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2 Feb 2008

Rome – Attractions Guide

IMG_6272 List of most of the attractions in Rome with quick information:


IR28 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Barberini Gallery
Details: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini
Location:


IR04 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Basilica di San Pietro (St Peter’s Basilica)
Details: St Peter’s Basilica lies above a former shrine, which is said to mark the burial ground of the saint. Pope Julius II pulled down the original structure (despite its venerable age of 1,000 years) in 1506 (with his architect Bramante in tow) in order to build a shiny new basilica. Construction lasted 120 years, during which time a team of architects and artists (including Alberti, Bramante, Raphael, Peruzzi, Sangallo the Younger and Michaelangelo) struggled over this enormous edifice. Michaelangelo was responsible for the huge dome and supporting drum but died in 1564, before work was finally completed in 1590. The basilica’s interior is an unashamed display of the power of the Church. Amid the grandeur (in the first chapel on the right) lies Michaelangelo’s Pietà (1498/9). Arnolfo da Cambio’s bronze statue of St Peter (1296), in the central aisle, has become famed for its foot worn to a nub by pilgrims’ kisses. Bernini’s Throne of St Peter (1665), above the papal altar (made with bronze purloined from the Pantheon on the Pope’s orders) dominates the far end of the nave. Optional extras include a trip (via lift or stairs) into the dome, the Vatican Gardens (pre-booked guided tours only), and the Vatican Grottoes, containing papal tombs. Access to the Necropolis below the Grottoes (the legendary site of St Peter’s remains) is allowed with written permission only.
+The saga of St. Peter’s dates to the year AD 319 when Emperor Constantine built a basilica over where the tomb of St. Peter. The Basilica is said to be near where the Circus of Nero was in ancient times. After near collapse in the 15th century, a long, labored reconstruction began. Five of Italy’s greatest Renaissance artists died while toiling away on the new St. Peter’s -- Bramante, Raphael, Peruzzi, Sangallo the Younger and Michelangelo. Inside the great church is Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Location: Piazza San Pietro St Peter’s Dome Necropolis Vatican Gardens/Vatican Guided Tours Office
Tel: (06) 6988 1662 (pilgrim and tourist information centre, open Mon-Sat 0830-1830). Tel: (06) 6988 4676 (Mon-Sat). Fax: (06) 6988 5100.
Transport: Metro Ottaviano, bus to Piazza del Risorgimento.
Opening hours: Daily 0700-1900 (Apr-Oct), last entry 15 minutes before closing time, daily 0700-1800 (Nov-Mar). Opening hours: Daily 0800-1800 (summer), daily 0800-1700 (winter), last entry 15 minutes before closing time. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.
Admission: Free. Admission: €4 (without lift), €5 (with lift). Admission: €10. Admission: €9.


IR07 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Campo de’ Fiori
Details: From Monday to Saturday, each day at dawn, stall holders at Rome’s best-loved fruit and vegetable market set up their wares at Campo de’ Fiori. This down-to-earth square (surrounded by tumbledown orange-ochre facades) is a far cry from the more grandiose piazzas of the centro storico. Here one encounters the friendliness and spontaneity for which Romani are so renowned. Come sunset, some of the city’s liveliest and most authentic wine bars and trattorie spill their tables out onto the cobbles, as locals and visitors, famous actors and ordinary office workers alike flock here to eat and drink below the stars.
Location: Campo de’ Fiori
Transport: Bus to Largo Argentina.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat dawn-dusk.
Admission: Free.


IR03 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Cappella Sistina & Musei Vaticani (Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums)
Details: An awe-inspiring glimpse of Michaelangelo’s depiction of The Creation is worth the queues and crowds that go hand-in-hand with a visit to the Vatican City. Michaelangelo grudgingly accepted Julius II’s commission to paint frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – built as a private chapel of the popes between 1475 and 1480. Work began in May 1508, the frescoes were unveiled in August 1511, and completed in October 1512. 21 years later, a reluctant Michaelangelo painted the Last Judgement on the wall behind the altar, adding his own aged face below the figure of Christ. Pope Pius IV was scandalised by the display of nudity and the offending genitalia had to be concealed by hastily painted loincloths – most have been removed during restoration work. In fact, the recent restoration of the Old Testament scenes has caused great controversy. Although eclipsed by Michaelangelo’s artistry, the Renaissance paintings that line the walls are fine works, created by the masters – including Michaelangelo’s own teacher: Ghirlandaio. The Vatican Museums alone could easily eat up a day or two of a trip to Rome. Highlights include the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael’s Rooms), the Etruscan Museum (depicting Italy before the Romans) and the Pio-Clementino Museum – containing the world’s largest collection of Classical statues.
+The Vatican Museums serve as a huge warehouse for treasures from antiquity and the Renaissance, held within lavish palaces, apartments and galleries leading to the renowned Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museums occupy a part of the papal palaces built from the 1200s onward. Access to ticket windows is via a fabulous spiral ramp. Among highlights are the Borgia Apartments, Egyptian-Gregorian Museum, Ethnological Museum, Raphael Rooms, Pinacoteca, Raphael Salon and the Vatican Library.
Location: Vatican City, Viale Vaticano. (06) 6988-4341
Tel: (06) 6988 4947. Fax: (06) 6988 1573.
Website: www.vatican.va
Transport: Metro Ottaviano, bus to Piazza del Risorgimento.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0845-1645 with last entry at 1520, Sat 0845-1345 with last entry at 1220 (Early Mar-Oct), Mon-Sat 0845-1345 with last entry at 1220 (Nov-Early Mar), last Sun of month 0845-1345 with last entry at 1220.
Admission: €12, free last Sun of month, concessions available.


IR27 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Castel Sant'Angelo
Details: From St. Peter's walking along Via della Conciliazione one can reach the second stop of our itinerary: Castel Sant'Angelo. The unique monument houses the National Museum where, besides the stuccoes, frescoes and furniture of the papal apartments, one can also admire an important collection of ancient arms. Castel Sant'Angelo is well known to Opera lovers, since right from its famous terrace overlooking the heart of Rome, Tosca, the protagonist of Giacomo Puccini's opera, threw herself down.
Brief historical outline
Castel Sant'Angelo is an imposing mausoleum built on the banks of the river Tiber, ordered and probably designed by Emperor Hadrian (2nd century AD), who wished to have a tomb for himself and his successors. Over the centuries Castel Sant'Angelo has undergone several changes: first a fortress against the attacks of the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, then a prison and finally a magnificent papal residence.
Location:


IR08 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Centrale Montemartini (Montemartini Art Centre)
Details: One of Rome’s most intriguing and memorable museums, the Centrale Montemartini displays four hundred pieces of Roman sculpture from the Capitoline collection of ancient sculpture displayed among the gleaming machinery and furnaces of a former electricity power plant. Initally intended as a stop-gap solution during renovations on the Capitoline Museums, its popularity has ensured it a place on the Roman museum scene.
Location: Via Ostiense 106
Tel: (06) 574 8042/30. Fax: (06) 575 4207.
Website: www.centralemontemartini.org
Transport: Bus 23 or Metro B: Piramide.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 0930-1900, last entry at 1800.
Admission: €4.20 (or €9.90 for a joint ticket including entrance to the Capitoline Museums).


IR09 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Circus Maximus
Details: In its day, the elongated oval of Circus Maximus provided a 250,000-seat arena for Ben-Hur-style gladiator action and was second only to the Colosseum as an impressive structure of ancient Rome. Circus Maximus now in ruins was plundered by medieval and Renaissance builders looking for marble and stone.
Location: Between Via dei Cerchi and Via del Circo Massimo


IR10 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Climb to the top of Palatine Hill (Monte Palatino).
Details: Legend has it that the ancient city of Rome was born atop Palatine Hill. Well-preserved samples of Roman era palaces and temples still stand, incorporated into the natural landscape by trees and vegetation that grow out of the ruins. Today these sites — which include the Baths of Septimus Severus — feel more like a park than an archeological site. Quiet paths shaded by slanting maritime pines give the place a serene feel. For a treat, visit Palatine Hill at early dusk, and watch the sun set on the center of ancient Rome — from Circus Maximus, to the Forum, to the Colosseum.
Location: Address: Via Sacra; Phone: +39 06 699-0110;
Web Site: Tourist Information Service, www.romaturismo.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily April through October; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily November through March;
Cost: 12,000 lire;


IR01 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Colosseo (Colosseum)
Details: Near to Via Sacra and the fourth-century Arco di Costantino (Arch of Constantine) lies the gigantic oval of the Colosseum – 186m (620ft) long, 153m (510ft) wide and about 47m (157ft) high. Emperor Vespasian began construction in AD72 and work was completed eight years later by his son Titus. It was the scene for entertainment that one can hardly comprehend – gladiatorial conquests between men, lions and wild beasts, with death guaranteed. The ‘games’ were finally outlawed in the fifth century. The stadium has been pillaged over the centuries and rocked by earthquakes. Today, only its skeletal framework remains, with the winding passages used to force animals up to the battlefield of the arena (formerly underground) now exposed.
+The Colosseum is the most recognizable symbol of Rome. Once called the Flavian Ampitheater, it was built from A.D. 72 to A.D. 80 — in just eight years. Here, up to 50,000 spectators — protected from the sun by an ingenious system of shades — packed the stands to watch Roman gladiators fight it out in the ultimate combat. Today, the only wild animals haunting visitors are stray cats that make their home in the shadow of this monument.
+The Colosseum in its present shell-like state remains Rome’s greatest architectural legacy. The elliptical bowl seating 50,000 debuted in A.D. 80 with bloody combat between gladiators and wild beasts. Many historians now doubt legends of Christians being fed to the lions at the Colosseum.
Location: Address: Piazza del Colosseo; Via dei Fori Imperiali Phone: +39 06 700 4261;
Tel: (06) 3996 7700.
Website: www.pierreci.it (online booking)
Transport: Metro Colosseo, bus to Piazza del Colosseo.
Opening hours: Daily 0900-1930 (summer), daily 0900-1630 (winter), last entry one hour before closing time.
Admission: €8 + €2 supplement when there are exhibitions (ticket also allows entry to the Palatine).


IR23 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Fori Imperiali
Details: Forum of Caesar, Augustus, Pax and Trajan (including Trajan's Column) and Traianus' markets, mark the passage from the Republic to the period of Empire and constitute the archaeological area of the Imperial forums.
Location:


IR05 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Foro Romano (Roman Forum) and Palatino (Palatine)
Details: The Roman Forum is now a heap of marble fragments, columns and floor layouts. A leap of imagination is required to recreate the former marketplace that was the political, commercial and social heart of ancient Rome and the symbolic centre of an Empire stretching to Greece, Sicily and Carthage. Fire, barbarians and pillaging builders in medieval and Renaissance times contributed to the Forum’s present state of disrepair but the Forum was only revealed during the excavation work of the 19th century. A bird’s-eye view is gained from behind Piazza del Campidoglio, while a closer look can be had from along Via Sacra, which runs through the heart of the Forum. Among the best preserved and most fascinating monuments are the AD203 triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus (built to celebrate victory over the Parthinians) and the remains of Caesar’s rostra, from where his great speeches were declaimed. Another stunning feature is the former atrium of the House of the Vestal Virgins and the adjacent Temple of Vesta, a circular building where the vestal virgins were entrusted in keeping the eternal flame alight. Just up from the Arch of Titus in the Forum is the Palatine where the palaces of the Roman emperors stood.
+You won't have to strain your imagination to picture the Forum as the political, commercial and religious center that it once was, Columns, arches and temples built between 500 B.C. and A.D. 400 — including the Temple of Vesta, where virgins once guarded the sacred fire — are artifacts of its ancient prominence. This center fills the valley between Capitoline and Palatine hills.
Location: Piazza di Santa Maria Nova 53 (off Via dei Fori Imperiali)
Tel: (06) 699 0110 or (06) 3996 7700.
Transport: Metro Colosseo, bus to Via dei Fori Imperiali or Piazza Venezia.
Opening hours: Daily 0900-1930 (summer), daily 0900-1630 (winter), last entry one hour before closing time.
Admission: Free for Foro Romano, €8 for combined Palatine and Colosseum ticket.


IR11 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Foro Traiano e Mercati di Traiano (Trajan’s Forum and Trajan’s Markets)
Details: Inaugurated in AD 112-113, Trajan’s Forum was the last built and most impressive of the Fora. The complex contained a main square, a basilica, two libraries and was completed by the markets of the same name, a sort of Roman, and remarkably well-preserved, equivalent of a shopping mall. The markets contained about 150 small shops spread over six storeys. Trajan’s column (which stands 38 m or 125 ft high) is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of Roman art, and was probably located between the two libraries on a base containing the burial urns of the Emperor and his wife. Its beautifully carved reliefs tell the tale of Trajan’s war campaigns in Dacia (now Romania). On the top of the column stood a statue of the emperor. This was removed by Pope Sixtus V in 1585 and replaced with a statue of St Peter made to face the direction of the basilica dedicated to the saint that was being built at the time.
Location: Via IV Novembre 94
Tel: (06) 679 0048.
Transport: Any bus to Piazza Venezia.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 0900-1900 (summer), last entry at 1800, Tues-Sun 0900-1800 (winter), last entry at 1700.
Admission: €6.20.


IR12 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Details: A British voice with a cut-glass accent issuing from the hand-held free audioguide leads visitors through the picture-clogged rooms, lavish furnishings and ageing sculptures – in short, the excessive wealth of the powerful Doria Pamphilj family, a pillar of Rome’s papal aristocracy. Jonathan Doria Pamphilj, the half-British sibling and heir, along with his sister, of the Doria Pamphilj fortunes is a modern-day prince and recalls childhood memories of roller-skating along the parquet floor of the 18th-century ballroom – tiny indentations prove the truth of his tale. The rambling palace is still occupied and a number of the private apartments are open to the public (mornings only) for a small additional fee. Works by Correggio, Caravaggio and Velázquez are on show here, as well as some amusing pieces by lesser-known artists.
Location: Piazza del Collegio Romano 2
Tel: (06) 679 7323. Fax: (06) 678 0939.
E-mail: arti.rm@doriapamphilj.it
Website: www.doriapamphilj.it
Transport: Bus to Piazza Venezia.
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 1000-1700.
Admission: €8, concessions available.


IR22 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Gianicolo Hill
Details: Gianicolo Hill If you make
your way to Gianicolo Hill, not only can you enjoy
out one of the best vistas of the city, but leave your
visit until the evening and you can witness a sunset
which will take your breath away.
Location:


IR13 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Golden House of Nero
Details: After Rome burned in the deadly blaze of A.D. 64 -- historians have yet to prove Nero set it, much less fiddled -- the emperor seized some 200 acres of the central charred city to erect one of history’s most opulent palaces, with a 150-foot statue of himself in the nude at the entrance. Successors destroyed much of the golden palace, but remains are again on view after a 15-year restoration re-opening in 1999. The Colosseum area was once a lake reflecting the Golden House. The word grotto comes from this palace, believed built underground.
Location: Via della Dommus Aurea. (06) 3974-9907


IR14 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Make a wish at Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi).
Details: Squashed into the corner of a small piazza, Trevi Fountain's statue of Neptune seems ready to burst forward from the ancient Acqua Vergine aqueduct. The recently cleaned, and gleaming, 18th-century fountain is one of Rome's most famous sights. It draws throngs of tourists, who crowd into the tiny square to toss coins into the water over their left shoulders; legend says this assures a return trip to the city. A string of legends surround the Trevi Fountain, which is situated amid the labyrinthine streets off Via del Tritone. It is said that a virgin came across a three-way (tre-vie) spring, causing the original fountain to be built. More recently, the far-from-virginal Anita Ekberg immortalised the fountain in the famous scene of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1959). According to myth, a coin cast in these waters will ensure a return visit to Rome. The Baroque extravaganza was designed by Nicolò Salvi for Pope Clement XII and completed in 1762. The statues (representing Abundance, Agrippa, Salubrity, the Virgin and Neptune guiding a chariot drawn by sea horses) appear as a cast of characters performing a melodrama, with a Renaissance palace for their backdrop and craggy rocks in the foreground.
Location: Address: Piazza di Trevi, off Via del Tritone; Phone: Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT), U.S., (212) 245-4822; in Rome, +39 06 488-991; Rome Tourist Information Service, +39 06 360 04399;
Web Site: Tourist Information Service www.romaturismo.com
Hours: All;
Cost: Free;


IR21 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele
Details: Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele This
unmissable, imposing, white marble building beside
the Roman Forum is fastly becoming one of Rome's
best known landmarks. Not liked by many locals as
it looks so new beside so many ancient buildings,
there is a museum inside which is free of charge.
Location:
Open daily from 9am?5pm.


IR15 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museums)
Details: The oldest public collection in the world, the Capitoline Museums are made up of two separate buildings: the Palazzo Nuovo houses the country’s most important collection of Roman sculpture (including the original of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius which stands proudly in the middle of the Piazza del Capidoglio), the Palazzo dei Conservatori and Braccio Nuovo house more ancient sculpture as well as Renaissance and Baroque art.
Location: Piazza del Campidoglio
Tel: (06) 3996 7800. Fax: (06) 678 5488.
Website: www.museicapitolini.org
Transport: Any bus to Piazza Venezia
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 0900-2000, last entry at 1900.
Admission: €6.20 (+ €1.60 exhibition supplement), €9,90 combined Capitoline Museums and Centrale Montemartini ticket (see in Further Distractions below). xx


IR16 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: National Gallery
Details: Palazzo Barberini ranks as one of Rome’s most outstanding baroque palaces. Within and on view are the lavish rococo apartments and the Gallery of Decorative Art, which is part of the National Gallery of Ancient Art. The Collection of bronze urns with engraving is outstanding.
Location: Palatine Hill


IR02 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Pantheon
Details: The best-preserved and most beautifully proportioned of Rome’s ancient monuments, the Pantheon has become an emblem of the city. Built by Hadrian between AD119 and AD128, as a temple to the gods, the Pantheon was converted to a Christian church in AD608 – the key to its miraculous survival. The radius of the dome is exactly equivalent to the height and a 9-m (30ft) hole, known as the oculus, in the dome’s centre allows light (and rain) into the building. Statues of the deities would once have decorated the interior. Now the focal point of interest is the tomb of Raphael. Most astonishing of all are the large brass doors, which belonged to the original Roman building.
Built in 27 B.C. and rebuilt in second century A.D, the Pantheon (All the Gods) is the lone ancient Roman building remaining intact. This perfect square resting in a cylinder measuring 142 feet wide and 142 feet high ranks among the world’s architectural wonders thanks to spatial concept. Michelangelo studied its once-gilded dome before designing the cupola of St. Peter's. Walls are 25 feet thick, and bronze doors weigh 20 tons each. More than a century ago, Raphael's tomb was discovered here. Buried nearby are Vittorio Emanuele II, king of Italy, and his successor, Umberto I.
Location: Piazza della Rotonda
Tel: (06) 6830 0230.
Transport: Bus to Largo Argentina or Via del Corso.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 0830-1930, Sun 0900-1800, public holidays 0900-1300.
Admission: Free.


IR26 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Piazza del Campidoglio
Details: Ancient seat of the most important temple of the state cult and symbol of Rome “caput mundi”, the Campidoglio has always maintained its importance in the life of the city as centre of the City Government since the 12th century and with the presence of the Capitoline Museums, the most ancient in the world. The square, considered one of the most elegant in Europe, was designed by Michelangelo who created the splendid access ramp, new facades for the preexisting buildings (Palazzo Senatorio at the centre and the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the right), and added the Palazzo Nuovo on the left, giving it the trapezoidal shape that never fails to communicate a sense of harmony and equilibrium to visitors. The orientation of the square helps us understand the evolution of the city that at Michelangelo’s time had already turned its back to the remains of ancient Rome, the place of the past, of a historical phase that was concluded, to face the new centre of power and rule of the day, the Vatican.
The original of the bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, whose copy is placed at the centre of the square is preserved in the Museum and escaped destruction in later times only because the personage on horseback was identified with Constantine, the first Christian emperor.
Location:


IR25 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Piazza di Spagna
Details: Heart of the most elegant and exclusive area of the historical centre, Piazza di Spagna has always been a meeting place for the Romans, but also for foreign visitors and artists who in the past used to stay in the numerous hotels and inns in the neighbouring streets. The famous staircase, designed in the 1700s by Francesco De Sanctis, proved to be an efficient and spectacular solution to the age-old problem of the connection between the square, controlled at length by the Spaniards whose embassy was located there, and the “French area” at the top of the hill that included the Renaissance church of the Trinità dei Monti. The 138 steps in the staircase are animated by terraces and curved sections that create the effect of a waterfall precipitating into the square below. In the spring it is decorated by colorful azaleas and it is also the setting of a famous fashion show. The Fountain of the Barcaccia was designed by Pietro Bernini, Gian Lorenzo’s father, and it represents a sinking boat placed in a low basin, a brilliant solution to the problem of low pressure in the conduits of the aqueduct that feeds it and that did not allow high jets of water.
The streets around the square are famous for the boutiques of the most famous brands in international fashion and include Via Condotti, one of the most elegant streets in the world.
Location:


IR17 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Piazza Navona
Details: This dramatic piazza, lined with cafés and restaurants, lies at the heart of the centro storico. Its oval shape follows the form of the former stadium, built in AD86 by Emperor Domitian. During the Renaissance, the site was flooded to stage mock naval battles. The piazza gained its current form in the mid-17th century, when Pope Innocent X commissioned Borromini to design the Church of Sant’Agnese. In front of the church Bernini built the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), adorned with powerful figures representing the four great rivers (the Nile, the Danube, the Ganges and the Rio de la Plata or River Plate) which in turn represented the four areas of the world known in Borromini’s time (Africa, Europe, Asia and America respectively).
Location:
Transport: Bus to Largo Argentina or Corso Rinascimento.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours.
Admission: Free.


IR18 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Protestant Cemetery
Details: Amid cypress trees, romantic poet John Keats is buried with his requested epitaph -- "Here lies one whose name was writ in water" -- engraved on the tomb. Other occupants of this old cemetery include ashes of Percy Bysshe Shelley, author of Prometheus Unbound, who before age 30 drowned off the Italian Riviera in 1822.
Location: Via Caio Cestio 6. (06) 574-1900


IR19 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: South of the Forum and overlooking it, Palatine Hill is the oldest inhabited site in Rome, with remains unearthed from the 9th century BC. Hidden corners and shaded lanes make the Palatine a fine place to wander on foot.
Details: Trevi Fountain
Location: Trevi Fountain, on a piazza of Via del Tritone, is a striking oasis of rest featuring mythical sea creatures and cascading waters. As if not sufficiently immortal on its own, films like Three Coins in a Fountain and Fellini’s La Dolce Vita have made it on


IR24 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: The Capitol and the Vittoriano
Details:
Since its origins the Capitol hill has been the seat of the city's government and the adequate place for solemn public celebrations. Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo, is surrounded by three noble palaces: the central one, Palazzo Senatorio, is the seat of the Municipality whereas the two on the sides, Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo, host the treasures of the Capitoline Museums. The Capitoline Picture Gallery contains over 200 paintings from the 14th to the 18th centuries by extraordinary painters such as: Tiziano, Pietro Da Cortona, Caravaggio, Guercino, Rubens and many more. The square is dominated by a copy of the bronze equestrian statue of Marc Aurelius that survived destruction because it was believed to represent the Christian emperor Constantin. The elegant plinth was designed by Michelangelo. The original can be admired inside the adjacent Museum.
A new passageway connects Piazza del Campidoglio to the terraces of the Vittoriano which offer a breathtaking view of the city. The Vittoriano, also monument to Victor Emanuel II, first king of Italy, is now completely open to the public free of charge, including the Museum-Sanctuary of the Flags of the Armed Forces and the Museum of the Risorgimento that are housed in its interior. The monument was inaugurated in 1911 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy and since 1921 has been the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Location:


IR06 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: The Spanish Steps and Keats-Shelley Memorial House
Details: A grand outdoor staircase, the Spanish Steps offer a fabulous view of city monuments and rooftops. But they are also a great vantage point for people watching. The Spanish Steps are the meeting place in Rome, filled daily with guitar-playing city dwellers and stylish shoppers descending on the piazza's world-class boutiques. When you've had enough rest, head next door to the Keats-Shelley house, and take a look at memorabilia from literature's Romantic period. Or take a sip and a photo in front of the piazza's azalea-trimmed Fontana della Barcaccia (Old Boat Fountain).
+The Piazza di Spagna district is little changed from 18th-century prints depicting the area – and is still dominated by the elegant double steps known as the Spanish Steps. These were designed in 1723-26 by Francesco de Sanctis to link Via del Babuino with Via Felice – the first great street planned by Sixtus V (1585-90). Reminiscent of the grand ascent to the Sacré Coeur in Paris, the steps lead up to the 16th-century Trinità dei Monti. From here, spectacular views over the city rooftops more than warrant the steep climb. The Spanish Steps acquired their name from the neighbouring Spanish Embassy but the area is more intimately associated with England – even becoming known to the rather provincial Romans as er ghetto de l’Inglesi (English Ghetto). The tourists on the Grand Tour of the 18th and 19th centuries (including Keats, Shelley, Byron and the Brownings) helped to establish the district’s reputation as a cosmopolitan artistic quarter. At the foot of the steps lies the boat-shaped Barcaccia fountain, designed in 1627 by Bernini. To the right stands the modest Keats-Shelley Memorial House, where 25-year-old John Keats died of tuberculosis in 1821. Exhibits include pictures and prints, private letters, an urn bearing Shelley’s ashes and a lock of Keats’ tawny red hair.
Location: Address: Piazza di Spagna 26, junction of Via Condotti, Via del Babuino and Via Due Macelli; Phone: Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT), U.S., (212) 245-4822; in Rome, +39 06 488-991;
Tel: (06) 678 4235. Fax: (06) 678 4167.
Website: www.keats-shelley-house.org
Transport: Metro Spagna.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1500-1800, Sat 1100-1400 and 1500-1800.
Admission: €3.50.


IR20 City: Rome
Name of Attraction: Villa & Galleria Borghese
Details: Just to the east of the Spanish Steps lies green relief from sightseeing – the sculpture-scattered gardens landscaped in the 17th century for Cardinal Scipione Borghese (nephew of Pope Paul V). This area includes the city zoo, Piazza di Siena arena, mock ancient temples, imitation medieval castles and an artificial lake. Unfortunately, the most playful elements of this Baroque extravaganza, trick fountains which sprayed unwitting passers-by, no longer exist. The pull of culture may be strong enough to lure the resting visitor into the Casino Borghese, a treasure trove of sculpture and antiquities, the Museo Etrusco (Etruscan Museum) in nearby Villa Giulia, with its remarkable sarcophagus of the reclining ‘Bride and Bridegroom’ from Cerveteri, or the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) featuring Italian art of the 19th and 20th centuries housed in a massive neo-classical palazzo built in 1912. However, the Galleria Borghese (home to Bernini’s most famous work, Apollo and Daphne) should be seen first (ticket reservation is obligatory and visitors are only admitted every two hours).
Location: Galleria Borghese Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5 Villa Giulia Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9
Tel: (06) 32810 (information and booking) or (06) 8413979. Fax: (06) 3265 1329. Tel: (06) 320 0562.
Website: www.galleriaborghese.it
Transport: Metro Spagna, bus or tram to Via Veneto. Transport: Tram 3 or 19.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 0900-1930, last entry at 1700. Opening hours: Tues-Sun 0815-1915, last entry at 1815.
Admission: €8.50 (reservation required), concessions available. Admission: €4.

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