Known as the “eternal city”, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. If we walk along its streets we can be part of an open-air museum, its archeological ruins could explain most of History. That’s why we’d like to advise you on what to see in Rome.
The Italian capital was once also the capital of the Roman Empire. The legend of its origin is known by many. It is said that it was founded by twins Romulus and Remus, on the top of mount Palatino in 753.BC. After Romulus murdered Remus, he baptized the city as Rome, in honor of his brother.
Art, history and gastronomy are the main reason Rome receives more than 16 million visitors a year. But Rome is much more! It’s a city of contrasts; on one hand we have Vatican City, the Catholic headquarters, and on the other, the bohemian Rome in neighborhoods such as Trastevere. With our arrival to this new destination, we’d like to recommend our favorite places in Rome, from the most well-known monuments to the less touristic places.
The Roman Coliseum is, next to the Vatican, the most attractive tourist attraction in Rome. The construction of the Coliseum started in the year 72 a.D, under the regime of Emperor Vespasian and ended in the year 80 during the leadership of Titus. After it was built, it became the biggest roman amphitheater, with 199 meters in length, 156 meters wide and 57 meters tall.
During the Roman Empire and under the motto “Pan et Circus”, the Roman Coliseum allowed more than 50.000 people to enjoy their favorite shows. The vast majority were exotic animal shows, prisoner or slave executions, battle recreations and gladiator fights.
Fontana di Trevi is one of the most famous symbols in Rome, with 20 meters wide and 26 high, the fountain has become one of the highest in Europe, but also one of the most beautiful. You will probably all watched the scene in la Dolce Vita, where Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg take a splash in the fountain and passionately kiss.
Well, this is one of the reasons that millions of couples want to be captured by cameras by this fountain. Urban legend also says that:
–If you throw a coin: You’ll go back to Rome
– If you throw two coins: You will find love with an attractive Italian girl (or boy)
–If you throw three coins: You’ll marry the person you met.
The mouth of truth or Bocca della Verità in Italian, is located in Saint Mary Cosmedin church and is an enormous marble mask which is said to bite liars’ hands. This sculpture is dedicated to the Sea God, a man with a long beard and perforated eyes, nose and mouth.
The legend says, that a jealous husband took his wife to the Mouth of Truth to confirm her fidelity. The woman reacted pretending to faint and her lover picked her up. After that, the woman swore in front of the mouth that she had only been in the arms of her husband and the person who had just held her.
Next to la Bocca della Verità, you can visit the Circo Massimo, the Roman circus, located between mounts Aventino and Palatino. In the Circus Maximus, various competitions were held, such as chariot races, in which contestants had to go around the circus 7 times. The chariot drivers’ prestige was at steak and more, even more than a prize, as lots of them were slaves and competed for liberty.
Another unmissable is Agrippa’s Pantheon, an architectural wonder built between 27 b.C and 14 a.D with majestic Corinthian columns and its carefully studied oculus in the center. This is one of the most influential buildings in history.
Rome is also the city with the most beautiful squares in Italy. An example of it is Piazza Navona, which is known for its elegant Baroque style. In the olden days, it was the place the Domitian stadium (Atonal Circus) used to be, and where the Greek athletics were held. When you visit it, you’ll see it’s the fountain square: Fontana dei Quattro Fiuimi, la Fontana del Moro and la Fontana dei Nettuno makes this square a wonder.
Of course we cannot forget Piazza Espagna, with its majestic stairs or Campo dei Fiori, built in 1456 by pope Calisto II, it gets its name because there used to be a field of flowers. Nowadays, Campo dei Fiori is one of the most popular places in Rome. From Monday to Saturday since 1869, a market is held, selling food, flowers and all kinds of products.
Moving away from historical Rome, we recommend you visit Trastevere. Its bohemian air and calm streets will help you disconnect from the tourist masses which are concentrated in the center. The best spots in Trastevere are around Piazza di Santa María, where we can find the old Saint Mary’s Basilica.
If you prefer, you can walk along its narrow, cobbled streets and discover its great gastronomical offer. Trastevere is possibly one of the best areas for restaurants in Rome as they have nothing to do with touristy stereotypes and you’ll find the most traditional taverns.