Rome is one of those magnetic cities that most self-respecting travelers aim get to at some point in their lives. With all that art, history, culture, fashion and food, it’s easy to understand why. A week or two is never enough to experience the subtle nuances of the Eternal City, but you can hit most of the major highlights. Maybe some are cliche tourist fodder, but there are simply a few required things to do on a Roman holiday. On subsequent trips you can delve deeper and live the dolce vita like a local, but these are 15 essential experiences for a first visit to Italy’s capital, including a few insider tips to inspire you.
1. Stand Under the Pantheon Dome
One of ancient Rome’s best preserved structures is the Pantheon, a pagan temple built by the emperor Hadrian around A.D 118. Its standout features are its granite Corinthian columns and its unreinforced concrete-like dome over the rotunda. At the top of this cavernous roof is an open oculus, like a window to the heavens. Join the crowds and stand under this architectural eye, rain or shine, and bathe under this singular source of light like millions before you. This wondrous dome is still the largest of its kind in the world today, 2000 years later.