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5 must-sees for rugby fans in Rome

06 February 2020 08:41

See what Rome has to offer beyond the Stadio Olimpico.

See what Rome has to offer beyond the Stadio Olimpico.

Take a break from the rugby to soak up Rome's most incredible sights...

The Colosseum

Between visits to the Stadio Olimpico, you may want to visit the city's original sporting amphitheatre. The 2,000-year-old Colosseum once hosted gladiator battles and exotic animals – today the biggest battle is waking up early enough to avoid the midday crowds. Guides offer access to otherwise prohibited areas and allow you to jump the queues, while bringing details of the animal hunts and public executions to life.

Circus Maximus

Where high-speed pursuits once entertained ancient Romans, crowds now flock for concerts and large-scale celebrations. The Italian football team famously took their World Cup winning party to the arena in 2006 and rock band Genesis laid on a show for 500,000 fans here in 2007. Today visitors can enjoy an immersive VR experience to recreate the drama of the Circo Massimo thousands of years ago.

Quartiere Coppedè

The hidden Quartiere Coppedè is largely unkown by tourists and locals alike. Designed and built by Gino Coppedè, the neighbourhood fuses gothic gargoyles with brightly painted buildings, for a twisted fairytale feel that's caught the eye of Hollywood horror directors for decades. Archways are decorated with cherubs and fountains made of frogs, at a destination like no other.

Stadio dei Marmi

While it may lack the history of nearby attractions, the Stadio dei Marmi certainly has a story to tell. The open-air stadium was built as part of Rome's bid to host the Olympics in 1940, before the games were eventually cancelled in the midst of World War II. Today the site hosts a running track used by locals, looked over by 59 marble statues.

St. Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica is hardly a hidden gem, but who can blame 10 million tourists for making their annual trip to the largest church in the world. Incredible artwork from Michelangelo, a beautiful bronze baldachin (canopy over the altar), and the resting place of the first pope of Rome keep the crowds coming back year after year. Head to the residential street Via Nicolò Piccolomini to enjoy the optical illusion of the building's shrinking dome.

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