Enclosed by Bernini's magnificent colonnade, this square has the largest number of visitors in the world. Millions of tourists wait here either for the Pope's Sunday blessing or to enter the Basilica. More than a square, the colonnade gives it the atmosphere of a courtyard, inviting people to enter the church. The obelisk in the heart of the square has been standing there since 1586. When a new pope is being chosen, it is at St. Peter's Square that thousands gather keenly to see the black smoke turn white and find out who the next pope is going to be. During Christmas, a nativity scene and a Christmas tree are installed, and there is a remarkable atmosphere of celebration, with the majestic dome dominating the scene behind.
The collection housed in this Neo-classical building includes works from the 19th and 20th Centuries. The 19th-century works are mostly those of the Macchiaioli (Florentine impressionist painters), a movement similar to puntinismo (pointillism), a style based on the use of spots of color to create paintings whose subjects were distinguishable only from a certain distance. Among the 20th-century artists represented here are De Chirico, Carrà, Sironi, Casorati, and Marini. The museum often organizes temporary exhibitions and has its own restaurant, Caffè delle Arti.
National Museum of the XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) stands with an aim to promote all the forms of contemporary art. This magnificent structure takes pride in housing the first national museum in architecture, housing all the products and documents involved in architecture as an entity. The MAXXI showcases artistic productions through conferences, documentaries, presentations of cinema and video series, concerts and dance performances. All in all, a great place that educates and enlightens every visitor, right from an art connoisseur to a layman.
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.
The Aqueduct Park is part of the huge Appia Antica Regional Park. It is one of the most fascinating places in Rome, where you can jog along the imposing ruins of six different romans aqueducts, as well as among the umbrella pines of the roman countryside. It spreads for 15 hectares from Cinecittà to the Appio Clauido areas. Some of the water conduits, as the Anio Vetus, the oldest one, run partly underground, but the massive arches of the Claudio duct are really a stunning view! The waterworks date back to different times from the Republican and Imperial ages to 1585 when Aqueduct Felice was built by Pope Sixtus V. They supplied Rome with water for over 850 years, until barbarian invasions destroyed the ducts. Only the Felice Aqueduct, the seventh one, is still in use for irrigation and to feed roman historical fountains. The park is open from dawn until dusk.
Located on the outskirts of Rome, Casale Mattia is a famed brewery and winery which is also a constant attraction for the endless hordes of tourists visiting Rome every year. Housing wines created out of organic grapes grown on their vast stretch of farms, Casale Mattia offers a unique wine-tasting experience. You can also make purchases from their wine store of white wines and red wines. Authentic extra virgin olive oil is also on offer for purchase.
This gallery is attached to Palazzo Colonna and is made up of six rooms, richly decorated with ceiling frescoes and a host of beautiful paintings like Annibale Carracci's il Mangiafagioli. There are also two writing desks, which are marvelous works of art and well worth seeing. The first desk is decorated in semi-precious stone with bronze statuettes and the second is decorated with inlaid ivory. Unfortunately, this splendid gallery is only open once a week, but it is definitely worth visiting in order to see these unique pieces.
Trajan's Column stands between two seemingly twin churches - Santa Maria di Loreto and Santissimo Nome di Maria. It is 40 meters high, overlooking the remaining columns of the ancient Ulpia Basilica in Trajan's Forum. It is thought that the column was originally erected between two large libraries that were, with the terrace of Trajan's Temple and the terrace of the Ulpia Basilica, places where Romans could admire the historical reliefs on the column. The column has resisted degradation superbly over the years, the spiral frieze illustrates the most important episodes in Trajan's successful expedition against the Dacians as well as showing the everyday lives of soldiers. On the top of the column (reached via a stairway inside) there is a bronze statue of St. Peter sculpted by Tommaso della Porta which, it is thought, must have replaced one of the emperor himself.
Reorganization of Piazza del Campidoglio began in 1539 as part of a plan undertaken by Pope Paul III. It was the first square created as part of a plan conceived by Michelangelo in which a space was created between Palazzo Senatorio and Palazzo dei Conservatori bounded by a new symmetrical building. The square is in the shape of a trapezoid with the Palazzo Senatorio on the longer side (the seat of the city council's administrative offices) and the Capitoline Museums on either side. Michelangelo also designed the monumental flight of steps that leads to the square on either side of which were the Dioscuri designed by Giacomo della Porta. The pavement in the center designed by Michaelangelo on which stands the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, survived the Middle Ages as it was thought, that it represented the Emperor Constantine, the protector of the Christian religion.
The streets between Piazza Venezia, Piazza del Campidoglio and Via delle Botteghe Oscure lead to Piazza Margana or Piazza Marghane, the square named after the powerful family that lived in the district. This medieval area was not touched during modifications to Rome made in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The palaces of the nobility were all built in the 17th Century over Renaissance buildings so they have maintained their original characteristics. The Palazzo Albertoni was frequented by artists and writers who instituted the monthly prize, the Tor Margana, which lasted until the 1970s. The square was also used for open-air art exhibitions during those years.
The marvelous facade of the Palazzo Senatorio dominates Piazza del Campidoglio, one of the major tourist attractions of the Eternal City. Rising above the Tabularium, the heritage building is made famous by the monumental double stairway that leads to the palace designed my Michelangelo. Originally built between the 13th and 14th centuries, Palazzo Senatorio was where all the important archives, tabulae and official documents of ancient Rome were stored. Many architects have contributed to the design of the structure, notably Martino Longhi the Elder who designed the Bell Tower. From 1870 to present day it has served as Rome's city hall where the City Council convenes.
The need to renew the ancient administrative and judicial structures introduced an initiative to construct an impressive architectural complex. Constructed by a Roman politician Julius Caesar in 46BC, it is considered as a major attraction today for the civilian life and a common gathering place for the people. The Forum features a real picture gallery showcasing paintings of the best Greek painters as well as numerous sculpture works and artifacts.