Rome, the capital of Italy, is one of the oldest cities in the world, established almost 2800 years ago. It is the third most visited country in the European Union having more than 10 million visitors per year. That is more than twice the city’s entire population!
Looking at the numbers, it’s mindblowing how many tourists come to Rome. It will make you wonder why do they come to Rome? Is it because of history? architecture? Or its beauty that was developed throughout the centuries?
The fact is, Rome is beautiful in many aspects. Undoubtedly, that’s the reason millions of tourists flock to Rome every single year.
In this blog post, I share my opinion on why Rome is such a beautiful city that everyone must not miss visiting when they come to Italy or Europe. I share facts and images of the admirable attractions in Rome, as well as the beautiful experiences you can have in each, to justify my opinion. By the end of this post, you can find tours that you can join in case you want to have a convenient and insightful visit to Rome.
Rome is honestly a worth visiting place regardless of whether you are Christian Catholic or not. I’ll explain why:
Why Is Rome Beautiful
Rome is beautiful because, in this city, you can find not only numerous masterpieces of the world’s most influential artists, as well as impressive architecture manifesting the greatness of the Roman Empire. But, also marvelous works of ancient engineering that withstood the test of time. Most importantly, Rome is full of interesting history that will forever bring wonder to the minds of its visitors.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Rome (that makes Rome beautiful)
To prove that Rome is beautiful, I show you the ten most beautiful tourist attractions in Rome, which I think every tourist must not miss when visiting Rome as well. Let’s kick off the list with the most famous landmark in Italy, the Colosseum.
Colosseum makes Rome beautiful for the fascinating historical events embedded in its entirety, and most importantly, for being a marvel of architecture and engineering that withstood the test of time. Did you know that the Roman Colosseum is only made of stone and concrete?
And for more than 2000 years now, it is still intact for us to behold.
The interiors of the Colosseum are not that physically attractive. Still, it’s what could transport you back 2000 years ago when more than 50,000 Romans watched different events, ranging from public execution to the most entertaining ones. There are wild animal fights, gladiator games, and even naval battles!
Naval battles in the Colosseum? Yes! The Romans were able to flood the Colosseum with water and bring ships inside. That’s really impressive and mind-blowing, thinking, where did these guys get water?
What’s really architecturally remarkable about the Colosseum is its exterior, which is absolutely Instagrammable too. From afar, each floor may look very similar. But come closer, and you will see that it has different styles for each level.
To be specific, starting from the very top, the architectural styles you will see on the Roman Colosseum are Corinthian, Ionic, and Doric.
Next to the Colosseum is the Roman Forum, a public space where the Romans spent their social, political, and religious life back in the day. It is already an archeological site today. But the most interesting parts are still present, adding to Rome’s historical charm.
Roman Forum houses many structures like Via Sacra, Curia, the temple of Divus Romulus, the temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the arch of Septimius Severus, the house of the Vestals, and many more. To get more insights into the happenings in the Roman Forum, watch this video from Ted-Ed:
The best view of the Roman Forum can be seen from Palatine hill, which overlooks the entire Roman Forum. At that point, you can see almost all the historical structures of the historic center, from the Colosseum (east of the Roman Forum) to the end of the Roman Forum at the west.
Another attraction that simply makes Rome Beautiful is the Trevi Fountain, a fountain located at the intersection of three streets of Rome: Poli Street, Delle Muratte Street, and De’ Crocicchi Street. It makes Rome beautiful for being an attractive artwork you can visit for free and for the cute tradition it lets the visitors experience during their visit.
Trevi Fountain is a colossal artwork, standing 26 meters (85.3 feet) tall and 49 meters (160.7 feet) wide. It has been supplying water to Rome’s residents since ancient Roman times, around 19 B.C. Trevi fountain got its name from the Latin word Trivium, meaning the intersection of three streets.
Above the fountain’s well is the statue of God Oceanus, the offspring of the Titans Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth), standing on a chariot of seahorses. It is mainly built from Travertine, a kind of stone, which was also used in the Roman Colosseum. With the Facade of Palazzo Poli in the background, the Trevi fountain looks really iconic, a must-see when visiting Rome.
For single looking for someone to mingle with, Trevi Fountain will give them hope! Based on tradition, coin-tossing in the fountain makes their dreams come true.
Legends say that if you turn away and then throw a coin over your shoulder to the fountain, you will be guaranteed to return to Rome. Do it twice, and you will fall in love. Try it three times, and you will not fall in love, but you will get married as well.
Saint Peter’s Basilica
Saint Peter’s Basilica, technically, is not in Rome. But since it is surrounded by Rome and was a part of Rome, it is almost just the same thing as being in Rome.
Saint Peter’s Basilica makes Rome beautiful for its immense size that comes with the holiest religious articles. These items aren’t only important to Catholicism. But, actually, to the world for being the most significant masterpieces that humanity has ever created.
The entire basilica is the most famous work of Renaissance architecture designed by Carlo Maderno, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Donato Bramante, and most importantly, Michelangelo. The paintings on the ceiling, the embellished walls, and the bronze doors – all will just fill you with awe. Inside this basilica, we also see the ever-famous sculpture La Pieta, the sacred bronze statue of Saint Peter, the grandest Baldacchino, and more.
Saint Peter’s Basilica is a must-visit place when you’re in Rome, even if you are not a believer. To come here means to visit one of the cores of the foundations of human civilization. For believers like me, it is more than privilege… a profound fulfillment.
If you haven’t seen an indescribable beauty, Sistine Chapel is the place to be. It is a papal chapel in the Vatican that looks plain and simple outside, but what awaits inside are the ones worth seeing… or absolutely breathtaking, I must say.
Sistine Chapel was built by Giovanni dei Dolci in the late 15th-century for Pope Sixtus IV, which interiors were embellished by Florentine Renaissance masters soon after it was completed. Today, people consider the artworks these art masters left behind as some of the greatest achievements of western painting.
Among the artworks painted on the walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel, the most famous, and I’m sure you are familiar with, is Michelangelo’s fresco, the “Creation of Adam.” Aside from this, you can find more paintings depicting the stories in the Old Testament and the Last Judgement.
Visiting the Sistine Chapel is not only about indescribable beauty from frescos and murals. But it’s also about entering the place where the future of the entire Roman Catholic Church is decided. Here in the Sistine Chapel, the Sacred College of Cardinals holds the election of the next pope after a pope has died or stepped down from his duties.
Undoubtedly, the experiences awaiting in Sistine Chapel make Rome so compelling to visit – a reason why Rome is so beautiful.
Another reason why Rome is beautiful is the uniquely cylinder-shaped fort called Castel Sant’Angelo, which name translates in English as the “Castle of the Holy Angel.” Its name was derived from the marble statue of Archangel Saint Michael erected by Pope Gregory the Great at the top of the castle when he had a vision of Saint Michael ending the plague in the city.
Though Castel Sant’Angelo was used as a refuge for the popes during wars and conflicts throughout its history, it was built mainly to be a mausoleum. Between 134 and 139 AD, emperor Hadrian commissioned this castle to be his and his family’s resting place. This is why Castel Sant’Angelo is also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian.
Castle Sant’Angelo is located west, very close to the Vatican City, just beside River Tiber. Perhaps, because of its strategic location, it was converted into a fort by the popes 5 centuries after it was built. Pope Nicholas III even connected Saint Peter’s Basilica to Sant’Angelo with a fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo in the 14th century.
All these projects by the pope went into actual usage when Rome was sacked by Emperor Charles V, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire based in Germany, in the early 16th-century. Today, by visiting Castel Sant’Angelo, we travel back in time when all of these events by seeing the mausoleum, rooms used by the popes, the fortified corridor, the artifacts exhibited, and many more.
The immense structure of the Castel Sant’Angelo, as well as its crenelations and ramparts, viewed best in Ponte Sant’Angelo, will already send you back to medieval times even before you enter the castle. All the experiences and the things you’ll see here are just some of the things that make Rome beautiful, and you will find a lot more.
I just would like to share that northern Italy is a place like no other. It has a diverse range of exciting experiences and beautiful destinations worthy of your time and money. Read my article about northern Italy to know why. Here’s the summary (click to open in a new tab and read now/later):
- Cinque Terre – The Charming coastline towns of Northern Italy
- Milan – Home to the Genius’ (Leonardo da Vinci) artworks and science
- Bergamo – The scenic and medieval city of northern Italy
- Lake Como – One of the world’s most beautiful lakes
- Verona – The romantic town, home of Romeo and Juliet
- Venice – Another romantic city, where three architectural styles meet and mix
- Trento – The city to introduce you to the Dolomites (visit mountains, lakes, and castles)
- Bolzano – Home of Otzi, the gateway to the Dolomites
- Cortina d’Ampezzo – The town in the heart of the Dolomites
- Florence – It’s where you can find the best Renaissance artworks
These links to guides, a list of reasons to visit, things to do, and articles to help you discover different places in northern Italy. Read the full article about the reasons to visit Northern Italy.
Besides the Colosseum, Pantheon is another ancient architectural and engineering marvel that undoubtedly makes Rome a beautiful destination. The first version of the Pantheon was built in 25 BC by Roman statesman Marcus Agrippa. It was burned down during several incidents and was completely rebuilt by emperor Hadrian in 128 AD.
Pantheon was initially a pagan temple, which name came from the Greek words pan, meaning “all,” and theos, meaning “gods.” As the Roman Empire was converted into Christianity, so was Panthéon into a Christian Church. In the year 609, Pope Boniface IV renamed it the Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs.
The most incredible part of Panthéon is its dome, which is the world’s largest unsupported dome. It’s so big that you can insert a giant ball, 43 meters in diameter, inside the Panthéon. At noon on a sunny day, sunlight enters the oculus – the hole on top of the dome, which is also called the eye of the Panthéon.
The proportions of Panthéon’s dome, its immense size, and the elegance of its design, not to mention the light effects that the oculus creates, will fill you with awe. Together with the way that the Panthéon was engineered, it is indeed that this structure is full of incredible wonder.
Of all of the ancient Roman buildings, the Panthéon is the one you will find best-preserved mainly because it has been continuously used ever since. Aside from being a church where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, Panthéon also houses the tombs of the great Italian poets, kings, and artists like Raphael.
Rome is not only beautiful but romantic too – Villa Borghese is one of the places why. It is Rome’s third-largest public park covering a land area of 80 hectares or 197.7 acres, which is filled with museums and other things to do that could be so romantic!
The main highlight of Villa Borghese is the Borghese Gallery where the paintings of some of the most influential artists are exhibited. Discover different artworks ranging from ancient Roman art to the renaissance. The most notable ones you’ll find are the works of the famous artists, Bernini, Titian, Raphael, and Caravaggio.
The gorgeousness of Bernini’s sculpture, Apollo and Daphne, as well as Titian’s painting Sacred and Profane Love, is absolutely stunning. The amount of details in these artworks is so impressive, especially the marble sculpture of Bernini.
Though you can already see romanticism from the artworks inside the gallery, the real romance begins outside the museum. The villa has gardens, ponds, and cinemas, where all your romantic fantasies can come true.
Wanting to have a romantic moment in the pond? Rent a boat and enjoy the scenery around as you drift on the water. The view from the pond is made lovely by the ancient-looking temple near the shore.
Need a place for a proposal? Go to the Pincio Terrace. It is the most scenic part of the villa, a large piazza where you can find a balcony that overlooks the city. The place gets really romantic during the golden hour until dusk when the city starts to glamour with lights.
What’s even more romantic? During summer, the arthouse cinema theater, Casa del Cinema, inside the Villa Borghese offers free outdoor cinemas for everyone. Cuddle as you watch movies under the glittering sky!
Giardino degli Aranci
Giardino Degli Aranci or Orange Trees Garden is another beautiful place in Rome best to visit during sunsets and every golden hour. Like the Villa Borghese, it has a view of the city but is more Instagrammable in my opinion. Its location and how it was planned perhaps made the difference.
Located on the Aventine Hill with a view looking straight to the Vatican City, Giardino Degli Aranci is definitely the place where you will see Rome and its skyline in a uniquely picturesque way. Rafaelle de Vico, the designer of the Giardino Degli Aranci, made the dome of Saint Peter’s basilica the focal point of the view from the garden.
The view of the city isn’t the only thing that makes Giardino Degli Aranci an Instagrammable place in Rome. The garden has a symmetric design, equally divided by a central avenue that is exactly aligned with the viewpoint of the city. The avenue in the middle, however, is lined with orange trees with high canopies that are so shutter presser, especially during sunset when they make silhouettes with the fiery sky.
If you will be traveling to Rome, Giardino Degli Aranci is just the perfect spot to rest after a whole day of wandering around the city. There’s no entrance fee for visiting Giardino Degli Aranci.
Last but not least is Trastevere, the 13th rione of Rome (rione is an Italian term used since the 14th century to name a district or town), located west of the historic city center of Rome. It’s famous for numerous restaurants and pubs; the place where both tourists and locals have fun bar hopping.
Trastevere, though famous for socializing activities, is also home to some of the picturesque spots in the city which makes Rome a beautiful city to visit. First and foremost are its narrow cobbled streets lined with charming ancient houses – sceneries that definitely will feed your wanderlust. Some buildings are covered with ivies already, making the entire place looks really old but quaint.
Compared to the historic city center, Trastevere is less crowded thus wandering around seems more enticing. In addition, Trastevere has several attractions too which could be worth visiting, especially if it’s your type. Do you know that you can visit a Japanese garden with bamboo groves and waterfalls in Trastevere?
Other attractions in Trastevere include Basilica of Santa Maria, a 3rd-century church in Piazza Santa Maria with spectacular interiors; Villa Farnesina, a mansion with beautiful frescoes made by Raphael; Palazzo Corsini, a grand baroque palace home to Renaissance and Baroque art collections; and more.
Tours in the beautiful city of Rome
These history-rich and quaint places in Rome, certainly, are the reason why Rome is considered a beautiful city. Visiting all of them does need a lot of effort in driving or commuting as most of them are located near to each other. If you need a guide to help you visit the places on the list, you can check the tours offered by GetYourGuide:
- Priority Access to Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill – do not waste your time waiting for your turn to enter the Colosseum and more. GetYourGuide can give you instant access to these attractions like VIP!
- Vatican and Sistine Chapel – This will let you skip the line and enter the Sistine Chapel, as well as the Vatican Museum without hassle. Like the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel is a very popular destination in Rome and the line could be very lengthy.
- Saint Peter’s Basilica – get an insightful tour of Saint Peter’s Basilica. This way you may fully know the history and all the details of every important item inside the church.
Find more discounted tours and guides in GetYourGuide.
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