Rome is a beautiful city and undoubtedly one of the most impressive in the world. In fact, the city offers a museum-like feel and the visitors who travel its streets and buildings are awestruck by the multitude of history present in the city. If you are planning a tour of Rome, Italy, then you are definitely in for an experience of a lifetime.
However, just like any tour, a vacation to Rome also requires careful planning — especially if you plan to arrive by a cruise ship.
The major cruise ship port of Rome is called Civitavecchia, and is located an hour’s drive away from the main city — allowing visitors to enjoy plenty of activities in Rome and its surroundings. In this guide, let’s take a look at some of the top activities that are an essential component of any day-in-Rome itinerary.
Essential Guide to Touring Rome
One of the best-preserved monuments of the past in Rome is perhaps the Colosseum. Built using a combination of travertine limestone, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, the huge, multi-purpose building was one of the largest facilities of its time with a capacity of over 50,000 spectators.
The Colosseum was constructed under the supervision of Emperor Vespasian between 70 AD to 80 AD. He wished for the amphitheater as a gift for the citizens of Rome, where they can enjoy various forms of entertainment.
During ancient times, the Colosseum was active for many years but unfortunately had to close down due to massive earthquakes that hit the area. Nevertheless, the Colosseum is one of the most visited landmarks in the world and there are a variety of guided and unguided tour options for the convenience of its visitors.
2. Trevi Fountain
We have all seen the countless movies featuring actors throwing coins into this beautiful fountain in Rome. Now is your chance to make a wish too!
The popular Trevi Fountain is one of the great masterpieces of the world. Measuring around 20 meters in width and 26 meters in height, it is also the largest one in the city. Built during the Renaissance Era, the fountain is probably one of the busiest free tourist attractions of the city. Of course, the only cost to see the Trevi is the coins you throw in the well for your wishes.
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The Pantheon is another architectural marvel of the Italians. One of the best-preserved monuments of the city, the Pantheon is a sight to behold — both inside and outside.
Located at the heart of Piazza Della Rotonda, the Pantheon was initially built as a temple for all pagan gods. However, it was converted into a Roman Catholic Church in 609 AD.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Pantheon is its size. The dome has exactly the same diameter as its height: 142 feet, with a 27 foot diameter opening at the top that allows natural light to illuminate the entire structure.
Inside, you can find tombs of numerous Italian kings along with plenty of artwork of the ancient times. One of the most prominent personalities to be buried inside the Pantheon is Raphael — the famous painter and architect of the Renaissance era.
Apart from the historical tour of the Pantheon, the visitors can equally enjoy the outskirts of the monument where several street artists exhibit their talents.
4. St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
St. Peter’s Square, situated in Vatican City, is probably one of the most famous squares in the world and one of the most magnificent as well. Boasting a size of 320 meters by 240 meters, the Square was built during the 17th century and houses over 300,000 people.
Apart from St. Peter’s Square, you can also visit the nearby attractions of Vatican City. In fact, this area has some of the most remarkable attractions of the city. This includes the Vatican Museum — one of the largest in the world with over 1,400 rooms. Here you can also visit Saint Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world.
Another must-see is the Sistine Chapel, the private home of the 15th century’s pope, where you can also marvel at the Last Judgement painting by Michelangelo which covers the the entire altar wall.
Besides the above-mentioned, there are several other attractions to see in the neighboring areas of St. Peter’s Square and Vatican City so make sure you come with plenty of time — at least half of the day so you don’t miss out.
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5. Spanish Steps
Locally known as “Scalinata Della Trinità dei Monti,” the Spanish Steps consists of a stairway with 138 steps, that are structured in a combination of ramps, curves, and terraces.
The staircase was once a favorite place amongst tourists and locals to sit, relax, and enjoy the views of “Piazza di Spagna” or the Square of Spain. However, the government has imposed a law recently that fines anyone found sitting on the stairs. Nevertheless, the stairs are a famous landmark of the city. Even if you are not allowed to sit on the steps, the staircase does provide opportunities for unique photos.
For those who cannot manage the total 138 steps, there is a lift available next to the Metro Station that will take them to the top.
Visitors can also find a group of local artists on the top of the stairs that will paint their portraits for a nominal charge. And every July, the steps and the neighboring square are decorated to welcome the Donne Sotto le Stelle fashion show.
Tourists can also enjoy the 17th and 18th-century villas, the fountains of the Old Boat, the designer boutiques and the English tearoom that circle the popular steps and square.
Plan Your Trip
These are some of the top attractions that are (in our opinion) necessary additions to any Rome travel bucket list — but they’re just to get you started. Now it’s up to you to start planning for your visit to the historic city of Rome. Bon Voyage!
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