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  • ROME, ITALY CITY GUIDE

GETTING AROUND ROME

While Rome is easily walked, if you’re trying to squeeze in a lot, it’s worth taking the underground Metro. It’s clean and easy, with just two lines—east/west and north/ south. You’ll be whisked from one end of the city to the other in no time. It is always best to check with your hotel concierge as to the best means of transportation to get to any particular site of interest.

THINGS TO DO IN ROME

Map of points of interest in Rome1. COLOSSEUM & FORUM

METRO B: Colosseum. Reserve your tickets ahead of time. An audio guide or a licensed tour guide will enhance your appreciation and understanding of Roman life and the architecture. Walk across the Appian Way to the Roman Forum, where each building has an information plaque. At the end of the Forum, cross the main road to your right and gaze at the intricately carved Trajan Column depicting Roman victory in the Dacian wars.

2. PALATINE HILL

One of the oldest parts of the city, it towers over the Forum. Originally an affluent part of the city during the Republican period, at the start of the Empire, it became exclusive to the emperors including Augustus, Tiberius, Domitian, and Nero.

3. BATHS OF CARACALLA

Named for Emperor Caracalla, construction took around 19 years, and the baths were in use for nearly 400 years until an earthquake destroyed most of the building. Its estimated that capacity was around 1,600 at any given time, and around 6,000-8,000 Romans bathed here daily.

4. TREVI FOUNTAIN

This 18-century fountain is one of the most famous in the world and the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. It is tradition to stand with your back to the fountain and throw three coins with your right hand over your left shoulder—one to ensure you will return to Rome, one for a new romance, and one for marriage. Be on alert as there are pickpockets that operate among the crowds.

5. PANTHEON

An architectural marvel that paved the way for all future domes due to its unique construction method. Dedicated to all the Roman gods, it was one of the most important temples in the empire. Now, several famous people are entombed there including the Renaissance artist Raphael and the first king of unified Italy.

6. VATICAN CITY

METRO A: Ottaviano. Home to the famously extensive Vatican Museums from masterpieces to archaeology. The only way to see the Sistine Chapel is to go through the Museum. Reserve your ticket in advance.

Saint Peter’s Basilica is the centerpiece, with a soaring ceiling and elaborately decorated surfaces, plus one of Michelangelo’s most famous sculptures, La Pietà. You can also walk up the dome. For archaeology buffs and those who want something unique, reserve a spot on the tour through the excavated necropolis underneath the Basilica. Access is strictly limited and requests must be made months in advance to the Ufficio Scavi.

7. CASTEL SANT’ANGELO

Originally built as the tomb for Emperor Hadrian, it has been a fortress, a prison, and a papal residence. The views from the top over Rome are spectacular, and you can even count the seven hills that founded the city. The castle also has a good exhibit of armor, and the papal apartment rooms are beautifully hand-painted and include original furniture from the 1400s.

8. CAPPUCCIN CRYPTS

METRO A: Barberini. An artist in hiding used the bones of the dead monks to decorate the room—chandeliers, ceiling and window trim, and other ornamentation. Totally eerie and morbidly fascinating.

9. VILLA BORGHESE

Famous for its extensive, manicured gardens and art gallery featuring the collection of the Borghese, a noble family who moved to Rome in the 1500s.

10. VILLA TORLONIA

Originally built in the late 1700s, Mussolini lived here from 1925 to 1943. It is now a museum complex that encompasses several villas to tour and art exhibitions.

11. TRASTEVERE

It’s fun to wander around this colorful, bohemian, medieval neighborhood. You’ll find innovative trattorias, artisan shops, and fewer crowds than the rest of Rome’s better-known areas.

12. GELATERIA DELLA PALMA

A short walk north of the Pantheon on Via della Maddalena. This place has over 150 flavors, made fresh daily.

13. OSTIA ANTICA – day trip

45 minutes by local train, this is a well-preserved, Ancient Roman port city, A great example of a real Roman city, complete with beautiful mosaic floors, a small amphitheater, temples, apartment buildings, shops, latrines, frescoes, and more.

For a hotel recommendation, please see the Pre- & Post-Tour section of your Trip Planner.

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