Rome, otherwise, popularly known as the Eternal City, is home to some of the oldest architectural structures in the world. With its grandly embellished domes and arches, the majestic Roman buildings are definitely a sight to see. But the beauty of the city doesn’t stop there.
You could say that the Renaissance period in Rome has left its mark on history’s art scene. The widespread patronage during the mid-15th to 16th century has encouraged the creativity of the artists of Rome, shaping Western figurative art as we know it today. The artistic nature of the city is one of the major factors that makes it a great tourist attraction.
Apart from that, Rome is the birthplace of great ancient rulers. The city has seen the rise and fall of many empires and the change of many societal structures. The city, dating back thousands of years ago, is filled with an abundance of political and religious history as well as the rich culture. Today, we can walk the streets of Rome and take in the resplendence of the city.
According to National Geographic, the Colosseum was alternatively called the Flavian Amphitheater after the Flavian reign it was gifted by. Built as an amphitheatre, the classic structure popularized by the Romans as the hub for mainly gladiator tournaments along with other events such as theatrical performances, executions, and naval battles. A fun fact about the naval battles is that the aqueduct systems in the Colosseum were used to flood the amphitheater to accommodate the boats.
There’s no way one can leave Rome without paying a visit to the iconic Colosseum. To commute to the Colosseum, you can use the Rome Metro which is easily accessible. After getting off at the Colosseo station, the attraction is just less than a 5-minute walk. Seeing that it is, in fact, enormous, you can’t possibly miss it.
Saint Peter’s Square
Saint Peter’s Square should also be a quintessential part of your visit to Rome. Saint Peter’s Square is located in the Vatican, an independent city within the grounds of Rome. The streets of this small ecclesiastical state that is ruled by the Pope have plenty of picturesque structures. Although, it is best to apply some sunscreen before you go walking about under the scorching sun of the Italian summer.
You can find Saint Peter’s Basilica at the edge of Saint Peter’s Square. It is the biggest Christian church ever built. The intricate architecture with a Renaissance flair is the burial ground of Saint Peter, the head of the twelve apostles of Jesus. For a better experience, you can take a tour that leads you to the dome of the basilica, where you can marvel at the view of Rome.
Famous for the large-scale fresco paintings on its interior walls, the Sistine Chapel is a tourist attraction that you should never skip. This chapel is located within the vicinity of the official residence of the pope. The highlight of this attraction would be Michaelangelo’s Last Judgement piece and his ceiling painting which were revolutionary for the art industry.
However, be mindful that picture-taking is not allowed within the chapel. So be prepared to take it all in. This is an artistic experience you would want to remember for years to come.
Villa Borghese Gardens
If you want some quiet and serene time, Villa Borghese Gardens is the way to go. It is one of the largest parks in Rome. For convenience, be sure to bring a phone with high picture and video quality, such as a Xiaomi phone. The picturesque view of the landscape and the classic Roman columns is a great photo opportunity.
Borghese Villa Complex is no exception to the historical aspect that surrounds the whole of Rome. However, unlike your average garden, Villa Borghese also houses several exhibits, such as the Borghese Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Etruscan Museum. Another art exhibit you should look out for is the Casino Borghese, which encompasses the work of Bernini.
Palatine Hill should definitely make the cut if you’re planning a trip to Rome. According to Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were found by Lupa, the she-wolf who then continued to raise them. In the later years, Romulus built a wall around Rome and began the governmental institution as the first King of Rome. Even the remains of the Flavian Palace can be found here. This archaeological site is straight out of the history books.
When thinking about walking the streets of Rome as portrayed in the movies, Piazza Navona comes to mind. This plaza was originally the Domitian Stadium for athletics and was known as the Circus Agonalis. It is now lined with street vendors selling Italian delicacies and commissioned artworks. A travel tip is to prepare some extra cash because you’re bound to be tempted by the food sold along the piazza.
Be sure to stop by the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, if you’re walking through Piazza Navona. The grandiose fountain structure depicts an Egyptian obelisk surrounded by river gods that represent the four major rivers in the world. Piazza Navona is a strategic location as it is about a 3-minute walk to several other tourist spots like the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
Sant’ Eustachio II Caffé
Looking for a good cup of coffee? Take a short walk from Piazza Navona and head down to the Sant’ Eustachio II Caffé. Opened in 1938, this cafe did not only maintain its old interior but also traditional methods of making coffee. The water is obtained from an ancient aqueduct, whereas the coffee blends are self-created from self-roasted coffee beans. With a great atmosphere, choose a lightweight laptop to bring along because this café is a great place to do a little bit of on-the-go travel planning for your trip.
Another short distance from the Pantheon, there is a café called Giolitti, which is famous for its coffee and gelato. If you see a long line coming from the shop, you’ve found one of the best stops for delicious gelato. Fret not because you can get a quick fix of coffee in no time at Giolitti.
Something you may not know is that in Rome, coffee prices may vary according to whether you’re seated or not. Coffee served at the bar is cheaper than when you sit down at a table. If you’re looking to save a couple of bucks, order your coffee al banco like the locals.
Now you’re all set for your Roman holiday. It will be a fun experience of walking and exploring the gems of the city as you go. Rome is definitely one to remember!