What to visit and do in Rome: 10 places to seeDo you want to visit Rome but you don't know where to start from? Here are our tips about the 10 places to see in Rome in 1 or 2 days: what to visit, where to go and what to do.
Do you have 1 or 2 days to visit Rome? Great then, make yourself comfortable and discover with us the Rome practical guide we are bringing to you. We will show you 10 absolutely unmissable itineraries, to do on foot with your children or by public transport, places you must see at least once in your life during your visit to Rome.
We reckon the Colosseum doesn't need an introduction to be declared as the most important and most well-known monument of Rome, so much as to become a symbol of the city. UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the new seven wonders of the world, the Colosseum stands in the heart of Rome with a surface of over 3,000 square meters and 48 meters of height. You can get in and visit it buying your ticket.
TO DO: buy your ticket online and avoid the long queues.
PICTURE: go up the little hill between the Arch of Traian and the Colosseum and take a nice selfie. Be careful not to bother just married couples...
VISIT THE COLOSSEUM, THE ROMAN FORUM AND THE PALATINE WITH PRIORITY ACCESS
The great Michelangelo defined the Pantheon as "work of angels and not of humans". Majestic, of a rare beauty and form, it stands right in the city center of Rome, a stone's throw away from Piazza Navona. Admission is free.
When you visit it you won't help but notice the big “oculus” above, an immense opening in the center of the dome. Legend says it was created by the Devil when scaping from the temple of God.
TO DO: stay in the center and look upwards, if possible, keeping your mouth close.
PICTURE: go to the center of the square, behind the fountain of Piazza della Rotonda and... you will have a lot of fun.
VISIT GUIDE AND TICKETS FOR THE PANTHEON
The Imperial Fora represent one of the most famous archaeological and historical areas in the world. Walking among the remains of what once was a great empire is a bit like a walk in history. Located half-way between the Colosseum and Venice Square, the Imperial Fora are one of tourists' most loved interest points.
TO DO: enjoy a walk looking both left and right, trying not miss even the tiniest stone from Roman age.
PICTURE: go all the way to the end of the Imperial Fora, on the Venice Square side, turn around (you will have the VIttoriano behind you) and enjoy taking pictures to the Fora with the Colosseum in the background. A tip: if you can, take a picture at night.
GUIDED TOURS AND TICKETS FOR THE ROMAN FORUM
We are talking about the biggest church in the world! It's really hard to decide whether it is more astonishing inside or outside. Bramante, Raffaello, Antonio da Sangallo the Young, Peruzzi, Michelangelo. Especially Michelangelo, with his Pietà, one of his best works.
TO DO: go up to the dome to enjoy amazing views over the eternal city
PICTURE: stay 30-40 meters behing the obelisk in St. Peter's Square and from there, take a picture of the splendid façade of the Basilica.
GUIDED TOURS TO THE BASILICA OF SAN PIETRO
If we think about the Sistine Chapel we can't help but talk about Michelangelo Buonarroti: 10 years took the great master to finish the frescoes. The Sistine Chapel is inside the Vatican Museums.
TO DO: in your visit to the Vatican Museums we recommend to go first to see Michelangelo's masterpiece and then “pass” to the other art works.
PICTURE: avoid taking pictures to Michelangelo's masterpiece. Besides ruining the frescoes, you will get very bad pictures. If you really can't help it, focus on these works: the 7 things to see in the Vatican Museums.
TOUR OF VATICAN MUSEUMS AND SISTINE CHAPEL WITH RESERVED ENTRANCE
If it's not the most loved park by Romans, it isn't far wrong. Greenery, art and entertainment enclosed within 80 hectares, what else do you need? You can decide whether to go for a nice walk, or enter the Borghese Gallery and discover the works by Tiziano, Raphael and Caravaggio, take your children to the Bioparco zoo or to the play center “Casina di Raffaello” or visit the many restaurants and the cinema.
TO DO: enter the museum of the Borghese Gallery.
PICTURE: unarguably, the Pincio garden, where you will enjoy views over the whole city of Rome. You will thank us…
TICKETS AND GUIDED TOURS FOR VILLA BORGHESE
Well-known thanks to Fellini's “Dolce vita”, the Trevi fountain is still today one of the most visited tourist attractions. It's an authentic architectural, cultural and engineering masterpiece. In the centre you will find the figure of Oceanus, then the statues representing Healthiness and Prosperity and finally the two horses ideally representing a stormy sea (on the left) and a calm sea (on the right).
TO DO: toss the coin. Popular tradition says that only after throwing the coin your dream of going back to Rome will come true.
PICTURE: go down the steps, get to the front row awaiting patiently your turn and take pictures at your choice. Selfies come out particularly well…
BOOK A PRIVATE UNDERGROUND TOUR OF THE TREVI FOUNTAIN
Piazza Venezia is placed right in the middle of the Roman tourist junction, half-way between the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora, on the one hand and via del Corso and via Nazionale on the other hand. If you have time, visit the Vittoriano, which represents the Italy of the last two centuries, with its majesty and its cultural and historical significance.
TO DO: climb the steps up to the terrace of the Vittoriano and admire closely the two quadrigas of the fatherland and freedom.
PICTURE: go towards the center of the square, paying attention to cars (!!). Place yourself in line with the Vittoriano and you will get very nice souvenir pictures.
SKIP-THE-LINE TOUR OF THE COLOSSEUM AND VITTORIANO
Wonderful, relaxing and full of interesting things to see: from the Barroque church of Sant’Agnese in Agone built by Borromini to the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini, from Palazzo Pamphilj to the Fountain of the Moor and Fountain of Neptune.
TO DO: visit it during the Christmas season, when the square is filled with stands and every single cobblestone radiates joy.
PICTURE: the "must" is the picture of the statue of Rio de la Plata, protecting himself from the imminent fall of the church of Sant’Agnese. It is a joke planned by Bernini towards Borromini.
TOURS AND GUIDED VISITS TO PIAZZA NAVONA
Piazza di Spagna is probably one among the most famous squares in the world. It's hard not to get excited admiring the splendid steps of Trinità dei Monti or sitting on the edges of the Barcaccia fountain.
There are also attractions for English poetry lovers, thanks to the Keats and Shelley museums, and for those who like going shopping, thanks to the very close via dei Condotti and via del Corso.
TO DO: sit down on the steps of Trinità dei Monti and watch people pass by.
PICTURE: we suggest a couple: a picture to the steps and another one to the square, taken from the balconies of Trinità dei Monti.
PRIVATE WALKING TOUR TO PIAZZA DI SPAGNA
RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES IN ROMA
CLASSICAL ROME: FROM THE IMPERIAL FORA TO THE COLOSSEUM
ROME IN HALF A DAY
ROME IN 1 DAY
ROME IN 2 DAYS
ROME IN 3 DAYS
ROME ON FOOT AND WITH CHILDREN: USEFUL ADVICE
All the itineraries we have suggested in this guide of Rome can be easily done on foot and with children. If you are travelling with children our advice is to break the visit in two days in order not to get your little ones too tired.
Instead, if you only have one day you should know that all interest sites in this top 10 list of Rome are well connected by public transport, so we advise to you to make the most of it. For further information, refer to the map in the following in-depth article: getting around Rome.
Clarification: Rome has such a rich historic and cultural heritage that it is not possible to list in a single article all its beauties. The rank we are presenting is a result from our experience and knowledge of the city, as well as tourist satisfaction.
- HOW TO GET THERE