Italy has an infinite and fascinating history. Whether for its cuisine, for its beaches, its people, or everything else that surrounds it. It is one of the places any traveler should visit at least once. Since, as all the roads lead to Rome, MeL presents you the places you should not miss in your first time at the Italian capital.
The best time to visit Rome is during the months of June to September. It is in the summer that the weather is almost perfect. Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world. For this reason, always expect large concentrations of tourists. But not enough to be uncomfortable.
1. The Roman Coliseum.
This jewel of history opens its doors at 8:30 in the morning, and receives tourists until 6:00 in the afternoon. Tickets can be purchased online, in case you have not already bought a tour that includes it. You can also buy a guided tour at the Coliseum box office.
The Colosseum also has a night tour that is an unmissable option especially if you go as a couple.
Relevant Links: Unforgettable European Night Tours.
2. The Pantheon.
Considered as the temple of all the gods and one of the best preserved of the tour. It has a beautiful dome with impressive columns that highlight its great architecture.
The entrance to this place has no cost, and is open to the visiting public from 8:30 in the morning until 6:00 in the afternoon.
3. The Fontana di Trevi icon of Rome.
This fountain shows the best images of ancient Rome. The tradition is turning your back and throw a coin wishing to return to Rome someday again. During holiday seasons about four thousand euros fall into its waters every day.
This beautiful fountain has a narrow patio where many take some photos and where you can buy a souvenir to take home.
4. Plaza de Campidoglio and the Capitoline Museums.
This square was designed by Michelangelo and keeps in its central part a replica of a Bronze sculpture of Marcus Aurelius. He was one of the most popular Roman emperors in history. Nicknamed the wise because of his great cultural and philosophical background, he was a supporter of stoicism. Throughout his life he devoted himself to writing reflections and thoughts that would later be overturned and systematized in the work “Meditations”.
Around the Plaza are the Capitoline Museums (The Palace of the Conservatives and the New Palace) we highly recommended to visit them.
5. St. Peter’s Square
This beautiful and extensive square presents an incomparable architecture. Surrounded by 284 columns and 88 pilasters crowned with 144 statues of Saints. A true work of art. During special events and the Pope apparitions may gather around three hundred thousand people.
The highlight in the middle of the square is the Obelisk of an impressive 25 meters high, in addition to the sources of Bernini and Maderno.
6.St. Peter’s Basilica.
The spectacular 136-meter high dome was started by Michelangelo and finished by Carlo Maderno. You can see in it the work of a lifetime, focused on one of the most beautiful works of art in history.
The prices to go up to the dome vary from 6 Euros in elevator, and 8 Euros on foot; but the fate being the same, it is worth exploring.
7. Vatican Museums.
There are more than 15 museums inside, so we recommend that you set aside a full day to see the most important things. Two days, if you intend to do the whole tour.
Among the most outstanding museums we have:
- Classical antiques museum
- Vatican Gallery: 18 rooms that house the paintings of the most renowned Italian artists: Perugino, Rafael, Leornardo, Crespi.
- Gregorian Etruscan Museum: Roman Antiquarian, collection of vases.
- Hall of the Biga
- Christian Egyptian Gregorian Museum: Which contains monuments and many of the most important remains belonging to ancient Egypt.
- Nicolina Chapel
- Ethnological Missionary Museum: A collection of 100,000 works from missions around the world.
- Hall of the Immaculate.
- Etruscan Museum: That collects pieces belonging to the Etruscan civilization.
- Borgia Apartment: The Italian painter Pinturicchio painted on his walls paintings and frescoes, among which stand out: The Annunciation, the Nativity, the Magi, and the Resurrection of Jesus.
- Sistine Chapel: Treasure of history and art that crowns the visit to all these spectacular museums.
8. Orange Garden.
A point with a spectacular view, especially at sunset. Here it is possible to see the door of the order of Malta. The garden has approximately 7,800 square meters located in Cerro Aventino.
This garden overlooking the River Tiber, was created by Raffaele De Vico in 1932, and is a popular place decorated with thousands of bitter orange trees.
9. Castel Sant’Angelo.
Also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Today it has one of the best art collections in Italy. Its interior captures the works of all those pupils of Michelangelo. From its highest part, you can appreciate an unparalleled view of the city.
The cost to enter is 14 Euros.
10. Piazza Venezia.
This square captures the view and the feeling of art in one of the most beautiful buildings ever made. In the central part are the remains of a soldier of the first world war, a treasure that will last forever as part of history.
A last tip for those gastronomic tourists. For the best tastings, and to see some more architecture, you can take a walk through “The neighborhood of Trastevere”. Here you can access great bars and restaurants. There is also the “Piazza Navona”; from its Cafes you can appreciate something of street art, as well as the architecture of the buildings that surround it.