Colosseum

Image Colosseum

The Colosseum (built 70–80 AD) is an elliptical amphitheatre and the largest ever built by the Roman Empire. With a seating capacity estimated at 50,000 to 70,000, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. It was in use for around 500 years with the last recorded games being held there as late as the 6th century, well after the historically recorded fall of the Roman Empire in 476.

Opening Hours
Daily, 09.00 to one hour before sunset

Price
EUR 12, (Price also includes entrance to the Palatino and the Roman Forum)

Address
Piazza del Colosseo (Next to the Roman Forum)
Tel: 06 39 96 77 00

How to Get There
Metro Blue Line: Colosseo

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the central area around which ancient Rome developed. A public square during the Roman Republic, people first began meeting in the forum around 500 BC. Today, much of the Forum has been destroyed. Columns and stone blocks are all that remain of some temples. Next to the Roman Forum (across the Via Dei Fori Imperiali road, excepting Caesar's Forum which is on the same side of the road) are the Imperial Forums. The Imperial Forums consist of a series of monumental public squares constructed in Rome between 46 BC and 113 AD. The first of Rome's Imperial Forums was built by Julius Caesar. Little remains of these buildings. However, Trajan's column (130 foot high), erected to celebrate Trajan's victory over the Dacians, still exists, as do parts of Caesar's and Augustus's Forums and Trajan's Market (Mercati Traianei), amongst others. Whereas strolling through these forums is very pleasant and imparts an impression of what it might have been like in ancient Rome, it is recommended that you carry a descriptive map of the Forums so you know exactly what you are looking at – there is no useful signage, although the Imperial forums do have some signs. There is a visitor’s centre halfway down Via Dei Fori Imperiali.

Opening Hours
Daily, 09.00 to sunset

Price
EUR 12, (Price also includes entrance to the Palatino and the Colosseum)

Alternatively, you can get a free view of the Forums from the street.

Address
Via Dei Fori Imperiali (Between the Colosseum and Vittorio Emanuele II monument in Piazza Venezia)

How to Get There
Metro Blue B Line: Colosseo

St Peter’s Basilica

Image St Peter’s Basilica

Saint Peter's Basilica is the largest church building in Christendom and is one of the holiest sites of Christianity in the Catholic faith. It is 190m long, the aisles are 58m wide, the nave is 45.50m high as far as the vault, and the dome is about 136m high as far as the cross. It can host 20,000 people. It is located in the Vatican City, a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. At approximately 108.7 acres, it is thought to be the smallest independent state in the world. Construction on the current basilica began in 1506 and was completed in 1626. Highlights inside the basilica include Michelangelo's Pietà and a 29 meter tall baldachin held by four immense pillars, designed by Bernini between 1624 and 1632. Directly to the east of the church is the impressive St Peter's Square (Piazza di San Pietro), built by Gianlorenzo Bernini between 1656 and 1667. Measuring 320m deep and 240m in diameter, the square is surrounded by 284 columns, set out in rows of four, and 88 pilasters. Papal blessings take place every Sunday at noon, except in summer.

The Vatican Museums, founded by Pope Julius II in the 16th century, are located a short walk from Saint Peter's. The Museums display works from the extensive collection of the Roman Catholic Church. The Sistine Chapel and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael are some of the highlights. (Expect long queues, over 2 hours in high season; booking on the website via mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html is strongly recommended).

Opening Hours
Basilica, 07.00–18.00 daily; Dome from 08.00
Vatican Museums, 09.00–16.00

Price
Free entry to the basilica
Various fees for certain attractions (climbing the Dome etc.)

How to Get There
Metro Red A Line: Ottaviano–S.Pietro, or Bus: 64

The Pantheon

Image The Pantheon

The Pantheon was built by the Romans in 125 AD as a pagan temple. It is the best-preserved and most beautifully proportioned of Rome’s ancient monuments. The circular building has been in continuous use throughout its history. Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church.

The most striking feature of the Pantheon is the massive concrete dome, which features at its centre a giant circular opening, or oculus, 8.7m in diameter. The oculus is open to the elements! Among those buried at The Pantheon are the painters Raphael and Annibale Caracci, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. Also buried there are two Italian kings: Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I.

Opening Hours
Mon–Sat, 08.30–19.30
Sun, 09.00–18.00

Price
Free

Address
Piazza della Rotonda (Off Via Torre Argentina)

How to Get There
Bus: 62, 64, or 40 (Get off on Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II, near Largo Torre Argentina, then take a short walk)

Borghese Gallery

Image Borghese Gallery

The Borghese Gallery (Galleria Borghese) is housed in the Villa Borghese Pinciana, built by architect Flaminio Ponzio in 1612.The Villa Pinciana was built as a museum by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V, to house fine examples of ancient and modern art. Highlights include major works by Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini, Antonello da Messina, and Canova.

Opening Hours
Tues–Sun, 09.00–19.00
Admission is restricted to only 360 people every 2 hours. Exit is mandatory at the end of the time slot.
NOTE: It is compulsory to deposit all bags, purses, cameras, video cameras and umbrellas in the cloakroom.

Price
EUR 12.50
Ticket reservation is mandatory
Tel: 0039 06 32810

Address
Piazzale Museo Borghese (Off Via Pinciana, within the Borghese Park)

How to Get There
Metro Red A Line: Spagna

Villa Borghese

Image Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is a large park created in 1605 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a nephew of Pope Paul V. It was opened to the public in 1903. The park has a late 18th century artificial lake, which has a small Ionic temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the God of healing, built on an island in the lake. The park is home to some important museums including the Museo e Galleria Borghese. You can hire bikes and motor buggies to wander around the park. There is a cafe and restaurant and many nice places to have a picnic. The only downside is that traffic is permitted through a part of the park. You can also get some good views of Rome from The Pincio, which overlooks Piazza Del Popolo.

Opening Hours
24 hours

Price
Free

How to Get There
Metro Red A Line: Flaminio

Quirinale

Image Quirinale

The Quirinale, symbol of the Italian Republic, was built in 1583 on the Quirinal Hill. Several prestigious architects and artists have contributed towards making it splendid as it is. It was the residence of the Pope until 1871, of the Italian King until the end of the Second World War, and today it is the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic.

Opening Hours
Open only on Sunday from 08:30 to 12 noon.

Price
Free entrance

Address
Piazza del Quirinale (Near Piazza Venezia)

How to get there
Metro Blue B Line: Colosseo (Turn right when leaving the station. It is a 10 to 15 minute walk.)

Capitoline Museums

Image Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) consist mainly of two palaces – Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo, which have identical exterior designs and stand opposite each other in Piazza del Campidoglio, in a plan conceived by Michelangelo in the 16th century. The museums are connected via an underground tunnel! The collections include ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, sarcophagi, busts, mosaics, collections of jewels and coins, and other artifacts, as well as paintings from the likes of Caravaggio, Rubens, and Van Dyke. You can also get some great views of the Roman Forum from the museum.

Opening Hours
Tues–Sun, 09.00–20.00

Price
EUR 6.50 (Entrance valid for both museums)

Address
Piazza del Campidoglio 1 (Near Piazza Venezia)

How to Get There
Metro Blue B Line: Colosseo (Turn right when leaving the station. It is a 5 to 10 minute walk.)

Castel Sant'Angelo

Image Castel Sant'Angelo

The Castel Sant'Angelo is a large cylindrical building commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Built around 123 AD along the shore of the Tiber River, near the Vatican, the building spent over a thousand years as either a fortress or a castle, and is now a museum.

Much of the tomb’s contents and decorations have been lost since the building's conversion into a military fortress in 401 AD. In the 14th century, the popes converted the structure into a castle. It is linked to St Peter's by a long passageway. The Papal state also used Sant'Angelo as a prison; Giordano Bruno, for example, was imprisoned there for six years. Its courtyards were the scene of executions by decapitation and the heads of the condemned were then hung for days along the bridge as a terrible warning.

Opening Hours
Tues–Sun, 09.00–19.00

Price
EUR 7 (Extra for special events and exhibits)

Address
Lungotevere Castello, 50
00186-Rome

How to Get There
Several buses including Buses 62 and 40
Metro A red Line: Ottaviano or Lepanto.
(Both stations are about a 10–15 minute walk away.)

Trajan Markets

Image Trajan Markets

This is a large complex of ruins located on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the opposite end to the Colosseum. The surviving buildings and structures, built as an integral part of Trajan's Forum and nestled against the excavated flank of the Quirinal Hill, present a living model of life in the Roman capital and a glimpse at the continuing restoration in the city, which reveals new treasures and insights about Ancient Roman architecture. Thought to be the world's oldest shopping mall, the arcades in Trajan's Market are now believed to be administrative offices for Emperor Trajan. The shops and apartments were built in a multi-level structure, and it is still possible to visit several of the levels. Highlights include delicate marble floors and the remains of a library. Trajan's Market was probably built in 100–110 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus, an architect who always followed Trajan in his adventures and to whom Trajan entrusted the planning of his Forum. During the Middle Ages the complex was transformed by adding floor levels, still visible today, and defensive elements such as the Torre delle Milizie, the "militia tower" built in 1200. A convent, which was later built in this area, was demolished at the beginning of the twentieth century to restore Trajan's Markets to the city of Rome.

Opening Hours
Tues–Sun, 09.00–19.00

Price
EUR 7

Address
Via Quattro Novembre 64 (Near Piazza Venezia)

How to Get There
Metro Blue B Line: Colosseo (Turn right when leaving the station. It is a 5 to 10 minute walk.)

Palazzo Colonna

Image Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings at the base of the Quirinal Hill, and adjacent to the church of Santi Apostoli. It is built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations. Around 1650, the family decided to restore the large complex in Baroque style and around the same time they built the famous Collonna Galery to host priceless masterpieces, including the largest Vanvitelli collection.

Opening Hours
Open only on Saturdays, 09.00–13.15
Private tours can be organized every day.
Tel: +39 06 6784350

Price
EUR 12

Address
Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 66 (Off Piazza Venezia)

How to Get There
Metro Blue B Line: Colosseo (Turn right when leaving the station. It is a 5 to 10 minute walk.)

Trevi Fountain

Image Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is the largest of the Baroque fountains of Rome, standing 25.9m high and 19.8m wide.

Work began in 1732, and was completed in 1762. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi, and finished by Giuseppe Pannini, following Salvi's death in 1751. A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. The fountain has been featured in several films including the 1953 comedy "Roman Holiday" with Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, and Eddie Albert; "Three Coins in the Fountain"; and Federico Fellini's "La dolce vita".

Opening Hours
Open 24 hours

Prices
Free (In a public square)

Address
Piazza di Trevi (Off Via D Muratte, off Via Del Corso)

How to Get There
Metro Red A Line: Barberini (Walk down Via Del Tritone, look for signs on left.)

The Spanish Steps

Image The Spanish Steps

A monumental stairway of 138 steps on a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti above, which is dominated by the 16th century French church, Trinità dei Monti. Built in 1717, the steps are thought to have been designed by Francesco de Sanctis. The steps and piazza are named 'Spanish' because the Spanish Embassy used to reside there.

In spring, the steps are particularly wonderful when the ramps of the staircase are covered with flowers. You can get some wonderful views of the city from the top of the Spanish Steps, although if you turn left at the top of the steps and start walking you will get better views and will also be led past the Villa Medici and the park Villa Borghese.

Opening Hours
24 hours

Prices
Free (In a public square)

Address
Piazza di Spagna (Off Via Dei Condotti, off Via Corso)

How to Get There
Metro Red A Line: Spagna

Piazza Navona

Image Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a large square in Rome that features many Baroque attractions, including Gian Lorenzo Bernini's famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers, 1651) in the center of the square, and the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, whose facade is by Francesco Borromini with construction of the church being completed by Carlo Rainaldi. It is a popular place for Romans and tourists to visit not only for its sculptures and architecture, but also for its street performers, restaurants and cafes, exhibitions, and small stalls selling paintings and novelty goods. The piazza follows the plan of an ancient Roman circus, the 1st century Stadium of Domitian, where the Romans came to watch the games. The piazza marks the area for the races in the stadium. It was defined as a square around the 16th century.

Opening Hours

24 hours

Prices
Free (In a public square)

Address
(Off corso rinascimento, which is off corso Vittorio Emanuele II)
(Close to The Pantheon)

How to Get There
Several buses including Buses 62, 64, and 40. (Get off on Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II, near Largo Torre Argentina, then take a short walk.)

Campo de' Fiori

Image Campo de' Fiori

Campo de’ Fiori is a very characteristic local square with a lively and colorful daily market. A large field full of flowers in medieval times (from whence it derives its name) or a space dedicated to Flora, loved by Pompeo. In 1456, Callisto Pope created a pavement, which was the beginning of the actual square. Executions used to be held publicly in Campo de' Fiori. Here, on 17 February 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt alive for heresy. In 1887, Ettore Ferrari dedicated a monument to him on the exact spot of his death: He stands defiantly facing the Vatican, reinterpreted in the first days of a reunited Italy as a martyr to freedom of thought.

Opening Hours
24 hours (The market is open from Monday to Saturday in the morning.)

Prices
Free (In a public square)

Address
Off corso rinascimento, which is off corso Vittorio Emanuele II.

How to Get There
Several buses including Buses 62, 64, and 40 (Get off on Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II, near Largo Torre Argentina, then take a short walk.)

Piazza di Pietra

Image Piazza di Pietra

Piazza di Pietra is a narrow piazza in Rome that houses the Temple of Hadrian. The name translates to Plaza of Stone. It is so-called because it was built from the stones of the temple that overlooks it. In 1928, the wall of the cell was freed from later additions and excavations revealed the height of the platform supporting the temple. Today only one of the walls survives along with 11 of the 15 Corinthian columns.

Opening Hours
24 hours (The market is open from Monday to Saturday in the morning.)

Prices
Free (In a public square)

Address
Off Via del Corso and Pantheon

How to Get There
Several buses including Buses 62, 64, and 40 (Get off on Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II, near Largo Torre Argentina, then take a short walk.)

MAXXI Museum

Image MAXXI Museum

Located in the Flaminio neighborhood, the MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Art is a national museum dedicated to contemporary creativity. It was designed as a multidisciplinary space by Zaha Hadid, and is committed to experimentation and innovation in the arts and architecture.

It consists of two museums: “MAXXI art” and “MAXXI architecture”. In addition to the two museums, the MAXXI also features an auditorium, a library and media library specialized in art and architecture, a bookshop, a cafeteria, a bar/restaurant, galleries for temporary exhibitions, performances, and educational activities. The MAXXI has been acclaimed by The Guardian newspaper as “A masterpiece fit to sit alongside Rome’s ancient wonders”.

Opening Hours
Tue–Fri, 11.00–19.00
Sat 11.00–22.00
Sun 11.00–19.00

Price
EUR 11

Address
via Guido Reni, 4 A

How to Get There
Metro Red Line A: Flaminio, followed by tram 2: Apollodoro, or Bus 53, 217, 280, or 910.