23 Incredible Things Rome Is Known and Famous For

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The illustrious capital city of Italy, Rome is an incredibly popular travel destination situated on the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, it is also home to enchanting sandy shores such as Sperlonga Beach and Santa Severa Beach. The city comprises of 22 riones or divisions, many of which has it own unique charm.

What Is Rome Known For?

Rome is known for its historical landmarks and is titled ‘The Eternal City’ as ancient inhabitants believed it would go on forever. Structures such as The Colosseum and The Pantheum were constructed almost two thousand years ago, yet still stand to this day. Furthermore, Rome is famous for its Catholicism, especially in the Vatican City.

History, Culture, And Traditions Rome Is Famous For

Ancient Rome


Between the 8th century BC and the 5th Century AD, there exists one of the most impressive, unforgettable periods the world has ever known. So, what was Rome known for in the ancient times?

Ancient Rome was civilized and paved the way for future generations. Their engineering skills and scientific knowledge helped them build monumental buildings, aqueducts, and entire squares.

Another element in which they excelled was literature, which was written in Latin at the time. Playwrights such as Platus and Ennius were renowned for their comedy, whilst others like Virgil wrote dramatic poems

Roman Empire


The Roman Empire was a specific period in Ancient Rome that started in 27 BC and lasted over 1,000 years.

After the fall of the Roman Republic, and the assassination of Julius Ceasar, Emperor Augustus, who was the great-nephew and adopted son of Caesar, was appointed to be ruler. Although there were almost 70 emperors by the end of the Roman Empire, Augustus was always considered the best.

Aside from creating some of the famous Rome architecture, few of which still stand to this day, the empire was known for being brutal. They had a powerful army, conquered land on three continents, and slaughtered many.

La Befana


A popular Christian holiday is The Epiphany which happens every year on January 6th. It celebrates not only the Baptism of Jesus Christ but also the three Wise Men who came to visit him as a baby decade prior.

On the eve of The Epiphany, there is a popular folklore tale of La Befana. This is a virtuous witch, that is sent to every house to deliver gifts to the children.

You will find huge parades with music and food in Saint Peter’s Square. It’s certainly an eye-opener. So if you happen to be visiting then, be sure to check it out and join in the festivities.


Another prominent holiday in Rome is Ferragosto, which is derived from Emperor Augustus. This is celebrated as a public holiday throughout Italy each year on the 15th of August 15th. Locals will usually visit the Church for a service in the morning, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.

Since Ferragosto happens in the summer, people will often also take the opportunity to visit the beaches in Rome. Seafood is grilled and often added to pasta, and a huge feast is had with friends and family.



Although it is often overshadowed by Milan, Rome is actually known for being a fashion capital. There are several trendy locations are recognized for their unique taste. Loosely draping linen and cotton are popular in Rome, as practicality is prioritized just as much as style.

The main destination in Rome where you can find high-end couture is the ‘fashion triangle’ consisting of Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna, and Piazza Venezia. You can find luxury Italian brands such as Versace, Gucci, and Bottega Veneta.

Rome Fashion Week showcases many of these fashion houses; the event draws plenty of international attendees each year.

Districts And Areas Rome Is Known For

Vatican City


Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It is a city-state encompassed by Rome, therefore making it the only country located within a city.

It is also the only place in the world with 100% of its residents being Catholic in faith, thereby making it one of the holiest places. That said, this is a religious pilgrimage spot for many Catholics and Christians, while also a popular tourist attraction due to its importance.

Despite its small size, Vatican City is known for the Vatican Museum, the 15th-century Sistine Chapel inside it, and the colossal St Peter’s Basilica. In addition, the Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, who is the head of the Catholic churches.



Monti is a magical district that holds some of the best landmarks in Rome. It is derived from the word meaning mountain, as it spreads over three of the seven Hills of Rome. These are Celio, Esquilino and Viminale 

The Colosseum, Trinità dei Monti Catholic Church, and Baths of Trajan are among some of the most interesting historical sights.

If you have time for shopping, be sure to visit the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti. This rustic square has local cafes, beautiful old buildings, and trendy boutiques.



Trevi, known as Rione II, has some of the most picturesque attractions that Rome is famous for. Although the Trevi Fountain is the most well-known, there are several other noteworthy structures and buildings.

For example, The Quirinal Palace is one of the official residences of the Italian president. Before this, it was the regal palace of the monarchy. It was built by Pope Gregory XIII on Quirinal Hill, the highest of all the hills in Rome.

If you are looking for a rich cultural experience, the National Gallery of Ancient Art is an interesting museum and complex. There are famous art pieces by creative geniuses like Raphael, Bernini, and Bronzino.

Exploring the district is one of the touristic yet popular things to do in Rome, but it’s well worth the time.



Trastevere is a traditional, bohemian-style neighborhood opposite the River Tiber. It is adored by the young crowd for its free-spirited cafes, artisan stores, and relaxing squares. If central Rome is too crowded for you, this is one area where you can find some respite.

The Piazza Santa Maria is an ancient square with several historical attractions. It is home to The Basilica of Santa Maria, one of the oldest churches in the city, built in the 4th century. In addition, the fountain in the heart of the square is the oldest-surviving fountain in Rome.



Parione is home to one of the most scenic squares Rome is famous for, Piazza Navona. This elegant court has relaxing cafes, faces the baroque-style Sant’Agnese church, and houses three important fountains.

The famous trio of fountains includes the legendary Fountain of the Four Rivers, which symbolizes famous rivers from different continents to represent a connection between them. Similarly, the Moor Fountain and Neptune Fountain are also located around the square.

It’s often buzzing with activity and a good spot to people-watch if you are taking a break from checking out the city.

Landmarks And Architecture Rome Is Famous For



Undeniably the most famous landmark in Italy, the Colosseum is a prime example of impressive Rome architecture from the 1st century.

It is a monumental amphitheater constructed for emperor Vespasian after consecutive years of war and gloom. The purpose was for it to be an entertainment venue for the ancient civilization, where plays and musicals could be held.

Over time, the structure has been through several states of neglect and destruction, however, has been repaired many times. As a result, it is still well-preserved and to this day serves as a reminder of the advanced engineering during this era.

It is a very popular attraction for good reason so be sure to grab tickets in advance or join a guided tour to really understand this important historic site. The Colosseum looks pretty different during the night compared to day time; there’s a mystic aura about it, so be sure to revisit it after the sun sets.

Trevi Fountain


One of the surprising facts about Rome for many is that there are over 300 fountains scattered across the city. The oldest of which dates back all the way to the 8th century.

The most significant fountain is thought to be the Trevi Fountain, which stands in front of the charming palace Palazzo Poli. After all, what are Romans known for if not their intricate artistry?

In the basin of the fountain is a white marble statue of Oceanus, a mythological titan god of rivers. This is a Baroque characteristic that influenced many of the historical landmarks of Rome and is the same material as the Colosseum.

The Pantheon


The Pantheon is an awe-inspiring monument from Ancient Rome. It is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘all the gods’, for which it was built originally built for as a temple.

At first, it was constructed by Agrippa, to honor emperor Augustus for his victory at the battle of Actium. However, it was destroyed several times due to natural disasters like fire and lightning.

Eventually, the Pantheon was rebuilt as a Catholic Church. Today, you can visit this spot for free and check out the incredible interior; but stay respectful and observe silence where possible.

St Peter’s Basilica 


St Peter’s Basilica is one of the most important famous landmarks in Rome and the world, located in Vatican City.

The Renaissance-style building took over 150 years to build, beginning in 1506. Some of the most acclaimed architects were in charge of the process, including Michelangelo. It is an elongated cruciform shape and features the tallest dome in the world on its apex.

The holy site is the burial location of Saint Peter, as well as Emperor Otto II and Queen Christina of Sweden.

The Vatican City is one of the most worthwhile places to go with a guide because there is so much history within it that you won’t learn about by going around yourself. And it also gives you priority access, bypassing the hours of queueing. That said, it is recommended to get skip-the-line tickets even if visiting yourself.

>Check Skip-the-line Tickets To Vatican Museums

The Spanish Steps


A contender for one of the longest and widest staircases in all of Europe is the Spanish Steps. The 135 steps are all made out of Roman travertine and are located at the base of Piazza di Spagna. The three terraces depict the Holy Trinity.

The designer, Francesco De Sanctis, won a competition with his outstanding design. It was made with the purpose of a treaty between France and Spain, on the order of Louis XII. These long stairs connect the French church Trinità dei Monti at the top to the Spanish plaza Piazza di Spagna at the bottom.


Food Rome Is Known For

Pizza al taglio


One of the most famous things in Rome is their pizza. Over five restaurants in the city have been world-acclaimed as the best joints in the world, including Pinserre and Pizzeria Magnifica. 

Generally, there are three types of pizza: pinna, tonda, and al taglio meaning ellipsoid, circular, and by the slice respectively. It’s one of the best street foods in Italy that you just can’t get enough of.

In Rome specifically, the rectangular shape of al taglio is considered to be the best. The most popular topping are mortadella ham, cherry tomatoes, and tangy mozzarella.



A traditional carbonara in Rome is a simple dish made easily with a few fresh ingredients. But don’t let that fool you, this scrumptious Italian food makes for one really delicious meal.

The bulk of the pasta is thin spaghetti noodles, mixed with pecorino romano cheese, pancetta, and eggs. The key ingredient in a traditional carbonara is black pepper which is mixed throughout the dish.

This differs from the Americanised method, with adds a heavy cream to create a velvetier texture. Many foods of Rome have been adapted but the original recipes remain the most mouth-watering.

Seafood Fregola

Fregola is a type of pasta similar to couscous with a nutty flavor. It is mainly used as a main dish with seafood and is served at most dining places. It tastes especially better when made from scratch in local restaurants.

Due to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, Rome is famous for its fresh seafood dishes. Usually, pasta includes shrimp, oysters, and squid.

Alternatively, fregola can be added to chicken broth and made into a hearty soup. Other recipes include a refreshing pasta salad with vegetables.



The best foods of Rome would be incomplete without gelato for dessert.

Gelato is made of cream, milk, and sugar. It is different from ice cream not because of its ingredients, but more specifically the amount. There is less cream used, making it lighter and also healthier.

The flavors of gelato vary massively, however dark chocolate or Nutella is the most popular in Rome. On the other hand, there are slightly more bitter flavors such as pistachio, or you could opt for a healthy fruity mix!

This is one of the most internationally enjoyed Italian desserts and sweets, but there is nowhere better than getting it from the country of origin.

Famous People From Rome

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar is responsible for many of the successes of Ancient Rome. Some know him as a brutal dictator who led his armies through bloody battles. Some of his most famous victories include the Gallic Wars, of which the Battle of Alesia was considered to be his greatest achievement.

In pop culture, Caesar is prominent for his affair with Cleopatra. They were considered to be one of the greatest lovers of all time and are often portrayed in Hollywood.

After his assignation, the transition of Rome from a republic to an empire began, whereby Augustus became emperor.

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is a famous actress and celebrity figure born in Rome.

Some of her best classic movies include Two Women, for which she won an Oscar award, and Arabesque, for which she won a Bambi award.

Aside from Hollywood, Sophia Loren is also one of the most famous people from Rome for her personality in the media. She is known for her insight and looks. Her signature style includes Italian brands such as Emilio Schuberth and Armani.

Francesco Totti

The most recognized Italian football player globally is considered to be Francesco Totti. Born in Rome, he played the forward position for Roma, as well as the national team.

Totti’s best achievements include two Ballon D’or nominations, winning the FIFA World Cup in 2006, and two Italian Super Cups.

In addition to playing, he captained Roma for almost 20 years.

Elsa Schiaparelli 

A significant influence on the fashion that Rome is known for is Elsa Schiaparelli. She is celebrated for her surrealist designs that often surpassed society’s expectations at the time. Schiaparelli opened the House of Schiaparelli in 1927, which wowed her audience because of her use of eclectic colors and unconventional designs.

Now known as Maison Schiaparelli, the brand is just as eminent as it was when it was first established. Designs have previously been worn by icons such as Bella Hadid and Beyoncé.

Discovering More Things Rome Is Known For

Credit to Ancient Rome, the Eternal City is most famous for its historical sites which include impressive Italian castles and also intricate palaces with stunning interiors. Structures such as the fountains, amphitheater, and even staircases are hugely popular because of how well-preserved they were. It is likened to stepping into the past!

Additionally, the food Rome is known for includes pasta, pizza, and gelato. You will find a variety of flavors and incredibly high-quality ingredients partly due to its proximity to the coast. There is nothing like exploring the cobblestone streets with the sun shining on your face and a tasty Italian snack in your hand.



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Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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