In 80 AD, Titus officially opened the Colosseum’s gates to the throngs of jostling spectators hungry for the sight of beasts, battle, and blood. It grew up on the backs of thousands of slaves and could host an audience of 87,000. Emperors used it to win favor with the public, putting on games, free for all to enjoy. Although now, two-thirds of the Colosseum crumbled away during earthquakes, fires and as a result of vandalism, it remains one of Italy’s most striking attractions. So, if you are wondering what to do in Rome, a trip to the Colosseum is a must. Book a tour, stroll the arena floor and imagine the iron on steel of gladiatorial combats. Or, navigate your way through the underground Hypogeum, where prisoners, gladiators, and animals awaited their fate. The Colosseum is, without a doubt, one of the best places to see in Rome.
On the long list of suggestions on what to do in Rome, the Roman Forum ranks high. It is one of the most historic sites in the world and one the best of Rome’s tourist attractions. This was the center of the Roman Empire. Walking down the Via Sacra is to travel back in time to the years of swords and sandals. You can almost hear the hustle and bustle of markets, the heated political debates and raucous cheers of those celebrating the victorious return of Generals and Emperors. Here, you can picture, from the remaining ruins, the glory of Forum’s architecture. Its impressive arches, temples, and columns are some of the top sights in Rome. In fact, they have inspired artists and architects over the centuries. The information of the site of these sprawling ruins is limited. So, to make the most of your visit, consider taking a tour.
A trip to the Centro Storico (or historic center) is a must if you visit Rome. Once referred to as the Campus Martius the Storico wasn’t always the city center. Now though, it is the very heart of the city with. In fact, a vast majority of all the top attractions in Rome sits among the densely populated piazzas. An unruly tangle of its cobblestone streets and alleys guards Roman treasures. Dealing with Rome’s heat and the hordes of tourists who flock to the historic center can be overwhelming. To explore the Centro Storico by night is to avoid all this. Instead, you experience the romance of the best places to visit Rome as never before. See the Piazza Navona and the illuminated waters of its four impressive fountains. Or, admire the striking size of Pantheon’s backlit columns. All that under a starry Roman night sky.
When you’ve exhausted all the places to visit in Rome, or maybe the hustle and bustle of Rome has exhausted you, jump on a train for a day trip. From Rome, you can head to Tivoli. Here, you can roam around the grounds of Hadrian’s Villa. Or, you can head for the magnificent Renaissance gardens at the Villa d’Este. Cerveteri is also close by, and here you will find the “city of the dead,” an Elaborate tomb complex built by the mysterious Etruscans. If you’re feeling up to it, go a little further afield and make your way to Florence. The Tuscan capital has so much to offer. There’s the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, and the adjoining Boboli Gardens. You could also head south to Naples and grab a slice of pizza in the city where it was born. Then, make your way to Pompeii to enjoy the biggest excavated site in all of Italy.
If you’re the adventurous type and want to explore all the top sights in Rome in a different way, then a Segway tour is just what you’re after. What’s a Segway I can hear you asking? Simple, a Segway is two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter. They’re tons of fun and super easy to use. The best bit though, is that they give the ol’ dogs a break. With all the things to see in Rome, and all the walking that goes with it, that’s definitely a win. Segway tours in Rome are no different than walking tours. Except on a Segway, you have the added benefit of being able to scoot everywhere quicker and with a third of the effort. All major Segway tour operators will offer tours through the Centro Storico, the Colosseum, and even the Vatican. But, for a truly special Segway tour, take a night tour. On these, you can scoot about under a roman night sky and catch sights of some of Rome’s most beautiful attractions backlit. It’s stunning!
One thing that’ll undoubtedly sweep you of your feet upon your arrival to Italy is how the simplified concept of Italian food explodes into a whole new universe layered with alternative dimensions. Therefore, while in Rome, forget about diet and make devouring Roman dishes part of your travel experience. It’s no secret that taking your time to explore the tastes and textures of the local cuisine is a great way to learn a bit more about local culture and its roots. Make sure to sample Bucatini all’amatriciana pasta, probably the most Roman of all Roman pasta shapes. Spaghetti cacio e pepe and Spaghetti alla carbonara are both simple but also bound to blow your mind. Taste Carciofi (artichokes) alla romana (Roman-style) or alla giudea (Jewish-style). Meat lovers will appreciate the lamb dish Abbacchio alla scottadito or alla romana. The list is endless! Take your tastebuds on journey of a lifetime!
The beautiful Anita Ekberg dancing in the Trevi Fountain flooded in moonlight is probably one of the most iconic cinematic moments. La Dolce Vita brought this incredible Roman fountain to international attention and wrapped it in an alluring embrace of romance. So, if you are still deciding what to see in Rome, put Fontana Trevi on your list. Despite being staggeringly monumental, it sneaks up on you as it sits sandwiched among narrow cobbled streets that hush the playful sound of purling water until the very last moment. The fountain and its immediate surroundings are quite crowded during the day. So, if you want to enjoy a more calm, romantic atmosphere, come by in the late evening. Those in search of their other half, attention! Legend has it, you should throw three coins into the fountain: the first one ensures you’ll return to Rome; the second one ensures a new romance and the third one ensures marriage.