✌️ Rome is magic in its pure form. The cradle of European civilization, laying the foundations for culture, social organization, law and military. This is a special place on the world map for hundreds of years.
One of my dreams was to visit Rome. When I did this the first time, I returned there after 6 months. I could not get over the rich and beautiful history I have to deal with. Personally, I am a huge fan of antiquity, so it's hard to imagine a better place to pursue passion.
I will present to you 5 places that I think must be seen in the Eternal City. The list is short, it's easy to find dozens of such places.
The absolute number one on the list. Symbol, the most recognizable building of the city. One of the most magnificent buildings that have survived to our times. A great arena, a place of shed hundreds of liters of blood and heroism. To be in Rome and not to see the Coliseum with your own eyes is just a shame.
The building owes its name to the 35-meter colossus - the statue of Nero, which stood for centuries right next to it. The amphitheater was the Olympic arena where gladiators fought. Initially, gladiators were soldiers who presented their skills to spectators, but over time they were replaced by slaves and prisoners who often fought to death and life, to the delight of thousands of Romans. There were about 50,000 seats and a few thousand standing places in the audience.
80 gates - each numbered - led to the Coliseum, enabling very fast entrance or leaving the amphitheater by the spectators.
The Colosseum has survived for centuries, but there are only a few original elements left inside. In 217, the arena and the highest storeys were destroyed as a result of a fire. In the following years, intensifying earthquakes ravaged the interior of the amphitheater. In the fourteenth century, after the great earthquake in 1349, the Colosseum became a mine of building stone (hence the blocks used to build, among others, Palazzo Venezia or Palazzo Barberini). The uncertain fate of the building lasted until 1744, when Pope Benedict IV consecrated it and proclaimed the place of the martyrdom of Christians. From the second half of the eighteenth century on every Good Friday there is the Way of the Cross under the leadership of the Pope.
During the opening hours, the Arena is experiencing a real siege. People who want to see this awe-inspiring building are many.
I especially recommend buying on-line tickets, which will allow you to avoid standing in giant queues.
2. Roman Forum and Palatine
Right next to the Coliseum, there are remains of the Roman Forum, a Roman market. A place that once was vibrant. Here, the inhabitants of Rome met on the way to the Colosseum, shopped or worshiped the gods.
The most important public celebrations took place on the market, which made it a political, religious and social center. After the Roman Forum they were mostly ruins, but still they make an amazing impression. In the end, it's a huge part of history!
Palatine is a hill. Here, Romulus was to establish his headquarters and the history of the city and the Roman Empire began here. The area looks more like a park, but it's worth going there anyway. From one part of the hill in the distance you can see a majestic dome - it's the Basilica of St. Peter!
The huge plus is that with a ticket to the Coliseum you can go to the above-mentioned places. Here, also expect queues to enter.
3. Basilica of St. Peter
Before you enter the Basilica, you will probably walk around Via della Conciliazione, from where the view makes an unforgettable impression. The basilica is majestic over the area. Something beautiful!
Of course, you can not miss St. Peter's Square. Live is even more impressive than on TV, I guarantee!
If you come early enough, you have a chance to get inside quickly enough. Admission is free, which only adds to the number of tourists. But when you get in ...
... you will be intimidated by this view. It's magical. Works by Michelangelo or Bernini are just examples of great artists who contributed to the amazing look of this place. A monumental canopy, Pieta or a dome make an electrifying impression.
The place is also important for us, Poles, because of the grave of the Polish Pope - John Paul II.
Being in the middle, the mandatory point is to enter the observation deck. I definitely recommend going there by stairs. You will be impressed that such an architectural miracle is the work of man.
Looking down, you are overwhelmed by the enormity of this place. People are small spots. By climbing onto the dome, you will follow a corridor less than a meter wide, bowed, in an unnatural position. I do not recommend people with claustrophobia!
Once you reach the last stop, there is such a view waiting for you:
Does it make an impression?
4. The Trevi Fountain
Another place you have to visit is the Drevi Fountain. Perhaps the most famous fountain in the world. Broad at 20 meters, 26 meters high. It gathers people at any time of the day or night. Another time in Rome I will be there before sunrise, to check if there is such a moment when there are no crowds.
The central figures of the fountain are Neptune and the two tritons, which are symbols of Castor and Pollux. Neptune is in a chariot drawn by two hippocamps (a combination of a horse and a fish). One of them is calm and the other is agitated, which symbolizes the two states of the sea - silence and storm. The four seasons are symbolized by figures at the balustrade. In niches, we find allegories of Health (right) and Abundance (left).
According to the legend, the name Trevia belongs to the virgin (Latin: virgo), who discovered water at the source of the aqueduct. From here the fountain is called di Trevi, and the water flowing into it - Acqua Virgo. Bathing is now banned. There are severe penalties for breaking the ban.
Do not forget to throw small coins into the fountain! Behind me, over my shoulder. Thanks to that you will come back to Rome. In the end, all roads lead here.
5. Spanish Steps and the Pantheon
I had a problem to choose the last place you have to see, so I'll show you two.
The Spanish Steps are a meeting place for Italians and tourists. Interestingly, the object involves several superstitions. The first one says that one should not eat there because it can bring misfortune. Another assumes that joy and success in life can be ensured by taking a picture on the Spanish Steps with a lowered head. At the top there is the sixteenth-century church of Trinita dei Monti.
The Festa della Primavera - the Roman flower festival takes place every year on the Spanish Steps. In winter, a Christmas crib is set here.
The Spanish Steps are also an excellent scenery for fashion shows that take place here quite often.
A special impression The stairs are made after dark.
The last monument that I wanted to show you is the Pantheon - one of the best-preserved buildings of antiquity in Europe. Raised in honor of the most important Roman deities.
The Pantheon has only one "window" - Oculus, i.e. an eye with a diameter of 9 meters. The hole is not covered, therefore the marble floor of the Pantheon is concave and has special grooves, which allows the rainwater to flow into the temple. Especially on a sunny day the sun falling on the walls makes a magical impression.
The interior of the Pantheon is impressive. Acoustic properties and a beautiful play of lights and shadows creates magical memories. There are also tombs, including Rafael Santi - an architectural genius and painter.
Every now and then messages resound in the middle to keep silence. It is advisable to visit in silence.
I have only presented you with 6 suggestions of places that you must visit while in the Eternal City. It's only promil in the number of places that are worth visiting. Chapels, churches, squares, castles, monuments are just examples. Rome is full of monuments, climatic places. It is primarily the enormity of amazing history, legends, stories.
Remember - All roads lead to Rome.