collections housed within its buildings or the passion the…

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Villa Doria Pamphili Park

The best place to go to get some fresh air and a break from traditional sightseeing is the Villa Doria Pamphili, the largest landscaped public park in Rome. It's extremely large,…

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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.

>Read Paulina's tips on Rome
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