The capital of Italy needs no introduction. Widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it boasts an unparalleled heritage of artistic, architectural and historical riches. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Imperial Fora, the masterpieces of Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Bernini and Borromini and the majestic cathedrals are just some of the city's many attractions.
Immortalised in films like Fellini's La Dolce Vita and, more recently, Sorrentino's The Great Beauty, Rome offers tourists not only endless monuments to visit but also evocative views, urban life and sumptuous restaurants. Once you land in Rome, there is a never-ending amount of things to do and see. Here below you will find a short list.
The Flavian Amphitheatre, as the Colosseum was originally known, is the largest amphitheatre in the world and the most famous building in Rome. Built during the reign of Emperor Vespasian and inaugurated by Titus in 80 AD, it takes its name from the Colossus of Nero statue that was once positioned nearby. It is the largest surviving monument of Ancient Rome and, with a surface of 3,357 m2, was able to hold more than 50,000 spectators. It was mainly used for gladiator shows and the venationes, the hunts and slaughter of wild animals.
It is one of the most important monuments in the city and the best preserved Roman structure. It has the largest brick dome in the world and in architectural terms served as a model for the artists of the Renaissance. Indeed, Michelangelo called it a work of angels, not of humans. Initially dedicated to all the gods (hence the name), it was built by Consul Agrippa in 27-25 BC, rebuilt by Domitian after a fire, and then finally completed by Hadrian. Its transformation from a pagan temple to a place of Christian worship saved it from destruction and means we can still today admire it as it was in the past. A feast for the eyes, both in the exterior, with its Greek style colonnade, and the interior, which contains flooring made from ancient marble, works of art in the chapels and the illustrious tombs, one of which belongs to Raphael.
The Trevi Fountain is the most famous fountain in Rome. Completed in 1762, it achieved global fame through Anita Ekberg's immortal bathing scene in Federico Fellini's film La Dolce Vita. It is a spectacular sight characterised by water and brilliant white marble, and a must during any trip to Rome. Legend has it that throwing a coin into the fountain will bring you luck.
THE ROMAN FORUM AND IMPERIAL FORA
For more than a millennium, these ancient squares formed the centre of public life in Ancient Rome. Today, the remains of the monuments that adorned them offer a breathtaking view and a priceless walk through history. With a visit to the Roman Forum, you can also reach Palatine Hill, which according to legend was the site of the foundation of Rome, and where the emperors had their residences.
ST PETER'S, THE VATICAN MUSEUMS AND THE SISTINE CHAPEL
Still in Rome, but in the territory of the Vatican State, you can visit the splendid St Peter's Basilica, the papal headquarters, which contains Michelangelo's Pietà, as well as the unmissable Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel: a collection of art to give you goosebumps thanks to the frescoes of Michelangelo and other great artists of the Renaissance.
While these are just a few recommendations of the most important monuments and museums, there is an endless supply of things to do and to see during a trip to Rome. A simple stroll along the Tiber, a break at the Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna or Campo de’ Fiori, or a traditional dinner in the picturesque neighbourhood of Trastevere are also well worth the price of the ticket.
You can book your flight to Rome for any time of the year thanks to the favourable climate and the constant stream of events, exhibitions and concerts. The best season is spring if you want to avoid the summer heat and the hordes of tourists, though the city is also a unique sight in winter thanks to its Christmas markets, festive window displays and celebrations.
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