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Roman Forum Here we have a great valley, the political heart of ancient Rome, where the daily life of the ancient Romans unfolded. The Republic revolved around the Senate, where giant, ... morerichly decorated spaces still resound with the voices of the great senators that unleashed war and brokered peace in the Mediterranean. While the House of the Vestals introduces us to the only female religious order in Rome, the via Sacra, still marked by the wheels of carts that traversed it for centuries, helps us understand the Romans’ amazing engineering capabilities. In front of the Temple of Julius Caesar we will be catapulted into the story of one of the greatest political murders of all time. Nearby, the temple of Antoninus and Faustina tells us of the extent of the Roman empire, with its rare marbles and its inscriptions. The images carved into the Arch of Titus tell of the conquest of Jerusalem and the transfer of its ancient treasures to Rome, fascinating histories that your expert guide will explain.

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
 (1)
  • The works were collected by the church throughout the centuries and the collections include some of the most famous Renaissance masterpieces and sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece.
The Vatican Museums exhibit artworks from the Roman Catholic Church's Impressive collections. The works were collected by the church throughout the centuries and the collections include ... moresome of the most famous Renaissance masterpieces and sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece. The popes were great patrons of art and among the first sovereigns who opened their private art collections to the public.

Several sculptures collected by Pope Julius the second were the first items in what was to become the Vatican Museums collection. The Vatican Museums, as seen today are comprised of several pontifical galleries and museums that were assembled by various popes. Several masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Fra Angelico, Giotto, Nicolas Poussin the renown Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo, the Raphael rooms, and the impressive collection of maps are all part of the vast collection. They are the main attractions of the Vatican Museums and are considered treasures of immense value. There are also galleries displaying modern Christian religious art. Watch our 3-D virtual tours on www.vatican.com to see with your own eyes some of the Vatican's most astounding treasures including the Sistine Chapel.

The Vatican museums also have changing exhibitions, special programs with lectures on Thursdays and many different kinds of guided tours, some specially suited for children. In the educational tours for children, the children get to have a close look at some artworks and even create small "masterpieces" of their own. In addition The Vatican Museums have tours for the deaf and the blind upon request and pre- booking. If you are in need of these tours you will also get two free tickets for entry.

In order to skip the long entrance queues if you're visiting the Vatican Museums without a guide, it's best to pre-book your Vatican Museum tickets online. When booking online you will need to choose the time of entry. If you haven't booked online it's best to try and come in the afternoon, after 12:00. Take into account that you'll need at least three hours just to see the main attractions. The Vatican museums are the biggest museum complex in the world. Upon entry take into account that you may need to wait about 20 minutes to get through the security check as all visitors need to pass through metal detectors at the security check point. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is on Viale Vaticano.

Opening hours for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel ticket offices are Monday to Saturday: 9 am to 4 pm. The Museums close at 6 pm. You must exit the rooms half an hour before closing time. The Vatican museums are closed on Sundays apart for the last Sunday of every month when there is free entrance to the museums from 9 am to 12.30 pm. On these Sundays the Vatican museums close at 2 pm.

Ticket Tarrifs: The price for a ticket to the Vatican Museums is 16 Euros and reduced price is 8 Euros. The added price for booking your Vatican museum tickets online is 4 Euros.
Public traansportaion to the Vatican Museums

By Metro: line A to Ottaviano-San Pietro Musei Vaticani station
by bus: number 49, stops right in front of the Museums Entrance.492, 990, Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni. 32, 81, 982, Piazza del Risorgimento, end of the line.
by tram: 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom, Drinking water
  • The Raphael rooms (Stanze di Raphael) are four rooms which were used as the residence of the popes between 1507 and 1585.
The Raphael rooms (Vatican museums) The Raphael rooms (Stanze di Raphael) are four rooms which were used as the residence of the popes between 1507 and 1585. The first pope to use ... morethe Raphael rooms as his residence was Pope Julius II. Pope Gregory XIII was the last Pope to use these rooms as his residence. Today, the Raphael rooms are part of the Vatican museum.

The Raphael rooms form part of the apartment located on the second floor of the Pontifical Palace that was first chosen by Pope Julius II della Rovere as his own residence and was later used by his successors for the same purpose. The decoration of the rooms was done by Raphael and his pupils between 1508 and 1524. Although Raphael died in 1520, his pupils continued with the project until its completion in 1524.

The Raphael rooms are: Room of Constantine, Room of Heliodorus, Room of the Segnatura and Room of the Fire in the Borgo.

Room of Constantine: this is the largest room of the four Raphael rooms. It is the room which is dedicated to the victory of Christianity over paganism. The frescoes contained in this room represent the struggles from the life of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Some of the features in the Room of Constantine include: the Vision of the Cross, the Baptism of Constantine, the Battle of Milvian Bridge and the Donation of Constantine.

Room of Heliodorus: this is the private chamber that symbolizes the heavenly protection provided by Christ to the Church. The room contains four paintings, namely: the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, the Mass at Bolsena, the Meeting of Pope Leo I and Attila, and the Deliverance of Saint Peter from Prison.

Room of the Segnatura: it was the study room of Pope Julius II. The room symbolizes bringing into harmony the spirits of Antiquity and Christianity. Here is where most of the papal documents were signed and sealed among these were: The Disputation of the Holy Sacrament, the School of Athens, the Parnassus, the Cardinal Virtues, among others.

Room of the Fire in the Borgo: it shows Pope Leo IV making the sign of the cross to put out a raging fire in the Borgo. During the reign of Pope Leo X, this room was used as a music room. Most of the frescos in the room portray events that took place from the lives of Pope Leo III and Pope Leo IV. Some of the paintings in this room include: the Oath of Leo III, the Coronation of Charlemagne, Fire in the Borgo and the Battle of Ostia.

The Raphael rooms are decorated with paintings that make them look magnificent. The rooms are located a few steps away from the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Cathedral. The next time you visit Rome, pay a visit to these rooms and you will be astonished by the paintings within them. The Raphael rooms are one of the most visited parts of the Vatican museums and they have a grand history which is significant for the Roman Catholic Church.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom
  • Trevi Fountain is the biggest Baroque fountain in Rome, Italy. It is also among the most beautiful fountains in the whole world. The fountain was constructed between 1732 and 1762
Trevi Fountain in Rome Trevi Fountain is the biggest Baroque fountain in Rome, Italy. It is also among the most beautiful fountains in the whole world. The fountain was constructed ... morebetween 1732 and 1762. The fountain is located at the end of the Aqua Virgo, which brings water from the Salone Springs which are located approximately 20 km from Rome. Trevi fountain symbolizes Rome’s rich history and architecture.

The first design of Trevi Fountain was made by the artist Bernini in 1640 but his plan was not implemented. During the mid 18th century, Nicola Salvi won the papal competition to adapt Bernini’s previous design of the fountain.Unfortunately, Nicola died before the completion of the construction. Eleven years later the project was taken over by Giuseppe Panini who then completed it.

The Trevi Fountain is 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, making it the largest fountain in Rome. There is a large structure depicting Neptune (god of the sea) at the centre of the fountain. The god is riding a chariot which is being pulled buy two seahorses. One of the horses is obedient and calm while the other one is edgy. The two horses symbolize the changing moods of the sea. The fountain contains some more statues including one on the left hand side of Neptune which represents Abundance and another on the right representing Salubrity.

Trevi fountain is an iconic monument and no tourist who visits Rome goes back home without visiting it. The fountain has a great history and the water at the bottom of it is said to represent the sea. According to the famous legend if you throw a coin into the water then you will then return again to Rome one day. The coin is tossed over thy shoulder with the back to the fountain. This is a great experience and nearly all the tourists who visit the fountain try it and throw a coin into it. Incredibly enough it is estimated that an average of 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain everyday! This money is used to fund a city food bank.

The Trevi Fountain has also been featured as an iconic part of Rome's imagery in several movies including the 1954 Hollywood movie “Three Coins in a Fountain”. The fountain’s presence can be noticed from the nearby streets. You will start hearing the sound of gushing waters growing more intense as you come closer.The gushing sound makes the visiting tourists eager to see this spectacular monument that is full of history, art, architecture and tradition. This is why the fountain attracts millions of tourists every year.

The Trevi Fountain is truly extraordinary: it combines an internal cool environment with a vibrant sound of gushing water from the fountain and wonderfully detailed life like statues.There are plans to restore the fountain which will involve a complete overhaul including an overall cleaning of the statues, replacing the gilded Latin inscriptions and also re-waterproofing the main basin. During the process, the fountain will not be closed to tourists and it is expected to becompleted by 2015.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
  • Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful baroque sites in Rome. It was built at the exact place where the Domiziano Stadium was situated.
Piazza Navona Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful baroque sites in Rome. It was built at the exact place where the Domiziano Stadium was situated. This magnificent square has ... moremore than three magnificent fountains. The Piazza Navona is located in the historic center of Rome, west to the Pantheon. The square is one of the liveliest and most visited squares of Rome, with many outdoor cafes, restaurants and nightclubs in the surrounding areas.

There are several structures that can be found at Piazza Navona namely:

Domitian’s Stadium: this is the stadium that occupied this site before Piazza Navona was built. The stadium was built by Emperor Domitian in 86 AD and although you cannot see it today the Piazza Navona took its oval shape from this structure.

Fountain of the Four Rivers: Its fountains are among the major attractions of Piazza Navona. The central fountain, called Fontana dei Quattro Fium (Fountain of the Four Rivers), is the largest and most attractive. The fountain features four figures, each representing a river from a different continent – rivers Rio de la Plata, Ganges, Nile and Danube. The statues are at the base of a rock supporting an obelisk, originally located at the Massenzio Circus, near the Appian Way.

The Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone: the church was commissioned in 1652 by Pope Innocent X. The facade of the church was designed by Borromini and it was completed in 1670.

Neptune Fountain and Moor Fountain: these are two other outstanding fountains in the Piazza Navona. The first is the Fontana del Nettuno (Neptune Fountain) on the northern side of the piazza and Fontana del Moro (Moor Fountain) on the southern side. The Neptune Fountain was built in 1576 by Giacomo della Porta. During the 19th century, the statues of Neptune surrounded by sea nymphs were added. The Moor Fountain was also built by Giacomo della Porta; and it has a central statue of a Moor holding a dolphin designed by Bernini which was added in the 17thcentury. The Fontana del Moro was vandalized on the 3rd of September 2011. The man who damaged the fountain was captured on the security cameras.

The Piazza Navona has hosted several events and festivals. Between 1650 and late 19th century, The Piazza Navona could be flooded during the summer season and was used for aquatic games and staged marine battles. Piazza Navona is a cool place to hang around and this is true for Rome's local residents as well as tourists. It also features beautiful sculptural and architectural creations. There are many artists who gather in the square to paint and there are also several entertainers and vendors who sell souvenirs. The nightlife at the Piazza Navona is also lively as there are many nightclubs in the surrounding areas of the square. In Christmas the Piazza hosts a charming Christmas market. The Piazza Navona is a square full of life and worth a visit. There are lots of people, artists sharing their talents and lots of places to enjoy meals and have fun.
Type:
Attraction, Historic
 (1)
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, Museum
  • The construction of the Colosseum was started in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian and it was completed in 80 AD, a year after the death of Vespasian.
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, Cultural, Historic
Features:
Bathroom
  • Erected in honor of the Prince of Apostles
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, Church, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom
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