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Rome Top Destinations - Best Places and Tourist Attractions to Visit in Rome
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Rome Vacation and Travel Guide
Rome is one of the most important cities of all Europe, the so-called Eternal City or Città Eterna. It is the capital of Italy and it has many tourist sites and activities, places to see and to know, reason why it is considered as an important cultural, historical focus and artistic world.
Rome has a lot of places and historical sites within its territory that stand out for their artistic importance as well as the vestige of past times, leaving us a legacy of culture that continues to this day.
Rome is the geographical heart of the Catholic religion and pilgrimage destination (Roman roads) and also the only city in the world that has a foreign State inside it: the enclave of the Vatican City, which is under the temporary power of the pope. For this reason it has also been known as the capital of two States.
The religious buildings of Rome constitute a fundamental part of the monumental heritage of the Capitoline city: these are the symbol of the cultural, social and artistic importance of the religious component throughout all periods of Roman history.
Tourism in Rome
Sites of Religious Interest in Rome
The most important sacred buildings of antiquity were the temples: they were not places of congregation of the faithful, but they housed only the image of the divinity to which they were dedicated. Rome is the city with the largest number of churches in the world, also considering the significant number of Protestant, Orthodox and other Christian denominations.
In Rome there are several hundred Christian churches and their history intertwines with the religious, social and artistic history of the city. The cathedral is the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, one of the four patriarchal or papal basilicas along with the basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican City, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The four basilicas were part of the so-called "seven church walk" pilgrims had to walk on and on a single day. The other three churches that were part of this itinerary are the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and the Basilica of San Sebastian of the Catacombs. It is also noteworthy the Basilica of San Andrés della Valle, central headquarters of the order of Teatinos.
There are also numerous funeral religious constructions: in Rome there are around sixty catacombs, Christian underground cemeteries of the first century after Christ; The mausoleums, tombs of exceptional monumentality, adorned the consular routes (especially the famous Via Appia). There were no graves, hypogeums, necropolis and tombs in the form of pyramids, based on the Egyptian model.
Main Churches of Rome
Within the artistic legacy that is found in the city of Rome, we can also find the importance of the seat of Christianity with its outstanding, interesting and beautiful churches. Including:
- Sistine Chapel: It was built between 1471 and 1484, at the time of Pope Sixtus IV, from which comes the name by which it is known. In its interior take place the conclaves and other official ceremonies, like the papal appointments. This is the most famous chapel in the world, it is located to the right of the Basilica of San Pedro and stands out for having the no less famous fresco of the ceiling, painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti.
- St. Peter's Basilica: This is the most outstanding time of all Catholicism, it is located in Vatican City in Rome and houses the remains of Peter, the first Pope.
- Archbishopric of St. John Lateran: This is the Cathedral of Rome, the episcopal seat of the Pope and holds the honorary title of the most important church in Rome and the whole earth.
- Basilica of the Four Crowned Saints: This is an old Roman church dating from the fourth or fifth century and was dedicated to four anonymous saints; Has two patios and a chapel.
- Basilica of San Sebastián of the Catacombs: It is part of the seven churches visited by the pilgrims with motic of the jubilee. It was built on the catacombs of the 3rd century Roman martyr San Sebastián.
- Santa Maria in Cosmedin: Built in the 6th century on the remains of the Templum Herculis Pompeiani in the Forum Boario and the Statio annonae, one of the food distribution centers of ancient Rome.
- San Pietro in Montorio: Called in Castilian "San Pedro in the mountain of gold", is at present a convent of Spanish Franciscans in Rome.
- Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem: It was built on the site of the palaces of Helen of Constantinople, the mother of Constantine I the Great.
- Church of San Ignacio de Loyola: Built in 1626 in a baroque style, it is dedicated in its entirety to St. Ignatius of Loyola, the so-called founder of the "Company of Jesus".
- Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo: This church is located in Piazza del Popolo, Belongs since August 1250 to the Augustinians. In the first building it was a simple chapel built by order of Pope Paschal II.
- Church of Santa Susana: It receives the name in honor to Santa Susana who is considered virgin and martyr Roman of Century III.
- Basilica of San Clemente: It was built at the beginning of the 12th century by Pope Paschal II, and details of the church were taken from the ancient basilicas of Rome.
Historic Sites of Rome
Due to its abundance of sites and archaeological remains, Rome is a true "open-air museum". It is the city with the highest concentration of historical and architectural assets in the world; Its historical center delimited by the perimeter of the Aurelian walls, overlapping footprints of three millennia, is the expression of the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of the Western European world.
In 1980, along with the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See that are in the city and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, was included in the list of World Heritage of Unesco.
The cradle of Roman history is the Palatine, below which are the Roman Forum, the Imperial Forums and the Market of Trajan, the centers of political, economic, religious and social life of the ancient world.
Within walking distance is the Coliseum, the symbolic monument to Ancient Rome; On the nearby hill Oppio are the remains of the Domus Aurea, the "golden house" of Nero.
Walking from Piazza Venezia to the Tiber River are the Crypt Balbi (part of the ancient theater of Balbo), the Theater of Marcelo with the temples of the Sant'Omobono area and the sacred area of Largo di Torre Argentina (where Caesar ).
Other archaeological sites in the city include the Basilica of Porta Maggiore, the Caracalla Baths, the remains of San Clemente, the Auditorium of Maecenas and the Roman Houses of Celio, under the Basilica of San Giovanni and San Pablo.
Outside the city center are the excavations of Ostia; The mausoleum of Cecilia Metela, the Castrum Caetani, the Tomb of the Scipio and the village of the Quintili on Via Appia Antica, the village of Livia in Prima Porta, The archaeological area of Veyes, with the Etruscan sanctuary of the Apollo and the Park of the Tombs of Via Latina.
Within the Main Historical sites of Rome we can highlight:
- The Colosseum: an amphitheater from the time of the Roman Empire, built in the first century AD. C. and located in the center of the city of Rome to the east of the Roman Forum. For its conservation and history, the Colosseum is one of the most famous monuments of classical antiquity. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1980 by Unesco and one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World on July 7, 2007.
- The Roman Forum: it was the forum of the city of Rome, that is, the central zone, similar to the central squares in the present cities, where are the institutions of government, market and religion. It was where commerce, business, prostitution, religion and the administration of justice took place. It stood the communal home. The Roman Forum includes the following monuments, buildings and other important ancient ruins: Temple of Castor and Pollux, Temple of Romulus, Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta, Temple of Venus and Rome, Basilica Emilia, Basilica Julia, Arch of Septimius Severus, Arch of Titus, Rostra (plural of rostrum), the tribune from where the politicians gave their speeches to the Roman citizens, Curia Julia, seat of the Senate, Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, Tabularium Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Regia, Temple of Vespasian And Titus, Temple of Concord and Temple of Janus.
- Temple of Apollo Palatine: This temple located on the Palatine hill was built in marble and was erected in honor of the Apollo, god of the Sun and the Oracle. Its imposing columns stand out. It is part of the so-called Roma Quadrata. The Palatine is the most central of Rome's seven hills and is one of the oldest parts of the city
- Domus Aurea: This space was built by Emperor Nero here to carry out the most lavish parties, its decoration consists of gold and marble, hence the name derives from it, which means Casa del Oro.
- Circus Maximus: This was a stadium between the Aventine and Palatine mountains, this place was built with the objective of hosting and witnessing the most important races and athletic competitions.
- Diocletian's Baths: These baths, with capacity for about 3000 people, are considered to be the most important of all of Ancient Rome, and currently houses a museum in which it exposes all the luxury and details of those times.
- Pantheon of Agrippa: This ancient temple is located in Rome and stands out for its peculiar circular form besides being consecrated to all the gods. Admission is free.
- Arco de Janus: Built at the beginning of the fourth century d. C, is a quadruple Roman arch located inside the city of Rome, said construction is made in marble with measures of 16 meters of height and 12 meters of width.
- The Via Appia: known mostly as the queen of the great Roman roads "is one of the most important routes connecting Rome with Brindisi.
Museums of Rome
- Vatican Museums: are the galleries and the set of estancias of artistic value owned by the Church and accessible to the public in the Vatican City. It is a building that is divided into 12 large spaces with 1300 rooms. They show works from an extensive collection of the Catholic Church. Its founding base was the private collection of Julius II, who was elected pope in 1503; Later other popes have been increasing the extensive collections that comprise these museums. This museum complex consists of different buildings of themed museums, pontifical buildings, galleries, monuments and gardens. To this set of buildings also belongs the Vatican Library, one of the best in the world. It holds some 75,000 manuscripts and more than 1,100,000 books, of which 8,000 are incunabula. Inside it is the Sacred Museum: in this museum expose medieval minor works of art, like the Diptych of Rambona of century IX. The Profane Museum: Benedict XIV also had a new room for the collection of profane art, with the aim of bringing together the smaller works of antiquity, as it had done with those of sacred art. The collection consists of important Roman paintings of the first century as the aldobrandinas Weddings, Roman copy of principles of the Empire of a Greek original of the painter Etión, and some frescoes with stories of the Odyssey. And the Cabinet of Medals: this collection comes from the Vatican Library and contains more than 100,000 pieces, divided between the Roman coins and the pontifical ones, being one of the most extensive that are known within its specialty.
- Roman National Museum: It is a set of museums located in the city of Rome, it is divided in several places of the city. The first collection was formed with the archaeological collections of the Kircherian Museum and the numerous new discoveries in Rome during the planning of the city after it became the new capital of the new Kingdom of Italy.
- Capitoline Museums: are Rome's main civic museum. It is called "museums", in the plural, due to its origin: the previous collections of ancient sculptures were added by Benedict XIV, in the 18th century, the Pinacoteca, also mainly Roman themed.
- Etruscan National Museum: It is a museum about the Etruscan civilization located in Villa Giulia in Rome. This villa was built according to the design of Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola between 1551 and 1553. It houses the largest collection of Etruscan Art, highlighting throughout Italy. It was used as a Catholic church until the year 1870.
- Gallery Borghese: It is an art museum located in the gardens of Villa Borghese, Rome. Within the renowned artistic wealth of the city. The building formerly formed the Villa Borghese Pinciana, owned by the homonymous family. The Borghese Gallery preserves a substantial part of the Borghese collection of painting, sculpture and antiquities, which was initiated by Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1576-1633), nephew of Pope Paul V (papacy: 1605-1621).
- Museum of the Mura: Called also the Museum of the Walls is one of the largest and best preserved of the Aurelian Walls. Is divided into three sections (ancient, medieval and modern)
- Centrale Montemartini: The Montemartini Center is an extraordinary example of the conversion of an industrial building into a museum; This was a power station that was used to house the collections of another museum due to its deteriorated state.
- National Museum of the Palace of Venice: The National Museum of the Palace of Venice, or the Venice Palace, is a state museum of Rome. It is located in the building of the same name, which was the embassy of the Republic of Venice. Its entrance is located in Via del Plebiscito. It mainly houses the pieces of the collection of Pope Paul II. It ranges from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance. The museum has paintings by Carlo Maratta, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Guido Reni, Pisanello, Benozzo Gozzoli, Beato Angelico, Giorgione and Giotto, among others, as well as ceramics, silverware, textiles, stamps, medals, crystals, tapestries and enamels. It also has an important set of medieval Italian and German sculptures of small format.
Monuments of Rome
Since ancient times, the streets, squares and buildings of Rome are adorned with statues of different types such as, equestrian, standing statues, seated statues or busts. Formerly they were attributed an almost mystical power, to protect the Roman people and to represent the concession of the gods. In Rome, in the course of its centuries, numerous columns have been erected with commemorative intention; among the 14 that still exist are the column of Marcus Aurelius and the column of Trajan. Among the main colonnades of the city, the best known is probably the one made by Bernini in the seventeenth century.
Among the most outstanding Monuments of the city of Rome we can name:
- Arch of Constantine: This arch, which has three inner arches, is a monument that commemorates war victories, is located between the Coliseum and the Palatine.
- Ladder Santa: Located in front of the Basilica San Juan de Letrán, in the city of Rome, this is a 28 step staircase built in marble, which is said to be the staircase where Jesus went up to trial with Pontius Pilate.
- Settimian Gate: Formerly this gate delimited the city of Rome, indicating the beginning of the Trastevere district and is located in the Aurelian Wall.
- Forums: These forums are successions of the Roman Forum, consists of four forums spread out in the city due to the growth and demand of Rome.
- Castel Sant'Angello: This castle, also called Hadrian's Mausoleum is located very close to the Tiber River and was built by this emperor under the idea of doing his personal mausoleum. Later it had religious influences and now it is connected with the Vatican.
- Column of Trajan: This column was built with a motif commemorating the Emperor Trajan of Rome, is located near the Roman Forum and represents the victories of the emperor against the Dacians.
- Ara Pacis: This monument, whose name means Altar of the Peace, is a commemorative construction towards the emperor Augustus by its victories and the peace that imposed on the places where it made its campaigns. It has a sumptuous decoration all around.
Squares or Piazzas of Rome
The main squares of Rome, born during the Renaissance or the Baroque period, tend to bear witness to the creative capacity of a harmonious ideal of life between humanistic exaltation and supernatural concessions. Among the most famous Roman squares are the square Of Spain, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Republic Square, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Colonna, Piazza Farnese, Torre di Argentina, Campo de 'Fiori and Piazza San Pietro.
The squares or Piazzas of the city of Rome are the places that until today serve as centers of concentration of the city, where also gives place the commerce and the city life. They are emblematic tourist attractions of the city of Rome.
- Campo de 'Fiori: It is one of the most popular meeting places for young Italians and foreigners, where they meet to drink around the square, thanks to the presence of many bars and bars that give a privileged view of it.
- Piazza del Popolo: It is one of the most known squares of Rome, Its current design has a very neoclassical style, the work of the architect Giusseppe Valadier, who was in charge of its remodeling during the years 1811 and 1822.
- Piazza Navona: It is one of the most famous squares in Rome and around the world, outstanding for maintaining on the site some beautiful works of art, it is believed that over time the name changed from in agone to navone and later to Navona, name with which Is known today.
- Spain Piazza: It is a very popular square, because it contains The Spanish Embassy, formerly known as the Holy See, the seat of the Order of Malta, the Baroque and the famous staircase that goes up to the church of Trinità dei Monti.
- St. Peter's Piazza: Located in the Vatican City, inside the city and Italian capital of Rome, it precedes to way of great peripatetic room, to the Basilica of San Pedro, the great temple of Christianity. It was projected in its totality by Gian Lorenzo Bernini between 1656 and 1657.
- Barberini Piazza: It is a large square that is located in the historical center of Rome.
- Piazza Farnese (Piazza Farnese): is the main square of the Regola district, in the seventh district of Rome in Italy. Around the square are important buildings such as the Palazzo Farnese (now home of the French Embassy).
Palaces of Rome
Owner of an exceptional artistic heritage, the city of Rome, has palaces that lodge the remarkable contribution to its culture, among which Renaissance artists such as Bramante, Rafael, and Michelangelo stand out; And works by the architects Borromini and Bernini, considered the masters of Baroque art.
- Venezia Palace: Built in 1455 and 1464 by order of Pietro Barbo, he wanted it as his personal residence. Time after he was elected as Pope Paolo II, he decided to expand it with the construction of another smaller palace, known as palazzetto Venezia.
- Palace of the Chancellery: (In Italian, Palazzo della Cancelleria, in reference to the Papal Chancellery), was built between 1489 and 1513, being the first palace of Rome that was raised from the beginning in the new Renaissance style.
- Carpegna Palace: Renovated in the seventeenth century by Borromini, the magnificent interior staircase and the porch of the first floor are built; It is worth visiting the Accademia Gallery of Saint Luc, which offers an interesting overview of the Roman artistic production between the 500 and 800.
- Altieri Palace: Built in the middle of the 17th century for the Cardinal Altieri, inside the palace can be admired among other works, the Trionfo della Clemenza, painted by Carlo Maratta for Pope Clement X.
- Farnesio Palace: Built during the 16th century, it is the current French Embassy; The square is adorned by s around it.
- Palazzo Doria-Pamphili: This palace-museum houses a private collection of paintings, decorative objects and Roman sculptures.
- Pallavicini-Rospigliosi Palace: Its main attractions are the art gallery and the Casino dell'Aurora.
- Barberini Palace: This palace, one of the most imposing and significant of the baroque period, was begun in 1625 by Carlo Maderno assisted by Borromini, to be completed in 1633 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
- Braschi Palace: Built by the funds handed down from Pius VI to his nephew Luis Branchi Onesti, Braschi Palace, is now known after its sale to the State as the Museum of Rome.
- Palace of the Conservatives: This palace is located in the square of Campidoglio. It is next to the New Palace the exhibition headquarters of the Capitoline Museums.
Fountains of Rome
The fountains of Rome are works that are found inside the city, giving a sample of art and sculpture in the open air, beautifying the city.
- Triton Fountain: The Fountain of the Triton is a beautiful and decorative fountain located in the Barberini Square, as its name indicates, represents a newt triton mounted on a shell supported by dolphins.
- Trevi Fountain: This is one of the largest fountains in Rome, in which are represented various allegories that combined provide a beautiful and spectacular view of the city.
- Fountain of the Four Rivers: This peculiar fountain is located in Plaza Navona and represents the four most important rivers of that time: the Nile, the ganges, the Silver River and the Danube.
If you are planning to travel to Rome, whether for business or tourism, in addition to the passport and visa, we recommend you to check the following information: International Airports, Airport security rules, Type of luggage allowed and weight limits, Most visited cities, Driving in Rome, Electricity, Time Stripes, Business Hours, National Holidays, Weights and Measures, Commercial Practices and Etiquette Rules.
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Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (Italian: Fiumicino – Aeroporto Internazionale Leonardo da Vinci) (IATA: FCO, ICAO: LIRF) or simply Rome Fiumicino Airport, also known as just Fiumicino Airport, is an international airport in Rome and the major airport in Italy. It is located in Fiumicino, 21.7 miles west of Rome's historic city centre.
The airport serves as the main hub for Alitalia, the largest Italian airline and Vueling, a Spanish low-cost carrier owned by International Airlines Group.
Ciampino – G. B. Pastine International Airport (Italian: Ciampino – Aeroporto Internazionale G. B. Pastine) (IATA: CIA, ICAO: LIRA) or simply Rome Ciampino Airport, is the secondary international airport of Rome. It is a joint civilian, commercial and military airport situated 7.5 miles south southeast of central Rome, just outside the Greater Ring Road (Italian: Grande Raccordo Anulare or GRA) the circular motorway around the city. The airport serves as a base for Ryanair and general aviation traffic.
Rome Urbe Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Roma-Urbe, ICAO: LIRU) is a small civilian airport in Rome, situated in the northern part of the city, between Via Salaria and the Tiber River, about 3.1 miles inside the Greater Ring Road (Italian: Grande Raccordo Anulare or GRA), the circular motorway around the city.
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