Piazza di Spagna - The Spanish Steps
incredible, almost theatrical square with the lovely Spanish steps leading
up to the chiesa di Trinità dei Monti. One of the most important
fashion shows is held here, the steps being used as a catwalk. It is now
an international meeting point. The fountain known as the 'Barcaccia'
(boat) was commissioned by Urbano Barberini to commemorate the alliance
made with the King of France, whose coat of arms can be seen on Trinità
dei Monti. The square leads into several famous streets, via dei Condotti,
Via Frattina and Via Borgognona with their luxurious boutiques, and via
del Babuino with its antique shops.
Piazza di Trevi
Tradition has it that throwing a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain
guarantees a swift return to the world's most beautiful city. Anita Ekberg's
dip in it was immortalized in Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', and Italian actor
Toto even sold it to an American, passing himself off as its owner.
Designed by Nicola Salvi for Pope Clemente XII, it was completed in the
second half of the 1700s. The statues in the centre represent Neptune supported
by Tritons on either side while rococo-style Poli Palace provides the perfect
Piazza del Colosseo
Rome's main attraction with long queues. Daily, 09-19 in summer;
A vast amphitheatre with seating for 55,000 that was designed as a horse racing
circuit and arena for animal fighting and gladiatorial battles
The Flavian Amphitheatre was built in 72 A.D. by the Roman emperor Vespasian
and it was finished by his son Titus in 80 A.D.
amphitheatre took the name Colosseum from the huge statue of Nero
stood at the entrance of the Golden house.
The Colosseum was damaged by many earthquakes and was trasformed into
a fortress by Frangipane family which then passed to the Annibaldi family.
In the 1312 Henry VII gave it to the Senate and the Roman people.
The Colosseum became a quarry and the blocks of travertine were taken
for the construction of the Palazzo Venezia, and then thanks to the pope
Benedict XIV the builiding became a sacred place in memory of all the
blood poured from the Christian martyrs.
The Roman Forum
Between Piazza Venezia and
commercial, political and religious centre of ancient Rome. The innumerable remains include the well-conserved triumphal arch
of Emperor Septimius Severus, with reliefs depicting his victories and the
base of the Temple of Saturn with its eight columns and their splendid Ionic
The 'Rostrum' is the famous platform from which Mark Antony gave his oration
in Shakespeare's play after Julius Caesar's assassination. The platform
became the setting for many important events in Rome's history. It was named
the 'rostrum' after the bows of the ships that form the decorative motif.
by Marcus Agrippa, restored by Domitian, and subsequently rebuilt by Hadrian
(who added the dome) before being turned into a church in the early 7th
century by Pope Boniface IV.
The building's sole source of light is the opening at the dome's apex
(the oculus); according to popular legend, this formed the base for the
bronze pinecone that is now in the Vatican's 'Pigna' courtyard, where
it is used as a fountain. Many famous Italians are buried in the Pantheon,
including Renaissance painter Raphael and King
Vittorio Emanuele I.
St. Peters Cathedral
People come by the millions each year to receive the Pope's blessing,
traditionally given on Sundays at noon. St Peter's has undergone many
transformations since the original Constantine basilica of AD320.
The top of its majestic dome (designed by Michelangelo). provides the best
vantage point from which to marvel at Bernini's magnificent colonnade surrounding
The gilded bronze canopy above the altar and Michelangelo's Pietà.
Bramante, Pietro da Cortona and Canova are just a handful of the many other
artists who worked together on this monumental basilica's decoration and