If you feel like packing your bags and heading to Rome tomorrow, it would be a good idea to read this first. Don’t start packing until you’re finished reading.
- Colosseum (Colosseo)
The colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire and is considered one of Rome’s greatest engineering and architectural works. If you’ve seen Gladiator you already know how astounding this place is.
- Borghese Gallery (Galleria Borghese)
Definitely one of Rome’s best, and most forgotten about art galleries. The collection houses a appreciable amount of Cardinal Cipione Borghese’s family’s collection of paintings. The building was once used by Scipione Borghese as his own private party villa at the edge of Rome, his villa suburbana. The gardens nearby are also worthy of a visit.
- Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)
The Sistine Chapel is the most well-known chapel in Vatican City. Not only famous because of Michelangelo’s breathtaking endeavor, (nearly going blind after painting over 12,000 square feet of the ceiling in four years) but also shines in the artwork of others such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and Perugino. The chapel also houses incredible tapetries by Rafael. The chapel of chapel’s since it’s first mass in 1483. Plan this visit in advance because its not the easiest place to get to.
- Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
The most incredible thing about this massive wonder of art is its location. You’ll get to it like the rest of us, through of the small, narrow, windy alleyways that encompass it. Before you know it you’re jaw is on the ground and you are staring at the Fontana di Trevi. Remember where it is and make a note to come back to it after the sun falls. Its an incredibly beautiful place to be at night. While you’re there, toss a coin over your shoulder, it’ll ensure a return visit back to Rome. It works every time.
- St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
Not only regarded as one of the holiest sites in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica is also boasts the largest interior of any church in the world, holding up to around 60,000 people. The interior is ever-inspiring as it’s covered in artwork. See St. Peter’s burial place, and climb the stairs to achieve one of the greatest sites in Rome.
- Campo de’ Fiori
One of the oldest markets in Rome, it is a joy to wander through both during the day and at night. During the day farmers are showcasing their best flowers, fruits and vegetables. When the sun goes down and the stars shine bright on everyone enjoying the surrounding bars and restaurants. While you’re there make sure to salute the statue of Giordano Bruno, a man of great knowledge too far beyond his time.
The building of the Pantheon’s dome was one of the biggest architectural hurdles overcome in Rome. The building remains in phenomenal shape and is a joy to see. One buzz-kill to be prepared for is the view from the front of the Pantheon, can anyone guess what it is? (HINT: Golden Arches)
If you are trying to escape the hordes of tourists that are around each corner, Trastevere is a great place to visit. Travel across to the other side of the Tiber river and find many more locals then tourists. Here you’ll stumble on tons of great restaurants and bars as you walk the town’s historic roads.
- Gelateria del teatro
Ice cream isn’t gelato and gelato isn’t ice cream. It’s something entirely different. Most people stumble upon this gem when they’re lost, wandering the streets of Rome. You might think it’s a mirage at first. If you find yourself staring at a small little shop at the end of a small street called Via di San Simone, you’re here. This is the best place to get gelato in Rome.
- Roman Forum
The forum is a bit difficult to make sense of without a guided tour, or a downloadable audio tour, played through an mp3 player. It is however, amazing. The original forum was a open air marketplace where all shopping needs could be attended to. It later grew to something much more monumental, housing Caesar’s alter among other relics.