Rome travel guide

romeRome, also known as "Roma caput mundi" and "cradle of civilization" is a city with many faces. Rome is Italy's political capital but also the centre of Christianity which houses within its territory the Vatican city-state. Seat of the Pope, Rome is the result of many urban and architectural interventions that are layered over the millennia. Imperial Rome is certainly the best-known roman period. The glories of antiquity live again across the capital: the Domus Aurea, the Colosseum, the Imperial Forum, the Circus Maximus and the Pantheon.

The city looks like a big construction site: the churches proliferate (like San Pietro in Montorio and Santa Maria della Pace), others are renovated and decorated like Santa Maria in Aracoeli.

Princely palaces are built and adorned, including the Palazzo della Cancelleria, Palazzo Farnese, Villa Farnesina and some of the most important squares such as the Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo.

The Baroque Rome is, instead, dominated by architects such as Bernini and Borromini. Symbols of the time are the Palazzo del Quirinale, the current residence of the President of the Republic, Piazza Navona and and Palazzo Spada. Belonging to this period is the undisputed champion genius of Caravaggio that pays homage to the capital with several works.

Examples of Baroque and Neoclassicism are Piazza del Popoloand the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (known as Vittoriano), whose construction only ended in 1911, on the occasion of the Universal Exposition.

The first ten years of the ‘900 are famous for the creation of two very distinctive areas of Rome: the Coppedè Quarter with the beautiful Villino delle Fate and the EUR with the famous rationalist buildings. The Art Nouveau period is attested in some buildings in Ostia, known among other things for the remains of the ancient port.

Then there is the Christian Rome, the Vatican, the patriarchal basilicas of San Giovanni in Laterano, San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Santa Maria Maggiore and the Catacombs. Rome is a capital rich in monuments but also a living city that offers its visitors a multitude of cultural events and exhibitions that fill the many museums with works of art from the antiquity to the present day: Galleria Borghese, Galleria Doria Pamphili, the Capitoline Museums, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Palazzo Barberini, the Macro, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Scuderie del Quirinale, Chiostro del Bramante, Villa Giulia, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo and Trajan’s Markets.

Its wide cultural offer is also reflected in the theatres: the Opera House with the summer season that is transferred to the Caracalla Baths, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with its famous orchestra, the Brancaccio and Sistina Theatre, mostly used for the musicals, the very central Argentina Theatre and Eliseo Theatre and the Villa Borghese’s Globe Theatre. In short, Rome is a city very rich in history and art. Each of its streets, squares, corners brings a charm and an inestimable value, that leaves you breathless even if you are just passing by.

Useful links

Rome on Wikipedia