Do you have a trip to Rome planned? Discover the 11 tours you can't miss in the eternal city
Whenever we travel to new places in the world, we ask ourselves which places are, in fact, not to be missed. In the case of Rome, which brings together so many attractions, it is difficult to select just a few highlights, as the eternal city manages to enchant visitors even in a simple, unpretentious walk.
However, there are those that cannot be left out and that must be visited at least once in a lifetime on a trip to the Italian capital. Some of these must-see places are well known and visited, while others are off the beaten path.
Remembering that, in some of the busiest tours, it is always good to secure your tickets in advance to avoid queues. Some Rome-based tourist agencies, such as Elmocar, in addition to providing guides who speak Portuguese, also guarantee tickets by appointment, which avoid hours and hours of waiting to visit the attractions. They also have a very modern and comfortable photo of cars that take Brazilian tourists through the most interesting places in Rome and Italy.
Discover the 11 must-see tours to do in Rome and plan your trip:
Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Imagine tracing the same steps as the great Roman Emperors and gladiators? Visiting the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Paladin is like really stepping back into a very distant past, so it's one of the must-see tours to do in Rome. The best thing is that the ticket that gives access to the Colosseum also includes visits to the Roman Forum and the Palatine, so it is not necessary to purchase the attractions separately.
For starters, it is impossible to think of visiting Rome without including the Colosseum in the itinerary, one of the tours, right? The huge arena that was the stage for gladiator battles has become one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Built between 70 and 90 BC, the space held crowds of up to 80,000 spectators and was even used for naval battles, once it was possible to fill the arena with water.
Rome is known for its seven hills and the Palatine Hill is the most central of them all. Therefore, the site is considered one of the oldest parts of the Italian capital. According to Roman mythology, it was there where the twins Romulus and Remus were suckled by the wolf and gave rise to the city.
The Roman Forum, on the other hand, is right next to the Palatine and, in turn, was the center of power in the city, where political, economic and religious issues of the time were dealt with. The Forum is a large set of buildings where the main public agencies, commerce and leisure operated, therefore, the greatest symbol of Roman politics. Walking through its ruins is, for sure, one of the must-see tours to do in Rome.
Vatican and Sistine Chapel
There is not the slightest possibility of visiting Rome and not visiting the Vatican, the smallest independent country in the world and seat of the Catholic Church. More than the Pope's home, the Vatican holds true relics of humanity, one of which is the Sistine Chapel, the masterpiece of Michelangelo's genius.
Visit the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries that showcase great works from the Renaissance and hold relics of great masters such as Raphael, Da Vinci and Caravaggio. Highlights include the Sala de Raffaello Sanzio, where you can admire beautiful frescoes by the artist and the Gallery of Maps, a long corridor that has more than 40 maps representing the Papal States.
Finally, at the end of the route of the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel and its beautiful frescoes that completely cover the walls and the vault, which Michelangelo took more than four years to complete. There is no doubt that these are some must-see tours to do in Rome.
St. Peter's Basilica
Still in the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica is another must-see in Rome for a well-known reason: it is the most important religious temple of the Catholic Church. The works of art, of course, are also present inside, the most famous being Michelangelo's Pietá. What also calls attention is its huge dome, also designed by the Renaissance master, completely surrounded by magnificent mosaics.
Those who wish can go up to the dome of the Basilica, where they can have one of the most incredible panoramic views of Rome that will undoubtedly yield good clicks. However, it takes willingness: there are 320 steps to reach the top, but the effort is clearly rewarded.
Art and culture enthusiasts should include a visit to the Galleria Borghese in their stay in Rome. In addition to bringing together important works of art and being one of the most important museums in Rome, the space itself is already rich in paintings and details to be contemplated.
Housed in an old mansion built between 1613 and 1616 by the Borghese family, one of the noblest in Europe, the Galleria Borghese, despite being small compared to other Italian museums, presents priceless sculptures by Renaissance artists such as Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, among others. The museum also houses one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Bernini's Rape of Proserpina, based on the Roman myth of Proserpine's abduction by Pluto.
Passion of Christ Tour
It goes without saying that religious tourism is very strong in Rome, so there are several tours focused on pilgrims and Christians visiting the city. It is possible to follow the path of the last hours of Jesus Christ through relics preserved in some churches in the city, a tour known as the Passion of Christ.
Highlights include the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome. In the Basilica of Santa Prassede, built in the 8th century, there is a fragment of the pillar on which Christ was flogged. The Basilica of St. John Lateran, the first of four papal basilicas to be built, is also part of the route.
The Basilica of Santa Cruz, which is also among the temples visited, was built in the 4th century AD. to preserve the relics brought to Rome by Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, who in the year 326 traveled to the Holy Land with the desire to rediscover the places of the Passion of Christ. Finally, the Cappella delle Reliquie keeps some thorns from the crown of Christ and three pieces of the cross where he died.
Rome at dusk
If Rome already enchants at any time of day, at dusk it gains a special charm and magic with the low sun rays illuminating its monuments. So, without a doubt, one of the must-see tours to do in Rome is a walk at dusk.
There is the possibility of taking a tourist bus tour of the Eternal City at dusk, visiting Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful baroque squares in Rome, where the Fountain of the Four Rivers is located, as well as Piazza di Trevi, to admire all the charm of the beautiful Trevi Fountain.
Other tours by car or on foot also see other monuments during sunset. There is also the possibility of making a Rome night tour, such as the one offered by Elmocar with guides who speak Portuguese in very comfortable cars, in addition to saving time and energy.
The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved monuments in Rome and, without a doubt, another must-see in the city. Its historical and cultural importance is such that it is the only building dating from the Greco-Roman period that is still in an excellent state of conservation.
The more than 2,000-year-old temple, built around 27 BC, was a polytheistic holy site, dedicated to all the Roman gods, and later became a Catholic church. Today, in addition to its historical importance and architectural beauty, illustrious personalities such as the painters Raffaello and Annibale Caracci, as well as King Vittorio Emanuele, are buried in the structure.
Final Judgment, a musical spectacle
If you want to be enchanted by a show full of special effects and a lot of emotion, be sure to include “Final Judgment” in your script, which is showing at the Auditorium della Conciliazione. The plot is based on The Last Judgment, Michelangelo's masterpiece and the greatest jewel of the Sistine Chapel.
Immersive 270º projections take the audience inside the artworks of the Sistine Chapel to the sound of a soundtrack composed by Sting and Gabriele Vacis, uniting past and present in an artistic sensory experience lasting approximately 60 minutes. The show was produced by renowned director Marco Balich and has daily performances. To see available dates and show times, Click here.
Like the Catacombs of Rome, the visit to the Capuchin Crypt is a bit macabre, but at the same time interesting, reflective and peculiar, which makes it one of the must-see tours in Rome. In the middle of Via Veneto, one of the most famous streets in Rome, is the church of Nostra Signora della Concezione dei Cappuccini, built in 1626 by Pope Urban VIII, whose brother was a Capuchin monk.
The most impressive is its crypt, which has more than four thousand bones of Capuchin monks, coming from the cemetery of the Capuchin Order, between 1528 and 1870, in its walls. Among them are also mummified monks in their robes, scattered throughout the five spaces in which the crypt is divided. Among them is the body of Saint Felix of Cantalice and the tomb of Blessed Crispin of Viterbo.
Leonardo da Vinci Experience
If you want to know more about the creations of the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci, you can't miss the Leonardo da Vinci Experience museum, which is located near St. Peter's Square in the Vatican.
There, several works by the polymath are exhibited, including those related to painting, astronomy, sculpture, drawings, scientific projects, among others produced between 1452 and 1519. In addition to replicas of 50 of the artist's inventions, there is also a space that delves into the history behind works such as the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, among others. There's no way not to include this as one of the must-see tours to do in Rome. The museum is open every day from 9 am to 7:30 pm.
Cruise on the Tiber River
One of the must-do tours in Rome for those who want a different view of the city is to sail on a charming cruise along the Tiber River. There are options that make journeys of one hour, in addition to other options where it is possible to hop on and off at several stops along the approximately 6 km route.
Some boat tours have lunch, dinner and live music to make the experience even more enchanting. Along the river, you can make stops near places like Piazza del Popolo, Castel Sant'Angelo and the Vatican. The Tiber river boat cruise service operates daily and departs normally from Pier Sant'Angelo.
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