Only in Rome ★★

Only in Rome, Rome, Italy (Photo by Voxel-Ux)
, Catacombe di San Sebastiano, Rome

Classic sights and experiences that just scream "You're in Rome now!"

 
 

More on Only in...

Sights in Rome

★★★
The Arch of Septimus Severus flanked by the three columns of the Temple of Vespasian and Titus on the left, and the eight columns of the Temple of Saturn on the right. Just to the right of the arch are the Umbilicus Urbus and the broken, curving bits of stone marking the Rostra. (Behind the arch: the brick cube of the Curia; that dome and facade are the Santi Lucia e Martina church designed by Pietro da Cortona, just outside the Forum) (Photo by Bert Kaufmann)
Roman Forum
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

Downtown Ancient Rome: The Roman Forum (Foro Romano), Palatine Hill, temple of the Vestal Virgins, Roman Senate, and Triumphal Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus

 
★★★
The Colosseum at sunrise (Photo by picmasta)
The Colosseum
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

Rome's Colosseo still ranks as the world's most famous sports arena, site of gladiator combat and the wholesale slaughter of wild beasts to amuse the public

 
★★★
Inside the Sistine Chapel (Photo by Neil Howard)

The most famous fresco in the world: from Michelangelo's famous ceiling to his Last Judgment and the sadly overlooked walls by Perugino, Botticelli, and Signorelli

 
★★★
Inside the Pantheon (Photo by Rodney Campbell)
Free
The Pantheon
Rome: Tiber Bend

The glorious Pantheon is Rome's only intact ancient Roman temple

 
★★★
The Spanish Steps (Photo by Martin Furtschegger)
Free
Spanish Steps
Rome: Tridente

The Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti—by whatever name you call it, this is one of Rome's prime outdoor living rooms, an elegant gathering place for locals and tourists alike

 
★★★
The spiral staircase (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Vatican Museums
Rome: Vatican

Rome's Vatican Museums encompass some of the greatest art in the world, from Roman and Egyptian antiquities to paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, to the Sistine Chapel with its amazing ceiling frescoed by Michelangelo

 
★★★
The Baldacchino over the altar of St. Peter's (Photo by Jorge Royan)
Free
St. Peter's
Rome: Vatican

St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) in Rome: Motherchurch of Christendom

 
★★☆
The crowds at the Trevi (Photo by Oleg Brovko)
Free
Trevi Fountain
Rome: Tridente

The Fontana di Trevi just may be the world's most famous wishing well—certainly one of the most lucrative, what with every tourist tossing "three coins in a fountain"

 
★★☆
 (Photo by gula08)
Free
Trastevere
Rome: Trastevere

The popular Trastevere district (Rome's 'left bank') is a postcard neighborhood of narrow, cobblestone streets, fantastic restaurants, and overflowing bars and clubs

 
★☆☆
The Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) in the church portico (Photo by nekotank)
Free
Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

It's a shame that so many who stop to see the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) on the porch don't take the time to go inside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin itself

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Dennis Jarvis)
Catacombe di San Domitilla
Rome: Outside the walls

The Catacombs of San Domitilla offer the best, and spookiest, catacomb tour on Rome's Appian Way

 
★★☆
The Forum and The Capitolum (temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva), at the intersection of the Cardo Maximus (main north-south street of any Roman town) and the Decumanus Maximus (main east-west street) (Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)
Ostia Antica
Rome: Outside the walls

Like Pompeii, Ostia Antica is an ancient Roman ghost town—but this one lies just a subway ride from downtown Rome and comes with virtually no crowds

 
★☆☆
A tunnel in the Catacomb of San Callisto (Photo by Jim Forest)
Catacombe di San Callisto
Rome: Outside the walls

The Catacombs of St. Callixtus have the most popular (and crowded) tours, but also some of the most amazing sights of any catacombs on Rome's Appian Way

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Voxel-Ux)
Catacombe di San Sebastiano
Rome: Outside the walls

The Catacombs of St. Sebastian are the largest, but least rewarding, of the catacombs—but are where Saints Peter and Paul were buried

 

Experiences in Rome

★★☆
Pope Francis I greeting the flocks at a papal audience in Rome's St. Peter's Square (Photo courtesy of SMCS Music Office)
Free
Papal Audience
Rome: Vatican

How to get tickets to hang with his Holiness on St. Peter's Square in Rome

 
★☆☆
Gladiators duke it out (Photo courtesy of Viator)
Gladiator lessons
Rome: Outside the walls

Learn what it took to do battle in the Colosseum with a half-day Roman gladiator school

 
★★☆
A private tour of the Sistine Chapel (Photo by Unknown)

See the Sistine Chapel with a small private tour—and no one else around

 
☆☆☆
Cruising the Tiber River (Photo courtesy of Viator)

Take a sightseeing or dinner cruise on the Tevere (Tiber River) in Rome

 

Dining in Rome

★★★
The original Gelateria San Crispino, near the Trevi Fountain (Photo Public Domain)
San Crispino (Trevi)
Rome: Tridente

Everyone's favorite "secret" ice cream parlor near the Trevi Fountain

 

Topics in Rome

★★☆

Festivals, holidays, traditions, and other events in Rome

 

The talking statues of Rome

 

Experiences in Italy

A hot-air balloon ride over Fontainebleau (Photo courtesy of Viator.com)

Weird, random, oddball, and just plain fun tours and activities you can sign up for in Italy

 

Lodgings in Italy

★★☆
The Castello di Gargonza in Tuscany is a classic Italian castle turned into a hotel (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

Stay in a real castello and live happily ever after (temporarily) as King and Queen of the castle