There is No Place like Rome
What a treasure trove the Eternal City is! Very few places on earth can boast so many grand structures of antiquity within a few square miles. But, with so much to see, how can you decide where to go? Here are a few suggestions.
Obviously, there are no prizes for guessing this would be on the list. As you walk around this ancient theatre, perhaps you’ll just hear the echoes of the 55,000 jeering spectators that would once have sat around looking down on gladiatorial battles and other unfortunate souls who met their end here. It’s hard to believe that this vast theatre filled up in a mere 10 minutes.
This beautiful Baroque fountain attracts many visitors, and its breath-taking composition is the reason why. The majestic seahorses pulling the ethereal shell-shaped chariot with Triton to guide them is enough to fascinate any spectator, and the running water seems to imbue the elegant sculpture with a life of its own. You’ll see that the bottom of the fountain is covered in coins thrown in by visitors. This custom is supposed to ensure the coin thrower’s return to Rome. Staggeringly, an estimated 3,000 euros are thrown in every day.
Visit the Pantheon
The Pantheon, so named as it was built to honor all the gods of pagan Rome, is the most well preserved of ancient Rome’s legacy. Marvel at the ingenuity of the architect as you note that the diameter of the great dome is precisely equal to the height of the building, giving it the potential to house a perfect sphere. As you enter, imagine how imposing and impressive those huge bronze doors would have looked all those years ago when they were covered in gold.
St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican
One of the most famous piazzas in the world, St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) is dominated by a gigantic obelisk which surprisingly is Egyptian in origin. The 4,000-year-old monument has stood here since 1568, and the square was built around it around 100 years later. Facing the square is the world-famous St. Peter’s Basilica with its huge and impressive dome designed by Michelangelo which can be seen far away, making it an easy landmark to locate. Once inside, you can ascend to the top of the dome by means of a staircase, or if you prefer, you can go up via elevator. The view is spectacular from up here, and some claim to be able to see all Rome from this distinguished viewing point. Queues can be long, so best to try and get there early.
There’s plenty to do in Rome and if you tire of ancient architecture, grab an authentic slice of pizza, or sit in a proper Italian coffee shop with a genuine UN Cappuccino and watch the world go by. Many visitors decide to drive to Italy. If you do, be sure to contact the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency on the DVLA phone number to ensure everything’s ok for your trip to the Eternal City.