The Colosseum

 

If it is true that when the Colosseum falls, Rome and the whole world will fall with it, we sincerely hope that the construction still holds for quite a while. Inaugurated as the Flavian Amphitheater it was called Colosseum only later, probably because of the enormous statue known as the Colossus of the Sun God, placed nearby, and which had the appearance of Nero. Undoubtedly it is one of the first, if not the first ever, among the things to see in Rome. The Romans were delighted by assisting here, the fights between gladiators and ferocious animals or the simulations of naval battles. The construction of the Colosseum was commissioned and initiated by the Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty, and continued in the years to come. Titus, the successor son of Vespasian, added two orders of seats to the structure desired by his father and to celebrate the work (80 AD), he held up a hundred days of games. The Colosseum is still today one of the most important and representative monuments of Rome, which imposes its majestic presence in the city center. In the surroundings of the Amphitheater it is easy to find the "Centurions", nice characters dressed in the typical clothing of Roman fighters who, among a joke in Romance and a photograph, have also become part of the tradition. Even without knowing its history and architecture, everyone is fascinated by the monument for which Rome is known all over the world. Watch it in the evening with all the lights on, it's really indescribable!

PANTHEON

 

With its dome and the colonnaded pronaos, the Pantheon is one of the most famous Roman monuments. According to a legend, it rises at the point where Romulus, at his death, was grabbed and brought to heaven by an eagle. Temple dedicated to all the deities, it was built by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD. in place of a previous temple of Mark Agrippa consecrated to Mars and Venus. In 609, the Roman temple was converted into a Christian basilica with the name of Santa Maria ad Martyres. In 1870 it became a shrine to the kings of Italy. Inside are the tombs of Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia, as well as that of the great Raffaello Sanzio. What characterizes more than anything else the building is the large hemispherical dome with a diameter of 43.3 m, equal to the height from the floor, on top of which there is the large - and only - opening (9 m.), The oculus (eye). From this hole comes the light, but when it rains the water also falls, but it flows quickly thanks to the central and lateral holes on the floor that prevent the formation of puddles. Therefore, it is not true that rain does not enter the Pantheon. While it is true that when it rains, the opening creates a "chimney effect" that is an upward air flow that leads to the crushing of water drops. So, even when the rain outside is knocking, the feeling is that inside it rains less.

THE TREVI FOUNTAIN

 

If you are in Rome and intend to return, then do not hesitate to throw a coin in the famous Trevi Fountain to make your wish come true. Designed by architect Nicolò Salvi, the Fountain receives the waters of the Vergine aqueduct from the days of Augustus. Central theme of the work is the sea, and the baroque meets classicism in perfect harmony. The Trevi Fountain was a film set, a theater of events and a stage for big parties. One thing is clear: only Anita Ekberg in "La dolce vita" can afford to bathe in the fountain. If you try, you will have to deal with the police who, we guarantee you, will not take it too well. The beauty of the building really leaves you breathless for its grandeur, and few people notice a detail that, it is said around, was built simply for spite. On the right of the Trevi Fountain there is a travertine vase, called "Asso di coppe" which according to legend was placed there by Salvi to cover the view from the workshop of a barber who constantly criticized the architect's work.

VATICAN MUSEUMS

 

Born from the patronage of the popes who for centuries collected and commissioned extraordinary works, the Vatican Museums are considered among the most beautiful museum complexes in the world (13 museums each different from the other), equipped with one of the most beautiful art collections of planet. The greatest museum treasures are made up of the highly prized works of Greek and Roman antiquity (the Lacoon, the Apoxyomenos, the Apollo of the Belvedere), as well as the rich collection of Egyptian art (mummies) and Etruscan art (Marte di Todi). The Pinacoteca holds a small but valuable collection of paintings ranging from the twelfth to the nineteenth century, with works by Raphael, Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci. The Museums also include some magnificently frescoed rooms such as the Borgia Apartment frescoed by Pinturicchio around 1490, the Stanze di Raffaello, or the four rooms used by Pope Julius II as their residence decorated by Raphael, and the famous Sistine Chapel (named of its founder, Pope Sixtus IV) that the extraordinary nature of the genius of Michelangelo has made one of the most celebrated artistic treasures in the world, a destination every day of 20,000 visitors. The frescoes of Creation (on the vault) and of the Last Judgment (on the wall of the altar), are considered among the largest and most intense pictorial masterpieces in the history of art.

BASILICA OF SAINT PETER

 

With its michelangiolesque dome and its monumental façade, the Basilica of San Pietro dominates the scenographic portico with a colonnade of piazza San Pietro, Bernini's architectural masterpiece. The heart of the Catholic Church, the Basilica rises where in 324 Constantine had a shrine built in honor of the First Apostle who was crucified and buried there. In 1506, Pope Julius II commissioned Donato Bramante to design the construction of what would be the largest church in the world (22,000 square meters). Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, were only some of the architects who succeeded in the "factory of San Pietro" in over one hundred years employed to complete the grandiose work. The major artists of the Roman and Baroque Renaissance have left behind masterpieces of extraordinary beauty, just think of the marvelous Pietà by Michelangelo, the Chair of St. Peter, the monument of Urban VIII and the sumptuous Baldacchino by Bernini. An unmissable place for pilgrims and visitors from all over the world.

 

VILLA AND GALLERIA BORGHESE

 

The park of Villa Borghese is the green "heart" of Rome. Designed in 1605 for the hedonistic cardinal Scipione Borghese (beloved nephew of Pope Paul V), remodeled over the centuries by his successors, bought by the state in the early twentieth century, this large public park is still today, an authentic garden of delights . The park encloses within its 6 km circumference, neoclassical statues, exotic buildings, an artificial lake, an aviary, numerous fountains, gardens and groves, a riding ground, a zoo (the Bioparco), an amphitheater (Piazza di Siena) ) and some museums. The most famous is the Museum and Galleria Borghese, one of the most important art museums in the city, housed in the seventeenth-century villa (known as Casino Borghese) conceived to preserve the magnificent private Borghese collection, initially constituted by Scipione, to whom must the most important nucleus of the same. The villa is divided into two sections: the collection of sculptures (Museum) on the ground floor, among which you can admire some masterpieces by Bernini ("Rape of Proserpina", Apollo and Daphne ") and the famous Pauline Borghese depicted by Canova; and the gallery (Gallery) on the first floor, which includes works by great masters of painting such as Tiziano, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Rubens.

WHAT TO EAT IN ROME

 

Roman cuisine is genuine, popular, simple but substantial, and has remained unchanged over the centuries. Are part of the tradition the rigatoni with pajata, (entrails of beef or veal, cooked in a very tasty sauté) and bucatini all'amatriciana (tomato, bacon and pecorino), cheese and pepper, all dishes for high-calorie par excellence, but worth worth making an exception to the diet. The original recipe was born in Amatrice, a city in Lazio where spaghettoni with guanciale and pecorino cheese, were the typical dish of the shepherds and mountaineers of the central Apennines. It then spread throughout Italy. Do not miss the other great dishes of the Roman tradition, such as spaghetti carbonara which, they say, were made with the food rations of the allies during the Second World War, or those cacio e pepe. The Capitoline cuisine is based not only on the first: in one of the excellent trattorias in the city you can taste typical dishes such as the Roman lamb, the coda alla vaccinara, the mixed fried meat, the porchetta of nearby Ariccia, accompanying them with the famous artichokes in the giudia, chicory or puntarelle. If you are still standing, close your lunch with a nice cream-flavored husband!

 

NIGHT-TIME ROME

 

If for you "night" means above all disco and clubs, there are different possibilities at your disposal. It will be the case, for example, to take a walk to Testaccio, the popular district enclosed between Via Marmorata, the Aurelian Walls and the Tiber, which immediately refers to the Giallorossi heart, the other half of the football faith of the Capital. Here you can breathe an original atmosphere: the area is full of bars and entertainment venues, one more intriguing than the other, which have transformed the nights of the area around Monte Testaccio into a real Capitoline nightlife. A little outside the strictly tourist circuits, you find San Lorenzo, a lively district with a slightly bohemian flavor. The lights of the premises and the craft shops make it a vital part of the city: a small town where people love to live the streets and squares by night and by day. Today it is the university district, a sort of New York Village where people live on a human scale

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