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Must Visit Attractions in Rome

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Madama Lucrezia

This is an example of a "talking statue"; one that used to represent opinions that were counter to the dominant power. This one is unique because it is of a woman, Madama Lucrezia, who was well-known to Alfonso of Aragon, the king of Naples. She came to Rome after the death of the king as a guest of Cardinal Pietro Barbo. The people of Rome named the statue in honor of her beauty.

Rome, Italy
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Victor Emmanuel II National Monument

Il Vittoriano a fine white marble structure built under the auspices of newly installed King Victor Emmanuel and was inaugurated in 1911, a symbol of Italian unity. It has been the centerpiece for many important processions and moments of glory since Italy's reunification, including the parades of Mussolini that took place outside it. The statue of Emmanuel stands tall in front of this magnificent building along with the tomb of the unknown soldier nearby. The whole edifice has a massive and grandiose appearance covered in marble and atop sit two quadrigae of the goddess Victoria. Today, it houses an interesting museum which details the international and domestic intrigue which resulted in the Risorgimento, or the Reunification of the Country. Open hours vary by season. Call before visiting.

Rome, Italy
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Basilica Parrocchiale di San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio

The Church of San Marco, together with the Palazzo Venezia with which it is joined, is one of the most interesting early Renaissance buildings in Rome. It dates back to 1336 and was built by Pope Mark in honor of St. Mark the Evangelist, who is celebrated on April 25. The church has a 15th-century portico attributed to Leon Battisti Albert. The upper open gallery is designed by Giuliano da Maiano, while the beautiful 16th-century portal is credited to Isaia da Pisa. The church contains numerous medieval remains including an ancient well, and the bell tower. This church belongs to the Venetian community in Rome.

Rome, Italy
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Il Tempio di Veio

The basement floors of Palazzo Senatorio contain relics of religions of ancient Italic populations, relating in particular to the cult of the god Veiovis. This god had a preference for unhealthy, marshy locations, and took the form of Jupiter of the underworld. However, in the version created for this temple he takes the form of a beautiful young man without any of the original unpleasant characteristics. The temple, according to an inscription, was erected in 78 BCE and was discovered almost intact in the 1940s. The architecture is reminiscent of the Greek style: this beautiful god is guarding the altar of his own temple.

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Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill is located near the Foro Romano and Campus Martius. The hill is one of the seven hills that were located in the ancient city, and was the center of all the activities of the empire. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the most revered temple at that time stood here, and its ruins are still visible. Housed here are the Musei Capitolini and City Hall.

Rome, Italy
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Il Facchino

Many statues have been used in Rome to represent opinions conflicting opinions, and one of the most famous is that of Pasquino in the wall of the Palazzo De Carolis and dates from the 16th Century. It shows a man holding a barrel from which a jet of water spurts out. Many hypotheses have been put forward as to who the man is supposed to be: Martin Luther, a member of the Università degli Acquaroli or a certain Abbondio Rizzio, a famous and garrulous drinker.

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Roman Forum

A bygone beacon of the Roman Empire, the Foro Romano was the nucleus of social, political and economic life in this historic city. Located between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, it was a revered meeting place that witnessed the alpha and omega of a thriving empire. Triumphal processions raked the regal roads of this plaza, while morbid silences hung in the air after trials and executions that were carried out. Among the priceless vestiges that remain today, the most salient ones include the Regia, the royal residence, the Temple of Vesta and the Temple of Saturn. Towards the northwest, the Umbilicus Urbis indicates the symbolic heart of Ancient Rome, and the northern aisle of the Basilica of Maxentius still stands in grandeur. While their transient glory is lost to the ravages of time, what is left behind is not less than awe-inspiring. Worn columns, near-crumbling facades of ancient marble and stoic triumphal arcs still dominate the ruins' antiquated skyline.

Rome, Italy
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Theatre of Marcellus

The origins of this theater run back to 23 BCE, when Augustus had it built in honor of Marcus Claudius Marcellus, his nephew and adopted son. The theater had space for 20,000 people, and was used for games and celebrations. The construction fell into ruin during the following centuries due to plunder and fire: in fact it became a sort of quarry from which materials were taken for the construction of buildings, churches and so forth. Restoration began in about 1300 when the Savelli family bought the ruins. The same family performed further work two centuries later, and this was continued by the Orsini who acquired the complex in order to enlarge their own building: they restored part of the theater. Today, concerts are organized here, and this is the only way of seeing it from the inside.

Rome, Italy
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Villa Aldobrandini

This villa was built in 1500 and later acquired by Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini. The villa itself is not open to the public, but the recently restored gardens are accessible. During restoration work in this area the gardens have been raised, and now offer a view reaching as far as the Gianicolo. The building forming the backdrop for the garden is baroque in style, and is now used by the Istituto per l'Unificazione del Diritto Privato, a law reform institution. The interiors contain paintings made by the Baroque artists of the Rennaisance which are frequently exhibited.

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Il Ghetto

This area has been frequented by the Jewish community since the year 1000, thus the name "ghetto." It is full of archeological remains, dating to the medieval period and earlier. The significant monuments that can be seen include Octavia's Portico, built by Augustus for his sister, now incorporating the church of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria. Cola di Rienzo was born in this area, and a plaque marks his birthplace in what was once Via della Fiumara. The Synagogue, with its square dome, is very different from the surrounding Roman city architecture, and on the wall of the riverside street there are slabs with inscriptions commemorating the death of the Jews in the Nazi concentration camps and at the Fosse Ardeatine.

Rome, Italy
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Pantheon

Originally commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, and subsequently rebuilt by Hadrian, the Pantheon is a monumental homage to the architectural finesse and ingenuity of the Romans. Massive bronze doors guard the entrance to the central space, sheltered by the graceful arch of the Pantheon's dome. The temple was transformed into a church in the early 7th Century by Pope Boniface IV and has remained well-preserved as a result. The building's primary source of light is the oculus, a circular opening at the dome's apex, rimmed with the original Roman bronze used at the time of its construction. Many famous Italians are buried in the Pantheon, including the Renaissance painter, Raphael, and King Vittorio Emanuele I.

Rome, Italy
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Trevi Fountain

Designed by Nicola Salvi for Pope Clemente XII, the Trevi Fountain was completed in the second half of the 18th Century. A towering likeness of Oceanus forms the centerpiece of the Baroque fountain, with Abundance and Salubrity on either side, while the rococo-style Poli Palace provides the perfect backdrop. Tritons guide the chariot of Oceanus, and all around the water flows, its gushing sound rising to a crescendo befitting the all-consuming power it represents. Tradition has it that throwing a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain guarantees a swift return to Rome. Anita Ekberg's dip in the Trevi Fountain was immortalized in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, and Italian actor Toto even sold it to an American, passing himself off as its owner. Featured in numerous movies since Trevi Fountain has long inspired the passions of the human race and continues to be revered the world over as one of Italy's most triumphant sculptural works.

Rome, Italy
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