How do you put into words the magnificence of a place where every building, monument and cobblestone street is older than your country’s existence? Rome, Italy is a brilliant city. Our list of Best Things to do in Rome Italy will most definitely convince you. The history we learned about in school comes alive at the turn of each street corner. When I traveled to Rome, I committed to Rome. At the end of each day, my feet were screaming. However, I was determined to see all that I could in fear that I would never be able to return. Here are my highlights and to do’s. I included a few memorable history and culture tidbits in hopes that you will be challenged to go beyond just seeing the sites in your travels.
Spanish Steps: these wide, stunning steps were originally created to link the church to the square below. They quickly transformed into a meeting space where diverse cultures, artists, poets and creators gathered and interacted. There are 138 steps decorated with bright colored azaleas each year April – May, so it’s no wonder why this beauty is included on our list of Best Things to do in Rome Italy.
Colosseum: this large amphitheater was once home to the hustle and bustle of ancient Roman culture. It contained some of the best gladiatorial combats, animal fights and stage plays. Much of the Colosseum remains under construction. When you visit the Colosseum, you MUST viist the Hypogeum, a network of tunnels underneath the Colosseum. It requires a special ticket, but is well worth it to get the full gladiator experience.
Palatine Hill: while this attraction might be upstaged by its neighbor, the Colosseum, it is not to be skipped. The Palatine Hill is the most famous of Rome’s seven hills. It offers views of Rome as well as a glimpse into the ruins of what was once Rome’s most desirable neighborhood.
Pantheon: in Greek, Pantheon means “honor all Gods”, which is fitting as it was first built as a temple. the inside of the Pantheon features a large unsupported dome with the oculus as the center. There are no other windows but this oculus. The Pantheon is within a bustling city square with a fountain in the middle. It is a lovely place to sit, enjoy and of course, people watch.
Trevi Fountain: one of the oldest water sources in Rome and made from the same material as the Colosseum. Get there early to beat the crowds and bring your spare change. Rumor has it, if you throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish, it will come true.
Piazza Navona: an iconic city square in the heart of the old city. It is a dreamy plaza bustling with tourists, locals, street performers, artists and locals. Aside from the culture, Piazza Navona contains its fair share of historical elements, such as the Fountain of Four Rivers and Museo Roma.
Pantheon Square: I am aware that the golden rule of traveling is to never eat near the main tourist attractions; however, we ate both lunch and dinner at the restaurants in the Pantheon square. Both meals were delicious and you simply can’t beat a meal that overlooks ancient history. Armando al Pantheon is my personal favorite. Grab a seat, stay a while and people watch.
Colline Emiliance: two words – homemade pasta. Tucked away on a small street, this restaurant makes Italy feel like home.
Salumeria Roscioli: a unique restaurant that functions as a deli and bakery during the day. You will absolutely fall in love with their meat and cheese items.