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Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
The Colosseum is one of Rome's most famous land marks. The structure is an elliptical amphitheatre located in the center of Rome. The colosseum was built from concrete and stone .It ... moreis considered to be the largest amphitheatre in the world. The construction of the Colosseum started in 72 AD by the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The building was completed in 80 AD, a year after the death of Emperor Vespasian.

The colloseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public shows and games such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, gladiator battles and executions. It seated 50,000 people. The Roman emperors used the Colosseum for the entertainment of the public with free games. The games symbolized power and they were used by the ruling emperor in order to increase his popularity. These games were held for an entire day or several days continuously. The shows usually started with comical acts and displays of exotic animals such as lions and bears and concluded with fights to the death between the animals and gladiators. The fighters were prisoners of war, slaves, or convicted criminals. The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to the gory and deadly games.

The Colosseum was built on the area of an artificial lake. At the late 6th century a small church was built into the structure of the amphitheatre. In 1934, the Colosseum was damaged by an earthquake which resulted in the collapse of the outer south. The stones from the Colleseum were then reused to build palaces, churches,hospitals and other structures in Rome. Some of the famous structures which were built using the stones are Palazzo Farnese and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Church officials in Rome sought a productive use for the Colosseum during the 16thand 17th century. Pope Sixtus V had planned to turn The Colosseum into a wool factory in order to offer employment opportunities to prostitutes in Rome but the plans did not come to fruition due to his premature death. In 1671, Cardinal Altieri authorized the Colosseum to be used for bullfights but the public opposed this idea.

The Colosseum continued to be subject to different uses and renovations as nearly every leader of Rome had his own ideas concerning the use of the compound. The Roman emperors used the Colosseum to entertain the public with free games. The games symbolized prestige and power and they were used by the ruling emperor as a way of increasing his popularity. These games were held for a whole day or even several days continuously. In most cases, the shows started with comical acts and displays of exotic animals which ended with fights to death between the animals and gladiators. The fighters were normally slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to the parts of the games which led to the death of people.

The modern Colosseum has been renovated, redecorated and painted. The Colosseum is used to host large events although the space inside is limited. During events with great attendance, the audience sits outside the Colosseum. The Colosseum is also a major tourist attraction in Rome with thousands of tourists visiting it every year to view the interior of the arena. Entrance for citizens of the European Union is partially subsidized, and the entrance is free for European Union citizens below the age of 18 or over 65. The upper floor of the outer wall of The Colosseum has a museum that is dedicated to Eros. Part of the arena floor had been re-floored and looks fabulous.

The Colosseum is also the site of Roman Catholic ceremonies in the 20th and 21stcenturies. For instance, Pope Benedict XVI led the Stations of the Cross ceremony called the Scriptural Way of the Cross at The Colosseum on Good Fridays. There was an agreement between the local official and Diego Della Valle, in 2011, to sponsor €25 million restoration of The Colosseum. 

Today it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Rome. Be sure to come and visit the Colleseum!
Type:
Attraction, Historic
The Huge statue known as the Pigna (pine) or the Fontana Della Pigna depicts a giant Pine Cone. It is located in St. Peter's, in an area called the court of the Pigna.The Court of ... morethe Pigna is the northern part of the grand renaissance Belvedere Courtyard that stretches between the Papal Palaces to the "palazzetto" which belonged to Innocent VII's . The courtyard was segmented into three parts after the construction of Sixtus V's Library and the Braccio Nuovo of Pius VII. The present courtyard derived its name form the beautiful pine cone statue set into the "nicchone", borders on the south side with the Braccio Nuovo, and on the east it borders with the Chiaromonti Gallery. To its north you can find Innocent VIII's Palazzetto and on the west the galleries of the Apostolic Library are located.

The pine cone was cast out of bronze in the 1st or 2nd century by the sculptor Publius Cincius Salvius. He was identified as its creator because his name was written on the base of the huge pine. The Statue's height is almost 4 meters and on both sides of the pine cone there are bronze peacocks which are copies of the ones in Hadrian's tomb.

Before it was moved to its current location, known as the Court of the Pigna, the statue of the Pine was situated in the Campus Martius. This area is still known today as "Pigna" after this statue. At its previous location it was used as a fountain with the water pouring from holes pierced in the scales of the cone. At the 8th century it was transferred to the entrance hall of the medieval basilica of St. Peter. It was placed decoratively in the middle of the fountain covered by ornate baldachin. We know this because the statue was identified in Renaissance drawings of the hall. Eventually, during the construction of the current basilica, in 1608, the giant pine cone fountain was moved and situated in its current location.

This statue is a beautiful and ancient one and it's definitely worth stopping by and admiring it as it has been part of Rome's landscape for almost 2000 years!
Type:
Attraction, Cultural
The Sphere within a Sphere is a statue also known as "Sfera con Sfera". The Sphere within a sphere is located in the Vatican Museums. It is part of a series of bronze sculptures on ... morethis theme that can be found in prime locations all over the world such as: the Headquarters of the UN in New York; The Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, USA; Trinity College in Dublin; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C; the de Young Museum in San Francisco, USA ;The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art; the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus and the Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Arnaldo Pomodoro is an Italian sculptor. He was born in the 23rd of June 1926 in Morciano, Romagna, Italy. Currently he lives and works in Milan. His brother, Giò Pomodoro was also an Artist.

The "Sphere within a Sphere" Statue depicts a huge fractured orb. Inside the cracked orb you can see another one. Each tremendous sphere is broken, showing yet another cracking sphere. The design of the internal layers seems to imitate the gears or cogwheels of a complex machine such as a clock. It symbolizes the fragility and complexity of the world.This fascinating statue is located in the courtyard of the Pine cone outside the Vatican Museum. Pomodoro started to create these orbs in the early 1960s. 

Pomodoro is also known for designing a controversial fiberglass crucifix for the Cathedral of St. John in Copenhagen. In addition he sculpted pieces for the Amaliehaven park which was displayed on the waterfront in front of Amalienborg Palace in 1983. His piece "Forme del Mito" was displayed at Brisbane's World Expo '88 and was later bought by Brisbane City.

In 1999 he founded Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro in Milan as a centre to whose aim is to document and archive Pomodoro's work . The foundation opened an exhibition space in 2005, and it now displays exhibitions of renowned artists such as Jannis Kounellis, Lucio Fontana and Robert Rauschenberg. Flaminio Gualdoni is the current director of Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro. The Court of the Pigna constitutes the northern end of the great renaissance Belvedere Courtyard that extended from the Papal Palaces to Innocent VII's "palazzetto" and was subsequently divided into three parts with the construction of Sixtus V's Library and the Braccio Nuovo of Pius VII. The present courtyard which takes its name form the enormous bronze pine cone set into the "nicchone", is bounded on the south side by the Braccio Nuovo, on the east by the Chiaromonti Gallery, on the north by Innocent VIII's Palazzetto and on the west by the galleries of the Apostolic Library.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
The Vatican and Rome are holy cities to the Roman Catholic Christian faith. Rome is the seat of the Papacy since the 1st century AD and later home to the Vatican, where the Pope resided ... moresince the 14thcentury. Traditionally, the See of Rome was founded by Saint Peter who first held the position of the Pope or Bishop of Rome. According to UNESCO St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican is the largest religious building in the world. Today Rome has a Cathedral and more than 900 Churches and some of the most prominent Catholic churches can be found there as well as many important Catholic institutes. For Catholic believers, Rome is more than a tourist attraction but also a center for pilgrimage and Prayer.

The Vatican is situated in a walled enclave inside Rome. The Pope's residence is also known as the Apostolic Palace and it is located North-East of the St. Peter's basilica.. Since 1984 all of Vatican State is acknowledged as a UNESCO world heritage site. The main tourist attractions in the Vatican are: St. Peter's basilica, Vatican gardens, St. Peter's Square, and the Vatican Museums with their impressive collections of art, maps and statues. The entrance to the Basilica and Square are free of charge. Note that visitors are asked to dress appropriately when entering the church.

Since February 1929 Vatican City State is a sovereign state of the Holy See. This was established by the signing of the Lateran Treaties. The Vatican's status as a sovereign State is recognized universally.
Type:
Attraction
Cultural
Historic
Museum
Named after Pope Sixtus IV, the Sistine Chapel is perhaps the most famous chapel in the world. It is renowned both for its function as the Papal Conclave and for its incredible artwork.... more

The ceiling and western wall of the Sistine Chapel are adorned with some of the most astonishing paintings in the world created by the famous artist – Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1508 and he completed his work in 1512. The middle section depicts nine stories from the Book of Genesis, including the renowned ‘Creation of Adam’ where the hand of God is seen reaching to Adam to instill him with life.

In 1535 Michelangelo was commissioned once again to paint the western wall over the altar. He completed this spectacular painting of the‘Last Judgment’ in 1541. The painting depicts the end-of-days and second coming of Christ when according to Christian faith all souls will be judged by Jesus,the Saints and God and sent to heaven or hell.

Despite being one of the most celebrated works of art in history, Michelangelo was originally hesitant to paint the ceiling of the chapel for he considered himself as more of a sculptor than a painter.

The original ‘Last Judgment’ painting included fully nude human figures, but these were later covered by another artist due to the demands of some Papal members who claimed that the nudity was obscene and improper.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo who depicted nine stories from the book of Genesis including the famous 'Creation of Adam'.

The first three stories are:
1. The Separation of Light from Darkness: Genesis 1:1-5;
2. The Creation of the sun, moon and planets: Genesis 1:11-19;
3. The Separation of Land from Sea: Genesis 1,9-10)

Following these paintings of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican are the mid-section patintings:
1. The Creation of Adam & Eve (Genesis 1:26- 2:25), with the figures of man and woman in their nakedness.
2. The Banishment from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24).

The last three frescoes of Michelangelo include:
1. The Sacrifice of Noah: (Genesis 8:15-20)
2. The Flood (Genesis 6:5-8,20)
3. The Drunkenness of Noah (Genesis 9:20-27)
* All these show the fall and rebirth of humanity

The ceiling and western wall of the Sistine Chapel are adorned with some of the most celebrated paintings in the world created by the famous artist – Michelangelo Buonarroti. Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling in 1508 and he completed his work in 1512.

Despite being one of the most adored works of art in history, Michelangelo was originally hesitant to paint the ceiling of the chapel for he saw himself as more of a sculptor than a painter. The original ‘Last Judgment’ painting included fully nude human figures, but these were later covered by another artist due to the demands of some Papal members who claimed that the nudity was obscene and improper.

The middle section of the ceiling depicts 9 stories fromthe Book of Genesis, including the iconic ‘Creation of Adam’ where the hand ofGod is seen reaching to Adam to give him life. In 1535 Michelangelo was commissioned once again to paint thewestern wall over the altar.

Michelangelo completed this spectacular painting of the‘Last Judgment’ in 1541. The painting depicts the end-of-days and second comingof Christ when according to Christian faith all souls will be judged by Jesus,the Saints and God and sent to heaven or hell.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
 (1)
"On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven." ... more

(Matt 16:18-19)

These are the words that Jesus said to Peter the fishermen, the first Pope. St Peter was martyred in Rome and buried in the necropolis beneath the Basilica.

Peter had a brother named Andrew.They were both fishermen. It was Andrew who first introduced him to Jesus Christ. Peter was born in Bethsaida, which is close to Lake Tiberias. Together with his brother he fish on Lake Genesareth. Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus. Christ then called Peter to become his disciple. In Luke there is a story about Peter. Peter caught an amount of fish so large that he fell down before the feet of Jesus and then was told by the Lord, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Jesus also gave Simon a new name: Cephas, or the rock. Becoming a disciple of Jesus, Peter acknowledged him as "... the Messiah, the son of the living God”. Once the brothers retired from fishing and became disciples of Jesus, they were referred to as “fishers of men”.The name Peter means “rock”, and his story is extensively described in the New Testament.

The current statue of St. Peter was commissioned by Pope Pius the IX and was erected in 1847.Pius IX (1846-1878) replaced the old statues of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the current ones on Easter 1847. The new statues are larger than the older ones. The current Statue is 5.5 meters high.
Type:
Attraction
Historic
Museum
Church
The Latin inscription above the entrance states: "Paul V Borghese, Roman, Pontiff, in the year 1612, the seventh of his pontificate, erected in honour of the Prince of Apostles".... more

The entrance to Saint Peter's Basilica has spitirual significance as it is written: 

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me, will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture”. 

(John 10:9)

Above the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica is the central balcony where the election of the new pope is announced - the famous Latin saying: "Habemus Papum" which means "We have a Pope". It is also where the Pope gives the Urbi et Orbi blessing, and for this reason the balcony is also called the "Loggia of the Blessings",
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
At the center of Saint Peter's Square stands a 25.5 meter tall ancient Egyptian obelisk, 41 meters high including its added base. This obelisk is over 4000 years old and was brought ... moreto Rome from Alexandria by Emperor Caligula in 37 AD.

The obelisk was removed from the “Circus of Nero” in Rome and placed at the center of the square under the order of Pope Sixtus V in 1586. The re-erection of the obelisk required a work force of some 900 men and almost 100 horses and took over a year to complete.
Type:
Attraction, Historic
Encompassing Saint Peter’s Square are two colonnades which were designed by Bernini to symbolize the embracing maternal arms of the Catholic Church. The colonnades are comprised of ... morefour rows of columns, each column with 1.5 meters in diameter and 20 meters high.

Adorning the rooftop of the colonnades are 140 statues of various saints consisting of former popes, martyrs, evangelists and other Christian figures. The statues were created by Bernini and his students over a span of some 40 years. 

On the ground, between the obelisk and each fountain, are marble discs marking the geometric “foci” of the elliptical shaped square of St. Peter’s. When standing on these discs, the columns of the colonnades appear perfectly aligned so that only the closest row of columns can be seen – indicating once again the architectural brilliance of Bernini.
Type:
Attraction, Historic
St. Peter's square is situated in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Several special Masses are celebrated in St. Peter's square during various occasions and celebrations. ... moreSt. Peter’s Square is where the newly elected pope appears to the world for the first time. Special Masses celebrated at St. Peter’s Square include: Easter and Christmas Masses. 

As you approach St. Peter’s Square you will hear the heartening sounds of trickling water. These are the fountains of St. Peter's square. St. Peter’s Square is known for its beauty. The two fountains on both sides of the Obelisk contribute to its atmosphere and beauty. These fountains were constructed during the renaissance and they are considered exemplary works. These fountains give St. Peter’s Square a relaxing atmosphere. The fountains are a great tourist attraction and they are considered among the most beautiful fountains in Rome. The fountains have been renovated and are well preserved. They are worth visiting if you are visiting the Vatican.

The following are two of the fountains located in St. Peter’s Square:

The Bernini Fountain: This fountain was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini between the years 1667 to 1677. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Clement X. The construction of the fountain took Bernini ten years and no detail was forgotten. Bernini's design was influenced by his earlier designs.

The fountain is located on the south side of St. Peter’s Square.

Maderno Fountain: The fountain on the left, when facing St. Peter’s Basilica, was designed by Carlo Moderno. In 1612 Pope Paul the V rebuilt the ancient Roman aqueduct and it was renamed the Acqua Paola. The newer aqueduct provided the fountain with a larger source of water.

this fountain was redesigned by architect Carlo Maderno after being commissioned by Pope Paul V.The architect Carlo Maderno was the nephew of the architect Domenico Fontana. He built a base for the fountain on top of which a large basin was placed. The basin is decorated with steps and small columns. Maderno left the large lower stone vasque of the old fountain. He then decorated the pedestal on top of it with four scrolls of stone. The new design has a large lower stone vasque, which the old fountain also had. He removed the small upper vasque, and replaced it with a mushroom like cap with stone scales. When the water flows from the top it pours down over the upper vasque and the light shines through it.

The source of water for the fountain was on a hill. This caused the water to shoot upwards by the power of gravity. In 1641, this fountain was said to be the most beautiful fountain in the whole of Europe.

If you are planning a visit to Rome don't forget St. Peters square and its fountains. This is a good place to take photos and enjoy the atmosphere.
Type:
Attraction, Historic, Museum
The Gallery of Maps is called the Galleria delle carte geografiche in Italian.  Situated in the Vatican on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard, the gallery contains a series of ... morepainted topographical maps of Italy. These maps were based on drawings by Ignazio Danti a Dominican Italian friar, mathematician, astronomer, cosmographer and geographer which was born as Pellegrino Rainaldi Danti in Perugia in 1536.

The galley was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII in 1580 . Pope Gregory XIII ordered it made as well as many other works of art. The Pope commissioned these works of art in order to decorate the Vatican. The completion of the work on the gallery took Danti three years (1580–1583). Today the gallery consists of 40 panels which go along the 120 m gallery. 

The panels map the entirety of the Italian peninsula including Sardinia and Corsica. The maps are in fact frescoes. Each fresco features a different region. Special detail was given to the region's most prominent city. With the Apennines serving as the dividing line, one side features the area surrounded by the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas and the other shows the area near the Adriatic Sea.

The maps are both beautiful and informative as they reveal the way that the renaissance Italians saw themselves and their surroundings in pre- national Italy. Italy was not one nation in the time of the renaissance when the maps were made. The maps also provide insight to the art of cartography ( making of maps) of these times.The gallery is a fascinating place to visit whether you take a special interest in maps or not.

In the gallery of maps the vaulted ceiling is also decorated. These decorations were done by a group of Mannerist artists including Girolamo Muziano and Cesare Nebbia.
Type:
Attraction, Historic, Museum
The Chair of Saint Peter is also known as the Cathedra Petri in Latin. Cathedra Petri is a relic that can be found in St. Peter's Basilica. The actual wooden chair is placed inside ... morea beautifully sculpted bronze casing. The casing was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and was built between the years 1647–53. Like in many medieval reliquaries the casing of the chair is in the form of the relic conserved inside it; meaning that it was designed by Bernini to resemble a chair. The Latin word cathedra is used for a chair or throne and denotes a chair or seat in the use of a bishop. The Chair of Peter symbolizes the office of the Pope as the Bishop of Rome.

Originally, the cathedra in St. Peter's Basilica was used by the popes. Inside the Chair is a wooden throne, which traditionally, was Saint Peter's throne. However, archeologist G.B. De Rossi, who was the last archeoligist to inspect this relic argued that only the acacia wood skeleton is in fact ancient while the other oak parts attached to the skeleton with strips of iron and ivory, are from Byzantine times. 

The pattern on the upholstery of the casing depicts Christ giving the keys of heaven to St Peter. Large angelic figures were placed on both sides of a panel beneath a bronze seat cushion. The cathedra lies on bars that are held by four gigantic bronze figures; these are the doctors of the Church. The doctors are St. Ambrose and St. Augustine of the Roman Church and St. Athanasius and St. John Chrysostom of the Greek Church. The symbolism of this is That Doctors of the Church are the ones holding up the papcy and the Church.

Above the chair there is a Latin inscription: "O Pastor Ecclesiae, tu omnes Christi pascis agnos et oves" (O pastor of the Church, you feed all Christ's lambs and sheep). The same inscription was written in Greek on the right side.

Two liturgical feasts were celebrated in Rome in honor of earlier chairs associated with Saint Peter. One of these chairs was placed in the baptismal chapel of Saint Peter's Basilica, the other at the catacomb of Priscilla. No surviving chair has been identified as these more ancient chairs. 

Berninis Cathedra Petri enclosing the wooden throne of St. Peter in the Vatican
Type:
Museum
The Spiral staircase is located in the Vatican Museums was designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932. If you go up this grand spiral ramp you will be moving from the street level up to the ... morefloor of the Vatican Museums. The Vatican Museums are among the most important museums in the world. In the Vatican Museums the vast collections collected by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries are displayed. As seen today, the Vatican Museums are comprised of several pontifical galleries and museums that were assembled by several Popes. The display includes the Raphael rooms and the famous painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as well as other masterpieces.

The staircase is shaped like a double helix: it is made of two intertwined spirals; one leads down the other goes upwards. The stairs are beautifully decorated. The ramp is truly breathtaking.

Giuseppe Momo was born in Vercell in 1875 and passed away in May 1940. Momo was a famous Italian architect and engineer. Giuseppe Momo was active during the early decades of the twentieth century. He built many important religious buildings all over Italy. Numerous building in Turin and in Piedmont are among his many projects, but he is especially known for his work in Rome which was commissioned by Pope Pius XI. In Rome Momo made a great contribution to the architectural transformation of the Vatican following the Lateran Pacts signed in 1929 between the Holy See and Italy .
Type:
Attraction, Historic
St. Peter’s Basilica is a church built in the Late Renaissance style located within the territory of the Vatican City. The St. Peter’s Basilica is among the world’s biggest churches ... moreand it is well known as one of the most famous pieces of Renaissance architecture. St. Peter's was designed by Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno Donato Bramante, and Gian Bernini Lorenzo. For people of the Catholic faith, St. Peter’s Basilica is considered to be among the holiest places in the world. It is said to have been built over the tomb containing the remains of St. Peter, the first Pope. The St. Peter Basilica is rich in history from the early Christian era.

Inside the basilica one can find several sculptures, paintings, and many beautiful embellishments. It contains several tombs of popes. Among the most famous sculptures in St. Peter’s Basilica is Michelangelo’s Pieta.

The central dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most renowned parts of the skyline of Rome. The Basilica is located west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian’s Mausoleum in Rome, Italy. The Tiber is the famous river that runs through Rome. It has played an important part in the development of the ancient city of Rome. It was a main route used for commerce and travel.

In this Photo you can see the Tiber and St. Peter's reflection in the water at dusk. The Tiber is one of the most familiar landmarks identified with Rome. It flows for 406 Kilometeres.

The Tiber is a famous part of Rome's landscape. Rome is situated on the Tiber's eastern banks. The Tiber is the well known river which runs through the city of Rome.The Tiber (or Tevere in Italian) is one of the longest rivers in Italy.

The River's depth is between 7 and 20 feet. The Tiber rises from the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flows for 406 Kilometers. The course of the Tiber runs through Umbria and Lazio and then arrives at the Sea. The Tiber's source is in two springs on Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy.The river rises from these springs in Mount and then flows south passing Perugia and then Rome. The Tiber eventually arrives at the sea at Ostia, now a Suburb of Rome. The ancient port of Ostia Antica is now almost 6 km inland since the Tiber has advanced since the ancient Roman era. 

406 Kilometers (252.2 miles) long the Tiber is the third longest river in Italy. The Tiber river is famous for it passes through the city of Rome and to the foot of Vatican City.The Tiber river in Rome is sometimes called "flavus" - which means blond because of the river's yellowish color.

The Tiber has an island in the center of Rome between the ancient center and the neighborhood of Trastevere. Many parts of the Tiber are lit at night. 

The Tiber River in History

According to legend, Rome was founded by Remus and Romulus in the year 753 BC after they were rescued by a wolf who pulled them out of the Tiber river.

Since Roman times, the Tiber served as a border between Italian city-states (such as the Latins in the south). As such, the Tiber river played a central role in trade, commerce and diplomatic relation between Rome and the other city-states. Rich Romans had gardens on the banks of the Tiber. As the Roman Emoire grew, the Tiber became more famous and central in Western folklore and the history of Rome.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, several popes invested in the widening and deepening of the the Tiber in order to increase trade to Rome.

in 1876 the walls which confine the Tiber river were built in order to decrease the risks of floods (which the river often did).

The Tiber river has been so central in Roman history and the Catholic faith, the the term "Swimming in the Tiber" became to describe the conversion of someone to Roman Catholicism.
Type:
Attraction
At night the city of Rome reveals itself in all its beauty and romance. The bridges around the Vatican are lit and it's worth while to go for a walk around the area. St. Peter's Basilica ... moreis one of the main features of Vatican City State, located within a walled enclave inside the City of Rome. Even if you have already visited the area by day it is recommended to go there also at night to see the impressive St. Peter's square at night. The square with its Obelisk, statues and fountains looks very different at night.

St. Peter's square is located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the square was constructed between 1656 and 1667 under the commission of Pope Alexander VII. The Pope's aim was to enable as many people as possible to see the Pope when giving his blessings. The square has the capacity to accommodate around 400000 people during special occasions like the election of a new Pope Easter or the celebrations of Easter.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed an elliptical shaped square, 240 meters wide and 196 meters long. St. Peter's square has semi-circular colonnades on either side, which are said to symbolize the church’s stretched arms embracing the world. On the top of the colonIf you look near the stairs to the basilica at the front of the square, you will also find the statues of the patron saints of Rome, Saints Peter and Paul. nades There are 140 statues which depict popes, martyrs and other important figures.
Type:
Attraction, Historic, Museum
The Notorious Roman Emperor Caligula(37-41AD) built a circus at the area of the current Vatican. St Peter the apostle was buried in anecropolis to the north of the circus. ... more

Traditionally it issaid that The See of Rome was founded by Saint Peter who firstheld the position of the Bishop of Rome (Pope).Between the years 324 and 326 AD, theEmperor Constantine built a basilica on top of St. Peter's grave. It was replacedby the present St. Peter's Basilica between the 16th and 17th centuries. And was designed and decorated by Renaissance andbaroque geniuses such as Raphael, Bramante, Bernini Michelangelo, and Maderna. St.Peter's basilica is the largest religious building in the world. 

St. Peter's Basilica, Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano or Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Italian, is a Church located in Vatican City that dates back to the Renaissance age. Michelangelo, Bernini and Bramante were the main architects of the magnificent basilica and it is one of the most famous architectural works of the Renaissance era. The building of the current church (replaced the old 4th century Church over St. Peter's tomb) began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.

According to Roman Catholic tradition St. Peter's Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, one Christs' 12 apostles. Additionally in Roman Catholic tradition, St. Peter was also the first Bishop of Rome and thus was the first in the papal (pope) lineage.

Saint Peter's Basilica is located within the Vatican and thus it serves the Popes for ceremonies. Throughout the year a number of services are conducted by the pope and they attract audiences of 20,000 to over 90,000 people who come to the Vatican Basilica (St. Peter's) or St. Peter's Square. In addition to serving the papcy, St. Peter's is one of the four churches of Rome that hold the rank of Major Basilica.

Saint Peter's tomb is located directly below the altar of the St. Peter's Basilica and soem hitorical evidence supports this. Many Popes have been buried at St. Peter's for this reason and this is also why there has been a church at this location in Rome since the times of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (4th century)

The basilica has great architectural structures that tooks everal years to design and build. One of the major contributors to the amazing structure of St. Peter’s Basilica is the Master Michelangelo. The following are some ofthe spectacular architectural features of the basilica: the Bramante’s dome, Maderno’s façade, St Peter’s statues, narthex and portals, and Maderno’ nave. St. Peter also has a lovely Piazza, fountains, altars, towers. It also known for the statues in the piers of the dome ( among them are the statues of Saint Helena, St.Longinus, St. Andrew and St. Veronica).

The specifications of the St. Peter’s basilica are approximately: length: 730 feet (220 m); width: 500 feet (150 m); maximum height: 452 feet (138 m); outer dome diameter: 137.7 feet (42 m); inner dome diameter: 136.1 feet (41.5 m). These dimensions are indeed an indication of how huge the basilica is. With its spectacular furnishes, architecture, tombs and collections of art, St. Peter’s Basilica is and will always be one of the largest churches in the world and oneof the holiest Catholic sites.
The Pontifical Swiss guard is a group of Swiss Guards that guard the Vatican City State and the Pope. The Pontifical Swiss guard protects the Pope and its area of operation is in the ... moreVatican, which is the home to the Roman Catholic Pope.

The Pontifical Swiss guards are known for their helmets and striped uniforms and they have become one of the most outstanding traditions of the Vatican. These Uniforms originated in the Renaissance. The current Swiss Guard's three colored dress uniform is designed to look like the guard uniforms of that period. Every uniform is sewn individually for each guard. The Vatican was often attacked by outsiders before it became a state. Due to the fact that Vatican City is in the center of Rome and the Pope's household was situated there the Pope's life was constantly exposed to danger. This led to the establishment of the Pontifical Swiss guard.

Following an alliance with the Swiss confederation the first group of the Pontifical Swiss guards was welcomed into Vatican City on the 22nd of January, 1506 by Pope Julius II. The group contained 150 guards. Ever since, the Swiss guards have served as the Vatican military force known as the Pontifical Swiss guard.

Not anyone can qualify to be a Vatican Swiss guard. There are requirements which must be met for you to qualify as a Vatican guard. First, you must be a Catholic, you must have a Swiss citizenship, and you must be a single male aged between 19 to 30 years. You must have completed basic training with the Swiss military and you should be able to obtain a certificate of good conduct. Candidates must also have a high school diploma or a professional degree, should be at least 174 cm. If someone wants to be chosen as a Swiss guard he must go through a process of application. There were suggestions that female candidates be considered for recruitment as Swiss guards. This is not yet a possibility but that maybe it will be in the future. The guards are allowed to marry after serving for some years at the Vatican.

The Vatican Swiss guards have official uniforms of blue, red, orange and yellow colors. The uniforms are tailored inside the Pontifical Swiss Guard barracks. The guards also have some equipment: both traditional and modern arms including a sword, command baton, flamberge, partisan, cuirass with spaudlers, etc.

The Pontifical Swiss guards also perform ceremonial duties. Because of on their responsibilities at the Vatican City, the role of the Vatican police is very crucial to the operation of the Vatican. When you enter the gates of Vatican City, you will meet the Vatican Swiss guard who will check you and give you directions on where you want to go. The guards also work closely with the Pope. During the public masses, these guards are the ones responsible for the overall security of the Pope.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
Christmas is a very important holiday in the Roman Catholic Calendar. Christmas celebrated the birth of Christ. Christmas masses are celebrated in the Vatican with the Pope. These ... moremasses are celebrated in St. Peter’s Square or in St. Peter’s Basilica. The location of the mass depends on the type of celebration and the expected number of people who will be attending the mass. St Peter's Square can contain up to 80,000 people. Due to the large number of participants Christmas masses cannot be held at the St. Peter’s Basilica. Christmas Masses are very large as many tourists, clergymen and Roman Curia wish to attend; therefore they are celebrated in St. Peter’s Square.

If you wish to attend a Christmas mass in the Vatican you will require a ticket. The best way to get them is to make arrangements from your country. You should send a fax 2-6 months in advance directly to the Vatican. The tickets for mass at the Vatican are always free. In most cases, the Holy See issues different types of tickets. There are tickets for Cardinals, Governors and Diplomats, special guests and then for the public.

However, having a ticket is not a guarantee that you will be able to attend the mass. Sometimes there are too many people and you may be denied access to the mass even though you have got tickets. In order to avoid being denied access and attend the mass, it is advised to get there early. The earlier you arrive at the Vatican, the higher the chance that you may attend the mass at St. Peter’s Square. In order to get a good place you should make sure that you arrive at the Vatican at least 1-3 hours before the beginning of the mass.

There is a lot of security at the entrance to the Vatican during any mass and everyone will need to pass through security scanners which are conducted by the Swiss Guards. Attending a Christmas mass in the Vatican is an uplifting experience during which you will be able to see the Pope and celebrate with a huge crowd. If you can, get yourself a ticket. Remember that there is a dress code for the Vatican Mass. Shorts, miniskirts or bare shoulders are not allowed. If you don't dress by the dress code you will be turned away by the security guards.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
On the opposite sides of the obelisk in St. Peter's square there are two fountains. The fountain on the left, when facing St. Peter’s Basilica, was designed by Carlo Moderno. In 1612 ... morePope Paul the V rebuilt the ancient Roman aqueduct the Aqua and it was renamed the Acqua Paola. The restored aqueduct provided the fountain with a larger source of water. The architect Carlo Maderno, who was the nephew of the architect Domenico Fontana, was then commissioned to redesign the fountain. He built a base for the fountain on top of which a large basin was placed. The basin is decorated with steps and small columns. Maderno kept the large lower stone vasque of the old fountain, and decorated the pedestal on top of it with four stone scrolls. He removed the smaller upper vasque, and replaced it with a mushroom like shape with stone scales. When the water flows from the top it pours down over the upper vasque.

The fountain on St. Peter's Square had no pumps and operated by gravity, as all fountains built at the time. The source of water for the fountain was on a hill. This meant that the fountain could shoot water upwards into the air by depending solely the power of gravity.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini this elliptic shaped plaza was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1656 . Berini was tasked with building a square that would enable huge crowds ... moreto see the Pope and receive his blessing. The square can contain more than 350,000 people during occasions such as Easter Mass and the Papal Conclave, when a new pope is elected. The square has a special allure at night when it is lit up and can be seen in all its glory.