As the old saying goes, “Rome was not made in a day”, or “Rome was not built in a day.” It does not take long to understand the accuracy of this statement. Roman works of art and masterpieces are everywhere. Walking through Rome is like walking through two thousand years of history, all intertwined and intertwined today. At times, it can be overwhelming. There is so much to do and see in Rome that even locals may need a life or two to capture it all. In fact, there is perhaps more to see in Rome than in any other city in the world.
With so much to see and do, where do you start?
First Day Recommended
U Romanian Forum (“Roman Forum”), located in a valley between the Capitoline and Palatine hills, is a good starting point. The forum is truly an archeological complex that you can enter from the square that leads from the Colosseum. The Colosseum, of course, it is the symbol of Rome. This is the famous amphitheater that managed to hold up to 55,000 spectators while watching gladiator fights, animal fights, etc. Completed in 80AD, it took 10 years to build and originally had an adjustable roof – the forerunner of today’s stages with adjustable roofs. Today, the architects marvel at the design, which allowed the Coliseum to be completed in about 12 minutes (think about the next time you’re at a big sporting event)!
The Roman Forum was the commercial, political and religious center of ancient Rome. In fact, much of our current political system here in the United States is derived from the Roman political system established during Caesar’s reign. Spanish Steps, and the so-called Spanish Steps is another popular attraction in Rome. During the spring, it blooms with flowers. This is a good place to watch and watch people, especially at night. The streets entering and leaving the square will offer the most beautiful shopping in Rome. Circate Via del Corso. Guys be careful: if your significant other likes to shop, they will love this district. A day of shopping here is usually a very powerful aphrodisiac!
From there, you can take a walk (it is better not to drive in Rome, unless you have a desire to die – to the Trevi Fountain. Try to time your visit during the evening hours, when the fountain is lit. Don’t forget to throw a coin over your shoulder … legend has it that doing so will ensure your return to the Eternal City.
Second Recommended Day
You should plan to spend a day seeing it Vatican, the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel. The best way to get there is through the beautiful (angel-covered bridge). Weather in Ponte Sant’Angelo. The Vatican, literally, is another country separate from Italy. It is also the spiritual and religious center for Catholicism.
Inside St. Peter’s Cathedral, on the right, you will find the famous Michelangelo’s Pieta – sculpted when the artist was 25 years old. The dome of the cathedral offers the best view of Rome. In the Vatican museum, you will find countless treasures collected or commissioned by the papacy over the centuries. There are several tours ranging from 90 minutes to 5 hours. Of particular interest must be Raphael’s room and the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel, with its most famous feature, the soffit, is another masterpiece by Michelangelo (among others). The roof is supposed to depict scenes from the Book of Genesis, and it took Michelangelo four years to complete.
Please note, that you will not be allowed to enter St. Peter’s Cathedral if you are wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts and skirts above the knee. This is true even in the summer deaths. You must always remember that it is a place of worship. The Italians take themselves very seriously, so dress that way. The summer of 2003 has been the hottest summer in Rome in about 300 years … they have always made an exception to their politics.
A good place to see after visiting the Vatican is Castel Sant’Angelo. This was originally built (138 AD) as a mausoleum, which was later converted into a papal fortress in the 6th century. And with its underground passages, sometimes used to provide a safe place for the pope to reach the Vatican. Inside there are numerous works of art and you can learn a lot about the history of Rome. On the fourth floor there is a café where you can sip an espresso while enjoying some of the most beautiful views of Rome.
Third Day Recommended
Piazza Navona is another of the famous squares of Rome. This is the place to see artists while sipping and grabbing a delicious espresso or sandwich at one of the many outdoor cafes. In the center of the square is a Bernini masterpiece …the Fountain of the Rivers (Fountain of rivers). To the west of the square is the beautiful church of Sant’Angese in Agone. Legend has it that this is where Agnes was exposed naked, only to be (miraculously) covered by the rapid growth of her hair. At the north end of the square is another fountain, La Fountain of Neptune.
Speaking of fountains, you will see many people drinking from many of the fountains that Rome has to offer. Rome is blessed with a rich source of water and a system of aqueducts, much of which has been unchanged since its origin manufactured during the Roman Empire. Every time you see the sign “not drinkable” that’s when you shouldn’t drink water. In the Pantheon, an architecturally geometric masterpiece, well worth seeing. The building is still in remarkable condition. Its dimensions and lines are very symmetrical, almost perfect. Originally a temple built in dedication to “all the gods,” today its concrete dome is the largest in the world.
From here, you can do a little more shopping on Via Naziunale. These are similar to the shops around the Spanish Steps, but not so expensive.
Extended stays in Rome
The above routes are a bit rushed, but definitely possible. Ideally, you probably want to spend a week in Rome and go at a more relaxed pace.
If you have some time left in Rome, take a look at the lively market Field of Flowers. Here you can taste some of the most beautiful flavors of Rome: fresh meats, fruits, flowers and vegetables. Here’s where you can mix it up with some of the locals. To the north of the camp is a square and a beautiful building that was built during the Renaissance (Palazzo della Cancelleria).
On the other side of the river Tiber is located Trastevere, an eclectic neighborhood full of great baroque architecture, funky bars, cafes, restaurants, etc. It’s a good place to go to experience Rome’s nightlife. And on Sunday morning, you can also check out the flea market (Porta Portese).
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, spend some time north of the Spanish Steps to relax in. Villa Borghese. This is the greenest and most serene section of Rome. A nice bit of rest, and a good place for a picnic. There are a few museums worth noting, and a zoo not so noteworthy. You can also squeeze this in on the first day, if you want, since this is close to the Spanish Steps.
For something a little out of the ordinary, look at it Catacombs, an underground burial system used several centuries ago in Italy. Italians, like many others, have great respect for those who have died. These are located on the outskirts of the city. You will probably need to take 2 buses from Termini Station to get there.
Tivoli, about an hour east of Rome, makes for a beautiful day. It is a picturesque hill town famous for its quarry stone industry.
Ostia, about an hour west of Rome, is the place where the Romans go when they want to go to sea. The seaside resort is worth a visit if you have the time, but nothing really worth writing about. The best beaches justify a weekend outing further south on the Amalfi Coast and off Sorrento. These places take a few hours by train.
Heading north of Rome, Viareggio is a beautiful little seaside resort in the Tuscany region. And of course, there are all the wonders of Florence, about a 3-hour train ride from Rome.
So there you have it … Rome in a nutshell. Don’t be disappointed, no matter how many days you are there. If anything, you want to stay longer. As the old saying goes about Rome, “Rome, one life is not enough”, or “Rome, one life is not enough.” So enjoy all the time you spend in Rome, because there is no other city in the world like it.