Top Attractions in Rome (Roma), Italy
This immense elliptical building represents one of the city's most significant historical attractions, as well as one of its most popular tourist stops. Its construction was started by Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian Dynasty, in AD 72, and was completed one year after Vespasian died, in AD 80.
While still impressive as ever, the southern side of the Colosseum fell, as the result of a devastating earthquake in 847. However, the parts that fell are still "alive", these being used afterward for the construction of many monuments, including the St. Peter's Basilica.
Some say that Trevi Fountain, which is one of the city's most famous attractions, is, by far, one of the most beautiful fountains in all of Rome. Situated at the ending part of the Aqua Virgo, aqueduct which dates since the 19 BC, Trevi Fountain has fulfilled wishes since forever.
People still toss coins today in the fountain, in hope to have their wishes granted. This is, somehow, a tradition, so be sure to stop by and make a wish (who knows? it may come true).
The magnificent Pantheon building stands today as a reminder of the great Roman empire. First a temple for worshiping pagan gods, the interior was converted into a church, around 609. Besides its beauty, the Pantheon is also famous for being home to the tombs of the famous artist Raphael and of several Italian Kings.
While an attraction on its own, the Pantheon borders another - Piazza della Rotonda, which is a rectangular square, featuring a central fountain and obelisk, a popular gathering spot for both locals and tourists.
St. Peter's Basilica
Considered to be the center of Christianity, St. Peter's Basilica was "born" with the wish of Emperor Constantine, Rome's first Christian emperor, who ordered the construction of a basilica on Vatican Hill - a symbolic location, this being the place where St. Peter was buried in 64 AD.
Throughout the years, time has put the basilica through many changes, being restored and reconstructed many times.
St. Peter's Basilica can be found in Vatican City, across the river Tiber, just west of Rome's center.
Also knows as the "world's smallest country", Vatican City, occupying and area of only 0.44 square km, Vatican City serves as the spiritual center for millions of Roman Catholics all over the world. Often called "The Holy See", Vatican City is home to approximately 800 residents, of which none are permanent ones.
Home to the Vatican Museums, Vatican City contains some of the most impressive art collections, world-wide, including the wall and ceiling paintings of the Sistine Chapel, the Apollo del Belvedere and the Stanze of Raphael.
To see Vatican City, it is required to book a tour. The tourist office can be found on the left side of the piazza.
Other major attractions in the city, include: the Arch of Titus, one of two remaining arches on the Forum Romanum, the Arch of Constantine, which can be found right next to the Colosseum, Piazza del Popolo (People's Square), featuring a 3300 year old obelisk, taken from the Sun Temple in Egypt by the Emperor Augustus, right in the middle, Trajan's Column, which was, obviously, erected in honor of Emperor Trajan, Appian Way, which is the most famous road radiating from the city, Theater of Marcellus, built by Emperor Augustus in 13 BC, Temple of Hadrian, plus many, many other.
"Shop 'till you drop!"
In addition to a seemingly endless list of wonderful attractions, Rome has another pleasant surprise for its visitors: dozens of appealing shopping spots, that aim to please all desires, preferences, tastes, ages and budgets.
Among the top places to shop in Rome, there are:
Trastevere - It is a pleasure to get lost in its winding streets, and watch the "professionals" do it - here you can see locals buying and doing bargains with vendors, in the outdoor food market in Piazza San Cosimato, open between 7 am and 2 pm.
Piazza di Spagna - Spanish Steps - Via dei Condotti - known to be one of the richest streets in Italy and one of the best shopping areas in Rome. Here, shopping enthusiasts will find top Italian designer stores such as Prada, Armani, Gucci and many others.
Porta Portese - it is a famous Roman flea market, held every Sunday from 8 am until 2 pm.
Viale Marconi - this is a popular shopping spot, particularly popular among youngsters.
Piazza Navona - this is a wonderful shopping area for art lovers, boasting numerous art galleries and antique shops.