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Places to Go: Rome

Places to Go: Rome

Of course, everybody has heard of Rome! It’s the place where hundreds of classic movies are set, including Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday. An ancient city, it has hundreds of things to see and do, and you won’t even know where to start. Helpfully, I’ve compiled a little list, which should help you to choose where to go first. Don’t forget to pack lots of sun cream, some t shirts and some hats, if you’re going in the summer. You’ll also need your sunnies – beautiful though it is, you don’t want to blind yourself by looking directly at the sun!


Rome’s most famous landmark is the Coliseum, a Roman arena where people would go to watch gladiators battle it out with lions and other wild beasts. It was built between 70 and 80 AD, but remains remarkably intact. It’s one of the largest of its kind. You’ll be pleased to hear it’s easily reachable by public transport – the city metro has a stop devoted to Rome’s most famous location. This building speaks for itself – you don’t need me to tell you what it looks like! Beware the queues, and buy your tickets in advance, as you might have to queue for less time.


Across the road from the Coliseum is the Roman Forum, a huge complex of ancient Roman buildings, palaces, marketplaces and churches. Here is the old city at its finest – as you walk through the remains, imagine Romans hustling and bustling, and going about their daily business. It’s really not very difficult, once you try!


Rome is also home to the independent nation of the Holy See, or Vatican City as it’s better known. St. Peter’s basilica is a marvel to behold in itself, and if you go there on a certain day, you might see the Pope come out in the square to do one of his speeches! Even if you’re not particularly religious, walk around the block to the Vatican Museum, where you’ll find thousands of different artworks. Many of them are famous masterpieces. The architecture and interior design of the Vatican museum is some of the finest I have ever seen, and your tour finishes with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, where the ceiling is painted with loads of different murals. Sounds weird, but by the time you reach the chapel, you will have already seen hundreds of spectacular ceilings – so it kind of loses its appeal.


Grab yourself an ice cream at Piazza Navona and sit by the fountains, close to the Pantheon. As the sun sets, it’s a great way to spend the evening. Climb the numerous Spanish Steps, which have a metro station, or go and see the massive Trevi Fountain. Throw a coin in – what will your wish be?


If you’re into architecture, then you’ll love the Pantheon. Built as a complete circle, this unique church is free to go round. The domed roof is one of the largest in the world, and it’s certainly one of the oldest. They had to find a completely unique way to build it and support it, so you have to admire the ingenuity these people had back then. Then, if you like round buildings, pop along the Tiber to see Castell Sant’Angelo – it’s been in films like Angels and Demons, and has a fascinating connection with the Vatican. You’ll get great views of the city from the top of this castle, and a panoramic photo to die for.


Lastly, one thing you really don’t want to miss in Rome is the food. Italy is famous the world over for its culinary delights, and in Rome, you can sample each and every one of them. Look for something off the beaten path and not in a touristy area – you’ll find the restaurants the locals eat in, that way.


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