Exploring the Best of Rome and Vatican City in Italy

(Last Updated On: September 1, 2017)

Right from our school, we have been taught how Roman Empire has been one of the influential and economically advanced empires. And the Idioms “Rome wasn’t built in a day” or “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” have always been an inspiration.

Italy’s capital city Rome with 3000 years old history and astounding heritage is yet another city sure to be on everyone’s wish list. Rome built on seven hills is also known as the ‘Eternal City’ because the Roman people believed that no matter what happened to the world, Rome would go on forever and it truly does rule our hearts even today!!

Piazza Venezia is an important square in Rome. From here all the buses ply to the different areas in Rome. We boarded a bus from our apartment to Piazza Venezia which is some 10 minutes walk to Colosseum. Rome is a city brimming with history and architecture adorning every nook and cranny of the city and hence Rome sightseeing ought to be a walking tour.

Best Places to Visit in Rome

Visit the Vatican Museums

When in Rome you cannot miss the World famous Vatican museums and the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica and cross out another country from your bucket list. We boarded a bus to the Vatican city from Piazza Venezia. We started with a visit to Vatican City museums and later moved on to visit Rome exploring its historical attractions.

Castle Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo also known as the Hadrian Mausoleum was originally built as a mausoleum and later used as a fortress. Today the castle houses a museum for Renaissance collection with an extensive collection of frescoes and weapons exhibited on five floors reached by a spiral ramp. The terrace at the top offers wonderful views over the city.

Visiting the castle was not on our list but we were oblivious of some fun awaiting us here. We had lots of fun with some locals dressed as gladiators and enjoyed posing for pictures with them. It is definitely one of the fun things to do in Rome.

Best Things to do in Rome Italy

Best Things to do in Rome Italy

We find the Squares dotted with monumental fountains very fascinating we found some of the remarkable and elegant ones in the Swiss capital Bern and the Swiss city Zurich which had left us in awe. But the Rome ones are magnificent. Squares and fountains are top Rome Attractions which exude a historical and architectural charm, Rome boasts of around fifty monumental fountains which can be easily explored on one of the guided Rome tours.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona built on the site of an ancient stadium and a 15th-century city market is a lively square. The square is adorned with three fountains the fountain of the moor, the Fountain of Neptune and the Bernini’s masterpiece ‘Fountain of Four Rivers’ at the center. The square is surrounded by quaint cafes and restaurant and flocked with musicians and street performers. Also not miss here is the impressive 17th-century Baroque church Sant’ Agnese in Agone Church.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Pantheon

This 2,000-year-old former Roman temple has the worlds largest unsupported dome with an exemplary Roman architecture and is said to be the most imitated structure of all ancient works. The portico supported by Corinthian columns leads to an ornate interior with an only source of illumination being a small aperture at the top of the dome. The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza Della Rotonda and is dominated by the gorgeous ‘Fountain of the Pantheon’.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Trevi Fountain

On enquiring about the route to Trevi fountain an old man held Chalukya’s hand and walked us all the way to the fountain. This kind of sweet gestures only makes us feel good in a foreign land. We were up for some surprises here too. We were overwhelmed by the spiritual atmosphere created in a foreign land by a group of foreigners chanting ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’ and the saree clad blondes performing garbha on the song which was one of the best things to see in Rome for us.

Best Things to do in Rome Italy

The Fontana di Trevi is one of the largest baroque fountains in the world featuring Triton guiding the shell shaped chariot drawn by sea horses, a sculpture of remarkable beauty. The backdrop of the fountain is the facade of Palazzo Poli featuring triumphal arch with Corinthian pilasters. The fountain dates back to the ancient times when it served as the end point of an aqueduct serving water to the Roman baths.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

A popular tradition associated with the fountain is that one who throws a coin into the fountain with a wish to return to the city is fulfilled. Interestingly it is said that the ancient Romans also threw coins into the fountain for safe journeys.

Spanish Steps

The monumental stairway of 135 steps are the widest stairway in Europe and connects the Piazza di Spagna at the base to Piazza Trinita Dei Montithe at the top dominated by the Trinita Dei Monti church.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

The Piazza di Spagna houses the baroque fountain called Fontana Della Barcaccia or ‘Fountain of the Old Boat’ based on a folklore that a boat was washed to this spot during the flood of the Tiber River. The steps are considered as one of the most iconic places to visit in Rome to soak up the historic aura of the eternal city.

We walked past Roman Forum and Palentine hill and headed straight to Colosseum. Though we still had time we didn’t want to explore Colosseum in a hustle and hence we kept it for the next day. We just sauntered around the beautifully illuminated Colosseum and the Arch Of Constantine and also the intriguing Roman forum.

Colosseum at Night

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Roman Forum at Night

Best Things to do in Rome Italy

If you are on a tight schedule and have only one day in Rome you can follow this itinerary which covered all the major attractions of Vatican City and Rome tourist attractions in a day. But Rome definitely needs more than a day to experience its historical treasures.

Next day morning we took a bus to the Piazza Venezia and walked all the way to Colosseum which is around 10 minutes walk to Roman Forum and the Palentine Hill on the way.

Colosseum

We were oblivious that it was the first Sunday of the month when the entry to the Colosseum is free. Though there was a queue for entrance it was quick. We spent a significant amount of time inside of Colosseum imagining how the gladiator wars must have taken place and how the animals hidden underground would appear on to the fight zone. A little bit of homework is expected before one visits the Colosseum for a better understanding of this historical wonder. Or the best would be to book a Colosseum guided tour.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill one of the  Seven Hills of Rome is an archaeological site holding the remains of several imperial palaces from ancient times and offers a great view of the city.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is a spectacular site of ruins of temples and monuments from the ancient Roman times and must see in Rome. The Roman Forum originally a marshland was developed into an outstanding complex of buildings for the social and commercial activities of the Roman Empire. Several of the structures thousands of years old still remain intact in the forum testimony to the glorious past of the Rome.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Victor Emmanuel II Monument

Victor Emmanuel II Monument also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II is a monumental building built in honor of Victor Emmanuel the first king of a unified Italy.

The Vittoriano monument features a massive colonnade at the upper section of the monument adorned with reliefs and murals. A colossal equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel stands at the center of the monument with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame dedicated to the World War I. The base of the structure houses the museum of Risorgimento dedicated to the history of the unification of Italy.

Best Things to do in Rome with Vatican City

Inside of II Vittorian building museum

Devour on Gelatos and Pizzas

Most Recommended when in Rome is to have as many gelatos as possible they are just yummy and reasonably priced. We had dozens of them when wandering around the city. And you cannot afford to miss relishing on some scrumptious pizzas.

We had the last round of gelato and took a taxi from Piazza Venezia to the airport.

Roma Pass and Combined Tickets

The Roma Pass comes with a validity of 48 and 72 hours and offers free and discounted admission to major museums and free ride on the city’s public transport network.

The combined ticket offers skip-the-line access to the three major tourist attractions in Rome the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palentine hill with a reduced price.

The exceptional art of Vatican museum, the graceful fountains and the glorious squares, millennium-old churches, a real treat for taste; the pizzas and the gelatos, there are much more reasons to fall in love with this eternal city. So book an Italy tour packages now and set on a journey of the lifetime.

Have you visited Rome and the Vatican City? Do share with us your experience, we would love to hear your stories.

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20 thoughts on “Exploring the Best of Rome and Vatican City in Italy

  • April 1, 2016 at 7:25 am
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    Oh your beautiful photos and words brought back so many memories. The first time someone ever gave me a red rose was at the Trevi fountain almost 35 years ago and the art work in the Sistine chapel took my breath away. Thank you for the wonderful flashback in time.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 1, 2016 at 11:01 am
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      Wow Michelle.. looks like Rome means more romantic than historical for you. Trevi fountain is an incredibly gorgeous fountain and on that a red rose we can just imagine how cherishing moments you must have experienced. We are overwhelmed to hear your story of this wonderful city Rome. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • April 2, 2016 at 8:45 am
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    These pictures are beautiful and I love how informative your post is on Roman history. Thanks for sharing!

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    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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      Thank you so much Liz. Roman History is overwhelming and to enjoy a Rome trip at fullest some knowledge of its history is a must.

      Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:41 pm
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      Thank u Zaria. Glad you liked them.

      Reply
  • April 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm
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    Piazza Navona is one of my favorite places in Rome. That fountain is based on the different continents and has so much detail in it. I love spending time there!

    Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:43 pm
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      Yes Piazza Navona is gorgeous indeed. We enjoyed the lively environment and the street performances. There is so much to do there. 🙂

      Reply
  • April 3, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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    Love Italy and Rome. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm
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      Thanks Jenna for stopping by, Happy Travelling!

      Reply
  • April 3, 2016 at 10:10 pm
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    Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world! Looks like you had a great time 🙂

    Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:46 pm
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      Yes its our favorite too. We are overwhelmed by its history. We certainly had a great time and wish to revisit some day soon.

      Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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      Thank Candace. We did a walking tour and therefore, are oblivious of what you experienced. Do spare us sometime some day to warn us of the craziness you experience 😉 We would love to hear your stories.

      Reply
  • April 4, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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    Beautiful photos 🙂 Rome is such a great city, I can’t wait to go back!

    x, Juliet

    Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:49 pm
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      Thanks Juliet. Rome is wonderful city indeed and we would love to revisit it too.

      Reply
  • April 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm
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    I have never been here but would absolutely love to go if I get the chance! I hope I can one day afford to take the family there.

    Reply
    • mm
      April 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm
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      Rome is a great place to visit with family with stunning architecture and intriguing history. Keep us updated if you plan to visit. Happy Traveling!

      Reply
  • November 2, 2016 at 2:37 am
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    I didn’t know the Vatican was actually considered a country. I wonder why that is? Also, I would love to tour the gardens comfortably on a bus like you did and the Piazza Navona looks stunning.

    Reply

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