There are plenty of reasons to visit the city of Rome. Stepping into the Italian capital is like jumping into a portal that takes you back to ancient times, allowing you to walk among the many remnants of one of the most powerful and influential empires in the ancient western world. It’s certainly not as romantic as Paris, but it definitely has its own mystical allure. Apart from famous ancient Roman and Greek sites like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, there remains much to be explored in one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in all of Europe.

Walk in the sandals of the ancient Roman at The Forum

The Roman Forum is the city center of ancient Rome, the site of triumphal processions, elections, criminal trials, public speeches, gladiatorial matches, and commercial affairs. Today, it’s home to many extant Roman ruins. Among these is the particularly intact and gorgeous Arch of Septimius Severus, which was built back in 203 AD to commemorate Emperor Severus’ victory over the Parthian Empire. There’s also the Atrium Vestae, or the House of the Vestal Virgins, which served as the home of the Vesta, the ancient Roman priestesses of the hearth. You’re going to need a couple hours to truly explore these and many of the other beautiful ancient remnants at the Roman Forum.

Go underground and see how the ancient Romans lived

One of the most interesting things about this city is how it has survived the many wars and destructive events that have happened over millennia, including its own downfall. The result of this is that many ancient Roman structures survive to this day, many of which have since been buried under layers of new structures. This effectively preserved ancient underground sites, as construction continues at the top. To see how this works, you need only to visit the fascinating Basilica of San Clemente near the Colosseum. The basilica itself was built in the Middle Ages, and underneath it is an even older church that was converted from a Roman nobleman’s house in the 4th century. Located at its basement is a 2nd-century temple of the ancient and mystical cult of Mithras. You can see how walking down these steps felt for us like going back in time.

Underneath the Colosseum, you can see exactly what the ancient gladiators saw before they risked their lives for people’s entertainment

These rooms and tunnels were used to move beasts and gladiators towards the fighting grounds of the Colosseum unseen. Standing in these subterranean tunnels, you can almost see and hear the legendary gladiator-rebel Spartacus in the 1st century, explaining to his fellow slaves the fastest way to go through a Roman soldier’s armor. Spartacus’ story is referenced countless of times in movies, television, and even digital games. Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 Spartacus movie might come to mind, but today’s media is actually still paying tribute to the legendary fighter. One such modern nod to the hero is FoxyCasino’s Spartacus – Gladiator of Rome digital title a game that is one of the more interactive adaptations of Spartacus’ tale. The rebel leader is depicted as a muscle-bound warrior with sword and shield, wearing a plumed gladiatorial helmet, and joined by fellow fighters set against a background of the Colosseum in its heyday. Walking through the bowels of the Colosseum today can give you an idea of just how spectacular the ancient fighter and his fight for freedom is. And as such, his is truly one of the most famous and influential stories to come out of the Colosseum’s tunnels. Go down further these tunnels and you can see the subterranean waters that were used to flood the Colosseum back in the day. Apart from gladiatorial battles, the Romans were also fond of staging naval battles. Even today, such an endeavor would cost a fortune. Imagine the effort and resources it took to stage naval battles at the Colosseum in ancient times!

Like we’ve said before here, you don’t need a huge budget to explore Rome. Simply staying outside the city in the many cheaper hotels can save you tons of money, which you can use to explore more ruins and eat more authentic Italian cuisine. The public transport is easy enough to use in, around, and out of the city, so staying out of expensive rooms in the city center shouldn’t be a problem if you’re looking to explore more of the city.