Rome. Heart of city in 10 km
The capital of Italy is rightly an open-air museum. The quintessence of Antiquity and Renaissance, Rome will carry you on the wings of history through all its edifices, statues and columns with bas-reliefs. The Vatican City State will offer you a unique spiritual and cultural experience. Thousands of trattorias and bars will make you love Italian food prepared in the heart of the country.
This city presents a heterogeneous mix of history and modernism. Agglomerated and chaotic at the first glance, Rome knows how to conquer the heart of its visitors and it is one of the best choices for a city break.
That’s why we can’t recommend you a one-day tour. It would be a pity to try discovering Rome in just a day. You could spend years in the Eternal City and you will not discover all its beauties. We will give you a 10 km walking tour with the attractions from the heart of Rome. Remember that’s just the beginning of a tremendous and fascinating discovery. This is not a one-day tour, but we would stay 3 days on this tour with 2 nights of accommodation on the way. You can book 2 one-night stays at two hotels or hostels on the way.
OK! Let’s start from San Pietro Square in the Vatican city, where you can visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, The Vatican Museums, the Vatican gardens. This is the heart of Catholic church and you will feel a bit of this special religious feeling even if you are not a spiritual or religious person. If you like to discover the cultural and historic heritage of a country, feel free and prepare to spend an entire day here, because you will have a lot of places to visit here.
Now let’s move to the South in this city, along the Tiber river, until you reach Bocca della Verità, a monument near the Church of Our Lady of Rome representing a "lie detector". Legend says that the teeth of the monster will clamp down on a liar's hand, and to tell a lie with your hand in the fearsome mouth is to risk losing it. Hordes of tourists line up to take the test every day (kids especially get a kick out of it), although entering the church itself requires no wait. This monument will be an original memory.
After you surround the Palatine Hill (you can reach the ancient palaces on this hill, if you want), you will find Colosseum, the gigantic edifice dedicated to the Romans' entertainment, in which life and death were just results of a cruel game. It was inaugurated in 80 A.D. with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and animal fights. It was the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire and is believed to have packed up to 50,000 people inside. Despite centuries of neglect—it was used as a quarry until the eighteenth century—it has remained intact (for the most part). Today nearly 4 million people visit annually. Admission is 12 EUR. It’s open 8:30am until one hour before sunset. Try to visit it in the morning, because throughout the day it is a very crowded place.
After that, you can continue the historical experience with the Roman Forum. It was ancient Rome's showpiece centre, a grandiose district of temples, basilicas and vibrant public spaces. The site, which was originally an Etruscan burial ground, was first developed in the 7th century BC, growing over time to become the social, political and commercial hub of the Roman empire. It is the place from where Rome administered its empire. Landmark sights include the Arco di Settimio Severo, the Curia and the Casa delle Vestali.
The next stop of the tour is in the Navona Square, where the three fountains represent the main attractions: Fiumi fountain, Neptune fountain and Moro fountain. Piazza Navona is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, souvenir shops, and the Museo di Roma inside the Renaissance Palazzo Braschi. The city’s Baroque art is on full display here.
Heading to the East, 500 meters away, you will discover the majestic building of the Pantheon, a Roman temple built 1900 years ago and converted into a Christian church. A feat of architectural ingenuity, it was the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome until the modern era, has been called the world’s only architecturally perfect building, and is the best-preserved monument of Imperial Rome. It is also the burial place of the painter Raphael.
Continuing the tour on the East, soon you’ll reach Fontana di Trevi, the famous fountain of love in which every tourist throws a coin to make a wish. Nicola Salvi’s awe-inspiring Baroque masterpiece features a marble statue of Neptune at the center, surrounded by tritons. Legend has it that anyone who throws a coin in the fountain will return to Rome. Unfortunately, the gorgeous fountain tends to be overrun by tourists vying for that perfect selfie angle and street hawkers selling cheap souvenirs. Visit early in the morning or late at night, when the crowds disperse.
Sant'Angelo castle, the Pope’s residence. This structure was built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian at the end of the 1st-century, C.E.. During the course of history, it has also served as a papal residency and a prison. As you may know from The Da Vinci Code, there’s a passageway here that runs into the Vatican.
The last stop on our tour is Villa Borghese. Nowhere in Rome will you find such a magnificent collection of Baroque art. The villa itself is a masterpiece, commissioned by seventeenth-century Cardinal Scipione Borghese to house his treasures, including Antonio Canova’s sculpture of Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister as Venus Victrix, Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, and Caravaggio’s self portrait as Bacchus. Tickets must be reserved in advance for slotted times. After perusing the villa’s galleries, take a leisurely stroll through the idyllic Villa Borghese park, where orange trees and flowers bloom. Meander south toward Piazza del Popolo. You can take rowboat out on the lake, visit the zoo, see a play at a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, or stop by two museums on the park’s edge: the Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna.
At the end of this tour you will discover that you are a little in love with the Roman lifestyle and culture and the next tours will bring you closer to the Italian spirit. Italy is a lifelong discovery.