CITY

Rome, the eternal city: places you must visit

Are you planning to visit Rome but don't quite know your way around the hundreds of monuments the city has to offer? We understand you well, have no doubt. Indeed, the Eternal City boasts almost three 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 civilisation.

Of course, there are some places, such as the Colosseum and the Imperial Forum, that cannot be overlooked, but there are many other monuments that can escape a 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 centre of the world's Catholic community) into ten places to visit, but we will try.

Between ancient wonders and legendary stories, here is what you should definitely visit on your trip to Rome.

Pexels/Wikipedia.org
Rome, the eternal city: places you must visit
Are you planning to visit Rome but don't quite know your way around the hundreds of monuments the city has to offer? We understand you well, have no doubt. Indeed, the Eternal City boasts almost three 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 civilisation. Of course, there are some places, such as the Colosseum and the Imperial Forums, 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 encapsulate an entire state (the enclave of the Vatican, the centre of the world's Catholic community) into 10 places to visit, but we will give it a try. Between ancient wonders and legendary stories, here is what you should definitely visit on your trip to Rome.
Freepik
Colosseum
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).
Airin - Wikipedia.org
Imperial Fora
The Imperial Fora have been the center 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 for an urban restructuring. The Forums to date 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
Campidoglio
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 centre, 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, the Capitoline Hill. The Palazzo del Campidoglio is the seat of Rome's municipal administration.
Fczarnowski - Wikipedia.org
Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna, with its staircase of Trinità dei Monti, is a place you must visit if you go to Rome. It would also be difficult not to come across this place in the Capitoline center. Known the world over, it has been the site of well-known fashion shows and films that have remained in the collective memory, with its 135 steps that seem to climb skyward.
Roberta Dragan - Wikipedia.org
Pantheon
One of the most famous Roman monuments. According to popular history, this site was positioned on 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=divinity). 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 visit it even more.
Freepik
Altar of the Fatherland
The Altar of the Fatherland is located a stone's throw from the Imperial Fora, and is an important site not only for Rome and the Romans, but for the whole of united Italy. The monument, known as the Vittoriano, was erected in honour of King Victor Emmanuel II, a proponent of the Unification of Italy. For its construction, huge medieval areas were demolished, which we regret today. It is certainly also very interesting for students and lovers of architecture: its construction in fact still arouses much controversy today, for being a 'monument to nothing' and for being decontextualised in relation to the forms of the city.
Andrés Nieto Porras from Palma de Mallorca, España - Wikipedia.org
The Trevi fountain
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.
Pexels
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=
Sistine Chapel
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 Judgement (on the altar wall), are considered among the greatest and most intense pictorial masterpieces in the history of art
Pexels
Piazza Navona
This is a beautiful place to be in the late afternoon in summer. It is one of the places that Romans are fondest of, and also much loved by tourists, who can sit at small tables sipping drinks as the sun goes down. Located on the former site of the Domitian Stadium, it is especially beautiful in the evening, when many young people gather, and at Christmas time, with its characteristic markets that make the world envious.
Krzysztof Golik - Wikipedia.org
Villa Borghese
This place is the true "green heart" of Rome. There are as many as 6 km in circumference of this place, purchased 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 amphitheater (Piazza di Siena) and several museums.
Tyler Bell - Wikipedia.org
Domus Aurea
Domus Aurea was the residence of the Roman Emperor Nero, built following the terrible fire that destroyed the city in 64 A.D. (and said to have been set by Nero himself, for a variety of reasons). Domus Aurea was not just a residence, but a series of buildings and green spaces that would later also inspire the construction of Hadrian's Villa.
CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=347824
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 case of an untrue statement, the hand would be severed. Walled in the wall of the church of S. Maria in Cosmedin since 1632, today tourists pay to take a picture with it.
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