Rome, A Stroll Through Time

Rome Italy is number 37 on the world’s most popular destination list. The top two sightseeing spots are the Vatican Museums which receives 4.2 million visitors a year, and approximately 4 million people walk the Colosseum’s concrete and limestone floors each year.

Built in the 1st century, the Colosseum’s construction was completed under the direction of emperors’ Vespasian (69-79 AD), Titus (74-81 AD), and Domitian (81-96 AD)

The amphitheater hosted public events like gladiator fights, wild animal hunts and public executions from 80 AD to 404 AD.

 

 

In the center of the city, you’ll find the Roman Forum. Once a magnificent district of temples, basilicas, and vibrant public areas. Here was statues and monuments paying tribute to the city’s great men. For centuries the forum was the center of day to day life in Rome.

 

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Photo courtesy of Norbert Staudt

 

The Vatican City’s history begins with the design of a basilica to be positioned over the grave of St. Peter in the 4th century AD.

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Photo courtesy of Jim Jackson

The Vatican City was established into its current form as a Sovereign nation with the signing of the Lateran Pacts in 1929; a treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, settling the “Roman Question”.

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Surrounded a two mile border with Italy.

 

By the early 4th century, the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles throughout the empire. Each mile was about 1,000 paces and was marked by a milestone. Hence the proverb “All roads lead to Rome.”

 

Rome is known as the “Eternal City” and also “Caput Mundi” coming from Latin and meaning capital of the world.

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Photo courtesy of Robert Linder

 

Construction on the 138 Spanish Steps, the widest in Europe, began in 1723 with completion in 1725. The architect, Francesco de Sanctis, was not well known.

It was built in order to link the Trinita dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the King of France with the Spanish Square below.

 

The Trevi Fountain 1732-1762, a sight not to be missed, standing 85ft high and 65ft wide, the fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome. Using 2,824,800 cubic feet of recycled water a day. Located in the Trevi district, Piazza Di Trevi, it features Neptune, god of the sea on a shell-shaped chariot being pulled by two horses, each being guided by a triton. It is the oldest Baroque fountain in the city.

It is believed that by throwing coin into the water it will ensure a return to Rome. Every night roughly 3,000 Euro is scooped from the fountain. The collected money is given to an Italian charity called, Caritas.

 

Victor Emmanuel II was the King of Sardinia from 1849 until 1861. He then became King of Italy, the first of a united Italy. Although a bit controversial this building constructed of white marble was built in his honor; Altar of the Fatherland National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. It is also known as the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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The population of Rome is around 2.7 million, but it is estimated that the entire metropolitan area of Rome is near 3.7 million.

Modern Rome has 280 fountains and 900 churches.

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