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Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain sneaks up on you. You hear it before you see it!
The early bird gets the worm in Rome, and the major sights, such as the Piazza della Rotonda at the Pantheon, are tourist-free first thing in the morning. Although it is believed that the Pantheon in its current form was built between 118-125 AD, the Roman temple still stands and is one of the best preserved ancient monuments in the city.
Speaking of impressive feats of ancient architecture and engineering, the Colosseum is worth admiring from the outside …
… and the inside. If you make your way up to the terzo anello, or third ring, you’ll have a truly impressive view of the world’s largest ancient amphitheatre.
For more impressive views, you’ll want to pay a visit to the famous terraces and rooftop bars, where you can appreciate the city from a whole different angle. It is fascinating to see the Eternal City from up above.
Make your way up to the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica for an incredible bird’s eye view of Piazza San Pietro.
The city is particularly beautiful at sunset. After your visit to Galleria Borghese, take a stroll through the Villa Borghese park to reach the Pincio terrace, which has some of the best views in the city.
Another favorite terrace is the Giardino degli Aranci, or Orange Garden, up on Aventine Hill. The view is flanked by spindly Roman pines with St. Peter’s dome prominently featured in the distance.
You’ll find even more Roman pines in Parco degli Acquedotti, along with ruins of the city’s ancient aqueducts. This park is a wonderful escape on the weekends, and families often take their bikes and a picnic to enjoy a day outside in the fresh air.
But if you prefer to soak in art and culture, Rome won’t disappoint. The city itself is an outdoor museum with ornate fountains, intricate sculptures and breathtaking beauty everywhere you look.
The best way to enjoy the magic of Rome is to get lost down winding streets and bump into surprises, such as the small Tiber Island, situated on the Tiber River, which is perfect for a leisurely stroll and is associated with medicine and healing.
Perhaps the most charming aspect of Rome is how well it retains its small-town feel. The city comprises dozens of neighborhoods, each with its own unique characteristics and atmosphere. One of the most evocative neighborhoods is Trastevere, which sits across the Tiber and will transport you to village life.
Trastevere is well-known for its buzzing nightlife, quaint restaurants and cafés, so stop by for aperitivo to whet your appetite before dinner with a spritz and some snacks.
Afterward, you’ll want to try one of Rome’s signature pasta dishes; choose from carbonara, amatriciana, gricia or cacio e pepe.
Next, take in the sights by evening light. With a warm, golden glow and a deep blue sky, the city becomes even more magical and atmospheric. The Spanish Steps will afford another great view.
St. Peter’s Basilica is breathtaking at all hours of the day, but it’s especially impressive as soon as the sun goes down and Michelangelo’s famous cupola lights up.
Rome’s fountains are even more beautiful when illuminated as the sky turns darker and darker blue.
And the city’s ancient heritage is given a new life after nightfall, like Hadrian’s ancient temple ruins in Piazza di Pietra.