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Rome

The unparalleled charm of the eternal city
The moment you arrive in Rome you are aware you are setting foot in a unique and eternal city. Nobody can say they know it really well, even if they are a frequent visitor.
 

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It is a multifaceted city full of well known attractions and other less known and hidden, but always interesting, places.
 
Piazza di Spagna in Rome
Roma
Spanish Square. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock 
 
Famous for its steps and fountain known as “la Barcaccia” (the old boat), so called because it is in the shape of a half-sunken ship, Piazza di Spagna is a meeting place for both Romans and tourists. At the top of the steps is the Trinità dei Monti church and the streets leading from the square have some of the most famous designer shops in the world.
 
The Trevi fountain
Roma
Trevi Fountain. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
The Trevi fountain is certainly the most spectacular and famous of Rome’s fountains. Among the legends surrounding this famous monument, the most well known says that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the water you will return to Rome.

St. Peter's Square in Roma
Roma
St. Peter's Square. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
St. Peter’s Square, framed by a splendid colonnade four columns deep, welcomes visitors with its majestic spaces and architectural beauty. The square is located in front of the Basilica that is the symbol of Christianity and the largest church in the world, which houses the tomb of the apostle Peter and The Pietà by Michelangelo, and has 330 steps leading to a dome designed by Michelangelo. A visit to see the works preserved in the Sistine Chapel, one of the masterpieces of the history of Italian art, and in the Vatican Museums are a must.
 
Castel Sant’Angelo
RomaCastel Sant’Angelo. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
From St. Peter’s, crossing the Tiber, you come across Castel Sant’Angelo (Hadrian’s Mausoleum) and Piazza Navona, where you can admire three interesting fountains; in the centre is the Fountain of the Four Rivers (Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata) designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
 
The Pantheon in Rome
Roma
The Pantheon. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock  
 
The Pantheon, with tombs of important artist and kings of Italy, is an expression of the most exquisite architectural techniques of ancient Rome. The structure of the building is that of a sphere within a cylinder with the height from the floor equal to the diameter.
 
The Coliseum and the Roman Forum
Rome
Colosseo. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
A symbol of Rome throughout the world, the Coliseum is also a sacred place and part of an itinerary that includes the Roman Forum, Rome’s most important archaeological area, and the Imperial Forums
 
Piazza del Campidoglio
Rome
 Piazza del Campidoglio. Foto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
Another monumental complex of great historic and artistic importance is that overlooking the Piazza del CampidoglioThe Capitoline Museums are the oldest public museums in the world and date back to 1471. The collections of the Capitoline Museums are exhibited in two buildings, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo, which together with the Palazzo Senatorio are located on the Piazza del Campidoglio.
 
Vittoriano in Rome
Rome
 VittorianoFoto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
A walkway open to the public connects the Campidoglio Square to the terraces of the Vittoriano from where there is an incredible 360° view over the city.  The Vittoriano is the monument that celebrates the Father of the Nation and the Risorgimento season. It was built in 1878 after the death of Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, the first king of Italy.
 
Villa Borghese
Rome Villa BorgheseFoto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
Equally exciting is the view from the tethered air balloon in the public park of Villa Borghese, which houses an art gallery that is a genuine trove of artistic treasures.
 
Appia Antica
Rome
 Appia AnticaFoto: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
Finally, along the Via Appia Antica (Appian Way) you can find historic attractions in an unrivalled natural context, including the catacombs and the underground burial chambers of the first Christians.
 
Roman cuisine
 
It is based on ancient recipes handed down from generation to generation. The traditional dishes are: the coratella, the lamb with artichokes, the saltimbocca alla romana, the fried artichokes, the spaghetti alla carbonara with bacon eggs, pepper and pecorino cheese, the spaghetti all'amatriciana with guaciale, pecorino and tomato, the Roman tripe, the vaccinara, the pinsa a variant of the classic pizza.
 
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Photo: Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
 
Text by Lisa Maria River
Avion Tourism Magazine
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Where to sleep in Rome

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Rome is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.

 

WHERE TO GO in rome
Monuments of Rome
Rome
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COLOSSEUM

Known as the Colosseum, because the colossal bronze statue of Nero in the second century AD was placed near the monument, the real name is Flavian Amphitheatre and is probably the most famous monument in the world. Completed in 80 AD, the building was intended for the games and gladiator fights.

The exterior is composed of four overlapping architectural orders: the first three are formed by eighty arches framed by half-columns, while the fourth order is divided into panels interspersed with windows.

Priority entrance to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill.

Rome
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IMPERIAL FORUMS

Caesar’s Forum, Augustus’ Forum, Transitional Forum and Trajan’s Forum, which is undoubtedly the grandest, make up, from an urban standpoint, an organic complex renamed in the modern era the “Imperial Forums”, reaching from Capitol Hill (Campidoglio) to the foot of the Quirinale Hill. Between 1924 and 1932, the Imperial Forums resurfaced following the demolition of which had been over the centuries built on top so as to clear the way for today’s Via dei Fori Imperiali.

Guided tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

 
Rome
The Pantheon, Rome. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock 
PANTHEON

Dedicated to the worship of every God, the Pantheon was built by the Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 a.D. over the ruins of another temple dating back to 27 a.D. And a dedicatory inscription is clearly visible over today. In 609, it was converted into a Christian Church and consecrated to Santa Maria of the Martyrs. Turned into a memorial chapel for the kingsof Italy in 1870, the tombs of Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy are to be found here together with that of the celebrated Renaissance Artist Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino.

Guided tour of the Pantheon and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.

Vittoriano
Vittoriano, Rome. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock 
VITTORIANO
The monument, which celebrates the Father of the Nation and the Risorgimento season, was erected in 1878 after the death of Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, the first King of Italy. For its construction, a competition was announced which was won by Giuseppe Sacconi, an architect from the Marches, voted by the royal commission. The request for the competition envisaged “a complex to be erected on the northern hill of the Campidoglio; a bronze equestrian statue of the King; an architectural background designed to cover the buildings behind and the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli". The monument also houses exhibition spaces for art exhibitions.
 
Basilicas and Churches in Rome
Rome
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ST. PETER'S BASILICA
St. Peter's Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world. The primitive Basilica of San Pietro was built around 320 by the emperor Constantine where, according to tradition, the apostle Peter was buried. Thanks to great artists such as Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini, the original Constantinian basilica underwent a complete makeover over the course of about two hundred years. Among the masterpieces not to be missed are: the harmonious dome designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti which surprises for its size and beauty; the Pietà by Michelangelo, a work that fascinates for technique and emotion; the splendid colonnade commissioned by Pope Alexander VII Chigi from Bernini composed of 284 columns of the Doric order and eighty-eight pillars in travertine from Tivoli. The colonnade is crowned by a series of 140 statues of saints over 3 meters high.
Rome
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 BASILICA OF SAN PAOLO FUORI LE MURA
The Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura is the second largest basilica after that of San Pietro. According to tradition, in this place the first Christians erected a sepulchral chapel which was later transformed into a basilica by Constantine and consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I. The temple, rebuilt larger in 385, was completed in 395 at the time of Emperor Honorius. The current form is the work of Pasquale Belli who rebuilt it between 1825 and 1854. The quadriportico, made up of 150 columns, was designed by Poletti and finished by Calderini: in the center is the statue of Saint Paul, by Giuseppe Obici (1807-1878) . The facade is decorated with mosaics executed between 1854 and 1874 while the green bronze door, by Antonio Maraini, was placed in 1931 and, for the Jubilee of 2000, the new gilded bronze Holy Door was inserted, by the sculptor Enrico Manfrini.
www.basilicasanpaolo.org
 
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CHURCH OF S. MARIA IN COSMEDIN
MOUTH OF TRUTH
The famous Mouth of Truth is located in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It is probably an ancient manhole in the shape of a mask with a male face with eyes, nose and mouth pierced to let the water flow out. The Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin was founded in the 7th century. Restored several times over the centuries, it houses some decorative elements from the 8th and 11th centuries, such as the women's gallery and the "Schola Cantorum". The interior is divided by three naves with ancient pillars and columns. outside is the bell tower with seven floors of mullioned windows and three mullioned windows, in Romanesque style.
Rome
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CHURCH SS. TRINITÀ DEI MONTI
Between 1502 and 1519 the first part of the Church of Trinità dei Monti was built in Gothic style. In the mid-16th century, a new barrel-vaulted building was added to the Gothic nave and enclosed by a facade adorned with two symmetrical bell towers, the work of Giacomo della Porta and Carlo Maderno. The church was consecrated in 1585 by Pope Sixtus V. Inside there are important frescoes. A cycle of frescoes from 1541 in one of the first chapels is by Daniele da Volterra, including the Deposition. While the Massimo chapel preserves frescoes by Perin del Vaga. In front of the church stands the Obelisco Sallustiano by the architect Antinori.
 
 
 
 
 
Squares and Fountains in Rome
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PIAZZA NAVONA
Undeniably the most elegant and cheerful of all Roman piazzas, it was built on the site of Stadium of Domitian and remains a highly popular meeting place for Romans and tourists alike, who drowsily soak up in open air bars dotted around it. Used in ancient times for various athletic games and competitions,  today tourists often enjoy sitting for street artists who, on request, in a few minutes either sketch a faithful portrait of their models. Not to be missed: The Fountain of The Four Rivers and Church of Saint’Agnese in Agone.
Rome
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TREVI FOUNTAIN
The famous Rococo Trevi Fountain was begun by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and completed in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini. The monument, fed by one of the oldest Roman aqueducts, that of the Acqua Vergine, depicts an Ocean on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by sea horses, guided by tritons. Before leaving, don't forget to throw a coin into the fountain, which ensures your return to the Eternal City.
 
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CAMPO DEI FIORI
The square of Campo de' Fiori is a nerve center of the city. By day it is known for its historic and folk market with fruit and vegetable stalls, by night and for its fun nightlife among restaurants and clubs. Campo de' Fiori is also known for having been the main stage for public executions such as that of the philosopher Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake in 1600 because he was considered a heretic and remembered with a statue right in the center of the square. From Campo de' Fiori, which is located almost halfway between Piazza Navona and Piazza Farnese, the historic streets branch off nearby with traditional shops that are absolutely not to be missed, such as Via dei Baullari, Via dei Cappellari or Via Via dei Giubbonari.
Rome
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FONTANONE DELL'ACQUA PAOLA
Known as the Fontanone del Gianicolo, the fountain dominates a terrace overlooking the city. At the behest of Pope Paul V Borghese, it was built between 1610 and 1614 by the architects Giovanni Fontana, Flaminio Ponzio and the sculptor Ippolito Buzio to decorate the Trajan-Paul Aqueduct. The fountain consists of five large arches flanked by red and gray granite columns that belonged to the ancient Constantinian basilica of St. Peter. A small garden is located behind the fountain, which Pope Alexander VII Chigi had destined for the Botanical Garden, which can be accessed via a staircase in via Garibaldi 30 and from where one can enjoy a splendid panoramic view of Rome.
 
 
Museums in Rome
Rome
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VATICAN MUSEUM

The magnificent and immense Vatican Museums are among the greatest and most important in the world. The Vatican Museums in fact encompass a number of different museums: the Pio-Clementino Museum, the Chiaramonti Museum, the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, the Gregorian Profane Museum, the Pio-Christian Museum, the Ethnological Missionary Museum, the Collection of Modern Religious Art, the Upper Galleries Museum, the Vatican Library Museum, the Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) and of course the exquisite and unique Sistine Chapel

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MAXXI

The National Museum for the 21st Century Arts, was designed by Anglo-Iraqi Architect Zaha Hadid. A complex developing horizontally conceived as a “delta of various rivers”: eight longitudinal spaces, interwoven and bowing onto each other over a surface covering 30,000 square metres. The interior spaces are devoted to contemporary creativity envisaged as basins for culture, experimentation, study and research.

www.fondazionemaxxi.it

 

 
 
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CAPITOLINE MUSEUMS
The Capitoline Museums are the oldest public museums in the world and date back to 1471. The collections of the Capitoline Museums are exhibited in two buildings, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo, which together with the Palazzo Senatorio border Piazza del Campidoglio. An underground gallery connects the two palaces to each other and houses the Lapidary Gallery which leads to the ancient Tabularium with monumental arches on the Roman Forum. At the Capitoline Museums you can admire the historic bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. After the visit you can stop at the refreshment point of the Capitoline Museums, on the terrace of Palazzo Caffarelli, which offers a beautiful panorama.
Rome
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ARA PACIS MUSEUM
The new museum complex was redesigned by Richard Meier & Partners Architects (a US firm known for having built some of the most famous museums of the twentieth century), preserving the Ara Pacis monument, one of the greatest examples of classical art which was built to celebrate the consolidation of the power of Rome under the empire of Augustus. The museum itinerary is divided into 9 different points of interest (POI), of which POI 1 and POI 2, created with the combination of film footage, virtual reality and immersive technologies, which constitute the main novelty of the Ara Pacis Museum . 
www.arapacis.it
 
 
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BORGHESE GALLERY
The Borghese Gallery is located in a beautiful green park and houses artistic treasures and the collection of works of art collected by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who had this villa built in the early 1600s to house his works. The Borghese Gallery has an exhibition of works that reflects the taste of its former owners. Not to be missed: the sculptures created for the cardinal by the young Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Aeneas, The Abduction of Proserpina, Apollo and Daphne, and David), Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, Caravaggio's masterpieces and Princess Paolina Borghese, sister of Napoleon, portrayed by Canova as Venere Vincitrice.
Rome
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PALAZO SPADA AND THE PERSPECTIVE GALLERY
The Perspective Gallery of Borromini is inside Palazzo Spada, which is located in Piazza Capo di Ferro, near Piazza Farnese and Campo de' Fiori. Built between 1652 and 1653, the gallery is a perspective game typical of the Baroque period. 9 meters long, Borromini's architecture is perceived deeper, an effect obtained thanks to the rising floor, the converging walls and the descending vault, so as to perceive the side columns which get smaller towards the bottom. The visit continues inside the rooms of the Galleria Spada where you can admire the private collection of Cardinal Bernardino Spada with paintings, ancient sculptures, furnishings and period furniture.
galleriaspada.beniculturali.it
 
Excursions in Rome
Rome
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VIEW OF ROME

Rome offers sights, each with its own peculiarities, which enjoy a splendid view: from the Janiculum hill you can admire fascinating glimpses of the Old Town. From the terraces of the Vittoriano, two panoramic lifts, opened in 2007, can reach the highest point of the complex, from which you can admire Rome to 360°. From the Pincio you appreciate one of the most beautiful views of the whole world. Also you can admire a breathtaking view from the Garden of the Oranges and the dome of St. Peter.

Ostia Lido (Rome)
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OSTIA

The modern architecture typical of the Art Nouveau gives a certain charm to the area of Ostia Lido. Some examples are the Art Nouveau buildings and villas in the old town, the working-class houses on Via della Marina and on Corso Duca di Genova, or the ‘Palazzo del Pappagallo’ on the Anco Marzio square, that you can reach walking on the promenade. This residential building, realized by the architect Mario Marchi in the late ‘20s, has a façade with an assortment of vivid colors, returned to their original splendor and brightness thanks to a recent restoration. Also belong to this period: the ‘Palazzo del Governatore’ and the ‘Colonia’.

Ostia Antica tour by train from Rome.

 
Rome
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PARCO SAVELLO O GIARDINO DEGLI ARANCI

Parco Savello, also known as Giardino degli Aranci, is a small garden that stands on top of the Aventine Hill, one of the most elegant hills in Rome, between the medieval walls and the remains of the ancient fortress of the Savelli family. The trees in the park were planted in memory of S. Domenico who founded his convent right here. From Parco Savello it is possible to admire an enchanting panorama of Rome, from the bend of the Tiber to the Basilica of San Pietro. Leaving the Orange Garden and turning right, you arrive in the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta designed by Giovan Battista Piranesi in 1765. A curiosity: from the lock of the door that leads to the Villa dei Cavalieri you can glimpse the dome of St. Peter, beautifully framed from the green gardens.

Tivoli
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TIVOLI

Tivoli is located about 25 kilometers from Rome. Worth a visit to admire Villa Adriana, the large villa that belonged to the Roman emperor Hadrian, which bears witness to the high level of Roman architecture. Also Villa d'Este, built in 1550 by Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, famous for its numerous water features. Also not to be missed are the naturalistic park of Villa Gregoriana and the Sanctuary of Ercole Vincitore.

Tivoli: skip-the-line ticket for Villa d'Este.

 
Recommended tours in Rome and surroundings
Rome Colosseum
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UNDERGROUND ROME: HYPOGEA OF THE COLOSSEUM
The spaces of the hypogea of the Colosseum are preserved today as at the end of the fifth century AD, when they were buried. The visit takes you back in time to relive the gladiatorial games and see where the final preparations were taking place before the wild beasts and the gladiators themselves went to the arena floor. Here it is possible to discover the incredible engineering techniques that allowed the Romans to complete this enormous historical structure. Used to show gladiator fights and hunting scenes with exotic and ferocious animals, the colosseum probably had a capacity of around 70,000 people and was equipped with elevators, ramps and traps useful for performing the shows. Underground Rome: tour of crypts and catacombs with visit to the ossuary
 
Villa d'Este, Tivoli (Rome)
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VILLA D'ESTE
Villa d’Este is included in the UNESCO list of world heritage and is famous for its garden. It was built in 1550 thanks to Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este and is characterized by fountains, nymphaeums, caves and water features. Inside the gardens of Villa d’Este there is also the Book Museum, dedicated to ancient books from papyrus to printed paper. Tour of Villa d'Este and Villa Adriana in Tivoli from Rome
 
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