Rome has been one of the most influential cities in Europe for thousands of years. Not without a reason it is known as the “Eternal City” and Capital of the World. Its historical and cultural importance is undeniable. In today’s blog, we will walk you through its streets and show you why it plays such an important role on the Old Continent.
It is said that Rome was founded in 753 BC by the mythical hero Romulus. According to a legend, together with his twin brother, Remus, he was abandoned in the area that later became Rome. They were said to be the sons of the god of war, Mars. They were raised by a she-wolf (now a symbol of the city). However, at the Romulus killed his brother, and thus became the first ruler of the city named after him.
At first, it was a small village at the top of the Palatine Hill. But thanks to its location it quickly became a trade centre of the region. First, the capital of the Roman Kingdom, and later of the Roman Republic it has been one of the most important cities in the World before many countries were even on the maps.
While the Roman Empire was not, in fact, the largest empire ever, it was one of the mightiest of its time. It stretched between Britain and Mesopotamia and was a major cultural, economic and political centre. And Rome was at the heart of it all.
The Global City
Another name for Rome is “global city”. No wonder, since for centuries it has been a home to thousands of artists and political figures from all around the World. Rome’s heritage is essentially a heritage of all of us since its influences can be seen in the most distant parts of the globe. It was one of the major cradles of European civilization, and as such, it is still to this day considered one of the most important cities on Earth. It surely belongs to the list of the World’s most beautiful capitals, as well as the most visited ones, since it is among Europe’s greatest attractions.
What is Rome Known For
There are of course some Roman attractions, that are so popular in fact, that even most people who have never been there are aware of their existence.
First of all, the Colosseum. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, it lies in the heart of the city. It was once the place of the gladiator fights. Its gruesome past contrasts with the beauty of the building and its architectural value. Interestingly enough, since recently some of its floors previously unavailable for the public are now open, making the experience even more spectacular.
Another incredible place is the Roman Forum. Known also as the Forum Magnum, it is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of many of the most important buildings of ancient Rome. It is at the heart of the city and creates some of the perfect sightseeing opportunities.
The other place everybody knows is the famous Spanish Steps. It is the perfect place to rest, and maybe even get a snack and simply enjoy the vibe of the city. After getting to the top, you can see quite a bit of Rome, so make sure you do that!
Lastly, one of the most famous places is the Trevi Fountain. You simply cannot visit Rome and now see it. The beautiful sculptures make it truly spectacular. And while you’re there, make sure to drop a coin inside, ensuring your return to the city. It’s also good to know, that the money retrieved from the fountain goes to the local Caritas.
The Religious Sites
Rome was a religious centre for centuries. At first, it copied the Greek gods and created their counterparts. Later, the Christianity took over and Rome became its centre. The Vatican City, where the pope resides, lies at the heart of it to this day.
Among some of the most important religious sites in Rome is the Basilica of St John Lateran. From the 4th century, it is, in fact, the oldest church in the World.
As for the previous religion, the must-see site is the Pantheon. The building was dedicated to all of the gods of ancient Rome. Its exact age is unknown, but it is around 2000 years old, making its great state even more spectacular.
Another important religious site in the city is the Great Synagogue. As a main place of worship for the Italian Jews, it is not only important due to its historical and architectural values, but also because of its deep emotional importance.
Do Not Forget to Visit
While there are clearly sites everybody has heard of, you should not forget about some of the other phenomenal, yet slightly less famous, places of Rome.
One of them is the Circus Maximus, an ancient circus, where the chariot races took place. Another one is the Campo de’ Fiori. It was once a meadow, hence the name “the flowers field”. That’s where Giordano Bruno was, sadly, executed. Today, there is a statue resembling the figure of the philosopher.
And if you’re in for a little bit of adrenaline, try telling a lie, while your hand is inside of the Bocca Della Verita, or The Mouth of Truth. This large, marble medallion is said to sense a lie and close when the liar holds his hand inside of it.
Those are only some of the highlights of this incredible city, overpouring with history and art. Make sure to book at least a few days for a trip around it. Trust us, you won’t regret it.