Palazzo Farnese is named after Alessando Farnese, a member of minor noble family who was appointed cardinal in 1493 at the age of 23 only. Later on in 1534 Cardinal Farnese became Pope Paul III and comissioned Antonio de Sangallo the Younger to enlarge his private small palace which stood on this spot. Sangallo redesigned palace to reflect the change in status of its owner. After Sangallo's death the palace was yet to be completed and Michelangelo was asked by the pope to take over.
Michelangelo modified Sangallo's project in the design of the first floor windows and in the overall height of the building. The cental window is in particularly beautiful and the coat of arm of the Pope Paul III above it.
After pope's death his heirs entrusted Il Vignola and later on Giacomo della Porta with the completion of the palace.
Piazza Colonna is situated in the historic heart of Rome. It is named after the marble Column of Marcus Aurelius which stood here since 193 C.E. One of the Popes, who doesn't deserve to be named, ordered bronze statue of Saint Paul to crowns the column.
The fountain is designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1577 and was restored in 1830 when two sets of dolphins were added.
Fondest memory: Galeria Colonna is Art Nouveau construction from the beginning of the 20th century. It is shopping arcade with some very nice shops. Since 2003 the gallery is named Galeria Alberto Sordi, after great Italian actor, one of my favourite.
Palazzo Chigi is the official residence of Prime Minister of Italy. It was built in the 16th century to be a residence for some noble families and the last owner was Chigi family. In 1878 it become the residence of the Austro-Ungarian Ambassador in Italy. In 1916 the palace was bought by the Italian state.
At its maximum extent, under Emperor Trajan in 117 AD, the Roman Empire counted 60 - 80 millions Roman citizens and as many as 100 - 120 millions people lived within its borders extending from England to Egypt, from Portugal to Syria over 5 millions Km2.
Roman citizens counted for 1/5th of the world's population at the time of the Roman Empire.
The probability that you have Roman ancestors is therefore higher than you might think when you booked your trip to Rome.
As soon as you will walk on the Foro Romano you will feel a very special sensation telling you that your roots are on the Via Sacra.
For those whose ancestors did not like mine fight against the Roman legions, to be killed or enslaved and finally obtain the Roman citizenship, there is the fact that your way of thinking was very probably inspired by the Greek-Roman civilisation.
Yes you have Roman ancestors.
These are a couple of nice views of the bridges of Rome over the Tevere river -- picture no. 1 was taken from the top of the Castel St. Angelo, but you can have this wonderful view anytime you stroll along the river, which I highly recommend you to do!!
The 2nd one was taken in 2011 but I guess I have taken a picture of this same view on each one of my trips hehehehe...... I just like it too much. St. Peter's church at the end of Via della Conciliazione and the bridge with angel sculptures that leads to the Castel St. Angelo, the people strolling along the river side..... it's just something I enjoy very much of Rome!
Fondest memory: I was with my friend Kalle close to the Castel St. Angelo (back in 2000) when I showed him this view and he liked it very much and was impressed with the beauty of it... Indeed, he wrote & recorded a song called 'Bridges of Rome' (which is lovely, too!) and this picture inspired him quite a bit...
These are the things that I will visit in Rome if I were a first time visitor with a very limited days:
1. Visit the Colosseum and see how massive it is and while you are there, visit their store. Go there early in the morning when there are no crowds yet so you can take great pictures. You will also see the daily life of the Romans jogging and going to work in the morning. See the vendors setting up their stores early...
2. Visit the Trevi Fountain and walk around the plaza and check the local shops and mercatos.
3. See the Spanish Steps
4. See the St. Peter's Basilica and pray and appreciate your blessings even if you are not a Catholic. See the Pieta there and look at how beautiful the church is.
5. Walk around the streets of Rome and when you are tired, eat a Gelato ice cream and taste a Panceretto, local delicacy at Bar Campidolio.
6. The Roman Forum: Show your family the Temple of Antonino and Faustina, a church that was built inside a building; see the remnants of the House of the Vestal of Virgins; the ruins of the Senatus Populus romans, etc. Look for the place where the Romans played chess in the old days (I found them since our tour guide showed them to us).
The whole city is really awesome. Don't forget tasting the real italian pizza (look for the authentic places). There are hours when the lines aren`t so long to see the main monuments. I bought a guide called Tutta Roma that gave me a lot of good tips. This is the link in case you are interested. I truly recommend it. http://www.tuttaromaguide.com/
Fondest memory: Meeting italian people, sharing a beer and eating pizza. People there is really friendly if you try to speak a little italiano.
Sometimes I'm frustrated that there is more interest on VT for logistical questions than for cultural and historical matters. But I admit that arriving at the right monument at the right time is not without interest so that I admire the VT members who are permanently and repeatedly advising travelers what train or bus to take to get there where my review about art and history starts.
Nevertheless VirtualTourist remains miles-kilometers in advance of Tripadvisor as what concerns cultural matters.
Do you know what is the N° 1 of Traveler recommended attractions for Rome on Tripadvisor?
Trevi Fountain? no.
Vatican Museum? no
I tell you - are you seated - it is "Cooking Classes in Rome" and refers to the commercial activity of a restaurant located in Trastevere.
Favorite thing: This was our first visit to Italy and we had limited time in Rome. We wanted to maximize what we were able to see without exhausting ourselves. We were already in Italy when we started looking for a private tour, Rudy was one of the few who had a phone number to call (rather than filling out an on-line form and waiting for a reply) which allowed us to make arrangements quickly. He met us at the train station and we started one of our best days in Italy. Rudy spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable about the history of all the sights. There were six of us and we were escorted in perfect comfort in a minivan,. At each stop we were able to get out, do some exploring, take pictures, etc. Yet we weren't exhausted at the end of the day from walking from place to place. Rudy kept us entertained while he taught us so much about the city. We couldn't have had a better day. Highly recommended! Fantastico!
As travelers, my boyfriend and I are not too fond of guided tours. We dislike the idea of having to stick with a schedule or being with a group of people. But....in some cases, a guided tour could be a wonderful experience. We opted to use this particular company for an individual guided tour of the Vatican (recommended by close friends). The cost is not cheap but was a tremendous savings from booking an individual guided tour from the Vatican's official website. We had the most amazing experience. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and spoke English quite well. Our tour was supposed to be about 4 hours but was closer to almost 5 hours. We didn't have to wait in any lines. This was well worth the cost we spend and highly recommend visiting the Vatican with a guide. See more on my Vatican tip under "Things to Do"!
Toll free telephone number: 1.888.813.4450
There are hundreds of free WiFi spots in Rome. The following link to Google Maps gives you all the WiFi spots in the region of Lazio, and you can zoom in to see the local spots in Rome.
List as of May 28, 2011
1. Having your breath taken by the grandiosity of the Colosseum!
2. An informed visit to the Foro Romano (this can be a half-day walk, if done with patience, attention and interest in Rome's history)
3. Eat pizza/pasta and ice cream.
4. Throw a coin in Fontana di Trevi (and please, find a place, sit down, do your best to completely shut down the disturbance coming from the plethora of tourists and just enjoy the view)
5. Do some people watching while sitting on the Spanish steps.
6. The Pantheon
7. repeat 3.
8. Musei Capitolini
9. Have some red wine in Trastevere
10. repeat 3 (or 7) :-)
wow... where could I begin? how should I begin?
Rome is a... open-air museum in any case, and within the city there is so much to see. I dare to reiterate, if you are a fan of the cultural context of a visit, you should do some reading first, because it makes a difference when you know what you're looking at. Plus, it will be helpful in the planning process.
The... let's say fundamental places that you should visit are: first of, Musei Capitolini (a fantastic place to... develop and enrich the image of Rome's history and don't miss out on the panoramic view from the museum's coffee bar), Musei Vaticani and one of my favourites: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (stunning selection of art from the 19th and 20th century).
There are MANY more, but one has to start somewhere
Even if you aren't a religious person (like myself), the Basilicas in Rome are a true architecture gem and can be at least marveled as fantastic works of art.
The biggest one (in the world as well) is the very well-known St. Peter's Basilica, and the other ones are: Santa Maria de Maggiore, San Giovanni and San Paolo Basilica (the latter two are more often than not overlooked by tourists, especially San Paolo Basilica which is marvelous, but not as close to the center of the city).
They are stunning and capture you with their grandiosity and beauty.
You can reach S. Giovanni Basilica by the metro, line A (the station bears the same name); St. Maria de Maggiore is very close to the station Termini; St. Paul's Basilica is a bit further away, but can be reached by metro as well, line B (the station is named Basilica San Paolo).
Apart from these, obviously there are so many beautiful churches San Pietro in Vincoli (, very close to the Colosseum, where the statue of Moses captures the visitor more than anything else), San Clemente, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (easily reached from San Giovanni basilica, just follow the viale Carlo Felice), and many others.
Again, you can't really see them all. Just choose what you think you'll find most interesting.
As famous as the Colosseum itself probably. Piazza Venezia is the centrally located one, right next to Vittorio Emanuelle's grand monument. Piazza Navona is known for its fountains... Piazza di Spagna for its famous Spanish steps... etc. etc.
Starting a walk along Via del Corso (with your back facing Vittorio Emanuelle's monument), you can turn left onto one of the smaller streets and reach one Piazza and then basically tour many of them. You'd probably first reach Piazza della Minerva and then right away the Pantheon (one of the first "musts" when visiting Rome). Piazza Navona is close by as well... and then you can continue as you please. They are all beautiful, and make a nice resting place, sitting on a bench, doing some architecture admiring and some people observing.
I've been in Rome 12 times by now...and each time I discover a new marvellous thing to see or do. Just want to suggest all romantic visitors to go and see the Strangers Cimitery in Rome, also called Artists and Poets Cimitery. Above all, you can admire the so called Grief Angel, made in 1895 by the american sculptor William Wetmore Story for his wife and representing a crying angel so true and communicative that an indeed let you feel Story's grief from the inside. Another tip I can give, is: you have to go and visit the "Giardino degli Aranci" it is 5 minutes walking from the Colosseum, in a small hidden road, where from the huge dark (always closed) entrance door of a monastery, from its small keyhole you'll see the infinite dream of a decorated garden full of orange trees. Last suggestion I might give: you can find very cheap beautiful apartments on rental in Rome, especially if you are a group more then 4 people, this is absolutely the most convenient accommodation, low prices and central location!
I would indeed recommend Apartment Mario dei Fiori that I rented with Cityapartments.
Fondest memory: In normal boring working days I really miss the taste of a hot coffee cup freshly made in Sant'Eustachio Coffee Shop, next to the Pantheon, and when eating out in Basel to taste the so called Italian cuisine, then I would really like to be in my favourite roman restaurant: Roma Sparita, in Trastevere, where you can enjoy the marvellous typical "Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe" with cheese and pepper, served in a hot huge cheese empty round
The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome and might be my favorite building in the world. The...more
My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Santa Maria for three nights at the end of a three week trip...more
Stayed at Barocco September 2011 in an "annex" room. I loved being in the annex--hotel amenities...more