Rome is a city that will drown you with its grandness. Tourist attractions here marked history’s first. The first wonderfully built coliseum, the first working waterway system, the first remnants of advanced civilization, etc. Rome has so much that describing it in an essay would take more than 2 or 3 pages of paper.
What was Rome in the past and, presumably, what is today wasn’t built in a single night. The sights that you see in Rome are a result of century-old developments that went hand-in-hand with the development of Roman society.
And just as Rome didn’t emerge overnight, it takes a lot of time to fully experience what it has.
To start our trip, let’s go back in time and quickly discuss Rome’s history. This is very important for you to appreciate Roman tourist attractions better.
A Brief Look At The History of Rome
Rome first emerged as a bustling settlement near the Tiber river that Romulus and Remus founded on the twenty-first day of April seven hundred and fifty-three B.C.
Myths make the origin of Rome very colorful. Accordingly, the founders were orphans that the she=wolf, Lupa, nurtured together with a woodpecker who gave them food.
Romulus became Rome’s first king and established the laws that transformed its monarchial system into a republican system consisting of consuls, praetors, quaestors, promagistrates, aediles, tribunes, censors, governors, generals, and senators,
Rome started its march to greatness during Julius Caesar’s term. Julius Caesar made Rome a superpower. With him at the front, Rome extended its territory past Italy and eventually reached Egypt. The early Roman taxation system is also thanks to him.
After Julius Caesar, Augustus assumed leadership and established Rome as an empire. He ordered the building of old Roman cobblestone and rock roads that still survive up to this day.
Augustus also commissioned the building of the aqueducts, and so is his predecessor Caligula.
Rome’s 9th emperor, Vespasian, commanded the building of the Roman colosseum. He had it built as a gift for the people.
After Vespasian, Rome got divided into several political fragments, each having its own leaders. It was in the time of Constantine when Rome was reestablished as an empire. During Constantine’s reign, Rome replaced the worship of Roman gods with Christianity.
Several emperors came after Constantine, each contributing to the state affairs. The final emperor was Zeno. Revolts and religious unrest led to the demise of his reign.
It was in 1871 when Rome became the capital of Italy.
Fun Facts About Rome
Rome is an amazing place. These are some fun facts that might surprise you:
- People living in Rome are very friendly. Upon moving, they immediately invite their new neighbors over beer pie, meat, or other foods so long as they appear trustworthy.
- One of Rome’s ancient aqueducts, the Aqua Virgo, still functions well and has been in operation for 2038 years!
- Julius Caesar falling in love with Cleopatra led to his falling out of power (According to Robert Greene, Cleopatra wasn’t very pretty. The way she played with the fantasies of men made her attractive)
- The Roman coliseum held a lot of fights in the past that it hosted literal “blood baths.”
- Modern gladiators are in Rome at the present. However, the fights that these engage with are less brutal and put more emphasis on sportsmanship.
- Some families in Rome might be related to ancient Roman gladiators.
- There’s so much to see in Rome that some travelers coin it sickeningly wonderful.
- You’ll become an instant millionaire if you scoop the coins on the Trevi fountain.
- The coins that go to Trevi fountain fund the free-food that the homeless eat.
Best Places to Visit in Rome
Just like any other tourists, starting your vacation with a visit to the Colosseum is great. The Colosseum serves as evidence of Roman knowledge about architecture and engineering. Though it appears demanding, completion of the Colosseum only took 8 years.
Workers completed the Colosseum at an amazing rate, considering that they have to shape, haul, and install stones that comprise its structure without using motorized equipment.
What you’ll see in the Colosseum right now are ruins consisting of rock formations, mechanisms, etc. Nevertheless, these still provide a clue of the Colosseums glorious past. The rock structures witnessed gladiators outsmarting each other. The simple mechanical gears opened and closed the cages that contained lions, tigers, oxen, and other beasts. The seats served as the place where the noisy Roman crowd watched animals and gladiators’ deaths with great amusement.
Guided tours offer the best Roman Colosseum experience. These will take you to the entrance, colosseum arena, colosseum seats, and colosseum underground portion.
The guided tours will also take you to the ruins of Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.
The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
A walking distance away from the Colosseum is the Roman forum. Right now, all that this location has is the ruins of several ancient buildings that served as government offices of the Roman empire.
Ten minutes from the Roman Forum is the Palatine Hill. It’s no coincidence that these locations are near to each other. If the Roman Forum is where Rome’s ancient government offices are, the Palatine hill is where the officials of each government office lived.
In Palatine Hill are the ruins of the noble’s residences. As you walk, you’ll see private baths, platforms that once served as living rooms or bedrooms, etc. Out of the residences, Augustus’ humble abode is one that you should prioritize seeing.
The Vatican City
After the Colosseum, think about going to the Vatican, which is 3 kilometers away. Vatican City is very unique. It is the only state in the world that exists within a state. Simply put, laws that operate in the Vatican are autonomous from the Italian laws that apply in Rome.
Vatican City serves as the resting place of St.Peter. The Basilica – Roman Catholicism’s headquarters – stands over it.
Aside from being the catholic faith’s leader, Vatican City’s pope also serves as the head of state under the title of the supreme pontiff. So basically, the current pope – his eminence Pope Francis – doesn’t only serve as a religious leader but also a political leader.
In the Vatican are numerous museums. These display Gregorian artifacts, Egyptian artifacts (Ptolemaic artifacts), and artworks from notable artists such as Giotto, Caravaggio, Raphael, etc.
Near the Basilica is St.Peter’s square. Standing on it is an Egyptian obelisk. The obelisk serves as a reminder of Rome’s close association with Egypt in the past.
The Trevi Fountain
Seventeen minutes away from Vatican City is the Trevi fountain. This place is where you should go if you’re meeting a fellow tourist because it’s a landmark that’s impossible to miss.
Trevi fountain is an architectural and sculptural wonder. It displays a castle or palace having a facade showing arches, roman doric, balustrades, and submasses whose measurements perfectly compliment each other. In front of the palace is a rock platform where Oceanus’s statue stands pulling his horses at the center along with two other gods on each of his sides.
For a quick trivia, many assume that Oceanus is Poseidon’s other Roman counterpart. This is a terrible misconception in reality. Oceanus is actually the titan god of the sea, which existed before Poseidon. Furthermore, he also represents the ocean that encircles the world.
In this sense, Oceanus resembles the role of the Word Serpent than Poseidon in mythology.
Trevi fountain measures 20 meters in width and 26 meters in height. With that being said, it’s a bit taller and bigger than the average high-rise buildings you see in towns and cities.
Trevi, with its waterworks, looks very beautiful. Gushing water from the rock platform creates a wonderful representation of Oceanus’ powers. The gushing water then lands into a bluish pool, which receives the coins from tourists.
A trip to Rome usually ends by visiting Trevi’s fountain and tossing a coin. Tossing a coin is an age-old belief that carries various significant meanings – it’s either for the hope of returning to Rome, for the hope of finding love, or for the hope of marrying.
The Trastevere is an old district in the city of Rome. In here, you’ll see several buildings from the time of Otto III. This location is very famous for its simple vibe. In here you’ll find pubs, bars, restaurants, inns, and hotels that are very affordable.
This location is very lively at night and transforms into a culinary district. Tables and chairs fill the streets as several evening restos open. Of course, these serve authentic Roman dishes that even famous hotels can’t compare with.
And as a bonus, classic to modern Roman music fills the air as people contentedly chew their meals and cordially drink their wine.
Where To Stay In Rome?
Hotel Fori Imperiali Cavalieri
Hotel Fori Imperiali Cavalieri lies between Piazza Venezia and the Roman Colosseum. Rooms here will let you see the activities at the Piazza and the grandeur of the Roman Colosseum from the window.
Aside from the Roman Colosseum, the Roman Forum is also walking distance away.
There are four types of rooms to choose from – single, classic, economy, and superior. Except for the superior room, other rooms in Hotel Fori Imperiali Cavalieri is only good for 2-4 persons.
Each room has all the tools for comfort, such as television, telephone, access to mini-bar, air conditioning and heating, and electronic lock.
Finally, these rooms follow a modern country design – white sheets, brown patterned wallpaper, wooden doors and furniture, and bedside lighting.
Star Hotels Michel Angelo
Within the Vatican City, about half a kilometer away from St.Peter’s Basilica is the Star Hotels Michel Angelo. This hotel doesn’t look much from the outside, and if I am to say it, this hotel looks rather plain with its exterior that makes it look like an apartment for students.
But enter, and you’ll get amazed. What the exterior lacks is at the interior. This hotel has the environment of a royal palace on the inside. Marble flooring, painting-mounted walls, ornamental plants, carpet lined hallways, royal sofas, vases, and chandeliers comprise the inside of this hotel.
The restaurant and the rooms are as equally luxurious as the lobby. Accommodation in Star Hotel Michel Angelo ranges from single rooms, family rooms, deluxe rooms, deluxe rooms with balconies, and suites.
Hotel Dei Borgogni
A walk away from the Trevi Fountain is the Hotel Dei Borgogni. This is a hotel where most tourists stay. This hotel has a very simple interior consisting of red and white themes that the cushions, sofas, and beddings embody.
Many choose to stay here, not only because of the Trevi Fountain. But also because many wonderful restaurants, shops, and bars are nearby.
In a nutshell, Hotel Dei Borgogni is in an ideal spot that allows you to reach numerous locations where tourists flock without spending a dime for a ride.
You don’t have to search for a place to stay in Trastevere. On it are numerous family-owned inns that offer accommodation at very affordable rates. Staying at nearby hotels is an option. However, staying at the inns are the best if you’re planning to spend the night in Trastevere’s pubs and bars.
Spending the night in Rome consisting of a visit to restaurants near the Colosseum, TreviFountain, or Trastevere; and late-night jams on the clubs near the Vatican. There are also diners that only open at night and serves dishes that you might not have heard before.
Here are some of the best restaurants:
- Esposizioni – serves Italian seafood-based dishes and provides dining in a breathy interior consisting of minimalistic tables and chairs and greeneries on vases.
- Bono Togetta Nostrama – a restaurant near the Vatican and specializes in serving mouthwatering sandwiches stuffed with vegetables, sausages, roasted chicken, roasted fish, and roasted beef bathed in a dressing of mayonnaise, marinara sauce, bolognese sauce, etc.
- Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar – a restaurant that’s 9 minutes away from Trevi fountain. specializes in fine dining with a panoramic view of the Palazzo Quirinale and subsequent areas.
Here are clubs that will get you going for the night:
- Magicfly Club – has been operating since 1980. magicfly allows you to dance to the latest popular rave music or rent karaoke rooms so that you can sing undisturbed with friends
- Vanity Club Roma – provides a more laid-back drinking experience with candle lighted tables and attractive and delicious cocktails.
- Disco Dancing Zanussi – has a very expansive dancefloor and plays classic to modern dance hits.
- Tango Bar – Plays jazz, bossa-nova, and other relaxing yet dancy music genres under the ambiance of a cross-country interior
Getting Around In Rome
The best way to get around Rome is through walking or riding a cab as long as you can manage because there are so many things to see that you might miss by deciding to ride a vehicle.
If walking is out of the question, the cabs will always do. Roman taxis are very affordable and are more than happy to take you to the hotel or inn where you’re currently staying. At present, fare costs 2-4 euros per kilometer.
I almost forgot. You can opt to rent scooters for getting around. Scooter rental may range from gasoline scooters to e-scooters. At present, you might pay $35 – $55 a day, depending on the condition of the scooter that you’ll be renting.
How's The Food In Rome?
What you’ll eat in Rome are almost the same as the delicacies in other cities in Italy. You’ll find a lot of pizza houses and roast houses around.
Classic Italian dishes like the ratatouille and lasagna are never missing in the restaurants of Rome. Desserts like tiramisu, cannoli, panettone, and Tartufo are also available. Even so, be prepared because most of this might come with a twist.
Finally, numerous bars and pubs that offer wine, rootbeer, vodka, and other liquor are always ready to quench your thirst.