The “Eternal City” of Rome is filled with almost 3,000 years of ancient history, architecture, art and beauty, which for tourists means there is so much to explore. When you visit these majestic wonders, like the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain, give yourself enough time to soak it all up. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting Rome, this blog is for you – al dente style.
Let’s Discover Rome!
You’ve seen the epic movies featuring gladiators ferociously fighting on the big screen and in TV shows, but have you ever seen the Colosseum up close and personal? It is a sight to behold. Considered to be one of Seven Wonders of the World, this amazing amphitheatre is a marvel of ancient Roman architecture and engineering. It is the largest ever built and could easily accommodate up to 80,000 manic spectators who would attend to witness great spectacles, like duels and combat events. However, over time and under the various rulers, the Colosseum was transformed from a fiery fighting pit to a place where people lived and used its vast centre as a communal trading centre. Today, it remains one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Europe and offers a glimpse into the history of the almighty Roman Empire.
The Sistine Chapel is synonymous for its frescoes that embellish the interior, but most of all the ceiling that Michelangelo painted to perfection. In actuality, this great feat almost didn’t come to fruition because when he was asked to take on the project, Michelangelo was hesitant as he thought other artists were sabotaging him. Fortunately, he followed through with the Pope’s request because ultimately it changed and shaped the course of modern art. For over 500 years, visitors have come from far and wide to view Michelangelo’s paintings in the chapel, which is considered to be one of the greatest accomplishments in history.
Built almost 2,000 years ago, the magnificent Pantheon not only stands as a true testament to the ingenuity of Roman architecture, but it has survived years of brutal raids and natural disasters. While other monuments have fallen, the Pantheon still remains intact and is as striking as ever. In fact, when Michelangelo first laid his eyes on it, he thought it was angels who had created this masterpiece.
If you visit the fountain and have change in your pockets or purse, make sure you throw it over your shoulder and into the fountain. As legend has it, if you throw a coin in the fountain you will return to Rome. If you’re looking to fall in love, throw in two coins. Unbeknownst to most people, every night the coins are collected from the bottom of the fountain and handed over to Caritas, a Catholic charity. The money is used to help needy families in Rome. So make many wishes and throw in your coins.
There are two key questions that most tourists always wonder about – how many steps are there and where did the name come from? Well, there are 135 steps and they are the widest in all of Europe, which makes it the perfect place to sit and chat. However, you are not allowed to eat on the steps as the Roman authorities want to keep them in pristine condition. So, chat away and soak up the views of this magnificent city. As for the origin of the name, the Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the steps is named after the Spanish Embassy there, so the name simply extended to the steps.
- If by chance, the police in Lazio (Rome’s province) are chasing you, just pull over – some of the officers drive a 560-horsepower Lamborghini
- St. Peter’s Basilica inside Vatican City is the largest church ever constructed
- Rome has a museum dedicated entirely to pasta and spans 11 rooms and two floors
- It’s a cat’s life in Rome – a Roman law essentially allows cats to roam and live free in most locations in the city and many of the ancient ruins
- There are roughly 2,500 public fountains in Rome and you can drink from all of them
- Vatican is the world’s smallest state and ruled by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope
- There really is a secret passage in the Vatican just like in Dan Brown’s movie
- Cappuccino is named after the Roman order of monks, the Capuchin, who wore a hood or cappucio
- If you arrive in Rome and expect to find spaghetti and meatballs think again. This signature dish is a U.S. invention.
- Rome has 280 fountains and more than 900 churches
- The Vatican Museum is the largest museum complex in the world as it consists of over 1,000 museums and galleries
Excited about Rome? Contact your local CAA Store or call 1-855-660-2293 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Travel Consultants to help plan your trip of a lifetime!
Also, we have extraordinary packages that are specifically made for you, take a look at Mountains, Lakes and Tuscan Gems