The city of Rome is very impressive mostly because of the antique structures it has. It also has a great history attached with it. Rome was ranked at number 2 position in the 2004 Readers Choice Awards for the Top 10 European Cities (for Conde Nast Traveler). It was behind Florence only.
Rome is dry and hot in summers and rainy in winters. The city has a population of 2.7 million. You need to have a passport to visit Rome, as it is for most of the Italian countries. But you do not have to worry about the visa if your stay is not more than 90 days. You should visit Rome during the off-season that is from October to March. There are too many tourists during the summer months. Try to get accommodation into hotels near the historic district or the centro storico. Hotel de Russie is the situated perfectly between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo. This way you will get to visit these places first and then move on to visit other places of interest.
You should explore Rome on your own. You should make a list of the sites you intend to visit. This will make traveling a lot easier for you. It will also help you save time. Private guided tours are also a good option. You can get the bookings done from your hotel only. You can also opt for the TramBus system. It is cheap and good. This bus system takes you to all the beautiful places in and around Rome.
Different people visit different places in Rome however there are certain sites which one should never miss. The Coliseum is the most popular structure in the city. You must visit this place. You can either look around it on your own or go for guides who are part of the conducted tours. The guides dress up as gladiators. The time when these tours are conducted are not fixed so you should call earlier and inquire about them.
After Coliseum the place to visit should be The Roman Forum or Foro Romano. This place has significant historical importance as it was the civic center of old age Rome. This was the place where all the significant activities took place be it political, religious or anything else. Even after 2000 years, its structures depict the Roman architecture in the true sense. There is no entry fee for visiting this place. It opens at 9 in the morning and closes 1 hour before the sun sets. Paid audio and guided tours are also available.
The Pantheon is a very old structure, around 1,800 years old. However the structure is still intact. This structure was built around 125 A.D. the word Pantheon literally means temple to all gods and it was built by Emperor Hadrian. It has got a huge 9 meter opening. That is the only source of light here. Some famous people like Vittorio Emmanuel II, Renaissance painter Raphael, Umberto I and two Kings of Italy are buried here. The building has remains of so many civilizations. You can know a lot about Roman civilization from here. You can learn about their sculpture, clothing, woodwork, language and many other things. You can actually learn about their thoughts also. There is no entry fee for The Pantheon. It is open for visitors throughout the week. It is closed on all holidays excluding Christmas.
You can visit all the listed placed in Rome in a single day. After this, you can spend a 3 hours at The Vatican. Here you can find huge collections of books, paintings, sculptures and many other things related to the history of the Catholic Church. But this time is not sufficient to examine each and every piece out there. You can not go through the entire Vatican collection at one go. In St. Peters you can have a look at Michelangelos Pieta. Then there is the magnificent Vatican Museum where some great antiques are placed.
There are also some Egyptian mummies here. However one place which you must visit is the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo was a great sculptor and Pope Julius II asked him to paint the bible on Sistine Chapels ceiling. However his aim to embarrass Michelangelo wasnt fulfilled as Sistine Chapel went on to become one of the greatest pieces of art from the Renaissance period. The schedules here arent that regular so you should inquire about it well in advance.
Cafes and restaurants are there almost everywhere in Rome so there is no problem in finding them when you are feeling hungry. For traveling, wear comfortable dress and shoes. Do not carry too much luggage with you. To know all the things you need to do and need to visit, consult the hotel concierge or some other tourist information.