Rome, supposedly founded by brothers Romulus and Remus (twins raised by a she-wolf), was the center of the greatest power in the classical world. Its riches led to decadence, then invasion by the Huns and Goths. It was reborn as the center of the Holy Roman Empire, the home of the popes.
After World War I, Rome saw Mussolini’s rise to power. He pulled down parts of the city to build avenues and squares that were to be celebrations of his rule. In World War II, Rome squeaked by most, but not all, devastation. It is said that enemies to not want to be responsible for destroying the seat of the Popes/God. Today, Rome receives visitors because of its position as one of the great centers of human history.
Rome has countless tourist itineraries: tours for those who want to see every last piece of marble, participate in religious pilgrimages, and even go on Gucci shopping excursions. Touring Rome needs planning. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it cannot be seen in one either. Today security concerns produce lines and personal searches before entrance is allowed to such sites as the Vatican. Indoors and outdoors and even underground, Rome has much to see.
Rome is an extraordinary capital, and it can take weeks or more to get in all the sites, cuisine, and culture. Travelling can often be stressful when visiting a place that has so much to offer. This list will pinpoint the absolute best places to visit if time is of the essence.
Sistine Chapel – above
Day 1 – Vatican, St. Peter’s, Trastevere
To get the most out of your day, start early! You’ll want to arrive at the Vatican in the morning to beat the crowds. Be sure to dress humbly in reverence of the religious city-state. Take an early walk and explore the global city streets. You can sit on the gorgeous Spanish Steps and take in the ethos, and people-watch before beginning your adventure. Next, head over to the Vatican museums. There are over 54 Christian and art galleries within the city, and the collections are stunning. Be sure to visit the Sistine Chapel, which holds the striking ceiling art done by legendary artist, Michelangelo. Once you’ve gotten your fill of art, stop by Via delle Grazie and grab some lunch. To top your day off, have some fun at the beautiful neighborhood Trastevere. If possible, check out the award-winning La Gatta Buia, they have an unbelievable Fiori di zucca!
Day 2 – Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum
The best way to begin your second day is to hop aboard the Metropolitana (subway) and take a ride to the Colosseo station. Once you’ve arrived (or before travel, purchase online), stop by the ticket counter and purchase your one ticket that will grant access to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum (If possible, avoid first Sundays)! Be sure to do some research on this ancient wonder beforehand so that you understand what you’re exploring. There are many spigots throughout the area with fresh water, grab a bottle before leaving (refill with potable water during your entire stay). Now, it’s time to hike up the Palatine Hill! It may be wise to get a private tour if possible. The views from the hill towers are stunning and overlook the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus. On your way back, keep left to arrive at the Forum to take in even more majestic views. Grab some dinner and get some rest for your final day!
The Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) is an image carved from marble of a man-like face. The sculpture is thought to be part of a Roman fountain of a pagan god. The legend is that if one tells a lie with one’s hand in the sculpture’s mouth, it will be bitten off.
Day 3 – Pantheon, Largo di Torre Argentina, Piazza Navona
Begin your last day with an espresso and head over to the Trevi fountain. Keep with tradition and toss in a coin for good luck! Next, head over to the Pantheon church. While there, be sure to be respectful and keep your voice low (echos are magnified in volume). After a good lunch, stroll over to Largo di Torre Argentina, which is also known as a cat sanctuary. The cats are well taken care of by a local charity, and feeding them is prohibited. Lastly, we have Piazza Navona to explore. This elegant showcase Square in Rome is built on the Stadium of Domitian. If possible, visit at sunset as the sight of the Square is awe-inspiring.
Now that you’ve accomplished an impressive three-day tour. Enjoy a great glass of wine and rest up before heading back from this wondrous city.
Should you wish to uplevel your travels, please see this link.
If interested in more information regarding other European destinations, please view our blogs below –
French Locations to See in the Mediterranean
What to See in Spain along the Mediterranean
Danube or Rhine for your first River Cruise?
Luxury River Cruises by AmaWaterways