Rome (Roma)

Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River.

Rome's history spans two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe and the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea for over seven hundred years from the 1st century BC until the 7th century AD. Since the 1st century AD Rome has been the seat of the Papacy and, after the end of Byzantine domination, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence. The current version of St Peter's Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Bernini and Raphael resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

In 2007 Rome was the 11th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. The city is one of Europe's and the world's most successful city "brands", both in terms of reputation and assets. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are amongst the world's 50 most visited tourist destinations (the Vatican Museums receiving 4.2 million tourists and the Colosseum receiving 4 million tourists every year). Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics and is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.



Attractions in Rome

Most of the historic sites are within walking distance of one another, and it is advisable to walk and take in the city's architecture while the frantic road traffic passes you by. Otherwise, a taxi or bus is the recommended means of travel. A bustling metropolis, Rome is constantly abuzz with tourists and locals, however, in the late summer, around August, a short holiday window sees locals heading out of the city and providing a little congestive relief.

Trastevere

Separated from central Rome by the Tiber River, Trastevere is a picturesque medieval neighbourhood characterised by a quirky Bohemian atmosphere. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with overhanging flower boxes and washing lines, and home to numerous cafes, boutiques, pubs and restaurants. The area... 

Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill was the original capitol of the ancient city and continues to serve as the seat of the city's government. The main feature of the area is Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio, a testimony to the superiority of Renaissance town planning. The piazza is... 

Roman Forum (Foro Romano)

The site of ancient Rome's commercial, political and religious centre retires in the valley between the Capitoline and Palatine hills. The Forum's main thoroughfare, Via Sacra, slices through the old market square and former civic centre. To make sense of the ruins and relics... 

The Colosseum

This enduring symbol of ancient Rome tenaciously clings to its foundations as the site of former gladiatorial conquests. Its architecture boasts an impressive array of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns and an underground network of cells, corridors, ramps and elevators that were used to... 

Pantheon

The stately Pantheon is one of the world's most inspiring architectural designs. Fittingly built as a temple to the Gods by Hadrian in 120AD, its perfectly proportioned floating dome rests seductively on sturdy marble columns. The only light source flowing through the central oculus... 

The Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna

The graceful steps built in 1725, elegantly curve their way from the Piazza di Spagna to the Church of Santa Trinit dei Monti, a pastel tinted neoclassical building. The shopper's paradise of Via Condotti leads back from the Spanish steps to Via del... 

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

The tiny Piazza di Trevi has been immortalised through this fountain built for Pope Clement XII. The statues adorning this watery display represent Abundance, Agrippa, Salubrity, the Virgin and Neptune guided by two tritons. Tossing a coin into the fountain is supposed to guarantee... 

St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)

The Basilica lies above the reputed site of St. Peter's tomb. It is an overwhelming interior containing notable sculptures including Michelangelo's Pieta, which is protected by bullet-proof glass since the damaging attack on it in 1972. In the central aisle stands Arnolfo da Cambio's...

The Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums

The Sistine Chapel's famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo looms above the frescoes on the side walls that were painted by an illustrious team of artists that included Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Roselli, Pinturicchio, Signorelli and della Gatta. The altar wall is covered by Michelangelo's Last Supper...

Basilica di San Giovanni

The Basilica of St John Lateran was built in the 4th century by Constantine the Great and was the first church built in Rome. It is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, and as such ranks above all other Roman Catholic churches...



Tags: | Europe | Rome | Roma | Italy | City | Unesco |



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