How to Plan a Trip to the Historic Centre of Rome
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Sightseeing Tour

How to Plan a Trip to the Historic Centre of Rome

Probably one of the most important, remarkable, and historical World Heritage sites on Earth is the Rome Historic Center. Rome, and most of Italy, is home to a plethora of amazing locations that may stand alone as world heritage sites, much like the towns of Kyoto, Jerusalem, and Angkor. Known as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Colosseum is the most important and iconic site in Rome.


Italy has the most number of UNESCO globe Heritage Sites. In all, 51 locations in Italy have received UNESCO recognition. The Holy See and Rome's Historic Center is one of these locations. The Vatican and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls are located on this land. 

Rome's history dates back to the fourth or fifth century BC. The remnants and ruins of monuments from the era of the legendary Classical Roman Empire continue to astound tourists today. Among these structures are the well-known Colosseum and the Roman Forum, or Forum Romanum in Latin. The property was first listed by UNESCO in 1980; however, in 1990, it was expanded to include Holy See properties, including the Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura.

Rome's self-guided tour is a unique and immersive way to unlock the city's treasures at your own pace. A Rome City Tour offers a curated experience that goes beyond conventional sightseeing, allowing you to tailor your exploration to personal interests and preferences. As you navigate the historic center, landmarks like the Colosseum and Roman Forum become more than mere sights; they transform into chapters in a personalized narrative of discovery. 

With each step, the Rome self-guided tour becomes a dynamic journey, fostering a genuine connection with Rome's rich history, art, and culinary offerings. Whether you choose to wander through the bustling markets of Campo de' Fiori or ascend to the panoramic heights of St. Peter's Basilica, a self-guided exploration ensures a Rome City Tour that is as unique and diverse as the Eternal City itself.

What To See In The Historic Center Of Rome?

Do you have plans to visit Rome's Historic Center? A wide loop of Rome makes up much of what you should see, and it's best to spread it out over a few days. All in all, you should plan to spend at least three days in the city, spending one full day at Vatican City and another day simply strolling around Rome's ancient core. For other must-see locations, such as the Trevi Fountain, the third day works best. These are the main sights and monuments you should include in your walking itinerary when spending the day exploring the UNESCO-designated Historic Center of Rome.

Research and Preparation

Before boarding on your journey to Rome, it's crucial to conduct thorough research to familiarize yourself with the city's history, culture, and key attractions. Make a list of must-visit sites within the Historic Centre, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain.

Additionally, consider the best time to visit Rome based on weather conditions and tourist crowds. While the city is bustling year-round, shoulder seasons (spring and fall) offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds compared to peak summer months.


Rome is well-connected by air, with two international airports: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA). Upon arrival, you can reach the Historic Centre via various transportation options, including taxis, shuttle buses, and trains.

Once in the city, Rome's public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro, provides convenient access to the Historic Centre and other attractions. Consider purchasing a Roma Pass, which offers unlimited access to public transportation and discounted admission to museums and archaeological sites.

Alternatively, explore the Historic Centre on foot to fully immerse yourself in its charm and discover hidden gems along the way.


Choosing the right accommodation is essential for a comfortable and memorable stay in Rome. The Historic Centre offers a wide range of lodging options, including luxury hotels, boutique guesthouses, and budget-friendly hostels.

For an authentic experience, consider staying in a charming boutique hotel or a traditional Italian guesthouse within walking distance of major attractions. Alternatively, opt for accommodations near Roma Termini, the city's central train station, for easy access to public transportation.


The Historic Centre of Rome is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders and architectural marvels, each with its own story to tell. Here are some must-visit attractions within the area:


One of the most well-known tourist attractions in Rome's old district is the Pantheon. Now transformed into a church, it was once a Roman temple. During his reign, Augustus commissioned the construction of the Pantheon. But Emperor Hadrian was the one who witnessed the Pantheon's completion. You can also take a skip-the-line entry ticket for Pantheon from Vox City to avoid the crowds.

Trajan’s Column

Another significant building in Rome's Historic Center is this triumphal column. The purpose of the column was to honor Roman Emperor Trajan's victory over the Dacians. The completion of this standalone column occurred in AD 113. 

Fiori Campo

One of the most prominent squares in Rome, Italy, is this rectangular one. Giordano Bruno's statue is in the middle of the square. Due to the square's former meadow status, its name literally translates to "field of flowers."

Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Steps

The majestic 153 stairway steps make up this well-known sight in Rome, Italy. Architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi designed the staircase. First built in the early 1700s, the steps were formally inaugurated in 1725.

Structures of Papal Rome

The UNESCO site includes a number of religious structures that were a part of Papal Rome. The locations of these monuments and places are outside of the Holy See's extraterritorial boundaries. These colossal buildings include Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran), and St. Paul's Outside the Walls.

Things To Do In Rome

There's more to see and do in Rome than simply the ancient cathedrals, monuments, and sights, so make the most of your stay. A vacation to Italy wouldn't be complete without sampling the greatest cuisine the city has to offer (maybe even enrolling in a cooking class) and visiting many of the other significant sites that make up stunning Roma but are not on the UNESCO list. These are some more of our top picks for things to do in Rome that you should include in your Rome travel itinerary.

Visiting Trevi Fountain

Tossing a coin into the exquisite Baroque grandeur of the Trevi Fountain makes any trip to Rome incomplete. Even if there will be 1,000 other tourists there, it's still worthwhile to go. Take a Trevi Fountain underground ticket to explore more insights about Trevi Fountain.

Explore all the amazing piazzas 

Getting lost and exploring this old city full of contemporary attractions may turn into one of your favorite days in ancient Rome. Find a secret square and enjoy a glass of wine while listening to the neighboring fountain's tinkling noises.

Discovering Hidden Gems

While the major landmarks are must-visit attractions, don't overlook the charm of Rome's lesser-known sites. Wander through the narrow streets of Trastevere, a picturesque neighborhood known for its vibrant atmosphere, eclectic boutiques, and local eateries. Visit the lesser-explored Baths of Caracalla for a glimpse into ancient Roman bathing culture.

Appreciating Art and Architecture

Rome's historic center is a living canvas, adorned with masterpieces of art and architecture. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Pantheon, an ancient temple turned church, and admire the intricate frescoes in the Vatican Museums. Take time to appreciate the artistry in the churches scattered throughout the city, including the breathtaking beauty of St. Peter's Basilica.

Exploring Vatican City

A trip to the historic center of Rome is incomplete without exploring Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world. Reserve tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Climb to the top of St. Peter's Basilica for panoramic views of the city, and soak in the spiritual ambiance of this unique enclave.

Capturing the Magic

Rome's historic center is a photographer's paradise, with every corner offering a postcard-worthy view. Capture the play of light on the Colosseum at sunrise, the bustling life in Campo de' Fiori, and the timeless beauty of the Tiber River. Allow yourself to get lost in the narrow streets, discovering charming alleys and unexpected vistas.

Dining and Cuisine

No trip to Rome is complete without indulging in its world-renowned cuisine. From classic pasta dishes to authentic Roman pizzas and creamy gelato, the Historic Centre offers a culinary adventure like no other.

Sample traditional Roman dishes such as cacio e pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper), carbonara (pasta with eggs, cheese, and pancetta), and supplì (fried rice balls filled with mozzarella). Be sure to pair your meals with a glass of local wine or a refreshing Aperol spritz.

For a truly authentic dining experience, venture off the beaten path and seek out family-run trattorias and osterias tucked away in the cobblestone streets of the Historic Centre.


Planning a trip to the Historic Centre of Rome is an exhilarating journey through time, where ancient wonders and modern delights converge to create an unforgettable experience. By researching and preparing in advance, choosing the right transportation and accommodation, and exploring the area's must-visit attractions and dining options, you'll board on a memorable adventure that captures the essence of this timeless city.

Whether you're marveling at the grandeur of the Colosseum, wandering through the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, or savoring the flavors of authentic Roman cuisine, the Historic Centre of Rome promises to enchant and inspire visitors from around the world. So pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to immerse yourself in the history, culture, and charm of the Eternal City. Buon viaggio! (Safe travels!)

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