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Ara Pacis Augustae
Via di Repetta
Tues-Sat. 9-1:30 Sunday 9-1
(April-Sept. also open Tues and Sat. 4-7). Admission charged.
Altar of peace â€“ one of the
great works of Roman sculpture - was commissioned in 13 BC by the emperor
Augustus to celebrate his victories in Spain and Gaul. It was reconstructed here
Arch of Constantine
Piazza del Collesseo
Triumphal arch decorated with
fragments from older Roman monuments, erected in AD 315 in honor of
Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. At this battle in
the year 312 Constantine is said to have seen a cross in the sky, bringing about
his conversion to Christianity. The relief work on the inside of the arch
depicts the emperor Trajanâ€™s victory over the Dacians in the 2nd
Baths of Caracalla
52 Viale di Terme di Caracalla
3); Sunday and Monday 9-1. Admission charged.
The baths were begun in the
year 206 and completed by Caracalla in 217. The vast expanse of ruins of the
massive bath complex contained large numbers of masterpieces of sculpture. The
baths must have been exceptionally luxurious. They were in use into the early
middle ages. The remains were unearthed in the Middle Ages.
Baths of Diocletian
Piazza della Repubblica
Metro: Repubblica, Termini
A visit to the museum on the
site will give an idea of the interior of the Roman baths. The Terme Di
Diocleziano (Baths of Diocletian) were constructed in the 4th century
and were the largest of the ancient Roman baths. Originally the baths could
accommodate over 3000 people. The shape of an attached stadium can still be
made out in the curve of the two 19th century buildings built on the
site that now form the southwestern perimeter of the Piazza della Repubblica.
Sections of the former baths now house the Museum Nazionale Romano and the
church of Sta Maria degli Angeli which was designed by Michelangelo.
Bocca della VeritĂ (Mouth of
Church of Santa Maria in
Piazza Bocca della VeritĂ
In the porch of this church on
the south side is a weather beaten stone face used as a drain cover in ancient
Rome. According to legend, the mouth was believed to close on the hand of
anyone bearing false witness, particularly women accused of adultery. The
offenderâ€™s hand would be withdrawn with severed fingers according to the legend
(Viewers of the film Roman Holiday will remember the scene in which
Gregory Peck alarmed Audrey Hepburn by inserting his arm in the mouth and
quickly withdrawing it with his hand concealed in his sleeve.)
Bus 52,53,910 (to Via Pinciana),3,4,57 (to Via Po)
Tues.-Sat. 9-7 (Oct.-April 9-2) Sunday 9-1.
Due to the large number of
visitors it is advisable to make a reservation: call 39- 063-2810 (Mon-Fri;
Reservations can also be made
directly at the ticket office one day in advance by going to the Galleria
Borghese early in the morning (around 8.30-9am) to try to buy a ticket. If they
are all sold, ask to be placed on the waiting list for the day. Try also to be
there one hour before entrance times (which are: 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm). It may be
possible to be among the first in the waiting list of the hour.
Borghese Gallery hosts one of the most important collections in the world,
particularly of art of the classical and baroque periods. The opulent lower
floor contains the sculpture. The paintings are on the upper floor (galleria).
Villa Borghese Botanical
(Adjacent to the museum )
Open daily 9am-dusk
Large gardens on the slopes of
the Janiculum, famous for its palms and yuccas and collection of orchids. Public
gardens and park, including the Lake Garden, where boats may be rented and the
Zoo. There is also an aviary and an enormous racetrack. The park was altered
in the 18th century to resemble English parkland and given to the
public in 1902.
Vatican City (CittĂ del
By the Lateran Pact of 1929,
Vatican City was established as the smallest independent sovereign state in the
world. It has its own government, its own statutes and its own head of state â€“
the Pope. It covers just a few acres of land, but it holds within its
boundaries the residence of the Pope; the site of St Peter's Basilica; the
Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
Saint Peter's Basilica
Piazza San Pietro
Basilica open daily 7am-7pm.
(From within the Basilica it is possible to visit the following sites:
â€“ open 9-6 (Oct.-March 9-5). Admission charged.
Vatican grottoes 1-6 (Oct.-March 7-5)
Dome 8-6 (Oct.-March 8-4:30) Admission charged.
The largest Basilica in the
world was begun in 1506 when Pope Julius II commissioned Bramante to build a
new St. Peterâ€™s to replace the basilica of Constantine which had been
consecrated in 326. The plan of the building was based by Bramante on the
design of the ancient Roman baths which were laid out in the form of a Greek
cross. Bramante died in 1514, and it was not until 1547 that Michelangelo took
over the project. He simplified Bramanteâ€™s plan and increased the scale. He
introduced giant Corinthian pilasters around the exterior. When Michelangelo
died in 1564 much of the apse, the transepts and nave had been completed. His
student, Giacomo della Porta, erected the dome in 1590 following Michelangeloâ€™s
design. The dome soars over the tomb of St. Peter. Beneath the dome and forming
the focus of the nave is Berniniâ€™s Baldacchino whose columns were cast from
bronze stripped from the roof of the Pantheon.
Michelangeloâ€™s Pieta stands in
the first chapel to the right of the entrance. The sculptor was only 24 years
of age when he completed it.
Entrance: Viale Vaticano
Mon-Fri. 9-5 Sat. 9-2 (Oct.-June
Mon-Sat. 9-2) Last Sun.of the month 9-5 (Oct-June 9-2)
Ticket office closes 1 hour
before closing time.
If you hope to visit the Sistine
Chapel and/or the Stanze di Raffello, plan to arrive early as they are very
crowded. Both are a 20-30 minute walk from the museum entrance.
Admission charged except for
last Sunday of the month.
Bus 64 to Piazza San Pietro
28,81,492 to Piazza del Risorgimento. Metro: Ottaviano
The Vatican museums are famous
for their collections of Greek and Roman sculpture. The museum complex is
housed in the papal palace built during the Renaissance for Pope Sixtus IV,
Innocent VII and Julius II.
The following are the museums
housed in the Vatican complex:
Gregoriano Egizio featuring the Egyptian collection.
Museo Chiaramonti and Museo
Pioclemintino contain the Vaticanâ€™s collection of classical sculpture.
Gregoriano â€“ Etrusco which contains 18 rooms of Etruscan artifacts and Greek
della Biga contains the remains of a 1st century BC two horsed
del Candelabri is the first of three galleries built by Bramante to link
different areas of the palace. It contains marble statuary and a pair of marble
candlesticks from the imperial era of ancient Rome.
Gegli Arazzi takes its name from the tapestries displayed there. Ten 16th
century Belgian tapestries illustrate stories from the life of Christ.
Delle Carte Geografiche or Map Gallery has 40 painted wall panels depicting
regions of Italy in the 16th century.
di Pio V. Pope Pius Vâ€™s gallery contains tapestries from Tournai illustrating
the Baptism and Passion of Christ.
9) Sala della Concezione is a room decorated
with frescoes related to Pope Pius IXâ€™s proclamation of the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception in 1854. It also contains Michelangeloâ€™s model for the
dome of St. Peterâ€™s.
Stanze di Raffaello are the rooms
which Pope Julius II commissioned Raphael to redecorate for his private use in
1509. Rafael died before the decoration was completed. The frescoes were
completed by other Renaissance masters.
Apartmento Borgia recalls some dark
days of the papacy , yet is beautifully decorated.
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
contains a small part of the acclaimed Vatican library. Among manuscripts
displayed are some written by St. Thomas Aquinas and Michelangelo.
Collezione di Arte Religiosa Moderna
is composed of 55 rooms in which are contained some 800 works of recent
Sistina (Sistine Chapel) The chapel was named for Pope Sixtus IV and was built
in 1475-1480. Frescoes adorn the walls and make the visit to it an
unforgettable experience. It also contains an amazing collection of Renaissance
paintings. The ceiling which Michelangelo painted while lying flat on his back
on a scaffold over a period of four years has been called a â€śwonder of the
world.â€ť The ceiling was cleaned and restored recently.
is the Vaticanâ€™s picture gallery containing 18 rooms. Rafael, Leonardo da Vinci,
Bellini, Caravaggio, Thomas Lawrence, Poussin, Guilio Romano, Van Dyck and
Veronese are among the artists whose works are presented.
Museo Gregoriano Profano contains
profane or pagan art mainly in the form of sculpture, both Greek and Roman.
There are also Roman copies of Greek originals.
Pio Cristano traces the history of Christianity through sarcophagi and
excavations from the catacombs.
Missionario Etnologico is in the basement and contains a huge collection of
artifacts from other religions and cults. It also holds examples of Christian
art from countries with Christian missions.
Storico contains papal carriages, flags, banners, etc.
6 Via Caio Cestio
06-574-1141 Summer: 8-noon and
3:30-5:30 closed Wednesdays Winter: 8-noon and
2:30-4:30 closed Wednesdays Bus: 11,23,27,57,94,95. Metro: Piramide
Famous graves include those of
the Romantic poets Keats and Shelley, as well as that of Antonio Gramsci, the
founder of the Italian Communist Party and 4000 other non- Catholic Italians.
From the cemetery one has a good view of the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, a vast
stone tomb constructed in 12BC for an otherwise unknown Roman.
This square is the focus of the
Capitolino (Capitoline Hill) and is the symbolic heart of the city. The site
was in a total state of decay when Pope Paul III commissioned Michelangelo to
rebuild it in the 1500â€™s as Rome needed an impressive space in which to receive
Emperor Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor who was due to visit in 1536.
Musei Capitolini (Capitolino Museum) and
Piazza del Campidoglio
Tues.-Sat. 9-1:30 and 5-8 Sunday
9-1 (April to Sept.: Sat. 8am-11pm)
Oct.-March: Saturday 5-8.Closed
Monday year round. Admission charged.One ticket covers both parts of the
Free on the last Sunday of the
month. Bus 44,94,710,718, 719.
Classical sculpture and busts,
many excavated from the emperor Hadrian's villa at Tivoli. Famous works include
the Etruscan she-wolf in bronze. The figures of Romulus and Remus were added to
it in 1498. The wolf statue has been in the same location for centuries. It
was damaged by lightening in 65 BC.
Metro: EUR Fermi; EUR Palasport
This vast complex was built in
the 1930â€™s as part of Mussoliniâ€™s grand design that was to greatly enlarge Rome
and create in it predominately modern skylines of skyscrapers and large
buildings. Most of this strange plan which featured a stark type of Fascist
architecture was fortunately never carried out. After World War II damage to
the complex caused by occupying armies and refugees was repaired. Later, in
1960, the complex was used for the 1960 Olympics.
Museo della CiviltĂ Romana
(Museum of Roman Culture)
Piazza G Agnelli, EUR
Tues.-Sat. 9-1 Sunday: 9-1
also Tues. and Thurs. 4-7pm. Admission charged. Bus:
93,97,197,293,493,765. Metro: EUR Fermi; EUR Palasport
The museum is housed in the
Palazzo della Civilta del Lavoro at EUR. It traces the history of the city its
beginnings to the age of Justinian using models including a scale model of Rome
at the time of Constantine. The latter includes every detail of all that was
contained within the walls of Rome at that time.
Museo Nazionale delle Arti e
Tradizioni Popolari (Museum of Folklore)
10 Piazza Marconi, EUR
06-592-6148 Mon.-Sat. 9-2
Admission charged. Bus 93,
97, 197, 293, 493, 765 Metro: EUR Fermi; EUR Palasport
Featuring scenes of daily Roman
life down the centuries, the museum also displays costumes, folk art,
agriculture and old musical instruments.
Keats and Shelley Memorial
Piazza di Spagna
Mon.-Fri. 9-1 and 3-6 (Oct. to
March: 2:30-5:30) Admission charged. Bus: 119. Metro: Spagna
Established in 1909, this small
museum contains many mementos, drawings, photos, prints and other documents
related to Keats and Shelley. Upstairs is the small room where Keats died in
1821 at age 25.
Museum of the Walls
18 Via di Porta San Sebastino
Tues.-Sat. 9-1:30 Sunday 9-1
(April â€“ Sept. Tues.-Thurs.,-Sat. 4-7pm) Admission charged Bus118.
The museum is located â€śon the
spotâ€ť within the medieval towers of the Porta San Sebastiano. Contains prints
and models of the Roman fortifications, that give the history of then Aurelian
walls and the Via Appia Antica. There are prints and models and an actual view
of what is described.
Musem of the Palace of
Venice (Palazzo Venezia)
118 Via del Plebiscito
Mon.-Sat. 9-7:30 (summer) Sun.
9-1 Tues.-Sat. 9-2 (winter) Sun. 9-1. Admission charged. Bus
Museum of medieval art, early
paintings from the Renaissance era, tapestries, weapons, bronzes, jewelry,
silver and Neopolitan crib figures. Sculpture by Bernini is featured as well.
The Palace of Venice was the
headquarters of Benito Mussolini, and his speeches to the gathered crowds were
delivered from the first floor balcony. The palace had originally been built in
1467 for Cardinal Pietro Barbo (who later became Pope Paul II), and was the
first great Renaissance palace in Rome. Pope Paul II was a patron of scholars
and a collector of works of art, so it is fitting that this museum should be
located in his former residence.
Museo Nazionale di Villa
9 Pizzale di Villa Giulia
Tues. and Thurs.-Sat. 9-7
(Oct.-March until 2) Wednesday 9-7 Sunday 9-1 Admission charged.
The best collection of Etruscan
art and artifacts in Italy is exhibited in the suburban villa built in the mid
1500â€™s for pope Julius III as a summer retreat. The beautiful villa and
grounds were designed by Vignola, Vasari and others. Archeological finds from
excavations in Lazio and Tuscany are displayed.
9-1 daily (winter 9-7 daily
(summer) Sunday: 9-1 all year. Admission charged. Bus:
23,34,64,87,280 Metro: Lepanto
The building contains the
ancient mausoleum of the emperor Hadrian (c.AD 130). The castle was converted
into a papal fortress in the 6th century, and is linked by underground passages
to the Vatican palaces. Several popes have felt the need to take advantage of
the secret routes in times of threat.
Museo di Castel Sant'Angelo
houses a collection of arms and armor from the ancient times to the
Renaissance. There are four levels to explore after entering through Hadrianâ€™s
There are 67 known Catacombs in
Rome. These are underground cemeteries â€“ the Christian (and some pagan) burial
grounds for the first four centuries. The dead were placed on shelves cut into
the walls of rock. The Roman authorities disapproved of the Christians, but
their respect and fear of the dead was such that they would not disturb the
catacombs, so much has survived. The catacombs contain some of the only
surviving examples of early Christian art. In the 1840â€™s Pope Gregory XVI took
steps to preserve the catacombs and their treasures. Mass is celebrated in the
catacombs and can be a poignant reminder of the early days when Christians hid
in the catacombs to worship out of fear of retaliation by the Roman
Piazza di Spagna and the
Bus 119 Metro: Spagna
This busy meeting place of
Romans and visitors was once a popular work site for artists and their models.
The flight of 137 steps was built in the 18th century to connect the piazza with
the church of TrinitĂ dei Monti and the Pincio hill. They were paid for by the
French ambassador in 1723. The Church of Trinita del Monti stands at the top of
the steps, and the Piazza di Spagna is at the foot.
This grass covered chariot race
track built by Julius Caesar had room in stands around it for 300,000
spectators. In its final days, the races took on a brutal and reckless
character, as charioteers tried to cause each others chariots to crash. The
Circus Maximus is now the center of a traffic circle.
Column of Marcus Aurelius
(Colonna di Marco Aurelio)
This column was erected as a
monument to Marcus Aurelius around the year 180 by his wife Faustina in honor of
the emperor's victories in the Danube region.
Piazza del Colosseo
Bus: 11,27,81,85,87. Metro: Colosseo
(summer) to 3pm in winter. Wed. and Sun. 9-1 year round. Admisison for upper
This magnificent structure was
originally lined with travertine, a local Roman limestone and could hold 55,000
spectators. The original had 80 arched entrances/exits. One of these was
used for the return of the triumphant gladiators from the arena. Another was
named for the goddess of death and was used for the removal of corpses of
defeated gladiators. Inside were three main areas: the pit, the arena and
the auditorium. The pit was originally covered by the floor of the arena. In
it were kept the prisoners and the wild animals with whom they would compete.
The arena was built by Emperor Vespasian in the year 72, on the site of a
drained lake in the grounds of Neroâ€™s Golden palace. The tiers of seats were
coordinated and designed by social class ranging from private box seats on the
lowest level, to marble and finally to wood benches for the women and poor on
the top gallery. In very wet or hot weather an awning was pulled over the
auditorium and anchored.
During the Republic the Palatine
Hill was a deluxe residential area, conveniently close to the Forum. Many
important figures had houses here, including Cicero, Mark Antony and the emperor
Farnesiani Gardens (Orti
In the Palatine area
Mon.-Sat. 9-5 Sunday 9-Noon
Admission charged. Bus: 11,27,81,85,87
Originally the site of the
emperor Tiberius's palace, the Renaissance gardens preserve much of their
original design. They were laid out c.1550 by Vignola for Cardinal Alessandro
Farnese (1520-1589) grandson of Pope Paul III. Set with exotic plants, a maze,
two aviaries and a casino, this was one of the first botanical gardens in
Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
Tues.-Sat. 9- one hour before
dusk. Sun., Mon. 9-2 Bus 11, 27,81,85,87,186 Metro: Colesseo
The area known as the Forum is,
in fact, only one of a number of imperial fora, or meeting places, to be found
in Rome. Corresponding to the modern piazza or marketplace square, it was the
center of the ancient city. Here every aspect of daily business was conducted
from religious ceremonies to the buying and selling of vegetables. It was also
from here that the Roman Empire was governed.
Sacred Way (Via Sacra)
The oldest street in Rome and
the most important road in the Forum. It was lined with sanctuaries and was used
for state processions, such as imperial triumphs when a victorious general would
ride along it to offer sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol. The
paving dates back to the time of Augustus.
Temple of Antoninus Pius and
(On the Via Sacra)
Built by the emperor Antoninus
Pius in memory of his wife Faustina who died in AD 141. An inscription records
rededication by the Senate of the building to him on his death in AD 161. The
temple owes its fine state of preservation to the fact that in the 11th century
the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda was built within the ancient temple.
Arch of Titus
(Located in the Forum Square)
Erected in AD 81 by the emperor
Domitian in honor of his brother, Titus, this is Romeâ€™s oldest triumphal arch.
It celebrates the victories of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in the Judaean
War during which the Temple in Jerusalem was sacked and destroyed (AD 70).
House of the Vestals
(Located in the forum area)
It was the task of the six
Vestal Virgins to maintain a perpetual fire burning in the Temple. Should the
Vestals ever allow this fire to become extinguished they would suffer dire
punishments. The Vestal Virgins finally disbanded in AD 394.
Piazza Fontana di Trevi
The sea god Neptune and his
tritons are shown in stormy and calm seas. A coin thrown over oneâ€™s shoulder
into the waters is believed to guarantee a return visit to Rome; a second coin
is tossed to make a wish come true. The proceeds are collected daily and
donated to charity.
Gallery of Modern Art
131 Viale delle Belle Arti
Tues.-Sat. 9-7 Sunday and
holidays 9-1 (Summer) Tues.-Sat. 9-2 Sunday 9-1 (Rest of year) Admission
Italian masterpieces from the
19th and 20th centuries, are displayed, including works of Balla, Boccioni, De
Chirico, Modigliani and Severini. Works by foreign artists include Cezanne,
Degas, Van Gogh, Klee, Kandinsky., Jackson Pollock, Max Ernst amd Henry Moore.
Via Arenula â€“ Teatro di Marcello
Synagogue at Lungotevere dei
Mon.-Thurs. 9:30-2 and 3-5
Friday: 9-2 Sunday: 9-12:30 closed Sat. Bus: 23,44,56,60,65,75
In the Middle Ages there were as
many as 50,000 people of the Jewish faith in Rome. The ghetto was established
in 1555 for the shameful purpose of confining Jewish people to one restricted
area. Pope Paul IV ordered that a high wall be erected around the area and that
the residents be locked in at night. On Sundays, until 1848, the Jews were
forced to go into Santâ€™Angelo Church with the thought that they would convert
to Christianity. When the Nazis occupied Rome in 1943, 2000 Jews were sent to
concentration camps. Only 15 of them survived.
Piazza della Rotunda
Mon.-Sat. 9-6:30 Sun. 9-1
Oct.-March: Mon.-Sat. 9-5
Sun. 9-1 Free.. Bus: 119 to Piazza della Rotunda or 64,70,75 to Largo di
Marcus Agrippa's Pantheon is one
of the world's most perfect architectural creations: a perfectly proportioned
floating dome resting on an elegant drum of columns and pediments. The interior
is breathtaking. The center oculus is 29 feet in diameter. It lets light and
rain fall onto the marble pavement as one gazes heavenward through it.
The circular temple dedicated
to "all the godsâ€ť was built in 27 BC, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian in
120 AD. In the Middle Ages it was transformed into the Christian Church of Sta.
Maria and Martyres (the bones of the martyrs were brought there from the
catacombs). .The temple has been consistently plundered and damaged over the
years. It lost its beautiful gilded bronze roof tiles in Pope Gregory III's
time. It contains the tombs of Raphael and Victor Emmanuel I I.