Top 5 Places to Go in Italy (Part 1: Rome)

Because of the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, and Pizza, Italy is one of those countries that Americans grow up learning a lot about.It seems like it could be a difficult task to narrow down Italy to 5 things to do, so I’m breaking this up into two posts: 1) Rome/Vatican and 2) everywhere else!


1. Coliseum and the Roman Forum

One of the largest attractions in the world, the Coliseum needs no introduction.Considered one of the greatest pieces of Roman architecture, any trip to Italy would be amiss without a visit to the Coliseum.Briefly, the Coliseum was built under Vespasian and is famous for its gladiatorial games.An interesting feat of engineering is that the Coliseum was able to be flooded to stage full-scale sea battles.

Just to the west is the Roman Forum.This is the remnant of an ancient marketplace in the heart of Rome.This is also the location of many important ancient government-meeting places.

2. Trevi Fountain

Famous for granting wishful people the desires of their hearts, the Trevi Fountain in Rome is said to bestow good luck on anyone who throws a coin wishfully into the fountain.This is easily one of the most famous fountains in the world and one of Rome’s most visited sites.

3. Day Trip to Assisi

I’m all for day trips, and when in Rome, why not take a day trip to Assisi?Assisi is accessible by train from Rome.The Town/Commune is famous for the saints that have spent significant time there, including St. Clare of Assisi and St. Francis of Assisi.

4. The Pantheon

The Pantheon, not to be confused with the Parthenon (which is in Greece), is an Ancient Roman temple built as a temple to all of the Gods of Rome.In the early 600s, the Pantheon was declared a Catholic rectory church and is also known as the Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs.

5. Vatican City

Finally, you can’t go to Rome without going to the Vatican.The Vatican, at just over 100 acres, is the smallest sovereign state in the world and Catholic or not, there is so much to see for everyone at the Vatican.There is St. Peter’s square, which has only a white line separating the state of the Vatican and Italy.The Vatican has its own extensive library and museum, but its biggest draw is the artwork.

The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is one of the world’s most recognizable art pieces.Created by Michelangelo in the 1500s, the iconic hand of God extending to Adam has been seen in everything from books, to magazines, to TV and Movies.But beyond the Ceiling, almost every space of the walls are also intricately designed and Michelangelo’s final judgment is one of the most viewed pieces in the Vatican.

So that’s Rome in a nutshell…Tomorrow will see a post about the rest of Italy!

Any thoughts about Rome?Anything I missed? Comment below!

6 Responses to “Top 5 Places to Go in Italy (Part 1: Rome)”
  1. tylerrite says:

    Loved your blog and love Rome … another great place to visit there is the Borghese Gallery to see the works of Bernini and Caravaggio, among others. It’s especially nice on a Sunday when so much else is closed. And thanks for visiting my blog, Seeking an Enriching LIfe, for my post on my first night in Istanbul, the New Rome!

  2. Ah, Rome! You can’t go wrong there. Campo de’ Fiori is one of the many markets held in the city. Go early so you can wander the stalls with the locals. Such incredible food and atmosphere! Then plunk yourself in any random piazza and sip an espresso while watching Rome ebb and flow around you. Nothing better!

  3. anniegraves1 says:

    Hi Justin,
    Thanks for checking out my travel blog! Although I’m currently covering New England extensively for Yankee magazine, I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in Europe, traveling for a year as a juggler, but also living in Rome for another year and working as a journalist at a newspaper there that’s no longer in existence. I’m crazy about that city, and every time I visit, I’m stunned by how beautiful and green it is. How wonderful to re-experience it again with your blog!

    • Thank you for your kind words! if you don’t mind, when you said that you traveled for a year as a juggler, in what capacity was it? Were you busking as a juggler or was it in an act? just wondering because we are planning to busk along the way while in Europe and if you have had experiences busking in Europe, I would love to email you to ask you some more questions!

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