The eternal city
Welcome to one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a rich cultural and architectonic heritage that bears witness to almost three thousand years of history.
The iconic symbol of the eternal city, the ancient Roman gladiatorial arena, with a capacity estimated around 70 000 people, is the largest amphitheater in the world, and was built in the first century CE at the behest of the emperors of the Flavian dynasty.
Located in the archaeological heart of the city of Rome, the Flavian Amphitheatre, or more commonly, the Colosseum, stands for monumentality.
A ray of slanting sunlight shooting down from the “oculus”, a 9-metre round aperture at the very top of the dome illuminates the entire Pantheon. If it rains, you can watch the falling water disappear into the floor’s 22 virtually invisible holes. This impressive structure was built over the ruins of another templebetween 118 and 125 A.D., and was dedicated to the worship of every god.
Work on the iconic 18th-century sculpted Rococo fountain first began in 1732 by Nicola Salvi and was completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762.
The monument, whose water is supplied by one of the oldest Roman aqueducts, the “Acqua Virgine”, has been sculptured against the backdrop of Palazzo Poli depicting the Triton taming Oceanus’ shell-shaped chariot drawn by sea horses. Those seeking a little romance, or perhaps even an Italian love should toss not just one, but two or three coins into the fountain to make sure wedding bells will soon chime. This beautiful fountain provided the splendid setting for the best-known scene from director Federico Fellini’s classic film “La Dolce Vita”.
The old Basilica of St Peter was built around 320 CE by Emperor Constantine. The early Constantine church is still one of the world’s largest basilicas of Christianity. The dome which dominates the skyline is the fruit of Michelangelo’s vision. Its amazing size is best appreciated by bravely climbing its steps. Rest assured, your efforts will be rewarded by both a close-up inspection of the cupola’s magnificent internal decorations and the awe-inspiring panorama waiting for you at the top.
Michelangelo’s masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, the Pietà, has mesmerised many a visitor with its combination of technical purity and emotional impact. This piece arguably stands out amongst St. Peter’s countless artistic attractions.
This elegant square with a grand and elaborate fountain in the middle is undeniably the most elegant and cheerful of all Roman piazzas. It was built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian in the 1st Century A.D. and still preserves its outline. The piazza remains a highly popular meeting place for Romans and tourists alike, who drowsily soak up the sun and atmosphere in the open air restaurants and bars dotted around it. In ancient times Piazza Navona was used for various athletic games and competitions, although it never witnessed the carnage offered in the Colosseum.
Campo de’ Fiori is a wonderful mix of old and new and traditional and modern, with some of Rome’s most respected produce-sellers and fishmongers. Visiting this market is one of the most classic things to do in Rome.
An absolute must is a visit to the nearby historical streets, such as Via dei Baullari, Via dei Cappellari and Via dei Giubbonar.
This 2nd century castle and museum is the Mausoleum of Hadrian, a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano.. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family.
Built between 1723 and 1725, this iconic baroque stairway and meeting place with its ochre-coloured buildings, along with Bernini’s fountain create a distinct 18th century atmosphere. The beautiful “Scalina Spagna”, made up of 138 steps placed in a mix of curves, straight flights, vistas and terraces connects the lower Piazza di Spagna with the upper piazza Trinita dei Monti..The widest stairway in Europe, the Spanish Steps are a great example of the Roman Baroque style. High-fashion brands, such as Gucci, Bulgari and Valentino have show-piece shops just off the piazza. Home to English poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, this world-famous piazza has always been considered both a priceless cultural gem as well as a popular tourist attraction.
Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome, in which several thoroughfares intersect, including the Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Via del Corso. It takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian cardinal, Pietro Barbo (later Pope Paul II) alongside the church of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice. The Palazzo Venezia once served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice in Rome.
One side of the Piazza is the site of Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Altare della Patria, part of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of Italy.
The piazza is located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and next to Trajan’s Forum. The main artery, the Viale di Fori Imperiali begins there and leads past the Roman Forum to the Colosseum.
In 2009, during excavations in the middle of the square for the construction of the Rome C Metro Line, remains of the emperor Hadrian’s Athenaeum were unearthed.
The Fountain of the Janiculum Hill was designed and built by architects Giovanni Fontana, Flaminio Ponzio and Ippolito Buzio between 1610 and 1614 to mark the terminus of the Trajan Aqueduct. It was commissioned by Pope Paul V of the Borghese family, their emblems–dragons and eagles–can be seen in several places around the fountain itself.
This fountain is commonly known as the ‘Janiculum Fountain’ because it dominates the large terrace that overlooks the city.
The fountain comprises of five archways, flanked by columns and topped with a large pediment complete with dedicatory inscription. The white and multi-coloured marble used for decorative elements was in fact stripped from the Roman Forum and the Temple of Minerva in the Forum of Nerva. The red and grey columns used to be part of the St. Peter’s Basilica dating back to the Constantine era.
Architect Carlo Fontana altered the fountain’s facade towards the end of the 17th century into what it is today. A monumental semi-circular marble basin was added, substituting the five original basins located between the arches.