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Housed in a Neo-Renaissance palace built at the end of 19th century, the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, you find one of the most important archeological collections in the world. All the sculptures, Roman coins and fragments of mosaics here at Museo Nazionale Romano are described in Italian and English. The four floors of the museum house spectacular statuary like Lancellotti Discobolus and the Maiden of Antium.
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj built in the 17th Century was once the home to Roman royalty. It now houses one of the most prestigious art collections in the city. This collection features some of the most iconic artworks from Renaissance era. Amongst the most celebrated masterpieces found here are - Titian's Salomé with Head of John the Baptist (1515), Raphael's Saletta del Cinquecento and Mary Magdalene by Caracci, to name a few. Other artists showcased here are Caravaggio, Guercino, Duquesnoy among others.
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.
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. Toward 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.
The ancient buildings that can be seen here were discovered during excavation work in the 1920s. The four temples from the Republican era were named A, B, C and D. Temple C is the oldest, Temple A is from the 3rd Century BCE, and some of the flooring and mosaics of Temple B are still visible. Though Temple C was built in 100 BCE, the mosaic decorations were added during a later period. Currently, this historic sight is a no-kill cat sanctuary that houses abandoned cats from the area. Stray cats are taken in, given shots, sprayed and given a home at the sanctuary where they now abound. Whether you are a history buff or a cat lover, this is one sight you have to see.
Rome is known as the city of seven hills, and what better than to gaze at its brilliance from atop a hill. The Piazza de Quirinale atop the Quirinale Hill offers tourists this chance. The piazza or square is surrounded by many historical structures such as the Palazzo Quirinale and the Obelisk and Fountain of Pollux. The Palazzo Quirinale is a stupendous palace housing the President of Italy. The Obelisk on the other hand used to be a part of the Mausoleum of Augustus. Enjoy the view of Saint Peter's Basilica and witness the sun rising over the city from this magnificent piazza.
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.
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.
Legendary birthplace of Romulus and Remus, Palatine Hill rises high above the ruins of the ancient city, an oft neglected remnant of the once prosperous Roman Empire. Just south of the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill was the site of the imperial and patrician residences of Rome, nestled alongside grand temples and teeming gardens. The ruins evoke visions of the lavish homes that once housed Ancient Rome's most affluent citizens, featuring sprawling courtyards, elegant columns, and stately arches bedecked in marble and captivating sculptures. The ruins rise from a bed of wildflowers and verdant lawns, and they offer a panoramic view of the ancient city around every corner. Believed to be where Rome first took root, Palatine Hill is an open-air museum wrapped in an aura of mystery. Of special interest are Emperor Domitian's Domus Flavia, the Farnese Gardens, and the Palantine Museum.
Palazzo delle Esposizioni with its statues and Corinthian columns, designed by Piacentini, hosts temporary exhibitions of paintings, sculpture and graphics, which are changed every three months. There is also a small cinema that shows foreign-language films and the occasional theatrical performance at Palazzo delle Esposizioni. In addition, there is a well-stocked bookshop, a design shop, a bar and a restaurant on the terrace. Next to the complex is the Visual Arts Research and Documentation Center, an archive that contains data on contemporary Italian and international art.
Tradition says that Campo de' Fiori was named after the woman loved by Pompey, Flora, but it is more likely to have come from something a bit less romantic. In the 14th Century, Campo de' Fiori was a long-abandoned field filled with flowers. In the second half of the 19th Century the square became a place of daily market. You may be tempted to buy some of the best fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, tablecloths, utensils and toys. It was also the scene of many executions, most notably that of Giordano Bruno, the philosopher who was burned here in 1600. The statue dedicated to him replaced a fountain that was moved to the nearby Chiesa Nuova square, and a reproduction of it was moved to the side of the Campo de' Fiori.
During the Christmas season Piazza Navona is packed with stalls selling toys, sweets and decorations for the nativity scene or Christmas tree, making it a favorite spot for children. Its unusual shape recalls the time of Domitian, who built a stadium for equestrian displays here. The Fountain of the Rivers, with the obelisk, and the Fountain of the Moor, with the God of the Sea, at the center of the square, are both sculpted by Bernini.