5 must-see places in Rome
Capital of Italy, Rome is actually two cities in one, for contained within the boundaries of the city is the smallest country in the world, the Vatican. This short article is only dealing with Rome and we’ll produce a future article specifically on the Vatican.
We love traveling and one of the best parts is actually getting home and going through the photographs and living the memories for a second time. Make sure you pack a compact travel adapter in your luggage and keep it handy just in case your battery starts fail. There’s nothing worse than losing that glorious shot just as the battery packs up!
Where to start? Well, a little history I guess. The Romans claim the city was established around 753 BC, but there is evidence of much earlier settlements. All this means is that wherever you look, there is something spectacular, beautiful or just plain interesting!
Let’s start with one of the most iconic and popular sites, the Colosseum. It was built between 72 AD and 80 AD and is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, as the emperors of the time were collectively known as the Flavian Dynasty. An oval amphitheater that could hold around 80,000 spectators, it was the scene of gladiator contests, executions, and re-enactments of famous battles. Damaged by earthquakes and stone-robbers, it remains an impressive building and you can still feel the atmosphere when you enter the arena.
Originally built by Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family, the Castel Sant’Angelo has been used as a fortress by the popes and has now been converted into a museum. The castle is built on the north bank of the Tiber River in Park Adriano. Hadrian also built a bridge, the Pont Sant’Angelo across the Tiber leading directly to the mausoleum which makes a very beautiful approach.
Built as a Roman Temple around 113 AD, the Pantheon is a circular building with a large dome and a rectangular portico. The building has been in continuous use, having been converted to a church in the 7th century and dedicated to St Mary and the Martyrs. This is probably why it is in such good condition for a building of its age. On entering the building, you are greeted by the enormous circular room and dome. The opening at the top of the dome has never been covered, and the floor below has been built with an incline so that rainwater runs off and into the drainage system below the floor. It’s an amazing place to visit and should definitely be on your list.
The Trevi Fountain
Arguably the most famous fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain is a beautiful Baroque design by Nicola Salvi. It’s located at the junction of three roads, “tre vie” in Italian, hence the name. The fountain has featured in many films, most notably Roman Holiday and Three Coins in the Fountain. Amazingly, around €3,000 is thrown into the fountain every day, but don’t be tempted to take fish out as it’s illegal! The money is collected and used for charitable causes in the city.
Terme di Caracalla
All over the city are reminders of its history, but the Terme di Caracalla is one of the most important, partly because the remains are well preserved, but also because baths were an important cultural center during the Roman period. The site covers around 62 acres and is used by the Rome Opera during the summer for outside concerts.
Our all too brief visit to Rome has come to an end, but we hope it encourages you to visit this spectacular city in the near future. There is so much more to see and do, just remember to pack your travel adapter for Italy and keep your smartphone and camera charged. Rome will give you memories you’ll want to cherish for years to come.