Piazza Navona – One of the most famous of Rome’s many squares, Piazza Navona was established towards the end of the 15th century, and preserves the shape of the Stadium of Domitian that once stood here. Built by Emperor Domitian in 86 AD, the stadium, which had a larger arena than the Colosseum was mainly used for festivals and sporting events. The buildings surrounding the square stand where the spectators once sat. Today, the square features no less than three magnificent fountains and is an immensely popular place to sip a cappuccino, shop, and watch street performers.
Completed by Caracalla in 216, these were much more than public baths. They were a complete sports center, with hot and cold baths, a swimming pool, dry and steam saunas, gymnastics and sports facilities, social rooms, gardens, libraries, hairdressers, and shops. The massive and imposing structure covered an area of 300 square meters, a complex of gigantic halls whose domes and vaulting were supported by huge columns and piers. It could accommodate 1,500 people at a time. The floors and walls were covered with marbles, mosaics, and frescoes; even in ruin their splendor is still evident.
Galleria Borghese – The Galleria Borghese is an art gallery that was built as a party house by Cardinal Sciopione Borghese in the 17th century. A nephew of Pope Paul V, the cardinal also was a patron of the arts. The galleria today houses many pieces of paintings, sculptures and other antiquities from his collection. Paintings by Titian, sculptures by Bernini, and the National Museum of Musical Instruments can be seen here. Read more on Rome Tours…
The Vatican Museums
Among the largest museum complexes in existence, the Vatican Museums contain some of the most significant classical sculptures and Renaissance works of art in the world. The museums contain around 70,000 works of art that were collected by Popes throughout the centuries. They are most famous for Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms (containing The School of Athens) and the Map Room.
Free things to do in Rome : Place Your Hand in the Mouth of Truth
The Piazza Bocca della Verita (Square of the Mouth of Truth) is a square between Via Luigi Petroselli and Via della Greca. Outside of the Church of Santa Maria, you’ll find the famous Mouth of Truth disk. Place your hand in the mouth and legend has it that your hand will be bitten off if you’ve lied. There may be a line and they close promptly at 5:30 p.m.
On the square there much more to see. Two Roman temples, the Tempio di Potuno and the Tempio di Ercole Vincitore, and a nice fountain, Fontana del Tritona, are worth some time.