Touring Rome – What to See and How to Explore?

Rome, often hailed as the “Eternal City” and the “capital of the world,” is a treasure trove of the most magnificent ancient and Baroque monuments that have long attracted tourists fascinated by architecture, art, and philosophy. For a first-time visit, exploring Rome with a guide is highly recommended. What are the must-see attractions during a trip to Rome, and how can you find a guide who will take you on an unforgettable journey through the Italian capital? Let’s find out!

Essential Stops on the Map of Rome:

Start your exploration of Rome with its most famous landmarks and put the Colosseum at the top of your list. This ancient amphitheater, known for its gladiatorial games and bloody battles, is undoubtedly one of the most splendid symbols of Rome. Another impressive monument, over 2000 years old are the ruins of the Roman Forum – the oldest public square in Rome where political, religious, and social life thrived in ancient times. Another must-visit place is the Pantheon, or the Temple of All Gods, one of the best-preserved ancient structures in the city and one of the largest dome buildings in the world. You should also visit the Theater of Marcellus, built in the 1st century BC, one of the oldest Roman theatres that survived till the present day, maintaining much of its original appearance.

Churches, Squares, and Streets of Rome:

Discovering Rome isn’t just about admiring its famous landmarks but also simply wandering through its picturesque streets and squares.

Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most famous spots, home to the stunning Four Rivers Fountain and the 17th-century Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, built in honor of St. Agnes by Pope Innocent X. Visit also the nearby, charming Campo dei Fiori square, which hosts a daily fruit and vegetable market.

Via del Corso, a street lined with Rome’s most exclusive shops, stretches from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo. The latter is a spacious square surrounded by historic buildings and churches, centered around one of Rome’s thirteen ancient Egyptian obelisks. Adjacent to the square stands the Renaissance-era Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, housing works by Caravaggio, Bramante, Raphael, Bernini, and Pinturicchio. Interestingly, scenes from Dan Brown’s film “Angels and Demons” were shot within its walls. At the intersection of Via del Corso and Piazza del Popolo, you’ll find two churches designed by Rainaldi and constructed by Bernini – Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria dei Montesanto. At first glance, they appear identical, but while their facades are similar, their domes differ significantly.

Piazza Venezia, at the heart of Rome, is well-known to every Italian and serves as a central point from which major streets radiate. Here you’ll find the Venetian Palace, the monument to King Victor Emmanuel II, the Altar of the Fatherland, the Column of Trajan, and the Basilica of Saint Mark, one of Rome’s oldest churches, founded in 336. Piazza Venezia is a bustling hub leading to many interesting places—it marks the start of Via del Corso, Via dei Fori Imperiali leading straight to the Colosseum, and Via del Teatro di Marcello heading towards the Capitoline Hill and the picturesque Piazza Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth).

Not to be missed during a city stroll around Rome are the famous Spanish Steps, which lead from Piazza di Spagna up to the Trinità dei Monti Church. These steps are among the longest and widest in Europe.

Roman Fountains and Gardens:

Rome is not only known for its ancient monuments but also its magnificent fountains, like the Baroque Trevi Fountain, into which tourists throw coins. One coin promises a return to the Eternal City, two a romance, and three a swift marriage. Interestingly, the Italian charity Caritas collects these coins, using the funds to support Rome’s needy residents – over 1.4 million euros were collected from the fountain in 2022 alone! Another impressive feature is the Four Rivers Fountain on Piazza Navona, mentioned above, one of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s most important projects, symbolizing four great rivers from four continents: the Nile (Africa), the Danube (Europe), the Río de la Plata (South America), and the Ganges (Asia).

Rome also boasts beautiful green spaces. To relax, head to the Borghese Gardens, ai picturesque park with temples, sculptures, and copies of monuments, perfect for cooling off during hot weather. Another recommended spot is the Orange Garden, which offers a fabulous terrace with panoramic views of Rome.

What Else to See in Rome?

Rome is a city where boredom is impossible, whether you’re staying for a week, a month, or longer. The Trastevere district is another great spot, home to medieval churches, impressive buildngs, and many restaurants and taverns. During your trip, also make time to visit Vatican City – the world’s smallest independent state with St. Peter’s Basilica, home to the famous Pietà, St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museums, with a famous Sistine Chapel.

Although it is the seat of the Pope and home to countless christian monuments, Rome isn’t just a Christian city; it also houses the Roman Ghetto with the Great Synagogue.

How to Explore Rome?

The Eternal City can be explored independently, but if you want to see the most interesting attractions without wasting time looking for them, consider joining a free walking tour of Rome. These tours are perfect for individual tourists, couples, families, or small groups of friends. A distinctive feature of free tours is that there is no set price or entry fee – after the tour, participants themselves evaluate the guide’s work and decide how much to pay. You can join a free walking tour in Rome with Walkative! This brand was established in 2007 in Krakow and has expanded its network throughout Europe over nearly 18 years. It collaborates with over 100 professional, charismatic guides, including those in Rome. Tours are conducted in English.

Choosing a free walking tour in Rome with Walkative!:

  • you join a group led by local guides passionate about history,
  • you are sure that the guide will take you on an unforgettable adventure through the Eternal City,
  • you can ask the guide questions and actively participate in the tour,
  • you can assess the work, passion, knowledge, and commitment of the guide, and after the tour, you pay the amount you choose
  • you’ll see Rome from a different perspective and learn things not mentioned in guidebooks.

Check the current free walking tours in Rome with Walkative! and book a spot in a group – without any upfront fees or hidden costs!

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