I had to go for that cliché. I just had to do it.
When in Rome, what else is there to do? I’m glad you asked!
Piazza del Popolo – a large square that was used for public execution. Luckily it’s home to something far less morbid today – people watching. Street performers moonwalking to Michael Jackson’s, ‘Billie Jean’. Tourists using selfie sticks to capture the moment. Hustlers attempting to sell single roses to couples – and yes guys, they will try and guilt you into buying one for your lady)
Palazzo Zuccari – a building with a doorway in the shape of a monster’s face. Located right at the top of the Spanish steps, it’s really easy to miss. Especially if like me, you were looking for the entire house. Go in the daytime because it can be kind of shady at night. There was a guy running away from the cops when we went.
Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) – the Times Square of Rome. Crowded no matter what time of day you show up.
Santa Maria in Trastevere – one of the oldest churches in Rome. Unless you’re religious or you’re in the area, you can consider leaving his off your itinerary. There didn’t seem to be anything special about it. Except it was located in a piazza full of pigeons. Yikes. I didn’t get to check it out but I read there are a lot of good bars and restaurants in this neighborhood.
Pyramid of Caius Cestius – an ancient pyramid in Rome build for Caius Cestius, a Roman politician. At the time of my visit (September 2014), it was under construction so there was scaffolding everywhere. But even when not under construction, you wouldn’t be able to go inside anyway. It’s not meant for any visitors since there are no entrances. So I guess the only guest the pyramid gets is Caius Cestius himself…*cue Twilight Zone music*
Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) – this used to be a chariot racing stadium. Today, it’s a public park. I almost don’t want to tell you what I’m about to tell you because it’s super embarrassing. But so that one of you out there doesn’t make the same idiotic mistake I did, I am willing to sacrifice my dignity. I thought Circus Maximus still existed. I really wanted to see it because I guess the image I remembered was actually Palatine Hill, which is right next to it. So for probably about half an hour or so, I, along with my friend who I dragged with me, walked back and forth (parallel to present-day Circus Maximus) looking for the entrance. I know what you must be thinking now. What is this girl doing, writing a blog and trying to give people travel tips?! And I don’t blame you!
Museo Nazionale Romano (National Roman Museum) – filled with archaeologic materials so it’s more than the typical sculptures and paintings you’re used to seeing. It’s only 2.50 Euros with your Roma pass discount!
Pantheon – dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every, Theon-divinity), the Pantheon was built by the Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 A.D. over the ruins of another temple dating back to 27 A.D. It’s free to go inside.
Piazza Navona – this square was used by ancient Romans to watch athletic games and competitions. Today, It’s a Plan B to the Trevi Fountain if you’ve just found out it’s under construction.
Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) – the lowest and smallest hills of Rome but still gives you a great view of the Roman Forum.
Mercati Traiano (the Markets of Trajan) – used to be ancient Rome’s shopping mall. Today, it’s just good tourism.
Piazza della Repubblica – home of the Fountain of the Naiads, who each represent a different body of water. I didn’t notice this at the time – I just snapped a few pictures and left so if you get a chance to go, take it all in.