Rome, known as L’Urbe (The City), Caput Mundi (the Capital of the World), and the Eternal City, attracts and seduces travellers from all over the world
A Unesco heritage site, Rome is in fact the capital of two states - the
Vatican and the Italian Republic - and a monumental city where greatness,
history and art manifest themselves in the architecture of its palaces, its
streets and its museums, from the Vatican to the Galleria Borghese, as well as
in its many churches, chapels and immense basilicas, among which the most
imposing example is certainly St. Peter’s.
In the heart of the city it is possible to admire the Roman Forum and the
Capitoline Museums, guardians of the magnificence of the most ancient times.
One can get lost among the steps and the crumbling bricks of the Pompeian Baths
- where Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. C. -, the Market and the Forum
of Trajan, the Domus Aurea (Nero’s villa), the Pantheon and the Colosseum.
Artists such as Michelangelo, Bramante, Raphael and Cellini built and
decorated the churches and palaces of a city which, having emerged from a
period of foreign invasion and degradation, had found pride and confidence in
the future. Campo de 'Fiori and Via Giulia are filled with Renaissance palaces,
while beyond the Tiber there is the delightful Villa Farnesina. The best
example of a Renaissance church is Santa Maria del Popolo and the largest
collection of Renaissance art can be found in the Vatican Museums, where the
Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms cannot be ignored.
At the end of the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church had become
immensely rich and to glorify the Holy See, numerous churches, monuments and
fountains were built by the best architects of Baroque art, its greatest
representatives being Bernini and Borromini. In Bernini's Piazza Navona, you
can still admire his Four Rivers Fountain, which faces, according to legend,
the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, the work of his "rival"
Borromini. With the passing of the years, the number of majestic structures
that still make Rome unique in the world is growing, such as the Palazzo di
Montecitorio, Palazzo Ferrajoli or the Trevi Fountain, the latter built in the
18th century and which went on to become a symbol of the Roman Dolce Vita of
the 50s and 60s of the last century.
But Rome is not only an ancient site. Modernity and contemporary art can
also be found there: masterpieces such as Piazza del Popolo, the Vittoriano in
Piazza Venezia, the grandiose complex of the EUR designed under the Mussolini
dictatorship, as well as others, such as the most recent Auditorium Parco della
Musica by Renzo Piano, or the Hertziana Library: a fusion and combination of
ancient splendor with modern architecture.