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Rome - Italy

Domes of Rome Colosseum, RomeCastello di Sant Angelo, RomeFontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Piazza Navona, RomeRooftops, RomePantheon, RomeBocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth), RomePiazza Navona, Rome

Rome's centre contains so many cultural and historic sites it's impossible to appreciate them all. Besides the Roman remains, there are churches and monuments as well as many beautiful piazzas complete with Renaissance statues and fountains.

Rome's highlights include:

The Colosseum - Rome's most iconic building and the largest Roman amphitheatre in the world. Inside the stadium seems very calm and serene compared with the rest of Rome, with the acoustics of the building shutting out a lot of the ambient noise. It's difficult to imagine exactly how the building would have looked inside with the games under way. Some of the flooring has been replaced, but most of the chambers underneath are still exposed, showing where the gladiators and beasts would have been housed prior to the show. All that remains of the audience area are the massive corridors and stairwells, with none of the seating areas surviving.


Forum and Palantine Hill - This area contains the commercial political and religious centre of ancient Rome and has all manner of excavated temples and buildings.


The Pantheon - The impressive Pantheon is the best preserved building of ancient Rome and was once a temple dedicated to all the gods. It is now a church, although unlike any other. The huge circular building is fronted by many tall columns. The roof domed, but with a central hole open to the sky through which the sun shines (or the rain comes in!). The Pantheon is quite awe inspiring and still retains the feel of an extremely ancient temple, despite the more modern Christian trappings added over the top.


Piazzas and monuments
Trevi Fountain - Over the top baroque monument teeming with crowds. It's still very beautiful though!

Piazza Venezia - A huge square, this is dominated by the massive marble monument to the Italian Republic whose many terraces afford great views over the city's rooftops and church domes.

Piazza Navona - The square features three fountains, the largest of which is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). This was created by Bernini and consists of several huge sculptures centred around an Egyptian obelisk. The area around the central monument can be very crowded so it is worth retiring to one of the smaller fountains and appreciating it from a distance.

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