If it is the first time you are coming to Italy, and to Rome in particular, and you, unfortunately, only have a few days, you might have doubts about what you should make sure to see.
If it is the first time you are coming to Italy, and to Rome in particular, and you, unfortunately, only have a few days, you might have doubts about what you should make sure to see. There is so much artistic and architectural beauty here that it can be hard to know what to see first. The ruins of ancient Rome or baroque art? The squares, the fountains, or the parks?
We decided to give you a list of the 10 things not to miss if you've never been to Rome before.
If you are really short on time, you might not get to all the museums and monuments we suggest, but you should at least pass by them and snap a few pictures! Where possible, we also tried to suggest how much time to give each thing to help you plan your timing.
- 1) Colosseum. Rome's most famous monument, the one-time arena of gladiators, must be seen, from the outside if nothing else. It will only take you a few minutes to take some pictures and the metro will take you right there. If you take a tour of it (1–2 hours), you can go into the arena, the stands, and the underground areas.
- 2) St. Peter's is an important religious site and an example of architecture at its best. If you have time, the famous Vatican Museums aren't far from the square — you've heard of the Sistine Chapel? — but they take at least 3 hours to see.
- 3) Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain and make a wish to return to Rome: a ritual few tourists forego. The fountain is just a 6-minute walk from our hotel.
- 4) Strolling along the Roman Forum is the best way to grasp the grandeur of ancient Rome. If you have little time, you can do it in an evening, when the effects of lights and sounds are evocative and help you feel immersed in its history. You will notice the Vittoriano monument along the way.
- 5) You can't skip taking a peek at Piazza Navona to admire the famous Four Rivers fountain and the beautiful Sant'Agnese in Agone church, even if just to imagine the stadium that was once on the square.
- 6) The Pantheon is a monument truly like no other, drawing the curiosity of many tourists because of the "hole" in its ceiling. A plus is its free admission. And it will take less than 20 minutes!
- 7) Take a nice stroll through the ghetto, maybe having a bite of Jewish cuisine, and then get to the Tiber and cross it to a very unusual site: Tiber Island. In the summer there is an outdoor cinema and cultural events are held here.
- 8) The best way to soak up Trastevere's atmosphere is to go to dinner here, when the tables scattered among the neighborhood's narrow streets fill with tourists from around the world. The best cacio e pepe pasta (cheese and pepper) is to be had here!
- 9) One of Rome's most spectacular squares is Piazza di Spagna, with the Spanish Steps of Trinità dei Monti and the Barcaccia fountain. Get here strolling by luxury boutiques and historical cafés, or come straight on the metro.
- 10) Campo dei Fiori is well worth strolling through in the morning for a bit when the local market that gave the square its name (it means Field of Flowers), or you might stay longer for a before-dinner drink and sit at an outdoor table for some great people-watching in the square.
See also: Rome in 3 days