Attracting over ten million visitors each year, Rome, the capital of Italy, is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world due to its archaeological and artistic treasures. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its monuments, museums, historical buildings, churches, palaces, such as the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Musei Cap...
Attracting over ten million visitors each year, Rome, the capital of Italy, is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world due to its archaeological and artistic treasures. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its monuments, museums, historical buildings, churches, palaces, such as the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Musei Capitolini, the Galleria Borghese, the Catacombs, the monuments and ruins of the Roman Forum alone attract millions of tourists.
As one of the oldest cities in Europe having a history of over two thousand years, the city is often called “The Eternal City”, one of the birthplaces of Western civilization, the centre of Italian Renaissance along with Florence, and the birthplace of Baroque style. The most famous masterpieces include works by world-renowned artists, such as Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini, such as the St Peter’s Basilica, the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Square, and other famous churches, mosaics, frescoes and paintings. Rome is also famous for having the Vatican City as an independent country within its city boundaries, and being one of the world's main centres of archeological research.
Following the end of the monarchy, the name of the opera house was changed to Teatro dell'Opera, and in 1958, the building was remodeled and modernized once again by the Rome City Council. Once again, the architect Marcello Piacentini drew up the plans, radically altering the existing architectural style and designing the present facade, entrance and foyer.
The Theater's legendary acoustics can still bear comparison with any other auditorium in the world. The present seating capacity is about 1,600, and the house was retrofitted with air-conditioning subsequent to a restoration, which provided improvements to the interior. The stucco work was completely restored, the great proscenium arch strengthened, and a parquet floor of solid oak blocks laid to replace the previous one.
Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 7, 00184 Rome
Bus: 40Exp, 60Exp, 64, 70, 117, 170.
Catacombs of Rome
Due to its overwhelming popularity, visitors must book in advance in order to enjoy the Galleria Borghese’s splendid array of sculpture and paintings. The surrounding property once served as the Borghese family’s country retreat; today, it is an immense public park in the middle of the city. Cardinal Scipione Borghese built the gallery in 1613 for the sole purpose of displaying an art collection that even at the time was considered extraordinary.
Most impressive, perhaps, are the numerous examples of baroque sculpture, and particularly a set of early works by Gianlorenzo Bernini, the genius behind the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. The fiercely emotional quality of Bernini’s subjects epitomizes the Italian baroque style, and his supple rendering of the human form remains unparalleled. In Apollo and Daphne, for example, he captures the nymph’s transformation into a laurel tree with haunting delicacy. Be sure to take a good look at his sculptures from every angle: you will notice that each new glance offers a different perspective.
The gallery also holds an entire room of paintings by Caravaggio, Titian’s famous Sacred and Profane Love and a Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery) that includes three Raphaels and a Botticelli. Sadly, each visitor is only allotted two hours in the gallery – which gives you a great excuse to come back to Rome next year!
Piazzale del Museo Borghese, 5, 00197 Rome
Bus: 52, 53, 217, 920 (Via Pinciana)
The Doria Pamphilj Gallery, at the heart of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj which dates back to the early 16th Century, host works by the big names of Italy such as Caravaggio, Titian, and Raphael, as well as many Flemish Old Masters from the baroque era. The splendid art collection is divided into several wings and rooms: the Aldobrandini Gallery (1st wing) the Gallery of Mirrors (2nd wing), the Pamphilj Gallery (3rd wing), the Doria Gallery (4th wing), the Aldobrandini Room, and the Primitives Room.
Via del Corso, 305, 00186 Rome
Bus: 64 (Piazza Venezia); 95, 175, 492, 62, 85, 630, 850 (Via del Corso)
The Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (National Museum of Etruscan Art) is home to an important collection of pre-Roman art, mainly Etruscan works. Founded in 1889, the collection is exhibited at the Villa Giulia, named after Pope Juluis III, for whom it was constructed in 1551.
The idea for a museum that would put together all the pre-Roman antiquities of Latium, southern Etruria and Umbria belonging to the Etruscan and Faliscan civilisations was part of Felice Barnabei's objective of creating an archeaological profile of the area, to study the pieces found in excavations and to exhibit them to the public.
Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9, 00197 Rome
Tram: 2, 3, 19