Vatican-City (Photo: pixabay)

Who doesn’t know about Rome? It is the city of art and spiritual whic is unseperated. If you Go to Europe without going to Rome, you are missing the real destination in your life.

According to cnn travel, in 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy.

You want to know about it? Here are the reasons why there are some places in Rome that you have to visit if you go to Rome;

1. Vatican City

Vatican-City (Photo: pixabay)

The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world, with an area of less than half a square kilometer, most of it enclosed by the Vatican walls. Inside are the Vatican palace and gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square, an area ruled by the Pope, supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church. This compact space offers much for tourists to see, between its museums and the great basilica itself.

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica is Michelangelo’s masterpiece, Pieta, along with statuary and altars by Bernini and others. The unquestioned highlight of the Vatican museums is the Sistine Chapel, whose magnificent frescoed ceiling is Michelangelo’s most famous work.

Inside the Vatican Palace are the Raphael Rooms, the Borgia Apartments, the Vatican Library, and a number of museums that include the Picture Gallery, Museum of Secular Art, Etruscan Museum, and others. The collections you can see in these cover everything from papal coaches to 20th-century art reflecting religious themes.

2. The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine

The-Colosseum-and-the-Arch-of-Constantine (Photo: pixabay)

As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the silhouette of the Flavian Amphitheatre is to Rome. The largest structure left to us by Roman antiquity, the Colosseum still provides the model for sports arenas – present day football stadium design is clearly based on this oval Roman plan.

The building was begun by Vespasian in AD 72, and after his son Titus enlarged it by adding the fourth story, it was inaugurated in the year AD 80 with a series of splendid games. The Colosseum was large enough for theatrical performances, festivals, circuses, or games, which the Imperial Court and high officials watched from the lowest level, aristocratic Roman families on the second, the populace on the third and fourth.

Beside the Colosseum stands the almost equally familiar Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch erected by the Senate to honor the emperor as “liberator of the city and bringer of peace” after his victory in the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312.

3. Trevi Fountain

Trevi-Fountain (Photo: pixabay)

One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, this 17th-century masterpiece has been immortalized in films until it is almost a required visit. Throwing a coin (not three) into the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is a tradition that is supposed to assure your return to Rome.

Rome’s largest fountain, Fontana di Trevi is supplied by an aqueduct originally constructed by Agrippa, the great art patron of the first century BC, to bring water to his baths. The fountain was created for Pope Clement XII between 1732 and 1751 by Nicolò Salvi, and built against the rear wall of the palace of the Dukes of Poli.

It depicts the sea god Oceanus (Neptune), with horses, tritons, and shells. The water swirls around the figures and the artificial rocks, and collects in a large basin, always filled with coins.

4. San Giovanni in Laterano (Basilica of St. John Lateran)

San-Giovanni-in-Laterano (Photo: all free photo)

As you might expect for the episcopal church of the Pope, St. John Lateran is one of Rome’s most impressive churches. After centuries of alterations, it still retains its original form from the age of Constantine, when it was built.

Its façade, by contrast, is a purely baroque embellishment and a fine example of that period. Along with the mosaics in the apse, be sure to notice the beautiful 16th-century wooden ceiling.

If the octagonal baptistery, San Giovanni in Fonte, looks a bit familiar, it’s because it provided the model for later ones throughout Europe. Built by Constantine, it is the world’s oldest Christian baptistery. Across the piazza, in the church of the Scala Santa, is the Holy Staircase, 28 steps believed to have been brought to Rome in the fourth century by St. Helen, from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem.

5. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica-di-Santa-Maria-Maggiore (Photo: common wikimedia)

One of Rome’s most majestic churches, Santa Maria Maggiore has stood here since the fourth-century Pope Liberius had a vision of the Virgin directing him to build a church where snow fell the following day. Although it was August, snow did fall on the Esquiline hill the next morning, so here the great basilica was built.

Mass has been celebrated here every day since the fifth century. The three aisles of its 86-meter-long interior are separated by 40 columns of marble and four of granite, and the apse added in the 13th century is lined with mosaics of Old and New Testament themes, masterpieces of Rome’s famous mosaic artists.

Rome’s oldest mosaics, as old as the fourth century, decorate the upper walls, and the floor is inlaid with colored stone in the style of the expert 12th-century artisans of the Lake Como region. The first gold to reach Italy from the Americas shines on the coffered ceiling. Two popes are buried here; it’s one of Rome’s four papal basilicas, an important place of pilgrimage church.

6. The Catacombs and Via Appia Antica (Appian Way)

The-Catacombs-and-Via-Appia-Antica (Photo: common wikimedia)

The Catacombs of San Callisto (St. Calixtus) and San Sebastiano, both underground burial places in the Via Appia Antica, are extensive – San Callista fills an area of 300 by 400 meters — with intricate multi-layered networks of passages and chambers carved into the soft tufa.

In addition to the tombs, St. Calixtus has six sacramental chapels, constructed between 290 and 310, with both pagan and early Christian wall paintings.

In the Papal Crypt are the tombs of most of the martyred Popes of the third century identified by Greek inscriptions. San Sebastiano, one of Rome’s seven pilgrimage churches, was built in the fourth century on the site of old cemeteries and catacombs that, along with the foundations of a Constantinian basilica, can be explored.

Tomb chambers are on several levels with fine paintings, stucco decoration, and inscriptions dating to the first century AD. Although venerated remains are thought to have been brought here for safekeeping during persecutions, these were cemeteries, not hiding places for Christians.

A little west of the Via Appia Antica, not far from the catacombs of San Callisto, theCatacombs of Domitilla are the largest and among the most impressive in Rome, with 15 kilometers of underground chambers and passages and a complete subterranean basilica.

Dedicated to the martyred saints entombed there, Nereus and Achilleus, the basilica was a major pilgrimage destination until the Middle Ages. More than 80 painted tombs and a second-century fresco of The Last Supper survive in its galleries.

Outside the Porta San Sebastiano, the Arch of Drusus is near the beginning of the Via Appia Antica, one of the oldest and most important of the Roman highways, built around 300 BC and extended to the port of Brindisi about 190 BC. Running parallel with the road are the ruins of some of the aqueducts that supplied the city with water, and among the cypresses along its sides are remains of tombs belonging to aristocratic Roman families. The most prominent of these is the first-century tomb of Caecilia Metella and her husband.

7. Basilica of Saint Paul

Basilica of Saint Paul (Photo: commonwikimedia)

Saint Paul reached Rome in 61 AD for the judgement. Between 65 and 67, under Nero, he was beheaded. His body was buried some 3 km from the place of his martyrdom, along Via Ostiense in a Roman burial named “praedio Lucinae” because belonging to a Christian woman named Lucinia. According to tradition, the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls lies where Timoteus, a disciple of the saint, buried his remains.

Shortly after the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul, his burial place became a place of pilgrimage and worship. Here, they built a memorial where pilgrims would go to pray during the centuries of the persecution.

In 257 Emperor Valeriano made it illegal for Christians to gather and go to the cemetery. This caused the moving of the remains of St. Peter’s and Paul’s the Catacombs of St. Sebastian in the ancient Appian Way.

When Emperor Constantine stopped the persecution against the Christians with the Edict of 313, the two saints were brought back to their respective resting place. It’s the same Constantine who ordered the building of the basilica on St. Paul’s burial place.

They inaugurated it in 324 in a much smaller size than the modern one. Except for St. Paul’s tomb, the rest of the cemetery was heavily dismantled to make way for the construction of the basilica. The tomb of the Apostle was enshrined in a bronze cube covered with a marble layer where they inscribed “PAULO APOSTOLO MART”.

Before the end of the 4th century, the basilica was already too small to welcome the increasing flow of pilgrims. In 390 pope Siricius inaugurated the new church, much larger and with the same shape it has today.

That’s all about 7 top tourist attractions in Rome you have to visit. You may join SC Holidays in order to visit those beautiful places.

We are not only guiding you on fulfilling your traveling, but also enhance your Spiritual journey. Since our vission on this tour and travel is not not only about touring, but also to find God in all things especially through your pilgrimage, this is the best choice that you have to make with us, SC HOLIDAY.

Sources: planetware and romeactually

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