Rome, Italy’s capital is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.
Whether you are in Rome for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months, be prepared to step into the world's biggest open air museum. You can decide to follow the typical tourist paths or be brave enough to go off the beaten tracks. One way or the other, Rome will romance you, surprise you and leave you with wanting more! Rome is one of world's most photogenic cities - not surprising when you consider what's here: The Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, St Peter's Square, Spanish Steps, Colosseum. Whether you spend your time sightseeing, or watching the world go by in a pretty outdoor cafe, it will be your turn to feature in your very own Roman holiday.
Rome sights and attractions
Piazza Venezia was named after the Cardinal Venezia who, in 1455, ordered the construction of his own Palace that later became the seat of 'Serenissima'. Close to the palace we can find Palazzetto Venezia that was reconstructed in 1882 and placed in the current location. On the square, opposite to the palace we can observe the building of Assicurazioni Generali that replaced old structures. Monument of Victor Emanuel, Piazza Venezia On the southern side of the piazza the outstanding Monument of Victor Emanuel II can be easily spotted: it was built between 1855 and 1911 to celebrate the Italian Unification.
The striking square and its imposing colonnade lead to the greatest basilica of the Christian world: St Peter's Basilica. It also represents the core of the Vatican City, the smallest state in the world. In the origins, the square used to be the place where Nerone Circus and Gardens were located, and where many Christians, including Saint Peter, suffered from martyrdom. In the center of the square stands out an Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome by Emperor Caligula in 37 B.C.
The Roman Colosseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was commissioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian. The Colosseum is located just east of the Roman Forum and was built to a practical design, with its 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level.
The Roman Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome. It is a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. As the brick stamps on the side of the building reveal it was built and dedicated between A.D 118 and 125. The emperor Hadrian (A.D 117-138) built the Pantheon to replace Augustus’ friend and Commander Marcus Agrippa’s Pantheon of 27 B.C. which burnt to the ground in 80 A.D. When approaching the front of the Pantheon one can see the inscription above still reads in Latin the original dedication by Marcus Agrippa.
The Trevi fountain, inspired by Roman triumphal arches, is the largest and most famous Baroque fountain in Rome (standing 25.9 meters high and 19.8 meters wide). In 1629, Pope Urban VIII, asked Bernini to sketch possible renovations of the fountain, finding it insufficiently theatrical. After the Pope's death the project was abandoned. Bernini's lasting contribution was to situate the fountain from the other side of the square to face the Quirinal Palace. The Trevi Fountain as we know it today was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and competed in 1762.
Vatican Museums house their fabulous masterpieces in palaces originally built for Renaissance popes such as Julius II, Innocent VIII and Sixtus IV. Most of the later addition was made in the 18th century, when priceless works of art accumulated by earlier popes were first put on show. Vatican Museum is home to the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms as well as to one of the world's most important art collections.