As one of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet, Rome is full of hotspots ranging from historical to entertaining. In the historic city centre stands the world-famous Flavian Amphitheatre, better known to most as simply the Colosseum. While this incredible structure is nearly 2,000 years old and definitely deserves to be seen, it is not all that Rome has to offer. If you desire to venture away from the Colosseum district and embrace all the other hotspots in Rome, you’ll want to include as many of the following attractions and activities into your Italian getaway as possible.
Throw a Coin in the Trevi Fountain
One of the most iconic landmarks in all of Rome is the Trevi Fountain, located in the modern city centre of Rome. Built in 1762, the fountain is an enormous and breathtaking display marking the spot of a 2,000 year-old aqueduct. Thanks to being featured in films like La Dolce Vita by Fellini as well as local lore and tradition, the Trevi Fountain is often used as a meeting place for friends and a romantic spot for lovers. Don’t show up to the fountain empty-handed, because you’ll want to throw in at least one coin. Throwing a single coin in the fountain’s water is said to ensure that you come back to Rome in the future, two coins supposedly helps you fall in love with an attractive Roman man or woman, and three coins is said to grant you the wish to marry that Roman citizen right in the heart of Rome.
Explore the Vatican
Rome and Vatican City are two destinations that go hand in hand. While Vatican City is technically its own state, its location in the heart of Rome ensures that the two are forever intertwined. As the head of the Catholic Church, the Vatican is a religious spot. However, you certainly don’t have to be Catholic in order to appreciate the beauty of this incredible destination. Spot the colourful Swiss Guard protecting the Vatican, and be sure to tour the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica, arguably the most famous cathedral in the world. If you don’t have time to see the Pope at his scheduled appearances on Wednesdays and Saturdays, still explore the art in the Vatican Museums and take photos from the vantage point of St. Peter’s Square.
Shop in Campo de’ Fiori
If you have come to Rome specifically for the shopping, you might find yourself gravitating toward the boutique shops and upscale designer stores along via Condotti. While this is a wonderful place to shop, a visit to Campo de’ Fiori can be a much more interesting glimpse into the culture of the Italian city. Every morning before dawn, vendors with fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers start setting up at the outdoor market of Campo de’ Fiori. This is the oldest market in the city, and it is frequented by locals as well as travellers. As the sun starts to rise and people begin passing on their way to work, musicians, and artists join the crowds for impromptu performances, and the square is alive with colour, fragrances from the fresh flowers, and wonderful food available from the area cafes.
Taste Gelato in One of the Piazze
One of the things making Rome so spectacular is the piazze, or piazzas, dotted throughout the urban landscape. It is hard to walk for more than 10 minutes in any direction in Rome without stumbling onto a pedestrian plaza lined with cafes and with a fountain or sculpture in the centre. Rather than taking a photo and just passing through, sit for a minute and really enjoy the incredible scenery. If you are in the mood for a sweet snack, find one of the ubiquitous gelaterias and order a scoop or two of the creamy, refreshing gelato.
Enjoy the Nightlife in Nomentano
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a few drinks in Rome, you have hundreds of options to choose from. For cheaper drinks, a young crowd, and late-night clubs, however, there are few places that can compare to the district of Nomentano. This is where the University of Rome, or La Sapienza, is located, and it is a hub of nightlife for those in their 20s. Keep in mind that in Italy, nightlife gets a late start, and it is not uncommon for clubs to be empty until midnight, when groups head there from dinner or from the smaller bars and lounges in the area.
Admire the Pantheon
Built by the Emperor Hadrian nearly 2,000 years ago, the Pantheon is one of the truly iconic and must-see landmarks in the city of Rome. Unlike most other religious structures, the Pantheon was built to honour all of the gods, hence the name. The Pantheon is best known for two things: a huge domed roof and a giant hole in the centre of that dome. While it may seem strange, it is actually an architectural marvel. When the building was constructed, the only way a dome so large could be structurally sound is with a hole in the centre to reduce the weight. Even today, the Pantheon is the third-largest domed building on the planet. If it is raining, be sure to make your way to see the Pantheon, because there are few things as incredible as seeing it rain inside a 2,000 year-old church filled with magnificent art and sculpture.
The Colosseum might be one hotspot in Rome, but that isn’t the only attraction worth visiting. From a quiet scoop of gelato while people-watching in the Piazza Navona to throwing a coin and wishing for love at the Trevi Fountain, Rome is full of unforgettable hotspots that will make for a truly memorable getaway.