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Visit the Vatican City – What to see

Unless you are in the capital for a single day, you can not miss in your itinerary to visit Rome a stop in the Vatican City.

We suggest that you arrive early in the morning (get off at Ottaviano-San Pietro metro stop) when the flow of visitors is still limited. You will still have the whole day ahead of you to visit all of the attractions of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Grottos, the wonderful Vatican Museums (you should buy tickets online to skip the queue).
Note: If you want to enjoy all the treasures of the Vatican and visit Rome while saving time and keeping an eye on the wallet, you can take advantage of the Omnia Vatican & Rome card which gives you also unrestricted access to public transport and allows you to enjoy several discounts.

Buy the Omnia Vatican & Rome card here

Below we provide you with some information about the Vatican City so that you will not be unprepared:

Where it is

The Vatican City stretches on the right bank of the Tiber, in an area where there was no urban development. The Ager Vaticanus began to be taken into consideration only at the end of the Republican age (1st century AD) when villas and gardens were built there. Later Augusto (63bc – 14ad) completed a naval battleground (naumachia), while Nero (37 ad – 68ad) made a circus. In the circus and in the gardens of Nero, many Christians were martyred, including St. Peter (67 AD).

In memory of the Apostle the construction of the two grandiose basilicas was started: the first wanted by Emperor Constantine in 324, the second wanted by Pope Julius II in the Renaissance and built on the same place as the previous one.

Near the basilica, over the centuries, the Vatican City has been developed, where the head of the Catholic Church lives and that is a jealous guardian of invaluable art treasures.

When it was born

The state of the Vatican was born on February 11, 1929, when representatives of the Holy See and those of the Italian State signed in the Lateran Palace, a Treaty establishing the State of the Vatican City, as an independent state with precise topographical boundaries. The treaty entered into force on 7 June of the same year.

Characteristics

Vatican City extends over an area of 0.440 sq km with a population of about 836 inhabitants. It prints its own currency, but because of the customs and monetary union with Italy it has adopted the Euro. On the eight types of coins, the epiphany of the reigning pope is printed in the national face. It prints also its own postage stamps valid for worldwide shipments, but only when delivered by the Vatican Post.

The state prints its own newspaper, the Roman Observer, and has its own Vatican Radio station, inaugurated by Guglielmo Marconi in 1931.

The official language is Italian, while Latin is the official language of the Holy See.

Inside the Vatican City and in the extraterritorial buildings the service of police patrol and of police are performed by the police officers and by the Swiss Guard.

The Pope

He is head of state and at the same time bishop of Rome. He enjoys full and supreme court jurisdiction over the whole Church. He is assisted in the government of the Church by a Sacred College of Cardinals and by the Roman Curia.

You can attend Papa Francesco’s hearings every Wednesday at St. Peter’s Square (find out how to do it here!)

The Pontifical Swiss Guards

It is an armed body serving the papacy since January 22, 1506, when a group of 150 mercenaries swept into the Papal State to serve Pope Julius II.

To become a Swiss guard one has to meet certain requirements:

he must be of male, be of Catholic faith, have a Swiss citizenship and an age between 18 and 30 years. In addition, one must have served in the Swiss Army and remain celibate (marriage is only granted to those who reach the rank of senior and upper grades).

VATICAN MUSEUMS – CURIOSITIES ABOUT THE CAPPELLA SISTINA

For those visiting Rome, a stop at the Vatican Museums is a must (click here for tickets of Vatican Museums to skip the queue). They are in fact one of the largest art collections in the world and visiting them is truly an exciting experience.
The rooms of Raphael, the Pio-Clementine Museum, the Art Gallery, the Gallery of Geographical Maps are all attractions not to be missed, but what alone is worth a visit is the amazing Sistine Chapel, work of Michelangelo and undisputed masterpiece of Italian art.

And just to prepare you to know this incredible treasure, we provide below a short list of some curiosities about the Sistine Chapel that you might like to know

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Curiosities about the Sistine Chapel

  • The name of the Sistine Chapel derives from Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned the work
  • The marvelous paintings of the Sistine Chapel extend for 1,110 square meters, roughly a sixth the size of a football field.
  • It is not true that Michelangelo has painted his frescos working on his back. He worked on a platform he had invented, which extended over half of the chapel area and allowed him to stand up. The platform was moved halfway through the project. Michelangelo never had the chance to look at his work in progress from below, but he painted from a distance of a few centimeters.
  • In most of the male nudes that decorate the ceiling of Michelangelo, there are many acorns, a recurring motif among the artist’s frescoes to pay homage to the name Rovere (Rovere is synonymous with oak) to which the family of Julius II belonged.
  • The first Conclave that was held in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace was that of 1492.  From 1870 onwards the Chapel became the seat of all the conclaves.
  • The doors of the Sistine Chapel were blocked. The word conclave (the meeting of the College of Cardinals for an election of the Pope) comes from the Latin cum clave, that is (closed) with the key.
  • The first mass in the Sistine Chapel was the one celebrated by Pope Sixtus IV on the 15 August 1483.
  • The Sistine Chapel is visited by more than 6 million people a year.
  • The Sistine Chapel today as in the past is also used as a private chapel of the Pope.
  • The Sistine Chapel is dedicated to Maria Assunta (taken to the sky).

You may also be interested

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The Vatican – Curiosities That You Might not Know

Established after the Lateran Pacts of 1929, the Vatican is the modern version of the State of the Church that ruled most of the central regions up to the Unity of Italy in 1861. The Vatican City is an independent state where the pope is the highest authority. They have a postal service, a newspaper, a radio station and an army, the Swiss guards.

Buy the Omnia Vatican & Rome card here

Below you will find some curiosities about the Vatican that you may want to know

Citizenship

You can not be a Vatican citizens by birth: the Vatican citizenship is aquired by those who, even lay people, reside there for reasons of office or employment. The spouse, children, and brothers of a Vatican citizen retain their citizenship provided they are cohabiting

Swiss Guards

Even though Switzerland today has the reputation of being a pacifist nation, in 1500 it had an unstoppable military force. With their great ability to handle the halberd, a combination of a spear and an axe, the army ground troops were able to demolish enemy legions on horseback. After witnessing their power in battle, Pope Julius II (the commissioner of the Sistine Chapel) wanted some soldiers as personal guards. Since then, the Swiss guards swore allegiance to the pope.
Even though we are used to seeing Swiss guards in Renaissance dresses, in fact the real Pope’s guards are wearing much more modern civilian clothes and arms than halberds!

The Official Language

The official language of the state is Italian. Latin is the language of the Holy See: not by chance the Vatican City law is exclusively written in Latin

The Death Penalty

The death penalty remained in force until 1969 as the punishment for the attempted or done murder of a pope. In that year Pope Paul VI made it de facto but not de jure invalid, which meant that was officially abolished, but was not completely removed from the Fundamental Law (equivalent to our Constitution). It was definitively abolished with the revision of the latter only in 2001 according to the will of John Paul II.

Criminality

According to a study conducted by the German magazine Der Spiegel in 2007, the Vatican is the country with the highest crime rate in the world per inhabitant. There have been 486 criminal cases and 341 civil cases on which the Vatican Ministry of Justice has investigated. The most common crime? Theft.

But How much Money Own the Vatican?

It is not easy to answer because the accounts of the Vatican’s economic activities have not been published for 125 years.
Only in 2012, following the policy of transparency and rigor put into effect by Pope Francis, the IOR (Institute for Religious Works) had to publish the 2012 budget, showing a profit of 86.6 million euros. If you want to know the current budget, see the 2015 report published on the official portal.

The Sanpietrini

In the past, in the days when the Church celebrated its most solemn feasts, the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica was illuminated with a flame of fire: the pans on which the fire burned were lit by so-called sanpietrini, who climbed along the dome’s curves. The remarkable ability of these intrepid climbers was an object of admiration for foreigners, who considered the enterprise possible only by those who had been practicing it since the youth.

The sanpietrini word is used also for the blocks of leucitite (an eruptive rock), also called flint or paving stone, used to make the typical Roman pavement.

You may also be interested

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The Colosseo (Colosseum) – What is it like?

The Colosseum 罗马竞技场- 10 Curiosities All To Discover

“As long as there is Colosseum, there will also be Rome; When the Colosseum falls, Rome will also fall; When Rome falls, the world will fall as well”

(Prophecy of the Venerable Beda, eigth century).

A symbol of the greatness and power of Rome, the Flavian Amphitheater, is the most famous and impressive monument of ancient Rome and an attraction that still attracts, after two thousand years, about 5 million visitors a year.

So, whether you plan a short visit, or decide to visit Rome in 3 days or more, a stop at the Colosseum is a must.
Buy the Colosseum priority ticket here!
To let you have some knowledge when visiting this wonder, we reveal some curiosities that you may not have known before. Here they are:

When it was built

The amphitheater was built by the Emperor Vespasian on the grounds of the vast complex of the Domus Aurea of Nero. The work started in 72 a.d. and ended in 80 a.d. under the Emperor Tito. The inauguration ceremony lasted 100 days, during which 5,000 animals were killed.

The size

The shape of the Colosseum is not round but oval. It is an enormous ellipse with a 527 meter perimeter. Originally it was 52 meters tall but today its height is about 48 meters. These dimensions make it the largest amphitheater in the world. At the top there were 240 uprights supporting the “velario”, a huge fabric tapestry that covered the arena. The viewers came from 80 arched entrances (vomitoria) and could fill the Colosseum in minutes

The capacity

The Flavian amphitheater could accommodate 50,000 spectators

The origin of the name

The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, in honor of the illustrious Flavi family to which belonged the emperors Vespasian, Tito and Domiziano, who started and completed the construction work.The name Colosseum dates back to the Middle Ages and refers not to its size, but to the size of the Colossus of Nero, a giant statue that was at its side.

Another hypothesis is that the name derives from its position, because it is located on a hill where once there was a temple of Isis (from which “Collis Isei”).

Usages

In addition to the fights of gladiators, the Colosseum was also used as a pool for naumachie, that is, representations of naval battles. A civil and environmental engineering professor of the University of Edinburgh, Martin Crapper, suggested that water ran through a series of internal wells and pipes under the stands and calculated that the time needed to fill the entire arena would have been of about 7 hours.

The shows

At the Colosseum the shows lasted for an entire day. The spectators were forced to bring from home soft cushions to be able to sit on the hard stone seats.

Seats

All the people could take part in the games that took place in the Colosseum. Class distinctions were made only for the assignement of seats. The cavea was in fact divided into three parts: the senators sat in the lower rows, the less wealthy in the middle rows and the plebeians in the higher rows. The women (except the vestals) were relegated to the top. For the most well-off classes the seats were in marble, while for the other people the seats were in wood. Like today, everyone had a numbered ticket and each spectator had a place assigned to a specific seat.

The podium, a large terrace in front of the rows of seats, was reserved for the emperor and senators and other personalities of concern.

As a garden

After its decline after the end of the empire, the Colosseum was covered with plants, some were exotic, and grew up with the help of the microclimate of the amphitheater. There would be about 350 species of plants that for centuries have been studied by botany experts.

The Colosseum as a quarry

During the Renaissance it was used as a travertine and marble quarry for the construction of many buildings including Palazzo Venezia and Palazzo Barberini. People stopped taking materials from the Flavian Amphitheater only in the 18th century after a renewed love for the ancient Roman vestiges. It has been calculated that only one third of the original construction has been left.

Among the seven new wonders of the world

Since 2007, the Colosseum has been included among the seven new wonders of the world along with the Great Wall of China, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio in Brazil, the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Chichen Itza pyramids in Mexico and the Taj Mahal in India.
If you are interested to know more about the main symbol of Rome, see the page How is the Colosseum done?

Visit Rome in 3 days - Colosseum

Rome: the beautiful Colosseum 罗马竞技场

What to see in Rome. The Ten Attractions Not To Be Missed

What to see in Rome? The only answer to this question would be “Everything!”, because the eternal city offers a multitude of jaw-dropping places, monuments, and attractions. Like cherries, a place in Rome is linked to another, so much that it would take months to visit them all.

To raise you from the embarrassment of a choice in case you only have time to visit Rome in 3 days, we offer you a list of what to see: we have selected 10 attractions that are truly unmissable. Some of them are included in the Roma Pass circuit, a tourist-cultural card that allows you to enjoy the museums of Rome and the beauties of the capital with discounts and services.
So here are our tips on what to see in Rome

Colosseum and Imperial Forums (Colosseo and Fori Imperiali)

What to see in Rome: the Colosseum is more than anything else the symbol of Rome and of Italy itself. Started by Vespasian in 72 AD, was inaugurated by his son Tito in the year 80 a.d.. It could accommodate more than 50,000 spectators who came here to witness the fights of gladiators or animals. It is the largest of the Roman monuments that have remained so far and an indispensable stop for those visiting the capital.The visit of the Colosseum can be completed with a visit to the Imperial Forums that you can admire from the Alessandrina street that runs along it. You can get an idea of how life could have been in ancient Rome.

The forums were in fact the main squares of the city, where the public buildings were built, where there was the market and people were busy in business.

You can visit also the Roman Forum and the Palatine Open Air Museum (Museo Palatino): if you have entered the Colosseum your ticket includes also a visit to the latter described two places.
Information: The Colosseum is open every day 9-17 except December 25 and January 1. Until 15 February 8.30 – 16.30; from 16 February to 15 March 8.30 – 17.00; from 16 to the last Saturday of March 8.30 – 17.30; from the last Sunday of March to 31 August 8.30 – 19.15; from 1 to 30 September 08.30 – 19.00; from the 1st to the last Saturday of October 8.30am to 6.30pm. Last entry one hour before closing. Full ticket price € 12, reduced ticket price € 7.50, free under 18 years. Included in the Roma Pass.

Pantheon

The interior of the Pantheon in Rome. It is a temple dedicated to all gods, and is the best preserved building in ancient Rome, that was transformed into a Christian church in 608. The Pantheon was built by Agrippa in 27 a.c., as evidenced by the inscription on the fronton. Both its height and the inside diameter measure 43.3 meters. The extraordinary dome, which represents the largest stone vault ever built, is considered the most important work of classical architecture.

Trevi Fountain (Fontana Di Trevi)

One of the things to see in Rome is certainly the Trevi Fountain. Along with the Colosseum is one of the symbols of Rome in the world. This beautiful baroque fountain, designed by Nicola Savi in 1732, occupies almost all the small square where it is located. It represents the Neptune’s chariot towed by tritons with marine horses (a wild one and a docile one) symbolizing the different aspects of the sea. It is one of the most photographed monuments in Rome.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, absolutely to see in Rome. It is one of the most beautiful and largest squares of the Capital, a popular meeting place for both visitors and Romans. It is built on the ruins of a stadium dating back to the 86 a.d.. and is surrounded by Baroque palaces. At the center of the square there is the magnificent Fountain of the Four Rivers, Bernini’s masterpiece, representing the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata.

Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna is among the things to visit in Rome.

This baroque square dating back to 1725, with its famous Staicase of Trinity of Mountains (recently restored), has always attracted tourists and travelers and is still a popular meeting place today. The boat-shaped fountain (Barcaccia) in the square is the work of Pietro Bernini, father of the famous Gian Lorenzo, and represents a sinking boat. It is one of the main places for the night life in the historic center of Rome.

Piazza Venezia

Among the attractions to visit in Rome you cannot miss Piazza Venezia.

Connected to the Colosseum via the monumental Via dei Fori Imperiali is perhaps the most important crossroad of the city. On its sides there are Palazzo Venezia, the first great Renaissance building in Rome and the Vittoriano monument, which was built in 1885 to celebrate the unity of Italy. Opened in 1911, it was then dedicated to the unknown soldier.
Information: The lifts to climb to the top of the Vittoriano are open from Monday to Thursday from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm and from Friday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm.

Basilica of Saint Peter

The unmissable Basilica of St. Peter in Rome is located where in the year 324 the Emperor Constantine erected a sanctuary in honor of Peter the Apostle, who had been crucified and buried there.Today’s appearance is due to the Bramante project, dating back to 1506. Artists such as Raffaello, Antonio da San Gallo and Michelangelo participated in its construction. The interiors, as well as the colonnade were designed by Bernini. The basilica is the largest church in the world. The entry is free.
Information: 1 October – 31 March every day from 7.00 to 18.30 / 1 April to 30 September every day from 7 to 19.00. Free admission.

Vatican Museums

The Laocoonte is preserved in the Vatican Museums.

Among the most beautiful museum complexes in the world, they host an incredible collection of works of art collected by various popes over the centuries. To visit them, you can make different itineraries, which all finish in the Sistine Chapel. The buildings hosting the Vatican Museums stretch over an area of 5.5 hectares. Definitely to be seen are the Pinacoteca, the Pio-Clementine Museum, the Geographic Gallery, the Raffello Rooms and the Sistine Chapel.
Information: Monday to Saturday 9.00-18.00 (last entry at 4 p.m. and exit from the halls half an hour before the closing). Full ticket price € 16, reduced ticket price € 8. website: mv.vatican.va/2_IT/pages/MV_Home.html

Capitoline Museums

The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius is preserved in the Capitoline Museums.

The are the world’s oldest public sculpture gallery. Created by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471, they were enriched by later popes as new statues were brought to light. The museums occupy the New Palace and the Conservatory Palace, both located on the Piazza del Campidoglio.
Information: Open daily 9.30-19.30, 24 and 31 December 9.30-14. The ticket office closes an hour before. Closed on January 1, May 1, December 31. Full ticket price € 14, reduced ticket price € 12. Included in the Roma Pass.

Borghese Museum and Gallery

Boy with fruit basket by Caravaggio at the Borghese Museum and Gallery

They are located in the park of Villa Borghese, the green lung of Rome, and have one of the most prestigious collections of art objects in Rome. In one place you will find concentrated works by Caravaggio, Bernini, Botticelli and Raffaello, and the famous Canova statue depicting Paolina Borghese as the winner Venus.

Information: closed on Monday, Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm Closed on January 1, December 25. The entrance is allowed until half an hour before the closing time.

Full ticket price € 11,00 (9,00 + 2,00 for mandatory booking), reduced ticket price € 6,50 (4,50 + 2,00 for mandatory booking). The cost of the entrance ticket to the museum could be increased after the amount paid at the time of booking for the opening of a temporary exhibition. Included in the Roma Pass.
Of course, the list of what to see in Rome could be much larger, but after seeing just the 10 attractions above, you will be able to return home from your trip definitely pleased!

Piazza Navona and the squares of the historic center – walking itinerary

Piazza Navona is one of the many wonderful squares in Rome’s historic center. Each square has its own singular style, and none should be missed. In order to visit them all, we created a walking itinerary you can include in your Rome holiday program, especially if your plan is to stay in Rome for 3 days.
The itinerary starts from Piazza Colonna, dominated by the 30-meter column of Marcus Aurelius. This is the heart of Italian politics, featuring the sixteenth-century Palazzo Chigi, which has been the official residence of the President of the Council of Ministers since 1961.
Right next to it is Piazza Montecitorio. Here you will find the seat of the House of Deputies, active since 1871. Before the Unification of Italy, the seventeenth-century palace housed the Pontifical Curia and the Ecclesiastical Tribunal. The obelisk in the center of the square was brought from Heliopolis in Egypt by Augustus to celebrate his victory over Cleopatra and Mark Antony in 30 B.C.
From Piazza Colonna, follow Via dei Bergamaschi to reach Piazza di Pietra, a charming square with the remains of the Tempio di Adriano, dating back to the 2nd century A.D.


Piazza della Rotonda in Rome, right outside the Pantheon

Walk through Via de’ Burro, past the majestic columns of the temple, and up to Piazza Sant’Ignazio and its eponymous church. Then, take Via del Seminario up to Piazza della Rotonda, a crowded square dominated by the amazing Pantheon, one of the most iconic buildings of Western architecture. After admiring the Pantheon, walk along Via Salita dei Crescenzi, turn left unto Via di Sant’Eustachio, and reach Piazza Sant’Eustachio. Have a break at Caffè Eustachio and enjoy their espresso, considered the best in Rome. Continue through Via degli Staderari until you reach Corso del Rinascimento, then turn left, then immediately turn right.

You will finally arrive in the beautiful Piazza Navona, an exhibition of Rome’s historic center, featuring sculpted fountains, gorgeous baroque palaces and outdoor cafes. The square is always crowded with tourists, street performers and vendors. Piazza Navona has been the Rome’s main market place for 300 years. The works of two great Baroque artists can be compared here: Bernini’s Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi and the Church of Sant’Agnes in Agone of Borromini.

After leaving the square, follow Via del Governo Vecchio, a street filled with boutiques, second-hand shops and trattorias. At the end of it turn left unto Via dei Filippini. Then continue up to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a road that splits the historic center in two parts.

Cross it, follow Via dei Cartari up to Via del Pellegrino and you will reach Campo dei Fiori. This loud and colorful square is one of the hearts of Roman life. In the daytime it hosts one of the most famous markets of the city. In the evening it turns into an outdoor bar.
The philosopher Giordano Bruno died here as heretic on the stake in 1600.

End the itinerary in Piazza Farnese, a square in the historic center right outside of the eponymous Renaissance-style Palace

PANORAMIC HOP ON HOP OFF BUS: TOUR WITH CITY SIGHTSEEING OF ROME

Discovering the wonders of the eternal city aboard a panoramic hop-on hop-off bus is ideal if you have little time available or are traveling around the capital with children. On board of the bus of the City Sightseeing Rome company, you can admire all the main attractions of Rome: the Colosseum, Piazza di Spagna, Vatican City and all the other treasures of Rome will have no more secrets for you!

The ticket is valid 24 or 48 hours.

BUY YOUR TICKET NOW

With a hop on hop off bus of the City Sightseeing Roma you will be able to:

  • Spend all the time you want in the various stops along the way
  • Get on and off at any of the 8 stops or sit back and enjoy the whole bus ride
  • Listen to the interesting tourist information of the on-board audio guide
  • Share your fantastic experience with friends and family with free WiFi on the bus
  • Check the location of City Sightseeing by downloading the “Sightseeing Experience” app

Note: the ticket does not include the entrance fees to the different attractions

HOW LONG DOES THE TOUR TAKE?

The whole tour takes 1 hour and 40 minutes and, thanks to the hop on hop off service, you can get off at any of the stops available along the way

DAILY DEPARTURES

Departures are from 09:00 am to 7:00 pm from any stop on the tour. Buses leave every 10 minutes from April to October and every 15-20 minutes from November to March

MEETING PLACE

Any stop on Line A (the stop 6 of the Vatican is in Via Borgo Sant’Angelo, 200 meters before the stop indicated on the tour map)

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

From 25 euros per person

LINE A STOPS

  • Stop 1: Terminal A. Termini Marsala/Terminal B. Largo di Villa Peretti/ Terminal C Piazza dei Cinquecento, all’angolo con Via Cavour
  • Stop 2: Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Stop 3: Colosseum
  • Stop 4: Circo Massimo
  • Stop 5: Piazza Venezia
  • Stop 6: Vatican
  • Stop 7: Fontana Di Trevi
  • Stop 8: Piazza Barberini

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You may also be interested

Visiting Rome in 3 days – Our recommended itinerary 
Visiting Rome in 2 days with children – Where to go and what to do 
Trips outside of Rome – What to see and where to go
The Colosseum – What is it like?

VISIT ROME IN 2 DAYS WHEN IT RAINS

If you only have 2 days to visit Rome, but the weather conditions are anything but favourable, do not despair: fortunately, the eternal city offers a great number of things to do and see even indoors.
You will undoubtedly find a way to save your holiday and return home satisfied with the visit.

Below you will find our tips about what to do if you are in Rome for two days with the rain:

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VISIT A MUSEUM

Visit Rome in 2 days with the rain: the Vatican Museums

One of the things that you can do in Rome when it rains is undoubtedly to visit a museum and you are spoiled for choice. Here are the most important ones:

Vatican Museums
Visit Rome in 2 days with the rain: the Vatican Museums

With 7 km of exhibition space and more masterpieces than those of many small countries, the museums can boast one of the largest collections of art in the world 

Capitolini Museums
They are the oldest public museums in the world. The focal point is a collection of ancient statues, but you will also find many masterpieces of great Italian and Flemish painters.

Doria Panphilj Palace and Gallery
It contains one of the richest private art collections in Rome. The gallery consists of ten rooms, arranged chronologically and filled with floor-to-ceiling paintings. Do not miss the Salome with the head of the Baptist Titian and Rest on the flight to Egypt of Caravaggio and also the portrait of Innocent X by Velasquez.

ENTER THE PANTHEON

The beautiful Pantheon's dome in Rome

A nice thing to do when it rains in Rome is to go and see for yourself if it is true that the rain does not enter.
(This actually happens because the opening of the Pantheon creates a “chimney effect” that is an upward air flow that leads to the shattering of water droplets.Thus, even when there is heavy rain, you have the feeling that inside there is little rain. The fact that there are both central and lateral drainage holes on the floor to prevent puddles from forming on the floor reinforces this feeling).

A TOUR ON TOURIST BUSES

A tour of Rome on hop on hop off buses Rome when it rains: the beauty of a tour on the tourist buses.
A tour on the tourist buses can be a good idea if you are visiting Rome in 2 days in the rain. You will have the chance to see all the main attractions of the city comfortably seated and dry!

DRINK A COFFEE AT SANT’EUSTACHIO

Enjoying a good coffee at the Bar Sant'Eustachio in Rome

Watching Rome in the rain while enjoying a good coffee at the Bar Sant’Eustachio, which is said by many to be the best coffee in Rome, will certainly be a good feeling. You can go there after visiting the Pantheon, if you like.

VISIT THE CATACOMBS OF SAN CALLISTO

A visit to the Catacombs can solve the problem of what to do in Rome when it rains. The catacombs of San Callisto are the largest and most visited ones. Dug at the end of the second century on private land, they became the official cemetery of the newly established Roman Church. Here people found the tombs of about 500,000 people and the tombs of 7 popes martyred in the third century, as well as frescoes and inscriptions in Greek and Latin.

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THE FIVE ATTRACTIONS AND MONUMENTS TO VISIT IN ROME IN 2 DAYS

If you want or you can only visit Rome in two days you will have to organize your itinerary well in order to take advantage of the limited time and enjoy as many attractions as you can. We help you by listing 5 of the attractions and monuments of Rome that you should not miss.

So here is our short list of things to be included in the tour to visit Rome in two days.

The Colosseum, among the attractions to visit in Rome in two daysColosseum

Symbol of the greatness and power of Rome, the Flavian Amphitheater, is the most famous and impressive monument of ancient Rome and an attraction that still attracts, after two thousand years, about 5 million visitors a year.
The amphitheater was built by the emperor Vespasiano on the land of the vast complex of the Domus Aurea of the emperor Nero. Work began in the year 2 a.d. and ended in 80 a.d. under the emperor Titus. The inauguration ceremony lasted 100 days, during which 5,000 animals were killed.
The visit of the Colosseum, unmissable if you want to visit Rome in two days, should be completed with that of the “Fori Imperiali” (imperial Forums) that you can admire from the Via Alessandrina that runs along them. You will get an idea of what life was like in ancient Rome. The forums were in fact the main squares of the city, where public buildings stood, were there were markets and where people did their business.
You can also visit the Roman Forum and the open-air museum of the Palatine: if you have entered the Colosseum, your ticket also includes a visit to the latter two. Buy the ticket online to skip the long lines!

Information: all days except the 25 December and the 1st January 9-17. Until the15h February 8.30 – 16.30; from 16 February until the 15 March 8.30 – 17.00; from the 16 until the last Saturday of March 8.30 – 17.30; from the last Sunday of March until 31 August 8.30 – 19.15; from 1 to 30 September 08.30 – 19.00; from the 1st to the last Saturday of October 8.30 – 8.30.
Last admission one hour before closing.
Full ticket € 12, reduced ticket € 7.50, free under 18 years.

Capitoline Museums

They constitute a public gallery of the world’s oldest sculptures. Created by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471, they were enriched by successive popes as new statues were brought to light. The museums occupy the Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo dei Conservatori, both located on the Campidoglio square.
The Capitoline Museums host the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The one in the center of the square is a copy, while the original, which has been restored, is placed in a new glazed hall, the Esedra of Marcus Aurelius, in the Roman Garden, behind Palazzo dei Conservatori.

Information: open every day 9.30-19.30, 24 and 31 December 9.30-14. The ticket office closes an hour earlier. Closed on January 1st, May 1st, December 31st.
Full ticket € 14, reduced ticket € 12.

The Basilica of San Pietro, in Rome. Tickets on line to skip the queue

The Basilica of San Pietro

It is located where in 324 a.c. the emperor Constantine had a shrine erected in honour of Peter the Apostle, who was crucified and buried right there.
The look of today is due to the project of Bramante, dating back to 1506. It was built by artists such as Raphael, Antonio da San Gallo, Michelangelo. The interior, as well as the colonnade were made by Bernini. The basilica is the largest church in the world. If you want to climb on its amazing dome we suggest you to get the ticket online: skip the queue!

Information: October 1 – March 31 every day 7.00-18.30 / 1 April – 30 September every day 7-19.00.

Visit Rome in 2 days: Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo

Also known as Hadrian’s Mausoleum, Castel Sant’Angelo was the papal fortress built in the Middle Ages on the remains of the emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum. (II century a.d.).
It is located not far from the Vatican to which it is connected via the fortified corridor called the “passetto”, in the Borgo district. The fortress has been modified several times in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance. Do not leave the fortress without a stop on the “Terrazza dell’Angelo”, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city. In order to avoid queues and save time, we recommend you to order your ticket online.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, among the most spectacular attractions of the capital

Fontana di Trevi

Together with the Colosseum it is one of the symbols of Rome in the world. This splendid baroque fountain, designed by Nicola Savi in 1732, occupies almost completely the small square in which it is located. It represents the waggon of Neptune pulled by tritons with sea horses (a wild one and a docile one) that symbolize the different aspects of the sea. It is among the most photographed monuments in Rome.

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VISITING ROME IN 2 DAYS: PLACES TO GO

If you are on a quick holiday in the Eternal City and want to visit Rome’s most popular attractions in only 2 days, we recommend following our itinerary. You’ll gain insight into this charming and exciting city. What you’ll see will certainly convince you to return for a longer trip!

The following are the itinerary steps for Visiting Rome in 2 Days :

DAY 1

The Basilica of St. Peter, step one of our Visiting Rome in 2 Days itinerary.

What will you see:
Città del Vaticano
Musei Vaticani
Castel Sant’Angelo
Pantheon
Fontana di Trevi
Piazza di Spagna

The Basilica of St. Peter, step one of our Visiting Rome in 2 Days itinerary

Get off the metro at the Ottaviano San Pietro stop and walk straight to St. Peter’s square. We recommend getting there early in the morning, before hordes of visitors arrive. At St Peter’s Basilica, you will be thrilled by one of the world’s largest public spaces. Its majesty and the decorations and works of art it contains will amaze you.
Bernini’s baldachin on the Papal altar, and the immense dome, are both astonishing. Take some time to admire the Pietà, the touching work of Michelangelo, which is located in a chapel behind bulletproof glass at the beginning of the right nave. Sculpted by the artist when he was only 25 years old, it’s the only work of art that bears his signature (look closely across Mary’s chest).
Remember to wear proper clothing or you will not be permitted to enter: no miniskirts, shorts, or bare shoulders.
If you have some spare time, climb the 551 steps that lead to the top of the dome, or take the elevator to reach the terrace. From there, you must climb another 360 steps to the top, but you will be rewarded with an amazing 360° view of Rome.

Visiting Rome in 2 days: Vatican Museums

After leaving San Pietro, take some time to rest at the square and snap a few souvenir pictures, then head to the Vatican Museums located nearby. We suggest buying your tickets online to avoid the entrance queue.

The museums are huge; for a general tour, we recommend visiting the picture gallery, the Pio-Clementino Museum, the Gallery of Geographical Maps, Raphael’s rooms, and of course the amazing Sistine Chapel containing precious frescoes painted by Michelangelo (here to ensure your priority) . Keep in mind that you will spend at least 2 full hours in the Museum.

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Castel Sant’Angelo

Once your tour of the museum is over, walk across Via della Conciliazione up to Castel Sant’Angelo for an external view. If you aren’t tired yet, you can go ahead and visit it from the inside (If you buy the online ticket will be able to jump the queue ). Be sure to stop at the terrace to enjoy an exceptional view of the city.
Next, take a break for lunch. Avoid the pizzerias and restaurants surrounding the Vatican, where they won’t hesitate to serve you very cheap food at extremely expensive prices.

Piazza Navona, with its beautiful baroque palaces and magnificent fountains

Piazza Navona

After enjoying a refreshing meal and some rest, our itinerary for visiting Rome in 2 days continues through Ponte Sant’Angelo. Keep walking until you reach Piazza Navona, with its beautiful baroque palaces and magnificent fountains (including the Four Rivers Fountain of Bernini). Lose yourself in the crowds of tourists, portrait artists, and street performers that fill the square 24 hours a day.

Pantheon

From Piazza Navona, cross Corso Rinascimento and continue behind Palazzo Madama (house of the Senate) along the narrow streets that lead to Piazza della Rotonda and the Pantheon. The Pantheon is one of the many symbols of Rome, and the best-preserved historical monument in the city. Upon entering, you will be overwhelmed by the magnificent marble interior and the stunning view of the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

Fontana di Trevi

After leaving the Pantheon, head back to Piazza Della Rotonda. From there, take Via Pastini up to the Temple of Hadrian. Walk past it; continue on Via di Pietra, cross Via del Corso and onto Via delle Muratte. Follow the sound of flowing water up to the Fontana di Trevi. The view of this fountain will truly leave you breathless. You will be completely captivated by Rome’s must-see attraction.

Piazza di Spagna

After stopping here for photos, head on to Via della Stamperia up to Via del Tritone. Cross it and head down Via Due Marcelli. You will arrive at the famous Spanish Steps, which have recently returned to their former glory, thanks to a new restoration. The Spanish Steps are a stairway connecting the elegant eighteenth-century Piazza di Spagna to the Trinità dei Monti, at the foot of which lays the famous Fontana della Barcaccia.

End the evening with dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area.

SECOND DAY

What will you see:
Colosseo
Piazza Venezia
Musei Capitolini

 If you want to visit Rome in 2 days do not miss the Colosseo

COLOSSEO

The second day of our visiting Rome in 2 days itinerary will guide you as you discover ancient Rome. The itinerary begins from the Colosseo (Colosseum) (metro stop: Colosseo), quintessential symbol of the Eternal City.

We recommend starting your tour early in the morning to avoid the hot, sunny hours and crowds of visitors. First of all bring bottles of water and something to eat so you won’t spend a fortune at bars or at the food trucks parked in Via dei Fori Imperiali.

If you want to visit Rome in 2 days do not miss the Colosseo.

If you plan to visit the inside of the Colosseo, buy the ticket online  and you can skip the long queue at the entrance.

Not far from the Colosseo is the Arco di Constantino (Arch of Constantine), the most famous Roman triumphal arch and one of the last monuments of ancient Rome, and further ahead is the Palatino. Take a walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali, all the way to the Foro Romano (Roman Forum), on your left. This used to be the heart of Rome. The Fori Imperiali (Imperial Fora) is an archaeological complex extending along the road and contains ancient forums built by various emperors from 42 to 112 BC. You can admire the forums along Via Alessandrina right up to the majestic Colonna di Traiano. Here you can appreciate the wonderful bas-reliefs, carved into stone in a comic strip way, narrating the emperor’s war against Dacia.

You won’t find many restaurants or bars along the way, so we suggest bringing your lunch bag with you and stopping at the Colonna di Traiano to eat something.

PIAZZA VENEZIA

After lunch, leave the Foro di Trajano and head to Piazza Venezia, towered on one side by the enormous Vittoriano Monument. This building today is dedicated to the Unknown Soldier and was built in 1885 to honor the unification of Italy. Please note that there are strict controls here and sitting down is forbidden. You can reach the top of the Vittoriano in the panoramic glass elevator on the side of the building. Once you reach the terrace, the view is priceless.

MUSEI CAPITOLINI

Our itinerary to visit Rome in 2 days ends at the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), the most famous and smallest hill in Rome. You can reach it by climbing the Cordonata (it’s the most spectacular way to get there), a stairway from Piazza d’Aracoeli to piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo. Here you can admire a perfect replica of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The original is displayed in the Capitolini Museums (equipped for the disabled) located on the right side of the square. The Capitolini Museums are the oldest public museum in the world and are well worth a visit. If you have enough time, we recommend spending a couple of hours here. Make sure you don’t miss the Pinacoteca and its paintings of Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens, Van Dyck and many other great artists, as well as the Lupa Capitolina, the Galata Morente and the Venere Capitolina. The museums are included in the Omnia Card.

Our itinerary for visiting Rome in 2 days is a general guideline and can be challenging for many. You can choose to follow each step as it is or simply skip a few based on your personal interests, on the time you want to spend at each individual attraction and on how much you’re willing to walk!

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PRACTICAL INFO

Vatican Museums: from Monday to Saturday, 9.00 am – 6.00 pm (last entry is at 4.00 pm and exit is half an hour before closing).
Online priority access tickets

Basilica di San Pietro: 1 October – 31 March, every day, 7.00 am – 6.30 pm / 1 April – 30 September, every day, 7.00 am – 7.00 pm. Free entrance.

Castel Sant’Angelo: every day from 9.00 am to 7.30 pm (ticket office closes at 6.30 pm). Full price €10, reduced price €5. Included the Omnia Card.

Capitoline Museums: every day from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm, 24 and 31 December from 9.30 am to 2.00 pm. The ticket office closes one hour earlier. Closed on 1 January, 1 May and 31 December. Full price €14, reduced price €12. Included in the Omnia Card.

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