Rome, Italy is a popular holiday destination. With over 4.2 million visitors each year, it's easy to get lost in the crowd and miss some of the details of the popular places around you. Whether your visit is to learn more about the history of Rome or to study architecture or enjoy the food, you want to make sure you get the most out of your stay in Rome.
If you're new to traveling to the 37th world's most visited destination, then you may want to know the best ways to visit places like the Colosseum and learn about some of Rome's most famous landmarks. This quick travel guide should help you navigate the attractions on your visit so you can get the most out of your trip.
At the top of the list is the Colosseum. This iconic place is where gladiators battled it out to the death for the entertainment of the Roman citizens. When you're there, think back to the Emperors who ruled in ancient times. The festivals for entertainment and the games that were held in the Colosseum were legendary. The rulers of Rome liked to guess the outcome of the games, and others like Julius Caesar participated in the Saturnalia Festival that was filled with spectacular events during a whole week. Because of this history, the Colosseum attracts over 4 million visitors each year; this destination is the 39th most popular place to visit in the world.
When you visit, you'll want to book your tickets in advance if you want to visit this popular site. You get the most out of it if you get a timed entry. You'll want to avoid visiting on the first Sunday of the month if you want to save some money. However, if you want a more exclusive tour, you can book a tour of the underground and upper levels of the Colosseum. But be prepared to spend some money on those tickets.
Next in line is the Sistine Chapel. Not only is this chapel known for the ceiling with paintings of Michelangelo. It is also home to the Pope. Located in Vatican City, this site is very popular and crowded. According to the Vatican City museum, the best way to see this spectacular church is to book a tour or visit later in the day so that you can look around more easily without as many people obstructing your view or crowding you out. There's a lot of history and art to view in this chapel along with the rest of the Vatican City. Just keep in mind to follow the rules while you're on your visit as the Vatican City is its own separate governing country inside Rome.
The Roman Forum is another great place to visit in Rome. Filled with ruins of the ancient Roman Empire, this site draws a lot of crowds as well. The Forum started as a marketplace for daily shopping; then over time, it became a much more versatile place to deal with public affairs. The Forum became overcrowded during Julius Caesar's rule, and a new forum was built off to the side of the original one.
This site is a classic example of Roman architecture, and it bears the statues of the rulers of Rome. The best time to plan a visit is in the afternoon. Avoid visiting on a rainy day and make sure you plan enough time for your visit. Most people spend two the three hours walking the grounds. Keep water with you if you're visiting on a hot day and make sure to keep your map handy as you walk around. If you want more information or history during your visit, then book a tour or explore the area with an audio or visual guide to get the most out of your visit.
Another popular place to Visit is the Pantheon that was built in 126 AD as a temple for all the Roman gods. This now Roman Catholic Church contains the world's largest unreinforced dome. The Pantheon is believed to have been built by Marcus Agrippa to be his private temple. As a complete ancient building, it is a sight to see. The best time to visit is early in the day. While the Pantheon isn't a large building, it also isn't as crowded as other sites. Most people spend about twenty minutes visiting the Pantheon. However, if you want to get the most out of your visit, then consider hiring an audio guide. The audio tour won't cost you much, and it will give you more insight into this amazing structure.
While these are some of the more popular sites in Rome, there is a lot to see and take in on your visit. When it comes to visiting famous sites in Rome, it's essential to be prepared on how long a tour will take and allow for time to get from one place to the next. Since walking is your best mode of transportation, remember to take it easy on your trip and "when in Rome do as the Romans." Remember to always take a bottle of water with you and enjoy your time on your journey. If you enjoyed this guide, be sure to check out one of our other guides to Italy, too.
Photo Description: The Palazzo Venezia, by Adrian Wallett // CC BY-ND 2.0