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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rome’s Cultural Attractions

For decades, tourists have flocked to Rome to discover the city’s rich and fascinating history, and indulge in the rich Italian way of life. This vibrant city is a cultural hub, home to an array of historical sites and cultural attractions making it one of the most popular cities in Europe, little wonder that the city is brimming with tourists. The amount of cultural hotspots in the city can seem a little overwhelming, particularly for first time visitors, so here are three cultural gems you don’t want to miss.


Throughout the city you’ll have the opportunity to admire some truly stunning architecture and the Roman Colosseum is evidence of the impressive skills of the ancient Romans. This gigantic amphitheatre was once the site of many battles where thousands of spectators would watch these bloody games between man and beast for entertainment. The Colosseum dates back to 72 A.D, built in commemoration of Constantine’s victory over Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius. It’s nothing short of an astounding sight, and history buffs should consider taking a guided tour to see as much as possible of the impressive remains.

Vatican City

The Vatican City, while situated in Rome, has been an independent state since 1929.  The Vatican City is home to many of Rome’s treasures, including the impressive Vatican Museums home to work by the Italian Masters. You’ll also want to visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s impressive paintings. Situated in St Peter’s Basilica is one of the city’s most impressive attractions – Michelangelo’s Pietá sculpture. This is by far one of the city’s most popular attractions. It’s important to dress appropriately (shoulders and knees must covered) when visiting the churches and other religious sites. Take a trip up to the roof where you’ll enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city below. 


Another impressive architecture from ancient Rome is the perfectly preserved Pantheon. Dating back to 27 B.C, this remarkable building was a temple used by the ancient romans to worship deities. The building is nothing short of an architectural marvel.  Despite changing forms over the centuries, from temple to a Christian church and tomb of artist Raphael and former Italian Kings, it still remains as one of the city’s most significant buildings.  This phenomenal building has been the inspiration for similar buildings all over the world that have tried to emulate the fantastic dome and imposing columns. The dome is still the largest without reinforcement in the world and still retains its original bronze doors.  Aside from the main sights, Rome has plenty of great unheralded places worth a visit. Some of the outlying suburbs towards the countryside in the province of Lazio show you the real Rome, while the various piazzas in the city centre are ideal for people watching.



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