When in Rome: Attractions You Must Visit
The piazzas, the shopping, the food: where do you even begin when you're traveling in Rome? There are so many great attractions in the Eternal City that it can be difficult to know where to start looking. But don't worry; we've narrowed down the essential spots that every visitor should check out before he packs up his pizza and heads home. Below find our recommendations for must-visit Rome attractions.
Must-Visit Rome Attractions: Architectural Wonders.
Even expert travelers swoon at the amazing historical structures sitting right smack in the middle of Rome. The Colosseum and ruins, sitting back-to-back, are just a days visit but give numerous insights into the history of this city. From community rallied sporting events to sacrificial virgins, they may just be pieces of stone but the stories behind them are remarkably timeless. Afterwards, grab the city bus and stop in at Vatican City, about a half-hour ride away and not technically considered part of Rome but a must-see none the less. The long self guided tour through the Vatican Museum ends in two surprises – the awe inspiring Sistine Chapel cieling and a gallery of very modern art works inspired by religion.
Must-Visit Rome Attractions: Cultural Hubs.
You'd have a hard time walking more than a few blocks in Rome without bumping into a fountain, but the one most travelers fall straight in love with is the Trevi Fountain. This 85 foot tall sculptured fountain features a scene of The Taming of the Waters while cascading swirls of water frame Triton and Oceanus. The entire beautiful thing is surrounding by shops and benches, encouraging passers-by to grab a pastry or gelato at the corner shops and sit to people-watch. Just a few blocks away you'll find the Spanish Steps, named so after the Piazza di Spagna at the base of the stairs and the church, Trinita dei Monti, sitting up on top of the hill. The widest steps in Europe, these stairs invite you to bring a lunch and sit down awhile, watching the nuiances of Roman life for hours.
Must-Visit Rome Attractions: Edible Delights.
While Americans run around snatching portable cups of coffee, Italians do their morning drink in another way. To take advantage of their way of life, find an espresso bar – there's bound to be one in your hotel's neighborhood – order your caffe and then sit down with a pastry for the morning. Later on, pass on the expensive tourist restaurants and try a supermarket. By grabbing some freshly made breads, meats, cheeses and even pastas, you can have a simple and portable dinner thats similar to what the Italians eat. While Rome is not the street food city that, say, Naples is, you're sure to find numerous gelato stands to please everyone, no matter what the weather. Be sure to try the bacio, a chocolate hazelnut flavor. Yum - that is one tasty Rome attraction!
Photo by Annemarie Dooling.