Attractions in Rome

The history of Rome spans over two and a half thousand years which goes some way to explain why there is so much to see in the way of Architecture, Monuments, Castles, Churches, Museums, Fountains, Parks and Gardens, Statues, Aquaducts, Bridges and Catacombes. The historic centre of Rome is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are amongst the world’s 50 most visited tourist destinations. Here we offer you a varied selection of must-see sights when visiting Rome.

Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano

The Papal Basilica of St.Peter lies inside the Vatican City. The tomb of the first Bishop of Rome, St.Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, is located underneath the main altar of the Basilica. Many of the popes have been buried at St.Peters since early Christian times.

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The Colosseum

The Colosseum in the centre of Rome was originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre. It is the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire and is considered to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus.

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Castel Sant’Angelo

The Castel Sant’Angelo is the more recognised title for the Mausoleum of Hadrian. It is located in the Parco Adriano near to the banks of the River Tiber in Rome. The Roman Emperor Hadrian originally commissioned the building of the castle as a mausoleum for himself and his family(AD130-139)

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Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope SixtusIV in 1475 to 1483. Built by Giovanni de Dolci, and named after Sixtus IV, the chapel was designed to be virtually inaccessible from the outside, almost fortified. Under Pope Sixtus IV, painting began in 1482, painters such as Boticelli, Perugino, Ghirlandaio and Rosselli began to illustrate the Old and New Testements which face each other along the walls. The Life of Moses along one side depicting the Old Testement and on the other The Life of Christ showing the New Testement. Going a little further along are paintings from Botticelli, The Temptation of Christ, The Healing of the Leper and Moses with Jethro’s Daughters. Next there is the Crossing of the Red Sea by Rosselli and The Calling of the First Apostles by Ghirlandaio. Next comes Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law and the Sermon on the Mount both by Rosselli. Next is Botticelli’s Korah, Dathan and Abiram which faces the Delivery of the keys to St Peter by Perugino. Coming to the end of the frescoes there are The Testement and the Death of Moses on the left and Roselli’s greatest work The Last Supper.

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Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain outside the Palazzo Poli is, without doubt, the most famous fountain in the world. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and work was completed in 1762, although Salvi died in 1751 and never saw his masterpiece completed. Among the central figures is Neptune – God of the Sea, on either side of Neptune are two Tritons one with a wild Sea Horse and the other with a calmer animal, these show the contrasting faces of the sea. Arches frame the fountain and the figures and in front of these the waters tumble down over the rocks all of which makes for a wonderful spectacle for the many visitors who come to see this famous work of art which fills the square

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Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna

Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti or the Spanish Steps is a stairway of 138 steps, built between 1723-1726, which run from the Piazza di Spagna up to the Piazza Trinità dei Monti and the 16th century French church of Trinità dei Monti above (1502). The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe. At the foot of the steps is the Fontana della Barcaccia – Fountain of the ugly boat also called the fountain of the broken boat – which was built in 1598 on the orders of Pope Urbano VIII to commemorate the terrible flood which occured that year on the River Tiber. The steps and the square take their name from the Spanish Embassy which used to be here and they were actually built by the French and used as access to the French church above

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Galleria Alberto Sordi

Situated on the Via del Corso and originately named Galleria Colonna, the Galleria Alberto Sordi was built in 1914 on the site of the Palazzo Piombino in Art Nouveau style

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Palazzo di Giustizia

Palazzo di Giustizia – The Palace of Justice – is popularly called the Palazzaccio by the Italians and is the seat of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Judicial Public Library

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Antico Caffè Greco

Antico Cafe Greco opened in 1760 and stands at 86 Via dei Condotti, near to the Spanish Steps. It is the second oldest bar in Italy, with the oldest being Caffe Florian in Venice (1720).

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Villa Borghese and the Villa Borghese gardens

This large, landscaped garden was originally a vineyard and was turned into the most extensive gardens in Rome by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V

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Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II

The Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II which is also known as the “Vittoriano” rises from the foot of the Capitol Hill. The huge white building stands majestically with the two Quadrigas rising up from either side of the roof of the building,‘Quadriga of Liberty’ and ‘Quadriga of Unity’ (Zanelli)

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Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR)

The Esposione Universale di Roma (Universal Exhibition of Rome) was built in the early 1940s in fascist architectural style to celebrate the 20th anniversary of fascism

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Palazzo del Quirinale

The Palazzo dei Quirinale is the official residence of the President of the Italian republic. It takes it name from the the hill on which it stands, the Quirinale Hill the tallest of the seven hills of Rome

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Roman Forum

At first sight it is difficult to see what once was the heart of the Roman Empire, looting in the Middle Ages for building materials have robbed us of the magnificent structures that once stood here, but with a map of the area one can walk around the site and visualise how it once looked and how life was in Roman times long ago

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Pantheon

The Original Pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa in 27-25 BC but this burnt down in 80 AD and was later replaced by Hadrian in 125 AD. Hadrian is himself credited with designing the building

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Bocca della Verità

The Stone mask of a Roman God with long hair and an open mouth has long been famous as the “Bocca della Verita” or “Mouth of Truth”

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Circus Maximus

Today’s Circus Maximus is a public park where modern day Romans go for a stroll or just sit in the sunshine and watch people walking by. In ancient Rome it was also a place for Romans to gather and enjoy themselves

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Arch of Constantine

Spanning the Via Triumphalis, the route taken by Emperors entering the city of Rome in Triumph, stands the Arch of Constantine. Built in 315, three years after his victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge

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Ponte Sant’Angelo

The Ponte Sant’Angelo, built in 134AD, was once named Pons Aelius meaning the bridge of Hadrian. The bridge was built on the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to cross the River Tiber and lead to his Mausoleum, now the Castel Sant’Angelo.

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The Seven Hills of Rome

Aventine Hill– Caelian Hill–Capitoline Hill– Esquiline Hill– Palatine Hill– Quirinal Hill– Viminal Hill

The seven hills of Rome once contained walled cities on each hill. There is also evidence that the people of were warring with each other and this could be the reason that Romulus and Remus were chosen as leaders. Tradition has it that the original city of Rome was founded by Romulus on the Palatine Hill

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