Ancient Sites in Rome You Do Not Wanna Miss

There are many ways to discover the ancient side of Rome for a visitor. A wide variety of Rome passes and cards allow access to some sites while others can be visited for free. Since several of these monuments are located in the historic center of Rome they can be reached during a single day trip. This means that even if you are here for a short time you can still get a great overview and a glimpse to the rich past of this incredible city.

The following are some of the most popular choices within the center and a few outside the walls.

Emperor Vespasian gave the order to build the world's most famous amphitheater. With the capacity of 55 thousand, it was the biggest building of ancient Rome at the time. The central place for gladiator and wild animal fights it has certainly seen it's share of drama. Nowadays, you can often see men in gladiator costumes as you stroll along the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, constructed in AD 315. Every Sunday, the main street leading to the Colosseum is closed for car traffic and gives way to souvenir vendors and tourist groups.

If you leave the ticket purchase late you may need to stand in line here but if you get an online pass you can get ahead of the crowd.

The Pantheon of Rome, the home of the gods was built between AD 118 and 125. During the 7th century the Roman Church started to use it and it houses several tombs from this era. Do not miss the spectacular dome located inside. The historic piazza next to the Pantheon is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a light meal and an Italian espresso before continuing on the tour.

Old Town Rome

The Roman Forum is was the home to many of the social, business and legal establishments of the ancient Rome and today they form a sizeable complex of ruins in one group. To glimpse a great view of the museums and ruins take the hike to the Capitoline Hill. The Temple of Jupiter is located here as this area served as the symbolic center in the ancient times. Plan on spending a few hours to properly look around before you head to the Palatine Hill, the living quarters of the Roman emperors and aristocrats.

Here is where you will find the emperors residences called Domus Flavia and Domus Augustana.

As you descend back to the Capitoline Hill you encounter the two oldest museums in the world, the Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo dei Conservatori. Here you can feast your eyes on classical frescoes and galleries. They can both be visited with the same ticket.

The nearby Piazza Navona has originally served as a stadium for chariot races and is now home of several of the finest cafes of Rome as well as the Baroque fountains. Legend says that tartufo, the famous dessert was first served here and of course is still offered by the local cafes.

The next stop in the tour are the Baths of Diocletian, the largest baths of the time in the whole Roman Empire. Unfortunately, these buildings have been largely destroyed and the ruins are now part of the National Roman Museum. This is another place to see ancient tombs from this era.

Another holder of the "world's oldest" title, the Trajan's Market is said to be the first ever shopping mall. Several levels of shops and living apartments can be seen together. It's easy to lose track of time among these historic wonders but chances are your stomach will remind you of how long did it really take to visit all these places.

Combining the stroll with a guided Rome food tour can make the day truly complete. Don't forget to book in advance as these tours are just as popular as some of the ancient ruins of Rome.