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10 Reasons to Visit Rome

Looking for reasons to visit Rome? If you are wondering if Rome is for you, read these 10 reasons to come to Rome. Let me convince you!

trevi fountain in romeTrevi Fountain in Rome, one of the most famous fountains in the world!

10 Reasons to Visit Rome - let me convince you!

If you're planning a trip to Italy, chances are good you will fly in or out of Rome.

And if you are wondering whether you should dedicate some time in the Eternal City, here are 10 Reasons to Visit Rome:

1. Nobody does Fountains like Rome does

One of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain (above), is in Rome.

But since Rome has access to so much water (you know, those Roman aqueducts?), and since popes in the Renaissance and Baroque periods tried to outdo each other building spectacular fountains all around Rome, we also have these (to name only a few!):

bernini's four rivers fountain in piazza navonaBernini's Four Rivers fountain in Piazza Navona, my personal favorite!
bernini's tritone fountain in piazza barberiniBernini's Tritone fountain in Piazza Barberini - spectacular!
La Barcaccia - the boat fountain at the bottom of the spanish stepsThe Spanish Steps would not be so amazing without La Barcaccia fountain at the bottom. Oh yes, another Bernini (with his dad!)
fontane delle tartarughe - turtle fountain in piazza matteiFontana delle Tartarughe - The Turtle Fountain is hidden in the Jewish Ghetto in Piazza Mattei, and is a treat to find
fountain in coppede romeThe Fontana delle Rana (Frog Fountain) in the beautiful and quirky Coppedè neighborhood is worth seeing all by itself
fontanone on gianicolo in romeThe Fontanone on the Gianicolo is one of the biggest fountains in Rome, with gorgeous views of Rome to the other side

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2. The Food

Just like you can't really get New York pizza outside of New York, you can't really get Roman pizza outside of Rome.

pizza margherita alle carrette romeClassic, simple pizza margherita at Pizzeria Alle Carrette in Rome

There are certain foods that are special in Rome.

Roman artichokes, fried or braised, are a delicacy all by themselves. 

carciofo alla giudia - fried artichoke at flavio al velavevodettoAt Flavio al Velavevodetto, you can sample some of the most perfect fried artichokes in Rome

And in case you didn't know, spaghetti alla carbonara was invented in Rome.

spaghetti alla carbonara at stazione di postaThis sublime spaghetti alla carbonara at Stazione di Posta is one of the best you can find in Rome

Ready to find out more about Rome cuisine?

Why not take a Rome Food Tour?

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3. Michelangelo

Michelangelo may be one of the most famous artists of all time. And many of his most famous works are in Rome. 

michelangelo's pietà inside saint peter's basilicaOne of the best reasons to visit Rome is right here inside Saint Peter's Basilica - Michelangelo's pietà has no equal!

On your visit to Vatican City alone, you can see Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel, and his sculpture of the Pietà.

michelangelo's sistine chapel ceilingThe Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1508-1512

Need I say more? Then how about his sculpture of Christ The Redeemer in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva? And his own favorite statue that he made: Moses, which can be seen in the church Saint Peter in Chains

christ the redeemer in santa maria sopra minervaMichelangelo's "Christ the Redeemer" in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
michelangelo's mosesMichelangelo's Moses is one of my favorite reasons to visit Rome

Not to mention all his architectural feats, some of which include the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica ...

saint peter's dome by michelangeloMichelangelo did an amazing job on the dome of Saint Peter's basilica, wouldn't you say?

and ... Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio) as we know it today.

campidoglio on capitoline hill - designed by michelangeloBefore Michelangelo designed this piazza Campidoglio on Capitoline Hill (floor and all), this is where the ancient Romans had their temple to Jupiter. Lotta history going on here!

Click here to book your Vatican tour and see some of Michelangelo's best and most famous works in Rome!

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4. Proximity to other sites, cities and beaches

tivoli gardens in the villa d'este just outside romeThe extraordinary gardens of Tivoli in the Villa d'Este are just outside of Rome and make for an easy half-day trip

If you decide to use Rome as your base, you can easily visit Florence, Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Tivoli and many wineries, medieval hill towns (Orvieto, Assisi to name two), and beaches, most within 1.5 hours of Rome.

san casciano dei bagni, tuscany, 1.5 hrs from romeRome is close to so many other regions like Tuscany. This wonderful town (and spa) in San Casciano dei Bagni is 1.5 hours from Rome.
ostia antica, one of the most important cities in ancient romeSome of the best ancient Roman ruins you can see are in Ostia Antica, only half hour outside of Rome

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5. History, art, architecture and Roman ruins

The entire city of Rome is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There may be a higher concentration of art and historical monuments in the center of Rome than in any place else in the world.

view of the roman forum from the palatine hillThis view of the Roman Forum from the Palatine Hill captures only part of how special Rome is

We have layers and layers of visible and visitable history going back nearly 3000 years.

The pantheon is one of the greatest architectural feats of all times. And it's still standing there 2000 years later. And it's smack in the center of Rome. And it's free. Go see it.

There are amazingly intact ruins from the time of the Roman Empire, like the Colosseum, the Forum and Palatine Hill, and Nero's Domus Aurea.

the colosseum in romeThe Rome Colosseum is one of its most famous landmarks, and one of the best reasons to visit Rome all by itself!

We have buildings and piazzas and churches from the Renaissance and Baroque periods and plenty of history and architecture from the 19th and 20th century to boot.

byzantine mosaics in the apse of santa maria in trastevereThe apse of Santa Maria in Trastevere showcases some of the most magnificent Byzantine mosaic work...and it's only part of the art and architecture of this stunning basilica!

And the beautiful thing is, you can just walk around and see a lot of it for free. Rome itself is a living museum!

Or you can book a Rome tour and visit the sites with an expert guide!

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6. It's the perfect size

One of the best reasons to visit Rome is that it's small enough that you can easily walk around and see a lot of things in one day, but big enough that you can always find a park, a cafe, a piazza, and even a monument or museum where there is nobody, including in peak season. 

celimontana parkVilla Celimontana park
grand cafe piazza di pietraA quiet cafe to relax in
trajan's marketTrajan's Market - one of Rome's most amazing ruins and hardly anyone visits!
doria pamphilj hall of mirrorsThe Galleria Doria Pamphilj is a stunning museum and hardly ever crowded

There really is something for everyone here, from turbo-sight-seeing, to a quiet, restful vacation in one of the world's most beautiful cities!

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7. Churches. And more churches.

You could spend your entire time in Rome just visiting churches, and you would not run out of awesome art and architecture to gaze upon.

santa maria degli angeli e dei martiriSanta Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri - made from the ruins of the Diocletian baths. Oh and Michelangelo made this ceiling too.

We have ancient Roman monuments and building, turned into churches...

santi cosma e damianoThe church of Santi Cosma e Damiano holds some beautiful treasures, like this 9th century apse. It is also built on top of a pagan Roman temple, that you can see from the back.

We have the only 4 Papal basilicas in the world, all right here...

saint john in lateranSaint John in Lateran
san paolo fuori le muraSaint Paul outside the Walls

Did you know you can book a tour visit to all four Major Basilicas, or other church-themed tours in Rome?

We have churches full of Caravaggio paintings...

caravaggio's life of saint matthew in san luigi dei francesiCaravaggio's "Life of Saint Matthew" in San Luigi dei Francesi

And so many more amazing Renaissance and Baroque churches, all filled with history, art and architectural wonders.

sant'andrea al quirinale by berniniBernini's Sant'Andrea al Quirinale is one of so many masterpieces you can see in churches around Rome

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8. Rome's Mild Climate

We are blessed in Rome to enjoy a pretty mild climate. This is one of the best reasons to visit Rome! You can come just about any time!

roman forum sun in januaryOn a bright January day, the Roman Forum looks like this

We do have a change in seasons, but even in the hottest days of summer, there are lots of ways to sightsee and stay cool

summer shade on pincioThe Pincio hill in August - plenty of shade, beautiful views, and quiet space!

Just about any time you come to Rome, you will find mild, (mostly) comfortable weather.

giardino degli aranci in winterWhen it's sunny in winter, you get beautiful shadows, and views like this one in the Giardino degli Aranci on the Aventine Hill

And in winter, you can enjoy Rome at its least crowded, and it's really not that cold.

vatican museums in winter - no linesThis is what the Vatican Museums line looks like in winter, at 1pm. Pretty nice!

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9. The Views

For me, one of the best reasons to visit Rome is how amazing the views are.

rooftop views in romeJust one of many rooftop views in Rome - lots of domes, including the most famous one!

Rome was founded on Seven Hills. 

view to colosseum and roman forum from palatine hillFrom the Palatine Hill, you can see the Roman Forum and the Colosseum

And from some of them, and even other spots around Rome, you will have some of the most magnificent vistas of a beautiful, ancient city living inside a modern one. 

view of rome from castel sant'angeloOne of the best places to get a panoramic view of Rome is from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo

And then there are the sunset views...nobody does them like Rome!

sunset with view of st peters from pincioThe view from the Pincio of St Peters, and the setting sun, just knock my socks off every time!

10. Fashion and Shopping

Yes you can shop in other cities around Italy. But Rome is special for shopping. Why?

We have some of the best of the best Italian luxury brands, mostly concentrated around the historic Spanish Steps shopping area

luxury shopping on via condotti in romeVia Condotti in Rome is the main luxury shopping street, just off the bottom of the Spanish Steps

But in that same area, you will also find inexpensive and medium-priced shops for clothing, shoes, leather belts and bags, scarves, gloves and more.

lovely glove shop near spanish stepsDicori - one of many wonderful glove shops near the Spanish Steps in Rome

You'll find plenty of shopping for him, her, the kids, and for your home, not to mention lots of great gifts for those back home...all in an easy, beautiful walkable area.

men shopping at davide cenci in romeItalian men love to shop, believe it or not...and they love nice clothes, like at Davide Cenci, a Roma tradition

Did I mention Valentino is from Rome and is based here?  Same with Bulgari, Fendi, Laura Biagiotti, and Brioni.

bulgari in romeBulgari is based in Rome, right on the via Condotti

From Wikipedia:

"Rome is the world's 4th most important centre for fashion in the world, according to the 2009 Global Language Monitor after Milan, New York and Paris, and beating London"

And in the other great neighborhoods like Monti, Piazza Navona and Prati, to name only a few, you can find fantastic one-off boutique shopping for unique jewellery, fashion, and art...again all in beautiful, easy to walk around local areas.

sweet jewellery shop in monti neighborhood in romeI love this sweet jewellery shop on via del Boschetto, in the Monti neighborhood of Rome

Reasons to Visit Rome - Are you convinced?

One reason I think people skip Rome, especially when they fly in or out of it, with other Italian destinations as the goal, is they think Rome is too big, dirty, difficult to manage. And that there is just the Colosseum here, and that could be skipped so there's more time for the beach, or smaller towns, or wine country.

But Rome has it all, and if you plan it right, you can enjoy all these things right here: We have art, history and culture, but also quiet spots, gardens, and beaches. Give it a shot, you'll thank me!

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Reasons to Visit Rome - one bonus reason: Logistics!

One of the top reasons to visit Rome is that it's where your plane lands/takes off from...so why not stop for a few days?

I'm serious. Rome's Fiumicino international airport is one of the main airports in Italy and in Europe, and many people begin or end a vacation here. And they don't stay to see Rome.

But you're already here. So stay.

I think I've given you some great reasons to visit Rome. Visit the official website of the Rome tourist board for even more!

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