One of the greatest civilizations in the history of mankind, Rome started out as a city-state, and grew to become one of the largest empires in the world, with a huge impact on western civilization. At its peak, the Roman civilization had a complex and advanced social and political structure, with influences from Greek democracy. Covering most of what is Western Europe, the Ancient Romans introduced their way of life to the countries they conquered.
Today, you can learn about the way the Ancient Romans lived, and see their monuments, some of which are preserved in excellent conditions, like the Colosseum and the Appian Way.
#1 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
With over 5 million visitors every year, the Colosseum is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions. Believed to have been constructed as a gift from ancient emperors to the Roman people, this grand outdoor amphitheater once served as the epicentre for entertainment in the Roman Empire, hosting various public spectacles and games. A stage for gladiator fights, often including animals, the Colosseum has quite the bloody past. Step back in time, marvel at the stunning architecture, and walk the floor of the greatest arena known to mankind.
- Visit during the nighttime to avoid crowd.
- Avoid long lines by purchasing a City Pass or getting Skip-the-line tickets.
• Express Colosseum Guided Tour with Gladiator’s Entrance and Arena Floor
• Colosseum Underground & Ancient Rome Tour
#2 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Explore one of the most beautiful structures in the world - the Pantheon. Built between 25-27 BC during the reign of Augustus as a temple to the early pagan gods of Rome. The Pantheon has withstood the test of time and remains to this day an architectural wonder that is unmatched by any others. Rebuilt during Hadrian’s reign between 118-125 AD, its dome is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome today, almost two thousand years after it was built.
8:30 AM - 7:30 PM on Monday to Saturday
9 AM to 6 PM on Sundays
La Feltrinelli Librerie, Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, 84, Rome, Italy
• Roma Pass
#7 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
The Roman Forum was once the political and social center of Ancient Rome. You an now march down the same paved road once graced by victorious Roman armies and explore the easily discernable remains of the banks, temples, and homes. For decades, the Roman Forum was also the center of day-to-day life in Ancient Rome - it was the site of elections, public speeches, criminal trials, and commercial affairs.
Roman Forum: 8:30am until one hour before sunset, daily
Please note that the Roman Forum remains closed on 25 December and 1 January.
Roman Forum: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Rome, Italy
#11 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
The centremost of Rome's Seven Hills, Palatine Hill is said to house the cave where Luperca the she-wolf took care of Romulus and Regus, where the former founded Rome. Between 509 BC – 44 BC, many upper-class Romans built their residences in Palatine Hill, the remains of which are still preserved, and can be seen here. Palatine hill stands nearly 40m above Roman Forum, which means you can get brilliant views of the monument from here.
8:30 AM to 7 PM, daily
Palatine Hill, 00186 Rome, Italy
- Be sure to check out the remains of the House of Augustus and the House of Livia, most visitors miss these, but they are worth visiting!
• Rome in One Day Walking Tour: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Peel off the many layers of Rome as you go underground to discover the ancient city. This unique tour showcases how the Eternal city developed through the ages and how many historic sites can be found below some of the historic sites. Some of the popular catacombs include the Catacombs of Domitilla and the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla. Some tours are paired in such a way that not only will you see the Catacombs, but also the Basilica San Clemente, a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I.
Built in 312 BC, the Appian Way is considered one of the most strategically important roads of Ancient Rome, which connected Rome to Brindisi, in southern Italy. Rightly called "Queen of the Roads", the road was first built for military purposes during the Samnite Wars. One of the oldest roads in the world, the Appian Way is still preserved in stellar condition, and now, you too can walk the same path as Julius Caesar! The best place to see the Appian Way is at the Appia Antica Regional Park, through which it runs.
October to March: 9:30 AM - 4 PM
April to September: 9:30 AM - 5 PM
Via Appia Antica, 42, 00178 Rome, Italy
- The park is closed to traffic on Sundays, making it a prime day to visit. You can take a bus to the park, and also check out the cafes and the nearby Catacombs.
• Appian Way, Queen of Roads - Private Walking Tour
• Old Appian Way Jewish Catacomb Walking Tour - Private Access
#173 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
Constructed in the 6th century during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome, Circus Maximus was once a chariot racing stadium. Today, it is a public park that is occassionally used for concerts, but it was once the centre for public games in Rome. As time passed, the Circus Maximus also started to host gladiator shows and religious processions. The chariot races held here were highly popular amongst the Romans, who bet on one of four factions that participated in the races. The last race to be held at Circus Maximus was in 549 AD, nearly a millennium after the first ever race that was held here.
Open 24 hours, daily
Via del Circo Massimo, 00186 Rome, Italy
Points of Interest & Landmarks
#120 of 1,887 things to do in Rome on TripAdvisor
The Via Sacra was once the main street of Ancient Rome. Stretching from Capitoline Hill to the Colosseum via the Roman Forum, the Via Sacra was surrounded by ancient temples and monuments. If only it could talk - the Via Sacra has seen Kings walk down before their coronation, victorious armies march down amidst cheering crowds, and thousands of people have walked along it to go the Basilicas, or even danced along the road to praise their Gods. During Nero's reign, the Via Sacra was lined with colonnades, a long sequence of columns. Today, you can see the Via Sacra as you visit the Roman Forum, and walk on it as the mighty Ancient Romans did centuries ago!
8:30 AM - 7:15 PM, daily
Via Sacra, 00186 Rome, Italy
• Ancient Rome Half-Day Walking Tour