Rome is a holy city. These days there are a lot of people who can afford to travel abroad during their holidays or even spare time in order to explore the World, meet new people and even learn about the history of a very specific place and maybe even feel as they experienced history first hand. One of the most visited cities in the World and certainly one of the most interesting has to be Rome which also happens to be the capital city of Italy.
The city is right in the middle of Italy and a unique feature is that inside the city boundaries there is the walled city of Vatican which is the smallest recognized independent state in the World.
Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, Plato, and Cicero, just to name a few, all lived in pagan societies. Some of the greatest political and military leaders of all time, such as Alexander the Great, Pericles of Athens, Hannibal of Carthage, and Julius Caesar of Rome, were all pagans, or else living in a pagan society.– via Brendan Myers
Rome could not be imagined without the remarkable counterpoint of its squares and fountains. Enclosed in the fabric of the renaissance and baroque districts or designed as a spectacular backdrop for the most important roads, the squares of Rome scatter the city with numerous points of historical, architectural, and tourist interest.
And there is not a square in Rome without a fountain. Water flows plentifully in the subsoil and gushes forth from the hundreds of small and large fountains, each with its own artistic value and history.
However, while the city of the Vatican is really interesting, what is the best place to visit in Rome? Well, this highly depends on where you want to go and what you want to see. While in some parts of the World there are only a handful of attractions, there are hundreds of interesting sites, buildings and even streets to check out in Rome and each of them has a really interesting story.
Vatican – a small city in Rome
Let’s start with the Vatican City and one of the most impressive collections of sculptures in the World which are housed inside the Vatican Museums. Just like the name suggests, these can be found inside the city of the Vatican and while the museums are quite small, there are more than 5 million people visiting them each year which makes these the 5th most visited museums in the World.
On display, there is an immense collection of statues and classical sculptures that have been gathered throughout the centuries by the Popes in order to show history first hand to everyone interested in it.
Colosseum – the biggest monument in the world
Now, while the Vatican is great and is probably the main reason to go to Italy for many, some people could argue that the best place to visit in Rome is the Colosseum which actually is the iconic symbol of Rome that pretty much everybody knows. The construction of this massive building started back in 72 AD and it was completed eight years later. The building was able to hold as much as 80,000 people after its modifications which were made a few years after it was originally built.
These people were able to watch gladiator battles which are now known by millions of people thanks to the massive media coverage and the live displays during certain times of the year when people reenact the historic battles for the public’s entertainment, just like it was done back in the first century.
While throughout the years the Colosseum was vandalized by stone robbers and the many earthquakes in the region did take their toll, the building still stands thanks to the great engineering did by the Romans and thanks to the fact that it remains one of the most interesting sites to visit around the World.
The result of 3000 years of ad hoc urban development, Rome’s cityscape is an exhilarating spectacle. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon recall Rome’s time as the fearsome hub of the Roman Empire, the caput Mundi (capital of the world), while catacombs and clandestine churches hark back to the early days of Christianity.
Lording it over the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica is the greatest of the city’s monumental basilicas, a towering masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and elaborate churches add a baroque flourish to the city’s historic streets.
Pantheon – an ancient temple
Another very impressive place to visit in Rome is the Pantheon which many people say that it is the best place to visit in Rome because it is the gateway to god’s heavens. This is not really true but the building’s name likely comes from the fact that around it there are quite a few god’s statues and on top of that, it does resemble a dome which may be the mythical heaven’s dome where all the gods reside.
During the building’s life, there have been quite a few modifications to it and one of the best known is the tomb of Raphael which was one of the painters that helped design some of the additions of the Pantheon during the Renaissance-period.
So, now that we have read about three of the most amazing places in the World and not just in Italy, which one is the best place to visit in Rome? Well, if we had to take a pick we would suggest first visit the Vatican City because even though it is not really in Rome, being an independent state, it is one of the most interesting places to visit in the World.
Here you will be able to visit the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums as well as all the other churches and libraries which do give people a really good sense of the history of the first millennium.
From food trucks to hot dog stands to county fair favorites, ‘street food’ has enjoyed a rich and storied history in American cuisine. However, street food has been around for thousands of years. In fact, street food is believed to have originated as far back as Ancient Rome.– via Homaro Cantu
Rome contains an exceptional artistic patrimony, glorious testimony to its great past. Besides the imposing rests of its magnificent history throughout the period of the Roman Empire, Renaissance artists such as Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo were at work here under the papal patronage, along with Masolino in San Clemente, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Perugino, Luca Signorelli.
The works of the architects Borromini and Bernini, masters of the Baroque, left an indelible and representative sign to the city, embellished by a great number of palaces, villas, and fountains. Many works of art by the greatest artists of Italy and the world are gathered in the famous museums of the city and of the Vatican.
Rome is the most important bibliographical centre of Italy. Its numerous libraries, such as the Biblioteca dell’Accademia dei Lincei, the Biblioteca Angelica, the Biblioteca Casanatense, the Biblioteca musicale di San Cecilia, and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II, gather the richest collection of books of all Italy.
Among the state Universities, the most important is the Sapienza, along with the University of Tor Vergata and the III University. Among the private ones are the Cattolica, the Libera Università degli studi sociali (LUISS), and the pontifical universities.
In Rome there are various prestigious artistic academies, such as the Accademia of San Cecilia, the Accademia nazionale di arte drammatica, the Instituto centrale del restauro, besides many important cultural institutes -such as the Accademia dei Lincei, the Accademia di San Luca, the CNR, the Istituto per gli studi sul Medio e Estremo Oriente- and many other international academies.
Rome is the Italian center of dramatic arts and cinema. The famous cinecittà, the “Italian Hollywood”, is the prestigious set of many glorious national and international movies.
Living the Life
A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. It’s about relaxing into the city’s Mediterranean rhythms and idling around the picturesque streets. Whiling away hours at streetside cafes and people-watching on pretty piazzas are an integral part of the Roman experience. The tempo rises as the heat of the day fades into the evening cool and the fashionably dressed aperitivo (aperitif) crowd descends on the city’s bars and cafes.
Restaurants and trattorias hum with activity and cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to cocktail bars and late-night clubs.