30 Famous Landmarks in Rome, Italy, That Can't Be Missed

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A view across Rome with the Colosseum, other Italian buildings, and trees
Rome is a renowned destination with an array of famous landmarks

Found in the Latium region of Italy, Rome is one of the most iconic destinations in the world. The city is known for its numerous acclaimed attractions, including Ancient Roman and religious landmarks.

Famous landmarks in Rome, Italy, range from renowned places like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain to lesser-known yet incredible spots like the Catacombs of Rome and Largo di Torre Argentina.

If you're overwhelmed by the number of sights to see in Rome, this list will highlight which landmarks can't be missed. A map of Rome landmarks is also included to make planning a sightseeing schedule easy!

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  • 30 Rome landmarks

30 Famous Rome Landmarks

Rome Landmarks Map

A map of Rome landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

A building with columns and a rotunda and a square in front of it
The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was completed in 1743

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome and is also the largest Catholic Marian church in the city. The building was originally constructed in 435 AD, yet the structure seen today was completed in 1743.

During a visit to the basilica, you can admire the architecture and learn more about its history and uses since its construction.

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An arched gate with a sign that says "Catacombe S. Callisto"
The Catacomb of Callixtus is the most notable Roman catacomb

Catacombs of Rome

The Catacombs of Rome are one of the lesser-known but still incredibly interesting landmarks in the city. It’s believed that the catacombs were first created as a burial place in the 2nd century AD.

Approximately 40 catacombs have so far been unearthed beneath Rome, with the Catacomb of Callixtus being one of the largest and most well-known. If interested in seeing the catacombs, you can take a guided tour of the small part of the underground burial system that’s open to the public.

A path with grass, trees, and ancient ruins next to it
Appian Way is the oldest Roman roadway in the city

Via Appia Antica

Appian Way, or Via Appia Antica, is one of the earliest roadways built in the Roman Empire. The road is believed to have been constructed between 312 and 264 BC. A range of significant events have occurred along the roadway since its construction and you can see many landmarks if you walk or bike on the route.

These historic Rome sites include the Church of Domine Quo Vadis, some of the Roman Catacombs, and the Baths of Caracalla.

An outdoor staircase with a cathedral at the top of them and a fountain at the bottom
Constructed in 1725, the Spanish Steps are a renowned landmark in Rome

Spanish Steps

One of the most famous places in Rome, Italy, is the Spanish Steps, located in Piazza di Spagna. This monument that was opened in 1725 is a staircase comprising 135 Roman-Baroque steps.

Walking to the top of the steps will bring you to Piazza della Trinità dei Monti and another landmark, Trinità dei Monti church, which was founded in 1502.

A stone water fountain with sculptures and a stone building behind it
The Baroque-style Trevi Fountain is a must-see attraction in Rome

Trevi Fountain

Constructed in the 1730s, the Trevi Fountain is one of the most renowned landmarks in the city and is Rome’s most famous fountain. The water fountain features Baroque-style sculptures and is connected to the Vergine aqueduct, which dates back to 19 BC.

Even if you’re only in Rome for one day, going to the Trevi Fountain has to be on your to-do list!

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The wall and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted with colorful religious images
The Sistine Chapel is known for its stunning frescoes painted by Michelangelo

Sistine Chapel

Another world-renowned landmark to see when visiting Rome is the Sistine Chapel. The iconic chapel opened in 1483 and is found in Vatican City.

The structure is most well-known for the interior frescoes painted by Michelangelo. These artworks include The Creation of Adam, featured on the chapel’s stunning ceiling, and The Last Judgment.

A white basilica with columns and statues and a cross on top of it
Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is an important religious landmark in Rome

Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

One of the most important religious buildings in Rome is Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. Located in Vatican City, the basilica is referred to as the first church in Christendom and is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. The stunning structure is designed in a baroque style and has stone columns and religious statues on the exterior.

Ancient ruins of a chariot racing stadium with grass and trees in front of it
Chariot racing was the main form of entertainment at Circus Maximus in Ancient Rome

Circus Maximus

One of the many fascinating historical sites in Rome, Italy, is Circus Maximus. The landmark is the site of an Ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium that was opened in the 6th century BCE.

During a visit, you can learn more about the ancient entertainment venue and see what’s left of the stadium.

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Ancient ruins with a tower and grass surrounding it
Emperor Nero requested the construction of Domus Aurea in 68 AD

Nero’s Domus Aurea

Opened in 68 AD, Domus Aurea was built at the request of Emperor Nero after the great fire of 64 AD. The complex houses multiple buildings, plus gardens and a lake. At Domus Aurea, you can wander around the ruins and learn more about this historical site.

One of the most famous landmarks in Rome, Italy, is the Colosseum
The Colosseum is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome, Italy

Colosseum

Arguably the most famous place in Rome, the Colosseum is a famous world landmark that can’t be missed when in the city. Opened in 80 AD, the venue is the largest amphitheater ever built.

During its use as an entertainment venue in Ancient Roman times, events like gladiator fights, chariot races, and exotic animals shows were held at the Colosseum.

When you visit the Colosseum, taking a small group tour is recommended and will allow you to learn more about the history of the structure. Be sure to keep an eye out for the cats that call the Colosseum home too!

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The interior of an art gallery with painted ceilings and artworks on the walls
You can view an array of stunning artworks at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

Another must-visit in Rome for art lovers is the Doria Pamphilj Gallery housed in Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. Established in 1651, the gallery features paintings, sculptures, and pieces of furniture that date back hundreds of years.

The gallery also has a stunning painted ceiling and many ornate gold accents.

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A large stone monument with statues and Italian flags on it and steps in front of it
A monument to Vittorio Emanuele II sits in Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia

Another of the notable landmarks of Rome, Italy, is Piazza Venezia. This area connects multiple thoroughfares and is one of Rome’s largest squares.

The square also has a famous monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II and is close to a variety of other landmarks and tourist attractions.

A square with buildings and an obelisk around it on a clear day
Vatican City is the headquarters of the Catholic Church and is home to the Pope

Vatican City

The independent-city state of Vatican City is the most significant Roman Catholic landmark in the world. Sitting within Rome, Vatican City houses the Vatican Palace, the home of the pope, plus the Sistine Chapel and other Vatican Museums. It’s also the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church.

A view across Rome with a building with a dome roof in the center
St. Peter’s Basilica is a significant landmark located in Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica

Another iconic place to visit that you have to add to your Rome itinerary is St. Peter’s Basilica. Located in Vatican City, the basilica opened in 1626, after taking around 120 years to build. It’s believed that the structure sits on top of the grave of Peter the Apostle, who died in 64 AD.

At the basilica, you can climb stairs to the top, where you can admire views of Rome. You can also visit the tombs of saints and see artworks by Michelangelo.

A lawn with a museum with columns and a gold sphere on the edge of it
The Vatican Museums house 70,000 artifacts and artworks

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums, which house artworks and other artifacts collected by the Catholic Church, are another of the must-see Vatican City landmarks. The collection comprises approximately 70,000 pieces and includes some of the most significant Renaissance artworks in the world.

You can also see the famous spiral staircase when exploring the museum. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in art, the works displayed at the Vatican Museums are sure to amaze!

A round castle structure with a bridge next to it going over a river
Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned Castel Sant’Angelo in 135 AD

Castel Sant’Angelo

One of the most fascinating famous monuments in Rome, Italy, is Castel Sant’Angelo. The regal structure was commissioned by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD. It was intended to be a mausoleum for himself and his family.

Today, the castle acts as a museum with exhibits on the history of the castle, Emperor Hadrian, and Ancient Rome in general.

A lake with trees and a stone structure on the banks
Villa Borghese features stunning gardens and a fascinating art gallery

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is Rome’s third-largest public park. Along with beautifully manicured gardens, the attraction features the Villa Borghese structure which houses a gallery.

As you explore the park, you’ll find many paths to follow that take you through pretty gardens and past scenic lakes and ponds. You can then visit the gallery which has classical artworks and antiquities, like an ancient mosaic.

A water fountain in a square with Italian buildings around it
Piazza Navona is a beautiful place to wander around

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of many famous Italian landmarks found in Rome. This public square sits on the site of an ancient stadium, the Stadium of Domitian.

When visiting, you can admire the buildings that surround the square and the iconic Fiumi Fountain which sits in the center of Piazza Navona.

marcorubino/Depositphotos.com
A water fountain with Roman statues and a square behind it
Fiumi Fountain is considered one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or the Fiumi Fountain, was created in 1677 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain, which sits in Piazza Navona, was created for Pope Innocent X and features sculptures and an obelisk.

Viewing the fountain, considered one of the most beautiful in Rome, can’t be missed!

Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne

Constructed in the 1500s, Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne is one of the lesser-known yet highly interesting famous sites in Rome, Italy. The Renaissance palace was initially built for the Massimo family and today is open to the public one day a year, on March 16.

This date is when a son of the Massimo family was supposedly brought back to life by Saint Philip Neri in 1583. During the rest of the year, you can admire the exterior of the important building, which sits on the street of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.

A square with buildings surrounding it and an obelisk in the center
A church constructed in 1099 sits within the pretty Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo is another beautiful square in Rome. It was created in 1818 by Giuseppe Valadier, and features the Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo, a church completed in 1099.

Along with viewing this almost 1000-year-old church, you’ll be able to see many other interesting buildings and sculptures in the square.

anamejia18/Depositphotos.com
An Italian building with arch windows and a sign that says "Palazzo Massimo"
Palazzo Massimo is one of the four museums that make up Museo Nazionale Romano

Museo Nazionale Romano

Museo Nazionale Romano, or the National Roman Museum, is a collection of museums housing exhibits on the history of Rome and the Roman Empire. Items on display include archaeological finds linked to Ancient Rome.

The four museums that make up Museo Nazionale Romano are Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Crypta Balbi, and Terme di Diocleziano. If you're interested in learning more about Ancient Rome, visiting the National Roman Museum venues is a must.

Ruins of an Ancient Roman bathhouse with a path, trees, and grass in front
The largest imperial bathhouse in Ancient Rome was the Baths of Diocletian

Baths of Diocletian

The Baths of Diocletian were public baths that opened in 306 AD. It’s thought that they were the largest imperial bath site in Ancient Rome. Today, the baths are housed within the National Roman Museum site of the same name (also known as Terme di Diocleziano.)

When visiting the site, you can see the remains of the bathhouses, plus other Ancient Roman artifacts. There are some pretty gardens to wander around as well.

A Pantheon with columns sitting in a square
The Pantheon was built in 125 AD as a Roman temple

Pantheon

Built in 125 AD, the Pantheon is one of the most notable historical places in Rome, Italy, as well as being one of the most famous landmarks in Europe. This structure was originally built as a Roman temple and became a Catholic church in 609 AD.

Those that visit the Pantheon will get to appreciate the interior and exterior architecture of this ancient building. You can also take guided and self-guided tours which will allow you to learn more about the Pantheon’s history and uses.

anamejia18/Depositphotos.com
Ancient ruins with grass in the middle of them under a blue sky
Palatine Hill, a hub of the Roman Empire, features numerous Ancient Roman ruins

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill is one of the oldest parts of the city and dates back to the early days of the Roman Empire. Having been a central hub of Ancient Rome, you’ll discover a range of ancient ruins here, including churches and entertainment venues. You can also visit the Palatine Museum while in the area that has exhibits on Ancient Rome.

EN-design/Depositphotos.com
A set of Roman ruins sitting on the grass with a path going through them
The Roman Forum was a marketplace that was created around the 8th century BC

Roman Forum

Located in the center of Rome, the Roman Forum is an ancient site that was founded between the 8th century BC and 608 AD. The area was used as a marketplace and commercial hub and today features a variety of Ancient Roman ruins.

Exploring the area will allow you to learn more about life in Ancient Rome, and you can view the incredible over 1,00-year-old structures that remain here.

angelocordeschi/Depositphotos.com
A square with ruins, grass, and green trees and buildings surrounding it
Largo di Torre Argentina houses many historic ruins and is also a cat sanctuary!

Largo di Torre Argentina

A lesser-known but must-visit spot in Rome is Largo di Torre Argentina. This square notably houses the ruins of the Pompey Theater where Julius Caesar was killed.

Today, Largo di Torre Argentina is also a cat sanctuary that’s home to some of the 120,000 feral cats that live in the city. As you explore the historic ruins, you can also say “hi” to the cats and learn more about their care by talking with onsite volunteers.

Changered/Depositphotos.com
A museum with ancient statues on display and a black and white marble floor
Over 400 ancient statues can be seen at the Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums

Another famous landmark in Rome that has an array of fascinating exhibits and displays is Capitoline Museums. This museum houses artworks and archeological finds.

Founded in 1471, when bronze statues were donated by Pope Sixtus IV, the museum today has a collection of over 400 ancient statues, plus other interesting artifacts.

angelocalvino/Depositphotos.com
An altar with steps leading up to it and carvings on the outside
Constructed in 9 BC, Ara Pacis Augustae is dedicated to the Roman goddess of peace

Ara Pacis Augustae

Ara Pacis Augustae is an altar that was created in 9 BC and is dedicated to the Roman goddess of peace, Pax. You’ll find the temple in Museo dell'Ara Pacis. Along with seeing the renowned altar, there are some Roman sculptures and other artifacts on display.

A pyramid with trees surrounding it and grass in front of it
The Pyramid of Cestius was built in 12 AD and highlights Egyptian influences on Rome

Pyramid of Cestius

Pyramids are generally associated with Ancient Egypt instead of Ancient Rome. However, you’ll be surprised to learn that you can find an ancient pyramid in the city, in Rome’s Testaccio neighborhood. The over 2,000-year-old pyramid was constructed in 12 BC as a tomb for Gaius Cestius who was part of the Epulones religious corporation.

In Summary

If planning a trip to the Italian capital, this Rome, Italy, landmarks list should have helped you determine which attractions you can't miss seeing. Whether you're in Rome for a day or a week, visiting at least a handful of these 30 renowned landmarks is a must!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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