There are many larger than life places on our beautiful and diverse planet worth visiting. Sadly, most people never get the chance to visit many of them due to the lack of time and resources, as well as luck. When it comes to human civilization there is little we would have today if it were not for Ancient Rome. And what better place to visit if you are a history buff or just a travel enthusiast than the capital of Italy and experience all that remains of it?
Rome is among the most popular cities in the world and the reasons for that are many. Except history and culture, it is a world food, fashion, and sports destination. As one of the places everyone has near the top of their travel lists, it is the dream destination for billions. Lucky for you, this article will tell you everything you should know about it. More importantly, you will learn about the top things you should definitely do once you find yourself in Rome.
The city is much more than a remnant of a time long gone, as well as more than a capital of a modern European country. For almost 3,000 years, the area it sits on has been a crucial part of world history and human civilization. At the moment it has 4.4 million citizens, which make it the most populous city in the country. Spanning over 1,285 square kilometers, it stretches across seven hills. Vatican City, the smallest country in the world and the seat of the Holy Catholic Church, is situated within Rome. The Pope lives there which only strengthens the already great importance of this metropolitan area for the modern civilization. A place of numerous ruins and excavations that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it has lots to offer to foodies, fashion fans, and sports fans. For more about what you can do when you visit Rome next time, consult the list below.
1. Tour the Sights
The most obvious thing with this great city is the history it has. All the important sights, monuments, and buildings simply have to be visited by all. They include the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Ponte Sant’Angelo, Castel Sant’Angelo, Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon. The symbols of the city are usually quite crowded so be ready for numerous tourists and groups looking to get in and do the same things as you. With a little bit of patience, you will have the chance to take some of the best pictures of your life. Do not forget to tour the city blindly for a bit as well as you never know what you can see. There is much more than the aforementioned sights to experience.
2. Try the Food
Italy is arguably the world’s leading destination for food enthusiasts and cooks. They simply have too many national dishes to name here, and basically everyone in the world loves pizza and pasta. Again, there is much more than the usual things to experience as well. For example, make sure to drink a lot of fine Italian wine, eat as much olives as you can, try the best olive oils, drink some coffee specials, and have true Italian gelato at least once a day. Give new dishes, aromas, flavors, and recipes and stay open-minded. It is important to taste new cultures, both literally and metaphorically. You might discover your new favorite dish you can prepare at home for the rest of your life.
3. Have the Pope Bless a Souvenir
Now it is time to answer the titular question. Since you will probably visit The Vatican as a part of your many tours in Rome, it is crucial that you do it the right way and at the right time. This would be the Sunday Papal Blessing that takes place every Sunday at the Saint Peter’s Square. The Holy Father, Pope Francis greets the people who flock to the huge square to greet and cheer him on. Since he gives his blessing in multiple ways, you should take the opportunity and have an item blessed by the Pope himself. Thanks to their amazing and quite privileged position, the Mondo Catolico shop offers you the chance to have your purchased items receive the Blessing of Pope Francis. This is available both at the Papal Audience on Wednesdays, and on the Angelus of Sunday. If you visit here and buy anything online, you can request this service at checkout.
4. Watch Sports and Stay Active
Rome is the home of some of the world’s best football teams, as well as many of the best European basketball and volleyball organizations. If you are a sports fan, make sure to attend at least one football game by either A.S. Roma or S.S. Lazio. Virtus Roma is among the best basketball teams in Italy. There are also many chances to actually play sports since the city is quite active. There are numerous parks where you can spend the day on your feet, and it is more than enough to have a long walk around the city for as long as you can until your legs hurt.
Last but not least, we have to mention shopping. You will be in Italy after all, one of the world’s most important fashion capitals. It is only natural to spend some cash on clothes and other items when in Rome. The best places for that include Monti, Via del Governo Vecchio, Via dei Coronari, Cia Cola di Rienzo, Trastevere, Fausto Santini, and Galleria Alberto Sordi. Leather goods, elegant clothes, branded cosmetics, street shopping, souvenirs, and art, among these places you will surely find exactly what you came for, and everything else you may find interesting. All of the leading fashion houses and designers have at least one shop in Rome of course, so rest assured. Nobody has been to this city and came back empty handed, and neither will you!
- Rent an Italian supercar for a few hours – There is nothing like cruising the streets or and the countryside in a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.
- Bikes, Motorcycles, Segway – For faster tours around the important sights and some fun time with other people, book a bike, Vespa, or Segway tour.