With a rich history that dates back over 2,700 years, an exciting culinary scene that attracts food enthusiasts from around the globe, and religious roots that have thrived since ancient times, it is no wonder that the Eternal City of Rome, sometimes called La Città Eterna, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
The Italian capital’s main draw is its complex and fascinating history, which can be experienced at the monuments, churches, and ancient ruins scattered around the city. Rome is virtually a living, breathing museum that boasts dozens of points of interest for history, religion, and food enthusiasts alike. Here are five things you have to do on your next Roman holiday.
One of the most popular attractions in Rome is Fontana di Trevi, or the Trevi Fountain. Built in the Baroque architectural style, the fountain’s roots can be traced to 1730, when architect Nicola Salvi was awarded a commission to redesign the fountain that stood on the site at the time. Salvi’s work began two years later, but he died with his work half-finished in 1751. Four sculptors and a new architect, Giuseppe Pannini, were then hired to see the project through to its completion in 1762.
One of the most famous fountains in the world, Fontana di Trevi stands 86 feet high and over 161 feet wide, making it the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. Tourists visit the Fontana di Trevi every day to toss coins over their left shoulder with their right hand, into the fountain. It is said that doing so will ensure that the thrower will return to Rome someday.
Fontana de Trevi is also a very popular filming location, and has been featured in classic films such as La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday, as well as modern comedies like Sabrina Goes To Rome and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Rome’s culinary scene is simply incredible: from the best Italian pizza to some of the finest Espresso, from Jewish-style artichokes to some delicious Italian ice cream. Foodies looking to take a comprehensive dive into Rome’s food culture, you can think of a food tasting tour! A tour will offer you the opportunity to enjoy some of the best pizza in town at the city’s oldest bakery, Sicilian patisseries, mouthwatering paninis, the tastiest Roman Supplis, rich Italian chocolate, and more! The cool thing is that many tours can be personalized to the tour-goer’s preferences. They’re a delightful way to experience the tastes of the Eternal City with a friendly and knowledgeable local guiding the way.
I highly recommend foodies searching for the best pizza in Rome add Forno Campo de’ Fiori to their itinerary if it isn’t on there already. The restaurant, which dates back to the 1700s, employs a team of expert bakers who preserve ancient artisanal traditions by using nothing but the highest quality ingredients in the food they create. I highly recommend their light and delicate pizza bianca.
One of the most iconic symbols of the Eternal City, the Roman Colosseum is not only the a widely recognized structure; it’s also an emblem of life in ancient Rome. Commissioned between 70 and 72 A.D. by Emperor Vespasian and completed in 80 A.D., the Colosseum was the largest amphitheater in the Roman world.
The Colosseum is best known as the site of gladiator battles that were watched by up to 50,000 spectators, but the amphitheater was also used for hunts, wild animal fights, and even mock naval engagements. The Colosseum was active for four centuries until it fell into disuse in the sixth century A.D. After centuries of weather, natural disasters, vandalism, and neglect destroyed much of the amphitheater, efforts to restore what remained of the Colosseum began in the 1990s. Guided tours are now offered daily, including ones of the main amphitheater, as well as more expensive tours of its underground chambers, which are usually off-limits to the public.
It’s no surprise that The Vatican is the most popular tourist destination in Rome. The independent city-state is an ecclesiastical state that is ruled by the Pope, who is also the bishop of Rome and the head of the Catholic church. The Vatican is also home to important religious and cultural sites, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Vatican isn’t just a destination for those who practice Catholicism, though, as the 110-acre state also contains the Vatican museum, which is the largest in Italy. Inside, art and Christian history enthusiasts will find gorgeous sculptures and beautiful artwork collections set up by various Popes over the years.
Of course, a trip to Rome is not complete without a gelato, and for the best the city has to offer, look no further than Gelarmony, a popular ice cream shop that has been open since 1996. The shop only uses ingredients that come from the island of Sicily and prides itself on all of its products being free of preservatives and colorings.
In addition to a wide variety of refreshing ice creams and rich, creamy gelatos, Gelarmony’s menu also boasts an assortment of other traditional Sicilian treats, including slushed ice drinks, brioche, cassate, and cannoli. Their desserts are out of this world and are a must-have for any foodie visiting Rome!
There is no other place on this planet quite like Rome. It offers something for everyone, from its thousands of years of rich history and culture, its heavenly food, and its warm and charming residents. This magical, eternal city contains new surprises and awe-inspiring wonders around every corner, including the five we discussed here. Do yourself a favor and book a trip to this incredible city as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.