# What to See in Rome as an Art Historian

If you’re an art historian planning a trip to Rome, you’re in for a treat. The city is a treasure trove of art and architecture spanning over 2,000 years of history. From ancient ruins to Renaissance masterpieces, there’s something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top sights to see in Rome for art lovers.

Ancient Rome

No trip to Rome is complete without visiting the ancient ruins. As an art historian, you’ll appreciate the intricate details and craftsmanship of these ancient structures. Here are some must-see sights:


The Colosseum is the most iconic landmark in Rome and a testament to the engineering genius of the ancient Romans. As you walk through the amphitheater, you’ll be transported back in time to the gladiatorial contests and other public spectacles that took place here.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the center of political and social life in ancient Rome. It’s a sprawling complex of ruins that includes the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, and the Basilica of Maxentius. Take your time exploring the site and imagine what life was like in ancient Rome.

Renaissance and Baroque Rome

Rome is also known for its rich artistic heritage from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Here are some top sights to see:

Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are a treasure trove of art and artifacts collected by the popes over the centuries. The highlight is the Sistine Chapel, which features Michelangelo’s masterpiece ceiling fresco. Other must-sees include the Raphael Rooms and the Gallery of Maps.

St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. The interior is adorned with works by Michelangelo, Bernini, and other famous artists. Don’t miss the Pietà, Michelangelo’s haunting sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus.

Hidden Gems

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, here are some lesser-known sights to consider:

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is a sprawling park in the heart of Rome that also houses a museum. The museum is home to an impressive collection of art, including works by Caravaggio, Bernini, and Raphael. After you’ve explored the museum, take a stroll through the park and enjoy the views.

Jewish Ghetto

The Jewish Ghetto is a historic neighborhood in Rome that’s home to a vibrant Jewish community. It’s also a great place to sample some of Rome’s best cuisine, including traditional Jewish dishes like fried artichokes and Roman-Jewish-style pizza.


Rome is a city that’s overflowing with art and history. As an art historian, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. From the ancient ruins to the Renaissance masterpieces, there’s something for everyone. Make sure to take your time and soak in the beauty of this magnificent city.

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