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Rome: More than 2000 years of history


Built on seven hills and millennia old,the allure of Rome needs no explanation. It encompasses all the history of antiquity, Romulus, and Remus, Caeser and Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Augustus, and Hadrian. These names, and many more echo through the annals of history. Rome (unlike it's rival Carthage) was never completely destroyed and much of the wonders of the city are still intact today.
Rome was once the largest city in the world and the first to have a population more than one million. It was not until the 19th century that another city matched that population and that, fittingly, was London at the heart of another Empire, the British. It decayed rapidly after the fall of the Roman Empire and the population dwindled to as little as 30,000, but it revived as the capital of the Roman Catholic Church.
Sistine Chapel
Located in the Apostolic Palace, the Pope's official residence. The fresco on the ceiling 'The Last Judgement' was painted by Michelangelo.Other frescoes decorate the rest of the Chapel.
St Peters Basilica
A church of the Renaissance, famously Michelangelo designed the Dome.The Dome can be viewed close up via a lift and then some stairs.

Famous people buried here include Queen Christina of Sweden, Charles Edward Stuart (better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie) and of course St Peter himself.Surprisingly it is not a Cathedral (that prize goes to St John in the Lateran).Built on the traditionally agreed site of the crucifixion of St. Peter, the Basilica was built originally in 324AD, but completely rebuilt in the Renaissance.The shrine of St. Peter is the centerpiece.
St. Peter's Square
In the summer the Square throngs with tourists and pilgrims, it is the beating heart of Rome.There is a 40m obelisk in the middle of the vast St Peters Square, which is surrounded by a colonnade, atop which are statues of 140 Saints. Two enormous statues of St Peter and St Paul are either side of the steps into the Basilica.
The Basilica of St John in the Lateran
The Basilica of St John in the Lateran is the oldest church in Rome and ecclesiastical seat of the Pope, containing six papal tombs and built in 324AD.The Pope only moved to St Peter's after two catastrophic fires during the schism of the Avignon Papacy. It is regarded in the Church, as more important than St Peter's.
The Coliseum
Begun by Emperor Vespasian on 72AD and completed by his successor, Titus, in 80AD, the Coliseum is the largest amphitheater ever built.It could accommodate between 50,000 and 80,000 people and was used for gladiator fights, battle re-enactments, animal hunts and executions.Beware the guys in Roman soldiers uniforms, who hang around outside the Coliseum and charge a fortune to have their picture taken with tourists.
The Pantheon (literally meaning 'all the gods')
Now a church, it was originally commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Emperor Augustus. One of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome, mainly because it has been in continuous use.The Pantheon has been a Christian church since 609AD.It has the largest unsupported concrete dome in the world.
The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, contain a wide variety of Roman ruins.
Crypts and Catacombs
These can be a little eerie; some were used as burial grounds, others were where persecuted Christians met in secret. It is best to book a tour to get the full feel.
Pompeii and Vesuvius
Located South of Rome near Naples, the ruins of Pompeii are a stunning and emotional experience.
Borghese Art Museum
Located in the former Borghese Palace, the Museum contains some beautiful artworks.
The Museum of Rome
Immerse yourself in over 2000 years of history.
Capitoline Museums
Housed in three historic buildings and founded in 1470 by Sixtus IV.There are statues and sculptures: both bronze and marble.
Trevi Fountain
Located East of the Vatican City. The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque water-feature in Rome, and the best-known in the world (famously featured in Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita') recently restored (in 2015) at the cost of €2.2 million, 100 L.E.D.lights have been added, to make a spectacular night-time illumination.
Traditionally, coins are thrown in for good luck (by the right hand over the left shoulder).It is estimated that €3000 a day are thrown into the fountain.
The 'art of making Pizza' class.Not particularly Roman, but quintessentially Italian, this will be a skill you can take home and impress your friends.
Walking tours.There are dozens of walking tours of  Rome, based on a variety of themes.You can book many of them over the internet before you arrive, or pick up leaflets in your hotel or at a tourist information office once there.
Bus tours.These are quite useful as you can cover long distances quickly, and thus maximize your Roman experience. Hop off the bus at your selected destinations and simply rejoin it later, as it does a circular route.
Segway Tour. We are in the 21st century, after all, so join a small touring group and see Rome on a Segway.
A 'Rome by Night' tour. The night-time changes Rome, with fewer people around and the skillful deployment of lighting on ancient ruins, it can seem that you are going back in history.
Weekly papal audience.Attend the Pope's weekly audience and blessing in several languages.
Angels and Demons tour. One for the real Dan Brown aficionado, taking in all the sites used in the book and film.
Getting around in Rome
There is a good integrated public transport system in Rome. There are buses, Metro, Trams and overground trains. A Rome Metro Pass gets you free travel in Rome and can be purchased with a free Museum entry package.
Eating out
Like the rest of Italy, Rome has some high quality restaurants serving traditional Italian and regional dishes.But as a tourist destination it can be very expensive to dine out. Consequently it is recommended to find eateries away from the main tourist areas, in the side streets where you will find relatively inexpensive bistro's serving some delicious meals.
Whatever your travel needs are, whether flights or hotel, www.paylessflights.com is here to help, check out our website for many great offers.There are regular flights from the U.S.A. and all over Europe into Rome Airport .