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Sights in Rome–sorry for the delay in posts!

I apologize for the delay in a new post here, do not worry, this one was worth the wait! Below is just a sampling of the many remarkable sights in Rome and Vatican City. Enjoy!

  • Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace)—a monument of the Roman Imperial age that is located within a modern architectural landmark that is a rectangular glass and travertine structure designed by Richard Meier and dates back to 13 BC and was commissioned to celebrate the Pax Romana; Lungotevere in Augusta
  • Arco di Costantino (Arch of Constantine)—a grand arch erected in AD 315 to commemorate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge with rich marble decorations salvaged from earlier monuments; Piazza del Colosseo

 

  • Arco di Tito (Arch of Titus)—a triumphal arch erected in AD 81 to celebrate the sacking of Jerusalem ten years earlier after the first Jewish-Roman War with a great view of the Colosseum from the arch; east end of Via Sacra

 

  • Basilica di Massenzio (Basilica of Maxentius)—a basilica with only 1/3 of the original structure remaining with great arched vaults that was once a center of judicial and commercial activity; Via Sacra
  • Basilica di San Pietro—the world’s largest church built over the tomb of St. Peter that is the grandest Renaissance achievement covering 18,000 square yards and running 212 yards in length surrounded by a dome rising 435 feet and measuring 138 feet across its base; work was done on the basilica by five major Italian artists: Bramante, Raphael, Peruzzi, Antonio Sangallo the Younger, and Michelangelo and it was fully consecrated and completed in 1626; it includes the balcony where newly elected popes are announced and where popes stand to give their apostolic blessing on feast days and beautiful architectural design inside the basilica; located at Piazza di San Pietro
  • Bioparco—a remodeled eco-friendly zoo with plenty of room for the animals that mostly came from other zoos or were born from animals already in captivity with animals such as big cats, elephants, chimpanzees, and brown bears, a Reptile house, a picnic area, and a farm; Piazzale del Giardino Zoologico 1
  • Sistine Chapel—the renowned chapel originally commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV that Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo to fresco the more than 10,000 square feet ceiling for and its lower walls were decorated by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Signorelli, and Pinturicchio with scenes from the life of Moses on one wall and scenes from the life of Jesus on one wall; over 20 years later Michelangelo was asked by Farnese Pope Paul III to paint the Last Judgment on the wall over the altar whose depiction was considered controversial at the time because of its use of nudity; located at Vatican Palace, enter through the Musei Vaticani
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore—one of seven pilgrimage basilicas in the world founded in 432 AD and the site where Bernini, the famous architect, was buried; Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore 42
  • Pantheon—a temple dedicated to the seven planetary divinities and featuring a beautiful marble interior that is considered to be one of the most impressive Augustan Rome monuments; Piazza della Rotonda
  • Colosseum—one of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome that was built to house the more than 50,000 spectators who watched violent gladiator battles; Piazza del Colosseo
  • Galleria Borghese—a museum set in Villa Borghese which has sculptures, reliefs, and ancient mosaics and paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 18th century with masterpieces by Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Raffaello, Tiziano, and Caravaggio among others; Piazzale del Museo Borghese
  • Palatine Hill—the commercial, political, and religious center of ancient Rome which features the Arch of Septimus Severus, Temple of Saturn, Arch of Titus, and House of the Vestals; Piazza Santa Maria Nova
  • Trevi Fountain—one of the most visited sites in Rome that has a story that whoever throws a coin into the fountain will someday return to Rome; Piazza di Trevi
  • Piazza Navona—a Baroque square that features Bernini’s Fountain of Rivers at its Center that faces Borromini’s church, Sant’ Agnese in Agone
  • Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo—a museum divided into four sections that depicts the history of Castel Sant’Angelo through vintage prints and scenic views; Lungotevere Castello 50
  • Welcome to Rome—a multimedia experience that takes visitors through the history of Rome by way of video projections on the walls, ceilings, and floor accompanied by a narrator and four exhibitions that immerse visitors in the history of Rome; Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 203
  • Estasi di Santa Teresa—a church known for its frescoes and Bernini’s sculptures and artwork; Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria
  • Centro Storico—a section of Rome with narrow streets that provide great examples of Roman classical and Baroque architecture
  • Palazzo Colonna-Galleria Colonna—a Baroque palace with an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and furniture from the 14th to 18th centuries; Via della Pilotta 17
  • Abbazia di San Paolo Fuori le Mura—a basilica built under the edict of Constantine consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324 AD and continually restored and enlarged between 384 and 395 AD with Pietro Cavallini’s mosaics in the façade, the Vassalleto family’s cloister, Arnolfo di Cambio’s Gothic baldachin, and the candeladrum for the Paschal candle attributed to Nicola d’Angelo and Pietro Vassaletto and unfortunately was destroyed in a fire in 1823 but reconstructed with the elements that had survived the fire; Via Ostiense 186
  • Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano—the first Christian church that belongs to the Vatican with beautiful artwork inside; Piazza di Porta San Giovanni 4
  • Mausoleo di Santa Costanza—a church that was originally built as a mausoleum in the 4th century for Costanza, son of Constantine, and eventually became first a baptistery and then a church; Via Nomentana 349
  • Museo Nazionale Romano-Palazzo Massimo alle Terme—a palazzo built on the ruins of the Domitian theater with beautiful mosaics and Roman statuary; Largo di Villa Peretti 67
  • Spanish Steps—an elegant square surrounded by 18th century buildings and flowers that adorn the steps by Francesco de Sanctis consisting of 12 flights of varying width which descend to the Franciscan Church of Trinita dei Monti; Piazza di Spagna
  • Palazzo Doria Pamphilj—a beautiful palace owned by the Doria family that has paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, and Velasquez; Via del Corso 305
  • Domus Aurea—the former imperial estate of Nero built in 64 AD that has a series of pavilions and is set within a spacious garden with an artificial lake in the center; Via della Domus Aurea
  • Vatican Necropolis—an ancient Roman necropolis with chambers 10-15 feet wide that have frescoes and mosaics; Piazza San Pietro, beneath St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia—a 16th century palace that is home to ancient Roman and Etruscan sculpture and artifacts; Piazza di Villa Giulia
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo—a Renaissance church that has Baroque decorations and 18th and 19th century monuments; Piazza del Popolo 12
  • Colle del Gianicolo—a beautiful hill known for its great views of the city; Via Garibaldi, Salita di Sant’Onofrio
  • Case Romane del Celio—an ancient Roman apartment block converted into a museum in 2002 featuring an underground series of rooms that include painted figures, the confession altar of St. John and St. Paul who were executed under the edict of Julian the Apostate, and the antiquarium which has amphorae, pots, and ancient Roman bricks; Clivio di Scauro
  • Castel Sant’Angelo—one of Rome’s most prominent landmarks that was originally built as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian and was completed around AD 140 initially consisting of a large square base topped by a marble cylinder upon which a ring of cypress trees was planted before it became a fortress for popes to take refuge during wars and sieges; it now includes a chamber where Hadrian’s ashes were kept, a courtyard that is the resting place of stone cannonballs, and the marble angel that stood above the castle; Lungotevere Castello 50
  • Catacombe di San Sebastiano (Catacombs of St. Sebastian)—a 4th century church named after the saint who was buried in the catacomb that burrows underground on four different levels and was the only early Christian cemetery to remain accessible during the Middle Ages as well as a site where well preserved pagan mausoleums were found in the early 20th century; Via Appia Antica 136
  • Centrale Montemartini—Rome’s first electricity plant that was reopened as a museum in 2005 and is home to Roman sculptures and mosaics set against machinery and pipes that are organized by the area where the pieces were found with a highlight of the collection being the 4th century AD mosaic of a hunting scene with a horseman driving his sword into a boar; Via Ostiense 106
  • Crypta Balbi—the fourth portion of the collections of the Museo Nazionale Romano that depicts several periods of Roman history with well-lit exhibits and written explanations; Via delle Botteghe Oscure 31
  • Fontana Della Barcaccia (Leaky Boat Fountain)—a half-sunken boat powered by Rome’s only surviving ancient aqueduct that was designed as a solution to low water pressure by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his father, Pietro, under the commission of Barberini Pope Urban VIII; Piazza di Spagna
  • Fontana delle Tartarughe—a 16th century fountain designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1581 and sculpted by Taddeo Landini featuring four bronze boys holding onto a dolphin spouting water into a shell and turtles in their hands drinking from the upper basin; Piazza Mattei
  • Gagosian Gallery—a contemporary art gallery that opened in a former bank in 2007 that has been home to temporary exhibitions by major artists such as Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons; Via Francesco Crispi 16
  • Galleria d’ Arte Moderna—Rome’s modern art gallery situated within the 18th century Convent of the Discalced Carmelites and featuring Roman 19th and 20th century paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures including pieces by Giorgio de Chirico, Gino Severini, Scipione, Antonio Donghi, and Giacomo Manzu as well as rotating exhibits; Via Francesco Crispi 24
  • Giardini Vaticani (Vatican Gardens)—a 40-acre garden landscape on the Vatican hill with a formal Italian garden, a French flower garden, an English garden, and a small forest as well as a museum of coins and stamps made in the Vatican
  • Il Gesu—the mother church of the Jesuits that is considered to be the first fully Baroque church with a beautiful interior that was not decorated until 1684 with gold, lapis lazuli, gold and precious marbles, and a ceiling painted by Baciccia; Piazza del Ges, off Via del Plebiscito
  • Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini—an excavated ruin of two upscale urban homes that have well-preserved mosaics, inlaid marble floors, and staircases with multimedia displays and a guided voice that narrates visitors through the rooms pointing out interesting sights such as the heating system for the private baths, statue fragments, and porcelain; Via Foro Traiano 85
  • MAXXI—Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI Secolo (National Museum of 21st Century Arts)—Italy’s first national museum devoted to contemporary art and architecture with glass ceilings and steel staircases and a rotating permanent collection including pieces by artists such as Andy Warhol, Francesco Clemente, and Gerhard Richter; Via Guido Reni 4
  • Musei Capitolini—the world’s first public museum that features Roman art from ancient times to the Baroque period with a bronze sculpture of Marcus Aurelius, the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter, a painting gallery with Baroque masterpieces by Caravaggio and other artists, and busts of Roman emperors among other pieces; Piazza del Campidoglio
  • Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museums)—one of the largest museums in the world situated in Vatican City with highlights of the collection including an ancient sculpture collection which includes selections from Pope Julius II’s private art collection; statuary fragments; the Raphael Rooms where Pope Julius II moved into in 1507 that feature Raphael’s frescoes; and the picture gallery with primarily religious paintings arranged in chronological order; Viale Vaticano near intersection with Via Leone IV
  • Museo Napoleonico—a small museum in the Palazzo Primoli with a collection of Napoleon memorabilia including a bust by Canova of the general’s sister, Pauline Borghese; Palazzo Primoli, Piazza di Ponte Umberto I
  • Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia—the world’s most renowned collection of Etruscan art and artifacts housed in Villa Giulia which was built around 1551 for Pope Julius III and has a sunken sculpture garden, terra cotta statues such as the Apollo of Veio and the Sarcophagus of the Wedded Couple, and beautiful Etruscan jewelry; Piazzale Villa Giulia 9
  • Museo Palatino—a museum that depicts the history of Palatine Hill from Archaic times with models of early villages to Roman times with a video reconstruction of the hill on the ground floor, a collection of colored stones used in the decorations of the palace, terra-cotta moldings and sculptural decorations from various temples, and a selection of imperial portraits including one of Nero; northwest crest of Palatine Hill
  • Palazzo Altemps—part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, this palazzo contains some of the finest ancient Roman statues in the world with a restored interior that showcases the collection of the Ludovisi family and exhibits that explain in English how and where Renaissance sculptors added missing pieces to classical works; Piazza Sant’Apollinare 46
  • Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Antica—one of Rome’s most magnificent Roman Baroque landmarks with a façade designed by Carlo Maderno and Gianlorenzo Bernini with a staircase leading up to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica whose collection includes Raphael’s La Fornarina, Guido Reni’s Beatrice Cenci beheaded in Rome for patricide in 1599, and Caravaggio’s Judith and Holofernes; the palace’s Gran Salone, a large ballroom with a ceiling painted in 1630 by Roman Baroque master Pietro da Cortona depicting the Glorification of Urban VIII’s Reign; Via Barberini 18
  • Palazzo Colonna—a palazzo that is considered to be Rome’s grandest private palazzo built by one of the richest families in Rome that is still home to some members of the Colonna family and features a family picture gallery which has the Sala Grande, an ancient red marble column, and a ceiling fresco of the Battle of Lepanto painted by Giovanni Coli and Filippo Gherardi in 1675; Via della Pilotta 17
  • Palazzo Doria Pamphilj—a family palace that has a graceful façade and galleries containing works by Velasquez and Caravaggio including John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, and Rest on the Flight to Egypt, and Velasquez’s Pope Innocent X considered by some historians to be one of the greatest portraits ever painted, and a Bernini bust of the pope; Via del Corso 305
  • Palazzo Farnese—the most spectacular Renaissance palace in Rome that is known for its Galleria Carracci whose ceiling epitomizes the essence of the Baroque age and contains works by Michelangelo in the frieze decorations and main window overlooking the piazza; French Embassy, Servizio Culturale, Piazza Farnese 67
  • Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme—part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, this museum houses the ancient treasures of the archaeological collection and the coin collection with highlights such as the Dying Niobid and the Discobolus Lancelloti and ancient frescoes on display on the top floor to recreate the appearances of the houses they once decorated; Largo Villa Peretti 1
  • Palazzo Mattei di Glove—an opulent palazzo decorated in a turn of the 17th century style and designed by Carlo Maderno with a collection of sculpted busts, heroic statues, sculpted reliefs, and Paleo-Christian epigrams collected by Marchese Asdrubale Mattei; Via Michelangelo Caetani 32
  • Piazza del Popolo—a Roman landmark with an obelisk and twin churches that marks what was for centuries the northern entrance to the city and is named after the 15th century church of Santa Maria del Popolo which is located on the right side of the Porta del Popolo, the city gate, and is now a popular pedestrian area that has been the site of political rallies and a major New Year’s Eve alfresco party
  • Piazza di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square)—one of Bernini’s grandest masterpieces where the pope makes his public appearances and is surrounded by a pair of quadruple colonnades topped with 140 statues of saints and martyrs and an 85-foot-high Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome by Caligula in AD 37 and moved to its current location by Pope Sixtus V in 1586; west end of Via della Conciliazione
  • Pincio—a beautiful garden with off-white marble busts of Italian Risorgimento heroes and artists along the pathway; Piazzale Napoleone 1
  • Portico d’Ottavia—situated over the Jewish Ghetto, this portico enclosure with few surviving columns is picturesque with the old church of Sant’Angelo in Pescheria built into its ruins; Via Tribuna di Campitelli 6
  • San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane—a church designed by Borromini that is situated within a space no larger than the base of one of the piers of St. Peter’s Basilica with a coffered dome, a double-S curved façade, and subdued white stucco interior with a Baroque cloister; Via del Quirinale 23
  • San Clemente—an archaeological site that is the home of a 12th century church built over a 2nd century pagan temple to the god Mithras and 1st century Roman apartments; the upper church has an apse with a 12th century mosaic depicting Jesus on a cross that turns into a living tree and early Christian symbols decorating the 4th century marble choir screens; the 4th century church was used until 1084 when it was damaged beyond repair during a siege of the area by Norman prince Robert Guiscard but still has 11th century frescoes that show scenes from the life of St. Clement; Via San Giovanni in Laterano 108
  • San Giovanni in Laterano—the main cathedral in Rome that was built by Emperor Constantine 10 years before he built the church dedicated to Peter and is the ecclesiastical seat of the Pope with the current incarnation designed in the 16th and 17th century in a Baroque style by Borromini; Piazza di Porta San Giovanni
  • San Pietro in Vincoli—Michelangelo’s Moses was carved for this church that was designed to be the tomb of Pope Julius II but only three of the dozens of commissioned statues had been completed when Julius died and his successor abandoned the project; the church has the set of chains that bound St. Peter during his imprisonment by the Romans in Jerusalem and Rome in a bronze and crystal urn under the main altar; Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli
  • The Campidoglio—this plaza was transformed from an unkempt hill into a third palace with Renaissance style facades and a grand paved piazza that features newly excavated ancient sculptures installed in the palaces; Piazza di Campidoglio
  • Villa Borghese—Rome’s Central Park that was designed in its current form at the end of the 18th century in an 18th century English style by Scottish painter Jacob More with highlights including an amphitheater, Piazza di Siena, a botanical garden, the Temple of Aesculapius, Bioparco zoo, and the Villa Giulia museum as well as bikes, in-line skating, electric scooter rental concessions, and a children’s movie theater

 

 

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