My Top 5 things to do in Rome in 2023

The best places to see on a short city break to the capital of Italy

1. Colosseum

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The Colosseum is the first must on any trip to Rome. Located in the heart of Rome, it stands as an enduring symbol of ancient Roman engineering prowess and entertainment culture.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

This majestic amphitheater, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was constructed over a span of eight years, beginning in AD 70-72, under the emperors Vespasian and Titus. Its grandeur lies in its colossal elliptical structure, capable of accommodating an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators who gathered to witness epic gladiatorial battles, chariot races, and other spectacles. The Colosseum’s awe-inspiring architecture includes multiple tiers of arches, a labyrinth of underground tunnels, and a retractable awning system known as the “velarium.” Despite centuries of natural disasters, vandalism, and neglect, the Colosseum endures as an iconic testament to the architectural and cultural legacy of ancient Rome, drawing millions of visitors from around the world each year.

2. Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

The Trevi Fountain was a particular favourite of ours both at day and night. Always busy, but well worth a visit with plenty of bars and restaurants in the vicinity.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

The Trevi Fountain, located in the heart of Rome, Italy, is a mesmerizing masterpiece of Baroque architecture and one of the world’s most iconic and visited fountains. This magnificent structure, designed by architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci in the 18th century, stands as a stunning testament to the city’s rich artistic heritage. Its grandeur is further accentuated by the commanding presence of Oceanus, the god of the sea, and a host of mythical sea creatures, all meticulously carved from pristine white marble. The Trevi Fountain not only captivates with its breathtaking beauty but also entices visitors to partake in the timeless tradition of tossing a coin over their shoulder into the fountain, ensuring their return to the Eternal City, a ritual that has made the Trevi Fountain an enduring symbol of hope, dreams, and romance for generations of travelers.

3. Vatican City

Vatican City, Rome, Italy

Yes, technically not Rome, not even Italy, as the Vatican City is an independent sovereign state.

Vatican City, Rome, Italy

Vatican City, the world’s smallest independent state, is a sovereign enclave enshrined within the heart of Rome, Italy. Covering just over 44 hectares, it is a profoundly significant place for Catholics worldwide as it serves as the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church. Home to the stunning St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Apostolic Palace, this tiny city-state packs an extraordinary cultural and religious heritage. The Sistine Chapel, adorned with Michelangelo’s breathtaking frescoes, including the iconic “Creation of Adam,” is perhaps the most renowned cultural treasure within its borders. The Vatican is also the residence of the Pope, the leader of the Catholic Church, and hosts millions of pilgrims and tourists annually who come to witness its rich history, art, and spirituality. Its unique status as both a religious and political entity makes Vatican City a captivating and revered destination for people of all backgrounds.

4. Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

The Spanish Steps, or “Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti” in Italian, is one of Rome’s most famous landmarks and a testament to the city’s artistic and architectural heritage.

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

This monumental staircase, designed by the architect Francesco de Sanctis and completed in the early 18th century, consists of 135 steps that gracefully descend from the Trinità dei Monti church to the Piazza di Spagna below. The Spanish Steps have long been a hub of cultural and social activity, frequented by locals and tourists alike. In the spring, the steps come alive with the vibrant colors of blooming azaleas, creating a picturesque scene that has been featured in countless films and books. At the foot of the staircase lies the Barcaccia Fountain, designed by Pietro Bernini and his son, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, further enhancing the area’s allure. The Spanish Steps remain an enduring symbol of Rome’s elegance, drawing visitors from around the world to savor its beauty and charm.


If you are visiting Rome for just a few days then one of the open top sightseeing bus tours is a great way to get around the city and see all the major sights. We bought a 72 hour ticket for 41 euros and used it to visit the Colosseum and the Vatican City, and were also able to see other sights from the bus that we did not have time to visit such as Circo Massimo and Piazza Venitia. The approach to the Colosseum is a breathtaking highlight of the trip.

There are more details on the CitySightseeing Italy website.

Bus Tour, Rome, Italy

Rome Video

Watch my video below to have a look around the places mentioned in this blog post.

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