The city of Rome is truly a remarkable part of Italy. It’s the capital of the country ever since its inception as the stronghold during the days of Julius Caesar. With 2.8 million residents living in this metropolitan city, it is the country’s largest and most populated commune and even fourth-most populous city in the European Union.
There has been archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from at least 14,000 years ago from the Palaeolithic and Neolithic time period. Its modern history however spans two and a half thousand years as it was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe at that time.
In 2015, Rome was the 9th most visited city in the world and the 3rd most visited in the European Union. Rome is also a popular tourist attraction in Italy and even tourists that stay in north or south Italy decide to hop over to Rome for a day trip.
The Colosseum which was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome and is the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started in around 72 AD and visiting this landmark will definitely give you a “Gladiator” movie nostalgia. This vast arena of entertainment has a seating capacity of over 50,000 people. Built by the emperor Vespasian and completed under Titus, the name “Amphitheatrum Flavium” derives from both Vespasian’s and Titus’s family names and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era and was later reused housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. The Colosseum today is now a major tourist attraction in Rome with thousands of tourists each year paying to view the interior arena. There is also a museum dedicated to Eros located in the upper floor of the outer wall of the building and beneath the Colosseum, a network of subterranean passageways once used to transport wild animals and gladiators to the arena was opened to the public in summer 2010. The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin and as you probably know, has made many appearances in motion pictures as this is a world renowned symbol of Italy.
The Gardens of Villa Borghese
The Gardens of Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is a large landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings, museums and attractions. It’s popular with joggers, dog-walkers and pleasure seekers. In recent years, it has grown a contemporary art museum in the Museo Carlo Bilotti and if you want to escape the crowds, climb up the steep hill behind Trastevere and the Gianicolo, where you will discover the green tree-filled expanse of the Villa Pamphili Park in the suburb of Monteverde. Find peace and serenity in this tranquil environment.
The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome. Standing 85.3 feet high and 65.6 feet wide, it is the largest Baroque-styled fountain and is one of the most famous fountains in the world. You can throw a coin for luck as it is a traditional legend that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. It is also a perfect place to mingle with the locals at the site as Romans take their leisure time seriously as they picnic and relax by the fountain. As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
Tasting typical Roman foods
Street food in Rome
Rome is a food lover’s paradise for anyone who enjoys pasta, pizza, maritozzi (a sweet bread croissant filled with whipped cream) and a whole raft of other Italian cuisine.For a variety of bureaucratic reasons, food trucks aren’t common in Rome, but in the past few years, the number of shops selling economical snacks advertised as “street food” has boomed, and new food formats have been born to provide an array of cheap eats in a time of dire economic crisis. In Rome you have to try: Porchetta, pizza by the slice, supplì and something sweet ad maritozzi.
Shop for souvenirs
In Rome there are many different types of souvenir shops, antique souvenir shops, modern souvenir shops and even traditional crafts souvenir shops – you can get all of these in one place: Porta Portese. Here you can find bootleg CDs, furniture, clothes, fake designer clothes, vintage clothing and lots more.
Rome is a cultural hub that is a major tourist hotspot for its rusticity and architectural excellence.
[Images credits: Tylerhoff/Flickr, marcelgermain/Flickr, pedroqtc/Flickr]
Things to do in Rome - Review