Main historical monuments, museums and sights of Rome gathered in a small guide

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Rome major museums & monuments

Ancient Monuments

The Colosseum:

 The most famous symbol of Rome, this amphitheatre was built in 70-80 AD and could seat about 60,000.
Hours of Operation:  9-5 mid Feb-end Mar, 9-7:30 end Mar-end Aug, 9-7 Sep, 9-6:30 Oct, 9-4:30 end Oct-mid Feb.

The Roman Forum,

 Via del Fori Imperiali: This gigantic ruin was the home of all Roman government, the site of Julius Caesar's assassination, and the home of Rome's Vestal Virgins.
Hours of operation: 9-6.30 Mon-Sat; 9-1 Sun. Holiday and winter hours may differ.

The Pantheon,

 Piazza del Rotonda: Originally a temple built by Hadrian for all Rome's gods, the Pantheon became a church in the 7th century AD. You'll find the graves of many famous Italians here. This is a cool, airy spot to rest after long hot hours sightseeing.
Hours of operation: Mon.-Sat. 9-7:30, Sun. 9-5:30.

The Circus Maximus,

 Via del Circo Massimo: This stadia was the largest in Rome, capable of holding 250,000 spectators. It was used for horse racing and, at times, mock naval battles in which the floor of the circus was flooded, allowing ships to sail for the delight of the crowd. Little is left of the original stadium, but you will find some ruins here.

The Baths of Caracalla,

 Terme di Caracalla: These are the largest Roman bath ruins still in good shape. In Roman times, these baths could hold 1600 bathers at once. Some of the floor mosaics are still in great shape.
Hours of operation: Apr.-Sept., Tues.-Sat. 9-6, Sun.-Mon. 9-1; Oct.-Mar., Tues.-Sat. 9-3, Sun.-Mon. 9-1

Christianized Rome

San Paolo Fuori le Mura Basilica,

 186 Via Ostiense: This church holds some of the oldest existing Christian mosaics, and is reputed to be the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle.
Hours of operation: Basilica: daily 7-6:30; Cloisters: daily 9-1 and 3-6pm.


Santa Maria in Trastevere,

 Piazza di Trastevere: This beautiful building may be the oldest church in Rome, and holds among other things a beautiful mosaic series, Life of the Virgin, by Pietro Cavallini. 
Hours of operation: 7:30-9 Monday through Sunday.


Trevi Fountain,

 Piazza di Trevi: Visit it in the day and in the evening for two completely different experiences, and toss a coin into it over your left shoulder to ensure you come back to Rome soon! This beautiful landmark, a masterpiece of Baroque art, was finished in the 18th century by Nicola Salvi and is renowned all over the world.
Open all the time except Monday between 9 and 11 am, when the coins are cleaned out.

Other Museums


Galleria Borghese,

 5 Piazzale Scipione Borghese: This relatively small museum (only 300 visitors) holds an amazing store of artistic treasures: paintings by Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, and Correggio, and the Bernini masterpiece sculpture Apollo and Daphne.
Hours of operation 9-7 Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations highly recommended.

The Vatican,

 Viale Vaticano: The Vatican holds incredible masterpieces: the Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, a tapestry series by Raphael (displayed in the Sistine Chapel on special days), wall paintings by Rossellini, Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo, mosaics by Giotto, and samplings by nearly every important religious painter in Italian and European history. If you're looking for art, this is the one sight not to miss.

Hours of operation
: St. Peter's Basilica, Apr.-Sept., daily 7-7; Oct.-Mar., daily 7-6; Musei Vaticani (including the Sistine Chapel), Mid-Mar.-Oct., weekdays 8:45-4:45, Sat. 8:45-2:45, last Sun. of month 8:45-1:45; Nov.-mid-Mar., Mon.-Sat. and last Sun. of month 8:45-1:45. Other sites here vary.


Museo Nazionale Romano,

 located in the Baths of Diocletian, the Octagonal Hall, the Palazzo Massimo, and the Palazzo Altemps: This enormous complex holds one of the most important archaeological collections in the world, with everything from jewelry to sarcophagi from the earliest days of the Roman Empire until her end. Because of renovations, open hours are subject to change; call before coming.


Villa Giulia National Etruscan Museum,

 Piazzale di Villa Giulia: This museum is devoted to the Etruscans, who predated the Romans.
Hours of operation: Tue-Sun 8:30am-7:30pm.


Museum of Roman Civilization,

 Piazza Giovanni Agnelli 10: This museum is a little out of the way of the city center; it was built by Mussolini when he was working to revitalize Rome, and it's located in Rome's modern government central area. It's worth the trouble, though: two scale models of ancient Rome, one for the Republic and one for the Empire in around 300 AD, are its crown jewels.
Hours of operation: Tue-Fri 9-2, Sat and Sun 9-5, Mon closed.


National Gallery of Modern Art,

 Via delle Belle Arti, 113: This museum highlights a more modern Rome, with a selection of works by modern masters like Kandisky and Cezanne.
Hours of operation: 8:30am-7:30pm, Mon closed.