10 Places with Awe-Inspiring Architecture in Rome, Italy

As a roman-architecture virgin, I didn’t know a building or structure could take my breath away, but in Rome I couldn’t help myself. Many of the Roman structures built hundreds of years ago are now cornerstones for architectural craftsmanship. Just like me, you won’t be able to resist marveling at the architecture in Rome, Italy.

1.) Fountain of Neptune

The Fountain of Neptune was built three hundred years ago. Gregorio Zappalà and Antonio Della Bitta designed the fountain with statues of the Greek mythological creatures “Nereids with cupids and horses”, and “Neptune fighting with an octopus”.

Wealthy families built fountains to show generosity and they didn’t scrimp on ornate detail and extravagance. I find this 16th-century marble fountain dazzles and amazes. When you see this fountain I am certain you will agree with me. 

Fountain of Neptune Rome Italy

2.) The ancient Roman Coliseum

The Roman Coliseum is ogled by visitors each day and one cool morning I was one of those visitors. Walking up to the coliseum I couldn’t help but stare. I have seen pictures of this colossal monument my whole life, but that day the picture came to life. It is bizarre to think the city of Rome used to host glorious fights to the death in the coliseum. I am grateful that sort of brutality is no longer accepted. 

Roman Coliseum

3.) Trevi Fountain

The 10-year old Lizzie McGuire fanatic inside me went bonkers over this fountain. Even if you don’t know that movie reference you will be stunned at the craftsmanship of this fountain. Before you go be sure to make a wish in the fountain. The legend has it if you make a wish in the fountain you will eventually come back to Rome. I hope that legend is true, but I will never tell you what I wished for. 

Trevi Fountain- architecture in Rome Italy

4.) Triton Fountain

Piazza Barberini is designed and sculpted by Bernini, a famous sculptor you probably have heard about in your art history class. Even if you haven’t, the Triton Fountain is a beauty to behold. Sitting in the middle of the street, you might miss the Triton Fountain altogether. But I knew about it and was on the lookout for it. 

Triton Fountain

5.) The Fountain of the Four Rivers Fountain on Piazza Navona

The Fountain of Four Rivers, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, is on the same Piazza Navona as the Fountain of Neptune. This fountain is one of several hundred fountains in Rome from the antiquity period. It represents the Nile (Africa), the Ganges (Asia), the Danube (Europe) and the Río de la Plata (America). The Piazza Navona is a lively piazza in Rome. Artists, musicians, and visitors alike gather. I couldn’t believe Fountain of the Four Rivers is casually places in the midst of the bustling Piazza Navona. 

The Fountain of the Four Rivers Fountain on Piazza NavonaThe Fountain of the Four Rivers Fountain on Piazza Navona- Rome Italy

6.) St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the second largest church in the world. When setting foot inside you will be dazzled at the craftsmanship which went into each square inch of the building. Unfortunately, while I was there I didn’t see the Pope. While inside St. Peter’s Basilica don’t miss Michelangelo’s sculpture depicting religious symbology the compassion of Christ, Pietà. While the sculpture isn’t large it is still worth around $300 million dollars.

St. Peter's Basilica Italy

7.) St. Angelo Bridge

Could we get a dreamier sight than calm waters reflecting the sun setting under the St. Angelo Bridge? After enjoying gelatos and a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica I walk over the St. Angelo Bridge and watch the sky turn from blue- to yellow- to black.


8.) Castel Sant’Angelo

The orange glow from the sunset on this cylindrical building is stunning, to say the least. The Castel Sant’ Angelo was once used as a castle and fortress and now is a museum. It is sunset by the time I find Castel Sant’Angelo and the building is captivating. 


9.) Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

Palatine Hill offers a glimmer of ancient Roman glory and architecture in Rome,Italy. I enjoyed my calm visit of Palatine Hill. These ancient ruins are further away from the crowded streets in Rome. Perfect for finding tranquility.  Located on Palatine Hill the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina tells the stories of Rome’s past. 

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina- architecture in Rome Italy

10.) The Vatican ceilings

I decide to take a walking tour at the Vatican. I crane my neck to stare at the ceilings. The detail work in the Vatican is unreal. Putting paintings on the ceiling seems silly to me. Placing them at eye-level would be logical. But I marvel at the ceilings anyway. Only later that day I had a pain in my neck. I wonder why?

Vatican ceilings- architecture in Rome Italy IMG_6795-2

BOUNUS: On nearly every street in Rome there are buildings to admire. I snapped these pictures while strolling around my hotel the morning I left.

buildings in Rome Italy architecture Rome Italy

This is by no means a conclusive list of all the places with impeccable architecture in Rome, Italy. The entire city is a work of art. Don’t believe me? Visit and see with your own eyes.

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25 Times Italy will Leave you Speechless

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