For first time visitors to Italy, a trip to Rome is a must. You may find that the choice of sites to visit during your stay in Rome is mind-boggling, and if you’re traveling with companions, you may find that everyone wants to go in a different direction! Some will want to travel to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican on one side of the Tiber, while others will prefer to view the glories of ancient Rome on the other side of the river.
Indeed, you won’t want to miss seeing the ancient ruins of the Colosseum
and the Forum
, some of the most recognizable historic sites in the world. Remember to stop and visit the Pantheon, the best-preserved ancient building in Rome, built in 125 AD. The builder used granite in construction, thus contributing to the structure’s longevity.
Don’t forget the famous Spanish Steps
as well. The Spanish Steps weren’t built by the Spanish, but were given the name due to their closeness to the Spanish Embassy during their construction in the 19th century. They were designed by an Italian architect, and lead to the entrance of the Church of Trinita dei Monti
, which sits at the top of the steps. At the foot of the steps sits the house where the famous English poet John Keats lived and died.
The Vatican Museums
are home to the world’s most extensive collection of precious artworks spanning the centuries, and are a must-see for tourists visiting Italy, regardless of your penchant for art. The Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, with its famous Michelangelo-painted ceiling, is also a definite for any itinerary and is truly a breathtaking site.
There’s so much more to see and do. Doing research before you arrive in Rome will help you determine your preferences. However, “when in Rome,” as they say, “do as the Romans do” and enjoy these experiences:
- The Trevi Fountain – Make a stop at this historic fountain and toss in a coin or two, make your wish, and hum a few bars of that famous song “Three Coins in a Fountain,” inspired by the beauty of this monument.
- Eat a gelato – Though you couldn’t possibly find a snack higher in butter fat content, this creamy confection is worth every calorie.
- Dine at a sidewalk café – What could be better than a fine Italian meal with a great view of Rome and its citizens? Outdoor dining in the warm months is the norm, and there’s nothing more relaxing then an al fresco meal.
- Visit the street markets – Tourists can purchase everything from fine Italian antiques, to second-hand clothes, local artwork, and ethnic foods at Rome’s many outdoor street markets.