Designed by some of Italy's most infamous master artists, St. Peter's Basilica is not only the world's largest church but is also one of its most spectacular. Originally built at the site of St. Peter's grave around 349 CE by Emperor Constantine, the basilica, as it stands today, was consecrated in 1626 at the culmination of over 120 years of construction. The original designs were laid out by Bramante in 1506, however, over the following years, the ambitious designs were altered by several renown architects including Michelangelo, Giacomo Della Porta and Carlo Maderno, each adding their own personal touch to the magnanimous design. St. Peter's Basilica now enshrines some of the world's most famed artworks including Michelangelo's Pieta and Bernini's Baldachin. The splendid facade and riches that lie within are crowned by an intricately adorned dome that is revered as Michelangelo's most grand architectural legacy. The Pope delivers the Urbi et Orbi blessing each year on the occasion of Christmas and Easter from the basilica's central balcony, attracting millions of devout pilgrims to the threshold of St. Peter's each year. He remains the only one who can serve at the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica.
This collection is housed in a building constructed in 1613 for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, one of Bernini's greatest patrons. In fact, this great sculptor has exhibited some of his most famous sculptures here; amongst them is the renowned Apollo and Daphne. When one thinks of the Museo Borghese, the sculpture that immediately springs to mind is Canova's Pauline Borghese, in which she poses as Venus, wearing just a drape around her midriff. There are six major pieces by Caravaggio in the Galleria, including The Boy with a Basket of Fruit and the Madonna Della Serpe. Titian is also represented with Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael with The Deposition, and there are important works by Correggio. The gallery can only hold 300 visitors at a time, so it is advisable to book in advance.
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.
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.
For centuries Via del Corso has been the main road of access to the city for pilgrims coming in from the north. Originally, it was known as Via Flaminia during the time of the Roman Empire, and then went on to be known as Via Lata in the Middle Ages. This road, measuring 1500 meters (4921.26 feet), connects Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo. Here, among other things, you can find elegant palaces dating back to ancient times. Most tourists today love taking a walk down this road only to lose themselves in ancient history and the essence of this culturally rich city.
Ostia Antica Archeological Cruise begins its journey from Marconi bridge while giving you a panoramic view of ancient Rome, the river Tiber and the natural flora in the less traveled parts of the city. This archeological cruise operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Children and older citizens receive special discounts and the cruise is also handicapped-accessible.
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.
Construction of this palace begun in 1455 for the Venetian cardinal, Pietro Barbi, who made it his residence. Construction of the first palace was completed shortly before his election to the Papacy in 1464 when he adopted the name Paul II. He then decided to amplify the palace and make it a dwelling worthy of a pope. The work continued until 20 years after the Pope's death and it underwent architectural transformations on several occasions over the centuries. In 1916 it was confiscated by the state of Italy which decided to make it the Palazzo Venezia museum, a role it still plays, as well as being the library of the National Institute of Archaeology and History of Art. During the Fascist regime, the palace was made famous by newsreels of the time, showing Mussolini speaking to the crowds below from a window in the palace.
Popular among locals as Il Milite Ignoto 'The Unknown Soldier', Complesso del Vittoriano is a museum that houses the bodies of various soldiers who fought in the World War I. After efforts of more than 20 years put into constructing this monument, it was finally completed in 1911. The architecture and exterior of the museum is of equal importance. The front facade of the museum is embellished with statues representing the various regions of Italy. The fountains of the two seas, greets visitors who enter through the gates. Do pay close attention to the inscriptions on various artifacts.
Linked to the famed Madame Tussaud's in London, the Museo delle Cere recreates historical scenes such as Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa surrounded by the Medici family and Machiavelli. Another scene shows Mussolini's last Cabinet meeting. There is of course a chamber of horrors with a garrotte, a gas chamber and an electric chair. The museum was built to replicate similar buildings in London and Paris. It is a must visit if one is ever in the city in order to take home some unforgettable memories.
Four elite families of Rome united to become the co-founders of the Doria-Pamphilj Art Gallery. Visit the Gallery to witness exemplary pieces of art, furniture, and numerous statues. The collection dates back to the medieval Byzantine era, and includes the works of painters like Caravaggios, Bernini, and Rafael, to name a few. The royal and ornate interiors add to the charm of the works housed inside, and spellbind you with the elegant sculpture and relief work, frescos, and the internal courtyard that bespeak of a space in accord with the greatness of its exhibits. There is also an audio guide facility, and seating around the displays to know sit back and know about them down to the last detail.