12 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rome At Least Once

st peters basilica rome

During our first trip to Europe, we wandered around Rome, a city that is laced in layers and layers of history.  We threw coins over our shoulders into the Trevy Fountain, wishing to return again to the Eternal City. Since then, we have truly hoped to get back to Rome again one day. It only took that one visit to realize that everyone should visit Rome at least once.

Rome is a special place with its history, architecture, art, breathtaking churches, fountains and piazzas. The city is full of grandeur times of the past and still holds onto that beauty today, even though thousands of years have passed.

There are several reasons why we think you should visit Rome at least once, but we have narrowed it down to twelve:

Trevi Fountain Rome
The Trevi Fountain

The Fountains

One of our favourite parts of Rome is all of the invaluable and detailed fountains. Home to over 2000 fountains, Rome has more than any other city in the world from the monumental to the small drinking fountains.

The Trevi Fountain is the best known fountain in Rome and a late Baroque masterpiece. People come from all over to throw a coin in, using the right hand over the left shoulder, in hopes of returning to the Eternal City.

It really is impossible to imagine Rome without thinking of its incredible fountains. Turning a corner as you wander the streets, the surprise of a grand fountain is always a welcome sight.

Rome Is Romantic

Rome is also synonymous with romance. If you take the Italian word for Rome (Roma) and reverse it, you get ‘Amor’, meaning love. With the grandeur of Rome through its monuments, fountains, piazzas and cobbled streets, Rome is one of the most romantic cities. Love fills the entire city with its hold of the past in the present.

Rome Heightens Your Senses

We felt like Rome made us more aware of all of our senses as we wandered around the Eternal City. Our vision from seeing some of the greatest masterpieces on earth, the extreme scale of the buildings, seeing the way the buildings glow during sunset, and admiring the contrast of ancient and modern throughout the city. Hearing from the sounds of passionate Italian spoken and the melodies of street musicians. Smell from the delicious cuisine on each street as we wandered aimlessly. Taste from our endless stops for Gelato and our favourite authentic pasta finds that we could not get enough of. Touch for those first feelings of water from some of the most impressive fountains, to the cobbled streets beneath our feet. 

The Flutter

It is an incredible feeling to wander a place of such grandeur, and it is hard to explain the flutter you feel when you realize you’ve fallen in love with the city. It is that same kind of feeling you get as you admire the intricate and mind-blowing work of some of the most talented artists of all time. You’re sure to feel like you pale into insignificance, compared to their brilliance.

Photo: Clay Banks – Upsplash – The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Architecture

If you have ever heard the expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, it is nothing short of mind-blowing to consider that thousands of years ago, Romans were able to build such stunning and timeless structures. You cannot think of Roman architecture without thinking of the world famous Roman Colosseum, aqueducts, Roman Baths, basilicas and cathedrals.

There’s also unexplainable feats of architecture. The Pantheon is a masterpiece, built in the 120’s AD.  It is the largest free-standing concrete dome in the world and nobody has been able to figure out how.

Architecture was important in unifying the Roman empire. Even more impressive, is the impact that Rome has had on architecture across the globe. Today, even in the US, many of the official buildings are influenced by Roman architecture.

Roman Forum - Rome
Roman Forum

Age & History

Rome is old. There really is not a simpler way to put it. You can see it around every corner you turn; the layers upon layers of history. A great example of this is the Basilica of San Clemente.

Preserving over 2000 years of history, you can admire the remarkable mosaics and frescoes, explore the Basilica of the fourth century and the world of Rome in the first century where there is still a pagan temple.

As you visit each historical building and sight, it is hard to not be amazed to be standing where the Romans walked thousands of years ago. There is so much history to learn about and walk along the path of.

Photo: Maria Dolores Vazquez – Unsplash – Medieval Costumes

Art & Culture

We really enjoyed soaking in the the culture of the locals. Their friendliness, love for good food and the importance of family time really hit home with us.

Even just a wander around the streets, you are bound to run into a breathtaking creation by a famous Italian artist. Timeless art is everywhere you look, and it is so inspiring to witness.

The Food

Italians have influenced food around the world, but to us, the best will always remain in Italy. There was such am impressive range of pizzas and pasta dishes that we would never have thought existed. And Gelato, oh the flavours on flavours of Gelato. All washed down with some incredible Italian wine, sometimes even classy by drinking right out of the bottle (hey, we were backpacking, after all). Food in Rome is spectacular.

Photo: Dylan Freedom – Unsplash

The Streets & Beauty

All over Rome you’ll find Piazzas, or squares. They are always gorgeous, featuring impressive fountains and absolutely buzzing with people. It is a great spot to do some people watching as you witness social life unfold. Piazzas are a great spot to unwind and chill.

The streets take you to places you only imagined from the movies. Around each corner and down each narrow street, surprises unfold around you, with cobbled paths beneath your feet.

Rome also tells so many stories through its well-worn, but remarkably preserved streets. Rome does not have the same pretty as, say Paris. It has some grime and grit that gives great character and charm with all the secrets the walls and buildings still hold.

Related Story – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Roman Forum

Easily Walkable

Rome is small enough that you can easily walk around and see a lot of sights in one day. It is also big enough that you can still find some space to yourself, without hordes of people, in a park, cafe or museum, even during the peak summer season.

The Grand Amount Of #1 Sights

In some cities, you’d be hard pressed to find more than a couple of gems. Rome is full of gems to discover. It is impossible to walk too far without coming across another impressive artifact of the past. It feel like there is something impressive to find and learn around every corner.

A City In The City

By visiting Rome, and without requiring your passport to enter, you are able to visit the smallest country in the world: Vatican City. The city is encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy. An independent city-state, it covers just over 100 acres, of 1/8 the size of New York’s Central Park.

Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and has major significance within the Christian world. It is also home to the Pope and endless pieces of iconic art and architecture.

Rome - Roman Colosseum
Inside the Roman Colosseum

In summary,  Rome is worth the visit.  There is good reason that tourists swarm Rome all year.  Brimming with ancient history, Rome is one of the most impressive cities we have visited. We feel that Rome is truly an experience everyone should have the chance to witness.

Usually when a destination is as applauded as Rome is, there is some worry that it may fall short of your expectations. Rome is a city that exceeded any expectations we had. We hope that one day you will experience the excitement and anticipation that comes with exploring the Eternal City of Rome.