Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world and as such is visited every year by tens of millions of tourists from all over the world who all have in common the desire to enjoy a magical urban vacation in one of the most special cities in Europe. Rome has an abundance of historical sites, cultural events, urban parks and excellent restaurants that will make any vacation unforgettable.
Whether you visit Rome with spouses, good friends, on your own or with the whole family, there are some sites that if you return from Rome without visiting them, some will say that it does not count as having visited Rome. We made life easy for you and compiled a list of the places that every tourist visiting Rome for the first time must visit
Mandatory attractions in Rome
Undoubtedly the most famous place in Rome and probably also the most visited which attracts crowds of visitors every year. The Vatican City is actually the smallest country in the world whose area covers less than one square kilometer only, which surprises many people due to its great influence and the year of life of the place for millions of believers around the world. It has its own flag and anthem as well as various authorities such as the post office and more.
In terms of residence, the Vatican is the residence of less than a thousand people in total, about 60% of them are foreign workers and of the remaining you will find only 30 women. Of all these, what makes the place famous is the number one citizen who lives there (if you can call him that) – aka the Pope and therefore the Vatican is considered the center of leadership for the Catholic faithful in the entire world.
In addition to these, the Vatican City is also known for some of its main attractions, such as the spectacular Vatican Gardens and the Sistine Chapel where the Conclave ceremony (election of the new Pope) was held and where the work of art known as “Judgment Day” is located – the famous painting by the artist and painter Michelangelo.
As in any self-respecting European city, Rome is also full of squares and they are all decorated according to the spirit of the time in which they were built and there are various statues in them that tell the fascinating story of Rome. Of all these, Piazza Navona is the most beautiful square according to the opinion of many visitors and its proximity to popular attractions helps it maintain its central position in the city even today.
The square itself was built on the ruins of the great stadium of Emperor Domitianus and among the works of art that have been preserved in it over the years, you can find the famous fountains, the most famous of which is the “Fountain of the Four Rivers” which are a tribute to the four main rivers in the world.
Another square that is among the famous squares of Rome is Venice Square, known for being the central square where various meetings were held and where some of the greatest speeches in local history were heard. Although there are more beautiful and larger than it, it is considered a site that should not be missed, both because of its historical role and because of its proximity to the magnificent Venice Palace, which is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Italy’s capital city.
In addition to the palace, you will find other sites near the square, such as the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill, so you can combine the visit to the square as part of a longer route that the little ones in the group will also enjoy.
This is actually the name of the most famous amphitheater in Italy which was built during the reign of the three great emperors – Titus, Vespasian and Flavius, in which over 50 thousand seats where the lucky ones who sat in them got to see gladiatorial fights and fights of terrifying animals, saturated with blood and testosterone, what is considered In those days it was a real pleasure.
These magnificent battles made the Colosseum one of the most central places in Rome during its years of activity, when it was at its peak and the best architects and artists left their mark on it – fancy marble seats, various statues, galvanized iron bars and much more. Unfortunately most of these treasures were looted over the years while others were copied to other places and were used to build other buildings in Rome.
All this does not prevent the Colosseum from being included in the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and although today only one complete wall that belonged to the original building remains, this site regularly and firmly stars in the list of the most important tourist sites of the city of Rome.
The Spanish Steps
Speaking of squares, it is fitting that we also include the Margot square which connects two of the city’s main squares in our list of favorites. The well-known and famous Spanish Steps of Rome are in fact the staircase that leads from Spain Square to Piazza Trinita di Monti and the adjacent basilica bearing the same name, which at the time of their planning were intended to link the Church, the Vatican and the Spanish Embassy, hence the oil.
These important stairs were designed by Francesco de Sanctis – a famous architect whose part of the raw materials that were used according to the plan to build the stairs was none other than marble taken from the Colosseum, crushed and returned for these needs. The Colosseum in this case can only be imagined, but without using the imagination you can also admire the “Ship Fountain” statue standing in the center of the square – a place that served as a meeting point for spiritual people.
The Roman Forum
The Great Forum, which is also known as the Roman Forum or the Roman Forum, is the area that is located between the central hills of ancient Rome – the Capitoline Hill and the Palatine Hill and it is actually the flat area where all the important things were concentrated – the meetings of the people, social life, the passage of people and goods and much more. But the forum was mostly known for being a very important gathering place where actions important to the morale and day-to-day life of the public were held.
Between these actions and activities, official and unofficial ceremonies took place in the forum area, victory processions passed through it, trials, people’s assemblies and various speeches were held there from the mouths of the key people of that time, mainly clergymen and various rulers. Unlike the sites next to it, the forum is considered a stronghold of the general public and accordingly there are remains of temples, churches and various buildings in its territory.
Saint Peter’s Basilica
A spectacularly beautiful church that is located inside the Vatican City and is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations among its visitors, but it is appropriate that we dedicate its own separate recommendation to it, if only due to the fact that it is the largest church in the world, where over 60 thousand people can be accommodated at the same time – more than The seats in the Coliseum!
This church was originally built in the 4th century AD, but later the church that stands on the site today was built on its ruins – this was in the 16th century and also after that various restoration and renovation works were carried out, some of which the famous painter and artist Michelangelo was responsible for. As part of these works, various works of art and decorations were added to it, which are considered valuable items today.
Depending on its location, St. Peter’s Basilica is considered the most sacred and religious center for the believers of Catholic Christianity and the close believers believe that it is also the burial place of St. Peter who was one of the most important apostles of Christ. In addition to this important role, Saint Peter was later also the first bishop of Rome.
It is known as the “Temple of All the Gods” and this is because when it was built it was used as a place of worship for all the gods and not for a specific god, which indicates its historical importance and the fact that it is one of the oldest sites in Rome.
In fact, the Pantheon dates back to the 2nd century BC, which is considered an amazing figure considering that it has been preserved in an extremely impressive way to this day, despite the complex local history and the great amount of time that has left its mark on it.
After the spread of Christianity in Italy, the Temple of the Gods became a church and today, according to belief, it is used as the burial place of some of the most important figures in Roman history, such as kings, noblemen and clergy, as well as the great painter Raphael.