What is Rome Famous For? 9 Things that Make Rome so Well Known

Rome is known for being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with people flocking from around the globe to soak up the atmosphere of this cultural city and to witness the architectural gems that make this city so unique.

What is Rome Famous For?

Rome is famous for having amazing foods such as spaghetti, lasagna, pizza and gelato. This Capital of Italy is well known for historic sites such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City. Rome is where the Ancient Romans created systems and structures that we still use to this day.

It’s not surprising that Rome is many people’s favourite city on Earth!
Read on to discover what makes Rome so famous and why it is such a bucket-list-worthy destination…

1. Incredible Italian Food

pizza from rome
Italy, in general, is known for its divine food and wine selection and Rome, of course, is no different. While there are many, many sights that will vie for top spot on your holiday highlight reel, it’s likely that a meal of homemade pasta in a rich ragù, a well-cooked Roman pizza loaded with toppings or an indulgent dulce de leche gelato will top the list! There are simply so many things that will make your mouth water in Rome that it’s difficult to know where to start!

The only thing to remember when eating out in Rome is to eat where the locals eat. While you can’t go far wrong with a traditional Italian trattoria, it’s best to get off the beaten tourist trail and find somewhere with a little more heart. Check out the region of Trastevere which is packed with chic cocktail bars and local eateries that offer up classic Italian cuisine.

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2. Vatican City

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vatican city in rome
Another thing that Rome is so famous for is having a city within a city. Vatican City, the capital of the Roman Catholic church is the world’s smallest country and lies within the boundaries of the city of Rome. While the Vatican City is a tourist destination in its own right, most travellers tend to combine seeing the sights of the Vatican City with their trip to the Italian capital.

The Vatican City is known for being home to St Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Apostolic Palace which is the head of the Roman Catholic church, the home of The Pope and the location of the Sistine Chapel. These sites are therefore an important place of pilgrimage for Catholics, but are also iconic in terms of their architecture and history which make them loved by people from all walks of life.
The Vatican Museums are filled with a wealth of art and cultural artefacts, and you could literally spend hours walking through the seemingly endless halls of history here.

3. Iconic Sights

Probably the feature that makes Rome so well-known is its collection of unbelievably iconic architectural sights that are revered around the world. These grand works of architecture have been photographed millions of times and are heaving with tourists year-round who come to admire the impressive structures and the history that lies beneath.
While the sights are now in various states of disrepair, they are still loaded with charm, and you could even argue that it is the rustic nature and long history of these places that makes them all the more mesmerising!

4. The Colosseum

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Tourist crowds at the Colosseum
The Colosseum is one of, if not the most visited site in the world, so of course it deserved a place on this list! In 2018, over 7 million people paid a visit to The Colosseum, going inside this wonderous amphitheatre to witness the breath-taking windowed façade and to imagine the crowd of 80,000 Romans sitting in circular formation awaiting the battle of the gladiators.

Today, visitors can take a tour of The Colosseum to hear all about the history of the site, learning about how it changed from being a gladiatorial ring and site of public spectacle to being a fortress and place of religious worship.

5. Roman Forum

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the roman forum
Next to The Colosseum is another site of interest, The Roman Forum. The Roman Forum is a collection of ancient ruins that were once the centre of The City of Rome where government officials gathered together to make important decisions and rule the land. When you take in the sheer size and scale of the ruins that remain today, you’ll be astounded by how vast and impressive this site would have been when it was fully intact. The columns and arches tower overhead as you walk around this site and it can be fun to imagine the bustling marketplaces and triumphant processions that once would have taken place here.

5. Pantheon

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the pantheon
The Pantheon in the heart of Rome is another must-see that helps to make this city famous, with its Corinthian columns, domed ceiling and oculus in the roof which allows both floods of light and water through depending on the season! Unlike the buildings in the Roman Forum, the Pantheon is very well preserved, which is incredible considering it was built in around 126AD!

6. Spanish Steps

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the spanish steps in rome
The Spanish Steps is a staircase of 135 marble steps that were built by architect Francesco de Sanctis between 1723-1725. The aim of this grand staircase was to connect the Trinità dei Monti church with the Piazza di Spagna square below, while also incorporating terraces and gardens along the way. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has long been a meeting place of artists, poets, lovers and friends and it still a place where people wish to gather today.

However, there is also a more controlling side that Rome has also become known for in relation to the Spanish Steps and that is the strict authoritarian stance of the police who patrol the steps to ensure that nobody sits on them. Those found sitting on the Spanish Steps could be fined up to €250 and up to €400 if discovered eating on or damaging the steps!

7. Trevi Fountain

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trevi fountain rome
There has been similar controversy with tourist actions in the Trevi Fountain, the beautiful water fountain recognisable from the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita. This intricate, Baroque fountain is one of the most famous in the world, and hundreds of travellers descend on the fountain each day to throw a coin into its waters. It is estimated that an average of €3000 in coins is thrown into the fountain each day which then goes to subsidise projects for Rome’s most needy citizens.

8. Influencing Western Civilisation

The City of Rome goes all the way back to 753BC, and the Roman Empire was one of the most powerful and long-lasting empires in the world. It’s therefore understandable that the systems and structures created during the Roman Empire spread far and wide across Europe and beyond and are still used today. We have the Romans to thank for feats of engineering such as roads, sewage and freshwater systems, public toilets and baths and even for things such as newspapers and welfare systems!

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9. Being Part Of Popular Phrases

As Rome has been such an influential city on the world, it’s perhaps not surprising that there are a number of phrases or idioms that we use in the English language that are related to Rome. Phrases such as “All roads lead to Rome”, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” (often shorten to simply “When in Rome…) and “Rome wasn’t built in a day” are often used to imply meaning without having to spell it out.

While there are a handful of other cities that are used in idioms, there are perhaps none quite as famous as Rome!

So, there you have it, the things that make Rome so famous: food, religion, significant sites and history. These features are some of the things that make up the best cities around the world, with an array of sights and activities to suit all types of traveller.
What is it about Rome that you’d most like to see? Let us know in the comments below!

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