1 – Musei Vaticani
|Admission||Last Sunday of every month, free entrance from 9 am to 12.30 pm;|
The Vatican Museums boast one of the world’s greatest art collections.
These buildings are packed with treasures accumulated over the centuries by the popes.
There’s the incomparable Sistine Chapel, such priceless ancient Greek and Roman sculptures as Laocoön and the Belvedere Apollo, rooms whose walls were almost completely executed by Raphael, and endless collections of art ranging from (very pagan) Greco-Roman antiquities to Christian art by European masters.
2 – Roseto Comunale
|Admission||From April 21 to June 14 every day, from 08.30 to 19.30, including Sundays and public holidays.|
Covers an area of about 10,000 square meters to the light of oldest, in an area in the hill, from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the Circus Maximus.
The rose garden is open only during a few spring months, for flowering grounds, home to about 1,100 different species of botanical roses, ancient and modern from around the world.
3 – Isola Tiberina
|Admission||The small island is connected to the mainland by the Cestium bridge on one side and by the Fabricium bridge|
Did you know there was an island right in the middle of Rome? It has quite an enchanting history.
Isola Tiberina is the world’s smallest inhabited island — to get there, you’ll cross Rome’s oldest original bridge, not far from Capitoline Hill. The island, while cute to stroll around, is also home to a tenth-century basilica and fully operational hospital.
Beyond the island, you can see the remains of the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge)on the river, all that remains of the first stone bridge to span the Tiber. Built between 179 and 142 BC, it collapsed at the end of the sixteenth century.
4 – Il Museo delle Mura
|Admission||Open from 9am to 2pm from Tue to Sun.|
The Museum of the Walls is located in Porta San Sebastiano, one of the largest and best preserved parts of the Aurelian Walls.
The museum gives an interesting glimpse at the history of the walls and gates, but even better is the access to the top of the wall itself. You can walk along the pathway that runs between the battlements and see the staircases in the towers, the archery and artillery niches, and the grand arches that open on the city-side of the wall.
The museum occasionally hosts special exhibits and events.
5 – Quartiere Coppedè
|Admission||Best entered from the corner of Via Tagliamento and Via Dora|
Strange beauty in the smallest district in Rome.
Little known by tourists, it is one of Rome’s architectural gems, worth exploring for its rich, unique architecture and beautiful streets.
Projected by the architect Gino Coppedè between 1913 and 1927 this complex is formed by 18 palazzi (buildings) plus a number of other palazzine that surround the focal point of the zone which is a small square called Piazza Mincio, with a fountain called Fontana delle Rane (fountain of the frogs).
It’s possible to find elements of liberty style, art nouveau and baroque and even some medieval characteristics. Coppedè’s target was without any doubt to recreate a unique atmosphere that gives the visitor feelings of joy, chaos and fear.
6 – Basilica di San Paolo – St Paul’s Outside the Walls
|Admission||Summer daily from 7am to 6.30pm | Winter from 7am to 6pm|
The basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura (St Paul’s Outside the Walls) is one of Rome’s five patriarchal
basilicas, occupying the site of St Paul’s tomb.
Perhaps even more than St Peter’s, it impresses with sheer size and grandeur, and whether you enter by way of the cloisters or the west door, it’s impossible not to be awed by the space of the building inside, its crowds of columns topped by round-arched arcading, and the medallions of all the popes fringing the nave and transepts above, starting with St Peter to the right of the apse and ending with Benedict XVI at the top of the south aisle.
There’s also the cloister, just behind here – probably Rome’s finest piece of Cosmatesque work, its spiralling, mosaicencrusted columns enclosing a peaceful rose garden.
7 – Pantheon
|Admission||Monday–Saturday from 8.30am to 7.30pm | Sunday from 9am to 6pm|
The Pantheon is the most complete ancient Roman structure in the city
Originally, the Pantheon was a small temple dedicated to all Roman gods.
The most fascinating part of the Pantheon is its giant dome, with its famous hole in the top (The eye of the Pantheon, or oculus). The dome was the largest in the world for 1300 years and until today it remains the largest unsupported dome in the world.
The Pantheon has a perfect proportion in fact that the distance from the floor to the top of the dome is exactly equal to its diameter.
The Pantheon now contains the tombs of the famous artist Raphael and of several Italian Kings and poets. The marble floor, which features a design consisting of a series of geometric patterns, is still the ancient Roman original.
The Columns support a triangle pediment with an inscription attributing the Pantheon to Marcus Agrippa (“M•AGRIPPA•L•F•COS•TERTIUM•FECIT” meaning “It was built by Marcos Agrippa in his third consulate”). It is the only remain from the original temple built by Agrippa and it is believed that Hadrian left it as a gesture to his predecessor when he rebuilt the pantheon.
8 – Bocca della Verità – Mouth of Truth
|Admission||Summer daily 9.30 am–6.00 pm | Winter 9.30 am–5 pm)|
The Bocca della Verità, an ancient Roman drain cover in the shape of an enormous face that in medieval times would apparently swallow the hand of anyone who hadn’t told the truth.
It was particularly popular with husbands anxious to test the fidelity of their wives.
Now it is one of the city’s biggest tour-bus attractions.
9 – Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
|Admission||Church entrance |daily from 7.30 am to 9.00 pm (August: daily from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm / from 4.00pm to 9.00pm)|
At night the fountain in the center, created by Carlo Fontana in 1692, is a popular meeting place on the floodlit square.
Dominating the square is the church of Santa Maria probably Rome’s oldest church and certainly one of the most intimate and charming.
Legend claims it was founded on a spot where olive oil miraculously sprang forth on the day of Christ’s birth.
10 – San Pietro in Vincoli – St. Peter in Chains
|Admission||Spring/summer daily from 7:30am to 12:30pm and from 3:30pm to 7pm | fall/winter to 6pm.|
This church was founded in the 5th century to house the chains that bound St. Peter in Palestine (they’re preserved under glass).
But its drawing card is the tomb of Pope Julius II, with one of the world’s most famous sculptures: Michelangelo’s Moses.