This blog post was updated on September 12, 2014.

The Roman Forum

At one point in ancient history, Rome was indeed the capital of the world. If all roads lead to Rome, then you might need to find your way to this ancient historical city. Even if it is no longer capital of the world, and just the capital of Italy, it is still one of the biggest international tourist cities. Who wouldn't find themselves falling in love with the former lost empire with its grand examples of glorious architecture? It's easy to feel the European spirit when you're surrounded by old beauty and can reflect on this at a cafe downing a delectable cup of espresso.

The Roman Forum: Start your trip down ancient Rome with a visit to the Roman Forum. This location is where the Romans held central political and social activities. When the Roman Empire fell, it was the forgotten remainder of what used to be a grand central location. It is the state of the ruins that attracts tourists; making it an almost untouched part of the city.

Baths of Caracalla: Did you ever think large bathtubs could be so attractive? Used until the sixth century, this complex was used as thermal public baths. The baths were apparently more than just a place to freshen up; it was a leisure center with a public library to study languages. The complex has inspired many modern structures, including Penn Station in New York City.

San Crispino Gelato: If you've seen the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" you are well aware of the many places the main character visits during her time in Rome. Given as a tip to the real life author Elizabeth Gilbert, the "Best" gelato in Rome can be found at San Crispinos, which is now where tourists and locals flock. Gelato lovers can taste the Italian goodness with a sweet gelato treat.

Catacombs of Rome: Sometimes, you have to be creative if you want to see everything a city has to offer. This includes having to go underground to dig deeper to see the Catacombs of Rome. Originating in the middle of the second century, these cemetery complexes are 12 miles long and four levels deep. Many Christians, popes and martyrs were buried in these strange underground facilities.

Trajan's Market: Ever wondered where the first shopping mall was built? On the opposite end of the Coliseum, the Trajan's Market holds the title of the oldest mall. Shops and apartments were utilized during the Roman Empire.

Vatican City: Technically, the Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state located in Rome. It is the single most important place for Roman Catholics of one billion in the world that call the Vatican its capital. Whether or not you are a religious follower, the impressive sites of Vatican City are worth observing. At the center is St. Peter's Basilica with a grand circular piazza surrounded by impressive fountains and gardens. Also, make sure to visit the Vatican museum which not only displays the history of Catholicism but of Renaissance and Baroque art.

Trevi Fountain: Without a doubt, the Trevi Fountain is the most famous fountain in Rome and possibly the entire world. This two-tiered work of art is breathtaking at day, but especially at night. During your visit to the attraction, make sure to have plenty of euro coins in your pocket. Legend says if you throw a coin into the fountain, it ensures a return to the city. Anyone looking for romance will throw two coins, which will ensure a marriage will occur soon. Wondering where all those coins go? Apparently, 3,500 Euros are thrown daily and used for a supermarket for the poor Rome population.

The Coliseum: Even if the entire empire fell to ruins, many impressive and large buildings try to hold on to its foundation. The Coliseum is one of the greatest examples of a grand building during its era and even in our modern day. The amphitheater was built for entertainment purposes; used for games as a symbol of prestige and power. Even in its construction, it was built in mind of high society; the prominent citizens had higher seating while the poor had the lowest seats. What took place in these shows? Often comical acts, display of exotic animals, and of course, gladiator fights.

The Spanish Steps: One could easily call the Spanish Steps the best place to people watch. After having won a competition, its designer made the Spanish Steps in the 18th century despite controversy over its plans. The beautiful terrace garden steps were a huge success; at the base many tourists hang out at the Old Fountain to enjoy a lovely afternoon. Although the steps are almost always crowded, it is prohibited by Roman law to eat lunch on the steps. The popular attraction has seen lots of controversial problems, including in 2007 when a Colombian man attempted to drive a car down the Spanish Steps; thus damaging some of the 200-year old steps.

Piazza del Popolo:
If you had to look for a central meeting point during your travels in Rome, make it the Piazza del popolo. It is a large urban square which literally means the "People's Square." It's easy to find fellow travelers or friends with the large Egyptian obelisk at the center of the piazza. It was the starting point of the first and most important route going North in the Roman Empire. It was also a place for public executions; the last thankfully being in 1826.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About The Author