Rome Top 10

10 things you must see and do during your stay in Rome

It’s quite difficult to talk about Rome in few words. Every street, every corner, every monument tell us about its millenarian history. Rome as the capital of the empire, Rome of the gladiators, Rome of the pillages and devastations, but also romantic Rome, where people fall in love doing a tour on a vespa. Nowadays Rome is the city of traffic which never stops and of the supermarkets open 24 hours, of the hawkers who sell foodstuffs at a very expensive prices… In spite of all this, the Italy capital is still one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of the world. Here we want to suggest you 10 things that you must not miss in Rome, to breathe a little of past and to enjoy the charm of a city that, we’re sure, you’ll come to visit again and again. It make an impression to think that everything began with a little settlement of shepherd on a hill and with a she-wolf which fed two children as they was its cubs…

The Colosseum Rome - Colosseum - Photo by Francesco Gasparetti

The Colosseum

If it’s true that when the Colosseum will fall down, Rome will fall down with it and with Rome the rest of the world, let’s hope that this incredible monument stay there for long time. Unveiled in I century AC, with the name of Flavian Amphitheatre, it was almost immediately called “Colosseum” because of the colossal statue, representing the emperor Nero, which was near the amphitheatre. The Romans had fun watching the gladiators and the wild animals wrestle, or assisting at spectacular simulations of naval battles. This incredible monument was built by the emperor Vespasiano and his son, Tito. Tito added two lines of seats completing the work wanted by his father, and to celebrate the end of the works he called 100 days of games. Nowadays around the amphitheatre it’s possible to see the Centurions, people dressed in the ancient Roman combatants way, they stay there to pose in the tourists photos, and now they are become part of the tradition too. Even without knowing anything of architecture or of history, everybody remain charmed from this monument, for which Roma is known all over the world. And looking at it it’s beyond any description, above all in the evening, when the spotlights illuminate this impressive structure.

Informations to visit the Colosseum:
When: from 26th October to 15th February from 8,30 am to 4,30 pm; from 16th February to 15th March from 8,30 am to 5 pm; from 16th to 29th March from 8,30 am to 5,30 pm; from 30th March to 31st August from 8,30 am to 7,15 pm; from 1st to 30th September from 8,30 am to 7 pm; from 1st to 25th October from 8,30 am to 6,30 pm.
Never: 1st January, 1st May, 25th December, Good Friday.
Tickets: 9 €, reduced tickets 4,50 €
How to get here: Line B of the metro, stop “Colosseo”; Bus n° 60 - 75 - 85 - 87 - 117 - 271 - 571 - 175 - 186 - 810 - 850 – C3; Tram line n°3.

The Pantheon in Rome Rome - Pantheon - Photo by Kok Leng Yeo

The Pantheon in Rome

The Pantheon was the fist building which destroys the barriers between the sacred and the profane. In the past the access to the gods residence were only given to bishops and vestals, when the Pantheon was built this privilege was granted to everybody. The legend tells that this structure rise in the point where Romulus, after his death, was brought in the sky by an eagle. The consul Agrippa asked to build this temple dedicated to all the divinities. Therefore the Pantheon was the first religious building open to the public, but this isn’t the only primacy of this structure: it’s the best conserved monument in Rome and it boasts an incredible number of copies and imitations. Its structure is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture, above all if you think that it was built in 27-25 BC, and it’s still there, in a perfect state of preservation. On the moat that surrounds this majestic temple there’s also a legend: The devil was outside the Pantheon waiting for Pietro Bailardo (a bandit and soldier of fortune) to pay his pawn. But Bailardo entered the temple to regret of his misdeed, and the devil, furious for that, made a big fire circle around the temple. That’s how the moat was created.

Informations to visit the Pantheon:
When: from monday to friday 8,30 am – 6,30 pm. Sunday 9 am to 6 pm. Public holidays 9 am 1,30 pm.
Tickets: free entrance
How to get here: from Piazza di Spagna, walk on Via del Corso.

Trevi Fountain in Rome Rome - Trevi Fountain - Photo by Valeriano della Longa

Trevi Fountain in Rome

If you are in Rome and you want to come back here, don’t hesitate and throw a coin into the famous Trevi fountain to realize this little wish. Planned by the architect Nicolò Salvi, this fountain receive the water from the aqueduct “Vergine” (lit. “Virgin). Central theme of the fountain is the sea, this fountain style is characterized by the meeting of Baroque with Classicism, reaching perfect harmony. The Trevi fountain has been a movie backdrop, the theatre of manifestations and a stage of great events. One thing must be clear: Only Anita Ekberg in “La dolce vita” can take a bath in this fountain, if you try to do it you’ll have to reckon with the police, and we are sure, they will not take it well.
The beauty of this construction leave the visitors breathless for its majesty, and few people notice a particular: on the right of the Trevi fountain there’s a travertine vase, it is called “asso di coppe” (lit. “Ace of Cups”, the cups are one of the four suits in a pack of typical Italian cards). The legend tells that Nicolò Salvi made it to block out the barber’s view on the fountain, because, during the works, he continuously criticized the architect.

How to get here: Line A of the metro, stop “Piazza di Spagna” or “Barberini”, then walk a little in direction of Piazza di Trevi.

Rome's Museums Rome - Love and Psyche - Photo by Marieke Kuijjer

Rome's Museums

A very rich group of architects, sculptors and painters works testify the great patrimony of Rome, which follows its millenarian history. The art here begins from the kings epoch, passes through the empyrean age and the pre-Christian age and go forward… The big number of Romans museums keep the artistic and cultural heritage of this city, the Vatican Museums and the Capitoline Museum are among the richest and most visited of the world. A visit to Rome’s museum allow people to deep their knowledge on the history of a city which was meeting point of all the cultures. Rome’s history is kept in the best museums of the city and offers a sight on the different phases which characterized the evolution of the capital. From the foundation to the growth, which brought Rome to be the known-world capital, to the slow and inexorable fall: an history that no other cities in the world can be proud of. The Baroque Musem, the Museum of Roman civilization, the Ara Pacis and the Napoleon Museum, all Rome’s museum have a secular history to tell.

Trastevere in Rome Rome - Trastevere - Photo by Rebecca Stanek

Trastevere in Rome

The symbol of this quarter is the head of a lion on a red background, and this is not a casualness. It is said that in the Campidoglio there was a cage with inside a lion, symbol of majesty and power. The lion was eliminated when a boy went too near the cage and the lion killed him.
When the Rome town hall decided to divide the city in quarters and it needed to find a symbol for Trastevere quarter, they chose the lion. It’s one of the most characteristic quarters of the city, that keeps the original medieval asset, with little streets paved with cobbles (called “sanpietrini”) and medieval houses which gives onto the street. During the imperial period this was the quarter of the patrician aristocracy, here there were important villas, for example Julius Caesar’s villa. During the middle age Trastevere became a real labyrinth of dirty and abandoned streets: because of the little dimension of this streets the carts can’t pass through. Nowadays Trastevere is one of the meeting point of Rome night life: young meet in Piazza Trilussa and then move into the alleys of this quarter which are full of bars and restaurants.

Secret and curious places in Rome Rome - Talking statues - Photo by Emanuele

Secret and curious places in Rome

In the alleys and in the taverns you can hear talking about an other Rome, a city grown parallel to the city which conquered the world, without the same clamour. It is the Rome of the coach drivers that bring tourist all over the city, the city of the dialect spoken as official language of all people who lived for centuries near the power of this city without sharing it. There are a lot of legends about the capital of Italy and they deserve a little attention, they’ll make you understand a little more about Rome spirit and Rome city dwellers. One of the most amusing stories is the “talking statue” of Piazza Pasquino. For many years, during the night, on the statue of Pasquino (which give the name to the square) there were left messages that jeered the symbols of the power in that period (especially the pope) with ironic and keen lines. The invectives that the statue hurled at the popes, cardinals and men of power, who didn’t care about the population were called “pasquinate”. The Pope Benedict XIII, decided to keep watch on the statue night and day, and he introduced the death penalty for whom was surprised to commit a “pasquinata”. After a long silence, with the end of the temporal power of the popes and the arrival of new politicians, the statue began to talk again. In 1938 it express its disappointment before the Hitler’s visit in Rome.

Churches of Rome Rome - Saint Peter Basilica - Photo by Michela Mongardi

Churches of Rome

Rome is the capital of Italy, but is also the capital of all the Catholics. The Vatican and the history of Christianity are an important part of the history of this city. Therefore Rome is full of very beautiful churches and basilicas, each of them connected to a very emotional story. In the past, pilgrims used to visit the group of the “Seven Churches”, those could be visited walking through the city in one day. The tour comprehended the four Basilicas of the popes : San Giovanni in Laterano, San Pietro in Vaticano, San Paolo fuori le Mura and Santa Maria Maggiore (St John Lateran, Saint Peter Basilica and St Mary Major), then the three churches of San Lorenzo fuori le mura (St Lawrence outside the walls), Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Holy Cross in Jerusalem) where, according to the tradition, the relics of the crucifixion of Jesus are conserved, and San Sebastiano fuori le mura (St Sebastian outside the walls), on the Appia Antica. But Rome has more churches, each one is a part of the history of the eternal city. Roma’s churches, the big churches or richly decorated, small or hidden into the alleys of the city, keep an atmosphere and a story that only waits to be listened.

Shopping in Rome Rome - Via dei Condotti - Photo by Sergio Calleja

Shopping in Rome

A visit in Rome isn’t just about art and history, but fashion too has its part in this city. People who want to make an itinerary in the name of fashion must know that Rome doesn’t deceive their visitors. You just need to take a stroll in Via del Corso, in Via del Babbuino or in Campo Marzio, where you can find the best Italian and international fashion big-names shops. If you love luxury products you’ll be spoilt for choice. But Rome has solutions for all the tastes and for all the wallets. Near Piazza di Spagna you can find dresses, shoes and accessories shops for men and women less expensive then Via del Corso ones. We know that someone like best typical shops where find more particular things: well, in Rome you’ll also find street markets that will satisfy your needs. For example the very known street market of Porta Portese, you’ll find it every Sunday morning from 6 am to 2 pm. In this street market you can buy everything, from bags, shoes and dresses to furniture and toys.
For the art and antique lovers, near Via Giulia you’ll find interesting occasions.

Going out in Rome Rome - Going out - Photo by Leo-setä

Going out in Rome

After hours passed walking among churches and museum, don’t think that your day is finished. During the night Rome is live and crowded as during the day. So gather all your left energies and enter in the Rome night life made of restaurants, pubs and clubs that won’t get you bored. If you consider how Rome is big, you’ll easily imagine that the city as a lot to offer: all kinds of fun, to all the wallets and all the ages. You just have to choose what kind of night do you want to pass and all your needs will be satisfied. If you are looking for the places where the young Romans meet, you’ve to go to Campo dei Fiori, in this square under the statue of Giordano Bruno, a lot of young pass their nights. An other very frequented quarter is San Lorenzo, this is the place where live the biggest part of Rome students, so its streets are full of pubs an clubs.
In the summertime you can move in direction of the seaside, in Ostia, which is very near Rome, where there are bar and clubs on the beach.
That’s our suggestion: don’t let the tiredness win, it will be a shame to remain in your hotel room and don’t enjoy the beauty of Rome in the night.

Eating in Rome Rome - Alberto Sordi eating amatriciana in a famous scene of the movie "An American in Rome"

Eating in Rome

Pasta, tomato, bacon and pecorino cheese make the bucatini all’amatriciana (bucatini is a pasta very similar to spaghetti but with a hole running through the centre) one of the typical, high calorie, dishes of the Roman food, but for once but it’s worth doing an exception to the diet. The original recipe was born in Amatrice, a town in the region Lazio, where this kind of pasta with bacon and pecorino, were the typical lunch of the shepherd. As for the greatest part of the dishes of the Italian tradition, the original recipe has been modified but without changing the taste. So, let’s begin with the bucatini, but you must not miss the other great dishes of this food, such as spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti with a sauce made of eggs, bacon and pecorino cheese) that, the legend tells, were born during the second world war, using the American rations of powdered eggs. The Roman food has also interesting second courses, you should eat typical dishes as: abbacchio alla romana (lamb), the coda alla vaccinara (veal tail cooked with vegetables) and the very known porchetta di Ariccia (it’s a crispy pork roast), that can be served with the carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes). If after all this, you’re still hungry, you can close your meal with a maritozzo (soft sweet bread filled with whipped cream), and hope that your cholesterol is on holiday in an other city.