You are probably only going to get a handful of opportunities to visit Rome. That’s if you are lucky; many Rome travelers are there for their first and only experience of this magnificent ancient city. Because of this, Rome travelers are particularly keen on trying to see all of the top landmarks that they can fit into one vacation. This is obviously difficult to do since Rome has thousands of years of history behind it during which it accumulated a number of important landmarks. However, there are only a few key places that are absolute “do not miss this” kind of places in Rome. By making sure that you experience these top Rome landmarks, you can see what there is to see and still enjoy the vacation that you’re having in this amazing city.
These are the top landmarks in Rome that you definitely don’t want to miss out on:
The Coliseum – Almost everyone knows that Rome is where the gladiators fought in ancient times and that they did so at The Coliseum. This landmark stands today as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Rome. Everyone wants to see the structure where this part of history took place. And it’s not just because it’s of such historical importance either. The Coliseum is an amazingly beautiful building that stands as an example of Roman architecture that isn’t matched in almost any other building around the world. Although it’s not in perfect condition, the beauty of the columns and the design of the building are undeniable to this day. There are museums within this landmark and activities sometimes take place here. The Coliseum is located right in the heart of Rome so it’s not something that you’ll be able to miss even if you really wanted to – which you don’t!
Pantheon – This building is another building that is related to the ancient history of Rome. It was originally built to honor the gods. Later it became the tomb / burial place of some of the most famous Renaissance painters that came out of Rome. Today it remains a functional church, a place of spiritual worship as well as a landmark for people who want to commemorate the many eras of history that make up this city. Like the Coliseum and pretty much any other landmark that you’re going to see while you are in Rome, The Pantheon is notable not only for its historical importance but also for its architectural impressiveness.
Trajan’s Market – One of the most important things to travelers today is shopping. Believe it or not, shopping was equally important in Rome during ancient times. This can be seen by a visit to the historic Trajan’s Market, a building which once held the shops of many different types of local vendors. There is a view from a top balcony that shouldn’t be missed.
Trevi Fountain – There are many, many fountains of Rome that you can (and will) see during a visit to the city. However, this is the most famous of those fountains and one that should be visited for multiple reasons. The fountain was made famous by a movie called Three Coins in the Fountain which has led to the tourist practice of throwing coins in the water while you are there. There are many different myths about what throwing these coins can bring to you but the most common belief is that throwing one coin into the Trevi Fountain will guarantee that you get to come back to Rome someday. It also guarantees that the tourist economy helps support Rome considering that approximately 3,000 euros are thrown in on a daily basis.
Castel Sant’Angelo – This is arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in Rome. Also known as The Mausoleum of Hadrian, it was commissioned by Emperor Hadrian as a tomb for his family. However it has been many things since that time. As the name suggests, it was a castle for a period of time. It was also a fortress of protection during wars and the destruction of Rome. Today it is a museum where you can go to learn more about this history which comes alive in Rome in a way that it can’t through history books. However, it’s an impressive building even without the education behind it. It has recently gotten new attention from travelers because it is one of the landmarks mentioned in a book by the author of The Da Vinci Code.
The Seven Hills of Rome – Because these are a geographical landmark, you probably won’t visit all of them. However, it’s worth learning more about them so that you can tell when you’re near them during your Rome travels. The Capitoline is the one that you’ll probably be able to recognize when you are in the city.Obelisks – You can go to Rome and get some experience of Egyptian history if that’s something that interests you. There are multiple Egyptian obelisks to be seen in Rome, structures which are architecturally interesting and historically important. They were transported to Rome from their original locations so they don’t depict Roman history so much as they do world history. The tallest of these is Lateranense but any of them can be visited for an interesting experience of history.
Tiber Island is a unique addition to Rome and something that will give you a different perspective on the city that what you’ll experience at the city’s other landmarks. It has the distinction of being the smallest inhabited island in the world. It is linked to Rome via bridges. One of these bridges, Ponte Fabricio, was constructed in ancient times and remains the oldest original bridge in Rome that can still be used today. Some great pictures and memories will come out of traveling this bridge and experiencing this unusual landmark. There are shrines and other historic landmarks to be seen on the island as well.
Rome is an impressive city that is always going to have something more to show you than what you’ve already seen. Even if you live there for your entire life, you can turn down a curving road one day and see something that’s hundreds of years old and yet which you never saw before. However, if you’re only going to get one or two chances to see Rome, it’s the top landmarks that you’re going to need to make sure not to miss. These other little moments and secret spots can be discovered later if you get the pleasant surprise of being able to visit Rome again someday.
Photo credit: Gaspa