Rome is …

The Colosseum at dawn in Rome.

Ancient Ruins,

Piazza Navona at dusk in Rome, Italy.

Baroque Fountains,

Castel San'Angelo, former Papal Palace.

Historic Palaces,

Gelato in a cone, in front of the Pantheon in Rome.

… with Gelato.

Interesting Things To Know About Rome Before You Go

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 Founding mythology for Rome suggests the Eternal City was founded on 21 April 753 BC. A date still celebrated in the Italian capital today. Although the city is known for its Roman era, there is archaeological evidence that Palaeolithic and Neolithic communities inhabited the area we now call the Palatine Hill at least 14,000 years ago.
  • SPQR is an abbreviation that has been used emblematically for Rome since around 80 BC. The letters stand for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, which translates freely as ‘The Senate and People of Rome’.
  • There are over 280 fountains in Rome. According to local tradition the only fountain at which you should make a wish is the Trevi Fountain. Each year some €700,000 worth of coins are thrown into the ornate Baroque fountain. This money is given to Cavitas, a Catholic charity supporting families in need in Rome. Although known for its Baroque features, the Trevi Fountain has Roman origins.
  • St Peter’s Basilica, formally the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, is the largest church ever built. Built in Renaissance style, the church is traditionally the burial place of Saint Peter, head of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. With over 900 churches, there are more Christian churches in Rome than in any other city in the world.
  • Vatican City, or more simply ‘the Vatican’, is the world’s smallest independent state and is located within the city of Rome. It has been independent from Italy since 11 February 1929 as set out by the Lateran Treaty. Ruled by the Pope as head of the Holy See, the Vatican covers an area of 44 km² for which there is no physical border. The Pope is not only the head of the Roman Catholic Church, he is also Bishop of Rome.
  • The historic centre of Rome, including the Vatican, was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980, and extended in 1990. It covers the area within the city walls, which were at their widest extent in the 17th century. Also included is the ‘Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls’. For more information, see the UNESCO listing.

Rome Travel Inspiration

Self Guided Itinerary of Ancient Forums

See More of Rome’s Top Ten

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:

A busy food market in Rome, Italy.

Gastronomic Experiences in 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 >>

Special Things to Do in Rome

Best Day Trips from Rome

Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy.
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.
Book Online with GetYourGuide

The 13th century Papal Palace in Viterbo, Lazio.
Palace of the Popes, Viterbo

Viterbo is one of the best preserved medieval towns in central Italy. One of the main historic attractions is the Palace of the Popes. Due to urban unrest in Rome, the Papal Curia relocated here in 1257, and remained until 1281. Easily accessible from Rome for a day trip, explore the historic centre and the Papal residence.
Book Online with Tiqets

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!
Book Online with GetYourGuide

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.
Book Online with GetYourGuide

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.
Book Online with GetYourGuide

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.
Book Online with GetYourGuide

Rome Travel Planner

Buy Tickets for Must See Attractions in Advance, Online

The following are the five most popular attractions in Rome. And being the most frequently visited, there are long queues or very restricted entry. Buy a ticket online in advance is essential if you want to get the dates of your choosing.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum is the most popular attraction in Rome, it is the one thing many visitors want to experience for themselves. During peak tourist periods you will wait well over two hours in the queues for tickets. Given that so many people buy skip-the-line tickets, even those queues are lengthy. If you do not want to wait in queues or hours your best option is a fast track ticket. When purchasing tickets, read the instructions carefully, particularly for details of where to collect your tickets.

  • Skip-the-line tickets from GetYourGuide
  • Fast-track entry to the Colosseum, including entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, with a multimedia experience from GetYourGuide or Tiqets
  • Fast-track + Guided Tour of the Colosseum from GetYourGuide or Tiqets
  • Night Tour of the Colosseum, including underground from GetYourGuide or Tiqets

More detailed Information for visitors, buying tickets, guided tours, etc. for the Colosseum >>

Mausoleum of Augustus

More detailed Information for visitors, buying tickets, guided tours, etc. for the Mausoleum of Augustus >>

Capuchin Crypt and Museum

It is not possible to buy skip-the-line tickets in advance, online without a guided tour. More detailed Information for visitors, buying tickets, guided tours, etc. for the Capuchin Crypt >>

    Capitoline Museum
    • Fast-track entry to the Roman Empire Museum – Capitoline Museums from GetYourGuide or Tiqets
    Vatican Museums + Sistine Chapel

    City Passes

    Vatican & Rome City Pass with Free Transportation

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    Accommodation in Rome

    Getting To and Around the City of Rome

    Explore Rome

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    Roman Sites in Rome

    From the Republic and Imperial Forums, the Colosseum and the Pantheon all in the historic centre of Rome. To the Baths of Caracalla, and the catacombs and mausoleums along the Appian Way beyond the Aurelian Walls. Visitors to Rome with even the slightest interest in the Roman period of the city are truly spoilt for choice. Whether you are looking for a few significant monuments to visit during a short city break, or intending to spend more than a few days exploring as much as you can our guide to the Roman period of Rome will help your planning.

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    Obelisks in Rome and the Vatican

    Did you know there are more ancient Egyptian obelisks standing in Rome than there are in all of Egypt? And, they seem to pop up wherever you go. In fact, there are 13 of them standing in prominent positions throughout Rome and the Vatican City. Some of these were made for Egyptian Pharaohs and brought to Rome by Roman Emperors, others were made for Roman Emperors. Each has a distinctive biography; with fascinating stories of how they came to be in Italy and their time in Rome. Here they are as striking today as they would have been in ancient Egypt and Rome.

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    Museums in Rome and the Vatican

    Rome is often referred to as one enormous open air museum. It would seem that around every corner there is something of archaeological or historical interest. Whether a Roman ruin or a Baroque church. Some of the elegant Renaissance palazzo’s house magnificent historical collections of objects, from ancient artefacts to modern sculpture. Start at the Capitoline museums, arguably the oldest public museum in Europe. Rome’s first electric power plant now exhibits ancient sculpture, and its 20th century machinery. Don’t miss the contemporary MAXXI, which houses Italy’s first national collection of contemporary art.

    The Canopus at Hadrian's Villa, Italy.

    Explore Lazio

    Rome is in the Italian region of Lazio. A region itself rich in history. This area was not only the heartland of the Romans from their beginnings, it was also inhabited by the Etruscans. Whether you are interested in a day trip or two from the Italian capital or looking to spending a few days outside the city, Lazio will not disappoint. Tivoli is perhaps one of the most popular destinations for day trips from Rome, the location of Hadrian’s Villa and the Renaissance Villa d’Este. Closer to Rome is the Roman port of Ostia. The countryside around Rome is well known for the many historic hilltop towns.
    Find sites and Museums to Visit in Lazio.