Whether one is flying first class and staying in a luxury hotel, or a college student backpacking Europe and staying in youth hostels, there are so many things to do in Rome that it will take some real decision making to decide what to do. In fact, with so many incredible places to visit and things to do, many people end up spending entire vacations in Rome.
Hotels near the center of Rome abound and there will be something to meet any traveler’s budget. For backpackers, a good choice is to stay around the main railway station, Termini. This local is central to the city and lodging, restaurants, and pubs are more affordable.
Once settled in one’s accommodations it will be a good idea to put on one’s very best pair of walking shoes because touring Rome is all about walking. There are so many things to do in Rome, that the suggestions that follow will offer something to a wide range of visitors and their interests.
The Capitoline Museums are two museums, each sitting on one side of the piazza del Capitoline. A piazza is a public square or marketplace. Having opened in 1734, these two museums house the oldest public art gallery in the world. There, one may view paintings by Titian, Caravaggio and several others. One may also view stunning statues carved by Bernini.
Of course, the Colosseum, is a must see for everyone visiting Rome. This massive arena built in 72 AD once seated over 50,000 spectators. The sight of spectacles of huge proportion occurred at this historic sight. Best known for battles between Roman gladiators and prisoners, slaves, and wild animals the arena was once partially filled with water in order to stage a sea battle. There is no doubt, the Colosseum is one of the most outstanding places to visit in Rome.
Another stop for history buffs is the Pantheon, the best-preserved ancient building of Rome. Hadrian built this structure around the time 120 AD as a temple to the classical deities. Today, the site is in use as a church and it houses the tomb of the great artist Raphael. This site is also a favorite stop for students of architecture as it is recognized as an icon to architectural principals.
High on the list of things to do in Rome for many visitors is a trip to the Vatican and an audience with the Pope. While one is not like to experience a private audience with the post, every Wednesday morning one may be part of a massive audience of the Pope at the sight of St. Peter’s Square. Afterward, one should be sure to visit St. Peter’s Basilica to view the amazing frescoes of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
Often seen in movies, the Trevi Fountain must not be missed. Magnificent statues, carved from travertine in the Rococo style, surround the fountain. Here one may toss a coin into the fountain and make a wish. By this time, one may be wishing to stick one’s tired feet into the fountain.
Not to worry, next on the list of things to do in Italy are suggestions that will provide a bit of a respite. A stop at the Gardens of the Villa Borghese will provide a very pleasant respite. This is Rome’s most centrally located park and here one may sit on a bench and watch the joggers pass by or watch folks playing with their dogs. After one rests their feet, a bit they may want to visit the newly developed museum and to entertain the kids be sure to feed the turtles and to let them ride the ponies.
While not historically significant, one should not visit Rome without partaking of some gelato, Italy’s version of ice cream. Actually, ice cream is probably America’s version of gelato. A gelato shop called San Crispino is the BEST place to partake of this treat. Another must eat treat is pizza. Again, we are talking the real Italian kind of pizza with hand tossed crust rolled thin, covered with the freshest ingredients, and baked in wood-fired ovens.
There is no doubt about it, if history is your thing, then there is no shortage of things to do in Rome. With so many impressive historical attractions to choose from, it can difficult to decide what places you’d like to see most. A little preparation can go along way, so make sure to decide what sights you’d like to see most before you depart.