The first impression of Rome can be quite emotional and usually arouses a sense of wonder. After whispering “what a beauty!” while soaking in the magnificent views of this city for the first time, it’s time to organise a proper itinerary and ensure to get to visit the best places in the Eternal city, especially if you don’t have much time to spend in town.
For this reason, we have created a list of the top 10 things to see during your first trip to Rome. Of course, the amount of attractions and must-see places in this City is massive, so, ensure you will come back and see more!
How not to start by mentioning the most popular monument in Rome, the Colosseum? Once a gladiator arena, today this monument is the icon of the city. Easily accessible with the metro line - there is a station right opposite the arena - it is worth a visit. If you don’t want to visit the inside, ensure you’ll take at least a selfie in front of it!
Not far from the Colosseum is located the Roman Forum, a magical place which will take you back to the origins of Rome. The Roman Forum covers a pretty large area and walking along the many columns and buildings is a journey back in time to Rome’s former glory. A bit of imagination and a good tourist guide, will give you a better insight into how great the Roman Empire was.
The third recommended stop is St. Peter’s Basilica, which is not just a very important church for the Catholics, but also a great example of architecture. You will be amazed by the dimensions of the basilica and by the masterpieces hosted inside, for example the Bernini’s Baldachin. If you have at least 3 hours to spend here, you could walk around the corner to visit the popular Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel - they will blow you away.
Exploring the city centre will get you into an area full of impressive monuments and curious places to visit, like the Pantheon and its hole in the ceiling. What happens when it rains? This is a very frequent question and if you are lucky enough to go there on a rainy day you will find out the answer. Finally, the entrance is free of charge!
If you are already planning to go back to Rome, as we suggested earlier, you will need to include a visit to the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in its water. This is a very popular ritual among tourists due to bringing good luck. Furthermore, you need to resist the temptation to relive Anita Ekberg’s scene in the fountain, as shown in the famous movie “La Dolce Vita”. Unfortunately, it is prohibited to step inside!
Not far from the Trevi Fountain lies the popular Plaza of Spain with its majestic staircase, where many fashion shows take place during the year. Take your camera out and get a shot with the Barcaccia fountain and Trinità dei Monti right behind it, it’s a must-do!
Lastly, we recommend you lose yourself in the magnificence of Navona square and its great fountains, they will leave you speechless. It’s prohibited to swim in this fountain, so it’s strongly required not to get in the fountain and risk to damage this incredible historic heritage!
If you want to check out the nightlife in Rome, you’ll need to visit Trastevere area. Reserve a table for dinner at a local trattoria and enjoy typical dishes like spaghetti carbonara or tonnarelli cacio e pepe. After dinner, enjoy a stroll round the narrow streets packed with bars, outdoor tables, climbing plants, paving stones and ancient roman buildings.
Another special district in Rome is the ghetto, which is today a very popular area thanks to its many Kosher restaurants, although it’s been linked to the horrible deportation of the Jews in the past. From here the Tiber river and Tiber island are easily accessible - it’s worth to check out this incredible area. During the summer season, this part of the city hosts an open-air cinema, outdoor bars and cafés, as well as local events.
After seeing the most beautiful places in Rome, you just have to look at the city from above. One of the most breathtaking views of Rome is from the Gianicolo Terrace. Located on top of the homonymous hill situated above Trastevere, from here it is possible to see the whole city centre and the east area of the capital. Whether you go there under the warm daylight or under the moon light at night, you will treat yourself to a unique view which will make you fall in love with this City. After seeing all this, you will definitely want to come back to Rome!
The above are just some advices on how to explore the eternal city, however there is much more to see and discover. There are plenty of monuments, squares, neighbourhoods and museums to visit, the choice is yours.
So, get ready to fully experience this Great Beauty!
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