Sometimes when a destination is built up to be amazing, it runs the risk of seriously disappointing when you get there. Well, Rome is not one of those places. History buffs, romantic souls, and curious foodies are all united in their love of Rome. We all know Rome as the home of gladiators, the heart of Italy’s historic past and a one-stop-shop for all of your foodie desires from pizza to gelato. But however well you might think you know the Italian capital, there are still so many surprising reasons you should visit Rome. So, be prepared to have your mind blown on as we run down some of the most weird and wonderful reasons you should head to Rome right now.
1. The Fascinating Masterpieces
It would take a lifetime to soak in all of the culture and art that Rome has to offer. The city is full of monuments and statues that populate full of squares and streets dedicated to the many protagonists of history that have helped make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You’ll never get tired watching them.
2. History at Every Corner
One of the best reasons to visit Rome! You will be surrounded by history everywhere you go in Rome. From the sights to the architecture, even to the drinking fountains! Rome is fascinating, even if you’re not a history buff.
Internationally recognised as one of the most beautiful fountains on earth, the Trevi Fountain is a must on every visitor’s itinerary. You may well spot tourists tossing coins into the fountain in a particular manner. Due primarily to the film ‘Three Coins in the Fountain’, there is a legend which states that if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder you will return to Rome someday. If you throw two coins it could lead to a new romance, and three will lead to marriage, so lovesick visitors should ensure to bring plenty of change!
In the Middle Ages, superstitious residents of Rome considered the Colosseum to be the door to the underworld. It was once common to consider the ancient area where gladiators once battled to be haunted by restless spirits.
A mausoleum, a fortress, a hideaway, a museum… How a castle took on such a myriad of roles throughout its lifetime remains a subject of fascination even today. Rome offers an abundance of monuments and sights rich in history, stories and legends, but Castel Sant’Angelo is one which truly encompasses the essence of the city’s transformation throughout the centuries.
The Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
The National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II) is a remarkably large building made of white marble. This monument was built in honor of Victor Emanuel II. Although it doesn’t include towers in its general design, the medieval structure still attracts attention from almost every part of Rome because its color stands out in an array of earth-colored buildings. It is situated between the Capitoline Hill and Piazza Venezia and features some statues, columns, and grand stairways.
3. Oh my God — a lot of Churches
Boasting around 900 churches in total, the city of Rome is the best place in the world to discover stunning religious architecture. Italy‘s capital is famous for being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and nowhere is this more evident than in the breathtaking architecture, world-class art, and fascinating histories of Rome’s churches. Follow our guide to have your mind boggling and jaw dropping at the cream of the crop of churches in Rome.
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
As the largest of the churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Mary Major is one of the city’s most important. Filled with artifacts and art, every inch of the church seems to be a part of religious history. Though its beautiful 18th-century façade appears Baroque, it’s actually one of the oldest churches in Rome, built around 440.
Even today, almost 2000 years after its construction, the breathtaking pantheon is a remarkable building to see. The spectacular design, proportions, elegance and harmony are a striking reminder of the architecture of the great Roman Empire. When Michelangelo saw this wonder for the first time he said that it looks more like the work of angels, not humans. Although the Pantheon was originally a pagan construction, it was turned into a Catholic church in the early 7th century and is still used as a church today.
St. Peters Basilica and the Vatican City
Encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy, Vatican City is an independent city-state that covers just over 100 acres, making it one-eighth the size of New York’s Central Park. Vatican City is governed as an absolute monarchy with the pope at its head. The Basilica is of enormous dimensions (capable of accommodating 20000 persons ) and the frescoed ceilings are breathtaking. It contains some of the finest pieces of art including the statue of La Pietà di Michelangelo and Il Baldacchino di Bernini(the papal alter).Also the home of the Pope who can be seen at the papal audiences outside in the Piazza in front of the Basilica on Wednesday mornings.
The Chiesa di Sant’Agnese in Agone
One of the most appreciated beauties in Rome is the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. A religious building with an extraordinary structure, where the incredible history of great artists, nobles, powerful popes and emperors is hidden. Originally, there was a stadium where the church is actually located.
The Chiesa Sacro Cuore di Gesu in Prati
The chapel of the church, Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, had burned in a fire in 1897. Victor Jouët, who was the priest at the church, saw the image of a human face on the wall behind the altar, imprinted by the flames.
This museum is called Small Museum of the Souls of Purgatory. Around 1897 the French missionary Victor Janet started collecting objects (clothes, fabrics, frocks, skullcaps, breviaries, bibles, nightshirts, small wooden boards, etc.) that were considered to be”branded” by the hands of the dead to prove the afterlife to their living relatives. All the material kept in showcases is exhibited to the publicin a room adjacent to the church of the Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, peculiar example of neo-Gothic construction in 1890 on Lungotevere Prati.
Santa Susanna is the former national church of the United States of America, as well as being an early 17th century monastic and titular church. It is on the Piazza San Bernardo, which is on the Via XX Settembre just north-west of the Piazza della Repubblica and its metro station.
4. The Gardens
With its famous seven hills and numerous villa parks, Rome is one of the greenest cities in all of Europe. During any passeggiata in the Eternal City, you’re bound to see stunning umbrella pines, find shady under palm trees and admire cascading ivy on terracotta buildings. Rome is a wonderful mix of nature, culture, history and beauty: be sure to check out the most beautiful parks and gardens in the city.
This elegant park is best known for housing the Galleria Borghese museum, an impressive art collection begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese at the beginning of the 17th century that contains important works by Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael and Titian. The Villa Borghese gardens are landscaped in the naturalistic English manner and contain numerous statues, lakes, fountains and smaller museums within them.
Full of towering pine trees, atmospheric palms and scattered villas, this splendid 19th-century park once belonged to Prince Giovanni Torlonia (1756–1829), a powerful banker and landowner. His large neoclassical villa, Casino Nobile, later became the Mussolini family home (1925–43) and, in the latter part of WWII, Allied headquarters (1944–47). These days it’s part of the Musei di Villa Torlonia museum.
Housed in three villas – Casino Nobile, Casina delle Civette and Casino dei Principi – this museum boasts an eclectic collection of sculpture, paintings, furnishings and decorative stained glass.
5. Discover Street Art
There’s a lot more to Rome’s art-scene than Michelangelo, Raphael and the titans of the Renaissance housed in spectacular churches and magnificent galleries. Art is a living, breathing reflection of the places where it’s made, and the street art inscribed onto walls all across the city paints a vivid urban portrait of Rome as it exists today. The bright and almost infinitely varied images hidden away in Rome’s lived-in suburbs trace a very different story of art’s relationship to the metropolis. To discover how the city is right now we must look at the vivid images emblazoned on its walls, shutters and even rubbish. Everywhere you look new works of street-art are popping up in Rome.
First-time visitors to Rome can often be shocked by the amount of graffiti in the streets. Regrettably most of it is low-quality tagging, and it is everywhere like a plague, sometimes even affecting the ancient buildings. However, that there are several areas that have bona fide, high quality street artists working.
Tor Marancia Murals
“Welcome to Shanghai” — “Big City Life” is a public art project for urban regeneration, cultural and social development curated by 999contemporary. It involved 18 street artists who, over 70 days, got through 756 litres of paint and 974 spray cans. The result is spectacular. The Tor Marancia district was originally the slums of Italy and attracted flooding, crime and poverty. Eight decades on has seen the area transformed radically and now even more so with eleven post war buildings being made into monumental murals.
Art in all forms
This is the most famous street of Rome, which at present is a busy traffic way unfortunately leaving no space for crowds of tourists and Romans, and even no air to breath due to big quantity of exhaust gases (as it is nearly everywhere in Rome). It is a straight and fairly narrow street, nearly 1.5km long, connecting Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Venezia. Many fashionable shops are concentrated in the area between the Corso, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. It is remarkable for being absolutely straight in an area characterized by narrow meandering alleys and small piazzas. It is stuffed full with shops and tourists. Nice to walk around, since it is a pedestrian only street. Here you will find all kind of artists.
6. You’ll Never Go Hungry
When you think of Italian food, you probably picture pizza, pasta, and maybe gelato. But there’s so much more to Italian cuisine! One of the many reasons why travelling in Italy is so great is that all 20 regions offer their own unique culinary delights.
Roma has many foods that you can’t find anywhere else in the country, or when you do find them they just don’t taste as good. The list is long, but we managed to narrow it down some ideas for you.
Visiting Italy should be on your bucket list, and the main reason — it is the mother of the best pizza in the world. But before you go forth and order some hot and delicious pizza in Rome you have to know that in all of Italy and in most of the world, margherita pizza is number one. The original pizza was first made in Naples and then shared throughout the major cities of Italy.
When in Rome, you should try one of the city’s famous sauces, like creamy carbonara, cheesy cacio e pepe, or rich amatriciana. The most common pasta eaten here is spaghetti, but you’ll see lots of different shapes on the menu.
The supplì is Rome’s favorite street snack. Call it an arancino (the Sicilian fried rice ball equivalent) to the Romans at your own risk! They are very proud of this crumbed and fried ball of risotto, usually with tomato ragù and a mozzarella center. Try one at the tiniest of take-out joints in the city: I Supplì (as the name might suggest) makes some of Rome’s best. During the lunch rush, look for the crowd of people spilling onto the street and patiently wait your turn. For just a few euros, you might just stumble upon the tastiest and cheapest lunch of your life.
If you’re heading to Rome, one thing you absolutely have to do is try gelato – the Italian version of ice cream. Gelato literally means “frozen” in Italian. The gelato scene in Rome continues to evolve — there are fantastic gelaterie in every part of the city. Gelato is incredibly popular in Italy, and as you stroll around Rome you’re going to find yourself overwhelmed by choice.
Rome can count on a wide choice of artisanal pastry shops that consistently provide locals with morsels of sweetness. Whether you’re looking for freshly baked, intricately decorated pastries, Rome has a superb selection of bakeries that will meet your every need.
Fresh Local Food
Like most big cities, Rome has its fair share of generic supermarkets and chain stores. But if you’re after a truly local food experience, head to the local neighbourhood markets, independent delis and historic bakeries to taste the real flavour of the Eternal City.
Rome has numerous markets selling fresh, locally-produced food. Some are open daily, some only at weekends.
7. It’s Wonderfully Walkable
Bring comfortable shoes when you visit Rome because the best way to explore the city is by foot. The historic center of Rome is very walkable and the best way to soak in the atmosphere of the city is undoubtedly on foot where you’ll stumble upon incredible monuments, walk into beautiful piazzas and stumble upon off-the-beaten-path gems.
8.Getting out is easy
Italy’s capital is often called the Eternal City– and the nickname is apt; you’ll never run out of things to do in Rome. But if you’re hoping to pack in as much of the country as possible, you’re in luck. Rome is very well connected and Italian trains are gloriously fast and efficient.
Waterfall of the Marmore, Terni
Cascata delle Marmore was probably one of Italy’s more famous waterfalls. We sensed it was famous because it was one waterfall where it seemed like most Italians that we encountered on our trip had either known about it or at least heard of it. The Marmore Waterfall is unique because his jump of 165 meters is the highest in Europe. It is unique because a real river, the Velino, pounces on another great river, the Nera. Most of the opening of the waterfall is an event and its expectation is the opportunity to immerse themselves in a park equipped. You know the surrounding area, the Nera Valley, rich in history, culture, nature and pleasant culinary surprises.
Torvaianica is a mostly-modern city south of Rome, best known for its beaches. While the new construction is nothing notable, the wide sandy stretches of beach and a long seafront make it a popular place, especially with sun-seeking Romans. Aside from the sea, the main attraction in Torvaianica is the Zoo Marine park, a combination marine animal showcase and amusement.