The Best of Italy’s Ancient Capital: Rome

Colosseum

colosseum interiorConstructed in 80 AD, the most iconic, beautifully arched amphitheater has marked Rome as one of the most precious historic marvels of the ancient world.

A representation of both ancient and modern Roman culture, this site is located at the very heart of the city’s historic center, with other sites such as the Piazza Venezia, the Roman Forum and the Trevi Fountain encompassing the surrounding area.

An open model with a free-standing structure, this important cultural symbol was a functioning amphitheater for around four centuries, further marking itself as the basis of Roman civilization.

Used for gladiatorial shows along with showcasing exotic animals to the general public, the Colosseum in modern times now contains a museum dedicated to the Roman god of love, Eros. Still maintaining the passageways that previously were used to transport wild animals, even today the Colosseum symbolizes the fundamental social center in Roman culture. If you are planning a visit to this site, be sure to check out the website here to book tickets in advance during the summer or fall peak seasons.

Piazza Navona
Representing Baroque architectural styles, this elliptical shaped piazza is a well known landmark for tourists from all over the world due to its prominence in history as an important social sphere for Romans.

Another spot for Romans to watch games in a competition geared arena, this piazza was beautifully transformed into a local food market for locals to gather, socialize and often times visit various religious buildings within the enclosed space.

piazza navona

Some important sites in the elliptical shaped piazza are the Fountain of the Four Rivers created by Bernini himself, the church of Sant’Agnese and two other stunning fountains sculpted by Giacomo della Porta which are located at the south side.

If you happen to visit the piazza during the holidays, be sure to check out the quaint Christmas market which has been an annual tradition since the 19th century. Also, the various gelato shops that grace each side of the piazza include the most delicious flavors ranging from “nocciola” (hazelnut) to even the more fruitier “fragola” (strawberry).

Spanish Steps
First introduced to the public by Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, the Spanish Steps first made an impression to American audiences in an elegant, black and white film depicting the classic, sophisticated aesthetic appeal of these world-known stairs. Even after nearly four-hundred and fifty years of inception, the Spanish Steps is still a very popular tourist attraction due to its early Baroque architectural birth in the mid 17th century.

 

trevi fountain at night

Trevi Fountain
Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi, the Trevi Fountain or most commonly titled “La Fontana di Trevi,” represents the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. The story behind one of the most famous fountains in the world revolves around a legendary young Roman girl who graciously supplied water to some soldiers.

As a result of this kind act, technicians were able to locate a water source to supply Rome’s center, in addition to a vast population within the Empire’s capital. Often a bustling, noisy site during the day, a great way to explore this area is to revisit at dusk to experience the fountain’s soft light, creating an incredibly memorable vision in your mind.

 

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