Rome: places to see

List of the main attractions of Rome that should not miss a visit itinerary of its historic center.

Travel Guide Rome

Rome, capital of Italy is a tourist destination in the world, its historic center is the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The numerous artistic works that today we can appreciate in this city, come to us through centuries of history. Tradition has it that Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC by Romulus and Remus, while the first settlements date back to the tenth century BC In his vast historical center we can admire many testimonies of ‘ancient Rome, some remains Medieval, extraordinary works of the Renaissance , the Baroque era and other eras.

On the right bank of the Tiber is the Vatican, an independent state under the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Asked, with an area of only 0.44 square kilometers, where known works are located around the world, as St. Peter’s Square the Basilica. Surrounded by the walls Medieval and Renaissance are also the Governor’s Palace and the Vatican Gardens.

Top places in Rome

Within the path of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel is inserted, built between 1475 and 1483 during the pontificate of Sixtus IV, from which it takes its name. Inside the chapel, beautifully decorated with frescoes by Michelangelo, are held the conclave and other official ceremonies.

The Basilica of St. Peter was rebuilt on the old Constantinian basilica dating from the fourth century, built on the site where St. Peter was buried. Work on the construction of the Basilica began in 1506 and designed by Donato Bramante, who have succeeded Raphael Sanzio and Baldassare Peruzzi, but the death of Raphael and the sack of Rome prevented the realization of their architectural solutions.

The work was carried out by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. Subsequently took over the genius of Michelangelo Buonarroti, who began construction of the magnificent dome, then completed by Giacomo della Porta. After 1602 the factory management was entrusted to Carlo Maderno and in 1626 the Basilica was finally consecrated by Pope Urban VIII.

The arrangement of the interior of the Basilica is the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who was also entrusted with the construction of the square outside the Basilica. The four Papal Basilicas, over St. Peter’s are St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and Santa Maria Maggiore, all characterized by a Porta Santa and a Papal Altar.

The oldest and most important is the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which originated in the fourth century, built on land donated by ‘Emperor Constantine to the Bishop of Rome in the year 314, during the pontificate of Pope Miltiades, and was consecrated in ‘The year 324 by Silvestro.

Over the centuries has undergone several destructions and reconstructions up to the current Basilica dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth century, thanks to the work of the architect Domenico Fontana and later architect Francesco Borromini, while the facade, completed in 1735, was made ​​by Alessandro Galilei. Adjacent to the Basilica is the Lateran Palace, which was Papal See for many centuries, and is part of a single complex comprising the Baptistery, the Basilica, the remains of the medieval Papal Palace with the Scala Santa and the Papal Chapel Sancta Sanctorum.

Near the Scala Santa is the Triclinio Leonino and the square in front there is the ‘Lateran Obelisk, the Obelisk largest of Rome. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is located along the Via Ostiense, outside the Aurelian Walls, near the left bank of the Tiber. It was erected on the spot where he was buried the ‘Apostle Paul after suffering martyrdom. The tomb of the Apostle is located under the main altar, and as early as the eighth century is kept by the Benedictine monks of the adjacent Abbey of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The entire complex is air extraterritorial of the Holy See. The Emperor Constantine in the year 324, under the pontificate of Sylvester I, built a basilica on the place where he was a Roman necropolis, continuously used since the first century BC to the third century AD, and sporadically reused in later periods, where the Christian Lucina had a burial area that was used to bury the apostle Paul, a Roman citizen, although Christian.

In the year 386 the Emperor Theodosius, Arcadius and Valentinian II entrusted the work to the Cyriades for the construction of a new and magnificent Basilica. The new Church of the Byzantine structure differed ‘from the previous not only in size, but also to the opposite orientation. The building suffered ‘changes under the pontificate of Gregory the Great in the years 590-604, and under the pontificate of Pope Sixtus V in the years 1585-1590; in 1823 the church was largely destroyed by fire and rebuilt.
Basilica of the late fourth century, survived the transept with the ciborium made by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1285, and some mosaics. He was made a restoration, demolition and reconstruction, and December 10, 1854, Pope Pius IX consecrate ‘the present Basilica. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is also known by the name of Santa Maria della Neve or even as Liberian Basilica, named after the founder Pope Liberius. And ‘situated on the Esquiline Hill, the early Christian architecture was built by Pope Sixtus III between 432 and 440, in honor of Mary, Mother of God, dogma enshrined in the Council of Ephesus in 431, on a previous Church by Pope Liberius, which I trace ‘the perimeter of the building on the snow fall miraculously on the morning of August 5.

Our Lady had already announced, appearing in a dream to Pope Liberius and the patrician John, funder of the work, the desire to be built this church, in a place that would be indicated by a miracle. Every year, August 5 is commemorated the miracle of Snowfall, while moving celebration is sent down from the ceiling a cascade of white petals. Date from the fifth century mosaics with the stories of the Old and New Testament, while the transept of the Middle Ages.

Over the centuries were made various interventions, including the Sforza Chapel, performed and designed by Michelangelo, the external apse by Carlo Rainaldi, and the main facade performed between 1741 and 1743, to designs by Ferdinando Fuga. The Pauline Chapel was painted in 1601 by Pope Paul V. Also in the Basilica has kept the first crib made with statues, commissioned in 1288 by Arnolfo di Cambio Pope Niccolo ‘IV. In the Basilica since the fifth century there was a grotto of the Nativity, where pilgrims from the Holy Land brought as a gift the wood fragments of the Holy Crib.

History of the Colosseum in Rome

The most famous monument of ancient Rome, come down to us is the Colosseum, namely the Flavian Amphitheatre. Its construction dates back to 72 AD, at the time of Vespasian and the inauguration was made by Titus in 80 AD In the Colosseum were done various types of public events, including gladiator shows, fights between animals, killing condemned by animal . It was restored several times due to natural damage caused by fire, lightning or earthquakes, but already the sixth century fell into disuse.

Palace of the Pope in Vatican RomaSuccessivamente was used as a burial area. In 1084 within the Colosseum ‘in possession of the family Frangipane, who transformed’ into a fortified palace. For a long time became a quarry for building materials, particularly in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, the travertine blocks of the structure, were completely removed and used for the construction of other buildings. In 1749 he was declared the Colosseum church consecrated to Christ and to the Christian martyrs. Some years before Pope Benedict XIV we had built the shrines of the Via Crucis. Must wait until the nineteenth century for the first effective interventions maintenance work.

Fori Imperiali Rome

Another valuable evidence of Roman civilization is the archaeological site of the Imperial Forums, an area in which even today are held archaeological investigations. The Via dei Fori Imperiali from Piazza Venezia and leads to the Colosseum. Looking in the direction of the Colosseum, the beginning of the road on the left side, is a part of Trajan’s Market, a beautiful complex intended to commercial and public functions.

On the right side of the road after the Altar of the Fatherland, are the ruins of the Forum: the Forum of Caesar with the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the Forum of Augustus with the Temple of Mars, the Forum of Peace, the Forum of Nerva and the Forum of Trajan. After the archaeological area is interrupted by Via Cavour. Back on the main road we are close to the Roman Forum and the Palatine then.

Palatine Hill Rome

The Palatine is one of the seven hills of Rome. In this area arose the first settlement of Rome. A symbolic place and with a great location, where the Emperor Augustus built his palace, that example was followed by his successors and many noble and wealthy Romans.

Circus Maximus Rome

In the valley between the Palatine and Aventine, in a vast flat area, there are the remains of the Circus Maximus, a large structure of the Roman dedicated to fun, where they carried out shows like the chariot race, the naval battles, for the performance of which was flooded the arena with the waters of the Tiber, and other athletic competitions and animals. The last few races were organized by Totila in 549 AD

Temple Pantheon Rome

The best preserved monument of ancient Rome is the Pantheon, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture. The Temple was built by Agrippa, friend and son of Augustus in 27 BC Under Hadrian was entirely rebuilt and is presumed to have been inaugurated between 125 and 128 AD, during the stay of the Emperor in Rome. In 609 was dedicated to Christian worship and dedicated to St. Mary ad Martyrs by Pope Boniface IV. Today it contains the tombs of Raphael, Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Queen Margherita.

Other places to visit in Rome

Among the main landmarks of Rome there are the beautiful Piazza del Campidoglio, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna with the Spanish Steps. Campidoglio square was designed by Michelangelo in 1536 and was built in 1600. Piazza Navona, retains the size and shape of the stadium of Domitian, of which there are still some remains visible under the houses to the north of the square. E ‘in the Baroque style and the center is occupied by the Fountain of the Rivers by Bernini dating from 1651. Piazza di Spagna, in the Baroque style, is famous for the presence of the imposing staircase of Trinita dei Monti, designed by Francesco De Sanctis and dated 1723- 26, which descends from the Trinità dei Monti.

At the center of the square is the Fountain of Four Rivers of 1629 of P.Bernini, father of Gian Lorenzo. The most famous fountain in Rome’s Trevi Fountain, is in Baroque style and is the work of N.Salvi 1762.