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Things to Do in Rome

An open-air museum home to two millennia of architecture, art, and culture, Rome is one of the world’s most visited cities — for good reason. You can spend hours exploring ancient wonders, traveling between attractions, or hunting for the best gelato; but those in the know stay ahead of the crowd with skip-the-line entrance tickets and guided tours. Hop-on hop-off tours allow visitors to breeze through must-do lists, while group visits to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican Museums offer a more in-depth experience. For a true taste of Italy, take advantage of the city’s central location with day trips to Pompeii, Tuscany, and beyond.
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Colosseum
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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1,956 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站the world’s famous colosseum was built in 80 ad for the roman emperors to stage fight to-the-death gladiator battles and hunt and kill wild animals, whilst members of the general public watched the violent spectaculars. entry was free, although you were seated according to your social rank and wealth. gladiatorial games were banned in 438 ad; the wild beast hunting continued until 523.

365bet体育网站 the colosseum is amazing for its complex and advanced architecture and building technique. despite being used as a quarry for building materials at various points in history, it is still largely intact. you can see the tiered seating, corridors and the underground rooms where the animals and gladiators awaited their fate. today the colosseum has set the model for all modern-day stadiums, the only difference being today's teams survive their games.

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Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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1,177 Tours and Activities

in ancient rome, the forum was the centre of the roman empire. until the 4th century ad, a thousand years of decisions affecting the future of europe were made here. when roman soldiers were out conquering the world in the name of the emperors, temples, courts, markets, and government buildings were thriving in the forum.

365bet体育网站 located between two of rome's famous hills, the palatine and capitoline hills, it is now a collection of ruins having spent centuries as a quarry for marble and a cow paddock. the forum became a very dense collection of buildings in its time but mostly all that remains today is columns, arches, and some scattered marbles so it can be difficult to make sense of it all. ongoing archaeological work continues, and getting a map or a guide can really bring the bustle of the ancient site to life. you can get a great view over the forum from the overlooking hills in the farnese gardens and from michelangelo's piazza del campidoglio.

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Piazza Navona
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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968 Tours and Activities
The term “piazza” is often translated as “square,” but when you arrive in Piazza Navona you’ll understand why that doesn’t always work. This oblong-shaped space was once a stadium, where citizens of Ancient Rome would come to watch games and races in the 1st century AD. The stadium may be gone, but the shape of the space remains. Today, the Piazza Navona is home to a selection of beautiful Baroque churches and fountains, some fabulously expensive outdoor cafes, and (often) vendors selling tourist trinkets. During the holidays, a Christmas market fills much of the piazza. At the center of the Piazza Navona is Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers, with an Egyptian obelisk sitting atop the sculpture. There are two other smaller fountains, one at each end of the piazza, both by Giacomo della Porta. The most prominent building lining the piazza is the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, at the center facing one side of Bernini’s fountain.
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Pantheon
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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993 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站the pantheon in rome is a remarkable building architecturally. basically a cylinder with the floating dome on top of columns, it is the largest masonry vault ever built. in the center of this dome is a hole bringing in a shaft of light to show the beauty of this building and its relatively simple, open interior. being inside the pantheon feels very special.

365bet体育网站 originally built in 27 bc and rebuilt by emperor hadrian in 120 ad, the temple has been damaged and plundered over time. in 609 ad it became a christian church dedicated to the madonna. in the 17th century some of its bronze ceiling was taken and melted down for use in st peter's basilica. important figures such as king victor emmanuel ii and the artist raphael are buried in the pantheon.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore)
85 Tours and Activities

there are many churches in rome - and throughout the world - dedicated to the virgin mary. the largest one is the basilica papale (or papal basilica) of santa maria maggiore near the termini train station in central rome.

365bet体育网站 as you might guess from the name, santa maria maggiore is technically part of the vatican - just as a foreign embassy might be. as part of vatican city, the basilica is also part of the unesco world heritage site that includes all extraterritorial properties of the holy see in rome.

although the basilica papale di santa maria maggiore has been expanded upon and redecorated over the centuries, it was originally built in the mid-5th century and much of the original structure is still in place. in the years after the papacy was moved back to rome from avignon, part of the church was used as the papal residence until renovations to the vatican palace was completed.

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Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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1,063 Tours and Activities
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous and most beloved sights in Rome. A huge Baroque flurry (85 by 65 feet or 25 by 20 meters) where water spills from rocks under the feet of Neptune, Triton and sea-horses into a large pool, it's always surrounded by coin-tossing tourists. Superstition has it that if you toss a coin into the fountain you will one day return to Rome. It shows how much people love this city that up to $3,500 a day is thrown in! The money is collected at night by the city and distributed to charity. The Trevi Fountain began as a humble water outlet, the end of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct built in 19 BC to bring water to Roman Baths. The name comes from its location at the junction of three roads ('tre vie'). Around 1735 Pope Clement XII commissioned Niccolo Salvi to design the fountain we still love today.
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Campo de' Fiori
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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Whereas most of us know the term “piazza” roughly equates to a public square, we may not immediately think the same thing when we see “campo” - especially if we know that means “field” in Italian. But Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori - literally, “field of flowers” - is a square in the historic center of the city. The name refers to a time when this was actually a field of flowers, but it also hints at one of the main attractions of the Campo de’ Fiori - the outdoor market. Each morning, the square fills with vendors selling fruit, vegetables, and flowers. It’s a genuine market for Romans to do their shopping, but it’s also a tourist attraction - so the prices have gone up accordingly over the years, driving many Romans to shop elsewhere. The scenery of an outdoor market in a pretty public square, however, is still lovely and worth getting up early.
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Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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145 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站standing proud behind the colosseum and steps away from the beginning of the via sacra, the imposing triumphal arch of constantine was erected by the roma senate in 315 ad in honor of emperor constantine's victory over maxentius at the battle of the milvian bridge that took place three years earlier. at 69 feet (21 meters) tall, the ornate monument was carved from a single enormous block of gray and white marble. in typical classical style, the great central gateway is mirrored by two smaller side arches and supported by eight corinthian columns. the arch is decorated with reliefs plundered from other long-forgotten memorials that describe feats of bravery by earlier roman emperors, as well as inscriptions praising the achievements of constantine.

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Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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527 Tours and Activities

the famous spanish steps lead from the piazza di spagna up to the trinita church. the staircase was constructed between 1723 and 1725 in the roman baroque style and is the longest and widest in europe. the design is an elegant series of ramps with 138 steps in a fan or butterfly wing shape. in may, they are particularly beautiful when the ramps of the staircase are covered in spring flowers.

365bet体育网站 architecture aside, what makes the spanish steps a favorite spot to hang out is the people watching. it's a place for tourists and locals to sit and enjoy the spectacle of rome life.

the adjacent piazza di spagna is surrounded by wonderful tea rooms and cafes as well as being adjacent to some of the best shopping streets in rome.

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Borghese Gallery (Galleria Borghese)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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The Borghese Gallery boasts the most famous art of Baroque Rome. Among the collection are several paintings by Raphael, Titian & Caravaggio. The immense property holds the grand palace where Cardinal Scipione Borghese lived with his famed art collection as well as Rome's most beautiful park, the Borghese Gardens. Here see Bernini's famous statues of Apollo and Daphne, David, the Rape of Proserpine & Canova's reclining nude of Paulina Borghese. Also enjoy stunning views over Piazza del Popolo.
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More Things to Do in Rome

Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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368 Tours and Activities

the piazza venezia defies many assumptions one might make from the name. it’s an open space, so it can be called a piazza, but it’s really a gigantic intersection and not a public square. and it’s in central rome, not venice. the name comes from the nearby palazzo venezia, in which ambassadors from the venetian republic once lived.

the enormous vittorio emmanuele monument faces one side of piazza venezia, and the interchange is also at the base of the capitoline hill and next to trajan’s forum. in short, although this piazza isn’t one in which you’re likely to spend lots of leisure time, you’ll certainly pass through it on your way to and from other major attractions in central rome.

365bet体育网站 those of you taking the bus around rome will find piazza venezia to be a major transportation hub, which is useful for getting around the city. and if you’re ambitious enough to be driving in rome, you’ll probably pass through the intersection a number of times.

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Catacombs of Rome (Catacombe di Roma)

Catacombs of Rome (Catacombe di Roma)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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The Catacombs of the early Christians are underground crypts filled with literally thousands of bones. These morbid wonders date back to the second century, a time when Christianity was considered a cult and whose members were executed as pagans and buried as martyrs. These tours invite you to descend into the Eternal City's subterranean burial chambers, winding catacombs and ancient crypts to discover the dark secrets of imperial and early Christian Rome.
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Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)

Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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383 Tours and Activities

in ancient rome, a “circus” was an oblong arena where events like chariot races, games, and other performances were held. as you might guess, the circus maximus was - in a word - huge. it was the roman empire’s largest stadium, measuring more than 2,000 feet long by 387 feet wide and capable of holding an audience of 150,000.

365bet体育网站 first built in the 6th century b.c.e., the circus maximus was expanded over the next several centuries (and rebuilt occasionally after fire and flood damaged), until it was rebuilt by emperor trajan in the early 2nd century ad. in addition to chariot and horse races, the circus maximus also held religious ceremonies, and parades. the last recorded uses of the circus maximus are in the 6th century ad, and today there’s very little left of the structures. the site is now a public park, and you can see the overall oblong shape where the circus used to be, as well as some of the starting gates.

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Largo di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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101 Tours and Activities

a small and relatively unknown archaeological site of ancient rome, the largo di torre argentina is a square set around the sunken area sacra. the remains of four temples built between the 2nd and 4th centuries bc are some of the oldest ruins in the city. what’s left of the republican-era structures was only just discovered in the 1920s due to construction in the area. the remains of the theater of pompey were also found here, said to be the site of julius caesar’s assassination. the four temples are distinguished by letters a, b, c, and d, with temple d being the oldest (it is estimated the columns date back to the 2nd century bc.) they’re off limits to humans — however, the piazza has become somewhat of a cat sanctuary. there are nearly 300 stray cats that stay there, lounging on ancient platforms and strolling among history. the area is maintained by volunteers. sidewalks surrounding the ruins lead to viewing platforms where visitors are welcome to interact with the cats.

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Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano (Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano)

Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano (Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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365bet体育网站visitors to the basilica di san clemente al laterano can see not only the present-day church, but also an older church and even older excavations underneath. evidence suggests that the oldest building on this site likely dates from at least the 1st century b.c.e. it was the home of a wealthy roman that was probably destroyed during a fire in 64 c.e., but even that structure is thought to have been built on the foundation of an even older building.

365bet体育网站 other lower levels of the church have been excavated to reveal a room used in the 2nd century for worship of the cult of mithras, as well as a 4th century basilica. the church you see at street level today was begun in the late 11th century and features an ornately decorated interior. a visit to the basilica di san clemente al laterano is a fascinating step back in time.

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Capuchin Crypt (Cripta dei Frati Cappuccini)

Capuchin Crypt (Cripta dei Frati Cappuccini)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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365bet体育网站the capuchin crypt was once thought of as one of rome's more offbeat attractions, but it has become increasingly popular and is now on many a must-see list. underneath the church of santa maria della concezione dei cappuccini, there is a series of six small chapels that serve as the burial chambers for capuchin friars. these are no ordinary graves, however. there were more friars to be buried in the crypt's sacred soil – brought directly from jerusalem – than there was space, so older graves were dug up and the bones of the dead monks were used to decorate the chapel walls. today, visitors can still see the incredibly intricate designs adorning the walls and curved ceilings of the chapels. a sign in the last chapel reminds us that we are just as the occupants of these chapels once were – and we will eventually be just like them, too. it's a slightly macabre stop, not necessarily recommended for children or the squeamish, but it's also not meant to be like a haunted house.

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Trastevere

Trastevere

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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193 Tours and Activities

the trastevere neighborhood of rome is one of the city’s oldest districts; walking through its cobbled streets during the day you’re apt to forget the busy roman streets and crowds outside the colosseum. in the trastevere, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into an italian village. because, in a way, you have.

365bet体育网站 the name “trastevere” means “across the tiber” (which is “tevere” in italian), which should tell you it lies on the opposite side of the river from monuments like the roman forum and colosseum - it’s actually on the same side of the river as vatican city. there are many inexpensive places to eat in the trastevere, but the area is essentially hotel-free. to stay here, you’ll need to book an apartment rental or guesthouse, as that’s basically all that’s available for lodging.

by day, the trastevere is almost unfailingly charming, and the small piazza santa maria in trastevere is straight out of an italian countryside hill town.

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Piazza Barberini

Piazza Barberini

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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365bet体育网站atop the quirinal hill is the piazza barberini, one of rome’s public squares that also serves as a bit of a traffic intersection. the piazza itself is pedestrian-only, making it at least possible to enjoy yet another of rome’s public spaces, although the cars zipping around it make it slightly less than peaceful.

in the middle of the piazza is the triton fountain, designed by gian lorenzo bernini in the 1640s. the piazza itself takes its name from the palazzo barberini, former home to a noble roman family, one of whom eventually became pope urban viii. that palace is now home to the museum of ancient art.

365bet体育网站 another fountain by bernini - the fountain of bees - once occupied a corner of the piazza barberini, but it was moved to another spot on the nearby via vittorio veneto. one of rome’s two metro lines (line a) has a stop at the piazza barberini.

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Rome Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico di Roma)

Rome Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico di Roma)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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there is a neighborhood in rome still known by the population that called it home in the 16th century. the roman jewish ghetto, formally established in 1555, was where jews in rome were forced to live after that year, although jews had lived in the city for centuries. the city erected walls around the ghetto, and they were torn down only after the ghetto was officially abolished in 1882.

365bet体育网站 despite this unhappy history, this part of rome is now a relatively popular tourist destination. the former jewish ghetto is still a center of jewish life in rome - the city’s synagogue is here, and this is where you’ll find restaurants, markets, and butchers serving and selling kosher food products. in fact, in the spring when artichokes are in season, this is the part of the city where you’ll find rome’s famous “carciofi alla giudia,” or jewish-style artichokes.

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Portico of Octavia (Portico di Ottavia)

Portico of Octavia (Portico di Ottavia)

39 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站portico of octavia was a large courtyard with many columns originally built in the 2nd century bc. it was rebuilt about 100 years later by emperor augustus and dedicated to his sister, octavia. it once covered an area of almost 445 feet long and almost 380 feet wide, larger than a football field, and it had more than 300 corinthian columns. the temple of juno regina and the temple of jupiter stator stood in the middle. today not much remains of the structure compared to what it once was. visitors can still see five columns and the ruins of the entrance gate.

in the middle ages, the ruins of the portico of octavia became the site of a fish market. a stone to the right of the portico's great arch still marks the location. nearby you can find the teatro marcello, the tiber river and tiber island, the temple of apollo sosiano, and it's not far from the roman forum.

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Theater of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello)

Theater of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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88 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站at first glance, this ancient open-air theater appears quite a bit like a mini-colosseum. built during the later years of the roman republic, it was built nearly 100 years before the famous colosseum. named by the emperor augustus in 11 bc after his recently deceased nephew marcus claudius marcellus, the theater may be the oldest surviving of its kind in the world.

the structure’s archways and tiers comprise a semicircular design (unlike the colosseum, which is completely circular.) the third tier was lost in reconstruction during the middle ages, but ornamental doric and ionic columns still frame the theater. in its prime the structure could hold more than 15,000 spectators and was one of the most popular entertainment venues in ancient rome. live music and drama performances filled its seats until it was adopted by noble families and luxury apartments (which can still be seen today) were built atop the ruins.

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Vittorio Emmanuele II Monument (Vittoriano)

Vittorio Emmanuele II Monument (Vittoriano)

75 Tours and Activities
The Vittorio Emanuele Monument in Rome goes by many names - some official, and some not at all so. In addition to “Vittorio Emmanuele Monument,” other official names include the “Altare della Patria” (Altar of the Fatherland) and simply “Il Vittoriano.” Less formal nicknames - given by Romans who don’t exactly love the monument - include “the wedding cake,” “the typewriter,” and “the fake teeth.”

no matter what you call it, it’s impossible to miss the imposing vittorio emmanuele monument on the massive piazza venezia in central rome. built in the early 1900s to honor a unified italy’s first king, the structure serves double-duty as the home of the tomb of italy’s unknown soldier as well as the museum of italian reunification.

365bet体育网站 another reason to visit the vittoriano is to ride the “roma del cielo” elevator to the top of the monument for some of the best views overlooking the city of rome.

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Fontana dell'Acqua Paola

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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24 Tours and Activities
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Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Repubblica

The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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18 Tours and Activities

piazza della repubblica is a square in rome not far from termini train station. the square was the original site of the baths of diocletian. it was known as piazza esedra until the 1950s, and many older locals still refer to it by its old name. in the center of the square is the large fountain of the naiads, or water nymphs. figures of the four water nymphs adorn the sides of the fountain representing oceans, rivers, lakes, and underground water. when the fountain was unveiled in 1901, it was considered too provocative due to the nudity of the statues.

one of rome's most well known streets, via nazionale, starts at piazza della repubblica. on this street and in the surrounding area you'll find upscale hotels, shops, restaurants, and cafes. near the piazza is the teatro dell'opera di roma, a lavish 19th century opera house. there are also several churches and ornate buildings in the area.

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The Top 10 Things To Do in Rome
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