Where to See Rome’s Ancient History Beyond the Colosseum

ancient Rome sights and museums

Dive deeper into ancient Roman history on your next visit! (credit)

When thinking of Rome’s ancient history, the Colosseum often the first thing that comes to mind. Perhaps you’ve already toured Italy’s most famous ancient arena or visited the Forum or stood and gazed up at the impressive dome of the Pantheon. While these ancient Roman sights are a must, especially for first-time visitors, the Eternal City is full of fascinating places to delve deeper into Rome’s rich past. Even better, many of them are far less crowded! Here are some incredible places to explore Rome’s ancient history beyond the Colosseum.

Explore the ruins of Emperor Nero’s Golden House.

The Colle Oppio and Terme di Traiano Park

You can start your exploration right next to the Colosseum at the Colle Oppio and Terme di Traiano Park, a nicely maintained park where you’ll find the ruins of Trajan’s baths and Emperor Nero’s once lavish Golden House, called the Domus Aurea. Book a tour to the Domus Aurea to marvel at the grandiose architecture of this once-glorious palace. Then stroll through the pretty Colle Oppio Park and see the ruins of Trajan’s Baths. It’s a peaceful spot to enjoy Rome’s storied past amidst beautiful greenery. Bonus: The park has one of the best views of the Colosseum too!

View looking over the Roman ruins at the Largo di Torre Argentina.

Largo di Torre Argentina

Surrounded by modern day Rome, it’s often a surprise to come across the intriguing Largo di Torre Argentina, home to the ruins of four ancient Roman temples and the remnants of Pompey’s Theatre. This archaeological site is also famously known as the location where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Today, it doubles as a sanctuary for Rome’s stray cats, adding a unique and charming twist to your historical exploration. Find out more about this lovely neighborhood and our Sonata vacation apartment rental nearby.

Stroll around the Teatro di Marcello.

Teatro di Marcello

Sometimes mistaken for its more famous counterpart, the Colosseum, the Teatro di Marcello was commissioned by Julius Caesar and completed by Augustus. This ancient theater stands as a testament to Rome’s architectural brilliance, and its impressive structure even served as an inspiration for the Colosseum. While you can only see the theater from the outside, is a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of Roman engineering.

Marvel at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia.

National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia

Not all ancient history in Rome is about the Romans! Delve into the pre-Roman history of Italy at the National Etruscan Museum in the stunning Villa Giulia. This museum houses an extraordinary collection of Etruscan artifacts, from exquisite pottery to intricate jewelry, architectural elements and so much more. It provides a captivating look at the civilization that laid the foundations for Rome’s grandeur. Curious about the Etruscans? Learn more about the Etruscans in Italy here. This museum is surprisingly large, so if you really enjoy history you’ll want to plan at least a few hours at the National Etruscan Museum.

Basilica di San Clemente

Tucked away just a couple of blocks from the Colosseum is one of Rome’s most unexpected and fascinating historical spots: the Basilica di San Clemente. This multi-layered church reveals the evolution of Roman architecture, with each level representing different historical periods. From the 12th-century basilica with its gorgeous gold mosaics to the 4th-century church below and finally the 1st-century Mithraeum, San Clemente offers a unique and immersive experience through Rome’s rich history. While entry to the basilica is free, be sure to book your visit to the excavation site below the church in advance.

Explore the Parco degli Acquedotti near Rome. (credit)

Parco degli Acquedotti

Spend some time just outside of the city at the awe-inspiring Parco degli Acquedotti, part of the Appian Way Regional Park located southeast of Rome. Here, you can walk beside Rome’s ancient aqueducts, which stretch scenically across the landscape. These monumental structures, once essential for the city’s water supply, offer a picturesque and serene setting to appreciate the engineering marvels of ancient Rome.

Stand amidst the impressive Terme di Caracalla.

Baths of Caracalla

To truly understand the splendor of ancient Rome, head to the Terme di Caracalla, one of the largest and best-preserved ancient Roman baths. Built in the 3rd century AD, these grand thermal baths could accommodate thousands of bathers and featured a range of facilities, including gyms, libraries and gardens. The sheer scale and sophistication of the baths provide a vivid insight into the daily life and social customs of ancient Romans. Enjoy our walking tour that starts at the Terme di Caracalla and leads past ancient sites and beautiful gardens to reach the panoramic Giardino degli Aranci.

We hope you enjoy exploring Rome’s ancient history and uncovering the layers of civilization that have shaped this timeless city. These are just a handful of suggestions beyond the most popular spots that offer a unique and captivating perspective on Rome’s past. Book a stay now in one of our Rome vacation apartment rentals and set off to discover a deeper connection with the Eternal City’s heritage!

2 Responses to “Where to See Rome’s Ancient History Beyond the Colosseum”

  1. Maria Angela Geribello Ribeiro says:

    I have been in Paris Perfect 2 years ago and We loved the stay. I am planning Italy / Rome .

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