An Introduction to Rome

Stedentrip-Rome-The-Eternal-City-in-ItalyCalled the Eternal City, Rome is one of the world’s richest cities in history and art and one of Europe’s great cultural, religious, and intellectual centers. The capital city of Italy and the seat of the Pope, Rome has a phenomenal concentration of legends and monuments.

The Vatican, the tiny enclave in the heart of Rome, is the richest country in the world, with an astonishing collection of priceless art treasures. There’s St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Library to marvel at.

Ancient marble columns and ruins rising beside modern apartments, noisy boulevards, and luxurious villas characterize the modern city of Rome. The Colosseum is the most imposing of Roman antiquities and is one of the principal monuments of Roman architecture. All around this vicinity is the Palatino and Forum, where the seat of power of the Roman empire was based and which today is a treasure chest of historic ruins.

The Piazza Venezia borders the huge monument to King Victor Emmanuel II and the Palazzo Venezia, a Renaissance palace from the balcony of which Mussolini used to address the crowds. The Pantheon is one of the world’s most sublime architectural creations, a perfectly proportioned floating dome resting on an elegant drum of columns and pediments.

The Baths of Caracalla are the best-preserved imperial baths in the city. Covering 10 hectares, the baths could hold up to 1,600 people and featured shops, gardens, libraries and gym facilities.

Ostia Antica, situated at the mouth of the Tiber River, has many ruins providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the empire’s elite, contrasting with the more up-market ruins at Pompei. The hilltop resort town of Tivoli has been a popular summer playground for the rich and famous since ancient times, with the Villa Adriana, Emperor Hadrian’s summer hideaway. Several important Etruscan archaeological sites filled with tombs also lie within easy reach of Rome.