The world is bigger than we could possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. I am inspired by each of your stories, just waiting to be told. Rome is known to be the Eternal City and visiting it is like making a voyage in time, stepping from an era to the next. From the Imperial Rome, to the Medieval, through the Renaissance Rome to the Baroque we can find the impressive marks of architecture and art.The city has so much to see and enjoy that we can stay for weeks without running out of places to visit. Unfortunately, for most of the visitors the time is limited and choices have to be done. If you don’t have that many days to stay in Rome, plan your visit to check all of this unmissable places.
THE ROMAN FORUMS
The Forum was the center of the political, juridical and comercial life of the Ancient Rome. As the Roman population grow, the original Forum get too small and in 46BC Julius Cesar ordered the construction of a new one. Several Emperors after him did the same. Today, the archaeological sites of the several Forums constitute an organic complex renamed in the modern era the “Imperial Forums”, reaching from Capitol Hill (Campidoglio) to the foot of the Quirinale Hill. Walking around those ancient stones is an unforgettable experience that no visitor can miss.
The construction of the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire was commissioned by Vespasian in 72 AD in a swamp area of the city. It was used for gladiator fights and hunting simulations involving ferocious and exotic animals. With almost two thousand years, the Colosseum is still the symbol of the eternal city, drawing thousands of visitors every year. This means long queues and an endless wait, but don’t despair, you can avoid it by buying the tickets online. The visit to its interior is really worthwhile.
The Pantheon, built by the Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD is a true master piece of Roman engineering. As we enter, our eyes are drawn to the central round aperture at the very top of the dome that illuminates the entire building. Built over the ruins of a previous temple, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, to a whom was made a dedicatory inscription on the portico, the Pantheon was later transformed into a church. There you can find the tombs of Raphael and of several Italian kings.
Piazza Navona is an elegant square, full of people and animation. Built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, still preserves its outline while presenting a predominantly Baroque style. The main focal point is undoubtedly the Fontana dei Quatro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers, placed in the center of the square. The piazza is a highly popular meeting place for Romans and tourists alike, and a nice place to have a meal in one of its numerous restaurants.
FONTANA DI TREVI
Inspired by the Roman triumphal arches, the Fontana di Trevi was built in the 18th-century. This beautiful Baroque fountain is one of the most crowded spots in Rome and is not easy to get close to its edge. If you fantasize with a reenactment of the iconic scene of the movie La Dolce Vita, think twice as entering the basin of the fountain is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, you can drop a coin in the water, guaranteeing a future return to Rome.
PIAZZA DE SPAGNA
The area around this square is a must go place. From having a meal (or a gelato!) at one of the Cafés in the square, to appreciating the view from the scalinatta, to a walk in the Pincio Gardens or a visit to the Villa Medici, not to say, for the most fashionable of you, a shopping tour to some of the most famous fashion stores streets in Rome (Via Condotti rings any bell?), there is a lot to do around this beautiful square.
A visit to the Vatican City is mandatory, not only to Piazza San Pedro and the Basilica but also to the Vatican Museums. To visit the Basilica di San Pedro beware you must be wearing suitable clothes. Shorts and mini-skirts or even sleeveless dresses or blouses are not allowed. The magnificent Vatican Museums are among the greatest and most important in the world. Its magnificence and popularity explains the extremely long queues tailing back from the the entrance. But rest assured, once inside you’ll find your patience to be totally rewarded. There is so much to see that you should allow at least half a day to check the most important exhibits.
Maria is a travel writer and blogger, passionate for photography and for wandering the world. She loves to discover new places and hidden gems in distant countries or close to home. She’s curious and eager to learn about new places and different people and cultures, and loves to share with others what she’s experienced and seen. Follow her adventures on twitter and instagram!
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