Rome, The Eternal City was so-called because the ancient Romans believed that the city would go on forever and in so many ways they were correct because even now this city that is over 2500 years old is still one of the most visited cities in the World. Every year the enduring quality of the City draws people in to savour its history, culture, food and cosmopolitan feel.
Italy’s capital is renowned the world over for its rich historical history, for being the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and as one of the Fashion capital’s of the world. The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this vast sprawling city, Italy’s largest, offers the visitor so much to see and do that one trip will never be enough.
Many people visit Rome for short city breaks as travelling in from anywhere in Europe is very easy, flight times from London for example is just an hour and a half. There is no ideal time to visit Rome, it is a city that is open all year round though be warned that in August it does get exceptionally hot. Also around Easter time it will always be busy because of people heading to the Vatican city for
Easter pilgrims. April and May are very good times to go as is October when the city cools down and also quieten’s down to some extent.
Whatever time of the year you decide to go there are always certain things that you should do and in a three night stay you will be able to fit in plenty of sights and experiences. Have a good idea before you go as to what you would like to do and see and this will free up some of your time and will make sure that you get to see the sights and attractions that you want to see.
What to do in Rome
Rome is divided into several districts each one of them offering the visitor something different. The historical district is only very small, roughly around just 4% of the entire city but it is here that most people will flock to.
The Modern Center is where you will locate most of the hotels and shops and is also a great place to dine. Old Rome is the Renaissance era and here you will see beautiful squares, many Cathedrals and churches and the Pantheon.
The Vatican City is a separate entity and is an independent country within the City of Rome. It is home to the Pope and also a huge collection of art and architecture.
Colesseo is the heart of ancient Rome and is where the Colosseum is situated as well as Capitoline Hill. South of the Vatican is the Trastevere district which is now seen as the hub of artistic life in Rome. Although there are other districts in Rome just sticking to these mentioned will mean that you get to see plenty that is on offer in this vibrant and lively city.
Historic Buildings in Rome.
No one can go to Rome and not check out some of the Historic buildings and monuments. The city is covered in so many but there are a few that really stand out and everyone wants to see.
The Colosseum. Probably the image most associated with Rome this mammoth site is like no other that you will encounter. It has stood for centuries as a symbol to the mighty Roman Empire and is an absolutely stunning piece of ancient architecture. The sheer scale is something to behold but its history even more so. This was the place for gladiator fighting where people were pitted against wild animals and each other in a fight to the death. Watched by up to 50,000 spectators, these shows, the entertainment of the day, drew huge crowds and were immensely popular with the Roman population.
Although a third of the Amphitheatre has now gone, some of the stones where actually taken and used to build St Peter’s Cathedral, this amazing piece of craftsman ship is still awe-inspiring and still gives a taste of what life was like in ancient times. Tours of the underground hallways can be undertaken and there is a museum inside which imparts visitors with lots of information about the site.
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are both located in the same archeological area and so you can walk quite freely between the two as they adjacent each other. During Roman times the Forum was the market place as well as the civic center and business district.
The oldest monuments date back to the 6th Century. After the last monuments were added to the area in 600AD the Forum was abandoned and it was turned into a pasture called Campus Vaccinus. During the Renaissance though the area was used again as a stone quarry. One thing to be aware of is if you visit in the height of Summer or on a very warm day bring plenty of fluids as there is little shelter away from the sun.
Palatine Hill is the centermost point in the Seven Hills of Rome and it is also one of the most ancient parts of this amazing city. The Palatine hill looks down on the Forum at a height of some 40 meters. This has long since been a place of habitation for Romans dating back to the 10th Century BC. Even if you are not a history buff it is worth visiting these sites for the amazing views that you will get of the city below. A good idea is to take a guided tour of the area as that way it will be brought to life in even more vivid detail.
Another must when visiting Rome is a trip to the Pantheon. Built between 118 – 125AD, it was designed for the worship of every god. In 609 Pope Boniface IV turned it into a Christian church and consecrated to Santa Maria of the Martyrs. The Pantheon is also the best preserved of all the ancient Roman monuments a somewhat amazing feat when you observe the damage that has been done to other ancient sites. Other amazing facts about this building are concerned with its architecture.
For 1300 years the Dome was the largest in the world and even today it is still the largest unsupported Dome. The list of greatest records for this stunning building number quite a few as it is also the most copied and imitated of all ancient works of art. So impressive is the building that Michelangelo believed it to be the work of angels not men and it certainly is an impressive sight. As this is a free site like so many inRome it does get very busy but do try to make time for it on your trip as it is most definitely worth a visit.
St Peter’s Basilica.
A must see when in Rome, though it is a good idea to go early to avoid the crowds as it does get very busy. St Peter’s Basilica is an incredible place to visit. The stunning architecture seems almost like perfection. The dome of Michelangelo is worth going to see alone and if you are feeling adventurous and want stunning views of the city then you can climb to the top.
There is so much history and beauty to appreciate inside that although busy you will be so glad you made the visit. The burial site of St Peter, his tomb lies some 4 1/2 feet under the altar in a marble tomb situated in the crypt and as the first Pope, the Basilica has always been a must see destination for a lot of people and still remains one of the holiest sites in Christendom.
Of course no trip to Rome would be complete without paying a visit to The Trevi Fountains. This fountain famed the world over is another site that is synonymous with Rome. The largest Baroque fountain in the City, work began on it in 1732 and was finally completed in 1762. This is much more than just a fountain it is a true masterpiece, a work of incredible art that is staggering to see in the flesh. Although an image that many people will be aware of, standing in front of it witnessing the fountain in action is a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Before you see it you can hear its presence, the sound of gushing water building almost to a crescendo when you reach the square and see the fountain in all its glory. Make the Trevi Fountains one of your last stops and carry out the tradition that so many people do; throw a coin over your shoulder into the water, then as legend has it you will be sure to return to Rome and you will really want to after seeing this enchanting, vibrant historic city.