Tennis Tournament Tourism: Rome

Rome is one of the most interesting cities to visit, even when the professional tennis players aren’t in town. Fortunately during these two weeks in May the ATP and WTA stars are in town to compete in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome Masters), the most prestigious red clay tournament after the French Open.

The stars and starlets of the ATP and WTA certainly enjoy coming back to this tournament every year considering they’re all about sharing their favorite moments in Rome with all their Twitter buddies. When in Rome!

Colosseum(1) Colosseum

On his way to practice, Juan Monaco passed the Colosseum (not a bad work commute, huh?) and decided to share this unique view with all of us. What a solid guy! Obviously, the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire which located in the city centre, is a must-see destination. This masterpiece of Roman architecture once held between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. The largest tennis stadium, Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, NY, only holds 23,000. Crazy.

After you watch a few tennis pros duke it out on the court visit the site where gladiators use to cut eachothers heads off and lions ripped off their limbs. It’s like, pretty much the same thing

(2) Villa Borghese Gardens

The Villa Borghese Gardens is a large landscape garden showing off a naturalistic english style. Unlike most of the other sites that are crowded and noisy, this garden acts mainly as an anchor for tranquility and relaxation. The most central park in Rome, it also offers a glimpse at some interesting buildings, museums and other attractions.

Vatican City(3) Vatican City

The walled enclave within the city of Rome, Vatican City is home to only about 840 people making it the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world. If you are interested in experience something different, you might want to attend one of the public audiences held by the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Catholic or not, you have to admit Pope Francis seems pretty damn cool. Other than good guy Pope, Vatican City has historic cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum.

(4) Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is truly the most popular go-to place in the Rome. Not only do thousands of visitors come to see it every day, but also the famous tennis players such as Milos Raonic and Sorana Cirstea know what’s up. The world’s largest Baroque fountain was built even before the USA was established. Puts things in perspective.

Like at most fountains, you’re supposed to throw a coin in and make a wish (Sorana wished for a good run at the Rome Masters right?). By the way, on average $3,900 is thrown into the fountain each day. Who collects that money?

Pantheon(5) Pantheon

Built in 126 AD, the Pantheon is the temple to all the gods of ancient Rome. It includes a portico of large granite Corinthian columns. Almost two thousand years after it being built, it is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. Architecture for the win.

(6) Il Gelato di San Crispino

As Ana Ivanovic discovered, there are an abundance of good ice cream places to go to in Rome. By far the best ice cream spot in town however, is Gelato di San Crispino. Even the New York Times has lauded it for its uniqueness. The flavours always vary as the season shifts and you are not allowed to have the ice cream in a cone as the taste will interfere with the intended flavor.

Ana Ivanovic enjoying ice cream

(7) Boutiques on top of Boutiques

Rome is also one of the best places to go on a shopping spree. The city features a wide variety of independent designers that produce some of the worlds most unique and one-of-a-kind clothes. Maria Sharapova, certainly one of the most stylish tennis players on tour, might need a bit of help from us over at MTL to point her in the right direction.

Go to the Arsenale to find some Bohemian Chic, Le Gallinelle for reworked vintage threads, and Le Tortarughe to buy everyday easy-to-wear clothes with a twist.


Little tennis fanatic with a German accent and a crush on Rafael Nadal. Her mission is to fill the MTL Social Media space with life!
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