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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
The Lateran Palace In ancient Roman times the Lateran Palace was a palace belonging to Roman noblemen but later it became the major papal residence. It was originally kwon as the Apostolic ... morePalace of the Lateran. The Lateran Palace is one of the major Lateran buildings in Rome. It was the primary Apostolic residence prior to the Avignon Exile.

Nowadays the Lateran Palace displays the history of the Papal States. The Lateran Palace is now occupied by the Museo Storico Vaticano. In addition, the Lateran Palace houses some residential apartments of the Cardinal Vicar and the offices of the Vicariate of Rome. During the ancient days, the Lateran Palace also housed some of the collections and relics of the Lateran Museum, which were later distributed in different museums of Vatican.

The Lateran Palace is next to the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, which is the cathedral church of Rome. The Lateran Palace obtained its name from the Laterani family whose family members served as administrators for numerous Roman emperors and donated land, property and funded several projects in Rome.

Despite the change of its use, the Lateran Palace has remained an incredibly well kept palace and it is now an important part of the Roman Catholic Church's history. The palace is surrounded by several gardens and structures that make it a tourist attraction. Different popes who have ruled Rome have also used the Lateran Palace to serve various purposes; mostly for holding important meetings. It is at the Lateran Palace that the Lateran Treaty was signed on 11th February 1929.

The Lateran Palace is open to the public and tourists are allowed to visit the palace especially in the morning hours. In case you are new to the place, you will be guided through the whole palace and shown important sites and their meanings. The Lateran Palace itself is an incredible place to visit. The inside of the palace is full of historical relics and artifacts created by the great artists of Rome. It is here that the popes used to reside and therefore it is given the attention and respect it deserves. There is tight security in the place and no incidences of crimes despite the high crime rate in Rome.

It is also important to note that the Lateran Palace was destroyed by fires in 1307 and 1361.Due to the damage the ancient building of the Lateran Palace was replaced with the same structure, which is the current Lateran Palace, during the papacy of Pope Sixtus V. The restructuring was designed and supervised by architect Fontana. 

The Lateran Palace houses the famous Scala Sancta and as it is among the holiest places in Rome, you will meet many people visiting the Lateran Palace especially in the morning hours.
Attraction, Church, Historic
Santa Maria Maggiore Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. It is a papal basilica and often used by the pope. It is one of the four basilicas in ... moreRome holding the title major basilica. Santa Maria Maggiore is located on the summit of the Esquiline Hill, and it is the only patriarchal basilica of the four basilicas in Rome to have retained its paleo-Christian structures. The other three basilicas of Rome are: St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John’s Basilica and St. Paul’s Basilica. Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major) is the largest church in Rome having been dedicated to the ‘Virgin Mary’. Its name ‘major’ shows that it is the most important of the 80 churches in Rome that are dedicated to Mary.

Santa Maria Maggiore dates back to the 5th century when the landowner (according to legend the patrician John) of Esquiline Hill had a dream on the 4th of August 352. In the dream, Virgin Mary appeared to him and told him to build a church at the site where snow would fall the following day. On that same night, Pope Liberius had the same dream.

The following day, snow fell on the Esquiline Hill. The pope and the patrician quickly ran towards the site of the miracle and they found that the snow had fallen in the shape of a floor plan for a church. Pope Liberius then decided to build a basilica at that very site as an honor of the Virgin Mary. However, archeological evidence shows that the church was first built in the early 400s and was completed under the reign of Pope Sixtus III between 432 and 440. This was the time when many churches were built and dedicated to Mary.

The Santa Maria Maggiore has had many names from the time it was built. First, it was called St. Mary of the Snow (Santa Maria della Neve), after the miraculous snowfall; then Santa Maria Liberiana after Pope Liberius. After the basilica had obtained a relic of the Holy Crib, it was called St. Mary of the Crib (Santa Maria Del Presepe). Then it finally obtained its current name St. Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore).

Full restoration and renovation of Santa Maria Maggiore took place during the 18th century, when the facade and its interior were greatly changed. Santa Maria Maggiore is a tourist’s attraction and it is said to be the second most beautiful church in Rome second only to St. Peter’s. Among the attractions that you can see at the Santa Maria Maggiore are several mosaics (apse mosaic depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, mosaics of the triumphal arch which depicts scenes from the early life of Christ), the nave, the medieval bell tower (the highest in Rome), Athenian marble columns, the Pauline chapel, an icon of Virgin Mary known as Salus Populi Romani (Health of the Roman People), a relic of the True Cross and a museum containing Roman remains. The basilica is decorated with lots of artworks that will make your visit interesting. The feast day of Santa Maria Maggiore is celebrated on August 15th.
St. Peter's Dome St. Peter’s Dome is the dome that covers St. Peter's basilica, one of the most exceptional religious and historic sites in Rome, Italy. Rome is a city of wonders in ... moreterms of architectural buildings as well as its natural landscape. St. Peter’s Square, just outside the basilica, is where the most important Catholic Masses and occasions are celebrated. It is here where the newly elected pope appears to the rest of the world for the first time. St. Peter’s basilica also houses several papal tombs, among many other Catholic relics. This site is incredible, both in it interior and exterior.

Another incredible feature of St. Peter’s Basilica is the Dome. This is the largest dome in the world and it is a marvel of architecture. The dome is also referred to as the cupola. The dome ascends above the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica and it is extravagantly embelished with mosaic and ornaments. It is supported by four main structural piers with a height of 120m and a perimeter of 71m; starting from the ground to the roof of the lantern.

There are huge letters on the gold background, from St. Veronica to St. Helen, stating: “Hinc una fides mundo refulgent” (From here a single faith shines throughout the world); and from St. Longinus to St. Andrew: “Hinc sacerdotii unitas exoritur” (From here is born the unity of the priesthood). There are several other verses as well and all these gigantic letters (2 meter high) are lit by the light from 16 large windows.

The dome is divided into 16 ribs and into many segments by majestic figures on 6 ascending concentric levels. The levels are as follows, starting at the bottom: busts of the 16 popes buried in the basilica; the majestic figures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, and other Apostles; the angels bearing the instruments of Jesus’ Passion (in the rectangular frames); the faces of cherubim and seraphim in circular medallions; the angels, the custodians of St. Peter’s tomb; and additional faces of winged angels.

The most interesting experience is climbing up the dome. It has 551 stairs and that is why if you are not very energetic it is recommended to take a lift; or else you will spend hours just climbing the dome. It costs around 7 Euros to take the lift. Once you reach the basilica, you will see a queue to climb the dome; this is because there are many people climbing up the dome every day. Queue in the line and get your climbing ticket. After getting the ticket, you will be guided either to the stairs or the lift depending on your choice. Paying for the lift is worthwhile as after a short while you will already be at the top of the dome. You can get outside the dome, where you can see a panoramic view of ALL of Rome. It is a spectacular view with magnificent and breath-taking sites.

If you are planning to visit Rome, put St. Peter’s Dome in your list “must see” sites. There are guided tours by professionals who will take you to all places in and outside the dome and give you comprehensive explanation of every detail of the dome. Climbing St. Peter’s Dome is a lifetime experience.
Attraction, Historic
The Fountains in St. Peter's Square St. Peter’s Square is one of the most famous venues in Rome, Italy. The square is located in front of St. Peter’s Basilica within Vatican City. ... moreSeveral special Masses are celebrated in St. Peter's square during various special dates on the Roman Catholic Church's calendar. It is at St. Peter’s Square where a newly elected pope appears to the rest of the world for the first time. Other special Masses celebrated at St. Peter’s Square include: Easter and Christmas Masses.

St. Peter’s Square is known for its spectacular beauty and the fountains may be listed among its many outstanding features. Most of these fountains were constructed during ancient days and they have contributed ever since to the beauty of the square. The fountains have been renovated and are well conserved making them worth visiting if you are visiting the Vatican and Rome.

The following are some of the fountains that can be found in St. Peter’s Square:

Maderno Fountain: this fountain was redesigned by architect Carlo Maderno after being commissioned by Pope Paul V. The design is that of an octagonal base with a large irregular basin at the top. It also has small columns and steps which hold water. The new design is also comprised of a large lower stone vasque, which the old fountain had possessed also as well as four stone scrolls. The top of the fountain is a cap in shape of a mushroom, which is covered with stone scales. Water from the top of the fountain pours down over the top of the upper vasque. The fountain was designed in such a way that it did not operate by pumps but purely by gravity. This was facilitated by the fact that the source of water for the Maderno Fountain was higher than the fountain itself. 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.

Bernini Fountain: it is located on the southern side of St. Peter’s Square. It was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini between 1667 and 1677. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Clement X. Bernini built the fountain for ten years and its design followed earlier designs.

These fountains continuously give St. Peter’s Square a spectacular atmosphere in which the sounds of trickling water made by these fountains can be heard from a distance. Therefore as you approach St. Peter’s Square, you will start hearing the relaxing sounds supplied by the fountains’ waters. The fountains have remained a great tourist attraction and are among the most beautiful fountains in Rome, Italy.

Therefore if you are planning to visit Rome, do not miss out on a visit St. Peters square and its fountains. They are among the tallest and most beautiful fountains in the Vatican City. You will meet attendants who will give a brief history of the fountains and explain every detail about these fountains. If you are allowed to enter St. Peter’s square then there are no restrictions on viewing and taking photos of these fountains. The fountains also discharge very clean water and are well maintained.
Attraction, Historic
The Gandolfo Castel Gandolfo Castel is a town located 24 km southeast of Rome, Italy. The GandolfoCastel is on the Alban Hills, overlooking Lake Albano. The town has a totalpopulation ... moreof approximately 8840 people, and it is said to be one of the mostscenic towns in Italy. The Gandolfo Castel hosts the Apostolic Palace of CastleGandolfo, which is used as a summer residence and vacation retreat for thePope. The Gandolfo Castel is located within the borders of Castle Gandolfo, butit has extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See andtherefore it is not under the jurisdiction of Italy.

Themain source of water for the Gandolfo Castel is Lake Albano, which is oftencalled Lake Castel Gandolfo. This place is surrounded by several summerresidences, villas and cottages; some of which were built during the 17thcentury. The Gandolfo Castel also houses the Stadio Olimpico, which staged rowingevents during the Rome Olympics. There are also several archeological siteswithin The Gandolfo Castel, among them Emissario del Lago Albano and theremains of the Villa of Domitian. It is also an area full of artistic interest,such as the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova, which was designed byGian Bernini Lorenzo.

Justlike most towns in Rome, Italy, Gandolfo Castel is also a town full ofactivities. There are many events that take place in the town on variousoccasions. There is a local market which takes place on Friday mornings, manyfestivals, theatres, artwork, schools, archeological sites, canoeing, golf,rugby, football, etc. The town offers many hotels which are constantly full ofvisitors. Some of the fabulous hotels in The Gandolfo Castel and near the towninclude Hotel Castel Gandolfo, Hotel Castel Vecchio, Hotel Villa Degli Angeli, andmore. The abundance of hotels displays the prominence of the town as a holidaydestination. Visitors frequent the town, especially during summer, to enjoy thefresh air, cool atmosphere and spectacular views in the town and thesurrounding areas. Limited parking for tourists is available within the boundsof Gandolfo Castel.

Butmore important to the Catholic Church and its followers, the Gandolfo Castel isthe Papal residence during summer. The Pope stays in this place during summertimes, and also holds occasional special meetings with his delegates at thesite. Recently, during the election of the new Pope following the resignationof Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Benedict retired to the Gandolfo Castel during theelection process.

Despitethe fact that Castel Gandolfo is a town full of tourism, agriculture, games,art, and other activities; the town hold a great importance to the Catholic believersas it is the Pope's second home and the place where he spends most of his timeoutside Vatican City.
The Vatican Necropolis The Vatican Necropolis is located under the Vatican City, at a depth of 5 to 12 meters below Saint Peter’s Basilica. Major archaeological excavations took place ... moreunder Saint Peter’s in the years 1940 to 1949, with the sponsorship of the Vatican. This excavation work was done at the request of the then Pope Pius XI who wanted to be buried very close to Peter the Apostle. St Peter is believed to have been the first Pope. It is said that he was martyred in a Roman Circus and that his remains were then buried at the site of the Vatican. These excavations were done so as to locate the actual site of the grave of St. Peter, which had been assumed to be under St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Necropolis of the Vatican is also home to the Tomb of the Julii family (The family of Julius Ceaser). During Ancient times people were not allowed to be buried within the walls of the city of Rome and this led to the establishment of the Vatican necropolis. The Vatican necropolis was originally established as a burial place built on the southern slope of the Vatican Hill. The Vatican hill was located next to a circus built by Emperor Caligula.

There have been some reconstructions done in the Vatican necropolis including one reconstruction in the area around the grave of the Apostle Peter. Some archaeologists who were involved in the early excavations of the Vatican necropolis in search of St. Peter’s grave suggested that at the time of the construction of Constantinian basilica, the remains of the Apostle Peter were removed from his original grave and placed in the opening.

Every year, millions of people from different parts of the world visit the Vatican for various reasons. A big percentage of these people visit the Vatican necropolis, the place where Peter the Apostle and other popes are believed to have been buried. This site is one of the holiest places in Rome. Saint Peter was crucified on Nero’s circus in the center of St. Peter’s Basilica and his body was moved and buried to a cemetery. According to history, this cemetery is said to be the current Vatican necropolis .Many people who take a tour of Vatican appreciate the conservancy of this place.There are guided tours which can be arranged in advance online in different languages. You will be taken through the chambers until you reach the Tomb of Saint Peter.In the tours you will enjoy magnificent monuments, inscriptions and works of art which symbolize the history of Christianity and the City of Vatican. A tour of Vatican necropolis will last approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. Please note that only a small group of people of between ten and fifteen is allowed in at a time. On a tour of the area you can also enjoy the view of Vatican hill, the Vatican Gardens, museums, St. Peter’s Square, and the Apostolic Palace, among other monuments.
Blessing America mind memory sprits soul heart mind brain America blessing
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
The Flavian Palace, normally known as the Domus Flavia, is part of the vast residential complex of the Palace of Domitian on the Palatine Hill in Rome. It was completed in 92 AD by ... moreEmperor Titus Flavius Domitianus, and attributed to his master architect, Rabirius.

The term Domus Flavia is a modern designation used to describe the northwestern section of the Palace where the bulk of the large public rooms for entertaining and ceremony are concentrated. It is interconnected with the domestic wing to the southeast, the Domus Augustana, which descends from the summit of the Palatine down to wings specially constructed within the hill to the south and southwest.

The imposing ruins which flank the southeastern side of the Palace above the Circus Maximus are a later addition built by Septimius Severus; they are the supporting piers for a large extension which completely covered the eastern slope.

The Domus Flavia contains several exceptionally large rooms; the main public reception rooms are the Basilica, the Aula Regia, the Lararium, and the Triclinium.

The Basilica is the first part visible from the Clivus Palatinus, the road that connects the Roman Forum to the Palatine Hill. A long portico runs alongside the domus on the west and north sides at the end of which is the main entrance which seems to serve both the public and the private part of the palace. Once inside the visitor enters the Lararium housing a detachment of the Praetorian guard. It is the smallest and most poorly preserved room in the palace. Behind it was once a staircase providing access to the Domus Augustana. Below this room parts of the earlier House of the Griffins have been excavated and from which exquisite decorations have been removed to the Antiquarium.
The House of the Vettii: A Glimpse of Ancient Roman Life Nestled in the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii lies the House of the Vettii, a remarkably well-preserved Roman villa that ... moreoffers a window into the daily lives of its inhabitants. In this article, we explore the history and significance of this stunning historical site and how it can enhance your Pompeii tour.

A Brief History of the House of the Vettii
The House of the Vettii was built in the 2nd century BCE, during the Roman Republic, and was later renovated after the earthquake in 62 CE. The villa was home to two affluent brothers, Aulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva, who were freedmen and successful merchants. The house was buried under volcanic ash and pumice during the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, which preserved the villa in exceptional condition, allowing modern-day visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in ancient Roman life.

Unique Architectural Features
The House of the Vettii is a prime example of a Pompeian domus, featuring a central atrium surrounded by rooms, including bedrooms (cubicula), a dining room (triclinium), and a garden (hortus). The villa also boasts an exedra, a semi-circular space used for entertaining guests, and a peristyle, a colonnaded garden courtyard adorned with frescoes and fountains. The house's layout exemplifies the Roman concept of otium, or leisurely living, with spaces designed for relaxation, entertainment, and socializing.

Stunning Frescoes and Artwork
One of the most captivating aspects of the House of the Vettii is its collection of vivid frescoes. The artwork adorning the walls and ceilings provides invaluable insights into the tastes, interests, and daily life of its inhabitants. The frescoes are divided into several thematic groups, including mythological scenes, depictions of daily life, and images of gods and goddesses. One of the most famous frescoes is the portrayal of the god Priapus, symbolizing fertility and abundance, which was believed to protect the household.

Visiting the House of the Vettii
As one of Pompeii's most popular and well-preserved sites, the House of the Vettii is a must-see on any Pompeii tour. To make the most of your visit, consider hiring a knowledgeable guide who can provide insights into the villa's history, architecture, and artwork. With its stunning frescoes, intriguing history, and unique architectural features, the House of the Vettii offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of ancient Romans and an unforgettable experience for history enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

The House of the Vettii in Pompeii is a unique historical site that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the daily life of ancient Rome. The villa's well-preserved frescoes and architectural features provide a wealth of information about the interests and lifestyles of its inhabitants, making it an essential stop on any Pompeii tour. Don't miss the opportunity to step back in time and explore this captivating window into the past.
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