15 Rome Adventures You Need To Do


The Colosseum is by far Rome’s most recognizable landmark and sees over 4 million visitors each year.  Constructed over 2000 years ago, the Colosseum was originally commissioned between 70-72 A.D as a gift to the Romans by Emperor Vespasian.

The stadium was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater and was host to the 100 days of games.  During these games, over 60,000 people would be seated and another 10,000 stood to watch the battles that took place between gladiators and wild animals. The longest killing spree of the Colosseum lasted 117 days and involved the slaughter of over 9,000 gladiators and 10,000 animals.

Today, over 2/3 of the Colosseum has been damaged or destroyed simply due to time but that doesn’t stop millions of tourists from visiting and reflecting on this beautiful piece of architecture and the history that goes along with it.

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Arch of Constantine

Erected in 315 CE, the Arch of Constantine stands between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill in Rome.  It was originally built to commemorate the victory of Constantine I the Great over Maxentius in the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

The Arch of Constantine is one of three remaining triumphal arches in Rome and is the most recognized.  It stands over 21 meters high and 25 meters wide, and is made up of three arches that were originally constructed from pieces of previous buildings.

The Arch did has seen some damage throughout the years but it has undergone extensive cleaning in the 21st century and has been restored to it’s natural glory.

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Roman Forum

Located very close to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum is a sprawling labyrinth of Ancient Ruins.  Included within the Forum is the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, and the House of Vestals.

Though it stands in ruins today, the Forum was once home to some of the most important buildings in the entire city.  In Ancient Rome, the site was often the scene of important courts, public meeting, shops, markets, and even gladiatorial combats.  At one time it was also home to a variety of religious spectacles and ceremonies, and housed some impressive temples and monuments.

Today the Roman Forum is one of the most visited and respected archaeological sites in the world and attracts over 4.5 million visitors each year.

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Trastevere is considered to be one of Rome’s favorite neighborhoods.  Located just across the Tiber River, Trastevere is a charming medieval neighborhood that is filled with cobblestoned streets and the small shops and cafes that line them.

While there is no one “major attraction” that might attract you to Trastevere, it’s the atmosphere in itself that is so attractive to visitors.  This is a neighborhood for strolling around and immersing yourself in the culture.

Spend an afternoon here walking about the century old piazzas, discovering hidden churches, and meeting the locals at lively bars and restaurants.

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Piramide or Circo Massimo

Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de’ Fiori, located right in the historic center of the city, is one of Rome’s main Piazzas.  Here in this local square you can do all of your shopping, socializing, and relaxing all in one place.

The area itself has not actually always been a piazza.  In fact, in the middle ages it was a meadow which is how it got it derived its name as Campo de’ Fiori literally translates to Field of Flowers.

In 1456 Pope Callixus III decided to begin a public project to transform Campo de’ Fiori into what it is today.  Back then workshops, inns, and taverns lined the streets of the neighborhood and made it one of the most prosperous locations in the city.

Today, Campo de’ Fiori is still the site of daily morning markets and at night it becomes a place for people to socialize and drink at some of the many bars in the area.

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Roma Trastevere

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, another popular square in Rome was founded in 86AD when it was built on the site where the Stadium of Domitian once stood.

Once the gathering place of thousands of spectators watching different athletic competitions, today Piazza Navona is best known for its three stunning fountains – Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana del Nettuno.

Along with the fountains you’ll also find many restaurants and terraces along with a variety of street performers working to entertain day and night.

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The Pantheon, another building that stems from ancient Rome, is the best preserved of it’s time.  The word Pantheon is Greek and means “to honor all Gods” so it is generally assumed that the Pantheon was constructed as a temple for the gods.

While the precise date that the Pantheon was built remains unknown, it is estimated to be over 2000 years old.  The astonishing preservation of the building is a lasting testament to the work of the Ancient Roman architects who designed it.  Thanks to them, we can still go back in time today to discover thousands of years of history.

While it still remains a bit of a mystery how the Pantheon walls have stood the test of time, we are more than thankful it has, as it is a masterpiece that can take us back in time when we visit.

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Barberini - Fontana di Trevi

Trevi Fountain

Considered to be the most beautiful fountain in the World, Trevi Fountain is the largest of all the Baroque fountains in Rome and no trip to Rome is considered complete without a visit.

The fountain itself is one of the oldest water sources in Rome.  Constructed in 19BC, the fountain was originally constructed to provide fresh drinking water from natural springs and people from around Rome would come to collect buckets of water to take home to their family.  In fact, for a long time, the Trevi Fountain was the only source of water in Rome.

Today the fountain stands over 26 meters tall and spills over 80,000 cubic meters of water each day.  Thousands of tourists visit the fountain each day, throwing their money in as tradition to ensure that they will one day again return to Rome.  It’s estimated that over 3000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day!

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Barberini - Fontana di Trevi
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Spanish Steps

As you have probably already guessed it, the Spanish steps are a set of steps – 138 steps to be exact!

Built in 1723, these historic steps were not actually financed by the Spanish as you may have assumed but rather by a French Diplomat named Etienne Gueffier.  The Spanish part of the name comes from the Piazza di Spagna located at the base of the steps which was named after the Spanish Embassy.

Just one visit to the steps and you will see the beauty of the attraction but you won’t be the only one.  The stairs attract alot of attention especially from photographers and painters and it’s a popular place for people to mingle, relax, and people watch.

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Piazza del Popolo

The Piazza del Popolo is another famous gathering square in Rome.  Known as the People’s Square, the Pizza del Popolo was originally laid out in 1538 with the purpose of providing a grandiose entrance to the Northern Gateway of Rome.

Today the Piazza is home to some stunning architecture including the 23.2 meter tall obelisk, symmetrical churches, the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, and several marbled fountains.

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Villa Borghese Gardens

While there is so much to see and do in the city of Rome, the Villa Borghese Gardens are a great place to go to spend some down time relaxing and unwinding from the hustle and bustle of the city.

As the largest public park in Rome, the Villa Borghese Gardens stretch for 226 acres and run from the Piazza del Poppolo to the top of the Via Veneto.  Originally began as a private vineyard, the land was eventually turned into some of the most extensive gardens in Rome by the nephew of Pope Paul V in 1605.

You could easily spend the entire day strolling through the gardens and admiring their eternal beauty but there are plenty of other points of interest here too.  The Galleria Borghese, the Rome Zoo, Pincio’s Water Clock, and the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre can all be found within Rome’s version of Central Park.

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Barberini or Spagna

Galleria Borghese

Located within the Villa Borghese Gardens, the Galleria Borghese is one of the most renowned art museums in the world.

The Galleria Borghese is home to a variety of art pieces that date from the 15th to 18th centuries and boasts impressive paintings by such artists as Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titan.

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Barberini or Spagna

St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square can easily be named one of the most breathtaking Piazzas in the world.  During more notable events like Easter Sunday mass, the square can hold over 300,000 people.

Located in Vatican City, St. Peter’s Square is one of the largest in the world reaching over 320 meters in length and 240 meters in width.  The square was originally commissioned in 1656 by Pope Alexander VII as he wanted to create a square worthy of St. Peter’s Basilica.

While pretty much everything within the square is something to marvel at, you can get the best view of the entire square along the long street known as Via Della Conciliazione.

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St. Peter’s Basilica

Though Rome is full of beautiful and outstanding churches, none of them can really hold a torch to that of St. Peter’s Basilica.  The church is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every month and is still considered to be one of the holiest shrines in the world.

Built on top of the gravesite of St. Peter who was buried there in 64AD, St. Peter’s Basilica is located on Vatican hill and holds a capacity of over 60,000 people making it not only one of the holiest churches in the world but also one of the largest.

Today St. Peter’s Basilica has an extravagant interior that contains masterpieces and works of art from famous artists like Michelangelo and Bernini.  When visiting, keep in mind that strict dress codes are in place – no shorts, miniskirts, or bare shoulders.

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Sistine Chapel

No visit to Vatican City could be considered complete without a stop at the Sistine Chapel.  One of the greatest treasures of the world, the Sistine Chapel is often referred to as Michelangelo’s masterpiece.

During construction of the Sistine Chapel several famous artists were assigned to cover the walls and ceilings of the chapel with their masterpieces.  Here you will find famous works from artists like Botticelli, Luca, Perugino, and of course, Michelangelo.

The chapel itself was built between 1473 and 1481 under the mandate of Pope Sixtus IV and today the artwork and architecture attracts visitors from around the world.

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Day trips from Rome

amazing trips from rome
Don't forget to save some time to explore outside of Rome.  There's several day trip adventures waiting for you outside the big city.

Among those adventures are exploring the ruins of Pompeii, visiting the duomo in Orvieto and having fresh seafood in Naples.

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Free walking tours

Rome, along with almost every major city in the world, has companies that offer free walking tours.  These tours are usually run by young students who are passionate about telling the story of their city and country.

The tours are probably the best way to explore and learn about the city as the guides will take you to unique places in the city while telling you all sorts of interesting stories.

As a note, while these are "free" walking tours, tips are encouraged at the end of the tour and a €5 tip is the standard.
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