Submitted by nousha on Wed, 2010/10/13 - 12:52pm.
The capital and largest city in Italy, Rome is one of the most important cities in the world in terms of history and culture, as it was at the heart of the Roman Empire, plus being one of the most important renaissance cities. There are so many places to visit, restaurants to indulge in, and beautiful sceneries.
Even if you are not following a special itinerary, embrace yourself and indulge in the beauty of Rome's beautiful piazzas. Surely, you will encounter famous ones, such as Piazza Navona, Piazza della Rotonda (in front of the Pantheon), Piazza della Minerva, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the Spanish Steps, among many other. Also a roman holiday can not be completed without passing by Trevi Fountain, either in the morning or by night, just take extra care of your belongings, as this is one of the famous places for pickpocketing.
One of the most picturesque Roman monuments, it is said that it is capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.
Put into consideration that it's one of the famous tourist attractions and expect a long queue for the entrance.
The Pantheon (literally mens "to every god") is one of the best-preserved ancient building in Rome, it dates back to approximately 120 A.D. . It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda."
The grey granite columns at the entrance were transported from Egypt,as they were quarried from the Eastern Desert, close to Qena (Mons Claudianus quarry).
Until the renaissance, the dome was the biggest one in the world, and it was the bases for the dome that Michelangelo built for the St. Peter's. In the middle of the dome, you will see a big hole, which is the only source of light for the building. When it rains holes in the floor make sure that the water, makes it way out.
Noticeably, the Pantheon has been enormously influential in Western architecture, and clear examples of this are the Parisian Pantheon in the Latin quarter, and more famously, United States Capitol (congress) and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument:
This is a monument to honor Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is built of pure white marble, and features majestic stairways, tall Corinthian columns, fountains, a huge equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria..
You can't miss it, as it is all made of white marble on a main street inter-junction.
Angels & Demons Tour:
If you have some extra time, try to check out these locations featured in Dan Brown's bestseller.
Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, one of Bernini's important works, located in Santa Maria della Vittoria.
Fountain of the Four Rivers, also a Bernini's work, located in Piazza Navona.
Habakkuk and the Angel, in Santa Maria del Popolo
West Ponente, in St. Peter’s Square (the Vatican)
St. Peter’s Basilica
Zi Gaetana, a very good restaurant close to the Vatican. www.zigaetana.com
For two weeks in August, many of Rome's inhabitants go on their annual vacations; and many stores, restaurants and other amenities will be closed during this time. So if you are heading for shopping, try to go in July, or after the Christmas season.
Take special care from scams and pickpocketing.
In case of currency exchange, note that some shops put a 20% commission on the transaction, and others don't, so put that into consideration beforehand.
The Egyptian Embassy is located in Vila Ada, one of the largest parks in Rome. The embassy and consulate was once one of the royal palaces of the Savoy Family.
You might find these letters "S.P.Q.R" on many plates and bridges in Rome, it is short for the old democratic motto "Senatus Populusque Romanus" (Latin), i.e. "The Senate and People of Rome".