Rome, the eternal city: places you absolutely must visit
Are you planning to visit Rome but not quite sure how to find your way around the hundreds of monuments the city presents? We understand you well, have no doubt. In fact, the Eternal City boasts nearly 3 millennia of history, and its current form is the result of construction, demolition, cultural and political changes that have influenced the entire history of European civilization.
Of course, there are some places, such as the Colosseum and the Imperial fora, that cannot be overlooked, but there are many other monuments that may escape at first glance, and that would be a huge loss. Of course, it remains complicated to reduce a city like Rome, the only one in the world to encapsulate an entire state (the enclave of the Vatican, the center of the world's Catholic community) into ten places to visit, but we want to try.
Between ancient wonders and legendary stories, here is what you should definitely visit on your trip to Rome.
Rome, the eternal city: places you absolutely must visit
Are you planning to visit Rome but not quite sure how to find your way around the hundreds of monuments the city presents? We understand you well, have no doubt. In fact, the Eternal City boasts nearly 3 millennia of history, and its current form is the result of construction, demolition, cultural and political changes that have influenced the entire history of European civilization. Of course, there are some places, such as the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora, that cannot be overlooked, but there are many other monuments that can escape a first visit, and that would be a huge loss. Of course, it remains complicated to reduce a city like Rome, the only one in the world to enclose within itself an entire state (the enclave of the Vatican, the center of the world's Catholic community) into 10 places to visit, but we want to try. Between ancient wonders and legendary stories, here is what you should definitely visit on your trip to Rome.
The most famous monument in Rome, and probably the first one you should see when you arrive in the capital. Here, in antiquity, gladiators fought among themselves or against ferocious beasts, jousts were held and even re-enactments of naval battles. Nearby you will find the 'centurions', a term that referred to Roman soldiers and now tourist attractions for taking pictures with them. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980 - together with the entire historic centre of Rome, the extraterritorial areas of the Holy See in Italy and the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls - in 2007, as the only European monument, it was also included among the new Seven Wonders of the World following a competition organised by the New Open World Corporation (NOWC).
The Imperial Fora have been the centre of public life in Rome for over 1,000 years. The first was the Roman Forum (7th century B.C.), where one can find the Curia, the Basilica Aemilia, the Rosters, the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, the Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina, the Basilica of Maxentius, and the Column of Phocas, which are just some of the remains from that time. The Imperial Fora became necessary when the population began to increase, and it was therefore decided to restructure the city. The Forums today are: the Forum of Caesar, the Forum of Augustus, the Forum of Peace (also known as the Forum of Vespasian), the Forum of Nerva and the Forum of Trajan, the largest of the Fora.
Di Lasagnolo9 - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1103087
One of the most beautiful places in Rome but also one of the most challenging to reach. In fact, to get there you have to cross a long, steep and impassable flight of steps called La Cordonata, built by Michelangelo. In the center, a copy of Marcus Aurelius on horseback watches sternly over the Piazza (the original is in the Capitoline Museums). The Campidoglio rises above one of Rome's famous seven hills, precisely the hill of Campidoglio. The Palace of Campidoglio is the seat of Rome's municipal administration.
Fczarnowski - Wikipedia.org
Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna, with its Spanish Steps, is a place you must visit if you go to Rome. It would also be difficult not to come across this place in the centre of the capital. Known the world over, it has been the site of famous fashion shows and films that have remained in the collective memory, with its 135 steps that seem to climb towards the sky.
Roberta Dragan - Wikipedia.org
One of the most famous Roman monuments. According to popular history, this site was placed at the exact spot where Romulus (one of the founders of Rome), upon his death, was grabbed and carried to heaven by an eagle. It was erected by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 A.D., and is a tribute to all the gods (in Latin Pan=all, Theon=gods). After the Unification of Italy it became the shrine of the Kings. Ask about the architectural solution that was found for the rain inside, it will surprise you and make you want to go and visit it even more.
Altar of the Fatherland
The Altar of the Fatherland is located a stone's throw from the Imperial Forums, and is an important site not only for Rome and the Romans, but for all of united Italy. The monument known as Vittoriano, was erected in honor of King Victor Emmanuel II, a proponent of the Unification of Italy. Huge medieval areas were demolished for its construction, which we regret today. It is also certainly very interesting for students and lovers of architecture: in fact, its construction still arouses much controversy today, for being a "monument to nowhere" and for being decontextualized from the forms of the city.
Andrés Nieto Porras from Palma de Mallorca, España - Wikipedia.org
Where Baroque meets Neoclassical, the Trevi Fountain is a favorite among tourists from all over the world. Indeed, it is said that throwing a coin inside the fountain, with your back turned, grants a wish. Attention, however, to all foreigners: do not bathe in the fountain, Italian law enforcement will not take it well at all, we say this for you. The fountain is also in the background of some of the most beautiful films in the history of Italian cinema.
Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican Obelisk
A perfect place for pilgrims from all over the world and beyond, the Vatican City and specifically St Peter's Basilica is one of the most visited places in Rome. The Basilica stands where, in 324, Constantine had a shrine built in honour of the First Apostle who was crucified and buried there. The best architects of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque worked for over a century to build this masterpiece, a symbol of Christianity in the world. It is impossible to recount everything that goes on in the Vatican, from the Museums to the square designed by Bernini. Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, if you are a fan of the genre, tells the story of how the place looks architecturally and visually. If you visit Rome, you cannot miss it.
Di Antoine Taveneaux - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=
Named after Pope Sixtus IV, who wanted the Chapel to be built, it was painted by the genius of Michelangelo, one of the works that made him immortal. The frescoes of the Creation (on the vault) and the Last Judgment (on the altar wall), are considered among the greatest and most intense pictorial masterpieces in the history of art
This is a beautiful place to be in the late afternoon in summer. It is one of the places the Romans are most fond of, and also popular with tourists, who can sit at the tables sipping drinks as the sun goes down. Located on the ancient site of the Domitian stadium, it is especially beautiful in the evenings, when many young people gather, and at Christmas time, with its characteristic markets that make the world envious.
Krzysztof Golik - Wikipedia.org
This place is the true 'green heart' of Rome. There are no less than 6 km in circumference of this place, acquired by the State in the early 20th century. Inside you can find neoclassical statues, exotic buildings, an artificial lake, an aviary, numerous fountains, gardens and groves, a gallop, a zoo (the Bioparco), an amphitheatre (Piazza di Siena) and several museums.
Tyler Bell - Wikipedia.org
The Domus Aurea was the residence of the Roman Emperor Nero, built after the terrible fire that destroyed the city in 64 A.D. (and which is said to have been started by Nero himself, for a variety of reasons). The Domus Aurea was not just a residence, but a series of buildings and green spaces that would later inspire the construction of Hadrian's Villa.
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Mouth of truth
In Ancient Rome, this was a very simple manhole. In later centuries, the legend spread that it was a kind of oracle: by inserting the hand into the slot, the Mouth of Truth was able to reveal lies. In the event of an untrue statement, the hand would be severed. Walled into the wall of the church of S. Maria in Cosmedin since 1632, today tourists pay to have their picture taken with it.