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- Rome Travel Guide – Rome And The Vatican In Photos - February 16, 2018
Rome. Once the center of the world’s greatest empire, Rome is now the capital of modern-day Italy, and it is as flourishing and vibrant as ever. Come along with Destination Dan as we tour not only Rome, but also The Vatican, the tiny city-state which serves as the seat of Catholicism, and which is also home to some of the world’s most impressive art and architecture.
Our first stop hardly needs any introduction. The site of centuries of gladiatorial games, the iconic Colosseum is perhaps the most recognizable relic left behind from the Roman Empire. Its confines have been the subject of many movies, books, and stories, both real and imagined. Erected between 70-80 AD, it is considered to be one of the 7 modern Wonders of the World.
Pictured below is the view from Palatine Hill. From there, one can gaze out at the Colosseum, together with the Arch of Titus and the beginnings of what was considered to be the Roman Forum. This area was the center of life in Rome during ancient times.
Nearby to Rome’s historic district you can find still more history, albeit far more recent. Designed of white marble is the imposing Il Vittoriano, a grand monument built in 1925 in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first King of a unified Italy. Although the locals aren’t huge fans of it (often referring to it by it’s nickname, “The Wedding Cake”), the structure is nonetheless very impressive from an architectural standpoint.
Il Vittoriano also has a glass elevator that visitors may ride up to a rooftop observation deck providing sweeping 360-degree views of Rome.
Just a short walk from Il Vittoriano is the section of Rome known as the Jewish Ghetto there one can find The Great Synagogue of Rome.
As magnificent on the inside as it is on the outside, The Great Synagogue was built soon after Italy was unified and completed in 1904.
Our next attraction is Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s busiest gathering spots and arguably one of its prettiest squares. Piazza Navona is home to stylish Baroque architecture, artistic fountains and impressive art and artists alike. It’s also a great place to watch street performers and to have a meal in one of the many open-air restaurants which dot the square’s perimeter. A true cultural feast for the eyes… and stomach!
Possibly the most iconic fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain has appeared in many movies. It’s combination of artistic statues and impressive architecture make it one of the most visited landmarks in Rome.
Just steps away from the Trevi Fountain is The Pantheon. The Pantheon is best-preserved monument from Ancient Rome. It is famous in part for it’s massive open-air dome, which even today remains the largest unsupported dome anywhere. Although it remains a mystery precisely when the structure was completely (conventional wisdom is around 120 BC, we do know that it was the first pagan temple in Ancient Rome to be converted to a church in 690 AD.
Last but not least are the charming and beautiful Spanish Steps. This elegant series of 135 steps was designed by little-known Francesco de Sanctis and built from 1723-1725. Today, the Spanish Steps are not only a popular gathering place for visitors and locals alike, but they also serve as inspiration for artists and poets the world over.
While it is of course extremely significant from a religious standpoint, The Vatican, including its museums, gardens, and religious structures, also exhibits some of the most incredible art and architecture on the planet.
Our first stop here are the Gardens of Vatican City. These beautiful gardens serve as the Pope’s own personal sanctuary for peace and tranquility. They are massive, sitting upon 57 acres and they include vegetation from all different parts of the world.
The Vatican Museums display some of the finest Christian and other artwork, sculptures, and architecture amassed by different Popes over the centuries. The works and structures inside are among the most impressive and iconic anywhere.
Adjacent to The Vatican Museums is also the famous Sistene Chapel, with its even more famous ceiling that was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.
Perhaps the most impressive of all the sights within Vatican City is gleaming St. Peter’s Basilica. Even its outside is an exquisite collection of columns and statues, but inside is an unparalleled collection of gold, bronze and marble and an incomparable display of architectural expertise.
Visitors are also afforded the opportunity to climb the steps all the way to the summit of the massive basilica from which they are afforded amazing panoramic views of St. Peter’s Square, the same square over which the Pope looks out when he addresses his followers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of Rome and The Vatican in Photos!
All of the photos shown here are original photos taken by Destination Dan.
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