Is Rome Worth Visiting? | 2022
Known as the Eternal City, Rome has been around since the beginning of the eighth century BC, making it one of Europe’s oldest cities. But if you are thinking of visiting Italy, you might be wondering, is Rome worth visiting?
Rome is 2,500 years older than Italy, and 90% of this ancient city hasn’t even been discovered yet—and it might never be. Many citizens during ancient times believed that Rome would go on forever as an eternal city.
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The Romans maintained that Rome would live on forever no matter the circumstances. And in a way, it has.
Yes, it has changed over the years, but today hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to this Italian capital to explore its ancient treasures and partake in the city’s modern delights.
So what are the reasons to visit Rome? The city is known for its history and architectural wonders, from the Colosseum to the Parthenon and the Trevi Foundation.
If you didn’t already know, the entire city of Rome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But, the question remains, is Rome worth visiting, and should you include it in your trip?
Let’s look at both the pros and cons of visiting Rome.
Reasons To Visit Rome: The Pros
The Roman Empire was one of the biggest and longest-lasting empires in the world. From 27 BC until 1452 AD, the Romans ruled over Europe and the Eastern Asian continent.
Although the empire has fallen, we still live in a world that the Romans created.
The Romans invented cement, roads, the aqueduct, the public press, social welfare, sewers—we can go on, but I think you go to the point. It all began here, in the ancient city of Rome. How cool is that?
If that doesn’t convince you in visiting Rome, here are a couple of other reasons you should visit Rome.
History & Architecture
Obviously, the first item on this list is culture, history, and architecture —this city has it all.
When thinking about architecture in Rome, you probably think about the Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre.
This UNESCO World Heritage site was built between 72 AD and 82 AD, making it around 1,950 years old. During its heyday, it sat about 50,0000 to 80,000 spectators.
However, there are plenty of other architectural landmarks besides the Colosseum. When visiting Rome, take the time to see all of its architectural landmarks, including but not limited to the Arch of Constantine, the Church of Santa Costanza, the Roman Forum, the Pyramid of Cestius, the Pantheon, and the Castel Sant’Angelo.
Today, there are over 900 churches in Rome, many of which are a spectacular sight to see, even if you aren’t religious or spiritual.
The most famous of these churches is St. Peter’s Basilica, located in the smallest country in the world, Vatican City. This particular church took over 120 years to complete and is the largest church in the world.
The church is free to enter; however, expect long queues, especially during the summer season. Inside, travelers can find hundreds of magnificent sculptures, artworks, and masterpieces, including La Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s marble sculptures.
If you have the time, climb St Peter’s Dome to get a bird’s eye view of Rome. While visiting Vatican City, also visit the Sistine Chapel located inside the Vatican Museums.
Other stunning churches to see in Rome include the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popola, constructed in 1099, Santa Maria in Trastevere, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and of course, the Pantheon which is an official church.
The Squares & Fountains
Rome is home to arguably the most famous fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain. Built in the 18th century, the fountain is renowned for its Baroque style and masterfully beautiful artwork. But the Trevi fountain is only one of many scattered across the city.
Rome has over 300 fountains, each with its specific charm. For example, just steps from the Trevi fountain is the fountain of love or the “Fontanella Degli Innamorati.”
Legend believes that if a couple drinks from the fountain simultaneously, they will remain in love and faithful for all eternity.
Fun fact: all of Rome’s water is safe to drink, and there are many different drinking fountains or nasoni scattered across the city. Make sure to bring a refillable drinking bottle on your trip!
Then there are the squares or piazzas from the famous Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori to the lesser known Piazza Mincio. Rome is the perfect place to wander the streets and get lost as you never know what might be hidden around the next corner.
One of the reasons to visit Rome is the food. Some of the most famous Italian dishes originate from this city.
First, let’s start with appetizers or food on the go. In Rome, fritti are fried foods offered at restaurants or by street vendors.
There are so many different variations of fritti. From savory like the supplì, a fried rice ball stuffed with mozzarella and ragù, to sweet like castagnole, deep-fried dough balls covered in confectioner’s sugar or topped with sweet honey—make sure to order as many as you can.
If you want to stick to something a little more classic Italian, grab a pizza by the slice, also known as al taglio. This type of rectangular-style cut of pizza was invented in Rome.
Other traditional Roman foods that you need to try while visiting Rome include, pasta alla Carbonara, Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, Bucatini all’Amatriciana and Pasta alla Gricia. For dessert, try a maritozzo, a pastry-style sweet bread filled with whipped cream.
Also, make sure never to miss an Italian aperitivo. The concept initially gained popularity in the 1920s in Milan. However, you can experience this Italian tradition in any city.
If you didn’t know, an aperitivo can be compared to happy hour. However, the main difference is that your drink often comes with free snacks.
This tradition is meant to open up your appetite and ready your stomach for dinner.
Is Rome safe? Although there are risks associated with traveling to any destination, Rome is one of the safer Italian cities to travel to, with a lower rate of theft complaints than Milan and Florence.
However, it does have its issues. Although rare, there are reports of petty crime against tourists, primarily scams and pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas.
No matter where you go, make sure to always have an eye on your belongings, never flash any cash, and always have travel insurance just in case.
Reasons To Visit Rome: The Cons
Although the pros may seem to outweigh the cons, there are a couple of things to know when traveling to Rome as these particular cons may heavily influence your Italian travel plans.
It Is Expensive
Rome is the capital city and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. As a result, it is one of the more expensive travel destinations in Southern Europe.
Nevertheless, if you are on a budget, there are plenty of ways to cut your travel costs.
So is Rome cheap? Not exactly, but there are free things to do within the city and more budget-friendly accommodations and restaurants.
In the end, it’s up to you. If you are looking to save some money, avoid the tourist areas as restaurants and accommodations can be extremely pricey in these areas.
Remember that paid attractions can be relatively expensive and can book up quickly, so book tickets in advance.
Rome is one of the most visited cities in the European Union and receives around 7-10 million tourists per year.
Overtourism is a reality in Rome, especially during the summer season. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, you should skip Rome or visit it during the shoulder seasons.
In the summer months, crowded areas, long queues, seas of cellphone selfie sticks, and shoulder-to-shoulder experiences are the norm. Every attraction is often overcrowded, especially the main tourist attractions like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.
If you’ve watched Roman Holiday, you probably dream about zipping around in a scooter exploring everything that the city offers à là Audrey Hepburn.
However, if this is you, you should know a couple of things. First, Rome is one of the world’s most congested cities, and second, driving in the city is not for the faint of heart.
If you’ve never driven a Vespa or aren’t already a confident driver, we recommend skipping the experience altogether. It has been said that drivers from Rome are some of the most aggressive drivers in the world—you’ve been warned!
The Final Verdict: So Is Rome Worth Visiting?
So is Rome nice and is it worth visiting? Definitely!
Rome is one of those cities that should be on your Italian travel itinerary. First of all, it is one of the most connected cities in Italy.
Numerous flights fly into this Italian capital from almost every major international destination, making it easy for travelers to book flights directly into Rome.
There are also many options to move to other cities, whether you want to go south to Naples or north to Florence, Bologna, or beyond. The best way to travel between cities like Rome, Florence, or Venice is by train.
The country has an extensive network of fast-speed inter-city trains and even regional services that connect larger cities with smaller towns. Some of the trains even go up to 300km per hour, which means you can get to your destination faster.
Once you step foot in Rome, you will lose yourself in its magic.
There is nothing like stepping back in time while walking through the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, eating some of the most delicious cuisines you’ll ever eat, partying the night away, or even just wandering the narrow cobbled streets and getting lost—it seems like whatever you do in Rome, you will be fully immersed in that dolce vita.
So is Rome worth visiting? Absolutely. You might even consider coming back again and again. Read our Rome itinerary to learn more.
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