The first impact with Rome can be quite emotional and usually arouses a sense of wonder. After whispering “what a beauty!” while soaking in the magnificent views of the 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.
Here goes our 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 the 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 symbol of the city. Easily accessible by metro - there is an underground station right opposite the arena - it is definitely worth a visit, but, in case you don’t want to get inside, just 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 it’s a journey across the ages back to its former glory. With a little imagination and a good tourist guide you’ll be able to understand better how great was the Roman Empire.
The third recommended stop is definitely St Peter’s Basilica, which is not just a very important church to the Catholics, but it’s also a great example of architecture. You will be amazed by the dimensions of the basilica and by the masterpieces hosted inside, like the Bernini’s Baldachin. If you have at least 3 hours to spend here, you could walk around the corner and visit the popular Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, they will blow you away.
Exploring the city center 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. Last but not least, 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 through a coin in the fountain, which is a very popular ritual among tourists due to its good-luck meaning. You have got to resist the temptation to relive Anita Ekberg’s scene in the fountain in the popular movie “La Dolce Vita” though, unfortunately it’s prohibited to get in the fountain!
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 to get lost in the magnificence of Navona square and its great fountains, they will leave you speechless. It’s prohibited to get a swim in this fountain too so it’s strongly required to not try 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 and after dinner have 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 easy accessible and it’s definitely worth to check out this incredible area. During summer season here are hosted an open-air cinema, outdoor bars and cafés and 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 where it is possible to see the whole city center 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 the city. You will definitely want to come back to Rome after this!
Those are just some advices on how to explore the eternal city, but there is much more to see and discover. There’s plenty of monuments, squares, neighborhoods and museums to visit, the choice is yours.
So, get ready to fully experience the Great Beauty!
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