Founded in the late 19th Century by the entrepreneur Costanzi, this theater was for a long time considered to be one of the most prestigious opera theaters in Europe. Having gone through some difficult years, the Teatro dell'Opera has recently returned to its status as a primary venue for opera, ballet and symphonic music seasons. During the summer, opera is staged at the lovely Terme di Caracalla or the beautiful Piazza di Siena in the Villa Borghese gardens.
Established in 1506, Vatican Museums is a collection of different museums that house masterpieces from the bygone era. The museum houses 54 galleries and is home to the Sistine Chapel as well. The museums were founded by Pope Julius II. The museum attracts millions of visitors throughout the year and is touted to be one of the top five most visited museums in the world. Visitors are offered guided tours to the museum and can see fine works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Ghirlandaio and Botticelli among a plethora of other artists. Major highlights of the museum includes the double spiral staircase dating back to 1932, The Gallery of Maps from the 16th Century, the Raphael Rooms and epitaph of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus.
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.
The Parco della Musica-Cavea Auditorium hosts a series of concerts, festivals, events and other shows every year. It brings in some famous performers like Diana Ross, Joe Jackson and Jim Hall. 'Flamenco', 'Luglio Suona Bene' and 'PianoSolo' are three of the musical festivals held at the Auditorium each year. The Auditorium brings in a cross cultural mix of musical tastes from ballet to opera to jazz. For the best performances in Rome, visit the Auditorium while tickets are still available.
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.
Built at the behest of Emperor Diocletian between 298 CE and 306 CE, the Baths of Diocletian formed the largest public bath complex of the Roman Empire, with a capacity of 3000. The sprawling complex encompassed a gymnasium, library and public baths, with tepid, hot and cold water options. Decorated with sculptures and elaborate stucco work, the baths were once an awe-inspiring sight in both scale and grandeur. The siege of Rome in 537 CE brought with it the end of the Baths of Diocletian when the aqueducts were cut of by King Vitiges. In 1561, much of now ruinous bath complex was lost when Pope Pius IV commissioned Michelangelo to construct the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli at the site. Today, the ruins of Hall 10 of the Baths of Diocletian have been revived by the National Museum of Rome, showcasing a once treasured piece of the ancient city of Rome. Tombs, sarcophagi, mosaics and other relics from the baths have been preserved, alongside a reconstitution of the hall and its ruins. The site is surrounded by a 16th Century garden lavishly embellished with historic artwork, adding to the allure of this historic site.
One of the most important collections of medieval and Renaissance art is housed at Museo di Palazzo Venezia. There are Renaissance paintings, painted wooden sculptures and chests from all over Italy, tapestries from elsewhere in Europe, Neapolitan ceramics, silverware, suits of armor, and 17th and 18t Century paintings. One of the most dramatic pieces is a 13th Century enameled Byzantine Christ. There are also terracotta studies by Bernini for construction of the Triton fountain and the decoration of Castel Sant'Angelo.
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.
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.
Teatro Della Cometa is a small, elegant example of Italian-style theater in the heart of Rome. The audience usually consists of a younger crowd, so the performances are full of fun. These are dedicated to the new generation of Italian actors, writers and directors. So you now know where to head to for some off-beat shows.
Centrally located and easily accessible from most of the tourist attractions, Scholars Lounge is a great place to unwind, for drinks, food and watching your favorite matches. This Irish pub and sports bar with its woody decor will remind you of a chapel due its layout. Engravings of famous Irish literati and poets adorn the walls with dangling Irish flags above them. Though the days are quiet, the nights are a different thing altogether. Bustling with a mixture of expats, students, travelers and more, the lounge takes on a more lively and festive environment. The sports bar features right wide TVs so that sports fans can enjoy their matches along with some amazing Guinness or other drinks. The pub offers a wide range of beers, pub food which also features Italian bruschetta, chicken curry and a range of other favorites. Live music - rock, pop or funk, karaoke nights and weekly quiz nights make it even more entertaining. The staff is English speaking and is one of the friendliest in the city.