The capital city of Italy, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city that was once held as the residence of the Roman emperors, today stands with its memoirs. A cultural buffs land, Rome has the most astonishing and mesmerizing church, fountains, museums and amphitheatres. Most of the Roma monuments have been subjected to vandalism either through a natural phenomenon or by men of war. The Romans took great pleasure in the source of entertainment, even though it led to a lot of bloodshed and deaths. Hence, the biggest amphitheatre in the world can also be paid a visit too. Not just for its rich history, Rome should be visited for a vibrant time too. Many street artists can be seen painting the famous or dancing to the beats of music buzzing in the background. After touring the architecturally stunning pieces, don’t forget to sip on a pleasurable cup of coffee with the best snacks to complete your tour of Rome.
Years ago when there wasn’t any Netflix or amazon prime, the only source of entertainment that the Romans used to devour was through paying visits to the Colosseum. The Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheatre one of the biggest amphitheatres of the then era that was known to host the most recognized years of the gladiator period. Battles involved gladiators to fight with animals was a crowd favourite which also caused a lot of bloodsheds too. In Ad 72 Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty initiated the construction of the colosseum at the Palatine Hill that first laid the concrete rocks of Nero’s Golden House. The name Colossal was derived by the statue of emperor Nero that was located just near the arena. After the death of emperor Vespasian, the construction of the colosseum was taken forward by his son who was also his successor Titus. The amphitheatre had a capacity of over 65,000 spectators. In 64 AD, the amphitheatre was subjected to a devastating fire. The fire lasted for six whole days and before it could be reignited, the fire continued for three more days. From being a house of entertainment, the amphitheatre was later used as a place to conduct workshops, a quarry, religious practices, and a shrine for Christians. Sadly, the colosseum that stands today is a result of damage by both man and nature. Despite that, the Colosseum is one of the seven wonders of the world. With over 7.4 million visitors annually, the colosseum is must-visit of Rome.
The Roman Forum or the Forum Romanum was initially built for the citizens of Rome as a place where they could express their religious views, the culprit could be prosecuted, other social and political affairs could be conducted. Sooner it became one of the most celebrated places to meet and conduct the daily affairs which in today’s era makes itself part of the history. It is said that the people of Rome started occupying this space for the said occasion from 500 BC. The forum either featured monuments, shrines, temples, memorials within its walls or was surrounded by it. Founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus the forum was regarded as the heart of the city. Over, the years the Roman Forum was subjected to re-construction. The forum that stands today depicts architecture and carvings inspired from various centuries. It mostly exhibits pieces of Greek historians. But, artisans also choose to spread their hard work and art through their inspirations. Through centuries of relevancy, the forum faced destruction and saw its fall in 410 AD. The place that was known to conduct events and meetings of high importance was sadly reduced to pasture land for animals. But, thankfully in 1803 archaeologist Carlo Fea led the way of restoration. It took over a hundred years and at present still continues to restore this archaeologically highly significant monument. Visitors will be able to see the massiveness and brilliance with which the Roman forum was created.
In the words of the famous Italian sculptor Michelangelo, the Pantheon looks more like the work of angels, not humans. The pantheon in Greek translates to the ‘honour all gods’. It was built by Emperor Hadrian in 120AD with the artistic capabilities of the famous Greek architect, Apollodorus of Damascus. The Greek Architect was executed by the emperor himself after an argument of the architecture. Even today many hearsays surround the mighty and robust Pantheon. It is said that the Pantheon was earlier built as a Roman temple but, was later converted into a church. It is also believed that it could have also been constructed to provide a place to the emperors who wanted to use it as a place where they could make public appearances that would have equalled to that of the Roman pantheon and their predecessors. According to people, the pantheon’s interiors once had the sculptures of Mars, Venus and Julius Caesar. Despite many famous known monuments of Rome being subjected to demolition over centuries, the Pantheon as a lone warrior till today is intact. Though the Parthenon did face fire, raids and lightning which led it to be rebuilt over the years and hence, preserving the title of one of the best-preserved monuments of the world.
The Trevi fountain has been inspired by the illustrative and lavish architecture, painting, sculpture and art that spread around the lanes of Europe in the seventeenth century. Designed by the famous Italian architects, Nicola Salvi, Giuseppe Pannini and more the Trevi fountain is one the most famous and stunning fountains in the world. It features the statue of Oceanus (the son of Uranus or Heaven and Gaea or the Earth) who stands on top of a chariot that is being pulled by the sea horses, next to the Triton (son of the sea god). It is approximately eighty 85 feet tall and 160 feet wide that spills out over 2,824,800 cubic feet of water every day. But, attaining to preserving of natural resources, the water of the fountain is recycled. Hence, pertaining to that reason you wouldn’t want to drink its water. The fountain has been known to provide water for the Roman baths in the nineteenth B.C. Today, its water is also considered auspicious as it is said that if you throw a coin inside the fountain your return to the city is guaranteed. This tradition has been ongoing since the time ancient roman existed. They started this aged custom to preach to the gods in the sky would make their return to their homes occur without any hindrance. At the end of every day, these drenched coins are collected and given to a charity house known as Caritas. The Trevi Fountain has been featured in movies too like the Roman Holiday, Three Coins in the Fountain and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
St. Peter’s Basilica
The St. Peter’s Basilica or Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican city is the largest and the holiest church in the world. With an approximate capacity of around twenty thousand people, the Basilica is 624 feet long and the central nave is 150 feet tall. The church was built in 300 AD where the remains of St. Peter, one of the founders of the Catholic Church were buried. The efforts to revise the St. Peter’s Basilica were revived in 1452 by Pope Nicholas V. Despite appointing a well-known architect, Bernardo Rosselino the process to upgrade the church affected no noblemen. Years after the death of Pope Nicholas V, finally in 1506 the architecture and creation of the church went from one talented hand to the other. Many architectures came and left. But, kept adding a significant and monumental touch to the church. That is why the St. Peter’s Basilica is what it is visible to every native and visitor. The most spectacular part of the St. Peter’s Basilica is its dome is 447 feet tall and has been collectively designed and built by Michelangelo, Giacomo Della Porta and Carlo Maderno. Tourists can spot stunning paintings and sculptures that have been preserved over the centuries.
One of the most spectacular and spellbinding museums to be ever created by mankind is the Vatican museum in the Vatican city. In the sixteenth century, the museum was discovered by the great Pope Julius II. Over the years, the museum is responsible for conserving the remarkable artefacts and sculptures created by noble roman artisans. The museum has over seventy thousand artworks but only showcases twenty thousand to the public. The collections inside the museum age as far as the era of the pope. Hence, the museum exhibits his area of residence too. The pope ordered Fra Angelico, a popular artist to decorate the private chapel ( famously known as Niccoline Chapel) of his apartment with frescoes dedicated to St Stephen and St Lawrence. The chapel depicts various scenes from the saints’ lives that have been extracted from the Acts of the Apostles, making it the perfect amalgamation of religion and humanity. Similarly, over the years the artefacts and sculptures of the museum feature inside have been amassed by popes.
Mausoleum of Hadrian
The Mausoleum of Hadrian or the Castel Sant’Angelo is a mammoth building that was once regarded as the tallest buildings in Rome. The castle stands on the right bank of the Tiber River, just a little distance away from Vatican city. The monument is circularly shaped that is bordered by a square concrete area. The square area is delicately bordered by a barbican. The circle part of the monument contains courtyards, chapels, halls, apartments and prison cells. It was initially built as a memorial for the dead family members of the Royal Emperor Hadrian. But, was soon used by the popes of Italy as a castle and later as a museum. The construction of the mausoleum was begun in 135 and after heaps of hard work was completed in 139. Visitors will be taken around the castle through a flight of stairs that go high up to the fifth floor. The interiors have a series of rooms inside that act as the Papal’s residence that have been decorated overall with frescoes. The castle also restores the ashes of the historians that were also criminated at this location. The museum is closed every Monday.
The Piazza Navona is a public plaza of Rome that acts as an open stadium. Its si said that the plaza was the area where the ancient Romans used to visit to watch competitive sports. The Piazza was earlier known as the ‘Circus Agonalis’ which translates into the competition arena. It could hold a capacity of around 20,000 people. The place is worldly known for its three fountains that have been designed during the papacy of Gregory XIII. The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi sits in the centre of the plaza. It is an impressive four structure fountain that was built in 1651 by Bernini. The four structures depict the Nile, Danube, the Ganges and Rio de la Plata which are known to be the most important rivers of Europe. A tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument that measures to 52 feet features in the middle of the four stunning structures. Visitors are going to be entertained while strolling this arena as it has a wonderful range of restaurants serving the best meals. The atmosphere is lively and buzzing with street artists either singing or giving a dance performance that is quick to gather a crowd around.
Café Greco is a forty-year-old coffee bar that is famous for being the oldest in the city. The café has been visited by the who’s who of the city. Political and culturally rich people would meet here to discuss the ongoings. Audrey Hepburn to Princess Diana, the café has welcomed every known and unknown. Ancient art lits the walls of the café that is bound to leave amusement. Read, write or chat away inside this ancient café.
Bar del Cappuccino
True to its namesake, the Bar del Cappuccino offers the best cappuccinos in the city. The place is ground with utmost sincerity making it an unforgettable experience for the visitor. Students or people on a budget trip to Rome should surely visit this café as it grants coffee and delicious puff pastries at a cheap cost. While leaving the café, don’t forget to pay your thanks to the owner Luigi Santoro who is responsible for making these delicious cappuccinos.
La Casa Del Caffe Tazza D’Oro
A busy café with old walls, fittings and furniture, the La Casa Del Caffe Tazza D’Oro is one of the best places to sip on a hot cup of coffee. Inaugurated in 1946, the café is located near the former famous Roman temple, the Pantheon. This fancy eatery is famous for roasting its coffee that it also ships to other countries and states. Try the cappuccino, espresso or the sinful granita al caffè with extra whipped cream.
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