What to do in Rome
May 12, 2017
We often use Rome as the gateway to beach destinations on our summer holidays
, and yet, there is so much to see and do in this glorious Italian city, that it's a pity not to spend some time here discovering its magic.
ere's a list of our top 5 places to visit next time you're in Rome…
1 THE COLOSSEUM
This famous Rome landmark is also the city's greatest architectural treasure. The Colosseum is the biggest Roman ampitheatre on earth. It was built in the 1st Century AD to seat up to 45 000 people at any given time. In its heyday the Colosseum had 80 different entrances and a 5m high wall, which gives a good indication of just how enormous it was.
Today all that is left of the Colosseum is ruins that reach up to four storeys, and a circumference of 527 meters. There is no floor in the central arena but you will be able to see the underground passages that used to be hidden below the floor.
2 THE SISTENE CHAPEL
This famous chapel is located in one of the oldest churches in Rome, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Sistine Chapel opens onto the right-hand nave of the church. This magnificent chapel is decorated with famous pictures by Michaelangelo. In the lower level of the chapel is a museum where you will be able to view some fine sculptures by Arnolfo da Cambio, created in the 13th Century.
There are a number of other lovely chapels in the church, including the Sforza Chapel, which was designed by Michelangelo and is home to the tomb of the 16th Century artist and architect, Bernini. When the chapel is lit up at night, it's a magnificent sight.
3 VATICAN CITY AND SAINT PETER'S SQUARE
Located in St Peter's Square, the magnificent Vatican City is entered through an enormous bronze door. It's home to about 800 people and more than 70 000 priceless artworks, which you can view in the Vatican Museums. But before you enter the Vatican, take a look around St Peter's Square, home to St Peter's Basilica. Inside, there are some exquisite works of art to see, including the Pieta by Michelangelo. For the best view of the city, climb the 323 steps to the top of the church's enormous dome.
4 CAPITOLINE HILL
At the top of Capitoline Hill, which is the most sacred of Rome's seven hills, you'll find Capitoline Hill. Climb the sloping steps to the top of the hill to visit Piazza del Campidogio, a magnificent square with one side open that was laid out by Michelangelo. The other three sides of the square are lined with important historical buildings, home to some of the greatest classical sculpture to be found in the world. The three buildings are the Senatorium, or Town Council, Capitoline Museum, where you can view Michelangelo's exquisite equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, which once stood in the centre of the square and the Palace of the Curators.
5 THE SPANISH STEPS
The famous square Piazza di Spagna is home to a number of churches, monuments, fountains and marble remnants of historic Roman events. The square extends from the bottom of Pincio Hill and connects to the 16th Century Church of Trinita dei Monti located on the top of the hill by the famous Spanish Steps. This area is a shopper's delight and you'll find some of the city's most fashionable streets here including the renowned Via Condotti, all lined with luxury designer boutiques. Make sure you spend some time exploring the area, even if you can't afford to buy anything.