Like many other historical metropoli, the City of Rome is a
glorious combination of ancient monuments and modern, bustling life.
Visitors will find far too much to do, no matter what their tastes.
For those who love fine art, Rome is second in Italy perhaps only to Florence home of Michaelangelo Buonaratti,
famed for La Pieta,
and the ceiling of the
Chapel. Like Florence, that isn't only because of its
numerous museums such as the
Museums or the Gallery
Borghese. The city itself is an enormous outdoor sculpture
garden and architectural treasure trove.
The Trevi Fountain
is the most famous of Rome's many outdoor fountains festooned with
sea-themed sculptures, but it is far from the only one. The Fountain of the Moor,
and a dozen others can all proudly compete with that magnificent
For tourists whose interests lie in seeing archaeological
sites - and that is a very large percentage of travelers - Rome offers
some of the most interesting and educational examples in the world. The
Aurea - the Golden
House of Nero - has now been under restoration for decades.
It offers a stellar view into the life of this lover of all things
Greek. Its Golden and ivory covered walls, ancient mosaics and
paintings and a reconstructed Octagon Room set atop a beautiful garden
all help convey what life would have been like for the Emperor and his
the Roman one, not the one in Athens, is yet another stellar structure.
Still in nearly new condition after almost two thousand years, its
engineering innovations continue to astound knowledgeable visitors
today. The dome, which constructed by anyone else would long ago have
collapsed under its own weight, is only one of the amazing features of
this architectural marvel.
is equally an architectural delight, even though it can't boast of such
pristine preservation. After more than three hundred years of
restoration work, however, it can be seen much as it was in its heyday.
Numerous temples, arches and other structures show the Roman genius for
combining the best art with the finest engineering. Elements of the
design were not surpassed for more than a thousand years.
No visit to Rome would be at all complete without a tour of that most
famous of ancient structures, the
Though severely decayed, enough remains that it is still easy to
envision gladiators battling in the arena below its rows of seats that
housed 50,000 spectators.
The canopy that shaded the arena (now long gone) was so large and of
such advanced design that debates continue to rage about how it was
possible to construct and erect it at all. Come see for yourself and
form your own hypothesis.
Rome offers much more than simply ancient buildings. St. Peter's Basilica
remains one of the world's finest Renaissance
works, both inside and out. The double-shelled dome, designed by
Michaelangelo of Florence, complements the master's Pieta housed
Just walking around the city can be a delight.
The Spanish Steps,
the Piazza Navona,
the Porta Portese
flea market and a dozen other outdoor areas offer shopping,
people-watching and sights galore.
Without a doubt, Rome has far more than can be enjoyed in one trip. So
throw three coins in the Trevi Fountain and guarantee your return to
this amazing city. After all, Rome may be eternal but you and I are not.
Domus Aurea - the Golden House of Nero
St. Peter's Basilica
The Spanish Steps
"Roman Mosaics" or Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood, by Hugh Macmillan
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