Rome Travel Treasures

Family Vacation Ideas for Italy

Adventures on Your Travel to Italy & Rome Italy Hotels

For this part of Rome travel, I have featured the famous and exciting piazzas, grand palazzos, colourful gallerias, exquisite museums, beautiful basilicas, ancient baths, glorious fountains, spectacular monuments, opulent villas, cultural neighbourhoods, lush parks and extravagant gardens for you to discover on your travel to Italy.

These are great neighbourhoods for selecting your Rome Italy hotels.

Admire the Grand Arches and Exquisite Courtyards on your Rome Travel
Admire Grand Archways and Beautiful Courtyards on Your Rome Vacations

Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world and there is so much to see and experience. I hope my travel tips will help you select the best sites for your visit when you travel in Italy.

Visit Piazza Navona on Your Rome Travel

The Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful of Roman squares with historic Rome Italy hotels on all sides.

This Baroque piazza, surrounded by interesting ochre buildings, stunning fountains, marble benches and expensive cafes, is a hub of activity.

On Your Rome Vacations Visit the Famous Piazza Navona
Fontanna del Moro is one of the Magnificent and Ornate Fountains in Piazza Navona

The square features beautiful works of art such as Bernini’s enormous Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) crowned by an ancient Egyptian obelisk which dominates the center, and his archrival Borromini’s twin-towered church of Sant’ Agnese.

At the southern end is the Fontana del Moro with a basin and four Tritons, and at the northern end is the Fontana di Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) designed by Giacomo della Porta and renovated in 1653 by Bernini.

The Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda

On your Rome travel, plan to visit the Pantheon. This circular building with a dome is simple yet majestic, and although it has been plundered many times over the centuries and stripped of its bronze and gold, it has stood remarkably the same as when it was erected nearly 2000 years ago, with its granite columns and bronze doors.

Surrounding the Pantheon are several romantic Rome Italy hotels with great views of the square.

Archaeologists and architects have been puzzled for centuries over how the Pantheon was built because it was constructed from unreinforced poured concrete and without supporting vaults or arches.

On Your Rome Travel Visit the Famous Pantheon
The Famous Pantheon with its Renaissance Fountain on Your Rome Travel

The center hole in the top of the dome, which used to be the only source of light for the entire building, also supports the weight of the dome.

In the center Piazza della Rotonda and front of the Pantheon is Giacomo della Porta’s late Renaissance fountain with an Egyptian obelisk. To the left of the Pantheon is another obelisk supported by Bernini’s elephant statue and marks the center of the tiny Piazza Minerva.

A Great Rome Italy Hotel

One of my favourite hotels is Albergo Cesari. The location is in central Rome and simply perfect because it is very close to all the famous tourist attractions.

There are many romantic restaurants nearby on the cobblestone streets surrounding Albergo Cesari.

Rome Italy Hotels featuring Albergo Cesari
A Glass of Vecchia Romagna brandy on the Rooftop of Albergo Cesari

This Rome Italy hotel boasts a rooftop patio and bar with great views of the city.

Located at the Piazza di Pietra and the Temple of Hadrian, the feeling is fantastic when you get dropped off by the airport shuttle when arriving in Rome.

Rome Italy Hotels near the Temple of Hadrian
The Temple of Hadrian in the Piazza di Pietra next door to Albergo Cesari

The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are only 5 minutes away and the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popola are about 10 to 15 minutes away. Give yourself 20 to 30 minutes to walk to Saint Peter’s Basillica and Vatican City.

Il Tridente – North Center of Rome

The Il Tridente area features great attractions for your Rome travel including the romantic Spanish Steps and the surrounding high fashion shopping district and historical luxury Rome Italy hotels.

Enjoy Great Restaurants at the Spanish Steps on Your Rome Travel
A Glass of Sparkling Prosecco Wine on a Charming Cobblestone Street in Rome

But that’s not all.

Il Tridente is also home to many street-side restaurants, patios and cafes, museums housing world renowned works of art, grand squares, grandiose palazzos and stunningly landscaped parks and gardens such as the Pincio gardens and Villa Borghese.

Piazza del Popolo and the Pincio

The large Renaissance Piazza del Popolo displays the great 3,200 year old Obelisk of Pharaoh Ramses ll, which was already an antique when it was brought as a souvenir from Egypt by Augustus in the 1st century BC.

The Piazza del Popolo is surrounded by many romantic Rome Italy hotels and restaurants.

Travel to Italy to See the Piazza del Popolo
See this View of Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio Terrace on Your Rome Travel

Bernini added the facade to Michelangelo’s Renaissance gate and Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo contains several Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces.

Above the piazza lies the terrace of the Pincio Gardens, a romantic spot to admire the beautiful sunset.

Rome Travel Pincio Travel
Walk up to the Terrace of the Romantic Pincio Gardens

The Pincio can be reached by taking the neoclassical steps and tiers created by Giuseppe Valadier, leading up to the terrace.

Travel to Italy for Romantic Restaurants
Dine at Romantic Restaurants near the Spanish Steps on Your Rome Vacations

On your travel to Italy, while you are in the area between the two most beautiful and famous squares in Rome, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna, make sure to visit the Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie to enjoy its romantic and stunning terraced gardens.

Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna

This magnificent flight of the Spanish Steps was designed by an Italian, paid for by the French, named for the Spaniards and occupied by the British.

Our Stay at Internazionale Domus Apartments

The location was great and Internazionale Domus apartment was wonderful.

See the Spanish Steps on Your Rome Vacations
Our Internazionale Domus Apartment is the Building on the Left with a Fantastic View of the Spanish Steps and the Trinità dei Monti church at the top

On your Rome travel, experience the view from the Spanish Steps by taking them to the top to the French church Trinita dei Monti.

The Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea exhibits works of art of the Italian avant-garde and is housed in the former monastery beside the Spanish Steps

The pink house to the right of the Spanish Steps is where John Keats died in 1821.

The second floor of that house is now the Keats-Shelly Memorial Museum.

Rome Travel Apartment at Spanish Steps
Enjoy the Relais Pierret Internazionale Domus Apartments for Your Rome Travel

To the left of the Spanish Steps, in the photo above, is the Internazionale Domus luxury apartment where I stayed with a group of friends.

The interior of this 17th – 18th century building is stunning with frescos on the ceilings.

Rent an Apartment at the Spanish Steps for Your Rome Vacations
The Internazionale Domus Apartments with beautiful Frescoes on the Walls and Ceilings

From our living room and bedroom windows, we had a spectacular view of the Piazza di Spagna and the activities of the square around the Spanish Steps.

Rome Italy Hotel and Apartment at Spanish Steps
The Beautiful interiors at Internazionale Domus Apartments and location will Inspire your Rome Vacations
See the Piazza di Spagna on Your Rome Travel
The Spectacular view from our Rooms at Internazionale Domus Apartments at the Spanish Steps

This location is perfect for waking to St Peter’s Square, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Colloseum, the grounds of Villa Borghese and to most anywhere in the center of ancient Rome.

Come and See the Piiazza di Spagna on Your Rome Vacations
Views of Piazza di Spagna from Internazionale Domus Apartments

The streets around the Piazza di Spagna and the elegant Via dei Condotti leading from the Spanish Steps to the Via del Corso are great shopping areas.

People flock here to shop in the luxury boutiques during their travel in Italy.

Travel to Italy for Rome Shopping at the Spanish Steps
When in Rome on Your Travel in Italy Discover the Shopping near the Spanish Steps

Visit the Villa Borghese on Your Rome Travel

The Villa Borghese, Rome’s second largest park, is located north of the Spanish Steps and Via Veneto.

This beautiful park has stunning, landscaped gardens, park for the kids, and is home to three notable art museums.

Visit Villa Borghese Gardens on Your Rome Vacations
The 19th century Temple of Aesculapius on the Grounds of Villa Borghese in Rome

After a long day of visiting galleries on your Rome travel, relax in the park, row in a boat on the small lake, or sit and watch the horses at the Galoppatoio.

1. Galleria Borghese

This Baroque masterpiece was the summer residence of Cardinal Scipione Borghese and contains world renowned collection of Bernini’s sculptures Apollo and Daphne, David and the Rape of Proserpina, as well as Canova’s radiant nude of Paolina Borghese, Napoleon’s sister-in-law on the main floor.

See Villa Borghese on Your Rome Travel
Visit the Beautiful Galleria Borghese When You Travel to Italy

Upstairs is the cardinal’s famous collection of paintings by Caravaggio, Lucas Cranach, Raphael, Rubens, Titian and Veronese.

2. Museo Nazionale Etrusco in the Villa Giulia

Originally the summer residence for Pope Julius lll (1550 – 1555), this museum is packed with artefacts of gold and silver jewellery, glassware, pottery, and burial objects from Etruscan necropolises in Latium, Umbria and Tuscany.

This Etruscan museum also contains a graceful sarcophagus portraying the couple for whom it was made and an Etruscan chariot.

3. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome’s National Gallery of Modern Art) is located in the grandiose Palazzo delle Belle Arti and contains the city’s foremost modern art treasures.

The 19th century section includes works by Cezanne, Courbet, Degas, Rodin, Van Gogh and Monet, while the 20th century wing exhibits works by Braque, Giacomettti, Klimit, Modigliani, Mondrian, Duchamp and de Chirico.

Via Veneto and Quirinale

Visit the Via Veneto district on your Rome travel and you will be delightfully surprised by the heavenly Trevi Fountain.

At the intersection of Via Veneto and Barberini Square is another group of fabulous fountains, and around this square are popular restaurants, cafes and luxury patios great for partying and people-watching.

Within walking distance is the Baroque National Gallery of Ancient Art of Barberini Palace and Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Republic.

Trevi Fountain – Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain, a masterpiece of Nicola Salvi, is the largest and most spectacular fountain in Rome.

Travel to Italy and See the Trevi Fountain
On Your Rome Vacations, the Trevi Fountain is a Magical Experience

Built in 1750, the Trevi Fountain emerges from the back wall of Palazzo Poli with the central figure of Neptune set in the middle of a triumphal arch.

The extravagant statues with the sea god being pulled by two sea horses overwhelm the small piazza.

Rome Travel See the Trevi Fountain at Night
See the Evening View of the Trevi Fountain for your Romantic Rome Vacations

Make sure to visit the gorgeous Trevi fountain on your Rome Travel.

Piazza Barberini the Fontana del Tritone

This busy traffic circle where Via del Tritone meets the Via Vittorio Veneto (Via Veneto) is also known as Barberini Square.

Great Restaurants at Barberini Square on Your Rome Travel
Dine in the Glass Restaurants around Piazza Barberini on Your Rome Italy Travel

You will find many great restaurants around Piazza Barberini and some are encased in glass.

If you prefer an outdoor patio, you can find that here too. The Piazza Barberini is the starting point for Via Veneto, which is a classy avenue with luxury hotels and famous visitors.

The Via Veneto leads up to the grounds of Villa Borghese. This is a great district for hanging out on trendy patios and people-watching.

Trendy Patios at Barberini Square on Your Rome Travel
Note the Outdoor Restaurants Above the Shops at Barberini Square

Walk over to Barberini square on your Rome travel, and check out the beautiful Triton Fountain (Fontana del Tritone), the Fontana delle Api, the Fountain of Bees and the Palazzo Barberini on Via delle Quattro Fontane.

The Triton of this fountain sits high up on a scallop shell, balanced on the tails of four dolphins and spouts water through his conch shell over the Piazza Barberini.

Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica

The Baroque museum, the National Gallery of Ancient Art of Barberini Palace, contains the national collection of great masterpieces from the 12th to 14th centuries and is worth visiting on your Rome Travel.

The collection includes works by Carracci, Caravaggio, Lippi, Raphael, El Greco, Poussin, and Hans Holbien.

The palazzo itself is an imposing structure with its Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns.

Palazzo del Qurinale

Originally the summer home for Pope Gregory XIII (1572 – 1585), the imposing Palazzo del Quirinale is now the official residence of the President of the Republic.

The palazzo is a Baroque architectural collaboration by Bernini, Fontana and Maderno.

The Piazza del Quirinale is located at the southeast end of Via del Quirinal and occupies the highest summit of Rome’s seven hills.

The beautiful Baroque gardens are no longer open to the public but on your Rome travel you can catch a glimpse of the grounds from the elevated walkway.

It may be possible to visit the palace by appointment if you submit your written request to the Ufficio Intendenza del Quirinale at the entrance.

Scuderie del Quirinale

Opposite from the Palazzo del Qurinale is the Scuderie del Quirinale (Quirinal Stables also called Papal Stables), which originally was a villa built on the Baths of Constantine.

If you would like to attend an exhibition on your Rome travel, the Scuderie del Quirinale is a venue for art and exhibitions, and being at the top of the tallest hill in Rome, the views are spectacular.

Chiesa di St.Maria della Vittoria

Located on Via XX Settembre, the ornate church Chiesa di St.Maria della Vittoria is decorated with a profusion of gold, precious marble and frescoes and Bernini’s reliefs on the side walls.

Inside the church is Bernini’s fantastic Ecstasy of St. Theresa of Avila, which resides in the Cornaro Chapel.

Campo dei Fiori in Old Rome

Not far from Piazza Navona and heading south across the Corso Emanuele Vittorio ll on your old Rome travel is the lovely Campo dei Fiori.

Named after what used to be a “field of flowers”, a flowering meadow of medieval times where farmers brought their grazing animals, the Campo, which during the papal rule had countless executions, now features a market of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers.

Rome Travel Campo dei Fiori
An Evening View of Campo dei Fiori – Great for Romantic Dining

In the evening, the Campo dei Fiori is filled with tables and chairs in front of the restaurants and cafes and is transformed into one of the most romantic eating spots for your Rome vacations.

Piazza Farnese and Palazzo Farnese

Travel to Ialy and Visit Campo dei Fiori

The charming Campo dei Fiori district features exquisite architecture and the very elegant and romantic street Via Giulia.

With its fountains and Farnese archways and ancient stone walls draped with lush vines and flowering branches, I was mesmerized as I wandered around this neighbourhood.

If you love gardens, check out the gorgeous green gardens on the iron balconies of Via Giulia and Campo dei Fiori.

A few steps south of Campo dei Fiori is the prestigious Piazza Farnese, the huge stately Palazzo Farnese.

The magnificent courtyard was designed by Michelangelo but unfortunately, the Palazzo Farnese is not open to the public as it is now the French Embassy.

For more cultural excitement, explore Via Giulia on your Rome travel for high-end antique shops and modern art galleries.

Galleria Spada in the Palazzo Spada

To the south east of Palazzo Farnese, past Piazza della Quercia, is the Palazzo Spada on Via Capo di Ferro with a Baroque facade and the collection of the Galleria Spada.

Visit the the Galleria Spada on your Rome travel as it holds a grandiose assortment of 17th century paintings and sculptures, including works by Guercino, Guido Reni, Cerini, Tintoretto, Titian and a frieze by Vaga, originally intended to be placed in the Sistine Chapel.

The Palazzo Spada itself is a masterpiece of Italian Mannerism with imaginative trompe l’oeil in the courtyard designed by Borromini for Cardinal Bernardino Spada, the owner.

Esquilino-San Giovanni

Domus Aurea

On your Rome travel, take the stairs over the Colosseo Metro which lead up to a ill-kept park to the remains of Nero’s Domus Aurea, a site which is closed but in the days of Emperor Nero (54-68 AD) the Golden House was a collection of domed and vaulted passageways lined with mosaics.

The Emperor Nero, whose favourite pastime was crucifying Christians and playing with fire, built the largest and most expensive palace of the ancient world.

When the ruins were discovered during the Renaissance, all the gold, jewels, ivory and sumptuous decorations were gone.

Visit the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Esquiline Hill on Your Rome Travel

Located four blocks down from Via Cavour and Roma Termini (Rome’s central train station) Santa Maria Maggiore was built on the summit of the Esquiline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome.

Travel to Italy Rome and Visit Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Summit of the Esquiline Hill

The long three-aisled interior has exquisite mosaics over the triumphal arch and in the apse, and coffered ceiling is gilded.

This is one of the seven major basilicas traditionally visited by pilgrims on their Rome Italy travel.

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele

Feel like bargain shopping on your Rome travel? A few blocks down from the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and following Via Carlo Alberto is one of Rome’s largest outdoor markets selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and some clothing, shoes and luggage.

San Giovanni in Laterano (Cathedral of Rome Saint John in Lateran)

The immense Chiesa di San Giovanni in Laterano cathedral of the diocese of Rome was founded by Constantine in 314 AD and is the oldest Christian basilica in the city.

Visit the Chiesa di San Giovanni in Laterano on Your Rome Vacations
Grand Archways and Spectacular at the Church of San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni in Laterano served as the seat of the pontificate until it was superseded by the Vatican.

The church is surrounded by the Lateran Palace, cloisters and baptistery and only the facade adorned with angels and popes can be seen from the outside.

Explore the Baths of Diocletian on Your Rome Travel – The National Museum of Rome and the Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme

Originally the Baths of Diocletian (Terme di Diocleziano) was the grandest community center of Rome (AD 306) with heated marble toilets, heated pools, gymnasiums, gardens, libraries, art galleries and concert halls and which could serve 3,000 people at once.

In 1561, Michelangelo converted the ruins into a church, Chiesi di Santa Maria degli Angeli.

On Your Rome Travel Visit Chiesi di Santa Maria degli Angeli
Michelangelo’s Masterpiece Restoration – the Chiesi di Santa Maria degli Angeli

The Carthusians built a monastery where 300,000 ancient art treasures had been stored.

The Palazzo Massimo museum was restored and now houses not only Classical Roman treasures previously displayed in the Baths of Diocletian but also splendid originals such as the Ludovisi Throne.

Other ancient Roman works of art at the Palazzo Massimo includes coins and jewellery.

Due to the volume of ancient art treasures, various collections have also been distributed to Palazzo Altemps and the Cripta di Balbo.

The Piazza Augusto Imperatore

See the Mausoleum of Augustus on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore on Your Rome Travel

The circular mausoleum, originally built on the Campus Martius in 27 AD for Emperor Augustus, now resides in the Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

This vast mausoleum was used for classical music concerts until 1950 but due to ravages of time, the environment and people having stripped the ruins, it is no longer open to the public.

The ruins are still quite impressive to view so include a visit on your Rome Italy travel.

The Ara Pacis Augustae – Altar of Augustan Peace

Not far away from the Mausoleum of Augustus is the stunning Ara Pacis was erected to commemorate the victories of Emperor Augustus in Gaul and Spain and to celebrate the peace that was established in the Empire.

Include a Visit to Ara Pacis on Your Rome Travel
The Magnificent Ara Pacis Alter of Peace

The fragments or copies of the Carrara marble blocks were painstakingly pieced together in 1937 and now the Ara Pacis is housed near the Mausoleum of Augustus at the Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

Enjoy the Trendy Trastevere Distict on Your Rome Travel

The Trastevere is a trendy residential quarter to explore on your Rome travel, and the charming old alleyways have remained the same.

Tourists flock to Piazza Sonnino for its restaurants and bars. If you stroll from Piazza Sonnino on the Via della Lungaretta or any other alleyway to the Piazza Santa Maria, you will find more restaurants around the octagonal fountain of Santa Maria.

Visit Chiesa di Santa Maria on Your Rome Travel
The Golden Mosaics on the Exterior of the Church Santa Maria in Trastevere

In Trastevere, you will also see the glitter of the golden mosaics of Chiesa di Santa Maria in Trastevere with the ten holy women, the facade of Rome’s oldest church.

Chiesa di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Have a look at the church Chiesa di Santa Maria on your Rome travel, which was built between 337 – 352 AD by Pope Julius ll.

Its facade rises up behind the octagonal fountain of the piazza, with the gorgeous golden exterior mosaics of the Madonna surrounded by ten women glowing in the Italian sun.

Travel to Italy and See the Santa Maria Church in Trastevere
The Glimmer and Shimmer of Mosaics inside the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Trastevere

The very best works of the 12th century mosaics are found in the apse and the chancel arch, which glimmer in full splendour, depicting Christ and the Virgin Mary, the apostles and the saints.

Visit Palazzo Corsini and the Galleria Corsini on Your Rome Travel

On the first floor of Via della Lungara, 10, is the Galleria Corsini within the Rococo Palazzo Corsini, and holds a fine collection of the 17th and 18th century paintings of the Dutch masters Van Dyck and Rubens, as well as the Italian artists Caravaggio and Carracci.

The Galleria Corsini houses one half of the Museo Nazionale dell’ Arte Antica (National Museum of Ancient Art) and is located at the corner of Via Corsini, across the street from the jewel of Trastevere, the lovely Renaissance house, Villa Farnesina.

Villa Farnesina

The magnificent Villa Farnesina was built for a banker and philanthropist Agostino Chigi (1508 – 1511) but has no paintings as the walls themselves are frescoed.

Highlights of the Villa Farnesina for your Rome travel include:

Sala of Galatea, has breathtaking frescoes of astrological symbols and signs painted on the ceilings by the villa’s architect, Baldassare Peruzzi.

Triumph of Galatea is a frescoed masterpiece with Galatia being surrounded by nymphs, mermans, cupids and other beautiful sea creatures, completed by Raphael in 1512.

Stanza delle Prospettive is a fantasy room painted by Peruzzi with views of Renaissance Rome and Roman landscapes between trompe l’oeil columns (faux columns and arches).

Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Garden of Rome) at Gianicolo

Formerly the garden of Palazzo Corsini, the beautifully maintained public Botanical Garden of Rome on the Janiculan Hill (Gianicolo) is now operated by the University of Rome.

If you are a nature lover, stroll though the huge garden on your Rome travel, which features exotic plants in greenhouses as well as bamboo groves, tranquil ponds, grand fountains and staircases, medicinal plants and a Japanese garden.

Include Gianicolo Park in Trastevere on Your Rome Vacations
The 17th Century Ornate Fountain in Gianicolo Park (Parco Giancolense)

At the end of the Acqua Paola aquaduct in Gianicolo Park, there is a gorgeous and ornate marble fountain worth visiting on your Rome Travel.

Gianicolo Park on the Janiculum Hill offers beautiful views overlooking the River Tiber, domes, churches and palaces in the heart of Rome.
Return to Rome Part 1: Rome Vacations in the Historical Centre

Rome Vacations in the Historical Center

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