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Places in Rome You Must Visit

Jun, 01 || 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , ,

The Eternal City doesn’t need too much introduction, because everyone knows how awesome it is. Still, here is a list of sights you must not miss when visiting Rome.

Colosseum

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Colosseum is probably the biggest landmark of Rome. It stands in the center of the city, defying the earthquakes, fires and thieves that tried to desecrate its structure. It survived almost 2 centuries of turbulent times and still looks magnificent.

Its construction started in the 1 century AD in the times of rule of emperors from the house of Flavian, thus the Colosseum is often called the Flavian amphitheater. Even today this theater is the largest structure of its kind in the world, but in the ancient times, the Colosseum was really a wonder.

In the Roman times, the Colosseum was used as a place where religious festivals took place, where stage shows were held, and where infamous gladiator fights were on the regular repertoire. It is said that o a few occasions the Colosseum was flooded in order to simulate a sea where a battle happened.

Nowadays, the Colosseum serves as a touristic site and it is one of the most popular in the world. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the eighties and in 2007 was voted a part of the New7Wonders of the World.

Palatino

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Palatino is one of the 7 hills of Rome and is considered to be the part where the original Rome was founded. According to legend on this hill the two founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus were saved by a shewolf, when their grandfather left them to die.

Palatine hill is located in the central part of the city, close to other major touristic attractions such as the Roman Forum. Both of these sites serve now as open museums and attract lots of visitors. One ticket allows you to enter Palatino, the roman forum and the Colosseum as well.

St. Peter’s Basilica

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Contrary to popular belief, the St. Peter’s Basilica isn’t the mother church of the Catholic Church nor is it the residence of the bishop of Rome. However, this building is probably the most famous church in the world. It owes its fame to extraordinary design, modeled by no other than the great renaissance artists Michelangelo and Bernini. The iconic dome of the basilica is often seen on Rome postcards and is among the most memorable attractions of the city.

It is located in the centre of Vatican which makes it one of the top pilgrimage spots in the world. Thousands visitors come to this basilica, some of them as tourists, while some come for religious purposes. According to legend, the grave of the basilica’s namesake, St. Peter is bellow right under the altar.

Vatican Museums

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Vatican Museums are a part of Pope’s official residence, the Papal Palace. With more than 1,400 rooms, the Vatican Museums are one of the most important cultural institutions in the world. Works of art from all over the world are parts of a magnificent collection of Museo Pio-Clementino, while the biggest collection of items from Italian history is in the collection of the Pinacoteca Vaticana.

Museo Chiaramonti is worth mentioning as it contains several ancient works of arts that influenced famous artists throughout the history. A world famous marble sculpture of Roman Emperor Augustus is housed here. It was made in the 1st century AD, but was discovered in the mid-18th century and since has become the most famous sculpture of the founder of the Roman Empire.

Villa Borghese

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On over 80 hectares in the heart of Rome stretches an English-type garden, named the Villa Borghese. It was made in 17th century, when Cardinal Scipione Borghese decided to turn his vineyard into a large landscape garden. In those times it was the biggest park in Rome. As a part of the garden, there were and still are several villas. Apart from its namesake, there are also the Villa Medici and the Villa Giulia. In the past these luxurious buildings were summer residences of rich families, but in these days all of them serve as museums.

Pantheon

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A part of the Campus Martius, the Pantheon is an ancient temple still standing today, in a very good shape. It is one of the most preserved ancient monument s and a top touristic landmark of Rome. Built in the times of Octavian Augustus, the temple was dedicated to all Gods of Roman religion. The original structure was rebuilt in the beginning of the 2nd century and since 7th century, it has been used as a Roman Catholic church.

Trastevere

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Trastevere is a district in Rome, located on the west bank of the river Tiber. This area was inhabited by the Etruscans even before the city of Rome was founded. During the period of the Roman Republic, the area was the center of Jewish community in this part of the world. The buildings standing today are mostly from the late middle ages. The narrow cobbled streets give a charm to this part of the city making it popular among Italian artists and tourists from around the globe.

Michelangelo’s ‘Last Judgment’

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The Sistine Chapel is the official residence of the Pope, but its global fame, this church owes to the works of arts in its interior. The Last Judgment is the fresco on the altar of the Sistine Chapel. It was done by the greatest artist of the Renaissance, Michelangelo Buonarroti. He worked for 4 years to complete the work. The Last Judgment depicts the second coming of Jesus, who is placed in the middle.

Pompeji

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Pompeji is located some 200 miles southern of Rome, but is definitely worth a visit. It is a unique place in the world – an ancient city trapped in time by a volcano explosion. In 79 AD, the Vesuvius erupted causing the destruction of the city of Pompeji.

The temperature of lava that destroyed the city was around 250 degrees Celsius which is the reason why the buildings and bodies of Pompeji’s residents remained well preserved. The excavations started in 18th century and since the city has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy and one of the best-known archeological sites in the world.

Catacombs of San Callisto

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All around the city of Rome, there are catacombs in which early Christians buried their dead and left a significant number of sculptures and frescos from that period. One of the most significant is the Catacomb of Callixtus.  This site is important as it contains the crypts which contained the tombs of several popes. It was the burial site of the heads of the Christian Church from 2nd to 4th century AD.

Piazza Navona

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Piazza Navona is a baroque-style square in Rome. It was designed by A great Italian artist, Bernini, in early 17th century. The artist deliberately planned the square to resemble a hippodrome, as the 1st century AD Stadium of Domitian was there earlier.

The biggest attraction of Piazza Navona is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Designed by Bernini himself, this fountain was dedicated to Pope Innocent X whose palace was just across it.

In the middle of the fountain is an ancient Egyptian obelisk with 4 sides, on each stands a sculpture of a river god. Each god represents a river from a continent in which papal authority was influent. The Danube represents Europe, Nile Africa, the Ganges Asia, while the Río de la Plata represents the Americas.   “

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