Traditionally founded on the 21st April, 753 BC, Rome is a city filled with enough history and culture to make it a worth-while trip for anyone. With an Empire that lasted from 31 BC until 476 AD, the city itself is filled with ancient ruins from across the Imperial period, not to mention many of the stunning architectural pieces that were created during the Renaissance.
One of the must-go to places when visiting Rome, is of course the Colosseum. With construction beginning in 72 AD under the Emperor Vespasian, and finished by his son Titus, this mega-structure took just eight years to build. With the Arch of Constantine and the Temple of Venus and Rome present in the Great Square of the Colosseum, this area of Rome is extremely rich in ancient monuments and is well-worth the visit. While admission is required to enter the Colosseum, this also includes admission to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, both of which are a short walk from the Colosseum.
The Roman Forum contains the Forums of Caesar and of Augustus, and also ruins of Temples to gods such as Saturn and Augustus, as well as many more ancient ruins. Once the commercial, religious, political and legal centre of the city of Rome, you can explore the true ancient heart of the city to your heart’s content. Connected to the Roman Forum by the oldest road in Rome, is the Palatine Hill. One of the Seven Hills of Rome, this was where the ancient Emperors of Rome once lived. Containing the ruins of the Palaces of notable people, such as Livia (the wife of the Emperor Augustus) and those of the Emperors Claudius, Nero and Domitian, the Palatine Hill also has a museum filled to the brim with statues from the time of Imperial Rome.
Another of the Seven Hills of Rome, the Capitoline Hill, is also a place filled with much history and culture. Whilst not containing ruins, this hill instead has two museums, which were designed by Michelangelo in 1536. The museums contain many statues from ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, among these the Capitoline Venus, the Equestrian Marcus Aurelius and, perhaps most famous, the Capitoline Wolf; a bronze depiction of Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf which has become one of the symbols of Rome. Also in the museums is an extensive art collection, ranging from the medieval period, the Renaissance, and up to present day, making the Capitoline Hill a must for anyone interested in history or art.
Perhaps the place most deserving of a visit however is the Vatican. A city-state itself, the Vatican will hold much appeal to anyone, regardless of religion. The Vatican Museums are filled with beautiful works of art from all periods of Rome’s rich history. With statues from the Imperial period of Rome, most famous perhaps being the Laocoon Group and the Augustus of Prima Porta, and rooms adorned with work from Renaissance painters, such as Raphael, the Vatican’s displays stretch right up to present day, with the decorative carriages and coaches used by recent Popes also being on display. The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica are both also open to the public and well-worth the visit, both for their sacredness and beauty.
As well as its history, Rome is also known for its heat so make sure you have a bottle of water handy to keep you hydrated. The city itself is covered in drinking fountains which give out natural clean water so you can keep your bottle full. For those willing to brave the extreme heat in August when a state of emergency is often called, every fountain in the city is opened for swimming.
Featured Image and Embedded Images by Lauren Shelton