Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the most visited cities in the world. Rome played a significant role in World History. Before you’ll visiting this city, it’s important to know what are the things that made Rome such a famous city.
What is Rome Known For? Rome is known for its stunning architecture, with the Colleseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain as the main attractions. It was the center of the Roman Empire that ruled the European Continent for several ages. And, you’ll find the smallest country in the world in Rome; Vatican City.
There’s a lot more to learn about Rome. We will tell you all about the great history of this city and the places you need to visit during your trip to Rome.
The Famous City of Rome
When you ask people what they know about Italy, most of them will answer the question as followed. ‘Italy is known for its architecture, great food, amazing landscapes, and beautiful cities such as Rome.’ Of course, there is not a wrong answer to that question, but there’s a lot more to see and do in Italy. Which you can read in our different Italian Articles.
The City of Rome is perhaps the most famous city in Italy and maybe in the world. Rome was built 753 BC and was the capital of the Roman Empire during its reign over the European Continent. Nowadays, Rome is one of the most visited cities in Italy and the world. Combining world history, fantastic architecture, and luxury life with a great climate, Rome is a fantastic place to spend your time during your holidays.
The historic center of Rome is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. Did you know that Italy has 51 Unesco World Heritage sites? It’s the country with the most Unesco World Heritage sites in the world!
One of the most famous buildings in Rome is the Colleseum, and according to Tripadvisor, in 2018 the Colleseum was the world’s most visited tourist attraction with 7.4 million visitors in a year! You reckon that a visit to Rome will be a busy visit, but it’s definitely worth your time.
Roman Influences In Our Daily Life
The City of Rome built in 753BC, which makes the city over 2500 years old. The Roman empire which dated 27BC until 1453AD was one of the biggest and long-lasting empires in the world. Because they ruled over a big part of the European and Eastern Asian continent, we still see the influences in our daily life of the early roman civilization. The Romans were experts in engineering, so not only beautiful historic buildings, we thank the Romans for, but also things that improve our way of living.
Sewage, Public Toilets, and Baths
The Romans designed aqueducts, where the first one dates back 312BC! They didn’t invent aqueducts (first canals were found in early Egypt for irrigation) but took the knowledge to a new level. With concrete pipelines for freshwater supplies into the cities. Which improved health and sanitation. Some of the aqueducts are still in use nowadays; a historical (restored) aqueduct supplies the water in the Trevi Fountain!
Romans were known to involve the public with the things that were happening within the city and empire. Early newspapers contained messages about military and legal issues. But also human interest stories and birth and death notices. First newspapers date back around 131BC. The old newspapers are known as ‘Actia Diurna’ (Daily Acts) and are very similar to the newspapers as we know nowadays.
The Romans were known for their welfare. Many government programs, as we know, now, are originated in ancient Rome. One of them is the help for the needy and the poor. Subsidized programs for food, education, and clothing date back to 122BC. The first program in Rome consisted of a list with different goods that had a fixed low price, so it was affordable for every citizen.
Highways and Roads
The Roman Empire was so big it ruled over almost the whole European continent. It was essential to maintain a good administration and communication within the different cities of the Roman Empire. So the engineers developed a sophisticated road system, curved roads that allowed water drainage. Many of the ancient roads are still in use today.
They used the roads for military purposes, pass on intelligence, and other essential messages.
The Historical Centre of Rome – Famous Highlights
Walking around the historic center of Rome is like walking in an open-air museum. We often say that Italy feels like walking around in a museum, but that’s simply because there are so many beautiful buildings to find.
When you are preparing a trip to Rome, it’s important to know which buildings you’ll find in the historical center. So we made a list of the most important sites in the historical city of Rome.
The world’s biggest Amphitheatre. Built between 72 and 80 AD. The Colleseum was used for gladiator fights and public spectacles. It could hold 80.000 visitors! Later, in the Early Medieval era, it was used for housing, religion quarters, and as a fortress. The Colleseum is partly damaged because of many earthquakes, and also stone robbers. It is one of the buildings that belong to the New 7 World Wonders of the World.
Maybe this is one of the best-preserved buildings of al ancient roman buildings. The construction date is uncertain, but probably somewhere around 126AD. The Roman emperor Hadrian completed the pantheon. One of the most impressive features of the Pantheon is the coffered dome with the central opening on top.
Since the 7th century, the Pantheon is used as a church. Two Italian Kings, Vittoria Emanuelle II, Umberto I, and Queen Margherita are buried in the Pantheon.
Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Stairs)
With 135 steps, it’s the most impressive stairs in Rome. Dating back from the Baroque period and sculpted by the Benini family. The Spanis Steps are a beautiful place to visit, with the many garden terraces on the different levels, and on the foot, Fontana Della Barracia Fountain of the Boat.
It’s maybe the most famous fountain in the world. Constructed in 1732 and designed by the famous Italian architect Nicola Salvi.
Fun Fact, coin throwing with the right hand over the left shoulder, which seems to give you good luck, is a regular thing in the Trevi Fountain. Around € 3000 is thrown in the fountain every day!
St. Peters Basilica
The main basilica in Vatican City. Constructed in 1506. Described as the greatest of all churches in Christendom. The Catholic tradition says that this is the burial site of St. Peter, the first bishop of Rome.
Nowadays it’s a famous place for pilgrimage and the place where the Pope presided several liturgies a year.
This place consists of several ruins of ancient government buildings of the City of Rome. In ancient Rome, this was the center of day to day life. It has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world. Many of the oldest and important structures dating back from the 8th Century BC!.
Altare Della Patria (Vittoriano)
Also known as Altar of the Fatherland. Constructed in 1888, one of the newest buildings in Rome. It’s a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy.
Officially its called Vatican City State. Since 1929 the Vatican City is recognized as an independent county within the city of Rome. It’s also the smallest country in the world, with only 44 hectares and 1000 people living within the country.
It’s ruled by the Pope, who’s not only head of the Vatican City but also Bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.
Within Vatican City, there are many historical buildings to find. So even for people who are not catholic and on a pilgrimage, it’s interesting to visit. The Vatican Museums are maybe the most impressive to visit. With a wide collection of Roman sculptures and renaissance art. The Vatican Museum contains over 70.000 different works, but only 20.000 are on display.
Trastevere – unique roman vibe
The historic center of Rome is famous all over the world. But when you are visiting the city of Rome, it is also good to know where you can go after you visited all the historical beauty. Many different neighborhoods are surrounding the historical center of Rome, but our favorite is Trastevere. And mainly because we are food lovers and enjoy excellent cuisine and drinks! And let’s face it, a famous city without a great neighborhood for food and drinks is not complete!
Trastevere is easily to get to from the historical center of Rome. It’s a nice walk at the end of the day among the Tiber river. Make sure to start at the beginning of the night with some drinks and finger food. It doesn’t matter which trattoria (classic Italian restaurant) you choose, their all good!
After some drinks, it’s nice to walk around the old streets of the neighborhood. Finding another restaurant where you can have a classic Italian dinner, which you’ll end with homemade tiramisu and Limoncello!
The city of Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world. Famous for its role in world history. And with the unique mixture of many Unesco World Heritage sites, ancient buildings and, modern cafes and restaurants its, a must-visit for every traveler.
5 Must-Haves For Every Traveler
These items are must-haves for every traveler, and I can highly recommend them without any hesitation:
This lightweight hammock is made of ultra-light parachute silk material. The hammock fits in a small portable bag and is very-easy-to you use. You can relax comfortably anywhere: on the beach, by the lake, in the forest, campsite, your hotel, Airbnb and even at home!
The North Face Backpack:
This is a high-quality, versatile, and practical daypack from one of the best brands in the world. It is a perfect choice, no matter what kind of travel plans you have.
Oasis Kindle E-reader:
A waterproof E-reader for unlimited reading while traveling. It is a must-have for every traveler that enjoys reading. This E-reader has an adjustable warm light to shift screen shade from white to amber. It also works with Audible, so you switch effortlessly from reading to listening.
Sony Noise-canceling headphone:
A world-leading noise-canceling headphone to make your travel trip more comfortable and less exhausting. One of the best travel products out there. Either for listening to music, podcasts. Or to block all the noise during traveling, for example, when you’re in an airplane.
GoPro HERO 8:
We’ve been using a GoPro camera since the first generation came on the market. It is our go-to travel camera ever since. Perfect for making the best pictures and memorable videos. It’s easy to use, waterproof and fits in your pocket or daypack. The new generation has a built-in stabilizer so that videos will be even better quality!
Check out our recommendations page for more travel gear and recourses.
How Many Days do You Need to Spend in Rome? To explore most of the city its recommended to stay 2-3 days in Rome. Visiting several historical sites and museums can take a lot of time. It is essential to plan ahead so you know what you want to see during your visit. We wrote a city guide to the best of Rome to help you plan your stay.
How Can I Go to Italy for 10 Days? It’s easy to fly to Italy and explore the country for 10 days. The roads in Italy are good so you can easily drive around. If you decide to travel by train, there’s also a good public transport network in Italy. However, ten days in Italy is very short to see all the highlights of the country. But when you have limited time, you will need to make some choices. The Tuscany region is a beautiful region to make a road trip and see a lot of Italy in a few days.