Rome is a city packed full of attractions, with more sites and museums than you can shake a gladiator’s trident at. So, if you were interested in visiting them with your Rome city card and getting to know their history, which would be the best places to visit?
Castel Santâ Angelo
The history of this building began around 130AD when it was first constructed as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family. Since then, it has been a castle, a fortress and in its latest incarnation, a museum. Once the tallest building in Rome, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, or the Castel Santa Angelo, as it is commonly known, is worth visiting as much for the sights it boasts as for its own beauty. Getting to the top and enjoying the view of the Roman skyline, especially with Vatican City just a stone’s throw away, is an experience not to be missed.
St Peter’s Basilica
If you visit Rome, it would be unthinkable not to see St Peter’s Basilica, an enormous, majestic piece of Renaissance architecture. As the burial site for Saint Peter, one of Jesus Christ’s twelve apostles, it has great historical and religious significance.
More than just an art gallery, this 17th century villa has housed many collections, from Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who first began collecting art and antiquities, to Prince Marcantonio IV Borghese, responsible for the now famous Villa Borghese gardens.
The largest and most iconic amphitheatre in the world, this famed Roman site for gladiatorial contests and spectacles needs no introduction.
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
An absolute must among the things to see in Rome. Every room and hallway in the museums is a masterpiece of design, and packed full of vital works, particularly of Renaissance art. Michelangelo’s decorations on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel provide the climax of the visit.
The Capitoline Museums
A collection of buildings rather than a single one, the plans for The Capitoline Museums were originally conceived by Michelangelo himself. The complex is comprised of three main buildings: the Palazo Senatorio (built in the 12th Century but later modified in line with Michelangelo’s plans), the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo. Unified by the glorious Piaza del Campidoglio, the museums have a number of artistic and archaeological exhibits, making this a must-see for history buffs.
An almost 2,000 year-old temple with massive classic columns and the famous coffered dome, this was in fact the third attempt after the previous two Pantheons had burnt down. One of the primary Rome attractions.
Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
Dating back to the 4th century, this cathedral is of huge importance to Catholics as it is the oldest, highest-ranked Basilica in Rome and acts as the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope. Its long and rich history, as well as the adjacent Lateran Palace, merits exploration.
For the true ancient ruin experience, nothing can beat the Roman Forum, situated right next to the Coliseum. It used to be the beating heart of ancient Rome, operating as the marketplace and venue for a host of public events.
Finally, La Fontana di Trevi slips into the list because though it may just be a fountain, it is one of epic proportions and fame. It marks the terminal point of an important aqueduct that served ancient Rome, highlighting the historical and cultural importance of water to Roman civilisation.
Read more of our tips on what to do in Rome.