This ancient city, now the capital of Italy, is also Mecca for all Catholics and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. Its nickname, "the eternal city" emphasizes its long history and the important role Rome has always played in major European events.
Modern Rome with its population of about 4 millions is the biggest Italian city and the centre of the Lazio province.
Roman history began about 3000 years ago, when, according to some myths and legends, Rome was founded by two brothers – Romul and Rem. This legend has a sad end – Romul killed his brother and gave the city his own name. Since that time began the rise of the Roman Empire, which has reached its peak about 2 centuries B.C.
The significant part of the attractions in the city is has to do with this period – several centuries before Christ birth and several centuries after it. However the roman art of that time represent a copy of the art in ancient Greece. The gods and their images are the same, only the names have changed.
But still, there are a lot of outstanding and unique objects and monuments.
The main symbol of the Roman glory is Coliseum. Today we would call it the central stadium. It has witnessed a countless number of the gladiators' fights and the deaths of the first Christians (though the latter it's not a historically proofed fact). Coliseum wasn't restores. Its ruins mean much more...
Another Ancient Rome landmark is Roman Forum. It was commercial and political centre of the city, where the main historical events took place. Today it's a museum under the sky.
Pantheon – a temple, devoted to all Roman gods is also an outstanding monument of the Roman art. It was built abou 125 A.D.
Constantine Arch of the IV century A.D. is the most famous triumphal arch and it is in rather good condition. It's one of the latest symbols of the roman power.
The biggest and the most powerful pagan city, Rome later became one of the most important Christian centers as well. Vatican, the residence of the Pope, is located inside Roman borders, but it's the state, though the smallest one in the world. Holy place for all Catholics, Vatican receives a lot of religious travelers from all over the world. The centre of the state is St Peters Basilica, which is the largest church in the world.
Renaissance epoch is also strongly connected with Rome. Greatest artists, architects and sculptors of that time lived and worked here. They left a lot of masterpieces, which we still can enjoy.
The Sistine Chapel in Vatican – is the leading historic, artistic and religious monument of the Renaissance was built 1475 and 1483. It's the Pope's chapel and a place where the new Pope is being elected. Due to the beautiful frescos of Michelangelo it is also a very popular museum.
Trevi Fountain was created in XVIII century on demand of the Pope Clement XII. It's richly decorated and represents the statue of Ocean on the big shell, which is a chariot.
Piazza di Spagna began to develop in XVIII century and later become one of the city's most popular places. Spanish Steps – a long staircase, connecting the square with the Trinita' dei Monti church.