St Peter’s Basilica
Visit Rome – St Peter’s & the Vatican
St Peter’s and the Vatican are side by side when you visit Rome. St Peter’s is in Italy and the Vatican is a separate city state. You won’t need a passport to get in the Vatican though. You can reach St Peter’s and the Vatican on the Rome A Red line subway. There is no admission to St Peter’s Basilica, but arrive early before the crowds build up or you will need a reservation. See Bernini’s design of the square in front of St Peter’s. Marvel at Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture in the church. The size and design of St Peter’s is amazing. Visit the tombs of the Popes beneath the main floor of St Peter’s too. Listen to the Pope’s weekly message in the square with a Papal Audience Ticket and Presentation.
It’s well worth making a reservation to the Vatican, so that you don’t have to wait in long lines outside. The Sistine Chapel is part of your Vatican tour. The Vatican Museum is too extensive to cover completely in a single day. Take the opportunity to buy Vatican postage and mail a letter.
Visit Rome – Colosseum & Forum
The Colosseum & Roman Forum are next to each other. You can reach them on the B Blue line subway. Make a reservation in advance to avoid long line ups. Return in the evening to view the Forum from outside the grounds, even though it’s closed. The Forum includes the Palatine Hill. Circus Maximus, the ruins of the ancient Roman chariot racing stadium, is located in the Forum area between the Aventine Hill and Palatine Hill. Immediately to the north of the Forum are the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II and the Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill. To the west of the Forum is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. In the portico of the basilica, see the Mouth of Truth, which is a human face carved in a circular flat marble.
Colosseum at Night
Visit Rome – Squares and Fountains
Take a guided walking tour of Rome’s Squares and Fountains or head out by yourself. For your Rome self guided tour, start by taking the A Red line subway to the Spagna station. Then walk a short distance to the Spanish Steps. In 2019 the city banned people from sitting on the steps, which used to be popular for both locals and tourists alike. Then walk to the Trevi Fountain. Throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain and tradition says this will ensure that you return to the Rome again.
The next stop is the Pantheon, built by Hadrain in 117AD as the Temple of All the Gods. The Italian kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I are buried here, as well as the famous Renaissance painter Raphael. From the Pantheon, walk to the square called Piazza Navona to see the 1651 Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The final stop on the walk is St Peter’s, but consider also visiting the museum at the Mausoleum of Hadrian, also known as the Castel Sant’Angelo.
Visit Rome – More Sights
Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo – Renaissance art by Caravaggio and Raphael.
Borghese Gallery and Museum – See Bernini’s famous sculpture of Apollo and Dapne. Reservations are required.
Take a Crypts and Catacombs Walking Tour of the underground catacombs, Capuchin Crypt and the Basilica of San Clemente.
Try a Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
Visit Rome – Hotels
Hotel Vespasiano – one block from the Vatican
Maison Imperiale – near the Colesseum
Hotel Gioberti – near the central train station
Hilton Rome Airport