Sightseeing in Rome
The Roman Empire was one of the biggest, most glorious empires in ancient Europe. Spanning almost 500 years, the empire that Julius Caesar built was impressive. Its architectural advances were the most modern of the day. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Forum, the aqueducts—all were built at different eras and displayed the splendor that was Rome.
Pantheon (Photo by Erik Hagreis)
One of the most famous landmarks in the city is the Colosseum (Piazza del Colosseo, +39 06 3996 7700). After the completion of this massive amphitheater in AD 96, it played host to gladiatorial contests, wild beast hunts, and other popular attractions at the time. Its design was revolutionary at the time, and some modern sporting event structures are similarly built. The Colosseum attracts almost 5 million visitors each year, making it the most popular tourist sightseeing attraction in Rome.
Colosseum (Photo by Anna Fox)
Carved out of two hills, Trajan’s Forum (Via IV Novembre 94 – 00187 Rome, +39 060608, website) is the most impressive of the imperial fora. The Emperor Trajan ordered the building of the forum, which also contained Trajan’s Markets and Trajan’s Column, commemorating the victory at Dacia. The succeeding emperor, Hadrian, built a temple to Trajan as well here. Although many parts of the forum now have been destroyed, some parts are amazingly well-preserved. This magnificent structure truly showcases Rome at the zenith of its power.
Trajan’s Forum (Photo by Arjan Dirkse)
The Roman aqueducts were another engineering marvel. At a time when running water was virtually nonexistent, save for brooks and streams, the aqueducts allowed water from the hills and valleys to flow into the city. These structures were mostly reduced to rubble in subsequent sackings of Rome, but a few still stand today. The Acquedotto Marcio (Piazza di Porta San Lorenzo, 1, +39 060608) is the longest surviving aqueduct, measuring more than 90 kilometers. The whole system served the whole Roman Empire, which makes it even more remarkable.
The Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda, +39 06 68300230) was originally built as Marcus Agrippa’s tribute to all the gods. This temple was rebuilt multiple times over the centuries, and it still stands today. In fact, it probably influenced western architecture more than any other single structure in the world. Thousands of visitors flock to this site annually. That is no surprise, as its magnificence simply is breathtaking.
Parco dell’Appia Antica
Parco dell’Appia Antica (Photo by Fabrizio Di Meo)
The via Appia was the main Roman highway built ahead of its time. It played a big part in the staying power of the Roman Empire. The Parco dell’Appia Antica (Via Appia Antica, 42, +39 06 5130682, website) was built along this highway. Aside from enjoying the scenery, visitors can also visit museums and catacombs in the same area. This wealth of sightseeing options makes this park a splendid choice for families and individual tourists alike.
One of the oldest zoos in Europe, Bioparco (Piazza del Giardino Zoologico, 1, 00197 Rome, +39 06 36 08 211, website) offers an extraordinary collection of wildlife and plants. When it was founded in 1911, it spanned 12 hectares of land, and it still stands as one of the monuments to animal conservation in Rome.
Rome is a hybrid of the ancient and the modern. Indeed, people with mobile phones and the latest vehicles mingle with ancient structures. This mixture of past and present is unique and vibrant. Truly, Rome is one of a kind, and its dominance on any tourist wish list remains unchallenged.
- Address: Piazza del Colosseo
- Tel: +39 06 3996 7700
- Opening hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. to one hour before sunset; check complete schedule here
- Cost: Full–12€; Reduced–7.50€
- Address: Via IV Novembre 94 – 00187 Rome
- Tel: +39 060608
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; December 24th and 31st 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Closed Mondays and January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th
- Cost: Adults–8€; Reduced–6€
- Address: Piazza di Porta San Lorenzo, 1
- Tel: +39 060608
- Guided tours only
- Entry: Full–3€; Reduced—1.50€
- Address: Piazza della Rotonda
- Tel: +39 06 68300230
- Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parco dell’Appia Antica
- Address: Via Appia Antica, 42
- Tel: +39 06 5130682
- Address: Piazza del Giardino Zoologico, 1, 00197 Rome
- Tel: +39 06 36 08 211
- Opening hours: October 25th to March 26th—9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; March 27th to October 24th—9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; extended opening Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays April 3rd to September 26th—9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Cost: Adults—12.50€; Children under 13—10.50€; over 60 years old—10.50€
- 48 hours in Rome – Weekend Edition
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