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Top 10 things to do in Rome

piazza navona
Spanish Steps
piazza navona rome
view over Roma from Aventino
Vatican City Italian rail

Top 10 things to do in Rome

story by: House of Travel

Jetting off on an Italy holiday? Sending a few days in Rome? These top ten Rome itinerary ideas will keep you nicely busy. 

Rome is one of the world's most historically intriguing cities, still brimming with the glory of ancient Roman civilisations gone by. Around every corner there's a glimpse into the past, with ruins, old cathedrals, churches and statues making it an incredibly interesting and inspiring place to explore.

Here are 10 of the city's must do and see attractions after you've ticked off other highlights such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. 

1 - Explore the Vatican 
See some of the world's most significant treasures at the Vatican Museums within the Vatican City. With everything from the Etruscan, Egyptian and Capitolino Museums to the Hebrew Lapidary and Galleries of Maps and Tapestries, there are never-ending galleries and halls to explore. 

Then of course, there is the beautifully painted Michelangelo Sistine Chapel and the truly awe-inspiring St Paul's Basilica. Gaze upon its stunning Byzantine decor, shimmering with gold and featuring everything from sculptural masterpieces to colourful frescoes, artful mosaics and other extravagant ornaments. 

2 - Visit the Villa Borghese
Visit the grounds of the Villa Borghese and discover ancient Roman ruins, such as a tomb structure, dating back as far as the second century AD. You'll also get to wander through more than 85 hectares of what is now carefully maintained public parkland. 

Visit the Galleria Borghese and see an inspiring collection of paintings or the incredibly true-to-life replica of London's Globe Theatre. 

3 - Discover the ruins of Torre Argentina
Torre Argentina is a fascinating place. Not only is it a site of ancient ruins, it was also recently revealed by historians as the suspected site of Julius Caesar's stabbing. This cat sanctuary houses around 250 homeless, abandoned and sick felines, which roam the ruins that date back to 400BC, with volunteers looking after them. Visit and see the cute cats while also soaking in some history.

4 - Savour genuine Italian gelato
There's nothing like a scoop or two or delicious creamy Italian gelato, particularly on a hot summer's day. 

One place renowned for its top-quality gelato is Giolitti, with a history that dates back to 1890 when the Giolittis opened a creamery that eventually became a gelateria. Visit the original store at the Via del Vicario nearby the Pantheon and try the delicious and often unique flavours such as champagne and meringue. 

5 - Check out the Palatine Hill
Wander the ruins of the Palatine Hill, an ancient place of great mystery and fascination. One of the 'seven hills of Rome', it holds an important place in mythology as the birthplace of the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. 

You can stroll through the grounds and the remains of walls and monuments, all the while getting a fantastic view of Rome from hillside, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum. 

6 - Stroll up the Spanish Steps and take a peek at the Trinita dei Monti church
The Spanish Steps are an incredibly popular tourist attraction, but despite the crowds, are a beautiful destination to visit. They were built between 1723 and 1726, alongside the gorgeous square Piazza di Spagna with the French Church Trinita dei Monti the crowning glory on top of the hill.

Take a peek inside the quiet, peaceful church and sit for a moment looking at the frescoes that adorn the walls. Then, spend some time in the square enjoying the beautiful view of the Barcaccia Fountain.

7 - Step inside the Basilica of St John Lateran
While Rome is full of impressive churches, one rarely tires of their spectacle and the gorgeous Basilica of St John Lateran, also known as the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, is no exception.

The original structure was built between 311-314AD and was at one point the residence of the popes. Today, you can marvel at the building's impressive white facade, and inside, gorgeous mosaics and even a fresco by renowned Renaissance artist Giotto. 

The church also hosts hugely significant artefacts such as a fragment of the table Jesus was said to have consumed the last supper on, and a trace of Jesus' blood. 

8 - Check out the Italian Parliament building
Rome's Palazzo Montecitorio building is an important governmental site that also cuts a fine figure, with a grand peach and white exterior. It features a gorgeous bell, which rings only on when the President of the Republic is elected. 

There are also other significant touches, such as the great bronze panel located inside in the Plenary Hall, the Corridor of Busts and the Hall of the She-wolf. 

9 - Enjoy the atmosphere of Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is one of Rome's most famous squares. It's bustling with cafes as well as buskers, street performers and artists, and hosts regular markets day and night, with crafts, souvenirs, twinkling lights and all sorts of delicious foods and drinks. 

Its other beautiful decorative and architectural features such as the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Church of St Agnes in Agony make it even more of a wonderful place to while away a couple of hours. 

10 - Head to the markets
See that world-famous Italian passion come to life at a market. Check out Rome's oldest market at the Campo dei Fiori, which serves up freshly caught fish, vegetables, fruit, spices and homewares daily from Monday to Saturday.

For an even more unique experience, head to the Underground market, which is open on the second Saturday and Sunday of every month. It's a flea market that features all sorts of trinkets and treasures, and you never know just what you'll find. 

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