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Sightseeing in Rome

Seeing all the sights in Rome

Rome is a city for sightseeing like no other. It is like a city museum and getting lost in all the different layers of history can be quite enjoyable. However if you are running a tighter time schedule than you would have hoped for, a bit of planning is called for. Below are the top 20 sites, meaning attractions, which are neither museums, galleries nor churches, as these all have separate listing in this section of the portal. Most are free to visit and the best way to move between them is by foot, as Rome is a city ideally suited for walking tours. One way to build itineraries based on walking distance and era is by separating sites into 1) Piazzas and Fountains and 2) Ancient Rome. This has been done for you. Use a copy of Charta Roma to map out your route between them, which you’ll find free at many hotel front desks.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

Arch of Constantine

arch_constantine_rome_ispyBuilt in the early 4th century AD to commemorate Constantine's tenth year in power, Rome’s biggest monumental arch is actually a cobbling together of works from prior centuries. The Arch of Constantine stands right next to the Colossuem. Read more on Wikipedia

Our tours: Ancient RomeRome - see all the main sitesRome in day – It can be done!

 Campidoglio and Capitoline Hill

capitoline_ispy_romeThe Capitoline Hill was a seat of power in ancient Rome, as it is today. Consequently, Piazza Campidoglio, a work by Michelangelo, was chosen as the city’s first monumental piazza. Read more on Wikipedia

Our tours: Piazzas and FountainsRome - see all the main sitesRome in day – It can be done!

 Campo de' Fiori

campo_fiore_rome_ispyFlowers, fruit and veg by day; wine, beers and cocktails by night. Campo de' Fiori is a lively place 24/7 that is all under the mysterious steely gaze of Giordano Bruno, who was martyred here in 1600.

 Our tours: Piazzas and Fountains

Castel Sant’Angelo

castello_st_angelo_ispy_romeThe Pope’s fortress, which is connected to the Vatican Palace by a fortified walkway made famous by “Angels and Demons”, was originally Emperor Hadrian’s Mausoleum. Castel Sant' Angelo still dominated the Tiber today. Read more on Wikipedia

 Our tours: Piazzas and Fountains

The Colosseum

colosseum_rome_ispyThe symbol of the ancient world and Rome’s top attraction. The Flavian Amphitheatre or Colosseum was built 70-80 AD and is still a benchmark for modern stadiums. Buy your tickets at the Palatine to avoid waiting to get in. Read more on Wikipedia

Our tour: Ancient RomeRome - see all the main sitesRome in day – It can be done!

The Maritime Prison

maritime_prison_ispy_romeSited at the foot of the Capitoline the ex-prison, now a church and newly renovated visitor center, has stood since 640 years before Christ. It’s most famous inmate - Saint Peter, no less.

Our tours: Ancient Rome

Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda

pantheon_rome_ispyThe most complete Roman building in Rome thanks to the original pagan temple becoming a church in the 6th century. Today it is still a church and a temple to Roman engineering genius. Entrance to the Pantheon is free. Read more on Wikipedia

Our tour: Ancient RomeRome - see all the main sitesRome in day – It can be done!

Piazza di Pietra and Hadrian’s Temple

hadrian_temple_rome_ispyEleven columns have survived from Hadrian’s Temple as they were incorporated into the wall of a later building. They now stand free, magnificently restored thanks to UNESCO. Piazza di Pietra is good place for a cocktail.

Our tour: Rome - see all the main sitesRome in day – It can be done!


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Stephen content writer Rome

By Stephen Wheeler Licensed Tourism translator