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Rome is the capital city of Italy. It is located on the Tiber river, in the central part of the country near the Mediterranean Sea. The Vatican City, located in an enclave within Rome, is the seat of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Inhabited for over 3000 years - the city was the seat of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

Magical Journeys to Rome

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» La Pieta

La Pieta, Rome

With all of the treasures contained in the Vatican Museums, it's easy to forget that one of Michelangelo's most beautiful sculptures, the Pieta, is a short distance away in St. Peter's Basilica - and it doesn't even require an entry fee. The term 'pieta' is applied to any depiction of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus, after he has been pulled down from the cross. Michelangelo's Pieta was carved in the late 1490s was originally part of a funerary monument to a French cardinal, but was moved in the 18th century …

» Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini

Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini , Rome

Palazzo Valentini, built in the 16th century, is the seat of Rome's Provincial Administration. When archaeologists were renovating the building in 2005, they discovered ruins of ancient villas underneath the building. What they uncovered was the Domus Romane, a 20,000 square foot complex with two 4th century AD patrician villas and the remains of a private thermal bath situated next to Trajan's Forum in the heart of Imperial Rome. The 16th-century builders filled in the site and unwittingly preserved the ruins …

» Mt Vesuvius

Mt Vesuvius, Rome

Mt. Vesuvius, the only active volcano in continental Europe, is best known for its role in destroying the city of Pompeii one fateful summer day in 79 A.D. Today, you can visit the national park and climb Mt. Vesuvius yourself to peek into the crater at 3,900 ft (1.2 km), from which plumes of steam rise from the sleeping, but still active, volcano. Another priceless sight on your journey up the mountain is the panoramic view from the summit of the Bay of Naples …

» Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill , Rome

Rome is famously built on seven hills, but it's the Palatine Hill that is the most legendary - it is said that it was on the Palatine Hill that Romulus originally founded the city. Because of this, many of Rome's most famous archaeological sites are on or right around the Palatine Hill. Some of the structures you can still see in some form on the Palatine Hill include the Flavian Palace, a palace thought to be the residence of Emperor Augustus' wife, and the Hippodrome of Domitian …

» Palazzo di Montecitorio

Palazzo di Montecitorio, Rome

The Palazzo di Montecitorio is the seat of the Chamber of Deputies, the house of Italy's parliament. It was completed under Pope Innocent X in 1650, designed by Bernini and afterwards expanded by Carlo Fontana. It was the pope's vision to house the Pontifical Curia here, but the building ended up serving a variety of functions over the years until it became the seat of the Chamber of Deputies later on. Although the look of the building has changed over the years and it got a makeover in the Art Nouveau style in the early 20th century …

» Palazzo Farnese

Palazzo Farnese, Rome

The Palazzo Farnese is a 16th century palace originally built for the noble Farnese family. Today, it serves as the French embassy in Italy, given by the Italian state in 1936 to the French for a period of 99 years. The member of the Farnese family who commissioned the Palazzo Farnese went on to become Pope Paul III not long after, so the building got even more palatial soon after it was done. The Farnese family were well-known sculpture collectors - parts of their collection make up Naples' archaeological museum and Capodimonte Museum today …

» Pantheon

Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon in Rome is a remarkable building architecturally. Basically a cylinder with the floating dome on top of columns, it is the largest masonry vault ever built. In the center of this dome is a hole bringing in a shaft of light to show the beauty of this building and its relatively simple, open interior. Being inside the Pantheon feels very special. Originally built in 27 BC and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 120 AD, the temple has been damaged and plundered over time. In 609 AD it became a Christian church dedicated to the Madonna …

» Parco degli Acquedotti

Parco degli Acquedotti, Rome

The Parco degli Acquedotti is one of Rome's green spaces, and also one with major Ancient Roman structures in it. As the name tells you, a visit to the Parco degli Acquedotti means you get to see a Roman aqueduct - but in this park, you can actually see two. Located just under five miles from Rome's city center, the 593-acre Parco degli Acquedotti is criss-crossed by two different aqueducts, both of which were once critical parts of the Ancient Roman infrastructure. The two aqueducts in the park are Aqua Felix and Aqua Claudia …

» Piazza del Campidoglio

Piazza del Campidoglio , Rome

The Capitoline Hill is one of Rome's famous seven hills, and in Italian it's called the Campidoglio. The Piazza del Campidoglio is the trapezoidal space atop the hill, with buildings on three sides and a grand staircase on the fourth. The piazza and surrounding buildings were designed by Michelangelo in the mid-1500s. Michelangelo employed several visual tricks to give the space a balanced feel, despite its lack of literal symmetry. He designed facades for the existing buildings, made the staircase more of a gradual ramp …

» Piazza della Bocca della Verita

Piazza della Bocca della Verita, Rome

Anyone who watched 'Roman Holiday' was no doubt charmed by Audrey Hepburn's reaction when Gregory Peck feigned having his hand cut off in the Mouth of Truth. You might not believe that you're in any danger of losing a limb if you tell a lie, but your heart rate might increase when you pop your hand in that mouth anyway. The Mouth of Truth - or Bocca della Verita in Italian - is located in one wall of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin at the base of the Aventine Hill. The circular face with an open mouth resembles many of the Roman fountains around the city …

» Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo, Rome

The Piazza del Popolo is one of Rome's many large public squares. This piazza is in the northern part of central Rome. The architect of the present-day piazza, built in the early 19th century, removed some existing structures to alter the shape from a trapezoid to a larger circular shape. While the piazza used to be a thoroughfare for cars, it is now a pedestrian-only zone. The center of the Piazza del Popolo is marked by an Ancient Egyptian obelisk, and on one side of the piazza are two matching churches - Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto …

» Piazza Farnese

Piazza Farnese, Rome

The Piazza Farnese in the historic center of Rome is named for the huge Palazzo Farnese on one side of it, and is one of the nicest public spaces in this busy city. The Palazzo Farnese was begun in the early 16th century by a cardinal in the Farnese family who would eventually become Pope Paul III in 1534. No expense was spared - in fact, when he became the pope, the size of his still-under-construction palace actually grew. It remains the city's largest Renaissance palace, today serving as the French Embassy …

» Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona , Rome

The term 'piazza' is often translated as 'square,' but when you arrive in Piazza Navona you'll understand why that doesn't always work. This oblong-shaped space was once a stadium, where citizens of Ancient Rome would come to watch games and races in the 1st century AD. The stadium may be gone, but the shape of the space remains. Today, the Piazza Navona is home to a selection of beautiful Baroque churches and fountains, some fabulously expensive outdoor cafes, and (often) vendors selling tourist trinkets …

» Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia , Rome

The Piazza Venezia defies many assumptions one might make from the name. It's an open space, so it can be called a piazza, but it's really a gigantic intersection and not a public square. And it's in central Rome, not Venice. The name comes from the nearby Palazzo Venezia, in which ambassadors from the Venetian republic once lived. The enormous Vittorio Emmanuele Monument faces one side of Piazza Venezia, and the interchange is also at the base of the Capitoline Hill and next to Trajan's Forum …

» Pompeii

Pompeii, Rome

Here discover the everyday life of Rome's Imperial age as you walk through the ancient ruins, which were buried in ashes after Mount Vesuvius erupted almost 2,000 years ago. Despite wars waged on its soils, assaults by earthquakes and a volcano eruption 19 centuries ago, Pompeii remains a vibrant, well-preserved and accessible destination. As you wander from mosaic to monument, and temple to theater, you'll step back in time and imagine daily life in this legendary city …

» Ponte Sant'Angelo

Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome

Ponte Sant'Angelo is the bridge across the Tiber River leading from the centre of Rome to the Castel Sant'Angelo, once Hadrian's tomb, then home to the popes, now a museum. The bridge dates from 134 AD when Hadrian built it to lead to his mausoleum, calling it Pons Aelius or Bridge of Hadrian. But when word got out that the Archangel Michael landed on top of the mausoleum to end the plague in Rome in 590, the bridge and castle both changed their name to Sant'Angelo …

» Ponza Island

Ponza Island , Rome

Ponza is the main island in the Pontine archipelago off the coast of Italy. It is famous for its blue grottos, and is fabled to be the island of the sorceress Circe described in Homer's Odyssey. Clear azure waters provide excellent swimming, including the Piscine Naturali, which consists of saltwater pools formed by ancient volcanic activity. There are numerous beaches to relax on, the most popular being Chiaia di Luna. Cobblestone roads wind through a small, laid-back town center, and colorful homes and shops dot the hills overlooking the sea …

» Protestant Cemetery

Protestant Cemetery , Rome

Rome may be home to the Vatican, but not everyone who lives - or dies - there is Catholic. In fact, with the many English travelers coming through Rome on the Grand Tour, followed by the many writers and artists who moved to Rome over the years, a cemetery for non-Catholics was required. The first burial in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome was in 1738. It's also commonly called the Cemetery of the English (Cimitero degli Inglesi), although the official name is now 'Non-Catholic Cemetery,' with graves for anyone who isn't Catholic …

» Raphael's Rooms

Raphael's Rooms, Rome

Raphael's Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello) are four interconnected rooms in the Vatican which have frescoes painted by the renowned Renaissance artist Raphael (1483 - 1520). These late Renaissance frescoes are the second-most famous in the Vatican's collection, only behind the fresco adorning the roof of the Sistine Chapel. Raphael's themes for his frescoes were religion and politics; he often swapped portraits of the incumbent pope for the faces of important figures …

» Roman Catacombs

Roman Catacombs , Rome

The Catacombs of the early Christians are underground crypts filled with literally thousands of bones. These morbid wonders date back to the second century, a time when Christianity was considered a cult and whose members were executed as pagans and buried as martyrs. These tours invite you to descend into the Eternal City's subterranean burial chambers, winding catacombs and ancient crypts to discover the dark secrets of imperial and early Christian Rome …

» Roman Forum

Roman Forum, Rome

In Ancient Rome, the Forum was the centre of the Roman Empire. Until the 4th century AD, a thousand years of decisions affecting the future of Europe were made here. When Roman soldiers were out conquering the world in the name of the Emperors, temples, courts, markets, and government buildings were thriving in the Forum. Located between two of Rome's famous hills, the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, it is now a collection of ruins having spent centuries as a quarry for marble and a cow paddock …

» Rome Civitavecchia Cruise Port

Rome Civitavecchia Cruise Port , Rome

If your Mediterranean cruise stops off in Rome, Civitavecchia will be your port of call. Only 80km (50 miles) north-west of Rome, this busy cruise port is geared to ship travel and is your gateway to many historic sights of the Eternal City, where most shore visitors grab the opportunity to take a Rome excursion. Getting to Rome from Civitavecchia requires about an hour's journey by train. The train station is a 10-minute walk from the port, or a short shuttle ride (alight at the Michelangelo Fort). Trains run half-hourly to Rome's Termini station …

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Visit the city of Rome and experience the amazing history it has to offer. Admire the architecture and soak up the culture as you explore the Eternal city. Or venture out of Rome to discover the magic of Rome, the spectacular island of Capri in the Bay of Naples, Pompeii and many more magical destinations …

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Rome, the Eternal City, is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region: it is the famed city of the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita, the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Situated on the River Tiber, between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Eternal City was once the center of the mighty Roman Empire …

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