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12 Rome Attractions You Must See

The Eternal City celebrates its long history with monuments, churches and restored ruins that offer a glimpse into life during the days of the great Roman Empire. Rome is full of secrets, whether you are planning a trip to Rome or just looking to acquire some new trivia for your next party. When trаvеlіng to thіѕ bеаutіful dеѕtіnаtіоn thе old and thе nеw сrоѕѕ раthѕ.

1. Roman Forum / Fori Imperiali

Possibly one of the most important Roman ruins in Italy, the Roman Forum is an ancient site that consists of many ruins that were once the centre of Roman public and political life. Various temples, squares and arches stood here including the temples of Saturn, Titus and Vesta and the Arch of Severus. Much of these structures still stands today and you can still see some of the arches and building foundations and walls.

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2. The Pantheon

The Pantheon – the best preserved monument of Roman antiquity – is remarkably intact for its 2000 years. This is despite the fact that Pope Gregory III removed the gilded bronze roof tiles, and Pope Urban VIII ordered its bronze roof stripped and melted down to cast the canopy over the altar in St. Peter’s and cannons for Castel Sant’Angelo. The Pantheon was rebuilt after damage by fire in AD 80, and the resulting brickwork shows the extraordinarily high technical mastery of Roman builders. Its 43-meter dome, the supreme achievement of Roman interior architecture, hangs suspended without visible supports – these are well hidden inside the walls – and its nine-meter central opening is the building’s only light source.

3. Colosseum

When deciding on to do in Rome, a must-see destination is certain to include visiting the oval amphitheater, known as the Coliseum. This was the largest amphitheater, constructed for the Roman Empire and a place for gladiators, lions and criminals to fight to the death. Even though this is one of the more congested sites to explore on a trip to Rome it is certain to be included at the top of most people’s list of sites to visit in this city. 

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4. Trevi Fountain

There are not many other fountains in the world as lavishly decorated and sculptured as the Trevi fountain. Constructed in 1762 by Nicola Salvi, the fountain pays tribute to the Roman God Oceanus who can be seen riding his chariot pulled by Tritons and taming several Hippocamps. The detail of the sculptures is simply wonderful and the whole facade and fountain are a true work of art. It has become a tradition to throw coins into the water over your shoulder for good luck although trying to do so next to hundreds of other tourists might prove difficult! 

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5. Spanish Steps

Located in the Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinita dei Monti, the 135 Spanish Steps were constructed in 1725 to span the gap and slope between these two popular squares.Each of the 135 steps features a wide stone ledge and are framed by stone walls. At the top of the steps you can find a large crucifix obelisk and many inscriptions carved into the stone.At the bottom of the steps, the Piazza di Spagna is spacious and contains a variety of shops and cafes.Alternatively, at the top of the stairs is the Trinita dei Monti church which in itself is a fine attraction.

6. St. Peter’s Basilica

Possibly the most recognizable and celebrated religious building in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica stands as a true triumph to the power and decadence of the catholic religion and it is held as one of the holiest shrines for its followers. Standing at the far end of St. Peter’s square, the Basilica has a beautifully designed front facade and is crowned with statues of the Apostles and Jesus. Inside the Basilica, the architecture and decoration is simply divine and it is regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. You will be amazed at the sheer amount of decoration and detail, and how the light falls in stunning rays at certain points during the day.

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7. Piazza Navona

Rome is known for beautiful and charming squares lined with restaurants and open-air cafes. The loveliest of them all is the large public square at Piazza Navona, once the site of sporting events at Domitian’s stadium in A.D. 89. The square contains 3 fountains, and the largest and most memorable is Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers with each of the 4 statues representing a river from different continents.

8. St. Peter’s Square | Vatican City

Rome holds a small country within a country – The Vatican. This independent state is one of the most important religious sites in the world and St. Peter’s Square is an iconic place where many significant events have taken place. Located at the front of the Vatican state, the square is actually circular and is framed by two huge sets of colonnades – Standing on these columns are beautiful statues of various religious figures and previous popes. In the centre is a imposing obelisk which was actually taken from Nero’s Circus and looks Egyptian rather than Roman. At the far end of the square stands the iconic St Peter’s Basilica and in front of this a set of chairs are usually set out for papal ceremonies.

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9. Vatican Museums

This treasure trove of classical and historical artwork has been built up over many centuries by various popes and includes some of the most important pieces of artwork in the world.Located within the confines of the Vatican state, the museums hold over 70,000 pieces of artwork.A dual ticket can be purchased to see both the Sistine Chapel and the museums and it is advised to devote enough time to see both properly.Split into several different section, the museums include the Museo Pio-Clementino, the Museum Chiaramonti, the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco and the Museo Gregoriano Egiziano each of which contains different artworks and themes.

10. Castle Saint Angelo

Also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Castle Saint Angelo is a circular fort and castle complex that was once the tallest building in Rome. Created in 129 AD, the castle is truly ancient and was originally intended to serve as a Mausoleum for the Emperor. As time progressed, the castle became part of the Vatican state and was connected to St. It is also possible to climb to the top of the castle ramparts for fantastic views across to St. Peter’s square and the city of Rome.

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11. Ponte Sant Angelo

The bridge of Saint Angelo spans the epic River Tiber and creates a footpath between the Castel Sant’Angelo and the near side of the river. Opening up directly from the front of the castle, this bridge has great symmetry and it is considered one of the most beautiful and decorative bridges in Rome. Created with a face of travertine marble, the bridge stands out against the sometimes murky colours of the Tiber and offers some fantastic photographic opportunities. A main feature of the bridge is the 10 angel statues that sit at intervals on the top of the ramparts; these angels have fantastic detail and each is carrying a different object of significance.

12. Galleria Borghese

Situated in the Borghese Villa complex, the Galleria Borghese is an important art museum that contains a myriad of fine paintings, sculptures and antiques.Established in 1903, the Borghese complex is found in the northern part of the inner city next to the Via Pinciana road.The impressive building has a beautiful and ornate front facade that has many stone statues and decoration.Spread across twenty different rooms, the extensive Borghese collection includes works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens and Titan.

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