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Culture of Rome. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Forum of Trajan, Rome Rome is a city with long history, so there’s no wonder why so many monuments of past epochs have survived here. The famous Arch of Constantine, the first mention of which relates to 315 AD, is one of the most striking monuments of past centuries. The height of the arch estimates 21 meters. Today it is decorated with beautiful bas-reliefs and statues left over from other historic sites. The castle of St. Angel is a grand architectural structure. Originally the site of the building was the location of the Mausoleum of Hadrian. The castle was built approximately in the early 2nd century AD. During the Middle Ages the castle was the papal fortress, then a prison, and then one of major defensive fortifications. Visitors of the castle will find much interesting in the armory room. Don’t forget to go to the castle’s courtyard walk through the spacious terrace, which offers a magnificent panoramic view.
Travelers, who will stay in Rome with children, should definitely visit the Explora Children’s Museum. In this interactive museum, kids will learn many new and exciting things. They … Open
The western part of the city is the location of a beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter. This is a unique religious monument, the halls of which hold priceless relics. The construction of the cathedral was completed in the beginning of the 16th century and lasted more than a hundred of years. The cathedral has witnessed many important historical events. Vatican City is located just nearby. Guests of the city are surely recommended to visit the most miniature state in the world. Trevi Fountain, which was opened in 1762, is an interesting destination for excursions. This place is one of the most romantic ones in the city. It is believed that if you throw several coins into the fountain and make a wish, it will certainly come true.
Square of Spain is an excellent place for walking. You can hear many interesting superstitions and legends connected with this attraction. Locals believe that if you visit the square in the evening, you get a chance to meet a ghost of Lorenza Felichini – a beloved person of the famous magician Cagliostro. However, the opportunity to see a ghost along the way does not stop numerous tourists who love to relax on the square and enjoy the silent atmosphere of evenings. In addition to the earth-based attractions, there are also some underground sites in Rome. We should definitely mention St. Callista catacombs among other sights. A complex maze of caves, which has been keeping the most valuable historical artifacts for centuries, is visited annually by thousands of travelers. You can see various ancient sculptures and paintings in the caves. The majority of drawings were made more than five centuries ago. Copyright
In Rome you will find restaurants either for most hard-to-please gourmets, or for people who prefer simple and modest meals. Agata e Romeo is one of the most famous restaurants in the city. … Open
Acquaintance with the city cannot be imagined without visiting the Colosseum, which became the household name of the amphitheater. This is the most famous monument of ancient Rome, and it was built in the 80’s. However, there is another Colosseum in the Eternal City, the square shaped Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The commoners refer to it as Colosseo Quadrato. The place is non-touristic for the reason that it was built by the order of Benito Mussolini in 1945, and is a reminder of the unpleasant moments in the history of Italy. Nevertheless, it is one of the most magnificent buildings in the Italian capital, and is definitely worth a visit.
Rome One of the most ancient buildings in the Eternal City is perhaps, Cloaca Maxima. The time of its erection is attributed to the period between the 4th and 8th centuries BC. Today the construction serves as a water drainage system, given that it has been preserved in excellent condition. Another structure which did not survive to this day, now serves as a refuge for cats. This is the Largo di Torre Argentina. At some point, there was a majestic Pompey Theater here, and today the only owners of the place are homeless cats looked after by volunteers. So it turned out to be a kind of cat’s shelter.
Many tourists may find the habits of local residents quite unusual. Thus, when gallant and polite Italians gather in the crowd, they can create a real "crush". You may be surprised, but such … Open
Museo Criminologico is interesting in terms of the exhibits that can be found here. This includes torture and murder tools, which were used in different eras (mostly in the era of the Inquisition). Also worth mentioning is the fact that the building in which the museum is located, used to be a prison. Among other fascinating museums is Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen, where spectators will look at characters that is not their favorite characters from fairy tales, but something spicier. So here you can also see sculptural compositions, all of which contain some erotic underlying ideas with a pinch of humor, thus even the bravest person can easily blush once he got a glimpse of any sculpture. For admirers of the brilliant Leonardo da Vinci, it is worth paying a visit to the Museum named after him. Such museums dedicated to the inventor can be found in every major city in Italy, and in the capital, one can see copies of works of art by the master. By the way, the originals are located in Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence.
streets of Rome Forum Romanum is another historical place in the Eternal City, that brings to mind so many events that took place in the hometown of the great mathematician Enrico Fermi. However, like Pantheon, it was built in the year 126. Incidentally, a lot of historical films were shot in the capital of Italy, and one of the locations for the film “Angels & Demons” so happens to be the Pantheon. Other locations include Piazza del Popolo, the Angelica Library. It is worth noting that the already mentioned Trevi fountain was, and still is a favorite place of shooting many movies – episodes from the “Roman holiday”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Madly in Love” were filmed here.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Rome and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Rome and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Rome: churches, museums and castles

Saint Peter Basilica, Rome

» Saint Peter Basilica is the Catholic Cathedral, the largest building of the Vatican and the largest Christian church in the world.
» The tomb of the Apostle is situated under the altar of the cathedral.
» The statue of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul towers at the entrance. Peter holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven, handed to him by the Lord.
» The cathedral has five doors. Last on the right side is the Holy Door, and it’s opened only in the Holy Year.
» Around the perimeter of the cathedral there is a string of chapels, where there are outstanding works of art, precious relics of Christianity, and numerous tombs of popes, kings and emperors.
» Almost all the major architects of Italy participated in designing and construction of Saint Peter Basilica.

Sant Agnese in Agone, Rome

» Sant Agnese in Agone is the church built in honor of an early Christian martyr, St. Agnes of Rome.
» According to the legend, 13-year-old Christian woman was naked put at the arena of the stadium before a crowd of pagans. There was a miracle, when suddenly grown hair covered the future saint from head to toe.
» The crypt of the church contains the most valuable Christian relic, the head of Saint Agnes.
» The temple played the role of the court church, because it was near the palace of Pamphili family that gave birth to the Pope Innocent X. Above the entrance, lie the remains of Pope Innocent X.
» The church has a form a Greek cross, in which each segment is interconnected. This is due to the location, sandwiched by Piazza Navona and the street behind the church.

St. John Lateran Basilica, Rome

» This is the first church in Rome and one of the oldest Christian churches.
» In the Catholic hierarchy, this church stands above all other temples in the world, and that’s affirmed with inscription over the entrance – ‘The Most Holy Lateran Church, Mother and head of all the churches of the City and the world.’
»  The main temple preserves the Holy Steps, a ladder, brought by St. Helen from Jerusalem. According to church tradition, it was the ladder that Christ used to ascend to the tribunal, which preceded the crucifixion.
» The robe of the Basilica of the Virgin and the sponge with traces of blood, of which, according to legend, Jesus Christ drunk vinegar at the crucifixion, are among local relics.
» In antiquity, there was the estate of a noble family of the Lateran on the site of the Basilica.
» The temple was decorated with precious gifts of emperors, thus it got the name Golden Basilica; all of them were lost in the sack of Rome by vandals in the 5th century.

Castel Sant Angelo, Rome

» This is where emperors were buried, popes lived, artists and scientists were imprisoned.
» The castle owes its name to the legend about Archangel Michael appearing at the top of the mausoleum and sheathing his sword as a sign that the plague that has tortured Rome was ended.
» The famous jeweler, Benvenuto Cellini, was in this castle as a prisoner. He was accused of embezzling gems of the papal tiara. Soon he managed to escape, and then he was re-arrested and imprisoned in the dungeon.
» The most valuable item in the museum is the painting of the risen Christ on the wall of the chamber, where Cellini was imprisoned.
» Castel Sant'Angelo was the custody of the famous Count Cagliostro. Holy Inquisition accused him of heresy, necromancy and organization of secret societies.
» The most vivid and dramatic event in the history of the castle is a nine-month siege of Rome by lance knights. Citizens used heads of marble statues, which adorned the mausoleum, as missiles to hit the siege.

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

» This is the main cathedral of all, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the fourth of the largest cathedrals in Rome.
» The cathedral has retained its original form and is the only cathedral of its type.
» The interesting legend is associated with foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore. Once, in the summer night, Madonna appeared to Pope Liberius and rich Roman Giovanni Patrizio in a dream. She ordered them to build the church at the place, where snow would fall the next day. The next morning the site, where now stands the basilica, was covered with snow.
» Main relics of the church are the image of the Virgin Mary and the silver shrine of the sacred manger, where Son of God was placed after birth.
» Under a triumphal arch stands a large canopy, behind which there is the main altar including the sarcophagus, in which the relics of St. Matthew are kept.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Rome

Fontana di Trevi
Where: Piazza di Trevi, Rome;
Where: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome;
Forum Romanum
Where: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome;
Galleria Borghese
Where: Villa Borghese park, Rome;
Piazza Navona
Where: Piazza Navona, Rome;
Domus Aurea – Nero’s Golden House
Where: Via della Domus Aurea, Rome; Telephone: +39 06 3996 7700;
Santa Costanza
Where: Via di Santa Costanza, Rome;
Botanical Gardens
Where: Largo Cristina di Svezia 24, Rome; Telephone: +39 06 4991 7107;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Rome
♥   Palace 'Palazzo Colonna' , 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palazzo Doria Pamphilj' , 0.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palazzo Quirinale' , 0.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palazzo Montecitorio' , 0.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palazzo di Venezia' , 0.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palazzo dei Conservatori' , 0.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palazzo Madama' , 0.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Rome and around
♥   Art museum 'Galleria Colonna' Rome, 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Doria Pamphilj Gallery' Rome, 0.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Palazzo delle Esposizioni' Rome, 0.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Palazzo Barberini' Rome, 0.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Capitoline Museums' Rome, 0.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Rome
♥   Chiesa di Santa Croce e San Bonaventura alla Pilotta, Roma, 0.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chiesa di Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio alle Tre Fontane, Roma, 0.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chiesa di Santissimo Crocifisso alla Stazione Termini, Roma, 0.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chiesa di Santa Maria in Trivio, Roma, 0.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chiesa di San Marcello al Corso, Roma, 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilica di Santi Dodici Apostoli, Roma, 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chiesa del Santissimo Sacramento e Cinque Piaghe, Roma, 0.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Rome

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Rome

Landmarks of culture on Rome map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Rome

Culture guide to Rome. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Rome: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Rome. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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