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HERE IS What Not to Miss in ROME! #Bucketlist

GOING TO ITALY – What Not to Miss in ROME! #16ItemBucketlist

What not to miss in Rome, is our solid list of Cannot be missed, on the well beaten trail attractions, recommendations and suggestions if you’re planning a Roman sojourn! 🙂 

Now if you dream of ever venturing that way, there is a whole lot more to See, Do and Be, but this is a list of where we have been and seen of What Not to Miss in Rome, Italy!

We love Italy, we could live there lol! We love the cuisine, weather, colourful old world architecture of Italian cities. Perugia is an amazing region, Assisi is not to be missed by any pilgrim. Tuscany is totally addictive, indeed Florence was an amazing experience for us, but our favourite part of Italy is Rome.

We have very fond memories of Rome. We purposed to make it an annual pilgrimage. The Italians call it Roma, and we totally get why it’s called the eternal city. Trust me you have so much to See, Do and Be more while in Rome.

Word to the wise, There is a strict dress code in most of the religious sites. So Do cover up, take a scarf if a woman you may need to cover your hair or buy one at the site! Your choice. No open sleeves, tank tops and in most not even shorts, we do give you some super advice in our article on Vacation etiquette.

Do take your drinking bottle esp in summer. Rome can be extremely hot. Thank goodness it is also full of public drinking fountains. You’ll find a fontanelle spigot in numerous locations. Perfectly safe to drink and ohhh so refreshingly cool!

Also you might reconsider renting a car to drive in Rome. The Italians are crazy drivers, you might end up hypertensive unless you can handle it! Take public transport very good or walk!

Before you head off to Rome or anywhere else for that matter, you might find our Ultimate  Detailed Smart Travel Tools and Apps very helpful.

Okay lets get to the fun bit. In our humble opinion, here are our 16 things and places not to be missed in Rome!

What not to miss in Rome – Our Best 16 Item #TravelBucketlist

 

1. Vatican City esp. The Sistine Chapel.

Of course the destination of most people headed to Rome. Lots of people mix up the two. The Vatican is a country in its own right, surrounded by the City of Rome. So most people simply call it Rome. Vatican City is the biggest attraction in Rome and when you see it, you know just why. Its awe-inspiring! Totally amazing work of art and architecture. Vatican City has a plethora of beautifully decorated Churches and Museums to see including the famous Sistine Chapel, which we will talk about in its own right!

The Vatican is a country in its own right, surrounded by the City of Rome. #Romefacts Click To Tweet

You can drink from the water faucets that pull directly from an underground spring by the Vatican. And grab your religious memorabilia further out on Borgo Pio where the prices are a little bit more pocket friendly!

If you don’t mind the looong queues or can wake up at the crack of dawn then Absolutely don’t miss the awe inspiring attraction that is the Sistine Chapel. And word of advise, leave your Selfie stick at the hotel or don’t take your camera at all! Its prohibited to take photos inside of the chapel, to preserve the art!

These two are separate but co-joined in our view. Not to be missed on your Italian itinerary unless you are in a total rush. In which case, leave them for another visit when you have a good number of days to explore. They are worth the wait!

 

2. St Peters’ Basilica

Well while this is also a major part of the Vatican, if all you got is a day or a few hours, then absolutely this is one of the attractions to see in Rome. In our view it’s probably one of the most beautiful and regal religious structures worldwide. As you walk up Vatican Hill, you will be totally impressed by St Peters Basilica. Its surrounded by St Peter’s Square and majestic Statues of the 12 apostles. It’s also the ground where Open Air Papal masses are held.

It has 2 massive fountains and a huge Egyptian obelisk built by Bernini. A real Kodak moment waiting to happen! And huge columns called colonnades embracing it almost.  If you walk down the piazza straight across St Peters, is The Hadrian Mausoleum. The view was best captured in the image below by the cupola taken in 2007 – (source wikipedia.) Amazing view of Rome! St_Peter's_Square,_Vatican_City_April_2007

 

 

3. The Trevi Fountain

In our view, the Trevi is one of the world’s most beautiful water features aka fountain in Rome and the world indeed. We were peeved to find it closed for renovation on our last visit in 2015. Its apparently worth it as they’ve built a viewing platform where the water should be, so you can get closer to the beautiful sculptures. And the best Gelato in Rome is served in a café by the Trevi Fountain Shhhhshhh don’t tell anyone lol!  

This is a sight you surely cannot miss. Our very first tour guide assured us that by legend, if you throw 3 coins backwards into the Trevi fountain, and make a wish, you will return to Rome, and if single, you will definitely get married within 2 years! We threw the coins and do so every visit…lol! 🙂

Don’t even entertain the thought of having a dip in this seemingly deep fountain for a lark or a stag do dare, or you will have a not so friendly Chat with the Polizei!

What not to miss in Rome #TreviFountain #Romeattractions

Pre-renovations We cant wait to update our Trevi Memories @Pkjulesworld

4. Roman Forum

This may seem like a huge pile of ruins to most people. Until you are told the history behind it. Once the political hub of Rome, today the Roman Forum is one of the world’s most important archaeological sites. It gives tourists an idea into how the Ancient Romans lived, its on most Rome bus tour routes.

Things not to miss in Rome - #RomanForum #visitrome

5. The Colosseum

We always had the Colosseo as the Italians call it, on our Travel Bucket list along with the Tower of Pisa. It is an Ancient amphitheater that needs no introduction. You will be spell bound by the sheer architecture esp. the Underground chambers, we were!

The Colosseum never disappoints, however many times we see it. It’s a fantastic symbol and some would say, the most Spectacular Spot in Rome! Let’s just say if ever in Rome, don’t miss this Kodak moment and amazing Insta-photo opportunity lol!

Now while we can book such attractions at much lower prices than online providers via The DreamTrips travel club, (You can learn a bit more and Join us right here.) We understand that not everyone is a member.

Side note: We got a Two City Trip 7 nights/8 days to Rome and Assisi at a steal total cost of £867   For 2 adults! 🙂 This included Flights, Half board accommodation & 5 Guided tours. The Tours included i.e. 2 Guided tours of Assisi, a Guided tour of the Vatican, Walking Tour of Rome by Night and an Extensive Tour of Rome by Bus.  A similar trip was found on Expedia at just over £700 PER PERSON; for One City -Rome. Room only and a city guided tour!  It pays to Be part of a community that travels together.

Anyhow we highly recommend you pre-book the underground and 3rd level tour on the OFFICIAL Site. The ticket costs a few more euros than a standard ticket, but it Gets you out of the Looong queues, as your ticket is picked up at the desk. You also get a Deeper guided tour of the Colosseum, to areas that others do not get to see. The views from the 3rd tier are Ammaazing. 🙂

Still its important to be able to save smart for such activities if you want to keep buying your travel deals retail! Here are 15 tips to Save for your Next Vacation, enjoy! 🙂

 

 

6. Fountain of the Four Rivers

Head over to Piazza Novona and you will find this lesser acclaimed yet just as impressive fountain. The Italians call it Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. It also has a huge Egyptian style obelisk at its center. The Fountain has 4 huge rocks with statues cascading water, you cant miss it!

The 4 faucets apparently represent the 4 major rivers of the 4 continents: The Ganges for Asia, Danube for Europe, the Nile for Africa, and the Río de la Plata for the Americas. Wikipedia has a very interesting background and details on this fountain if you wish to learn more.

Dont miss the Fountain of Four Rivers in Rome #Romeattractions

7. Have an Ice cream

Ohh yes yumm and then some.  Heck don’t leave Rome without tasting the Gelato aka ice cream unless you have allergies. Honestly the Ice cream is out of this world. If you miss it at the Trevi then head on to the famous Giolittis, Via Uffici del Vicario 40, 00186 Rome, for simply deliciouso gelato. Just thinking about it makes us want to Jump on the next flight to Rome! 🙂

But wait a minute, How about those frothy yummy original Cappuccinos…Yes please in the morning. But NOT AFTER 12 noon. You will get that odd Italian look. Seriously! 

 

 
8. Have a Pizza & Pasta
When in Rome do as the Romans do- Eat lots of delicious Pizza and drink wine! #visitrome Click To Tweet

Yes, while in Rome do as the Romans do and Eat lots of delicious authentic pastas, anti pasti, and flat bread with toppings aka Pizza. And drink lots of vino of course! 🙂

Promise, we have never tasted any pizza as delicious as the ones in Italy and we love to have our fill at a little inconspicuous Café on Borgo Pio, right out of Vatican City, turn Right and keep going! We know the place by sight, we just can never remember the name….Pity! 

 
9. Aventine Hill

Want some stupendous views of Rome and surrounds? Then pack a picnic; drinks, sandwiches, snacks and your walking shoes. Head on over to the Aventine Hill. One of the seven hills of Rome. You won’t regret it.

 
 

10. The Spanish Steps – Not Spanish at all! 

A whopping 135 steps up a steep hill. Meander through to this site that attracts millions of visitors per year! Very popular probably because of the shopping in the square and the Piazza Spagna another beautiful fountain, at the bottom.  Honestly your butt and calves will thank you for the exercise.

You will feel it the next day for sure, unless you are super fit. Climb your way to the pinnacle the Basilica Trinità dei Monti a fine example of baroque architecture. Mind the “travellers.” And definitely watch out for the sink holes as you walk down the hill from the Basilica, or simply go back down the steps…ouch! 😉

What not to miss in Rome #SpanishSteps #Romanattractions

11. Roman Catacombs

Love ghoulish & dark stories, and are not claustrophobic? Then these are an absolute must see in Rome! They are mazes of underground tunnels which were used to bury thousands of bodies in ancient Rome and some of them are open to the public…Super cool if you went for the “Dark Rome Tours!”

Apparently burials were forbidden inside the walls of Rome as early as the fifth century BC. So miles of tunnels were cut underground to be used as burial chambers.

You can decide which Catacombs to see using this Appian way map. If you are not part of a guided tour, to get to the catacombs Via Appia Antica, take bus 218 from San Giovanni Metro Stop.

12. Basilica San Clemente

To you and I the Basilica of Saint Clement.  Not a lot of people know about this Church, yet it is truly amazingly beautiful. One of the most richly adorned churches in Rome! It’s over 3 tiers, one of them underground! A former private property of a noble man.

“This ancient church was transformed over the centuries from a private home that was the site of clandestine Christian worship in the 1st century to a grand public basilica by the 6th century, reflecting the emerging Catholic Church’s growing legitimacy and power. (Wikipedia)”

We had the pleasure of being shown around by one of the Irish Dominican priests as part of a Pilgrimage. We were more or less visiting historical places of religious and architectural beauty.

Basilica San Clemente - Simply breathtaking Basilica San Clemente

12. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Again to you and I it’s the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. It is also sometimes referred to as “Our lady of the snows.” (legend of snow falling in middle if summer, as a sign from the virgin Mary.) This extraordinary church is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, and oh boy, is it big, absolutely magnificent thus the name “Major.” While out of Vatican City, it is fully owned and managed by the Vatican.

The mosaics we saw in this basilica were simply breath taking, apparently works of Late Antique art; and some of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary in Christian History.

Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the 5 ancient basilicas and one of the 7 Pilgrim churches in Rome. As such, it is a popular stop for visitors to Roma. A walkable distance from the Stazione Termini, St Mary Major is located at 34 Piazza del Esquilino. It is a must do in Rome.

St Mary the Major - Stunningly Huge @Pkjulesworld

St Mary the Major – Stunningly Huge @Pkjulesworld

13. The Hadrian Mausoleum

Also known as Castel Sant’Angelo, or “Castle of the Holy Angel,” it was built for Emperor Hadrian as his tomb. Later used as a papal fortress and today it is a museum. It was once the tallest building in Rome. Sat by the River Tiber it’s also a short walk across to Vatican City. There is an underground passageway that leads to the Vatican, making this an intriguing point of interest. Not to be missed when you visit Rome. The Statues of Angels were later additions but very much works of beauty and tourist attractions as well. Rome is rife with statues of angels and demons lol!

We stayed in a Hotel right across this imposing mausoleum and didn’t realize its significance until we were taken on a full guided walking tour of Rome…Which is a must do when in Rome

The #HadrianMausoleum - what not to miss in Rome!

The Hadrian Mausoleum – A short walk from Vatican city! We stayed right by this!

 

 14. Walking Tour of Rome and Rome by Night!

Rome is quite a compact city and can be comfortably walked if you are fit or would love to get your sweat on while there. Yet if it’s your first time, we highly recommend one of the guided tours. The guides are highly qualified as they are regulated. They have to have a degree and take both oral and written tests (Proudly shared by our guide).

Simply inquire at your hotel to book you a guided walking tour of Rome and if time permits Rome by night too. This tour will include the Colosseum and Forum!

There used to be free walking tours at night available just by the Spanish steps circa 2013. Not sure if they still are a good. Best way to find out is to head on over there and check. A fun and budget friendly way to learn more about this amazing city.

 

 

15. Pantheon also known as Santa Maria Rotonda

The Pantheon is a Roman temple, built during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), and rebuilt in 126 AD by emperor Hadrian. It was originally build in dedication to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity- Thanks to Wiki.) Later it was dedicated to St. Mary and the martyrs.

The interior is absolutely stunning and today still operates as a place of worship for Roman Catholics. It is also one of the best maintained buildings in Rome due to this continual active use as a place of worship over centuries! It’s absolutely stunning by night and the Dome roof inside, its only source of natural light. One of the the things not to miss in Rome, go check it out. It was on the Rome by Night walking tour stops!

What not to miss in Rome, #vaticancity #europedestinations

What not to miss in Rome - The Pantheon #visitrome

Santa Maria Rotonda – The Pantheon, amazing my night too.

 

16. Stroll Along the Trastevere

Great for working up that appetite and seeing some Roman streets by foot. You will have an authentic experience and feel of the amazing ancient yet very modern city, very easily walked. The Italians call it “passiagata,” through Trastevere. Keep the River as your bearing always and you won’t get lost!

Great of an evening, you will see street performers for free, grab a bite at any of the bars and eateries. Find little designer shops with really tempting leather bags and stuff. Wander through the worn and still beautiful Piazzas, walk into the Ferrari store and take a selfie or two…Vision board anyone. 🙂 It’s an experience you won’t be forgetting soon!

Well all good things do come to an end, and so is our list of what not to miss in Rome, Italy! Buon giorno or buona sera  wherever you are! 🙂

Would you choose Italy as a vacation destination? Is Rome on your travel Bucket list? Like, share with friends and family if you got value and tell us your experiences below. We do the research, Let us inspire you. Why not  start by  subscribing to our blog here and let us know your travel needs.

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See, Do, and Be more!

Pauli Kalungi

 

JuleSyl n Pauli_Pkjulesworld

Email: support[at]Juleskalpauli.com

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52 Comments

  1. Anosa

    Oh wow Rome looks and sounds like an amazing place, thanks for the tips on dress code for the Vatican. I have Rome on my bucketlist and can not wait to visit

  2. CourtneyLynne

    Omg I would love to go to Rome one day!!!!!! Ahhhh a girl can dream!

  3. I absolutely love this blog. Thanks for posting this and I look forward in hitting up some of these spots when traveling to Rome! 🙂

  4. [ Smiles ] Rome is a beautiful place.

    And, when it comes to highly religious countries, modest dress code is the go!

    • Exactly Renard 🙂 ,
      Although Italy and Rome per se have no problem with casual light dressing, the active duty religious sites do.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~PKJW

  5. What an awesome post. I haven’t been to Rome but I have been to Milan and Venice. Thanks for an amazing guided tour. Your posts always make me want to just get up and travel right now.

    • Hi Keith,

      Aaahhh Milano we love it along with Rome. Venice…Its on our Bucket list for sure. Before it sinks lolol.
      Glad to inspire and thanks for dropping by man! 🙂
      ~PKJW

  6. woow !!~ thank you for sharing all this Beauty !!~ i want to go and see all this !!~ great Blog Post thank you

    • Hey Sandra,

      You and Tara should plan a Trip together, you will absolutely love it and create lifetime memories.
      Thanks for stopping by! Glad to inspire! 🙂
      ~PKJW

  7. This is so lovely! I’ve never been to Rome – but I really really want to go!!!! 🙂
    My parents just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and went to Rome, I have shared your post so my mum can have a look as they are still there! 😀

    • Thats amazing Mama,

      We hope your parents have a whale of a time andbring back such awsome and inspiring memories for you to visit Rome too!
      thanks for sharing!

      ~PKJW

  8. Italy is one of those favorite places to visit in my bucket list for long especially for Rome being such a beautiful place with lot of history around. Such a great resource on how to make it the best when you get a chance to make it.

  9. I have never been there. Would definitely like to see the Colosseum! Sounds like where the gladiators went. Thanks Julie!

    • Hi Rory,
      Indeed the Gladiators Movie was shot at the Colosseum and today you will find live ones masquerading and taking selfies with tourists. Be careful coz they then demand a fee for the pleasure. They don’t mind photo bombing either. Or offering to take your photo and then demanding a fee to return your camera huh! Ta for your time!

      ~PKJW

  10. The Vatican City would be at the top of my list. I would LOVE to visit Rome at some point in my life.

  11. m

    Rome is definitely on my bucket list…fantastic architecture that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime

  12. Robin Ruehrwein

    I have always wanted to see Rome! This was such a great guide into what to check out when I have the chance to visit.

  13. Rebecca Swenor

    These are great places to see in Rome. The Castle of Holy Angel is a place I would so love to see. Hopefully I will be able to visit Rome one day. Thanks so much for sharing these must sees.

  14. Nicole Etolen

    I always dream of seeing Vatican City, I heard so many good things about the place. I also want to see the Pope.

    • Aaahhhh Nicole,
      The Pope, El Papa, You will see him. Keep your dream alive, Take action. We had the same dream and we did take action. Ta for swinging by 🙂
      ~PKJW

  15. Courtney Gillard

    I never been to Rome but your list is so nice. I would love to explore this other parts of the world.

  16. Nicole Escat

    I want to see Vatican city. It is always been a dream to me and I wish someday, I fulfill it.

  17. Kathy

    I have never been to Rome before. I would love to go someday. I think it looks like such a beautiful place to go too.

  18. I love this amazing city with its wonderful architecture, delicious food (especially gelato – ice cream), piazzas and streets! One of my favorite places is piazza di Spagna, I love watching at the famous Fontana della Barcaccia from the Spanish Steps! Thanks for sharing such an amazing post!

    • Hi Eugenia,
      Pauli and I love walking by the River or Trastevere as they call it. and dive into those lil antique like shops. We love looking at the old worn architecture…well Paul does lol! I just love watching his face as he looks Calculating the engineering works lolol!

      And of course ending up at the Spagna or Trevi for a bite and that Gelato yummmm!

      ~PKJW

  19. Such an amazing place!!! I need to be there for at least a year, maybe more, to see everything I would want to see!

    • Hi Kristen,

      What a thought. Take a hiatus to Rome for a Year. Great for Gap Year Students that I imagine. Or find some amazing things to do in Italy and simply work your way around every region 🙂

      ~PKJW

  20. And I thought I was the only one having that odd, rush feeling when I took a cab there! Rome really is the center of everything in my opinion and history proves that. My favorite spot there would be the fountain.

    • Ha haa you werent Karla, I always sit on my hands Its hard not t shout at them to slow down or stop as they take a real dangerous lil overtake!
      Love the Trevi and 4 rivers Fountain too 🙂 Thanks for ya time! 🙂

      ~PKJW

  21. Elizabeth O.

    How can you miss all of these beautiful places in Rome! This is a great guide for people who are visiting for the first time and those who would like to see the beautiful places in Rome.

    • Exactly Elizabeth,

      Not to be missed Rome is right here and For any one who has not been or been but had no time, its a must bookmark 🙂
      Thanks for your time!
      ~PKJW

  22. Must, must, must put Italy/Rome on my bucket list! So many places to see! Thanks Julie.

  23. one of the locations in the world you can never over – do. lovely location and great pics Julie. I have to return twice to rome to see these and enjoy it fully. You make me feel like Rome. Great posts. Thanks for sharing luvd it

  24. I’ve never been to Italy, but it is at the top of my list of must see places. I’m dying to eat my way through the country. I would love to see Trevi Fountain and the beautiful Sistine Chapel.

    • Hi Cindy,

      Ahhhh dont talk about Italian food gal. You would love it. Make sure you have a Daniel fast and drop a couple of Dress sizes before you do that. Coz you will gain them lolol! Ta for stopping by! 🙂

      ~PKJW

  25. Oh My !! This is a MUST Visit Place for me! Did you notice when you were there if it was possible to tour the Apartments of The Borgia Pope, Pope Alexander VI ?
    Thank you so much for this Wonderful tour, I really appreciate this.

    • Hi Tara,

      We had the Borgia Apartment Tour as part of our Sistine Tour. Now used as an Art Gallery for religious works of Art. The ceilings are amazing. You would love it I’m sure. Thanks for asking. Should have added them on the list. Now they are part of it anyways 🙂

      ~Juley

  26. Rome is such a beautiful place I would love to visit over and over again. I have been there a few times, but I have not yet seen all these places you have mentioned here. I’m saving this post and making a checklist so I will remember to visit each one next time.

    • Roma is indeed beautiful and we are so green with envy you are spending a month Annemarie.
      Do go visit these not to be missed places and if you wish to see some amazing off the beaten track attractions just holler. We got so much more from where that came from.

      Thanks for your time & Enjoy your vacay 🙂
      ~PKJW

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