This article was published on July 9th, 2017
Make like Audrey Hepburn make Rome your next big holiday. The Italian capital is hotter than ever with some of the most amazing sites in the world. Home to more than just pizza, spaghetti, gelato, mopeds, fierce fashion, hot Italian men and Caesar’s Palace, there’s a little something for everyone in sexy and sophisticated Rome. Roma! Andiamo!
Go big, go hard, and go in it to win it like a gladiator. Start in the epicenter of the ancient world, at Italy’s most famous landmark, and at one of the remaining seven wonders of the ancient world: The Coliseum, baby! An iconic building from the times of Imperial Rome, the Coliseum was built between 72-80 AD and is the largest amphitheater ever erected.
Literally across the street is the gay bar Coming Out. Nowhere else in Italy or the world can you sip cocktails at a gay bar looking out onto an ancient World Wonder. Coming Out has great drinks, good food, hot servers, and is a great place to meet up to make plans for the night.
Next to the Coliseum is Palatine Hill, the oldest area of Rome and an open-to-the-public archeological site. This area was reserved exclusively for emperors of ancient Rome and was the site of magnificent imperial palaces.
The Altare della Patria or the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele is a monument that can be seen from nearly anywhere in Rome and was built to commemorate the reign of Italy’s first King, Victor Emmanuel II. Made of conspicuous white marble, The Altare della Patria houses the museum of Italian Unification as well as the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Visited by nearly 6 million people per year is the Pantheon. A crown jewel of the ancient Roman world, the Pantheon has survived two millenniums since its construction due mostly to its continued used for the last 2,000 years. A former Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a church open to the public. The largest non-supported domed roof sits atop this circular shaped building with a triangle façade and typical Roman columns.
On your way to the Trevi Fountain, take a stroll down one of Italy’s most famous thoroughfares: Piazza Navona. This stunning avenue is a pedestrian only series of plazas in length, dotted with stunning fountains, an Egyptian obelisk, and Baroque-style Roman marble buildings. The square has been a large open space for gathering since the 1400s, Piazza Navona is built upon the site of an ancient roman arena called the Stadium of Domitian.
Featured in some of the most iconic movies about the city, the Trevi Fountain is not to be missed. Finished in 1752, the Trevi Fountain stands on top of an ancient intersection of aqueducts and has been deemed good luck for centuries. This stunning fountain, made of travertine stone quarried 30 miles east of Rome, attracts millions of visitors a year hoping to make a wish and throw money into its clear blue water. The estimated $1.5 million US thrown into the fountain each year helps feed and shelter the homeless in Rome.
The nearby Spanish Steps are the perfect place to grab an espresso or some gelato, sit, and people watch. Made famous by Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and remembered on a Bob Dylan Album and in other movies like The Talented Mr. Ripley and the new The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Spanish Steps are iconic Rome and over fantastic views of the city from the top. Sitting on the stairs and taking in the views and people is a Roman rite of passage.
Feeling religious? Adventurous? Or just simply feel like country hopping without leaving the city? Head over during a weekday to the smallest country on Earth: the Vatican. Technically its own autonomous nation surrounded on all sides by Rome, Vatican City is the official seat of the Catholic Church and home to the most powerful man on earth: the Pope. Check out St. Peter’s square where the Pope addresses the nearly 1.5 billion Catholics worldwide. A must visit is the Sistine Chapel to witness, in person, Michelangelo’s stunning ceiling within St. Peter’s Basilica.
Living La Dolce Vida is about enjoying the sweet life. Eating the gorgeous food, people watching, and exploring this beautiful place that often seems more like a living, breathing museum than a real-life metropolis. In the Termini area, there are excellent ethnic eateries along Via Napoleone featuring foods from all over the world. 1820 is the oldest gelato establishment in Rome but nearby Il Gelato is the tastiest.
There is so much to do and see in Rome, it’s hard to get in everything you want. But have no fear: A City that has stood for over 2,000 years as an international destination will be ready for you to visit again. Così è la vita.