5 of Rome’s Top Attractions [Guide]

Rome: The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, and the list goes on. Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll see when traveling to Rome, Italy.

On every corner in Rome (it seems), there is something to look up at in amazement.

As you plan your Rome itinerary, here’s a quick guide to some of the top attractions.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Arguably the most iconic standing structure in Rome, the Colosseum attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the world.

When it’s busy, lines can be long, even during slower times of the day. However, there are a few ways to beat them, including the Roma Pass, which gets you into some museums and ruins for free. Transportation is included too.

What to know:

  • You can’t bring liquids in with you
  • There is a security check
  • It’s flooded with people

You might want to try catching the last tour of the day. That way, you’ll be able to go through with more freedom, while also learning about a good deal of its history, some of which you might not pick up if you’re going quickly during peak hours.

The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Ashley, my girlfriend and trusty travel companion, and I marched straight to the Trevi Fountain first thing after checking into our hotel in Rome. Bottom line: It’s an incredible experience.

You reach this well-preserved compilation of carvings after passing numerous shops tucked into alleys and side streets. Around the corner, you’d hardly guess what you were about to run into.

There are what seem like thousands of people sitting, standing, crowding and picture-taking around the fountain — they throw change in there too, for one reason or another.

I’m not sure if there is a good time to visit this place without dozens of people gathered around, but even if, the experience of visiting this monumental place in Rome is worth every bit of rubbing shoulders and the many “Excuse me’s” that are required to get near it.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

By the time we reached the Pantheon, it was getting late and we had been traveling for a good portion of the day. And, it was closed when we arrived on scene.

So, unfortunately, we didn’t actually make it inside. Next time.

It wouldn’t have been a long wait, but there weren’t many people nearby so we managed to see inside, walk around and take in this massive building. There was also a street musician covering songs from American bands, like Nirvana. So, despite not making it inside, it was still a great time visiting the Pantheon.

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps in Rome, ItalyThe Spanish Steps were closed off when we went, which, I think might’ve diverted some of the afternoon foot traffic away.

However, the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Spanish Steps aren’t all that far apart from one another. Your plans might not take you in that order, but when you’re looking for a day’s worth of sightseeing, these three bundle together quite well.

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

I’m not big on joining tour groups when traveling, but the Vatican — which, is in Vatican City, surrounded by Rome — is one instance where I highly recommend it.

We also visited the Vatican the day after Mother Teresa was canonized, which brought in droves of people from everywhere.

What to know:

  • Our tour costs about €100 for the two of us.
  • You skip the lines
  • You learn… a lot

Without the tour guide, I don’t think I would have taken in half of the Vatican’s history, interpretations, and the sort. Overall, it made for a fuller experience.

And again, you skip the lines.

What To Do After Sightseeing

…Go enjoy yourself at a nice restaurant with great people.

The atmosphere in Rome was much different than our stay in Sorrento but in a good way.

One of my favorite times in Rome was sitting down outside on the patio of a restaurant near the Colosseum, eating great food and enjoying a much-needed break from the city’s hustle.

Cheers to a great time traveling in Italy.

Ashley Perron, my traveling companion