Rome - a giant outdoor museum

Take an extra memory card - Rome has more photo opportunities than you can shake a stick at. Marvel at Michelangelo's work in the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica and take in the immense Colosseum.

 

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What to see

Colosseum

Enter Italy's top tourist attraction and cast your mind back 2,000 years when gladiators battled and condemned prisoners fought wild beasts to the death. The Colosseum welcomes hundreds of visitors each year but its 80 entrances will ease the congestion.

Tip: To really understand the history of this immense structure, take one of the guided tours on offer.


Sistine Chapel

You don't need to be an artist to be inspired by the ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel. Painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, it's a truly stunning piece of artwork.

It will be crowded but try and find a quiet spot where you can spend some time to really appreciate the work.

The Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace - the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City.

Tip: Don't try and take a photo - they'll escort you out!

 


St Peter's Square and Basilica

In the heart of the Vatican City, a church among many, St Peter's Basilica outshines them all. Built on the Vatican Hill, the church is where St Peter (considered to be the first pope) has been entombed since 64 AD.

On your way to the basilica you'll walk through St Peter's Square - a massive plaza - at the centre of which you'll find a 4,000-year-old Egyptian obelisk. Thousands of people visit the square every week to receive the Pope's blessing.

Tip: You'll need to dress appropriately to enter the basilica.


Pantheon

Erected over 2 millennia ago, the Pantheon still stands proud as one of Rome's most iconic attractions. Nowadays it's used as a church - and a pretty impressive one at that. Walk through the towering bronze doors, look up and you'll be awestruck at the marble interior and the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.

Good news is that it's free to get in and queues are always minimal.

After walking around the Pantheon, sit and relax in one of the many coffee shops or cafes in the busy piazza outside.