Rome: A city steeped in history

Rome is one of those cities that can be pretty overwhelming. First, practically the entire city is a museum and you and just about every other tourist in the world is interested in seeing the sights. The power base for the huge Roman Empire, the entire center city is a UNESCO site. With more than 900 churches, four major basilicas and seven pilgrimage churches no other city in the world is so representative of the Catholic faith. 

Vatican City


If you are interested in a trip to Rome, the travel advisors at GetAway Travel can help plot an itinerary based on your interests and time constraints. We’ll help set up a visit with a variety of historic and religious sites and, some great shopping opportunities, too! 

 Lines, tours and reservations 

 No one likes standing in lines. It can be hot, boring and, frankly, it wastes precious vacation time. That being said, if there are places you have to go and things you will be crushed if you don’t get to see, then let us book your local tours in advance. Lines can stretch for miles and last for hours, sometimes up to three hours to get into the Vatican, in Rome.  

There are skip-the-line pre-paid tour as well as admission tickets. You can reserve audio headsets or make reservations to join a small guided tour in advance. 

Some sites in Rome, for example the Borghese Gallery, is only accessible if you make reservations in advance and reservations can be and are made, up to three months in advance. 

The general audience with the Pope held each Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square to accommodate the crowds, is free, but tickets are required. The ticket requirement is somewhat relaxed at times to allow standing room crowds into the square. 

 Architectural marvels 

The Colosseum – exterior

 The Colosseum is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. It is the largest standing structure left from the Roman Empire and it is still the largest amphitheater in the world. It serves as a model for modern stadiums. It was the site of sports contests, executions, theatrical performances, festivals and games. Court members watched from the field level and the general populace used what we’d call the “cheap seats” on the third and fourth tier up. 

The Colosseum – interior

Next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine. Heavily decorated with pieces of other monuments, the detailed work is exquisite. 

The Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building in ancient Rome. Granted, the outside isn’t much to look at, but the inside has a fabulous dome and the structure itself is composed of intersecting arches. 

For more of a glimpse into the architectural expertise of the Romans, visit the Baths and the catacombs.  

The Vatican 

 The smallest independent state in the world is mostly enclosed by walls. Inside you will find numerous museums, the Vatican Palace and Gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square. Inside the basilica is Michelangelo’s masterpiece Pieta as well as statues done be Bernini and other artists. Of course, the highlight of the Vatican museums is the Sistine Chapel with its stunning frescoed ceiling done by Michelangelo. You can tour the Raphael Rooms, the Borgia Apartments and the Vatican Library. St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the world’s four major basilicas and the other three are also located in Rome. 

St. Peter’s Basilica

Another basilica, also located in the Vatican is St. John Lateran, the oldest church in the city. The basilica of Santa di Maria Maggiore was built to honor the Virgin Mary and it is located near the Trevi Fountain. The fourth basilica is just outside the city walls, it is St. Paul Outside the Walls. 

Fountains, galleries, parks and shopping 

 One of the city’s popular tourist attractions is the Trevi Fountain. Throwing a coin into the fountain, which has been immortalized in films, means you will return to Rome. The Fontana di Trevi depicts the sea god, Oceanus with horses, tritons and shells. The water, supplied through an ancient aqueduct, swirls around the figures and carved rocks and empties into a basin which is filled with coins. 

Trevi Fountain

The Spanish Steps off of the Centro Storico are a popular spot to have a gelato and take a selfie. Centro Storico is considered the historic center of Rome. Travel out from the square and discover art-filled churches, grand palaces, lively ancient streets and quaint winding lanes. The steps actually lead to the French church, Trinità dei Monti. At the base of the stairs is the Piazza di Spagna and a boat-shaped fountain created by architect-sculptor Pietro Bernini. Off of the piazza is Via dei Condotti, one of Rome’s most fashionable shopping streets where designers Bulgari, Gucci, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana have their shops. 

oh yum!

If you want to mix in some green space with your history, to go Palatine Hill. Along with remnants of early Roman settlements, there are the fabulous Farnese Gardens. The gardens and park are full of terraces, pavilions, fountains, flower beds and trees. 

The Borghese Art Collections are housed in the Villa Borghese Gallery and Rome’s largest park surrounds the villa. 

 Art, architecture, shopping and, it goes without saying, fabulous food and wine, await travelers to Rome. At GetAway Travel, we’re ready to set up your memorable trip to Rome —  call (262) 538-2140, e-mail: or 

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