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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 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.
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.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
Easter is one of the most important holidays in Catholicism . Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ on the third day after he was crucified.... more
Easter is a great celebration in the Vatican and all of Italy. The end of the Easter celebrations in the Vatican is marked by an elaborate firework display on the Tiber. In this photo you can see the colorful fireworks on the skyline of St. Peter's square. You may notice the famous Obelisk. The obelisk was brought to Rome from Alexandria by Emperor Caligula in 37 AD and it is more than 4000 years old.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
Saint Peter's Basilica Dome - From the inside This beautiful dome is situated above the altar. The dome is held by four structural piers and decorated with elaborate stucco ornaments ... moreand mosaic.The four Evangelists: Mark, Luke, John and Matthew are depicted on the four spaces between the arches that link the square piers and the circular part on the top of the dome.
Type:
Cultural, Historic, Town
The City of Rome is the modern capital of Italy. The historical city of Rome was founded more than 2500 years ago. Rome is filled with monuments and important works of art dating back ... morefrom ancient times to modern days.
Rome is also one of the holiest cities to the Catholic faith and the seat of the Papacy.Thanks to all of these features Rome attracts 7 to 10 million tourists every year.

Ten Quick facts about Rome

1. Rome, or Roma, was said to have been founded in the year 735 BC by the twins Romulusand Remus. According to the ancient Myth the twins, Rome's founders, were abandoned in a basket on the Tiber River and were rescued by a she-wolf. Romulusand Remus suckling from the wolf as babes has become one of the symbols of Rome. Most researchers think that the name Rome is derived from the name of Romulus. Others claim that Rome was founded earlier in history by the Trojan hero Aneas.

2. Rome and its urban and metropolitan area have a population of between 3.2 to 2.8 million people. This makes it the 5th most populated city in the EU.

3. The Tiber River is one of the most prominent features of the city. In ancient Rome it was common practice to throw executed criminals into the Tiber

4. The Vatican is situated within a walled enclave inside Rome. However VAtican City is a separate sovereign independent State. The Vatican's status as an independent state is anchored in the Lateran treaties signed in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See. Italy even has an embassy to the Holy See.

5. Rome has more than 900 churches. Not all of the churches in Rome are Roman Catholic. Amongst the more notable churches are Rome's four basilicas: St. Peter's Basilica, San Giovanni in Laterano, St Paul outside the wall and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

6. Rome inspired many film makersand many classic movies take place in Rome. The most famous of these are Fellini's" La Dolce Vita" and "A Roman Holiday" starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Also some modern movies are inspired by the city the most recent of which is Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love."

7. In Largo Argentina In the historical center of Rome there is a shelter for cats. More than 250 cats find shelter in the ruins of one of the oldest temples in Rome.The Torre Argentina cat shelter is run by volunteers from different countries.The shelter is open to visitors and if you want to you can "adopt" a cat from afar by contributing funds to the shelter neededfor its up-keep and the feeding of the cats.

8. Rome has two Airports: Fiumicino- Leonardo Da Vinci and Ciampino Airport. Fiumacino is the main international Airport.

9. Most of ancient Rome was destroyed in a fire in 64 AD believed to have been started by Emperor Nero so that he build his new Palace in the center of Rome.

10. Many Roman families traditionally eat Pecorino with Fava beans on the first of May.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Park
The Vatican Gardens The Vatican Gardens are urban gardens and parks that cover more than half the area of the Vatican territory in the northeast and south. The gardens cover approximately ... more23 hectares of land, most of which is known as the Vatican Hill. The Vatican Gardens were established during the era of Renaissance and Baroque, and are decorated with sculptures and fountains.

The Vatican Gardens were created in 1279, when Pope Nicholas III moved the Papal residence from the Lateran Palace to the Vatican. The Pope then planted an orchard (pomerium), a lawn (pratellum) and a garden (viridurium). The gardens were surrounded by high walls, which were meant to protect the gardens. These gardens are said to be the place where the Pope meditates privately as he enjoys the nature surrounding him.

During the papacy of Julius II at the beginning of the 16th century, the Vatican gardens were given a re-landscaping. This led to splitting the gardens into three courtyards. The current Vatican Gardens contain a variety of buildings, medieval fortifications and monuments dating back to the 9th century. There are also flower beds, green lawns and a 3-hectare patch of forest. In addition, there are also a number of fountains that cool the gardens. Due to this, the Vatican Gardens have a cool and refreshing atmosphere, making them one of the most popular stops on a visit to the Vatican.

The Vatican Radio is also situated in one of the towers within the Vatican Gardens’ buildings. With the combination of the architectural buildings, green plants, flowers and cooling fountains, the Vatican Gardens are indeed a serene place to tour. If you want to tour the gardens, you must enroll in a Vatican tour. There are guided tours which take visitors through the Vatican Gardens, in addition to other places in Vatican City like the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square, and more. The Vatican tour through the Vatican Gardens is conducted by an official Vatican Tour Guide, who will explain all the details concerning the gardens. You will be taken through the most important religious and cultural sites of the gardens. The Vatican Garden Tour takes approximately 2 hours.

In order to participate in a guided Vatican Tour of the Vatican Gardens, you must obtain a ticket in advance. Tickets can be booked online, where your reservations will be made on the minibus tour. The visit to the Vatican Gardens is available on every day, except Sundays and Vatican holidays. The tours are also provided in different languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, etc. Make arrangements for a Vatican Tour and enjoy the views of Torre leonine, Vist di San Pietro, Fontana, Panorama, Roseto, Madonna della Guardia, Fontana dell’aquilone and Particolare, among others.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
The entire Vatican State is acknowledged as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1984. The main tourist attractions in the Vatican are: St. Peter's basilica, St. Peter's Square, The ... moreVatican Museums and the Vatican gardens. The entrance to the Basilica and Square are free of charge. Please note that visitors are asked to dress appropriately when entering the church.

There are five entrances to Vatican City; Many Visitors start their Vatican tour at St Peter's square. The best way to get to the Vatican from Rome's historical center is through Ponte St. Angelo. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is on Viale Vaticano.

According to Catholic tradition, St. Peter was martyred in Rome in the first century AD. In The Statue depicting St. Peter him in St Peter's square you can notice that he is holding a set of keys- the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The keys to the kingdom of heaven have become the emblem of the Holy See (the Vatican). In the Roman Catholic Church it is believed that salvation and heaven are only possible through the one true Church- the Roman Catholic Church. With a billion members all over the world, the Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination.
Type:
Cultural, Historic, Museum
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 Rephael 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.
Type:
Attraction
Cultural
Historic
Museum
On February 11th 1929, Vatican CityState was established by the signing of the Lateran Treaties between the stateof Italy and the Holy See. Its status as a sovereign State isuniversally ... morerecognized and is anchored in international law. Due to the smallsize of Vatican City, some of its Departments and offices are located in severalbuildings in Rome. These buildings enjoy the same status as embassies andforeign diplomatic missions according to the Lateran Treaty.

Vatican City lies beyond the right bank of the Tiber River, its on part of the ancient Montes Vaticani (the Vatican Mount) and where the Vatican Fields used to be .The Name "Vatican" originated from the name of this hill. The Vatican was protected from being secluded from the rest of the city by being included within the walls of Pope Leo IV (847–55), and later on fortified further by Popes Paul III , Pius IV and Urban VIII. There are five entrances to Vatican City; Many Visitors start their Vatican tour at St Peter's square.

The best way to get to the Vatican from Rome's historical center is through Ponte St. Angelo. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is on Viale Vaticano.on Viale Vaticano.

Perhaps the most recognizable building of Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica is the main Church of the Vatican built and named under the words of Jesus to St. Peter:

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father who is in Heaven.And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

Matthew 16:17-19
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
The Circus Maximus Since ancient times the Roman culture promoted entertainment and sports. Chariot racing was one of the Ancient Roman’s most popular forms of entertainment and it ... moreled to the establishment of the Circus Maximus. The Circus Maximus was one of the largest stadiums of Rome that was used to host chariot races among other entertainment events. The stadium is located within the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills, in Rome, Italy. The original size of the stadium was 621 m long and 118 m wide, and it could accommodate 150,000 people.

The Circus Maximus was developed in the 6th Century BC, during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus who was the fifth king of Rome. The original Circus Maximus was built out of wood and it was designed specifically to race chariots. The very first gates of the Circus Maximus were built in 329 BC. In 174 BC, these gates were rebuilt and seven wooden eggs were placed on top of the spina, which was the central wall in the stadium. These eggs were used to count the number of laps during racing. One egg was removed after each lap. In 33 BC, seven bronze dolphins were added to the spina to serve the same purpose.

In 31 BC, the Circus Maximus was destroyed by a fire. The wooden structure was burnt but was later rebuilt by Emperor Augustus who also added an imperial box on the Palatine Hill. It was then that a large obelisk was added to the spina as a form of decoration. The obelisk can still be found in Rome today, at the center of the Piazza del Popolo. The second fire to burn Circus Maximus occurred in AD 64 during the reign of Emperor Nero. The Circus Maximus was again rebuilt by Trajan in AD 103. The stadium was now built by stones and it was three stories high. The sitting area of the stadium was built in marble. The stadium became bigger and more impressive. The Circus Maximus continued being popular and was used for several events. However chariot races were still the most popular events. The stadium could accommodate up to 250,000 and entry was free. Actually anybody, including the Rome’s poor, could attend the races in the stadium.

The last race to be held at the Circus Maximus was in AD 549. Thereafter, the stadium started becoming a forfeited area. Some of its marble and stones were stolen and used to construct new premises in the area. The decentralization of the area led to the collapse of the Circus Maximus.

Today, the Circus Maximus is just a public park within the centre of the city. The stadium is still used to host some concerts and meetings in Rome, though it is not as popular as it was during the ancient days.
Type:
Attraction
Historic
Neighborhood
Town
The Seven Hills of Rome The ancient city of Rome was originally built on the topographical layout of seven separate hills. These seven hills were joined together by the ancient walls ... moreof Rome- the Servian walls. The Seven Hills of Rome lie in the east to the Tiber River. Later many more areas were annexed to the city. The city walls were extended to include them also and the city is now much bigger than its original territory. The Vatican and Vatican hill are included in the Areas that were added to the city much later in history.

The seven hills are, namely:

The Quirinal Hill

The Aventine Hill

The Caelian Hill

The Viminal Hill

The Capitoline Hill

The Esquiline Hill

The Palatine Hill 

The biggest of all the seven is the Esquiline hill. It is famous because the Roman emperor constructed the domus aurea on it. Before the time of the Roman Empire the east side of the Esquiline was used for refuse and the poor buried their dead there. Execution of criminals was held by the Esquiline gate and the bodies were left to rot there. Burial was not allowed within the borders of the city but the burial area at the Esquiline was not within the walls of the city.

In addition on the Esquiline were The Temple of Claudius, The Colossus, and the Baths of Trajan.

The Palatine hill is also very important. According to the legend about the foundation of Rome the city to was first founded on the Palatine Hill by Romulus.

Rome had a very humble beginning. According to the legend the seven hills were originally occupied by tiny groups of separate tribes and were not affiliated to any city. Rome did not yet exist. Eventually the residents of the seven hills started to cooperate in order to participate in a series of religious games. These games were the adhesive that bonded the different settlers. As these separate settlements came together and became friendly, they formed together the newborn city of Rome. They started to work together to drain the marshes between the different hills and turn them into markets. The safety of any city used to depend on the height, sturdiness and breadth of its walls. The seven hills were protected by the walls called the Servian Walls. These were built in the early 4th century BC.

Whereas five out of the seven hills of Rome; The Caelian, The Esquiline, The Aventine, The Viminal and The Quirinal) include monuments, buildings, and parks m the poher two are not populated currently. The Capitoline hill is now Rome's city hall, and the Palatine Hill is part of an archaeological site.

Because of the seven hills Rome is known as the city of seven hills among other names given to it. The legend of the seven hills is so famous that here are other cities in the world that claim to have been built on seven hills. One of these cities is Athens, Greece.

The Pincian Hill located north of the tiber, The Vatican Hill which is located north-west to the river Tiber , and the Janiculum Hill lying to the west, are not part of the Seven Hills.
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