It is impossible to avoid the special fascination of Rome, for Rome is different from every other city, even if here and there one has the opportunity to find something that recalls them. History and legend proceed side by side enlaced together. Through the course of the centuries, the city has acquired a particular aspect, which makes possible to a visitor a promenade through twenty-five centuries of history, architecture and art; in a way we can state that Rome is a museum, which has for roof the sky.
Countless tourists come to Rome each year to admire its treasures of art, architecture and history. Rome combines a sense of living history with a bustling, lively capital city. It is endlessly fascinating, utterly compelling and a feast for the eye with fountains, churches, palaces and ancient monuments at every turn. Rome is best explored on foot. Take time to wander through the streets and see everything this magical place has to offer.
The historic heart of Rome is quite compact, bordered by the Tiber river to the west and the central train station, Stazione Termini, to the east. Places like the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica instantly conjure up images of beauty and perfection. The visitor who admires the view from the Pincio terrace or, better, from the Gianicolo Hill, sees the most impressive outlines of ancient monuments, mediaeval towers. Renaissance and Baroque palaces and, above all, the domes, different in shape and dimension, of the numerous churches, all amalgamated by the magic ochre color of Rome.
In fact, Rome was not only the capital of the Roman Empire, but is was, and still is, the center of the Christianity. For the splendor of its churches, the tombs of the martyrs and their relics, Rome, since the early times of our era, has been considered the meeting place for pilgrims and artists, poets and writers scholars and archaeologists, who came from all over the world.
For excellent trattorie and pizzerie head for the Piazza Navona and the San Lorenzo and Testaccio areas. Trastevere and Campo de’Fiori also have excellent, good value restaurants. Pubs, bars and excellent ice cream parlours are to be found citywide. Intending clubbers should head for Testaccio and fashion lovers for the Via Veneto.
The Vatican has been a state since 1920 with the pope as its head. This tiny enclave in the heart of Rome is the administrative and spiritual capital of Roman Catholicism as well as the world’s smallest independent state. The Vatican is the richest country in the world per square foot and has a total population of only 750. The Vatican has an astonishing collection of priceless art treasures and some of the most captivating architecture in the world including St Peter’s Catholic Church designed by Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel is the main chapel in the Vatican Palace. Frescoes adorning the walls include works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Perugino. The ceiling of the Sistine chapel is famous and was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.