Crossing the pond to explore Europe is on many travelers’ to-do list, and for good reason: the old-world continent abounds with history, art, and natural beauty. While it’s easy to rack up a hefty tab while vacationing in one of the pricier European countries like England or Switzerland, there are also some wallet-friendly gems to b1.
Explore The Colosseum
The Colosseum is an ancient Roman amphitheater in the center of Rome, Italy. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Rome and one of the most famous monuments in the world. It was originally built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD as a gift to the Roman people and was capable of seating 50,000 spectators.
The Colosseum had to be completely renovated because it suffered damage during a series of earthquakes that hit Rome between 847 and 1349 AD. The last battle to be held inside it took place in 404 AD when barbarians invaded Rome but it wasn’t until six centuries later that the building started to lose its purpose as an arena for gladiator fights and other spectacles.
Today, the Colosseum is a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts more than 3 million tourists each year.
See St Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica is not only one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks but also one of Italy’s main attractions as well as one of Christianity’s holiest places. Here you can see several relics including those belonging to Saint Peter himself such as his crucifixion nails and chains he used during his imprisonment before he died on June 29th 64 AD at age of 66.
The construction of St Peter’s Basilica started in 1506 AD and it took more than a century to complete but Pope Julius II wanted the building to be finished by his death so he could be buried inside it.
The dome is the largest in the world and measures 139 ft high while its diameter is 142 ft which makes it the biggest dome ever built in human history.
See The Pantheon
The Pantheon was originally built as a Roman temple dedicated to all pagan gods but Christianity became Rome’s official religion during Emperor Constantine’s reign in 313 AD. It was turned into a church named Santa Maria ad Martyres where several saints were buried including Saint Lawrence whose remains are still located there today along with other relics such as Saint Sebastian’s arm bone or Saint Agnes’ head.
The structure has been restored several times since its initial construction such as when Pope Urban VIII had its interior redesigned by Italian architect Borromini between 1633 and 1646 AD. Many people refer to the Pantheon as “the most perfect building ever made by man” because of its incredible design that has inspired many architects throughout history.
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 and today it welcomes more than 2 million tourists each year who come from all around the world just to see this stunning monument that was originally built by Marcus Agrippa between 27 BC and 25 BC after whom it was named (Agrippa means “great horseman).
See The Colle Oppio Hill
The Colle Oppio hill is a small hill in Rome’s center where you can see some of the most important ancient Roman monuments such as the Temple of Romulus which was built by Emperor Maxentius to honor his son Romulus who died shortly after he became emperor in 306 AD.
It was destroyed by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 AD but its ruins are still there today along with those of the Basilica di San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura which is located right next to it and whose construction started in 312 AD when Emperor Constantine decided to build a church outside Rome’s city walls so that people could visit it without fear of being attacked by enemies.
The church was completed during the reign of Emperor Honorius but it was damaged several times throughout history because of earthquakes and even though it has been restored several times since then, its original structure remains intact even today which makes it one of Rome’s most important churches.
Walk In The Gardens of Villa Borghese
Rome is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world, and its Villa Borghese is a must-see for any traveler. Situated on 80 acres of land, the villa was commissioned in 1605 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Today, it is home to a number of museums and galleries, as well as stunning gardens.
The gardens feature symmetrical hedges, fountains, statues, and ponds, providing a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. Visitors can also take a cable car to the top of Rome’s Pincio Hill for sweeping views of the surrounding area. Whether you’re admiring the artwork in the Gallery Borghese or taking a leisurely stroll through the gardens, Villa Borghese is sure to delight and enchant.
If you want to explore everything Rome has to offer, it might be worth looking into some of the more affordable options like purchasing a Roma Pass or taking advantage of free walking tours. However, even if you only stick to these five activities, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip!