Get The Most of Your 3 Days in Rome

2,000 years ago Ancient Rome was the first global city. The little Italian ‘boot’ used to be a giant empire encompassing half of modern Europe, parts of the Middle East and Africa, Greece and the UK. Rome was initially a city open to outcasts, offering migrants a world of opportunities.

A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as indulging in art and culture. Strolling up and down picturesque streets is like taking a journey to the past. Whether you decide to follow the typical tourist paths or be brave enough to go off the beaten tracks, Rome will romance you, surprise you and leave you wanting more!

We’ve put together our top 5 places to visit when in Rome for you to make the most of your Italian adventure.

1. Colosseum: the Symbol of Imperial Rome

With wild beast shows in the morning, crucifixions at lunch and afternoon lethal battles of men, Colosseum was undoubtedly one of the most important gathering spots in Ancient Rome. It even used to be flooded for naval battles for the crowd’s entertainment.

No Netflix subscription can compare to the Colosseum’s spectacle. It was the place to be, whether you chose to attend or happened to be on the stage!

Originally constructed by emperors of the Flavian dynasty, following the reign of Nero, the Colosseum was also known as Amphitheatrum Flavium. This architectural masterpiece contains an amazing underground labyrinth. All the gruesome battles and deaths on the stage required a sewer system to dispose of the waste products. The massive crowds of spectators at the Colosseum also needed to drink, so over 100 drinking fountains kept spectators cool during the Games. Beneath the Colosseum, at the lowest level, was a complex Water and Sewer system designed by the best Roman engineers of the period, so people had access to toilet facilities. The Colosseum is a truly fascinating site.

Our expert guide offers ‘skip-the-line’ access at the Colosseum and helps you save time, avoiding the long lines.

2. The Roman Forum

According to the ancient tradition, the Forum’s beginning took place during the alliance between Romulus, the first king of Rome to control the Palatine Hill, and his rival, Titus Tatius, who occupied the Capitoline Hill. As the story goes, the two parties laid down their weapons and formed an alliance right here! As such, this is a very important site in Rome.

It’s also a multi-purpose place of gathering – it was the scene of public meetings, legal courts and gladiatorial combats in republican times and was lined with shops and open-air markets.

The excavations to clear the Roman Forum took over 100 years. It absolutely cannot be missed.

An important part of the Roman Forum was the rostra, which was a platform from which orators spoke to the people of Rome. The speaking platform was so important that Julius Caesar had the rostra re-built in marble. It was from the new marble Rostra that Marc Antony delivered his funeral speech to Julius Caesar.

‘Skip-the-line’ at the Roman Forum with our customised travel packages.

3. Ancient Rome Pantheon

The Roman Pantheon was first built as a temple to all gods. In fact, the word pantheon means “honor all Gods” in Greek.

The most fascinating part of the Pantheon is of course the giant dome, with its famous hole in the top – so known as the eye of the Pantheon, or oculus. The purpose of the oculus was not only to illuminate the interior but to also let those in the temple contemplate the heavens, which you can do on your visit to Rome.

The engineering of the dome is fascinating too – the distance from the floor to the top of the dome is exactly equal to its diameter. The dome is made out of concrete; however it gets thinner at the top, and thicker near the base. The Roman engineers achieved this by using variously lightweight volcanic stones, and heavy granite stones, as the aggregate in the concrete. Interestingly, very similar methods are still used in buildings today.

Visit the Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Pantheon and Piazza Navona with one of our Small Group Ancient Rome tours. It’s fascinating!

4. Catacombs of San Callisto

Founded at the end of the 2nd century and named after Pope Callixtus I, the catacombs became the official cemetery of the newly established Roman Church. In these 20km of tunnels, archaeologists have found the remains of thousands upon thousands of Christians.

Christianity wasn’t the popular religion of the time; thus many practiced it secretly and were prosecuted when found out. This is why these catacombs were almost 20m deep in places, hiding the religious secret of many.

Over the course of history, more than 50 martyrs and 16 popes have been buried here, making it one of the most important Christian cemeteries in the world.

This somewhat eerie Roman site is fascinating, especially for history buffs.

5. Trajan's Forum and Market

The Forum of Trajan was the final and largest ancient Rome building dubbed by at least one ancient writer as “a construction unique under the heavens”.

We think that Trajan’s Forum is the most magnificent and spectacular of the Imperial Forums in Rome. It’s absolutely beautiful and it also signifies an important milestone in the history of the Roman Empire. During the reign of Trajan, the Empire reached the peak of its territorial expansion, with a further growth of bureaucratic and judicial institutions in the capital. This meant that it was necessary to expand the facilities for the administration of justice and relations with the provinces.

Trajan’s Market is a large complex of ruins, which is thought to be the world’s oldest shopping mall constructed in 107-110 CE during the reign of Trajan.

If you want help picking your best Italian experience, just give our team a call on 1800 242 353.