Top 10 Things To Do In Rome, Italy

With a history of over 3,000 years, Rome is the capital city of Italy. It is home to – among other amazing things – the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, piazzas – or city squares – and 280 fountains! Mamma mia! Wow!

The city of Rome is in the middle of the country of Italy. Italy is easy to find on a map because it’s shape looks like a boot jutting into the Mediterranean Sea.

Did you know that world-famous explorers Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo were Italian? Many famous scientists and mathematicians were born and raised in Italy. Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Alessandro Volta, and Fibonacci to name just a few.

Here are my 10 Top Things to Do in Rome!

1. Colosseum (Il Colosseo)

The Colosseum is located in the center of what was ancient Rome. It is the largest amphitheater in the world. You can’t miss it…it’s literally colossal!

Completed in 80 AD, it was built to highlight Roman engineering. It had over 80 entrances and could accommodate somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators.

It was used for gladiatorial contests, public events, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.

The Colosseum is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

To visit the Colosseum, be sure to pre-book tickets at the official CoopCulture.it site.

Coming Soon: More about the Colosseum.

2. Roman Forum (Fori Imperiali)

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum in Latin) was in use for 1400 years from around 800 BC to 600 AD. And for hundreds of years, it was THE center of day-to-day life in Rome.

Forum means “plaza” and is where elections, public speeches, trials, and victory marches (known as Triumphs) all took place.

Today it’s a mass of ruins and architectural fragments where your imagination can come to life thinking about all that has taken place at that spot.

Coming Soon: More about the Roman Forum.

3. Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to one of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain. Fontana di Trevi, in Italian! It got its name as it is built at the intersection of three roads “tre vie!”

Did you know Trevi Fountain is a wishing fountain?

According to legend, using your right hand to toss a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain will guarantee a return visit to Rome.

Each day nearly €4,000 in coins is tossed into the Trevi Fountain. The coins are collected every night and given to charity.

But sorry, no swimming allowed.

Coming Soon: Read more about the Trevi Fountain.

4. Pantheon

The Pantheon is the best-preserved ancient building in Rome. (Not to be confused with the Parthenon in Athens).

The name comes from the Greek word Pantheion meaning “temple of all the gods.”

Atop the building is a large circular concrete dome. Built nearly 1,900 years ago in 125 AD, it is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.

And, atop the dome is a large hole called an oculus. This allows the sun in and lights-up the entire building.

Coming Soon: More about the Pantheon

5. Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)

The Sistine Chapel is a large chapel in the Vatican Museums just outside of Rome.

The Vatican is actually a country…the world’s smallest nation, Vatican City, with 550 citizens! This is where the Pope lives, the leader of the Catholic Church.

There are so many famous buildings and works of art in Rome but one of my favorites is the ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel. It is HU-U-U-GE. It’s a painting bigger than a basketball court!

It was hand-painted by the famous Italian artist Michelangelo. The ceiling has 366 figures and tells biblical stories. It took four years to paint and finished in 1541. That’s a long time to paint!

Coming Soon: More about the Sixteenth Sistine Chapel.

6. Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

The famous Roman ruins at Torre Argentina span a full city block are the home to over 300 stray cats.

The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary (located down below in the ruins) is a shelter for homeless cats. Volunteers feed and care for all of these Italian gatti (gatti means cats in Italian). You can even go down inside to visit!

If you’ve read my KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Rome, Italy book, this is where I land and the beginning of the book.

Coming Soon: More about the Cat Sanctuary

7. Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità)

The Mouth of Truth or Bocca Della Verita in Italian (BOH-kah deh-lah verh-EAT-tah) is a large marble statue that was once a drain cover.

It is best known as a lie detector. Starting in the Middle Ages, some believed that if a person told a lie with their hand in the Mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. Chomp!

Careful!!!!

Coming Soon: Read more about the Mouth of  Truth

8. Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)

What is so exciting about some stairs?

Well, the Spanish Steps are the widest stairway in all of Europe and has 174 steps. There is a beautiful fountain at the bottom of the steps and gelato nearby!

The Steps is a popular spot to drink in la dolce vita, which means “the sweet life” as I did in my Rome adventure book.

Coming Soon: More about the Spanish Steps

9. Piazza Navona

One of Rome’s most famous piazzas is beautiful Piazza Navona (pee-YAHT-sah nah-VOH-nah). Piazza is Italian for a city square. This piazza was once a stadium.

It features many cafés, 3 wonderful fountains  – including one with a dolphin and another featuring Neptune, and an Egyptian obelisk. (An obelisk is a tall square tower with a pyramid-like point at the top).

Coming Soon: More about Piazza Navona

10. Rome Underground

With a history of nearly 3,000 years, there are many layers under the ground of Rome you can discover from excavations of ancient Roman drains and water cisterns to churches and catacombs.

Coming Soon: More about Underground Rome