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Rome has a whole lot to recommend itself: beautiful buildings, a warm climate, incredible food, and thousands of years of history to explore. In fact, there are so many things to occupy your time in Rome on an Italy vacation , you may have difficulty paring down your list to the essentials. Completed in 80 A. Historically, it was primarily used as an entertainment venue where Roman citizens would watch gladiators fight to the death or individuals face off against dangerous predators like rhinos or tigers.
The Colosseum was the largest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire and remains one of the most impressive buildings ever constructed. To skip it on a tour of Italy would be madness. The Roman Forum was once the religious and political heart of the empire.
You can stroll through Roman arches and see the ruins of ancient temples, shrines, and government buildings. It forces you to understand how even the mightiest of empires crumble. The Pantheon is one of the great architectural achievements of the ancient world. Located in the northwest corner of Pigna, the Pantheon was completed and dedicated during the early years of the 2nd century A.
Aside from the beauty of its Corinthian columns and the sheer size of its dome — which remains the largest unsupported dome in the world — the Pantheon is remarkable for its state of preservation. Most Roman temples were sacked by barbarians during the Fall of the Roman Empire , and others were destroyed by Christian rulers in the following centuries. Tour the Pantheon, while on your Italy vacation in Rome, to illuminate some of these mysteries and simply admire what a marvel this building is.
Starting in the 2nd century A. As burying bodies in the ground was outlawed within the city walls, the Christians and Jews had to dig their crypts on the outskirts. The Christian Catacombs are the earliest known sites to be excavated. In addition to being burial sites for the poverty-stricken Christians at the time, they were places of worship for the persecuted church. As well, the Christians began to use the catacombs to spread Christian symbols and religious art literally and figuratively underground, as Christianity was persecuted in the Roman Empire until the time of Constantine the Great.
You can find guides on site, as tours are included in your admission fees, or you can arrange for a tour with an external company. When you visit, take a moment to appreciate Piazza San Pietro, or St. Take a tour of St. The bones of St. After admiring St. A trip to the Vatican Museums culminates in a visit to the Sistine Chapel, where you silently admire the roof and wall frescoes of Michelangelo, including The Last Judgment.
The Vatican is the most essential museum to visit on an Italy vacation in Rome, but there are others that should occupy some of your time, including the Galleria Borghese. Outside the museum, you can also explore the manicured gardens, which have a few temples and neoclassical features dotted throughout. Whether it actually brings you good fortune is up for debate, but a visit to the Trevi Fountain and the prerequisite coin toss is an essential part of exploring Rome on your Italy vacation.
Of course, you also should toss a euro into the waters to take part in a tradition that has lasted well over half a century. Tossing a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand is meant to ensure you return to Rome in the future. According to the s Hollywood romance, Three Coins in the Fountain , tossing two subsequent coins will also guarantee you find new romance and eventually marriage.
The great poet, John Keats , lived and died in the building located at the base of the staircase on the south side, which now houses a museum exploring Romantic poetry. There are many gorgeous parts of the city, but few are as overwhelmingly Roman as Trastevere, where century-old mansions and fading one-bedroom homes sit side by side in a maze of cobblestoned streets.
Located to the south of Vatican City on the west bank of the Tiber River, Trastevere has long been home to some of the most beautiful buildings in Rome. Wander the cobblestoned streets of Trastevere to see the restored Roman mansions and gorgeous churches that line the area. But who are we kidding? When in Rome, you should take every advantage possible to eat the incredible Italian food to be found in the city. Developed within the city, this pasta dish consists of egg yolk, a grated hard cheese like Pecorino Romano or parmesan, pancetta or bacon , and generous amounts of freshly-ground black pepper coated over spaghetti noodles although other types of long, thin noodles are sometimes used.
The dish is simple, creamy, and absolutely delicious. Carciofi alla giudia, or Roman-Jewish artichokes, are artichokes that are blanched in lemon water and then deep fried in olive oil. Carciofi all Romana, or Roman artichokes, forgo the deep-frying, instead being braised in white wine, water, and oil. Both styles are utterly Roman and quite the dinner treat. Organize your trip to Rome around such essential highlights and fill in the rest of your days with spontaneous discoveries of what the Eternal City has to offer.
For more Italy vacation travel ideas, please visit us at www. Globetrotting Editor - You might say that Aren was destined to become a Globetrotter after his family took him to Germany two times before he was four. An independent writer, director, and film critic, Aren has travelled across Asia, Europe, and South America. Search for:. Roman Forum at night Admire the beauty of the Pantheon The Pantheon is one of the great architectural achievements of the ancient world.
Villa Borghese Galleria Borghese Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain Whether it actually brings you good fortune is up for debate, but a visit to the Trevi Fountain and the prerequisite coin toss is an essential part of exploring Rome on your Italy vacation. The Spanish Steps Wander around Trastevere There are many gorgeous parts of the city, but few are as overwhelmingly Roman as Trastevere, where century-old mansions and fading one-bedroom homes sit side by side in a maze of cobblestoned streets.
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