It’s hard not to fall in love with Italy, and in particular with its capital. From its ancient history to the Renaissance period, there are so many things to see and visit! To help you to find the must-see sites on your next trip to Rome, the TourScanner team have curated the 48 best Rome attractions and put them on this Ultimate Rome Bucket List.
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1 – The Colosseum
The Colosseum was the most extensive amphitheater in the Roman Empire, begun by Vespasian in 72 AD. It was used to show gladiator fights and hunting scenes with exotic and ferocious animals. Nowadays it is possible to visit the Colosseum and understand how the underground theater system worked, with freight elevators, ramps, and traps that served to bring animals, gladiators and scenic machinery in front of an excited audience. Discover the Rome most iconic attraction!
2 – The Trevi Fountain
This extraordinary work of art is much more than a simply fountain: it is the triumph of Baroque aesthetics that is embodied in natural forms.
Before leaving, do not forget to throw a coin in the fountain, in fact, the most famous popular legend connected to the fountain ensures that you bring luck throwing a coin from your shoulders and in this way you will also ensure the return to the eternal city. A walking tour in this area will allow you to discover the best of Rome’s city center. It often includes other attractions as the Pantheon and Spanish stairs.
3 – The Pantheon
Visiting the Pantheon is a unique experience! A merely magnificent work that contains beauty, technique, and harmony. It’s a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. An obligatory stop that can’t miss during your visit to the Eternal City. If you have a way, enter the temple at noon, when the rays of the sun coming from the oculus become extraordinarily intense and create a truly unique effect!
4 – Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
The Vatican Museums located inside the Vatican City State, represent one of the most important museums in the world serving an extraordinary collection of timeless masterpieces displayed in the fabulous Vatican palaces. This vast collection of works of art has been accumulated over the centuries by the Popes. Inside the Vatican Museum, there is the Sistine Chapel, that deserves to be one of the most famous places in the world thanks to the Michelangelo’s works. If you want to discover all its secrets and beauties, there are many tours of the Vatican Gardens that include a guided visit of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.
5 – Galleria Borghese
The collection of the Galleria Borghese, defined as one of the most beautiful collections in the world, consists in sculptures, bas-reliefs, and ancient mosaics, as well as statues and paintings from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. In addition to being exceptional for its splendid collection, the museum is perfect in the coherence of its beautiful ensemble that implies marbles, inlays, mosaics, stuccoes, and inserts of the antique.
6 – Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was the monumental center of ancient Rome where there were the most important public and religious buildings of the city. You can join a tour of Roman Forum, it usually includes also a visit to the Colosseum. Nowadays it is possible to visit the remains of the old Piazza del Foro (Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Basilica Emilia, Curia, Temple of Vesta, Ara of Caesar, Arch of Titus and Septimius Severus).
7 – Castel Sant’Angelo
Planned by Hadrian as a tomb for himself and his successors, was initially designed by the architect Demetriano around 123 and completed a year after the death of the emperor by Antoninus Pius. Castel Sant’Angelo is the perfect representation of the solemn Roman spaces, massive walls, and luxurious frescoed rooms and the ideal Rome attraction. Since 1925 it has housed the National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo and houses collections of art and history as well as relics of the Italian Army in a great setting restored for the occasion.
8 – Vittoriano
The Vittoriano, also called Altare della Patria, is a monumental complex inaugurated by Vittorio Emanuele III in 1911, on the occasion of the International Exposition for the 50th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. This attraction was designed and built to provide a tribute to the memory of the first king of Italy. After some restoration and redevelopment operations today the Vittoriano Complex hosts exhibitions and conferences and is one of the most appreciated Rome attractions.
9 – St. Peter’s Basilica
One of the biggest churches in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica is also one of the holiest temples in the world. Besides, it is where the Pope presides many liturgies all year round. The construction of the was finished in 1626. Several renowned architects designed the temple, highlighting the works of Bramante, Michelangelo, and Carlo Maderno. It’s a must-see Rome attraction, best enjoyed with a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica!
10 – Mouth of Truth
Under the porch of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, there is the Mouth of Truth, one of the most famous Rome attraction. The Mouth of Truth keeps its celebrity standing in the world thanks practically only to the legend that accompanies it. His fame is due to popular tradition, for the belief that the mouth could bite the hand of someone who had not affirmed the truth.
11 – Terme di Caracalla
The Roman empire has started the construction of impressive and monumental public baths, an essential center of community life for all strata of the population. In fact, the baths were not just a building for bathing, sports, and body care, but also a place for walking and studying. There are many different kinds of Caracalla baths tours, private, skip the line, and walking tours of this magnificent baths. The vast extension of the Baths of Caracalla is a clear example of it, being one of the most extensive and most impressive monumental complexes of ancient Rome.
12 – Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
The basilica, with its impressive Byzantine structure, is the largest of the patriarchal ones in Rome after St. Peter’s in the Vatican. The emperor Constantine had built it at the beginning of the fourth century on the burial place of St. Paul, already a destination for pilgrimages. Rebuilt and enlarged less than a century later, over time it was enriched with chapels, mosaics, and precious furnishings.
13 – Trastevere
Trastevere is undoubtedly one of the most characteristic neighborhoods of all Rome, where between narrow colored alleys, Roman trattorias, markets, shops and artisan shops, it is still possible to get lost to rediscover the essence of the most authentic and genuine Rome. Discover this enchanting neighborhood with one of the many tours of Trastevere. From Santa Maria in Trastevere to Piazza Trilussa you can still breath the typical Rome products of the past, and at nightfall, the young get together to have a chat or to drink something with friends in one of the many pubs and nightclubs.
14 – Piazza Navona
It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Roman attractions, built on the ashes of the Stadium of Domitian, was used in ancient times for athletic competitions. Today the Piazza Navona hosts street artists and painters and is a meeting point for tourist and Romans people. Do not miss the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and the Fountain of the Rivers, where four statues are representing the four rivers considered at the time the most important: the Nile, the Danube, the Ganges and the Rio de la Plata.
15 – Quartiere Coppedè
Designed by the Florentine architect and sculptor Gino Coppedè, the homonymous district has been defined by many as a fairytale experiment. This extravagant corner built between 1915 and 1927, was conceived by Coppedè as a real village. Appears today as a mix of styles, where Renaissance symbologies, sacred aedicules, neo-Gothic chandeliers, Baroque coats of arms, triumphal Roman arches, liberty cues, Gothic towers and so on, live together to perfection.
16 – The Villa Doria Pamphili
The Villa Doria Pamphili is the most extensive public park in the city of Rome, which like many other city parks originates from the country estate of a noble Roman family. It was conceived as a country residence of the Pamphilj family, under the pontificate of Innocent X and gradually became a magnificent villa with a splendid park.
17 – Giardino degli Aranci
On top of one of the Aventino hills of Rome, between the medieval walls, remains of the ancient fort of the Savelli family stands Savello park, most commonly called Giardino Degli Aranci. From here you can enjoy a splendid view of Rome that goes from the Tiber to the Basilica of San Pietro. The trees that give it its name were planted in memory of St. Dominic who founded his convent here. Continuing after the Giardino Degli Aranci there is the door of Villa del Priorato di Malta. There is possible look through the keyhole, where you can admire a splendid view of the Dome of St. Peter, which appears along the avenue of the Gardens of the Order, bordered by trees.
18 – Cinecittà Studios
One of the most famous Rome attractions, where some of the masterpieces of the cinema were filmed. Cinecittà Film Studio in Rome, located approximately 9 kilometers from the center of the capital, boasts large spaces and state-of-the-art equipment. Today it is possible to visit Cinecittà and discover the secrets of cinema and each phase of the realization of a film: from the script to the post-production, through the discovery of stage costumes, shooting techniques, the creations of the first-rate scenographers.
19 – MAXXI
The MAXXI National Museum of the XXI Century Arts is the first national institution dedicated to contemporary creatività and is the great architectural work of Zaha Hadid. The planning of the activities reflects the vocation of MAXXI to be not only a place of conservation and exhibition but also a laboratory of experimentation and cultural innovation. The MAXXI is famous for its complexity of the volumes, its curvilinear walls and visitors can walk inside this Rome attraction following different and unexpected paths.
20 – Piazza di Spagna
The square is today a cultural heritage of inestimable value. Located near Pincio hill, Piazza di Spagna has always been the center of the cultural and tourist life of the city of Rome. Elegance is undoubtedly the principal characteristic of the square: the frame offered by the colored buildings, the Bernini mountain of Barcaccia and the stairway on which the Trinità dei Monti church stands, contribute to creating a refined and eighteenth-century atmosphere.
21 – Campidoglio
Since ancient times it has been an essential place for the life of the city, first as a religious place and then as a place of power when the Senate of Rome took its place. The Campidoglio, today the seat of the municipality of Rome, is the smallest among the seven Rome’s hills, but also the most important because the first nucleus of the city was born in this point.
22 – Villa Adriana
It is the villa that the emperor Hadrian built for himself and his court in the Tiburtina countryside. It is a unique testimony for breadth, architectural and decorative features. You can visit this villa joining one of the half or full day trips from Rome to Tivoli that often include a tour of Villa Hadrian and Villa d’Este. Today it appears as an extraordinary, immense park, spread over 80 hectares, dotted with Roman ruins, spas, and eighteenth-century farmhouses, in an atmosphere that still retains much of the ancient charm.
23 – The Capitoline Museums
The oldest public museum in the world, the Capitoline Museum founded in 1471 by Sixtus IV, is divided into the two buildings that together with the Palazzo Senatorio delimitate the Campidoglio square, Palazzo dei Conservatori, and Palazzo Nuovo.
24 – San Callisto’s catacombs
The catacombs of S. Callisto are among the largest and most important in Rome. They arose in the middle of the second century and formed part of a cemetery complex that occupies an area of 15 hectares of land, with a network of tunnels that are almost 20 kilometers long, on different levels. In them were buried dozens of martyrs, 16 pontiffs, and many Christians. Make sure you don’t miss a catacombs tour to discover this incredible attraction.
25 – Ara Pacis
The Ara Pacis is a Roman sacrificial altar enclosed in marble with beautifully carved in high reliefs with allegorical and ceremonial scenes and adorned with plant motifs. This monument represents one of the most important testimonies received from the Augustan art and intends to symbolize the peace and prosperity reached as a result of the Pax Romana.
26 – Arco di Costantino
Constantine, after having assembled most of the imperial power in his hands, built the last of the great triumphal arches of Rome. The Arch of Constantine is the most extensive honorary arch that has come down to us, and this structure celebrates Constantine’s triumph over Maxentius after the battle of Ponte Milvio occurred on October 28, 312 AD.
27 – Santa Maria Maggiore
Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest of the churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome and is one of the four major basilicas of the Italian capital. The legend said that after the explicit request of the Virgin Mary, who appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius (352-366), was built the church. It was made a century later by Pope Sixtus III on the site of a previous church.
28 – Casina delle Civette
The Casina delle Civette is located inside the park of Villa Torlonia in Rome and is one of the hidden Rome attractions of the capital. Its name derives from the fact that the owls are a recurrent decoration in stained glass and majolica. Until 1938 the Casina delle Civette had been the home of Prince Giovanni Torlonia junior. Today it is a museum that seems to come out of a book of fables.
29 – Villa Medici
Located on the Pincio hill in Rome, Villa Medici is an architectural complex that houses the French Academy in Rome since 1803. This splendid villa was bought in 1576 by Ferdinando de Medici, and then enlarged and equipped with a gallery of statues. Its structure with side turrets is simple and richly decorated on the back by the Florentine Bartolomeo Ammannati with stuccowork, bas-reliefs, and sculptures.
30 – Column of Marco Aurelio
Made by Commodus during his reign (180-192), the column of Marcus Aurelius still stands out today in its original position. The monument was erected to celebrate the victorious campaigns of Marcus Aurelius on the Germanic populations of the Marcomanni and the Quadi. The column is almost 30 meters high and today gives its name to the square that houses it.
31 – The Jewish Ghetto
Rome’s Jewish ghetto is one of the most important hidden treasures of the entire capital. Visiting this small neighborhood, bordered by the Tiber on one side and Piazza Venezia on the other, represents an experience not only cultural and religious, because of the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum, but also gastronomic, thanks to the many typical restaurants scattered throughout the ghetto.
32 – Rainbow MagicLand
Rainbow MagicLand, the most extensive amusement park in central and southern Italy, is located in the municipality of Valmontone, a few kilometers from Rome. Extending over an area of 60 hectares, this Rome’s attraction is developed around a central lake and offers its guests 38 attractions for all tastes.
33 – Via Condotti
It is one of the most elegant streets in Europe and if we wanted to give it an adjective is sophisticated. In fact, it is famous for its chic high fashion shops, a real destination for pilgrimages Made in Italy and beyond. Via Condotti is the walk for you, if you want to immerse yourself in its atmosphere of big names like Versace, Cavalli, Armani, Bulgari, Cartier, Luis Vuitton, are just some of the names you can find there.
34 – Quirinal Palace
The Quirinal Palace is one of the symbols of the Italian State. In fact, since 1870 has been the official residence of the King of Italy and since 1946 is the residence of the President of the Italian Republic. The visit of the Palace allows you to the discover a heritage of art, history, and culture of inestimable value. It also lets us know the location where the President of the Republic performs his functions.
35 – The National Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia
Built between 1550 and 1555, Villa Giulia is a splendid example of a Renaissance villa built as a suburban residence. Since 1889 it hosts the Villa Giulia Museum, the most representative museum of Etruscan civilization and welcomes not only some of the most important creations of this civilization but also Greek products.
36 – Imperial Forum
The Imperial Forum of Rome collects a series of great plazas built between 46 and 113 a.C. They were considered the center of political activity in ancient Rome, a place that over the centuries has been enriched with structures and buildings. It contains the Foro of Augusto, Foro of Cesar, Tempio della Pace, Foro di Nerva and Foro of Traiano.
37 – Trajan’s Markets
The Trajan’s Markets, built in the early second century, were destined for commercial and administrative functions due to the presence of warehouses, shops, and offices of the imperial administration. The monumental complex, rediscovered between 1926 and 1934, is characterized by buildings that rise on several levels along the slopes of the Quirinale. The Museum of Imperial Forum was inaugurated inside in 2007, in which it is possible to admire recompositions of scores of architectural and sculptural decoration.
38 – Palatino
The Palatine Hill between the second and the first century became the residential district of the Roman aristocracy. Emperor Augustus made the Palatine the official seat of power and began the construction of the imperial palaces, restructured and expanded later by Nero, Domitian, Hadrian and Septimius Severus.
39 – Walk along the Lungotevere
Until the last century, the Tiber was an essential fluvial hub for the trade of Rome, thanks to the presence of the ports. Today a walk along the Lungotevere is a must. The views that we can see in the Lungotevere are among the most beautiful in Rome. It’s a must-see Rome attraction! You can also cruise the Tiber river with an Italian aperitivo or a dinner.
40 – Domus Aurea
The Domus Aurea was the urban villa built by the Roman emperor Nero after the great fire that devastated Rome in 64 AD. The surviving part of the Domus Aurea was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1980. Nowadays it’s possible to visit the villa, and the virtual reality of the villa allows you to see the rooms, especially the Hall from the golden vault, as they were in the days of Nero.
41 – The Pincio Terrace
The Pincio Terrace is a panoramic terrace on the top of one of the seven hills of Rome, the Pincio hill. From its terrace, the eyes are lost in one of the most beautiful views of the world, where you can see the magnificent “cupola” and all the main monuments of the eternal city in a breathtaking show.
42 – Circus Maximus
The Circus Maximus was destined for various sports and athletic competitions but became famous above all for the chariot races. Recent excavations have brought to light the findings that allow us to delineate better the ancient fortitude of the circus, a myriad of shops, stalls, and taverns surrounding the racing area.
43 – Orti Farnesiani
This Botanical Garden takes its name from the Farnese family, which at the end of the 500 have bought almost the entire surface of the Palatine hill, transforming it into a splendid garden. The garden was the way of affirming the political and institutional position of the noble family. The garden was considered to be the oldest in the western world.
44 – Galleria Alberto Sordi
Built at the beginning of the 20th century, in a period of a redevelopment of the center of Rome. Today the high part of the Galleria is destined to the lodging of some offices that belong to the Presidency of the Council of the Ministers. The lower part, open to the public is an excellent shopping center, with brands for shopping, bookstore, and bars.
45 – Piazza del Popolo
Located at the top of a triangle of streets known as the Trident (via del Babuino – via del Corso – via di Ripetta), Piazza del Popolo constitutes the most grandiose access to the heart of Rome. The square is undoubtedly one of the most famous in the world. The two twin churches Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the Flaminio Obelisk (the oldest and second highest in Rome), and the two fountains of Valadier help to create the charming atmosphere of the Piazza.
46 – Terrazza del Gianicolo
Located on the Janiculum Hill, the terrace offers one of the best views of the capital due to its strategic position overlooking the city. You can admire a breathtaking view of the entire city. Every day at 12, three soldiers shoot a powerful cannon shot that resounds throughout the city! The tradition of the cannon dates back to Pope Pius IX who, to avoid confusion of time, established this service in 1846, for synchronizing all the bells of the Roman churches!
47 – Palazzo Montecitorio
Palazzo Montecitorio is a historical Rome attraction where is located the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Republic. The history of the palace began in 1653 when Innocenzo X commissioned to Gian Lorenzo Bernini to build a residence for the Ludovisi family. Nowadays it’s possible to visit the palace with an itinerary that touches the most famous and evocative places of parliamentary life.
48 – Olympic Stadium
Completed in 1953 the stadium was renamed Olympic Stadium after the assignment to Rome of the games of the XVII Olympic Games in 1960. The Olympic Stadium is located at the Foro Italico, on the slopes of Monte Mario, in the north-western sector of the capital. It is owned by CONi and, in addition to hosting the home football matches of Lazio and AS Roma, is home to the final of the Italian Cup, the Golden Gala, annual meeting of athletics and numerous concerts by Italian and international artists.
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