Top 3 Sites in Rome: Popularity Wise

In a city filled with antiquity icons and the Christian faith, it’s hard to decide where to go first. Your interests will govern your choices, but certain sites are almost obligatory landmarks of Italy and top attractions worldwide.

Rome is so big that it can be overwhelming, so even the most devoted sightseer should take some time to kick back and enjoy la dolce vita in a park. In this article, you will find the top 3 sites Rome is famous for.

The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine 

As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the Flavian Amphitheatre is to Rome. The largest structure left to us by Roman antiquity, the Colosseum, still provides the base for sports arenas – the football stadium design is based on this oval Roman plan.

Vespasian in AD 72 constructed the building, and after his son, Titus, added the fourth story, it was inaugurated in AD 80 with various games. It was large enough for theatrical performances, festivals, circuses, or games.

Beside the Colosseum stands the equally famous Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch erected by the Senate to honor the emperor as “liberator of the city and bringer of peace” after his victory in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312.

Vatican City 

The Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world, with an area of less than a square kilometer, most of it enclosed by the Vatican walls. Inside are the Vatican palace and gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square, an area ruled by the Pope. This compact space offers a lot of things to visit, between museums and the great basilica itself.

In St. Peter’s Basilica is Michelangelo’s masterpiece, Pieta, along with statuary and altars by Bernini and others. The main highlight of the Vatican museums is the Sistine Chapel, whose magnificent frescoed ceiling is Michelangelo’s most famous work.

Inside the Vatican Palace are the Raphael Rooms; the Borgia Apartments; the Vatican Library, and several museums, including the Picture Gallery, Museum of Secular Art, Etruscan Museum, and others. Ticket lines for the Vatican’s top attractions are long, and you can wait several hours in line. To save time, purchase a Skip the Line: Vatican Museums with St. Peter’s, Sistine Chapel, and Small-Group Upgrade tour from sites like Rome2Rio in advance. This tour allows you to bypass the long lines and walk straight into the museums with a knowledgeable guide.

The Pantheon 

The Pantheon is the best-preserved monument of Roman antiquity, which has been intact for over 2000 years. Even though Pope Gregory III removed the gilded bronze roof tiles, and Pope Urban VIII ordered its bronze roof stripped and melted down to cast the canopy over the altar in St. Peter’s and cannons for Castel Sant’Angelo, the structure is still in its element.

It was rebuilt after damage by fire in AD 80, and the resulting brickwork shows the extraordinarily high mastery of Roman builders. Its 43-meter dome hangs suspended without visible supports. These are well hidden inside the walls, and its nine-meter central opening is the building’s only light source.