Top 10 Tourist Places in Rome
1. Vatican City
The Vatican, officially known as the State of Vatican City, is the capital of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican City, the world’s smallest independent country, is well-known for its architectural marvels. This small country has its own distinct charm thanks to its abundance of historical and religious structures. Vatican City was established in 326 A.D. The first palace was built during the reign of Pope Symmachus in the fifth century, as housing and population increased. The Papal States flourished during the Roman Empire and covered a large portion of Italy. However, following the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century, the Vatican became the sole surviving Papal State. After the Lateran Treaty was signed in 1929, Vatican City was recognised as an independent state. The Vatican is now one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
The country attracts history buffs and pilgrims with a plethora of amazing attractions such as the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Gardens, the Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica of St. Peter. Tourism is the primary source of revenue for Vatican City, with the Vatican Museums alone attracting over 4.3 million visitors each year.
2. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is an archaeological site in Rome that contains incredible ruins of ancient monuments, temples, government buildings, and public spaces. It was once the focal point of all religious, political, public, and commercial activities in the Roman Empire, and it is now a major tourist attraction in modern-day Rome. The Roman Forum, also known in Latin as the Forum Romanum, is located in the heart of the ancient city. It is the most influential representation of iconic Roman architecture, where you can see and experience the remnants of the powerful Roman Empire. The ruins tell countless stories of one of the world’s oldest civilizations’ valour, alliance, deception, conspiracy, victory, and defeat. Walking through the ruins, you can imagine life 20 centuries ago and gain an unprecedented insight into the lives of ancient Romans. For centuries, this multi-purpose site served several royal purposes and was the most celebrated meeting place in the world.
3. The Basilica of St. Peter
St. Peter’s Basilica, considered the centre of Christendom, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Vatican City. This iconic basilica, which houses many Renaissance and Baroque works of art, is a major attraction for history buffs, transporting them on a journey through impressive Roman history.
You can view various monuments and sculptures created by many famous and talented artists. The most famous are the baldachin, Michelangelo’s Pietà by Bernini, a statue of St. Longinus, Urban VIII’s tomb, and St. Peter’s bronze cathedral.
St. Peter’s Basilica was the tallest building when it was built, and it is still the church with the tallest dome in the world. The art in and around the church is one-of-a-kind, and each part has its own history, conveying to visitors the story and richness of Christianity.
St. Peter’s Basilica was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The basilica has been historically linked to the Early Christian Church, the Protestant Reformation, the Papacy, and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
4. St. Peter’S Square
St. Peter’s Square, also known as “Piazza San Pietro,” is located in the heart of the city and serves as the gateway to the Vatican. The St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s second-largest Catholic church, is located directly in front of the square.
Both the Basilica and the Square are named after “Saint Peter,” an apostle of Jesus who is regarded as the first Pope. The Vatican City and St. Peter’s Square are extremely important to Catholic pilgrims. In 1378, the Vatican became the primary papal (Pope’s) residence. It is one of the square’s highlights because visitors can see the papal apartments as well as the platform from which the pontiff addresses the crowd. If you are in town, you may also be able to witness the Pope’s weekly blessing in the square.
The square’s design is similar to that of a keyhole. The square is approximately 320 by 240m in size and has double-collonaded wings; the design represents the church’s’ motherly/maternal arms’ embracing and protecting the brethren.
5. Trevi Fountain
The Fontana di Trevi, also known as the Trevi Fountain, is the first on the list of Rome’s most famous monuments. This fountain, a classic symbol of this spectacular city, is also a major free attraction, attracting approximately 1,200 visitors per hour. This sculptural monument is perched on a square near the intersection of Via di S. Vincenzo, Via del Lavatore, and Via della Stamperia in Rome’s historic center. The iconic Trevi Fountain, built in 1762 and renovated by Fendi in 2015, is famous all over the world as a conceptualised structure that shares a story with its spectators. Each relief and statue in the fountain is personified to represent significant figures. There is also a ritual associated with the fountain that is said to bring good luck to those who throw coins into its water.
6. Basilica Of St. John Lateran
The Basilica of St. John Lateran, known as the most ancient church in the world, is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions. Built around the fourth century, this fascinating architecture has remained standing despite numerous earthquakes, fires, and natural disasters. This ancient holy place has been blessed by Rome, which is known for its beautiful architecture, and is said to be the “Mother and Head of all Churches on Earth.” The Basilica of St. John Lateran is a must-see for many pilgrims and one of Rome’s most beautiful landmasses.
7. Centro Storico
In the heart of the city, near all of the major attractions, stands a crossroads—Centro Storico—with a number of monuments telling their own stories. From popular Italian high street brands like Fendi, Gucci, and Versace to on-the-spot brewed beers, this place has it all. Spazio Rossana Orlandi and Galleria Deodato Arte are two well-known art galleries located in Centro Storico.
All of the city’s major attractions are concentrated around this point, including the world-famous Hadrian’s Temple, which has been converted into a church. Centro Storico is also known for its street food, which can be enjoyed while admiring the magnificent ancient architecture.
8. Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps, located in the lovely Piazza di Spagna (literally ‘Spanish Square”), are a popular photo location in Rome. The stairway’s 135 steps fan out in an irregular butterfly-like pattern. The typical Roman Baroque-style architecture of the stairs is sure to pique your interest if you are an art connoisseur in Rome. Tourists also come here to climb to the top of the stairwell, where they can see a spectacular, sweeping view of the Piazza below. At the height of spring, in April, the stairs are festooned with pink and purple azaleas in full bloom. Spring also coincides with the myth of Rome’s birth as the Eternal City, bringing vibrant festivities and large crowds to the Spanish Steps. The iconic Spanish Steps in Rome attracts a lot of artistic people, including painters, writers, models, and photographers.
9. Santa Maria Maggiore
This building, located on the summit of Esquiline Hill, displays a variety of architectural styles. Tourist attractions in Rome are frequently described as being only for art lovers, but Santa Maria Maggiore has much more to offer. Santa Maria Maggiore summarises the most critical stages of Christianity in Rome, with different parts belonging to different centuries. Santa Maria Maggiore is a spiritual site that attracts pilgrims due to the aura it evokes for prayers and meditation. With such a lovely interior and a fascinating history, this location also offers a fantastic street view of the city’s primary markets.
10. Appian’s Way
The Appian Way is a 370-kilometer-long highway that connects Rome to Brindisi and was built as a military supply route. This highway is known as “the queen of long-distance roads” because of its varied, picturesque surroundings, which include many parks and historical sites. This path leads to the Appian Mountain via Christian catacombs, ruined Roman monuments, and an ancient church. This pathway is still in use today by heavy vehicles and military equipment. The Appian Way was Europe’s first superhighway, but it is now a tourist attraction in Rome.