The best things to do in Rome

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by Hertz - 30 January 2020

Discover the culture, politics and art of Rome and the wider area in a rental car from Hertz. From the towering ruins of the Roman Forum and the ornately decorative Trevi Fountain, to the sprawling galleries within the Vatican Museums, Rome is a thriving city famed for its romantic art and architecture.

Use our guide to make sure you see the best in Rome.

Flavian Amphitheatre: A colossal wonder

The colosseum should be first on every itinerary of those visiting Rome. A world-renowned landmark, this imposing structure dates to 70-80AD. The 80,000 seats were historically filled by spectators, including Roman Emperor’s giving their thumbs up or down during gladiator tournaments.

While the interior is now too fragile to host large events, Flavian Amphitheatre has regularly been used as an atmospheric backdrop for concerts. Thousands of tourists flock to the famous landmark every day to marvel at the architectural brilliance of the Roman Empire.

St Peter’s Square

Found in Vatican City at the base of the Basilica, St Peter’s Square is one of the most famous in the world. It’s an impressive 1,000 feet in length and 780 feet wide and has been known to hold more than 300,000 people at a time.

The square is flanked by 284 columns, each topped by statues of patron saints and created by the disciples of Bernini is 1670. Two ornate fountains can be found in the center of the square, as well as an 80 foot tall obelisk that was carried to Rome from Egypt in 1586.

Arrive at the square on foot down Via della Conciliazione for a dramatic entrance. It’s a popular tourist spot, so visitors would do well to arrive early for the best experience.

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums boast some of the greatest art works in the world. The 70,000-plus exhibits - ranging from Egyptian mummies and ancient busts to modern paintings - are displayed along 7km of the halls and corridors.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is a highlight of the museum. While down in the Papal picture gallery you’ll discover works by other famed artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, as well as Raphael’s final creation, Trasfigurazione.

The refined Vatican Gardens are also worth exploring but can only be accessed with an accompanying tour guide.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon, in the heart of Rome, is one of the best preserved ancient structures in the country. Constructed by Emperor Hadrian in 118AD, it still acts as a church today and is one of Italy’s most visited attractions.

Standing on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Roman consul Agrippa, the monument is a homage to the original site with dedications adorning its rectangular front porch.

Pass through the Pantheons’ imposing bronze doors before gazing up in wonder at the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built. The series of stone patterns are perfectly designed to allow light to gracefully spill through the ceiling.

Trevi Fountain

Nicola Salvi designed this exquisite piece of baroque architecture in 1763 as a tribute to the Roman god Oceanus. The deity can be seen proudly riding a chariot pulled by tritons on seahorses.

The detailed structure covers the entire side of Palazzo Poli. It has become tradition for visitors to toss a coin over their shoulder and into the fountain for luck, with an average of €3,000 being thrown into the water each day. The donations go to the upkeep of the Aqua Virgo – a 1st century underground viaduct from which the fountains water comes from.

Roman Forum

This ancient site was once the center of Rome’s political life. The many ruins here include the temples of Saturn, Titus and Vesta, as well as the Arch of Severus. Today, there are still remnants of the once grand arches and building foundations.

Expert guided tours provide insights to the sites main monuments, allowing visitors to reconstruct Roman history. To walk between the ruins of the Forum is to glimpse into the beginnings of the Roman Empire.

Castel Sant’Angelo

An historically significant building on the banks of Tiber in Paro Adriano Park, Castel Sant’Angelo was built in 123AD as a mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family.

Now a museum and home to a number of historical artefacts, the former fortress can be explored with Secret Castle guided tours. These include a visit to the Olive Oil Fields and Historic Prisons. There’s even a secret corridor leading to the Vatican, along with many other hidden gems.


To get a true experience of authentic Roman life, take a stroll through the district of Trastevere. Watch as locals hang their washing on clothing lines between buildings or bellow to one another from their windows.

The area is packed full of character that pours down its many cobbled streets, which are lined with buildings dating from as far back as 509BC. Stop by a local favorite for dinner – Le Mani in Pasta – which serves some of the most authentic Italian cuisine in the city.

Altar of the Fatherland

This grand monument –also called the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument - stands in the heart of Rome as an unbending dedication to King Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy.

Immortalized in bronze, his statue stands guard over other detailed sculptures and a row of ornately decorative columns. A museum can be found at the base of the monument dedicated to exploring the countries earliest years in history and the unification of Italy.

Explore all of this amazing city and the surrounding areas with ease when you book a Rome rental car with Hertz.