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Rome Colosseum in Rome

Rome Hotels, Attractions, and Information

Written by Beth Garrett

Known around the world as the Eternal City, Rome has been the capital of united Italy since 1871. Beginning as far back as 753 BC and continuing into the 1800?s, everyone from the Etruscan kings to numerous popes wanted to call Rome their own. Because the city has had such a large amount of rulers, Rome is steeped in culture and history. Some of the world?s most beautiful and romantic ruins lay in Rome including the impeccably preserved Pantheon which was founded in 27 BC. The body of the famous artist Raphael View of the Piazza Navona in Rome is entombed here. Some of Rome?s most cherished testaments of time are now used for modern day cultural events such as the Baths of Caracalla. Each summer both locals and tourists flock to this area to enjoy opera performances. The saying, ?All roads lead to Rome?, has been around almost as long as the city itself. It remains as true today as it did during the city?s earliest days. Every year hundreds of thousands of world travelers flock to this city that is located on the shores of the Tiber River in order to immerse themselves in the culture, sights and traditions.

Vatican City

After a series of attacks, occupations and invasions during the early centuries, Rome once again rose to power as the result of the popes settling in Avignon. Since the Looking up the Spanish Steps in Rome 14th century the popes and Vatican City have been an integral part of Rome both artistically and spiritually. A trip to Rome is not complete without a visit to Vatican City. Magnificent cathedrals, museums and architecture dot the skyline. St. Peter?s Basilica is one of the most breathtaking structures in all of the world. Originally founded in the 5th century, the basilica was rebuilt during the 15th century. One of the most popular attractions at this historical sight remains the sculpture of Moses that was created by the great artist Michelangelo. Many famous artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael were commissioned by the Catholic church during the 16th century to create beautiful artwork. These paintings, sculptures, statues and stained glass pieces remain some of the most phenomenal artwork to have ever been created. Pieces such Arched Bridge with View of Rome as Michelangelo?s dome, perhaps the most famous of them all, have easily stood the test of time. After climbing the 491 steps to the top of the dome, travelers will be rewarded with an amazing view of the opulently sculpted Vatican Gardens. The gardens are a type of Eden unto themselves. The Sistine Chapel in all of its glory is another must see. The sheer beauty and intricacy of the ceiling continues to leave tourists breathless. Vatican City is absolutely exploding with museums that feature works from the Renaissance period as is the rest of Rome.

Ancient Wonders and Ruins

The Colosseum which opened in 80 AD and the activities that took place there have been immortalized in blockbuster movies such as the Gladiator, but to really understand the sheer magnitude and impressiveness of the structure it must be viewed first Oval Fountain, Villa Desta, Rome hand. Although the Colosseum was partly destroyed by an earthquake, it is still an impressive sight to behold. As the stage where bloody scenes of man vs. man or man vs. beast played out before the Roman people, visitors can almost hear the clash of metal on metal and the roar of the bloodthirsty crowd. At one time the structure sat over 45,000 people. Rome is also infamous for its baroque style fountains, perhaps the most famous being the Fontana di Trevi which offers an absolutely breathtaking sight during the evening. The Piazza Navona is a square with three fountains. The Fountain of the Four Rivers was created by the famed Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. The Piazza di Spagna is the sight of the famous Spanish Steps. The steps lead to the 15th century church of Trinita dei Monti. Bright beautiful flowers spill from the vistas, terraces and straight flights. Rome is also home to numerous temples and arches that pay homage to various gods and heroes of the city many of which are located in the Roman Forum. This is where the cultural heartbeat of Rome once resounded. The Arch of Titus was built to honor Titus? victory over Judea which occurred in 79 AD. Engravings that tell the tale of Jerusalem?s conquest can still be seen inside of the arch. The Temple of Castors is one of the most visited sights in all of Rome. This ancient structure was built in 484 BC and has changed many times over the centuries. The temple was dedicated by Postumius to the demigods who made the fateful announcement of the Romans victory over Tarquins. Days could be spent wandering around and soaking up the history that is associated with these ancient ruins.

Dining, Shopping and Nightlife

In addition to it?s ongoing love affair with the past, Rome is also famous for it?s shopping, dining and nightlife. Boutiques surround the Spanish Steps while the Via Condotti is known for it?s ultra-exclusive and hip shops. Some of the world?s hottest fashions and trends are born in the city that has already given the world so much to hold on to and cherish. Another huge part of Italian life is food, food, food. The city is home to hundreds of restaurants that are sure to please even the most discerning of tastes and the wines will set the palate singing. After dinner, diners can walk off their meal with a romantic stroll through the city. There is no better way to see Rome than with someone you love. Later, travelers should visit one of the city?s many ultra-hip nightclubs and dance the night away under the stars. So as another famous Roman saying goes, ?When in Rome, do as the Romans?, do just that and get ready for one of the most memorable and exciting experiences of a lifetime.

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