There is arguably no more historic or picturesque city on the tour than Rome. The Eternal City, the birthplace of civilization, offers so much to see and do.
Time your trip with the Italian Open, the last stop on the Road to Roland Garros, and you won't regret a getaway to Rome.
Here are the top ten things to see and do:
The Colosseum is the most famous landmark in Rome and the defining architectural wonder of the Roman Empire. Built as the biggest amphitheater in the world at it’s time, the Colosseum has seen the battles of the gladiators, but now the ancient arena hosts thousands of tours for tourists in Rome. Next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, commemorating Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD.
Rome is famous for its architectural wonders like the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Built in the 18th century, the Trevi Fountain is one of the most romantic spots in the Italian capital, particularly when lit up at night, and you can almost guarantee yourself a return by tossing a coin into the fountain. The Pantheon was originally a pagan temple. Now it's a Catholic church and houses the tomb of the renaissance artist Raphael.
A trip to Rome can't be complete without crossing the border into the Vatican City. Home to the Catholic Church and the Pope, the Vatican is a bucket list item regardless of faith. The famous church St. Peter’s Basilica, is in the middle of Vatican City. Art created by Michelangelo and Raphael can be seen on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and inside the Vatican museum.
The Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona are the central meeting places of the city and two of the most picturesque spots in the capital. The Spanish Steps offer incredible views of the city from the top while the famous fountains, markets and cafes of Piazza Navona are the heartbeat of Rome’s historic center.
To see where the greatest empire in the world was founded, head to the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. At the Roman Forum you can see the ruins of the Roman Empire’s government buildings. While on the greatest of the fabled seven hills of Rome, you can take in the views across the forum where the ancient city was founded on Palatine Hill.
If you’re looking for a break from ancient history, head to Rome’s third largest public park, the Villa Borghese gardens. Enjoy an afternoon away from the Italian sun under the beautiful trees and ponds of the picturesque garden. You can also visit the Borghese Gallery, an art museum featuring pieces from renaissance masters like Bernini.
One of the grandest monuments to Italy, the Altare della Patria stands out as the towering white monument over all of Rome, known to locals as “The Wedding Cake”. It offers some stunning views and is one of the biggest buildings in the city.
Don't forget to stop in to the most vibrant neighborhoods in Rome, Trastevere and Prati District. In Trastevere, stroll the narrow, working-class alleys, visit a local trattoria and visit the church of Roman martyr St. Cecilia. While in the Prati district, check out the designer fashion and restaurants.
It's impossible to not enjoy the local food. Rome provides the perfect setting for all of the Italian classics. Enjoy traditional pizza pies at Pizzarium Bonci, indulge your sweet tooth at Old Bridge Gelateria, and enjoy a classic Roman meal at Rafael Nadal’s favorite restaurant, Le Tamerici.
For the perfect excuse to visit Rome in May, get tickets to watch the Italian Open at one of the best venues in tennis, the Foro Italico. Held just before the French Open, all the top stars can be found grinding on the dirt in the scenic setting.
From the ancient Colosseum and the Pantheon to the stunning baroque art of the Trevi Fountain and St. Peter’s Basilica, there is no corner in Rome lacking history, making for the perfect European vacation.
ATP Rome (5/13 - 5/20)
-Tennis Channel Plus features five courts of live action from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia beginning Sunday, May 13 at 5:00 am ET!