Rome

The Eternal City, from its earliest times to the Recent Past

Exploring the Past in Rome

According to legend Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus in 753 BC. First the centre of the Roman Republic, then the Roman Empire, in the 4th century AD Rome became the capital of the Christian world. This ‘eternal city’ has some of the most famous monuments of the Classical world, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the mausoleums of prominent emperors such as Augustus and Hadrian, Trajan’s Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, as well as the religious buildings of papal Rome in the Vatican.

This is a guide to Rome, with a focus on the archaeology an history there, follow this link if you are looking for a list of archaeological and historical sites and museums in Rome.

The Capitoline Wolf depicting the founding of Rome.

This beautiful statue of a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus can be seen in the Musei Capitolini on the Capitoline Hill. For a long time it was assumed that the wolf was Etruscan in origin, with the twins having been added later – probably during the 15th century. Recent tests indicate the wolf is much younger, more like 11th or 12th century. The dating aside, this portrayal of a she-wolf suckling two babies has been a symbol of Rome since antiquity. It depicts the myth of the founding of Rome and was replicated throughout the Roman Empire in ancient times, and many times since then.

The Best Rome Attractions

Saint Angelo Bridge in Rome at dusk.

As Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, it goes without saying the best attractions in Rome are also the most popular. In 2018 over seven million people visited the Colosseum. And of course the Colosseum is on everyone’s top ten lists of things see in Rome. For those who are passionate about archaeology and history, there is a way of making your experience of these popular sights more unique. Our recommendations for the ten must see sites in Rome is probably like many others, but we differ in suggesting to go beyond and behind …

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Featured Archaeological Sites to Visit in Rome

The Orans Room in Case Romane del Celio, Rome.

Case Romane Del Celio

The crypt of pelvises in the Capuchin Crypt in Rome, Italy.

Capuchin Crypt

An altar with an image of Mithras slaughtering a bull in the Basilica di San Clemente, Rome.

Mithraeum of San Clemente

Mask sculpture at the theatre in Ostia Antica, Rome.

Ostia Antica

Selected Experiences and Activities for the History Lover Visiting Rome

The New ‘Thing’ in Beating the Queues in Rome

Rome is a very popular destination, quite understandably. It follows then that queues to get into the main attractions everyone comes to see, such as the Colosseum and the Vatican, are long. Very long. Skip-the-line tickets are fine, as long as everyone else is not also buying skip-the-line tickets. To beat all the queues, there are now have hosted or escorted entries. How does it work? You meet your host at the designated spot and you get a fast-tracked, escorted entry to the attraction. Hosted or escorted entries are available for the following popular attractions in Rome:

Once you enter, you get to explore the museum or historical site at your own pace.

Top Walking Tours and Activities in Rome

There are literally hundreds of walking tours and activities available for visitors to Rome. Here we have hand selected what we believe to be the top ten for visitors who want to explore the history of the eternal city in a bit more depth. How have we made this choice? We have taken a list of the 60 most popular tours and filtered those for good reviews and experiences. Follow the links for more details and to book online with GetYourGuide:

Five of the Best Day Trips from Rome

Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in the Tuileries Gardens. Photograph © TCY/Wikimedia

Naples, Vesuvius and Pompeii/Herculaneum

There is just so much to see in the Naples/Vesuvius area – along one of the most picturesque coastlines in Italy. Naples is just over an hour by train from Rome, and if you only have a day you will have to be selective. You can do it yourself, or take one of many tours from Rome to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples and/or the Amalfi Coast.

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Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, a day trip from Rome.

Tivoli: Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este

A quick train ride to Tivoli from Rome for under €10 and you have two magnificent historic villas to choose from. One is the archaeological site of Hadrian’s Villa, which he used a a retreat from Rome. And the other is the 16th Villa d’Este built by Pope Alexander VI’s grandson. You could even visit them both!

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The Gothic façade of the Duomo di Orvieto, Umbria.

Orvieto and Umbria

Orvieto is one of the most striking hilltop towns in Umbria, situated atop a volcanic plug with vast panoramic views. Visit Etruscan tunnels and caverns, see one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance – the Gothic façade of Orvieto Cathedral. Take a tour or do it yourself – the train ride is around an hour and costs under €20.

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The cathedral on the Florence skyline.

Florence and Tuscany

Yes, you can do Florence and Tuscany from Rome in one day. It will be a long day, but if it is the picturesque Tuscan hills or the museums and churches in the birthplace of the Renaissance you want to see – it will be worth it! Take a fast train to Florence, or a small group tour to Tuscany.

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Looking down the water cascades towards the Palace of Caserta.

Royal Palace of Caserta

The 18th century Royal Palace of Caserta is the largest royal residence anywhere in the world. This extraordinary Baroque palace was built by the Spanish royal family during their rule of Naples. This UNESCO listed attraction is about two hour drive from Rome, but well worth the day-trip.

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Gastronomic Rome

Take a break from sightseeing, or recharge yourself for more sightseeing …

6-Course Lunch or Dinner with Roman Dishes

After visiting amazing archaeological sites in the old centre of Rome, enjoy a 6-course meal of authentic Roman and Jewish dishes. You choose between lunch or dinner, and a children’s menu is available. More Details & Book Online >>

4-Hour Food and Market Tour with Tastings

Taste pure truffles, sample the finest pizza in Rome, savour 20 year old balsamic vinegar, and finish with authentic Italian gelato. In four hours and over 25 tasting you will be introduced to the best in gastronomy Rome has to offer. More Details & Book Online >>

4-Hour Combo Pizza and Pasta Cooking Class

What could be more Italian in cuisine than pizza and pasta. With a trained chef learn how to make 10 different pasta shapes and a Neapolitan pizza. A great class for the kids too! And when you are done, enjoy a buffet meal.More Details & Book Online >>

Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop with Dinner

If you have a sweet tooth combine your pasta cooking class with learning how to make tiramisu. You will make the pasta from scratch, and the tiramisu from simple and fresh ingredients. And then you get to enjoy your meal. More Details & Book Online >>

Espresso and Gelato Tasting Tour

This is one is for the coffee junkies and the ice cream addicts. In sight of some of Rome’s most famous landmarks enjoy a 2.5 walking tour and experience some of the best Italian coffees, cakes and ice-creams. More Details & Book Online >>

Six Tastings – A Wine Haven in Rome

In a quiet gourmet wine cellar in the heart of historic Rome enjoy a 1.5-hour session tasting six different wines from the Lazio region of Italy. You will also get to sample some traditional salami, cured meats, cheeses, olives and bread. More Details & Book Online >>

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