These might be among the most popular tourist attractions in the world, but they have gained that status of their own accord. You can expect crowds most of the time, but you can also expect to leave the sites with awe.
The Colosseum is easily Rome’s and perhaps Italy’s most recognizable landmarks. This huge arena dates back thousands of years and was originally designed to hold up to fifty thousand spectators for any number of events. Lions, gladiators and much more held court here and you can still see the intricate number of cells and rooms beneath what used to be the floor of the arena. These rooms were used to bring animals, gladiators and human sacrifices up to the yard without interfering with each other beneath the surface.
Once a seat of power for the ancient city, Capitoline Hill is still used for governmental purposes today. An excellent place to start a tour of ancient Rome is the Capitoline’s Piazza Campidoglio. The piazza and its buildings were constructed or modified according to plans laid out by Michelangelo
The Roman and Imperial Forums
The ruins of the forum are at the center of Rome and are a standing testament to the city’s ancient power. You can easily spend a day walking through the forums and stopping to admire the various sections that have been uncovered. Archeologists are still at work in the forums looking for new secrets and uncovering mysteries, but take time to visit the Forum of Caesar, the Temple of Peace, and the Forum of Trajan.
The Temples of Ancient Rome
Ancient Romans worshiped a series of gods and built temples in the honor of those they most feared or respected. Those worth visiting include the temples of Saturn, Castor and Pollux, Venus and the Temple of Roma. Other temples were named after leaders and two of the most noteworthy of these include the temples of Caesar and Vespasian.
The Temple of the Pantheon is one of the most distinguishing landmarks of Rome and one of the best preserved landmarks of the ancient city. The Emperor Hadrian commissioned the Pantheon on the site of Agrippa’s ancient temple to the gods, and he dedicated his lasting monument to Agrippa. The Pantheon is the final resting place of Raphael who was best known for his paintings during the Renaissance.