The well-preserved ruins make it easy to imagine Rome with gladiators, lions, and chariots. The labyrinth of tunnels where the gladiators and animals waited to enter the coliseum and the system of ramps and trap doors that provided access to the arena remains intact. Daily tours are available with an archaeologist. Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long lines and make use of the excellent audio guides available.
Not matter your faith or beliefs, this complex is awesome to see and inspirational to visit. It is the location of two famous churches – the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Find maps, brochures, tickets and information about visiting Vatican sites at the Comune di Roma tourism kiosk on Castel Sant’ Angelo. A unique experience in the place symbol of Catholic Religion but also a busy place at night with its lively cafés and restaurants.
The Egyptian obelisk and Bernini’s elephant statue adorn the area. Hadrian’s marvel. This amazing structure was constructed between 118 and 115 AD remains an engineering wonder beautiful in its symmetry with the diameter of the dome equal to the height of the walls. The Egyptian obelisk and Bernini’s elephant statue adorn the area. The Egyptian obelisk and Bernini’s elephant statue adorn the area.
But not only for its architecture, but also for its artful Renaissance works created by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Perugino, Pinturicchio and Raphael. This is the location of Michelangelo’s most complicated compositions including not just the intricate ceiling but also The Last Judgment believed to be his crowning achievement. An absolute must see during your Rome visit.
Saint Pater’s is the location of Michelangelo’s Pietà, and is also home to Bernini’s inspirational baldacchino (canopy) seen rising above the altar. The basilica is located above the site of St. Peter’s Tomb and the tombs of innumerable popes including John Paul II best viewed from the grotto below the altar. For a closer look at the cupola it’s only 551 steps up beginning from the Porta Sancta.
Even amid the city sounds the fountain roars making its power known. Asymmetrical, curious, and lighthearted, it is perhaps one of the best examples of Rococo art in Rome. The area is always busy and crowded. At night the illumination of the fountain is enchanting. Legend has it that those who wish to return to Rome must throw a coin into the fountain to make the wish come true.
To wander is free however during the summer months arrive early in the day to avoid heat and crowds. The Forum, unlike the Coliseum is mostly in ruins and in various states of excavation, reclamation and repair. For an overview follow the stairs behind the Capitoline Museums. Get a map and explore or secure a spot on one of the daily guided tours led by an archaeologist.
Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo flank the piazza with the latter being home to the Capitoline Museums as well as the location of the 7th century Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aracoeli and the famous Santo Bambini. Downhill from the Aracoeli is gloomy Mamertine Prison where as history recounts St. Peter baptized his captors with water from his flooded cell.
In addition to several remarkable palaces, look for the reflecting pools at the House of the Vestal Virgins as well as the mosaic-tiled Cryptoporticus – the secret tunnel of Tiberius. Visitors may also view Circus Maximus located directly behind the hippodrome along Via dei Cechi. (Purchase tickets or Archaeologica Card at the biglietteria on Via di San Gregorico).