Top sights in Rome
Best Sights in Rome
Colosseo (Coliseum)- Probably Rome’s most recognizable sight, its official name is the Amphiteatrium Flavium, named for the emperor who started the construction, completed in A.D. 80. The name Colosseo came from the colossal statue of Nero that once stood just outside.
The venue held up to 50,000 spectators at once for gladiator fights, battles with wild animals, and (though some historians dispute it) naval battles when the arena was flooded . Overhead was a canvas cover raised like sails. Below, what was once a wooden floor covered with sand, is a labyrinth of tunnels and elevator shafts used to house the slaves, animals and other participants.
Eventually the Coliseum was abandoned, fell into disrepair and was used as a marble quarry for some of the Christian monuments of Rome.
Next to the Coliseum is the Arch of Constantine, built in 315 to honor the emperor’s victory over the pagan Maxentius.
Romano (Roman Forum)-
Detailed maps of the forum are often confusing and the sights not as exciting as the maps portray. An interesting way to see the forum is on one of the free guided tours that you will see advertised. These tours are offered by companies hoping that you will take later paid tours in other parts of Rome. A small tip to your free guide, often young students, is appropriate if you thought they did a good job.
(Palatine Hill) -
-The Palatine is another forum on the hill above the Roman Forum. This area is believed to be the original foundation of Rome including the first piazza, dating back to the 8th century B.C. The highlight is the huge palace that was the home to emperors for centuries and the view of the Circus Maximus.
Maria in Cosmedin-
(Capital Hill) -
-This area was the political and religious center of ancient Rome and today is the seat of the local government. Michelangelo designed the present square containing an equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius (a copy, the original is in the museum). When he designed the square and some of the buildings in it, he had them face away from the Roman Forum. A small detail symbolizing Rome’s movement from the ancient to the modern during the Renaissance.
Hill Museums -
-This museum is actually made up of two buildings (Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo) that are connected by an underground tunnel. The museums are a collection of classical busts and Renaissance paintings.
More interesting than the inside of the museums is the free artwork you can view in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori. Here you can see the remains (head, hand and foot) of a 40 foot statue of Constantine that once stood in the Forum. Also in the courtyard is the 5th century bronze statue Lupa Capitolina, the she wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. What could be better than a statue that symbolizes that beginning of Rome and body parts larger than you are, that were once in the Forum?
Emmanuel Monument -
-This monument was built to honor Italy’s first king who united the city states into the country of Italy. Many Romans do not like the look of the monument and refer to it as the “birthday cake,” the “typewriter” or “dentures.” The monument is made of white marble and is very large in proportion to the other monuments in Rome. On the monument is the tomb of the unknown soldier and the eternal flame. The climb to the top is a workout, but you can enjoy an excellent view. The monument is heavily guarded and any form of horseplay is not tolerated. You may even be asked not to drink from your water bottle on a scorching summer day.
-This is Rome’s best preserved monument of antiquity, built in 27 B.C.. Built as a temple to the gods (Greek pan-theon, means all gods), this building was saved from destruction by being turned into a Christian church.
The building is exactly 142 feet tall and 142 feet wide. The front portico is supported by huge monolithic granite columns that were brought from Egypt, all but three of them are originals. The bronze doors weigh 20 tons each. The walls of the building get thinner as they reach the top and the building materials used get lighter in weight. The stone dome is made of volcanic rock. The dome has an 18 foot hole (oculus) that is the only source of light (and rain) inside.
Inside are several tombs including the painter Raphael and two of the kings of Italy.
this dome was built the engineering “know how” for building domes was lost
for hundreds of years. There was not another dome of this size built until
the Duomo in Florence, during the Renaissance.
Outside the Piazza della Rotunda is a very popular spot, especially in the evening when the Pantheon is flooded with lights.
Santa Maria della Concezione-
Borghese (Villa Borghese)-
are required to visit this museum and can be made at www.ticketeria.it
Make your reservations in advance. Only 360 people are allowed into the
museum at one time, and only at 2 hour intervals.
Rome deserves a minimum stay of 3 nights. But we realize that many people visit Rome as a day trip from cruise ships, so we offer Private Tours from Civitavecchia to make the best of limited time.
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