A tour around Rome

A tour around Rome

Rome (Roma in Italian) – the capital of Italy, the administrative center of the province of Rome and the Lazio region. The city occupies an area of  1285 square kilometers, with 2,823,873 inhabitants (as of 2004). As the regional center of Lazio, Rome makes part of the central region of Italy, together with Marche, Tuscany and Umbria.
Rome is located in the west central part of the “Italian boot” – the peninsula, near the place where the river Tiber flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Rome’s historic center stands on 7 hills: RomaAventine, Capitoline Hill, the Caelian, Palatine, Quirinal, Viminal Hill and the Esquiline, with their varying  from 13 to 139 meters above sea level.
By the legend, Rome was founded 21 April 753 BC. e. by Romulus – one of the royal twins suckled by a wolf, and named in honor of the other twin – Remus – Rome. However, studies of archaeologists say that the first settlement on the site of ancient Rome appeared much earlier. At times of Romulus Rome represents only a small village with thatched huts, and people settled  only on the Palatine Hill, and only much later Rome became “the city on seven hills”.
With 753-510 years. BC. e. Rome was ruled by kings, then – from 510 to 30 years. n. e., during Republic – by Consuls and 30 BC. e. by 476 AD. e. – by Emperors. Since XIII century, the city established temporality of the Church, and Rome became the residence of the Pope. On September 20, 1870 Italian Government has declared Rome to be the capital of  united Italy.
Within Rome territory there are located two independent state formations – Vatican State, and  enclave pocket country, Order of Malta.
“The city of the seven hills and the lord of the whole earth” – so was called Rome by an ancient poet. Within the walls of Rome appeared Latin language, which had a wide circulation among the masses in ancient times and in medicine preserved to our days. The legislation, which appeared in the Roman Empire, served as the basis for the creation of modern Western law. Abbreviation SPQR (Senatus rorulus que romanus), which now can be seen everywhere  in Rome (on  facades of the palaces, on monuments, on lampposts and manholes), means belonging to the Senate and people of Rome, and states of the solidarity of citizens and the state.
Rome today is one of  the oldest and most visited cities in the world, thanks to a huge focus of Romehistorical and architectural monuments of different eras. The city center is fully included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.With its life centuries, “Eternal City” twafts us the grandeur of palaces and cathedrals, might of medieval castles and silver music of the Baroque fountains. Now every traveler knows that “all roads lead to Rome”, and attempts to visit this cityat least once.

Sightseeing in Rome, of course, can take as long as a month. However, if you do not want to get supersaturated with cultural sightseeing program and Stendhal syndrome is around the corner, or you’re in the Eternal City not the first time, it is possible to distract a little from the world history.

Football

It’s no secret that Rome, along with Milan is one of the major football cities not only in Italy, but all over Europe. Quite often tourists arriving in Rome, are also football fans, because there are based two world famous football club, “Lazio” and “Roma.” It seems that the city of Rome was destined to become a football city, as even in ancient times,  local people were playing a ball game, very similar to today’s football.

Concerts

Rome1The most important concerts of Rome – performances of domestic and international pop stars – held at the Olympic Stadium (Stadio Olimpico). You can  see calendar of all the major musical events of Rome, as well as buy tickets online, visiting following websites: Worldticketshop, Rrontoticket, TicketOne and Listicket.

Opera

Opera in Rome is also very popular. The most spectacular opera performances are held at Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla), where the summer season always opens Rome’s Opera Theatre (Teatro dell’Opera).

The orchestra and the ballet troupe of the Opera House many famous productions of Shakespeare’s mystical comedy “Dream on a moonlit night,” Puccini’s opera “Tosca”, first staged in the baths in 1937, Bizet’s opera “Carmen” and other masterpieces of world opera. Additional information is available by phone in Rome: +39 060608 or websites and www.060608.it www.operaroma.it.

Nightlife

Rome is a modern metropolis, so nightlife is really vivid here. And if making a list of the best Roman restaurants seems to be a very hard task, as well as a listing all the architectural and historical monuments of the city, description of nightclubs is an easier one. The fact that the night spots in Rome are not too numerous, but favorites are more than worth attention. Among interesting ones can be mentioned Jackie O, Rhsome, Art Cafe, Goa and La Palma.

Districts of Rome

Rome had administrative divisions since ancient times. Before Emperor Augustus, the city was rome-5divided into four districts, and then August divided the city into 14 districts, and each district, respectively, into quarters. Since VII century AD districts became less numerous, there were left only seven of them. When in 1871 Rome became the capital of the United Italy, its boundary almost coincides with the circle of Aurelian walls. Significant extension of the city occurres in the XX century, when historical Rome was supplemented with modern districts.

Administratively Rome is a municipality, consisting of 116 districts. Within its boundaries, one can distinguish a historical center, consisting of 22 districts, called in Italian Rioni (rioni).
Rioni are surrounded by an outer zone – the main part of the city, divided into the 35 districts – kvarteri (quartieri), 6 and suburban areas – suburbs (suburbi).

Within Rome, there’s located Vatican City State, ruled by Pope.
What to see in Rome

Along its long history, Rome managed to bring to the present day so many monuments of culture, architecture and art, that their detailed description is a hard work.  Tourists arriving in the Italian capital for a few days, do not try to grasp all at once, ll be enough to see the main sights of the Italian capital.
One of the most remarkable constructions in Rome is considered to be Pantheon – a temple, built two thousand years ago during the reign of emperor Augustus. In ancient times, in the temple people worshiped main Roman gods: Jupiter, Venus, Neptune, Mars, Mercury, Pluto and Saturn. During ceremonies animals were sacrificed. Today, only  “Oculus” reminds of pagan customs in the temple: it’s a hole in the dome of 9 meters in diameter, under which  in ancient times was placed a sacrificial altar. For two thousand years of its history, Pantheon  has been a church and asa bastion, and only in the Renaissance through the efforts of the great Raphael, the  temple regained its greatness. Today Pantheon, surviving a four hundred period of decline, attracts tourists not only by its amazing story, but also by the remains of Italian kings – Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Queen Margaret.

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

rome2Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most famous churches of Rome. Its building was constructed on the site of a very ancient church of Santa Maria della Neve (neve – «Snow” from Italian.). According to a legend, in the summer of 352, the day of laying the church it snowed in Rome, and Pope Liberius drew a circle in the snow, which corresponded to the future perimeter of the church. In the middle of V century, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was completely rebuilt, especially for the Council of Ephesus, so remarkable for Catholics, where the Roman Church has received that dominant position, that it keeps in the Christian world till the present. In subsequent centuries the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was rebuilt several times, the last renovation was  in the XVIII century.

Villa Borghese

This famous sight is located on the Pincio hill, in Rome. The complex of the Villa Borghese includes a park, a museum and a Borghese gallery. The park was founded by the family Borghese, who owned the Villa in the early XVII century. Today the park is a fine example of landscape design – one of the favorite places of Rome residents and guests. Galleria Borghese represents  great value, gathering under the roof a unique collection of sculptures and paintings by famous artists. In the Borghese Gallery, visitors can see sculptures by Bernini and Canova, paintings by Raphael, Titian, Botticelli and Caravaggio.

Piazza Navona

On a small square Piazza Navona rules party atmosphere – tourists come here from all over Rome. The centerpiece of the square – Fountain of the Four Rivers by Lorenzo Bernini, decorated with sculptured images of  world’s major rivers – the Ganges, Danube, Nile and La Plata, symbolizing, in turn, four continents – Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain, is a mere decoration of Rome. It managed to turn a hardly remarkable little fountainpiazza di Trevi to a place of pilgrimage for tourists from around the world. Fountain, at the same time being a front of Palazzo Poli, is filled with water from an ancient aqueduct, built by Agrippa. In the center of the fountain – the figure of Neptune surrounded by allegorical sculptures, depicturing storms, calm, health, abundance, and the four seasons. In the pool, located directly in front of a fountain, delighted tourists throw coins to return to the “Eternal City” more than once.
Piazza di Spagna
Square of Spain – one of the most popular tourist destinations of Rome – was named after a palace in Spain, or Palazzo Spagna (built in 1622), the former residence of the Spanish ambassador to the Vatican. Name of this palace was also given to the famous Spanish Steps (Scalianta di Spagna), located on the Plaza de España. To go up the ladder of Spain, one will have to overcome some difficulties, as the stages have a concave shape, athy get wider  and narrower,  width of stairwell changes too. Nevertheless, the stairs are always crowded, tourists try to sit on the steps as high as possible to relax and enjoy the wonderful views from this place: Fountain Barkachcha (“boat” from Italian), made in the shape of a sinking ship, perfectly visible from above, or look at  the entire north-eastern Rome.

Vatican

Actually, Vatican is a whole state, which has found its place on the territory of the city of Rome. However, Vatican City is the smallest in the world. It’s in Vatican, the center of the Roman Catholic Church, that is situated the residence of the Pope, and a whole galaxy of unique historical and architectural monuments, including the Vatican Library, Chapel of Pope Nicholas V, Piazza San Pietro, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica with the famous Sistine Chapel.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Rome3According to legend, the place where today stands in Rome St. Peter’s Basilica, was the place of execution of the Apostle Peter. At different times best architects in Italy, that is Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Domenico Fontana and Carlo Maderno worked on the construction of the Cathedral. The pearl of St. Peter’s Basilica is a unique altar with a hole leading to an underground tomb of the Apostle Peter. Shocking fact that the archaeological excavations carried out in the middle of the last century, proved that remains dormant under the altar of the cathedral, in fact, belong to one of the twelve apostles – Peter. Until 1990, this ancient temple was the largest Christian church in the world, but in 1990 it was surpassed by size by the cathedral of Yamoussoukro city – the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, an African country. And, nevertheless, St. Peter has striking dimensions: height of 133.3 meters (outside with a cross inside – 117.57 meters) and a width of 211.5 meters and an area of 22067 square meters. At the same time it holds three times more parishioners than the superior size Cathedral in Côte d’Ivoire.

Sistine Chapel

Apostolic Palace in the Vatican is the official residence of the Pope. It is there that  the most famous chapel of the Vatican – Sistine Chapel is located. Chapel worldwide fame is due to its striking resemblance to the Old Testament Temple of Solomon. The decoration of the chapel was created by hard work of talented masters of the Renaissance, Raphael and Botticelli. Tourists are much attracted to the chapel by a huge mural of Michelangelo “The Last Judgment.”

Papal Pinakotheque

Another interesting place in the Vatican is Papal Pinakotheque, located in a thick grove of the Vatican Gardens. This small museum has collected under one roof works of art of great value. Only here you can see the rare murals by Melotstso da Forli, unique paintings by Raphael, Domenichino, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico.

Roman catacombs

In Rome, in total there are 67 catacombs. Such an abundance of these underground facilities thermaeis due to the fact that the law of the ancient Rome declared: “Abode of the dead should be built outside the city walls.” Therefore, in the suburbs of Rome were dug huge amounts of catacombs, locating  tombs and mausoleums. During the persecution of Christians in the I-III centuries, Roman catacombs became a shelter for Christians. It was in the first four centuries AD that the catacombs were used as underground Christian cemeteries. Later, near the burial places of the martyrs were built monasteries. Despite the fact that the authorities of ancient Rome persecuted  early Christians, the Romans respect for the dead was so great that the catacombs are preserved even to this day.

Thermae

In ancient times, the terms were not only and not so much baths as places of public life of citizens. In therms everybody met , there were accomplished of all trades, stroke political and personal acquaintances. The first of the terms appeared in 25 BC. e. not far from the Pantheon, Agrippa built them. The largest, that could place 3,000 people, were constructed in the IV century by Diocletian. Interior of termae was decorated with sculptures, near them were planted gardens, established libraries, nearby were located retail shops and establishments, that resemble today’s beauty salons.
catacombs RomeBathing procedure looked this way: passing from room to room, the visitor undressed in apoditerii (apodyterium), steamed in sudatorii (sudatorium), immersed into warm water in kalidarii (calidarium), cooled down in TEPIDARIUMS (tepidarium), and finally,  wash himself in cold water in frigidarium (frigidarium). Men and women were assigned various hours and days to visit the termae. In ancient Rome, there were more than a thousand termae.

Museums of Rome

In Rome, everyone can find a museum to his taste: from the archaeological to art. There is a Theatre Museum and Firefighters museum, telling about fire extinguishing since the times of Emperor Augustus. Many writers, poets, who lived in Rome, got their own museums. If you come to Rome for 3-4 days, try to inspect at least the most important ones: the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, excavations on the Palatine Hill and the Capitoline Museums.

Categories: Italy, World