The Eternal City


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Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome
February 26th 2009
Published: April 10th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

The ColosseumThe ColosseumThe Colosseum

Ancient Rome
Rome's history spans over two and half thousand years, starting as a small Italian village to the centre of a vast empire to the capital of today's Italy. Rome was founded as a small village sometime in the 8th century BC surrounding Palatine Hill. The small settlement developed into the capital of the Roman Kingdom before becoming the seat of the Roman Republic at around 500 BC, and then the centre of the Roman Empire from 27 BC. For almost 1,000 years, Rome was the largest, wealthiest and most powerful city in the Western World with dominance over most of Europe.

Today, Rome reflects the many periods of its long history - Ancient times, Middle Ages and the Renaissance. There are so many sights to see in Rome that it is difficult to know where to start, however there are a few attractions that should not be missed, some of which are listed below.

The Colosseum


The gigantic oval of the Colosseum is a must see - 186m long, 153m wide and some 50m high. Emperor Vespasian began construction in AD72 and work was completed eight years later. It was the scene for gladiator fights that one can hardly
La Bocca della VeritàLa Bocca della VeritàLa Bocca della Verità

The sculpture is thought to be part of a 1st century ancient Roman fountain. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one's hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off.
comprehend today. These fights were finally outlawed in the fifth century. The stadium has been pillaged over the centuries and rocked by earthquakes. Today, only its skeletal framework remains, with the winding passages used to force animals up to the battlefield of the arena - formerly underground - now exposed.

You can skip the usually long queue if you buy a Rome Pass. This allows you to go past the queue at the security check to a separate entrance.

Roman Forum


If stones could talk: these hallowed ruins were the most powerful seat of government in the world. The Roman Forum is now a heap of marble fragments, columns and floor layouts. Fire, barbarians and pillaging builders contributed to the Forum's present state of disrepair. A bit of imagination is required to recreate the former marketplace that was the political, legal and social heart of ancient Rome and the symbolic centre of the Roman Empire.

The Pantheon


The best-preserved of Rome’s ancient monuments, the Pantheon has become an emblem of the city. Built by Hadrian between AD119 and AD128, as a temple to the gods, the Pantheon was converted to a Christian church in AD608 - the key to its miraculous survival. The Pantheon carries a dedication to Marcus Agrippa, who built the original structure on this spot in 27 BC.

The radius of the dome is exactly equivalent to the height and a nine-metre hole, known as the oculus, in the dome’s centre allows light (and rain) into the building. One of the focal points of interest inside the Pantheon is the tomb of Raphael.

Ara Pacis


This beautiful altar to Peace was commissioned by the Roman Senate in 13 BC to honour the triumphal return from Gaul of the emperor Augustus. The altar is universally recognized as a masterpiece and the most famous surviving example of Augustan sculpture. Notably, the life-sized figures in the procession are not idealized types but rather portraits of individuals, some of them recognizable still today.
More information can be found on the Ara Pacis web site

Everyone soon or late comes round by Rome.


Robert Browning (1812-1889), British poet

One cannot visit Rome without going to visit the Vatican. Here you will find St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum which is home to some of the world's most impressive artwork.


Additional photos below
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The Colosseum at nightThe Colosseum at night
The Colosseum at night

The largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire
Arch of ConstantineArch of Constantine
Arch of Constantine

The arch was erected in AD315 to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD312
Castel Sant'AngeloCastel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo was built between 123 and 129 AD to serve as the mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. The building was later used as a fortress and castle.
Castel Sant'AngeloCastel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo

Hadrian also built the Pons Aelius facing straight onto the mausoleum. It still provides a scenic approach, and is renowned for the Baroque additions of statuary of angels.
Arch of Titus, Roman ForumArch of Titus, Roman Forum
Arch of Titus, Roman Forum

This triumphal arch was constructed by the emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus, commemorating the capture of Jerusalem in AD70
Roman ForumRoman Forum
Roman Forum

The forum served as a city square and central hub where the people of Rome gathered for justice, and faith. The forum was also the economic hub of the city and considered to be the center of the Republic and Empire.
Roman ForumRoman Forum
Roman Forum

The Forum was already falling apart by the begin of the 8th century. During the Middle Ages, though the memory of the Forum Romanum persisted, its monuments were for the most part buried under debris.
Roman ForumRoman Forum
Roman Forum

This is the central area around which the ancient Roman civilization developed. The oldest and most important structures of the ancient city are located in the forum, including its ancient former royal residency the Regia and the surrounding complex of the Vestal virgins. The Old Republic had its formal Comitium there where the senate, as well as Republican government began.
Temple of Antoninus and FaustinaTemple of Antoninus and Faustina
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

The church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, built in the 17th century within the remains of the temple, still keeps the columned portico of the temple of Antoninus and Faustina.
Temple of Romulus, Roman ForumTemple of Romulus, Roman Forum
Temple of Romulus, Roman Forum

View of the Temple of Romulus, from the Palatine Hill
Roman ForumRoman Forum
Roman Forum

The northeast end of the Roman Forum with the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Vespasian and Titus and the Arch of Septimius Severus
Arch of Septimius SeverusArch of Septimius Severus
Arch of Septimius Severus

This white marble Arch was dedicated in AD3 to commemorate the victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in the two campaigns against the Parthians of AD194 and 197
Temple of Castor and PolluxTemple of Castor and Pollux
Temple of Castor and Pollux

The temple was originally built in 484 BC in gratitude for victory at the battle of Lake Regillus (495 BC). Today, only three coloumns are still standing.
Temple of CaesarTemple of Caesar
Temple of Caesar

The Temple of Caesar was begun by Augustus in 42 BC after the senate deified Julius Caesar posthumously.
Temples, Roman ForumTemples, Roman Forum
Temples, Roman Forum

The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and the temple of Romulus
Basilica of MaxentiusBasilica of Maxentius
Basilica of Maxentius

The Basilica was completed in 312 under Constantine.


22nd February 2010

Storybook with lovely pictures
The story simply told in pictures. Hey Steffen, useful information about the Roma Pass, I wouldn't have known about that little gem. Top of the world to yer mate
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