Rome has many areas in the city center, each one with its own unique touch and style. Where should you start from? Here are some guidelines.
1)TRASTEVERE: this area has the atmosphere of the middle ages and its built in a dedalus of narrow, curling, irregular streets. At the time when most of this area was built there was little need and space for carriages, it was just a place for poor people to sleep. Trastevere remained like this, a maze of narrow streets, since then.
You will find that Trastevere area is all year round the place where roman nightlife is cool, and it is famous for restaurants, clubs, small theaters and artisans in a picturesque maze of narrow alleyways.
At night, cafe and restaurants tables spill out over to the pavement, especially around Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. During the early morning, this friendly neighborhood of antique charm and unique narrow streets shows its unique atmosphere.
2)THE SPANISH STEPS: its called “Scalinata” in italian. The steps are found and recognized by a rectangle like shape and an early Baroque water fountain called “Fountain of the Old Boat” (“La Fontana della Barcaccia“), it was built in 1627-29 at the foot of the stairs.
This is a charming and very rich area, home of the most famous fashion brands (both italians and international). It’s also a meeting point and a top tourist attraction. From aside the square you can go for a romantic or scenic ride in a carriage pulled by a horse around Rome.
3)THE PANTHEON: “Temple of all the gods”, was built in 27 B.C, converted into a church in 609. This perfect square rests on a cylinder measuring 142 feet wide and 142 feet high.
Incredibly well preserved, probably among the best among all of the Roman buildings and monuments in Rome, definitely a must see in your tour planning.
There is nothing more relaxing then having your Italian cappuccino, pasta or pizza in one of its many neighboring restaurants while facing this magnificent wonder of the world. Some of the best souvenir shops and “Gelato” in Rome can be found anywhere in this area.
4)THE COLOSSEUM: for a long time it has been known as the “Flavian Amphitheater”, it has 55k spectators seats. Gladiators and wild animals fights were hosted here, under the emperor eye to entertain the Romans.
It was ordered to be built by the Emperor Vespasian between 70 and 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD by his son Domitian. Even after its glorious days, today it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Rome.
Sometimes, special events are held inside. Today’s stadiums and structures have been inspired by the concepts introduced in the Colosseum‘s building structure.
5)THE VATICAN, St. PETER’S CHURCH: this is were the independent state of The Vatican is. Defined since February 11, 1929 it’s home of the Pope and were the impressive St. Peter basilica is. During each Sunday, the popes give out masses to the public.
In this occasion the big square in front of st Peter fills with people coming to listen to the inspiring and powering words of the Pope.
The Vatican also houses some of the best paintings, masterpiece and archeological finds in the world. It’s worth coming to Rome even just to witness at this incredible collection. The area is nonetheless a quiet, residential area to stay and visit.
6)TREVI FOUNTAIN: is one of the most beautiful and well known tourist attraction in Rome.It’s in the really city center, and it’s the largest standing and most impressive Baroque fountain of Rome, it measures 25.9 meters (85 feet) high and 19.8 meters (65 feet) wide.
The Trevi Fountain derives its name from its position at the intersection of three roads (tre vie). The building behind Trevi Fountain is called Palazzo dei Duchi di Polis, which represents a modeled replica of the triumphal arch. The traditional legend says that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are sure to return to Rome!
7)CAMPO DEI FIORI: during the day is conquered by many stand owners selling their freshly goods and vegetable products in its famous daily outdoor market. A charming location to have a quick bite to eat, wonder around, and people watching.
Campo dei Fiori is full of interesting small boutiques and souvenir shops. During the whole year, people sit outside the Piazza surrounded by many outdoor Trattorias and espresso bars.
At night, the area tunrs into a very cool place for entertainment, music and social drinking, with an animated atmosphere where people get together and enjoy the evening. It’s by far the most popular tourist attraction in the summer nights together with Trastevere.
8)PIAZZA NAVONA: built over the oval structure of the “Domitian Stadium”, at the time of the ancient romans it used to be flooded with water to stage naval battle ships and it was seating 30,000 spectators.
Today, you will be astonished by the three magnificent fountains in marble designed by Bernini. An Egyptian Obelisk lies in the middle of the square. The streets surrounding Piazza Navona are full of small shops and fine restaurants.
Epiphany (la “Befana”) is hosted here and from the 8th December until 6th of January Navona square is the host of this event.