In this article we will explain how to visit Rome, the eternal city in only 3 days!
How to visit Rome in three days, if you only have one weekend, a long bank holiday or if you are in Rome and want to act as a guide for your friends who have come to visit you… this is the article for you. Written by a born and bred Roman.
Well defined with clear routes, advice, hidden gems and maps.
Knows where to eat
The guide consists in a map and brief description of each place (although for some monuments only a part description so as not to overwhelm you.) From Piazza Del Popolo to Terme Di Caracalla, passing through Colosseo, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, as well as an ancient human skeleton tomb where the monks would worship, where to eat like a Roman (Coda alla vaccianara etc.. )..
Today will be a full day of exciting, emotional sights, We will see the Colosseo, the centre of the world, afterwards we will pass by the Fori Romani, which are truly incredible, so as to conclude our day we will go to Bocca della Verità where they will cut our hands of if we tell a lie.
Lets start with a quick introduction, it is even impossible to visit Rome within a whole month! So we have made a guide of how to visit Rome, the main must see monuments. We have excluded most of the exhibitions, not because they are not important but more as a question of time. Other monuments have been omitted for lack of time such as Chiesa di S.M.Maggiore o S.Giovanni. We don’t know where you are going to sleep but our route starts from Piazza del Popolo.
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Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means “People’s Square”, but historically it derives from the poplars (populus in Latin, pioppo in Italian) after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.
The piazza lies inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, and now called the Porta del Popolo. This was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern-day Rimini) and the most important route to the north. At the same time, before the age of railroads, it was the traveller’s first view of Rome upon arrival. For centuries, the Piazza del Popolo was a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826.
The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) or “Il Vittoriano” is a controversial monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill.
The eclectic structure was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; sculpture for it was parceled out to established sculptors all over Italy, such as Leonardo Bistolfi and Angelo Zanelli. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1925.
To date, the Vittoriano is the largest monument in white marble Botticino (Brescia) ever created, and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The structure is 135 m (443 ft) wide and 70 m (230 ft) high. If the quadrigae and winged victories are included, the height is to 81 m (266 ft). It has a total area of 17,000 square meters.
The base of the structure houses the museum of Italian Unification. In 2007, a panoramic elevator was added to the structure, allowing visitors to ride up to the roof for 360 degree views of Rome.
The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Italy after World War I following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the unknown soldier was chosen on 26 October 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca d’Isonzo whose only child was killed during World War I. Her son’s body was never recovered. The selected unknown was transferred from Aquileia, where the ceremony with Bergamas had taken place to Rome and buried in a state funeral on 4 November 1921.
2 – Campidoglio
The Capitoline Hill (/ˈkæpɨtəlaɪn/ or /kəˈpɪtɵlaɪn/; Latin: Collis Capitōlīnus), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome. It was the citadel (equivalent of the ancient Greek acropolis) of the earliest Romans. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium, one of the three major spurs of the Capitolinus (the others being Arx and Tarpeius). The English word capitol derives from Capitoline. The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces (now housing the Capitoline Museums) that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo.
3 – Foro Romano
The Roman Forum (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million sightseers yearly.
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman kingdom’s earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Other archaic shrines to the northwest, such as the Umbilicus Urbis and the Vulcanal (Shrine of Vulcan), developed into the Republic’s formal Comitium (assembly area). This is where the Senate—as well as Republican government itself—began. The Senate House, government offices, tribunals, temples, memorials and statues gradually cluttered the area.
Over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia (179 BC). Some 130 years later, Julius Caesar built the Basilica Julia, along with the new Curia Julia, refocusing both the judicial offices and the Senate itself. This new Forum, in what proved to be its final form, then served as a revitalized city square where the people of Rome could gather for commercial, political, judicial and religious pursuits in ever greater numbers.
Eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures (Trajan’s Forum and the Basilica Ulpia) to the north. The reign of Constantine the Great, during which the Empire was divided into its Eastern and Western halves, saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex—the Basilica of Maxentius (312 AD). This returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later.
Unlike the later imperial fora in Rome—which were self-consciously modelled on the ancient Greek plateia (πλατεῖα) public plaza or town square—the Roman Forum developed gradually, organically and piecemeal over many centuries. This is so despite the tidying up of men like Sulla, Caesar and Augustus who attempted, with some success, to impose a degree of order there. By the Imperial period the large public buildings that crowded around the central square had reduced the open area to a rectangle of about 130 by 50 metres.
Its long dimension was oriented northwest to southeast and extended from the foot of the Capitoline Hill to that of the Velian Hill. The Forum’s basilicas during the Imperial period—the Basilica Aemilia on the north and the Basilica Julia on the south—defined its long sides and its final form. The Forum proper included this square, the buildings facing it and, sometimes, an additional area (the Forum Adjectum) extending southeast as far as the Arch of Titus.
Originally the site of the Forum had been marshy lake where waters from the surrounding hills drained. This was drained by the Tarquins with the Cloaca Maxima. Because of its location, sediments from both the flooding of the Tiber River and the erosion of the surrounding hills have been raising the level of the Forum floor for centuries. Excavated sequences of remains of paving show that sediment eroded from the surrounding hills was already raising the level in early Republican times.
As the ground around buildings began to rise, residents simply paved over the debris that was too much to remove. Its final travertine paving, still visible, dates from the reign of Augustus. Excavations in the 19th century revealed one layer on top of another. The deepest level excavated was 3.60 metres above sea level. Archaeological finds show human activity at that level with the discovery of carbonised wood.
An important function of the Forum, during both Republican and Imperial times, was to serve as the culminating venue for the celebratory military processions known as Triumphs. Victorious generals entered the city by the western Triumphal Gate (Porta Triumphalis) and circumnavigated the Palatine Hill (counterclockwise) before proceeding from the Velian Hill down the Via Sacra and into the Forum.
From here they would mount the Capitoline Rise (Clivus Capitolinus) up to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the summit of the Capitol. Lavish public banquets ensued back down on the Forum. (In addition to the Via Sacra, the Forum was accessed by a number of storied roads and streets, including the Vicus Jugarius, Vicus Tuscus, Argiletum, and Via Nova.)
4 – Colosseo
How to visit Rome and don’t see the Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium; Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo) is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world.
The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81–96). These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).
The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit “Way of the Cross” procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.
The Colosseum, like all the Historic Centre of Rome, Properties of the Holy See in Italy and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. In 2007 the complex was also included among the New7Wonders of the World, following a competition organized by New Open World Corporation (NOWC).
The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.
5 – Circo Massimo
The Circus Maximus (Latin for greatest or largest circus, in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width, and could accommodate about 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.
La Bocca della Verità (English: the Mouth of Truth) is a must of how to visit Rome guide. Is an image, carved from Pavonazzo marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a first-century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods, probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the ‘Bocca’ represents the ancient god of the river Tiber.
The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one’s hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. The piece was placed in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century. This church is also home to the supposed relics of Saint Valentine.
The Mouth of Truth is known to English-speaking audiences mostly from its appearance in the 1953 film Roman Holiday. The film also uses the Mouth of Truth as a storytelling device since both Hepburn’s and Peck’s characters are not initially truthful with each other.
This scene from Roman Holiday was parodied in the 2000 Japanese film Sleeping Bride by Hideo Nakata. It was also replicated in the film Only You starring Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei.
In part two of the manga JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Battle Tendency, the Mouth of Truth is the entrance to the cavern where the three “Men in the Column” were sleeping.
The Megaman Battle Network 4 video games (“Red Sun” and “Blue Moon”) feature a statue resembling The Mouth of Truth at the beginning of the World Netbattling championship tournament in Netopia by which Lan and MegaMan must pass by having Lan stick his hand inside the statue that says that it will bite off Lan’s hand if he is not actually a contestant; Lan reluctantly agrees to stick his hand inside after the statue taunts Lan about being nervous. The statue turns out to be a fingerprint scanner which verifies Lan’s identity to let him pass.
The Mouth of Truth is also featured as a furniture item in the Animal Crossing video game series. If the player touches the Mouth of Truth, its depicted expression changes to that of an angry frown, referencing the belief that telling a lie with one’s hand in the mouth of the statue results in the hand being bitten off.
The Mouth of Truth statue is referenced to in the Castle sixth season episode “Get A Clue” when Castle (Nathan Fillion) sticks his hand inside a statue, parodying the effect and also opening a hidden door by a switch inside the statue’s mouth.
Electronic coin-operated reproductions of the Mouth are found in fairgrounds of Spain, Hungary and even Japan, at some motorway service stations in the UK and Croatia, usually together with photo booths. There is also a full size replica of the Mouth of Truth at the private Pikake Botanical Gardens in Valley Center, California.
There is a similar sculpture of a lion in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India that, according to local lore, bites off one’s hand if a lie is told.
In France at Parc Astérix, one reproduction of the Mouth is used as a bin and thanks the people dropping garbage down its throat.