Rome’s Top Attractions

Basilica di San Pietro

The largest church in the world is also the most astonishing architectural masterpiece of the Renaissance. Built over the tomb of St Peter, this complex simply oozes history. The present basilica, which was completed in the 16th and 17th centuries, contains some of the greatest art ever produced in Italy. The basilica is meant to be awe-inspiring, and you won’t be disappointed. From Michelangelo’s Pieta to the Vatican treasury and the Historical Museum, the wealth of art and antiquities is incomparable. A visit to the grottoes, which contains the tombs of all the Popes and of St Peter himself, is a must.

Catacombs of St Domitilla

catacombs-of-st-domitillaThe oldest catacombs in Rome are also the most enjoyable. Only small groups can be guided through the vaults and most guides are truly entertaining and personable. After entering through a sunken 4th century church, your tour will last from 30 minutes to an hour

Coliseum

You can’t go to Rome without visiting the Coliseum. This sports arena was built to hold 50,000 screaming Romans as they watched gladiators battle with exotic wild animals. The proportions of this structure are so perfect, it seems an illusion. Be sure to visit at night when the arches are dimly lit, creating an unforgettably romantic atmosphere.

Musei Vaticani

The Vatican Museums house the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and dozens of artistic masterpieces. The museums are just a part of the Vatican Palace, with its 1,400 rooms, chapels and galleries. This is one of the world’s great repositories of art and should not be missed.

Pantheon

A visit to this perfectly proportionate pagan temple will take you back to the early days of Rome as you stand under the opening in the roof and look up at the eye of heaven. The Pantheon sits in the lively Piazza della Rotonda, a wonderful plaza with cafés and excellent people-watching. It was in this very piazza that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Brutus.