Rome is a beautiful city. Capital of Italy and the fashion world, it is a truly eclectic city. With so much to see and do we have selected 5 things that we feel you should see when you visit this historic city.
This magnificent Baroque fountain is 85 ft(25.9 metres) high and 65 ft (19.8 metres) wide! It was built between 1732 and 1736 by Nicola Salvi and its name comes from the fact that it is at the meeting point of three roads.The theme of the fountain is the Taming of the Waters. There are statues of Neptune in a chariot in the shape of a shell with two horses – one calm, one irate depicting the moods of the sea. On either side of Neptune are statues representing Abundance and Health with the water at the bottom being the sea.
As its name suggests this building is huge – 615 ft(189 metres) long, 510 ft (156 metres) wide and 157 ft (48 metres) high! It has 80 entrances and holds 50,000 spectators! Construction of this impressive stadium was started in 70 AD and took 10 years to complete. It was used for gladiatoral games, animal hunts and as a theatre. It was severely damage by an earthquake in 1349 when the outer south side collapsed. A major restoration was carried out between 1992 and 2000.
The Sistine Chapel
Also known as the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. It is a venerable piece of architecture and it is decorated by such artists as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Botticelli. Michelangelo was not happy about being commissioned to pander to Pope Julius II’s need for grandeur but his work on the ceiling is considered to be one of his finest works. The chapel is at the end of the Vatican Museums which contain Egyptian artefacts, Greek ceramics, modern religious artworks, and a history of the Vatican.
An ancient temple which dates back to 125AD the Pantheon is spectactular. It was originally dedicated to all the gods (hence the name) and later to Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs when it became a church. The dome is amazing. Made of concrete it weighs 4,535 metric tons and is 21ft thick! The front portico has three rows of giant Corinthian columns – eight in the front row and 4 in each of the two behind. It is one of the best preserved of all the Roman building. Several Italian kings are buried here as is the artist Raphael.
Piazza di Spagna
The Spanish Steps between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita dei Monti are the longest and widest stairway in Europe. There are 138 steps and they were built in 1725 to link the Vatican with the Bourbon Spanish Embassy. In the Piazza di Spagna is the Fountain of the Old Boat which was built in 1629. As the name suggests its shape is that of a half sunken ship chosen due to the Tiber often overflowing leaving a boat stranded in the square on one occasion! You will also find here the home of the poet John Keats who died in 1821 which is now a museum dedicated to him and his work.
Have you been to Rome? What were your favourite places to visit?