Piazza del Colosseo, 1, Monti
Inarguably one of the world’s most impressive archeological wonders and the site of so many of Imperial Rome’s goings on, the Colosseum (one word: Gladiators!), Roman Forum (the apex of ancient Roman life, teaming with incredibly well-preserved structures from as far back as the sixth century BC), and Palantine Hill (the most frequented of Rome’s seven hills, plus killer views of the city and former chariot racing venue, Circus Maximus) trinity is essential. The Colosseum is breathtaking year-round, while the neighboring forum and Palentine Hill are especially stunning in spring and summer when the native wildflowers are in full bloom. You can certainly walk around on your own, though we recommend hiring a knowledgeable tour guide to lend some historical context and to help navigate, as you can easily take a wrong turn and miss out on some of the really good stuff.
Basilica San Clemente
Via Quattro Novembre, 94, Monti
Named after Pope St. Clement, the basilica is a layer cake of Roman history and architecture—a private home turned Christian church in the second century, which morphed into a Mithras temple in the third century, and its current incarnation as a Medieval temple after that. While it may not look like much on the outside, inside it’s done in breathtaking twelfth-century mosaics with multiple chapels and fascinating little nooks making up a sort of architectural treasure hunt.
San Pietro in Vincoli
Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/a, Monti
Famous for hosting Michelangelo’s statue of Moses.
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