The City of Rome has an abundance of fascinating places to visit, with beautiful churches such as St. Peter’s Basilica, ancient buildings such as the Colosseum and stunning works of art famous the world over, including those in the Sistine Chapel.
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Here are some of the many places you can visit:
No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the iconic Colosseum, the huge amphitheatre which was built between 70 and 80AD under the Emperors Vespasian and Titus, and has become synonymous with the City. It is the biggest amphitheatre in history, could accommodate between 50,000 and 80,000 people, and was used for gladiatorial combat as well as executions by wild animals, mock sea conflicts and animal battles. The building is a major architectural accomplishment with beautiful arcades of columns with Doric, Ionic as well as Corinthian orders which become more elaborate on each higher level. There was also a system of tunnels under the arena where the animals and gladiators would be prior to the shows, called the hypogeum, of which you can still see remains today.
Another cherished historic building in Rome is the Pantheon temple, which was built between 118 and 128AD for Emperor Hadrian. It is a beautiful building with an elegant portico and columns of the Corinthian order, and a large concrete dome. Among the notable people who are buried in the Pantheon are Kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, and architect Baldassare Peruzzi. The interior is beautiful and among the features to admire are 15th century paintings including Melozzo da Forli’s Annunciation, and you can see a Byzantine Virgin and Child icon from the 7th century over the high altar.
This 18th century fountain is another iconic feature in the City, and was designed by Nicola Salvi. It is a huge and stunning Baroque masterpiece with dramatic classical style allegorical sculptures representing Ocean, Abundance and Health. It is a popular tradition to throw a coin into the Fountain, whereby ensuring you will come back to Rome sometime.
The Roman Forum
This is an ancient site with remains of a number of important buildings known in ancient Rome as the Forum Magnum, and was the main centre for public occasions including speeches, military processions, elections as well as business. You can see fascinating remains of buildings such as the Temple of Saturn, Arch of Septimius Severus, Temple of Caesar, the Tabularium and Temple of Vesta and there is a museum where you can see ancient artefacts including sculptures and pieces of architecture.
St Peter’s Basilica
Situated in Vatican City, this superb Renaissance church is a magnificent building with a huge dome and stunning facade, a distinctive landmark in Rome. Inside there are beautifully decorated chapels and altars and include the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, the Chapel of the Confession and the Choir Chapel. There are splendid sculptures in the Church such as the Pieta by Michelangelo and over the Papal Altar is a canopy by Bernini and the church has many superb tombs including those of popes and other important figures.
The Sistine Chapel
Located in Vatican City are the stunning 16th century frescoes created by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The work is a masterpiece and people come from all around the world to see this barrel vault ceiling with breathtaking scenes including The Creation, along with the Last Judgment he painted on the altar wall. There are also other beautiful paintings on the walls by artists including Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, and the whole chapel is a magnificent sight.
National Roman Museum, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
This is a splendid 19th Palace built in Neo-Classical style where you can see a huge collection of art ranging from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century. Among the collection are ancient sarcophagi, sculptures, along with mosaics and frescoes from ancient Roman residences and collections of jewellery and coins.
Vatican Historical Museum
One of a number of Vatican Museum sections, the Vatican Historical Museum has fascinating collections including portraits of Popes dating from the 1500’s to present, Papal Military Corps exhibits from the 1500’s and 1600’s, ceremonial artefacts and carriages.
The Arch of Titus
You can see this impressive triumphal arch built in the first century by Emperor Domitian to honour the victories of his brother, Titus, who had died. One of the victories celebrated was that of the Siege of Jerusalem and the Arch depicts objects taken from the Temple in Jerusalem such as the Golden Candelabra, and Titus is depicted in a chariot pulled by four horses and he is crowned by Victory.
Map of Rome, click the directions icon to open a larger map for driving directions from Rome to any other location.