Rome is the central city of Italy and a world-famous cultural, economic, and political center of Italy. The city has always been a prominent historic center and a major city of Italy, being home to the first Roman Republic. With 2,864,000 residents in 1, 285 kilometers, it is also the world’s most densely populated city. Rome is a center of culture and education and it has some of the best museums and galleries in the world. One of the famous city attractions is the Trevi Fountain, with a statue of Tiberius Julius Caesar on its top.
1. The Colosseum
The Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum to the world, is Rome’s most widely recognized symbol. For more details and the chance to ask questions as you go along, you can explore this famous tourist attraction on your own or take a guided tour.
The Colosseum still gives a powerful image of its original shape, despite the damage caused by fire, earthquakes, and neglect, as well as its transformation into a fortress of the Frangipani dynasty, the pillage of its stone for the building of palaces, and the constant pollution of modern traffic around it.
The Colosseum, the largest structure surviving from ancient Rome, was started by Vespasian in AD 72 and expanded by his son, Titus, eight years later, adding the fourth story. The name of the Colosseum was taken from the immense statue of Nero, called the Colossus after the Colossus of Rhodes, which stood nearby; the whole area was originally within the Domus Aurea of Nero, his palace complex in the middle of ancient Rome.
2. Arch of Constantine
For several reasons, emperor Constantine, known as Constantine the Great, was important. These include his political transformation of the Roman Empire, his support for Christianity and Constantinople’s founding (modern-day Istanbul). The status of Constantine as an agent of change also spread to the realms of art and architecture. Not only is the Triumphal Arch of Constantine in Rome a great example of the ideological and stylistic changes brought to art by Constantine’s reign, but it also demonstrates the careful adherence of the emperor to traditional forms of Roman Imperial art and architecture.
The Arch of Constantine, situated between the Flavian Amphitheater (better known as the Colosseum) and the Temple of Venus and Roma, is located along Via Triumphalis in Rome. As the arch was a highly visible example of connective architecture that linked the area of the Roman Forum to the main entertainment and public bathing complexes of central Rome, this location was important.
The monumental arch is about 20 m high, 25 m wide and 7 m profound. The exceptional width of the arch punctuates three portals, each flanked by partially engaged Corinthian columns. The central opening is about 12 meters high, above which there are identical marble panels with inscriptions.
3. Vatican City
Vatican City, a holy city-state surrounding Vatican City, Italy, is home to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. It is home to the Pope and an array of other iconic architecture and art. Its Vatican Museums house great Renaissance frescoes from the Renaissance era and His Saints, like the famous statue of Michelangelo. The Vatican City State Museum also houses one of the largest collections of art in the world. And you can not leave Vatican City without visiting the Sistine Chapel. It is one of the most important paintings in the world and is considered a priceless work of art by many.
When traveling to Vatican City, it is important to be aware that strict rules govern religious tourists. Visitors are asked to observe a set number of rules, which include not carrying any electronic or non-electronic personal items of any kind, including cameras, laptops, or cell phones, outside of your hotel room and not taking photographs or recording video inside the Vatican walls. While some hotels do allow photography in some instances, there are others who prohibit it under penalty of both heavy fines and even imprisonment.
Some of the more famous pieces of art in this Vatican City include the statue of Mary, which has been encased in marble since 1950; the clockwise and anticlockwise rotational Visitors’ Center, where one can see the latest inventions on various technology; and The Vatican Museums, which include the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. However, while many people take a guided tour of the Vatican City Museum, the Vatican Museums are much more exciting. The Vatican City is one of the oldest museums in the world, where people can still find precious art depicting art such eras as the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. For those who want to have an up-close and personal look at the artifacts lining the museums, the Vatican parking lot is the preferred choice. There is plenty of free parking and shuttle service to get around Vatican City.
4. The Pantheon
The Pantheon in Rome is one of the most visited museums in Europe. The Pantheon was a Roman temple, once a pagan temple dedicated to the god Jupiter and once a city wall, now a Catholic Church. It was renovated by Emperor Hadrian and possibly dedicated around 126 AD. The modern-day Pantheon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is visited by millions of tourists each year.
The Pantheon can be found in the Roman Forum and is adjacent to the Arch of Titus. From the Arch, it takes about fifteen minutes to walk and the museum has many ancient statues as well as ancient relics. Among them are the statues of several divine persons. Among these, the statue of Aphrodite was created in the 2nd Century and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Temple of Saturn is also an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the God of the sky. This temple has two statues of the baby Jesus as well as a stone copy of the stone tablets written by the historian Josephus.
The museum has several special exhibitions that display the works done by artists from ancient times up to the Second World War. These include the portrait of Tiberius, the bust of Hadrian, and the bust of Nero. In addition, there are ancient artifacts such as the Temple of Hercules and the vestal virgins. There are also some surprising facts about the Roman Gods and their connections with the deities of Rome. The museum has many interesting facts about the history of Rome as well as information on life in ancient Rome
5. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum, known by the Latin name Forum Romanum, is an ancient rectangular public square surrounded by the remnants of many important ancient government buildings in the center of the old city of Rome. This popular public place was called the Forum by early citizens of the Roman city, called it simply the Forum because it was situated right in the center of town – right in the heart of the most important public square. It was used for everything from political demonstrations, public gatherings, and religious ceremonies to displays of wealth, luxury, and power. Indeed, it is probably fair to say that the Roman Forum was one of the most influential places in all of ancient Roman history.
Over the years, the area of the Roman Forum has been reconstructed and modernized numerous times, but the original layout of the Forum has remained largely unchanged. It has, however, been embellished and converted numerous times, most recently during the Renaissance. From the Roofed Hall of Columns to the Arches of Nemi and the Engine Room, from the Portico of Trajan to the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, from the Portico of the Temple of Saturn to the Hall of shields, from the Temple of Castor and Pollux to the fountain of Fontana, the Forum has been extensively modified and adapted over time. Today, you can find everything from a restaurant with a bar to shops, cafes, and souvenir shops.
The Roman Forum is one of the most famous places in the world for a reason and is popular with visitors from all over the world. One of the best ways to experience the magnificent history and architecture of Rome is to take part in one of the guided tours that are often offered at the Roman Forum. For example, one of these tours takes visitors on a trip around the historical center and reveals hidden secrets about some of the most important buildings, monuments, and archaeological sites of ancient Rome. Other guided tours include Roman Catholic pilgrims and believers, historians and architects, and anyone else who wishes to learn more about this fascinating ancient city.
6. Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain lies in a very important district of Rome, the Trevi Fountain can be found just near where the Capitoline Museums are located. It was dedicated by Emperor Trevi II in 1732. The fountain is surrounded by three large statues of goddesses. Representing Greek goddesses, they all kneel to take a sip of the water from the Fountain of youth. As well as the three statues, there are also smaller ones depicting birds, winged animals, and plants.
The Trevi Fountain has been attracting visitors since its dedication and many came to see this very unique fountain and admire its works of art. The fountain became popular as a place for tourists to visit. Today, it still attracts hundreds of tourists. The Trevi Fountain is also known as a public park and has areas where people can enjoy the various activities such as running, cycling, hiking, and canoeing. It also has areas where one can enjoy the view of the city and the Po River.
The fountain is also well known for being one of the oldest mountains on earth as it was built four thousand years ago. Some historians say that the fountain was created out of mud when someone tried to create a stepping stone. Today, people use it as a stepping stone as well. Some claim that the Trevi Fountain will actually bring bad luck to its visitors, however there is no solid proof either way.
7. Centro Storico & the Spanish Steps
Centro Storico is the ancient Roman suburb that has been turned into a very important shopping center in Rome. With the help of its reconstructionist masters, Centro Storico was transformed from an old town to a new one. The transformation of the old outskirt of Rome has given Centro Storico its present-day name of Centro Storico I Dei Belii (Roman City). The first section of Centro Storico was the Medieval Market, which was destroyed by the barbarian invasions during the 7th century.
Centro Storico was the first modern urban neighborhood to be built in Rome. It is located in the vicinity of Old Town and Piazza dei Cavalli. Centro Storico has been given its present-day name of Centro Storico, because of its role in housing some of the most famous shops in the world such as Tipu Sultan; Tipu Sultan Berber; Tipu Sultan Leather and Signature Shop; The Costume shop and the Baroque Theatine. A Centro Storico shop can be a unique and attractive shopping experience since it features exclusive collections not available anywhere else.
This shop caters exclusively to local shoppers and is, therefore, one of the most sought-after destinations in the city for shopping. The building is made up of different shops and boutiques that are suitable for all kinds of people. Even the shops that are located further away from the Centro Storico do not necessarily cater to high-class or elite customers. It has become a center for affordable fashion that any budget traveler can enjoy.
8. Santa Maria Maggiore
One of the most magnificent churches in Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore has stood here since Pope Liberius’ fourth-century vision of the Virgin led him to create a church where snow fell the next day. Even though it was August, the next morning, snow fell on Esquiline Hill, so the great basilica was built here.
Since the fifth century, Mass has been celebrated every day here. 40 columns of marble and four columns of granite divide the three aisles of its 86-meter-long interior, and the apse added in the 13th century is lined with mosaics of Old and New Testament themes, masterpieces of the famous mosaic artists of Rome.
The upper walls are decorated with the oldest mosaics of Rome, as old as the fourth century, and the floor is decorated with colored stone in the style of the expert 12th-century artisans of the area of Lake Como. On a coffered ceiling, the first gold from the Americas to hit Italy shines. Two popes are buried here; this is one of the four papal basilicas in Rome, an important pilgrimage spot.
9. Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most distinctive Baroque squares, still has the outline of the Roman stadium built here by Emperor Domitian. It was still used during the Middle Ages for festivals and horse races and was rebuilt in the Baroque style by Borromini, who also designed a magnificent series of palaces on its west side and the church of Sant’Agnese.
The Baroque architecture weaves convex and concave surfaces, gables, windows, columns, and piers into a unified design with its façade, campanile, and dome. Alessandro Algardi’s 1653 Miracle of St. Agnes and the remains of a Roman mosaic floor are in the crypt of Sant’Agnese. A model for Baroque and Rococo churches in Italy and elsewhere was provided by Sant’Agnese.
Although the square and its surrounding facades were designed by Borromini, it was his archrival, Bernini, who made the beautiful Baroque fountain, Fontana dei Fiumi, its centerpiece. The spirited fountain represents the four rivers thought to be the largest on each of the known continents, with figures representing the large basin of the Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Rio de la Plata, each accompanied by plants and animals from their respective regions.
The two other fountains in the square are the 16th-century Fontana del Moro, erected by Giacomo Della Porta in front of the Palazzo Pamphili, and the 19th-century Fontana del Nettuno, with its Neptune figure. Today, the square is filled with Romans, tourists, street artists, souvenir kiosks, cafés, and one of the best Christmas markets in Rome during December.
The nearby church of San Luigi dei Francesi, between the Piazza and the Pantheon, contains three major paintings from the late 16th century by Caravaggio.
10. Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill, strategically placed 50 meters above the Tiber, shows evidence of the earliest settlement in Rome: rock-cuttings found in front of the Cybele Temple show human activity as long ago as the ninth century BC. Later, this was the site selected for their palaces by the emperors and great aristocratic families.
In the 16th century, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese laid out the Farnese Gardens on the hill, a pleasure park of terraces, pavilions, lawns, flowerbeds, trees, and fountains designed as a kind of setting for social gatherings.
The House of Livia (the wife of Augustus), the semi-subterranean Cryptoporticus, Domus Flavia, Domus Augustana, and most imposing of all, the Baths of Septimius Severus, are the highlights of the Palatine Hill. Palatine Hill is a beautiful place to explore, combining a park with ancient Rome’s magnificent and impressive ruins.
11. Villa Borghese Gallery and Gardens
One of Rome’s largest parks, the Borghese Gardens contains a number of attractions that include two museums, the most prominent of which is the Villa Borghese. Built as a party villa and to house the Borghese art collection, the gallery contains paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and reliefs, most from the 15th to the 18th century, and include works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, and Rubens.
Elsewhere in the park, Villa Giulia was built as a summer residence for the 16th-century Pope Julius III and houses the Etruscan Museum. More villas are from the world exposition that was held in Rome in 1911.
The park is an English-style landscape garden, with walking paths and ponds where you can rent rowboats. You can also rent bikes or a surrey to explore the park. There is a good zoo, Bioparco di Roma, with naturalized enclosures and a miniature trail connecting its various sections. A number of its attractions will appeal to children, including playgrounds, weekend pony rides, and occasional puppet shows.
12. Castel Sant’Angelo National Museum
Started in AD 135 as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and his family, Castel Sant’Angelo is a massive drum-shaped structure overlooking the Tiber near the Vatican. Castel Sant’Angelo has been used as a papal residence and a fortress over the millennia of its existence and, more recently, as a National Museum.
Emperor Aurelian took advantage of his position guarding the northern approaches to the town in AD 271 and integrated it into his new system of walls surrounding the town. It protected the city from barbarian attacks as a bastion, and by the Middle Ages, it had become a considerable fortress. The Popes fled here in times of peril across a secret elevated corridor, the Passetto di Borgo, and stored their most precious riches in the treasury of the castle.
Across a pedestrian bridge lined with statues of angels (by Bernini), visitors reach the castle and ascend on a spiral ramp to its five floors. Prison cells, a large collection of weapons, and splendidly decorated papal apartments covered in Renaissance frescoes are at their various levels. A terrace with stunning views of the city is at the top.
13. Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla were probably the last independent city-state within the Roman Empire, having been founded around AD 206 as the replacement for the earlier Aqueduct of the Mediterranean Sea, which was taken over by the Roman army and used to support its military campaigns against the Persian Empire. The bath-town was built over a natural marsh that drained into the Tiber. The earliest building projects included a series of baths, which were linked by canals, which were to serve as means of communication as well as for waste disposal. These baths served not only as public baths but also as private baths for citizens to enjoy.
The earliest of these baths of Caracalla were built around the year AD 206, after the completion of the first aqueduct of the Mediterranean Sea, which was constructed at the mouth of the Tiber. The earliest baths of Caracalla had no doors, making them much easier to destroy by enemy action or looting. They were therefore vulnerable to enemy attack and often suffered damage while being used by the enemy. As a result, they were rarely used as public baths. However, in later years, many of these baths of Caracalla were renovated, some retaining the basic structure of their original construction, while others were remodeled to include permanent doors, which facilitated better security, and were also used as meeting places for the Roman citizens who gathered at the baths in the Later Roman Period.
By the third century, several new bathhouses had begun to be built. These bath-tubs had glass windows so that the residents could view the outside world. In addition, many of the baths of Caracalla had protective walls surrounding them, to safeguard them from damage by falling stones, ice, and rain, as well as enemies and water, and to protect the occupants from drowning. This made them an even more desirable option than the earlier clay tubs.
14. San Giovanni in Laterano (Basilica of St. John Lateran)
St. John Lateran is one of Rome’s most impressive churches, as you might expect for the Pope’s episcopal church. It still retains its original form from the age of Constantine, when it was constructed, after centuries of alterations.
Its façade, on the other hand, is a purely baroque embellishment and a fine example of that period. Be sure to notice the beautiful 16th-century wooden ceiling along with the mosaics in the apse. If San Giovanni in Fonte, the octagonal baptistery, looks a little familiar, it’s because it provided the model throughout Europe for later ones.
Built by Constantine, this Christian baptistery is the oldest in the world. In front of the piazza at the Scala Santa Church is the Holy Staircase, 28 steps that the Holy Helen of Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem believes were taken to Rome in the fourth century.
15. The Catacombs and Via Appia Antica (Appian Way)
Of all the Roman catacombs, the Catacombs of Saint Callisto are the largest and the most popular for visitors. At the end of the 2nd century, they were excavated and thus named after Pope Callistus I, who was killed while celebrating mass at Trastevere in 222.
The first official cemetery of the newly-founded Roman church was the catacombs of San Callisto.
Located in a vast area on the outskirts of Rome, the catacombs are composed of long galleries on two separate levels. They were used as a meeting place by the first Christians in the beginning, and they became a cemetery only after some time. The tombs of many popes and martyrs have been found by archaeologists, including Saint Cecilia, the Patron of Music, whose body was later moved to the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.
A noteworthy crypt of the Popes can be found near the tomb of Saint Cecilia, where nine pontiffs were buried during the first centuries of the Christian era.
16. Terme di Diocleziano (Baths of Diocletian National Museum)
The baths of Diocletian were so vast that they now contain two churches, a large part of the Carthusian monastery and a large museum. The vast tepidarium (hot baths) were used by Michelangelo as the shell for his church of Santa Maria Degli Angeli, and the National Museum of Rome, the Museo Nazionale Romano, fills another section with ancient treasures: Greek and Roman sculpture, pre-Christian and later sarcophagi, and beautiful mosaics and frescoes.
The church of San Bernardo Alle Terme was built at the corner of the baths in a rotunda in the late 16th-century; its dome is like that of the Pantheon, but only half its size.