Rome, Italy: 13 Places Every Traveler Should Visit
Rome, Italy: 13 Places Every Traveler Should Visit (according to Lonely Planet)
13. People-Watching on Piazza di Spagna
The Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square) is the most famous square in Rome. For a very long time it was the meeting point of all foreigners coming to Rome. In the 17th cent it was the residence of the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See.
Viterbo is an ancient city and comune in the Lazio region of central Italy. The historic center of the city is surrounded by medieval walls, still intact, built during the 11th and 12th centuries. Entrance to the walled center of the city is through ancient gates.
11. Rome’s Piazzas
Hanging out on Rome’s showcase piazzas is part and parcel of Roman life. The narrow streets frequently broaden out into small or large squares, which usually have one or more churches and a fountain or two.
10. Roman Forum
If stones could talk: these hallowed ruins were the most powerful seat of government in the world. The Forum is much less crowded than the Colosseum and, from a historical perspective, much more interesting.
9. Capitoline Museums
Built in the 17th century to a design based on an architectural sketch by Michelangelo. Highlights include the ancient Colossus of Constantine statue, The Dying Gaul, a magnificent marble sculpture that copies a bronze Greek original of the 3rd century BC and the Capitoline Venus.
8. Dining al Fresco
Eating out is one of the great pleasures of Rome, especially in summer when it’s warm enough to dine al fresco. There’s nothing like sitting out on a beautiful cobbled lane to dine on fine Italian food and lusty local wine, while all around you the city plays out its daily show.
7. Ostia Antica
Originally a colony of Rome, Ostia grew to become the major port of the city. It was situated on the mouth of the Tiber, the word Ostia meaning mouth. The town’s growth started in the late Republic, but expanded rapidly under the Emperors Claudius and Trajan. The ruins are similar to those in Pompeii, but there are no wealthy houses in Ostia.
6. St Peter’s Basilica
The centre of the Catholic world, this magnificent basilica with its Michelangelo designed dome has an awe-inspiring interior. This place is huge, but everything is in such proportion that the scale escapes you. The overall design by Bramante and Michelangelo is Late Renaissance but the façade designed by Maderno and the interior, which owes much to Bernini, are both Baroque in style.
5. Vatican Museums
One of the greatest art galleries in the world, the museum is most famous for its spiral staircase, the Raphael Rooms and the exquisitely decorated Sistine Chapel famous for Michelangelo’s frescoes. Much of the museum is organized so you follow a one-way route leading to Raphael’s rooms and the Sistine Chapel but there is much more to see as well.
Originally built in 27 BCE, by the Emperor Hadrian, this ancient temple was built as a temple to all the gods of the Roman state but has served as a Christian church since the 7th century. It is the only building from the Graeco-Roman world which has remained substantially intact and in continuous use throughout to the present day, and as it is still a functioning church, silence is requested during your visit.
3. Museo e Galleria Borghese
The Borghese Gallery is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. It is a building that was from the first integral with its gardens, nowadays considered quite separately by tourists as the Villa Borghese gardens. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V.
Rome’s seven hills offer some superb vantage points. One of the best is the Palatino, a gorgeous green expanse of evocative ruins, towering pine trees and sweeping views that rises above the Roman Forum. This is where it all began, where Romulus supposedly killed Remus and founded the city in 753 BC, and where the ancient Roman emperors lived in unimaginable luxury.
Known properly as the Flavian Amphitheatre, this most famous of Roman landmarks takes its name from the giant statue of the emperor Nero that once stood near this location. Originally capable of seating some 50,000 spectators for animal fights and gladiatorial combats, the amphitheatre was a project started by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 and completed by his son Domitian sometime in the 80s.