Travel in time to Roman gladiator games at the Colosseum
The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most famous historical landmarks. The mighty arena was put into operation in the year 80 A.D., and in addition to the famous gladiator games, it was used for theatre, recreating famous battles and public executions. The Colosseum is very well preserved and when you walk around it is easy to imagine what it must have been like when the arena was filled with 65,000 Romans, eager for entertainment. At that time, there were four floors with the most expensive places for the rich at the bottom, while the lower classes of society were referred to the cheaper seats further up. Nowadays there is an exhibition that helps visitors see what the arena looked like when it was in use. The possibility to go on a guided tour is available, alternatively you can settle for a guidebook and explore the Colosseum at your own pace.
Ride the breathtaking roller coaster at the Rainbow Magic land
The Rainbow Magic land is an amusement park located a bit outside Rome in Valmontone. You can take their own special buses from the city center, but you can also get there by regular trains and buses. It’s full of various rides and activities for all ages. The roller coaster is absolutely amazing, but only for the really brave. Younger children can visit the cartoon characters from Winx in their fairy castle, and even get an autograph. You can also participate in a sea battle with ten boats that have water cannons. The fact is that one day is not enough to see and do everything, so you should plan what you want to spend time on. For those who want to spend several days in the amusement park, there are combination tickets that include both entrance to the park and overnight stay in hotels.
See the mighty St. Peter’s Basilica
The St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the main attractions of Rome and the largest building in the Vatican. It is one of the most important locations for the catholic church. Here Peter, the Apostle, is said to be buried, and also the remains of the first pope. In addition to this, the church contains large amounts of paintings and statues by Italian masters such as Bernini and Michelangelo. The church is estimated to hold up to 60,000 visitors. When visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, you can also take the stairs up the church tower and enjoy a fantastic view of Rome. When planning a visit, it is important not to wear shorts or have bare shoulders. Experiencing the Vatican is something no one should miss when you are in Rome and St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the main reasons for this.
Bathe all day at Hydromania
Hydromania is a very large water park located close to Rome. You can take their own bus that runs from Piazza della Repubblica or you can take the metro and bus. Children shorter than 1 meter do not pay entry, and you can also choose the half-day price. The park is full of pools and water slides of different sizes. During the holiday season, the lines for the slides can be quite long, especially on weekends. At the entrance there are lockers for keeping your valuables safe. Around the area there are small restaurants or kiosks where you can eat. You can book a package for hotel and park in one, but most choose to visit Hydromania only for the day.
Walk on Rome’s oldest road Appia Antica
Appian Way Regional Park is a large, protected park of 3,400 hectares. Part of the park consists of the ancient road Via Appia Antica, which is over 2,000 years old. Here you can walk, ride a bike or even take the car. It’s a special feeling to walk on such an ancient road. You can easily get here by public transport, there is a bus from the Piramide or Colle Albani metro stations. The best day to visit Via Appia Antica is on Sundays, when the road is off-limits for car traffic. You can also visit various museums and churches. One of the most famous is the Church of St. Sebastiano and its ancient catacombs.
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Relax in the lovely Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is a beautiful old park located almost in the middle of Rome. Both buses and metro travel here. Inside the area you can walk, rent bikes and Segway, or simply sit and enjoy the surroundings. The large pine trees provide shade, something you might need during the Italian summer. In the larger lake you can rent a rowing boat. This is a place where the Romans themselves come to take a break from traffic jams and stress. Despite this, it never feels full, the park is so large that there is plenty of room to find a quiet place. Here you will also find Villa Giulia where you can see the fantastic Etruscan exhibition, as well as other museums. It may pay to book in advance online for those who really want to visit any of these museums, but a spontaneous visit is also nice.
Visit the Pantheon – one of the world’s most famous temples
The Pantheon is a must when you’re in Rome. It was initially a small temple dedicated to all the gods of Roman mythology and was built almost 2,000 years ago. Like many other old buildings, it has been renovated and rebuilt several times, mainly by Emperor Hadrian in the year 126 A.D. It has been said that the Pantheon was drawn by angels, not men, because it is considered too beautiful to be built by mortals. The huge dome is very impressive, it is the largest masonry dome in the world. This is very impressive given how old it is. It is also one of the world’s best-preserved monuments. The reason the Pantheon is so well preserved is that it has always been in use, although in the 6th century it was converted from Roman temple to Catholic Church.
Enjoy organic and eco-friendly fun in Treja Adventure Park
The Treja Adventure Park is the largest adventure park in Lazio and completely eco-friendly. You don’t do anything that destroys nature, even though you do climb both up and down the trees. There are trails and activities for all ages, from the very smallest and up to adults. Here the whole family can have an amazing, active day. The park is a fun alternative to traditional amusement parks for those who like outdoor activities. During the summer holidays (June 6 to September 7), the park is open every day, otherwise only Saturdays and Sundays. December to February, the park is closed. It costs nothing to enter the park, and you can eat your own packed lunch. For the various activities you pay separately. To get here from central Rome, you should preferably have a car, but you can also take a bus.
Experience the daily life of ancient Rome at the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is located right next to the Colosseum and usually the same ticket can be used for both. This is a huge excavation of ancient Rome, the market square and the public space of Rome. It was here that the main buildings were located, such as the royal palace and the temple of Vesta. Many ruins have been identified, and a great deal has been preserved. Here, too, it is important to either take a guided tour or have a good guidebook with you, as there’s plenty to see. Around here, there are also other forums, or marketplaces, but the Roman forum, or Forum Romanum is the largest. Nearby is also the Forum museum where you can see a replica of what the Forum looked like once upon a time. The Roman Forum gives an insight into what day-to-day life of ancient Rome looked like in a way that other monuments cannot.
Climb the Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are a major tourist attraction, but even the Romans themselves like to come here. Like the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps have been featured in many films and literary works. The long staircase ends in a square where there is a fountain. The staircase is not actually Spanish, it was the French king who donated money to it when it was built in the 18th century. The Square at the base of the stairs is called Piazza De Spagna, and that’s most likely from where the name comes. The stairs themselves are very wide and have 138 steps. Both at the top and around the base are nice cafes and restaurants, although prices are quite high in this area. Otherwise, you just sit on a bench and people-watch. All around there are several exclusive stores with several famous brands.
Experience how a Roman emperor lived at Hadrian’s villa
Hadrian’s villa is in Tivoli, on the outskirts of Rome. It’s a large archaeological excavation that is very interesting to visit. When it was built, around 180 A.D., it was a kind of summer palace for Emperor Hadrian. But Hadrian liked it so well that he spent more and more of his time here and eventually reigned from the palace. The area is large, about a square kilometer and here there were palaces, theater, libraries and much more. All parts have not yet been excavated, but you can see plenty. The palace is absolutely amazing, it is said to be an architectural masterpiece. Lots of art and other objects have also been excavated, these items are shown in, among other places, the Vatican Museums. Hadrian’s villa provides a good insight into the luxury and opulence of a Roman emperor.
Relax on the Mediterranean coast at Ostia
Ostia officially belongs to Rome but is actually a small town right next to the Mediterranean Sea. Here there are several kilometers of lovely sandy beaches where you can swim and relax. Part of the beach is completely free of charge; these public beaches are called Cancello. There are showers, toilets and changing rooms, as well as several places to eat as well as kiosks. There is clean drinking water in a tap, and you can rent sun loungers and beach umbrellas if you wish. Although many come here during the summer days, there is plenty of room because the beaches are so long. A little closer to the city itself there are several establishments with private beaches, one by one on a long line. Here you must pay to get access to the beach, but in return you can enjoy better facilities. It is often cleaner here, since it’s private.
Walk around the Quartiere Coppedè
For those who are looking for a less common tourist destination, it is definitely worth making your way to Trieste in the northern part of Rome and visiting the Quartiere Coppedè. This is a whole neighborhood of 31,000 sqm designed by the eccentric architect Coppedè during a ten-year period up until his death in 1927. The architecture of Coppedè is usually included in the style of art nouveau and in the neighborhood you can find a fascinating mix of styles from different periods in time. Influences from the antiquity and the Middle Ages share space with more modern styles in a way that creates a unique kind of mood. Due to its unique design, Quartiere Coppedè has appeared in several films. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience to walk around here and visiting the neighborhood is free.
Walk around the world’s first Catacombs
Along the Via Appia Antica, you will find the catacombs of San Sebastiano. Here the saint of St. Sebastian is said to be buried and ever since the 5th century A.D., the catacombs have been used for funerals. In fact, this was where the word “catacombs” was first used to describe Christian burial chambers. In the Basilica here there are several holy catholic relics including the arrow that is said to have killed St. Sebastian. Here you will also find marble footsteps that are believed to have belonged to Jesus from his walk along Via Appia Antica on his way to Rome. Even if you are not a Christian yourself, these catacombs are a moving place to visit and one can easily combine a visit to the catacombs with exploring the rest of the park around Via Appia Antica.
Go to the flea market at Porta Portese on a Sunday
If you have time left over on a Sunday in Rome and like bargaining, the flea market at Porta Portese is well worth a visit. The market is only open on Sundays and is close to two kilometers long. There are several restaurants and coffee shops to sit down and rest at in case you need to take a break. At the market you can find a lot of cheap stuff. There are a lot of souvenirs and mass-produced gadgets but the closer to the Trastevere center you get, the more unique and interesting stands you will find. Here you will find clothes, old comic books, toys and many interesting gadgets. Most of it usually goes for 1-2 euros.
Visit the beautiful Chiesa di Santa Brigida
Chiesa di Santa Brigida is a grand building in downtown Rome, where Saint Bridget lived from 1353 until her death in 1373. Today, this medieval palace is partly a convent and partly a hotel run by the nuns themselves. The top floor houses the St. Bridget Museum and a small chapel. It was also here that Bridget lived and studied. Her deathbed is still to be seen and also medieval garb that is said to have belonged to the saint. Chiesa di Santa Brigida is at Piazza Farnese in the historic district (Centro Storico). One night in a double room costs about €200, so a one-day visit to the museum is usually enough for most visitors.
Visit the beautiful Rose Garden Roseto Comunale
Next to Circo Massimo, at the foot of the Palatine Hill, you will find one of the most romantic gardens in all of Rome. Here you can see close to 1100 different species of roses. The garden is only open during the spring, when the roses bloom and the garden is filled with lovely scents. Admission is free, both for locals and tourists. The gates to the garden are opened on April 21 (the birthday of the city of Rome) and are open until mid-June. It is a very quiet rose garden, although it is just a short distance from the lively traffic around Circus Maximus.
Enjoy a spectacular view from the Janiculum
The Janiculum is a hill west of the picturesque Trastevere district. From the top of the hill, you have a stunning view of the city’s ruins, monuments, towers and domes. A walk along the Janiculum is a must when you visit Rome. Families with children usually go up here on Sundays when you can see a traditional puppet theatre performance that both children and adults enjoy. At the Janiculum you can also visit the monastery of San Pietro in Montorio, a beautiful renaissance church built for Peter the Apostle, and Fontana dell’aqua Paola, a magnificent fountain erected by Pope Paul V in the late 16th century.
Take a magical bike ride through “the eternal city”
If you don’t feel compelled to rent a Vespa in the chaotic Rome, a regular bike is the perfect way to discover this magical city. Head out into the city on your own or book a three-hour sightseeing tour through Rome’s historic core. Bike along the beautiful coast of the Tiber, view the ruins and the monuments, peddle around the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, past the cobbled squares and the winding streets of the Jewish ghetto, explore the city’s most emblematic districts, such as Trastevere and the Vatican. Rome has 3,000 years of history, so you will surely get to learn a lot about its amazing history, and at the same time burn a few calories.