Once the capital of the world (caput mundi), Rome is a city incomparable to any other. Historical edifices are numerous around the city which is an epic metropolis harboring lost empires. The splendid monumentality of Rome encapsulates the spirit of the city.
Rome, the Eternal City, boasts over three thousand years of history and is often considered the center of western Christianity. Over its long span of history the city has been extremely influential to the cultural and religious ideologies of Europe. According to legend Rome was built on seven hills, at the center of which rises the great Palantine Hill, the all-powerful seat of the imperial residences of Rome which overlooks the Roman Forum and Colosseum.
Home to remarkable shopping and delicious Mediterranean cuisine, the heart of the Roman Empire has something to offer every taste.
The Forum & Colosseum
Every visit to Rome must include a visit to the ancient heart of the city, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. The Colosseum of Rome was built in bricks and clad of travertine in a valley among the Palatino. For the enjoyment of Rome people, here were organized fights between gladiators or against wild animals and fabulous spectacles as “naumachie”, real navy battlements in the arena filled with water. Under the arena of the Colosseum there were numerous corridors and rooms aimed at welcoming the gladiators and the ferocious beasts that could be brought at the centre of the arena thanks to elevator carriages and access ramps.
The valley of Foro (Forum), nestled between the Seven Hills of Rome, was in ancient times a marsh. From the end of the seventh century B.C., after the improvement and drainage of the marshes, the Foro Romano (a forum) was constructed and this served as the centre of public life in Rome for over a thousand years.
The Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica
The Vatican City State is situated on the Vatican hill, on the right bank of the Tiber River, within the city of Rome. The pope has full legal, executive, and judicial powers. Executive power over the area is in the hands of a commission of cardinals appointed by the pope. The College of Cardinals is the pope’s chief advisory body, and upon his death the cardinals elect his successor for life.
St. Peter’s Basilica
(Italian: San Pietro in Vaticano) is a major basilica in Vatican City, an enclave of Rome. St. Peter’s was until recently the largest church ever built and it remains one of the holiest sites in Christendom. St. Peter’s Basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter – the apostle who is considered the first pope – was crucified and buried. St. Peter’s tomb is under the main altar and many other popes are buried in the basilica as well. Originally founded by Constantine in 324, St. Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt in the 16th century by Renaissance masters including Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini.
The Dress Code is strictly enforced at St. Peter’s Basilica. No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts. This applies to both men and women. Even if you get through security, you will be turned away by the attendants at the door.
The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. This impressive monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district and supplies the fountains in the historic center of Rome with water.
Tossing a Coin
The water at the bottom of the fountain represents the sea. Legend has it you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the water. You should toss it over your shoulder with your back to the fountain.