There’s no shortage of things to do in Rome. The Eternal City is an open-air museum. You could spend a lifetime exploring the remains of the Roman Empire.
Rome is the third most visited city in Europe. Most travellers are drawn by the historical fascination of sites like the Colosseum, Vatican City and the Roman Forum. This city is more than a collection of historical relics. Rome has an excellent culinary scene, many great hotels and a small gay scene. All roads lead to Rome.
The most famous monument in Rome is the Colosseum. It’s almost two thousand years old and it remains the largest amphitheatre ever built. The Colosseum was used for 500 years. It’s been abandoned for far longer and it’s survived wars and earthquakes.
We’ve all seen Gladiator. This is where bloody gladiatorial battles actually took place. There was no social media in ancient Rome, so if you wanted to tear someone apart you had to do it in real life.
The Colosseum was once covered in Marble. It’s one of the greatest entertainment venues in history. Today it’s a ruin. Every tourist in Rome makes a trip to the Colosseum. It can get very busy in peak season. Things will be a little quieter later in the day.
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum and the Colosseum are the two greatest surviving monuments of ancient Rome. The Forum is comprised of many temples and areas of commercial, political, legal and social activity. It was the beating heart of the city.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Forum was abandoned and lost to history. Its location was known but it wasn’t excavated until the 20th-century. Take a stroll down Via Scara. This street linked Piazza de Campidoglio with the Colosseum. Julius Caesar used to stroll down it. You’ll definitely want to explore some of the temples. There’s so much to see in the Forum it’s worth joining a guided tour.
The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain was completed in 1762. It has developed near-mythic status. It’s said that you’ll return to Rome if you throw in one coin, fall in love with a hot Italian if you throw two, or marry if you throw in three. If endless swiping is doing your head in you could try your luck at Trevi Fountain. You’ll probably be sat on a bench scrolling through Grindr though, won’t you? It probably has the same effect.
It’s considered by many – certainly the Romans! – to be the world’s most beautiful fountain. The fountain you see today many date from the 18th-century, but its origins stretch back over two-thousand years. Things tend to be very old in Rome.
Rome has a small gay scene for such a major city. It’s also quite discrete. You won’t find a big gay district covered in Rainbow flags. There are a few gay bars in Rome. The gay scene really gets going at night. You’ll find more gay clubs than bars, including monthly dance parties. Some of the clubs will be closed for summer. Check out our Rome gay club page and check the venues’ social media for updates about events and opening hours.
Head to the Parione district to experience Rome’s nightlife. Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fioro are full of bars and restaurants to explore. You can visit during the day as well. Parione has many of Rome’s finest boutiques. It’s the main nightlife area of Rome’s historic centre.
Former stomping ground of ancient Rome’s elite, the Palatine Hill was once dotted with great palaces and villas. You can visit the remains of Flavian’s Palace. Take a trip to Domus Flavia, built in 81 B.C. for Emperor Domitian. Some remains of the original buildings are still there.
House of Livia is a real highlights as it’s one of the best preserved ancient buildings on the Palatine Hill. There are even mosaics still visible on the walls. Standing on the Palatine Hill, you’ll be greeted with panoramic city views, including direct views of the Roman Forum. You’ll see why the Roman elite chose the Palatine Hill as their neighbourhood.
The world’s smallest state is Vatican City. It’s the head of the Catholic Church. The Vatican is in Rome, pretty much, although technically it’s a special country – kinda makes sense, right? Around a thousand people live in the Vatican, including the Pope. It’s a must-see attraction when planning your trip to Rome. You’ll be able to marvel at Michaelangelo’s ceiling on the Sistine Chapel and see priceless relics and artworks at the Vatican Museum.
The Popes have been the “keepers of the keys of heaven” since the days of the Roman Empire. The empire might have fallen but the Vatican never did. It’s worth spending at least half a day at the Vatican. In some ways, the Roman Empire continues to survive at the Vatican. The historical continuity is reflected in the treasures stored at the Vatican. Some of the treasures in the Vatican archive include the last letter Mary Queen of Scotts wrote, and Martin Luther’s letter of ex-communication. Curiously, the archive is closed to the public as of 1939 onwards. Draw your own conclusions.
by Alex | On: Gay Rome