Italy is a country that had always been on my bucket list. Why wouldn’t it be with the delicious food, amazing cities and the beautiful language. Rome was the top of my list and I was lucky enough to visit the city with my friends from home last summer.
These are my top 10 things to do in Rome….
1. Take a tour of the Colosseum
Probably the most famous attraction in Rome and you can see why. Nothing can prepare you for how large it actually is. We booked a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palentine Hill through Dark Rome Tours which was great apart from by the time we had finished it was early afternoon on what happened to be the hottest day we were there, we were melting. It is just amazing to think how old this building is and the importance it has played throughout Roman history.
2. Visit the Trevi fountain
Unfortunately when I visited rome the Trevi fountain was still having some work done to restore it (I believe they were cleaning the stone). However it is now working again!!! Every tourist needs to visit this fountain. Based in a tiny square, it made me wonder why it was put there at all but it makes it seem even more extravagant. Its free to see too so toss a coin in to the fountain to make a wish and to return to rome.
3. Eat some gelato!
One of the main food groups of Rome. The gelato is AMAZING. It’s the prefect way to stay cool on a hot summers day and a task treat after a beautiful Italian meal. There are many dotted around the city and we never went back to the same one. The flavours range from coffee to pistachio (one of my faves) and sorbets are great for a refreshing you after a long day of walking- again my favourite flavours being the lemon and mango (as seen in the picture). Unfortunately I didn’t manage to go to the famous Giolotti gelato store but my family say it is amazing. Thats one for the list for next time.
4. Have a liquid lunch at Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is probably the most impressive square in Rome. The four rivers fountain in the centre of the square is beautiful, huge and beautiful. The fountain is right outside the Sant’Agnese in Agone church, which is pretty hard to miss in the square- its the big building with the dome. Romans love a dome. All around the square are restaurants, all of which can be quite pricey but if your willing to bargain then you may be in luck. We made a deal with a matradee to give us some money off a bottle of wine served with some bread and olives all which came to €15- between the 4 of us i’d say thats pretty good. It’s a beautiful place to sit and watch the world go by, i just wish i had seen it at night.
5. See the Pantheon
The pantheon is home to the oldest unreinforced concrete dome. It has been in continuous use thought history, which is why it is in such good condition for how old it is- the building was build completed by emperor Hadrian in 126AD. This is a popular place for tourists to go but is seen as an original pat of Rome’s history. As you enter the building the thing that you notice the most is the dome and the hole in middle of it- this is actually done so that the weight of the concrete heads to the floor rather than gathering in the middle of the dome. This hole makes an amazing feature; on a sunny day the light comes through and moves around the room and when it rains the rain comes in and gathers like a small pool.
6. Vatican- St Peters Basillica
Technically it is a different country altogether but while in Rome why not go to the Vatican! St Peters Basilica is the most impressive church I have been to; It is truly awe inspiring. Just the sheer size of the building is something to behold and then you walk in and your senses get attacked from flashing gold on every surface and the amounts of people that still don’t fill the place. I spent most of my time looking up towards the ceilings and the amazing domes. This was definitely one to check off the bucket list.
7. “The Wedding Cake”-Piazza Venezia
Another monument that is just HUGE! We stumbled upon this building, which is hard to imagine due to its size. It was the second day of our holiday and we were walking from south of the river, where we had tried to find a market to no success, and it was one of the monuments that we could see from across the river so we knew where we were going. Inside the building is a slight disappointment compared to the outside, however there is a cool church underground which was nice in the hot Italian summer. If you also head for the top floor there are some amazing views of rome and a beautiful church (Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli). You can also reach this church and these view from the steps round the back, which are right next to the steps to the Capitoline Hill.
8. Pretend you’re Audrey Hepburn or Gregory Peck at the Spanish Steps
Roman Holiday is a classic hollywood film and one of my favourites. The steps themselves are incredibly busy! Get there early morning or late in the afternoon. Luckily it was the first place to visit on one of our days so it was almost empty for us however it did fill up quickly with people. It is located in a well off area- The Versace store is located just down the road.
9. See the view from the corner of Viale de Villa Medici and Viale de Belvedere
One of the best views in Rome looking out you can see St Peters Basillica and Piazza Venezia. Just up from the Spanish steps and leading on to a beautiful park. The perfect place to have a picnic and relax in the middle of the city.
10. Explore the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is right next the the Colosseum and is the easiest place to see ruins of all sorts. Here there are churches that still stand, temples, old market buildings and baths that were all there at the height of the empire. If you are history mad like I am I thoroughly recommend a tour of the area as they pointed out things that I would not have had a clue about!
Where is your favourite place to Visit in Rome?