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Rome: the eternal cityWhen you think of Italy, there are some places that automatically come to mind. First among these is Rome, one of the most important cities in the history of the Western world, and still a fascinating and beautiful place to visit or to get married in. We have put together just a small sample of what there is to see and do in the Italian capital.





1: THE PANTHEON

pantheonDespite having been built almost two thousand years ago in the 2nd century A.D., the Pantheon remains an architectural marvel today as the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The structure in place today was built to replace an earlier one which was dedicated to "all the Gods of ancient Rome". The original purpose of the Pantheon as we know it is debatable, but it was consecrated as a Church to Christian martyrs in the middle ages in order to escape destruction.Despite much of the original marble and bronze decorations having been removed from the building, it is definitely still worth a visit for the impressive dome and porticoes it boasts as well as for its history.

2: THE COLOSSEUM

This is one of the most famous buildings in the world, having been elected as one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007, and is certainly the symbol of Rome for many people. The oval shaped amphitheatre, capable of seating 50,000 spectators, was built for gladiatorial games and other shows such as classical dramas, battle re-enactments and even executions.
Nowadays the Colosseum is no longer used for such violent things, but it receives millions of tourists every year. Although the building is now too old to be used to seat many spectators, itis often used as a backdrop for concerts and other shows.

3: St. PETERS AND THE VATICAN

cupola di San Pietro - VaticanoA visit to Rome would not be complete without a visit to Saint Peters and the Vatican.
One of the most beautiful, ornate catholic churches in the world, and the one with the largest interior - capable of holding 60,000 people.
The Vatican city, of which only parts are open to the public, is the smallest country in the world both in area and in population.
Aside from the basilica, there are also the Vatican museums including religious art, archaeological finds and even ancient Egyptian artefacts.

4: TRASTEVERE

For a true taste of life in Rome, Trastevere, the area running along the banks of the river Tiber, is not to be missed. During the day you can relax and watch the world go by with a coffee or a delicious Italian ice-cream, in perfect peace. At night however the area undergoes a complete transformation, and fills with Romans and international travellers alike to become one of the city's hottest nightspots. It is just a question of finding the bar you like the most to enjoy a cocktail in!

5: PALAZZO DELLE ESPOSIZIONI

A real mix of concepts, this building combines culture and technology with its frequent fairs and shows on various subjects. As well as this, it is also a restaurant and a bar for those looking for somewhere more unusual to go, and has a cinema and library to boot.

6: THE TREVI FOUNTAIN

fontana di TreviThese stunning baroque waterworks are always popular, and once you have seen it for yourself, you will understand why. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand into the fountain then it is good luck and you are guaranteed to return to the city. Two coins mean the start of a new relationship, and three mean marriage or divorce. The fountain has around € 3000 thrown into it every day, and the money is collected in part by the charitable organisation Caritas.


7: THE SPANISH STEPS

Leading from another fountain, the fontana della Barcaccia in Piazza di Spagna all the way up to the Piazza Trinità dei Monti, the Spanish Steps make up the longest, widest staircase in Europe and there is almost always someone sitting on all 138 of them. Sightseeing, talking, enjoying an ice-cream or a pizza, or just soaking up the atmosphere, you get a great view of a Roman piazza and the people in it from here.

8: LA BOCCA DELLA VERITA'

la-bocca-della-veritaLiterally "the mouth of truth", this sculpture of a face on the portico of the Church of Santa was made famous by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday". Legend has it that if you put your hand in its mouth and tell a lie, you'll come away with a stump!

 

 


9: VILLA BORGHESE

If you should tire of the city and go in search of a bit of peace and quiet, then you will find it in this oasis in the city centre. These extensive gardens are perfect to sit and relax in the shade, and you can even rent a bike to take the weight off your feet. Villa Borghese shows you the other side of Rome, and the views from the walls of the gardens are spectacular. There are also several museums in the park to satisfy your thirst for culture even further.

10: I MERCATI

The many markets to be found in Rome are a real breath of fresh air for travellers who enjoy getting stuck into the life of the places they visit. From the high quality food produce at Campo dei Fiori open Monday to Saturday, to the bargain hunters' paradise Mercato Villaggio Olimpico open on Fridays and selling food, jewellery and clothing, to the twice yearly Non Solo Tarli which sells antiques of all kinds.

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