Italy’s vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here (not to mention their infamous Neapolitan Pizzas). Narrow cobblestone streets, old houses that are still intact, livable and well-preserved are likely to be seen in every corner. It’s no wonder why Rome always hits a spot in every traveler’s bucket list. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de’ Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.
In this review, we’re going to tackle about the 5 Things that you should do while you’re exploring the wonders of the Eternal City. We all know that there is so much to the list, but here are our favorites.
Gaze at the architectural wonders of the Pantheon
The Pantheon is a former Roman Temple, now a church in Rome, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of the first Roman Emperor: Augustus. The present building was completed by the Emperor Hadrian, He retained Agrippa’s inscription, which confused its date of construction. Though the name refers to a temple for all the gods, the Pantheon is actually the burial place of Rome’s kings and other prominent figures, including Raphael. The temple was built between 118 and 128 A.D. on the site of an older temple. A feat of architectural ingenuity, it was the world’s largest dome until the modern era, has been called the world’s only architecturally perfect building, and is the best-preserved monument of Imperial Rome. Walk inside and look up—the oculus in the dome is open to the sky, letting sunlight filter in.
Embrace the art of Baroque Architecture at Piazza Navona
Built in first century (A.D), the Piazza Navona is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian. And follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The Romans back then used to come to this place to watch agones or games, as different athletic competitions were used to held here; hence it was known as Circus Agonalis or competition area. One of the most popular public spaces in Rome, the magnificent, oval-shaped Piazza Navona is lined with restaurants, gelaterias, souvenir shops, and the Museo di Roma inside the Renaissance Palazzo Braschi. The city’s Baroque art is on full display here. Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi features exquisitely carved figures representing the world’s four great rivers, and legend has it that the figure with his arms extended is recoiling in horror from the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone by Borromini, Bernini’s rival.
Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
Any trip to Rome would be incomplete without a visit to the Trevi Fountain. Nicola Salvi’s awe-inspiring Baroque masterpiece features a marble statue of Neptune at the center, surrounded by tritons. Legend has it that anyone who throws a coin in the fountain will return to Rome. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bacci, the Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district of Rome. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. So famous, that the fountain has appeared in several notable films including Federico Fellini’s: La Dolce Vita.
Visit the Colosseum
Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum is the most internationally recognized symbol of Rome. An oval amphitheatre located in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. The Colosseum could hold an estimated amount of between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Being known as one of the most iconic symbol of Rome, The Colosseum, however, has a dark past; it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Rome’s classical mythology. Today nearly 4 million people visit annually. Buy your tickets in advance or be prepared to wait in a very long line. A combined ticket for the Roman Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine Hill grants access to all three sites and lets you skip the line at the Colosseum.
Coffee is something that is taken seriously in Italy, as Italians invented coffee culture. No they weren’t the first to harvest or brew the beans; but they were the first in Europe to open a coffee shop, to invent the espresso machine, and to come up with macchinetta. When in Rome, you must drink espresso. Drip coffee and Starbucks don’t exist here. It’s not uncommon for Romans to drink three or more espressos a day, and there are some unspoken rules if you don’t want to look like a tourist when ordering. First, cappuccinos are only drunk at breakfast. After that, order un caffè: a shot of espresso or un caffè macchiato: a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk. If you ask for a latte, you’ll simply get milk. In the hotter months, ask for un caffè freddo: cold espresso sweetened with loads of sugar or crema di caffè: the Roman equivalent of a frappuccino.
Rome is a wonderful place especially for those who loves art. The artistic style known as Baroque, which is mostly applied on sculptures and paints, is often seen throughout the whole city and all Italy. A place where ancient ruins are well-preserved for the next generations to see.
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