Rome is more than a fascinating European capital city; it is a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. Rome is halfway down Italy’s western coast, about 12 miles inland. It has been said that every road in Rome leads to eternity. The city is vast, though the historic center is quite small. The whole experience of Rome is so powerful as to be almost overwhelming at times. The best way to prepare for a visit is to study a little of the history of the region, to be as well rested as possible, and to arrange an itinerary that allows time to explore, rest, and reflect on the magnificence of it all.
There is a steady stream of spectacular festivals, exhibits and events for the whole family. Guided walking tours and bus tours for every energy level and budget provide great assistance in becoming acquainted with the past and present of this amazing city. Rome is a city in which it is recommended that driving and walking anywhere near areas of traffic be avoided if possible. The streets are extremely congested, and drivers are not considered to be responsible for watching out for pedestrians. The public transportation is excellent and offers the convenience of buses and subways at a nominal cost.
Whether the visitor is seeking a quiet, romantic café on the Campo de’ Fiori; a fast food McDonald’s with air conditioning on the Piazza della Repubblica or a cozy and intimate family operated restaurant with one or two exquisitely prepared selections of the day on the Piazza Santa Maria, there is great food for every taste.
The city boasts a wide variety of shopping opportunities. Spanish Square presents high fashion selections while the more modestly priced clothing is to be found on the Via del Corso and Via Tritone. North of Spanish Square are areas famous for their antique shops and art galleries. Porta Portese hosts a huge flea market every Sunday morning.
Rome does not go to sleep at sunset. Open air symphonic concerts, ballet and opera performances, live rock and jazz are all available.
Rome lays claim to two pro football teams, Roma and Lazio. Rivalry is fierce between them. Basketball is gaining in popularity. It is played in the Palazzo dello Sport designed for the 1960 Olympics.
The city’s 300 fountains, its sculpture, its glorious panorama of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modern art, music and architecture are all part of the reason that Pope Gregory XIVs remark in the 16th century is still true today. Pope Gregory said of the joys of exploring and discovering the city, “a lifetime is not enough.”
B- City Information:
Population: approximately 2,778,000. Estimated visitors annually: 15 million.
Area: 577 square miles (within this area is Vatican City, the world’s smallest independent sovereign state, comprising 100 acres and 200 residents)
Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour: Time in Rome is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in New York.(7 hours ahead of central time in Chicago, etc.)
International Dialing Code: Rome’s city code is 06. The country code is 39. Calling cards can be purchased at tobacco stores, post offices and some bars in Rome to use in placing calls from public or private phones. To call the operator: dial 10.
Emergency: police: 113(local) 112 (national); fire: 115; ambulance: 113 Emergency calls are free from phone booths.
Currency : Currency is the Euro (EUR). The notes are in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 euro. The denominations of coins are 2 euro, 1 euro, 50 euro cent, 20 euro cent, 10 euro cent, 5 euro cent, 2 euro cent, and 1 euro cent.
The easiest method of securing cash at the best exchange rate is to make withdrawals using a US credit card from the ATM machines found at the major banks and stores.
Customs Regulations: Telephone (in Rome): 06 49711 for information.
Rome is at its best weather wise in April and May and again from September – mid October. The heat can be intense in July and August. Winters are rainy and cool, rather than cold. Many businesses close in August.
Jan. 1 New Year’s Day
Jan. 6 Epiphany
Good Friday and Easter Monday (dates vary each year – Mar. or April)
1st Mon. of May Labor Day
June 29 SS. Peter and Paul’s Day
August 15 Feast of the Assumption
November 1 All Saints’ Day
December 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec. 25 Christmas Day
Dec. 26 St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day)
Public rest rooms: In short supply except in museums, restaurants and large department stores
Smoking: Smoking is not allowed in museums, churches, and art galleries. It is discouraged, but allowed, in restaurants. Trains have separate non- smoking compartments.
Electricity: 220volt A/C). Most hotels have 110V shaver outlets. Plugs have 2 round pins or sometimes 3 pins in a vertical row. American appliances will need a plug adapter and will require a transformer if they do not have a dual voltage capability.
Visitors with disabilities: The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s are wheelchair accessible. Many of the ancient historic sites require climbing of innumerable steps and are unsuitable for anyone not in prime physical condition. There are toilets for the disabled at the two Rome airports, at Stazione Termini and at St. Peter’s Square.
Children: Children under 4 not occupying a seat travel free on Italian railways. Traveling with children requires a different, more relaxed itinerary, but there are many possibilities for family enjoyment available (see Attractions for Children section).
Churches: There are four Irish Catholic churches in Rome and two others for English speakers. There are also Anglican, Scottish Presbyterian, Methodist, Jewish and Muslim worship centers.
How to get around: Buses are the main form of public transportation. Orange buses run by ATAC have low cost, frequent service around the city. Blue COTRAL buses cover the region and the suburbs of Rome. Driving and walking in Rome are both hazardous. As a result, the buses are crowded and traffic is slow. Bus operates Mon-Sat 5:30 AM – 11:30 PM Night buses on key routes run less frequently from midnight – 5:30AM. Late night buses have a conductor who sells tickets. During the regular daytime and evening hours tickets must be purchased in advance from automatic machines, shops and news stands.
Metro is a subway system with two main lines: A and Bit is primarily a commuter service and does not travel close to the city center attractions.
Taxis Licensed taxis are yellow and white with a “taxi” sign on the roof. Be sure to use only these. When hailing a cab, be sure the meter is set at zero. Drivers are not supposed to stop on the street to pick up fares. They are supposed to wait at taxi stands. Stands can be found at Termini, Piazza Venezia, Largo Argentina, Piazza S. Sonnino, Pantheon, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza San Silvestro.
Air Travel: Flights arrive at Leonardo da Vinci Airport, also known as Fiumicino. Shuttle trains link the airport with Stazione Termini in the city center. Taxis are expensive from the airport. A prepaid “car with driver” is available at the SOCAT desk in the International arrivals hall.
Rail Service: Most trains arrive and depart from Stazione Terminal, which is conveniently located for most of the central city. Train information: 147 88 8088 (toll free)
C- Attractions/Things To Do:
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 – 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 in 1938.www.chch.school.nz/mbc/arapacis.htm
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 Trajan’s victory over the Dacians in the 2nd century.
Baths of Caracalla
52 Viale di Terme di Caracalla
Tues.-Sat. 9-6(Oct.-Mar.until 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
Bus 57,65,75,170,492. 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 Verità (Mouth of Truth)
Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Piazza Bocca della Verità
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 offender’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; 9.30am-6pm).
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. Admission charged.
The 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 Gardens
(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 (Città del Vaticano)
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 – 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. www.christusrex.org
Saint Peter’s Basilica
Piazza San Pietro
Basilica open daily 7am-7pm. (From within the Basilica it is possible to visit the following sites:
1) Treasury – open 9-6 (Oct.-March 9-5). Admission charged.
2) The Vatican grottoes 1-6 (Oct.-March 7-5)
3) The Dome 8-6 (Oct.-March 8-4:30) Admission charged. Bus 64
The largest Basilica in the world was begun in 1506 when Pope Julius II commissioned Bramante to build a new St. Peter’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 Bramante’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 Michelangelo’s design. The dome soars over the tomb of St. Peter. Beneath the dome and forming the focus of the nave is Bernini’s Baldacchino whose columns were cast from bronze stripped from the roof of the Pantheon.
Michelangelo’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:
1) Museo Gregoriano Egizio featuring the Egyptian collection.
2) Museo Chiaramonti and Museo Pioclemintino contain the Vatican’s collection of classical sculpture.
3) Museo Gregoriano – Etrusco which contains 18 rooms of Etruscan artifacts and Greek sculptu
4) Salla della Biga contains the remains of a 1st century BC two horsed chariot.
5) Galleria 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.
6) Galleria Gegli Arazzi takes its name from the tapestries displayed there. Ten 16th century Belgian tapestries illustrate stories from the life of Christ.
7) Galleria Delle Carte Geografiche or Map Gallery has 40 painted wall panels depicting regions of Italy in the 16th century.
8) Galleria di Pio V. Pope Pius V’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 IX’s proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. It also contains Michelangelo’s model for the dome of St. Peter’s.
10) 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.
11) Apartmento Borgia recalls some dark days of the papacy , yet is beautifully decorated.
12) Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana contains a small part of the acclaimed Vatican library. Among manuscripts displayed are some written by St. Thomas Aquinas and Michelangelo.
13) Collezione di Arte Religiosa Moderna is composed of 55 rooms in which are contained some 800 works of recent religious art.
14) Capella 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 “wonder of the world.” The ceiling was cleaned and restored recently.
15) Pinacoteca is the Vatican’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.
16) 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.
17) Museo Pio Cristano traces the history of Christianity through sarcophagi and excavations from the catacombs.
18) Museo 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.
19) Museo Storico contains papal carriages, flags, banners, etc.
Protestante Cimitero (Protestant Cemetery)
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 1500’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 Picture Gallery
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 museum.
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.
Bus: 93,97,197,293,493,765. Metro: EUR Fermi; EUR Palasport
This vast complex was built in the 1930’s as part of Mussolini’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 Civiltà 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 Sunday 9-1
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 House
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 – Sept. Tues.-Thurs.,-Sat. 4-7pm) Admission charged Bus118.
The museum is located “on the spot” 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 56,60,64,70,75
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 Giulia (Etruscan Museum)
9 Pizzale di Villa Giulia
Tues. and Thurs.-Sat. 9-7 (Oct.-March until 2) Wednesday 9-7 Sunday 9-1 Admission charged. Bus: 52,926,95,490
The best collection of Etruscan art and artifacts in Italy is exhibited in the suburban villa built in the mid 1500’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 Hadrian’s tomb.
There are 67 known Catacombs in Rome. These are underground cemeteries – 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 1840’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 authorities.
Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps
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 Trinità 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
Mon.,Tues.,Thurs.-Sat. 9-7 (summer) to 3pm in winter. Wed. and Sun. 9-1 year round. Admisison for upper tier only.
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 Nero’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 Augustus.
Farnesiani Gardens (Orti Farnesiani)
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 Europe.
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 Faustina (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 Rome’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 Bus: 52,53,58,60,61,62,71.
The sea god Neptune and his tritons are shown in stormy and calm seas. A coin thrown over one’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 Tram: 19,19b
Tues.-Sat. 9-7 Sunday and holidays 9-1 (Summer) Tues.-Sat. 9-2 Sunday 9-1 (Rest of year) Admission charged.
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 – Teatro di Marcello
Synagogue at Lungotevere dei Cenci
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 Sant’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
06-6830-0230 April-Sept.: 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 Torre Argentina
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 gods” 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.