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Rome is the capital city of Italy. It is located on the Tiber river, in the central part of the country near the Mediterranean Sea. The Vatican City, located in an enclave within Rome, is the seat of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Inhabited for over 3000 years - the city was the seat of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

Magical Journeys to Rome

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» Ancient Ostia

Ancient Ostia, Rome

The beautifully preserved ruins of Ancient Ostia were founded in the 4th century BC and were once inhabited by over 100,000 people. Ancient Ostia is commonly referred to as "The Better Pompeii" due to the astonishing, highly-preserved condition of its buildings. Structures include taverns, baths, apartments, groceries and theatres - and their intact state so strikingly exceeds that of the Roman Forum, Imperial Forum and Pompeii, that it seems a misnomer to call them "ruins" …

» Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome, Rome

The heart of Roman civilization, which once included some 80 million inhabitants, has now been reduced to a series of important ruins in the center of the city of Rome. It is believed that Rome itself was founded in 753 B.C. by brothers Romulus and Remus, decedents of a Trojan prince. Over just a couple of centuries the city evolved into the most powerful entity on the planet, with over 20 percent of the entire Earth's estimated population under its control at one point …

» Appian Way and the Aurelian Wall

Appian Way and the Aurelian Wall, Rome

The Appian Way (Via Appia), an important Imperial Roman road dating from the 4th century BC, was built to quickly move supplies and Roman soldiers to strategic points of the Roman Empire. The Appian Way was the first and most important Roman road, stretching from Rome to Brindisi on the southeast coast of Italy. It was the work of architect Appius Claudius Caecus (hence the road's name). You can still walk the long straight cobblestone road, and along the way are catacombs and churches …

» Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

Located at the southeastern end of the Roman Forum, the triumphal Arch of Titus stands as a memorial to an emperor's brother. Emperor Domitian commissioned the arch in the 1st century to honor his brother Titus, with the scenes showing Titus' many victories in war. Among the scenes is the Siege of Jerusalem - you can see a Jewish Menorah being carted back to Rome among the spoils. Triumphal arches are familiar sights in Europe today - the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is one of the most famous examples - but most were based on the design of the Arch of Titus …

» Assisi & Orvieto

Assisi & Orvieto , Rome

Experience the small town charm of Tuscany with a trip to Assisi & Orvieto. Assisi, a popular pilgrimage destination, is the birthplace of St. Francis & boasts beautiful, well-preserved medieval buildings made of the pink limestone specific to that region. In Orvieto, marvel at the ancient city's main attraction - its 14th century Gothic cathedral. Besides the architecture, these towns built atop the Umbrian Hills offer incredible views over the Tuscan countryside of olive groves & vineyards …

» Aventine Hill

Aventine Hill, Rome

Aventine Hill is one of Rome's famous seven hills. It's the southernmost hill, located on the eastern bank of the Tiber River. This hill is important in the myths involved with the founding of Rome. The brothers, Romulus and Remus, each chose one of the area's hills on which to found a city. Remus chose the Aventine Hill, but it was his brother Romulus (set up on the nearby Palatine Hill) who saw more signs (supposedly from the gods) and who goes on to found the city of Rome …

» Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano

Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano , Rome

Visitors to the Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano can see not only the present-day church, but also an older church and even older excavations underneath. Evidence suggests that the oldest building on this site likely dates from at least the 1st century B.C.E. It was the home of a wealthy Roman that was probably destroyed during a fire in 64 C.E., but even that structure is thought to have been built on the foundation of an even older building …

» Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere

Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere , Rome

The Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere is a church in Rome with an interesting history. It was built on top of three ancient temples, and pieces of these temples were incorporated into the facade of the current church. There are columns and other sections from the Temple of Spes dating back to 250 B.C., a temple that honored Juno from the 2nd century B.C. and rebuilt in 90 B.C., and the Temple of Janus, the god of gates and beginnings, dating to 17 A.D. …

» Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of Rome's oldest churches, originally built in the 4th century. While the structure has been renovated and expanded upon since then - most notably in the 12th century, when it was essentially torn to the foundation and rebuilt - the floor plan still reflects its 4th century roots. Although there is some dispute as to which was the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, there is an inscription in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere that indicates this is the first such church …

» Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is one of four major basilicas in Rome and was once the largest basilica in the world. It held that title until St. Peter's Basilica was completed in 1626. The original church was built in the 4th century but burned down in 1823. It was replaced with the one that stands today. It is where St. Paul is presumed to be buried, which is why it is named after him. His burial site was located outside of the Aurelian Walls that surrounded Rome at the time …

» Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem

Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, Rome

One of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem houses several relics from the Holy Land brought to Rome around 325 AD. The relics are said to be parts of the cross from the Passion of Jesus Christ - carried from Jerusalem by the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I, the St. Empress Helena. The church name comes from the Jerusalem soil that was laid on the floor of the basilica, as a way of moving part of the holy city to Rome. Though it was once the Palazzo Sessoriano, the palace of the St. Empress Helena …

» Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

There are many churches in Rome - and throughout the world - dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The largest one is the Basilica Papale (or Papal Basilica) of Santa Maria Maggiore near the Termini Train Station in central Rome. As you might guess from the name, Santa Maria Maggiore is technically part of the Vatican - just as a foreign embassy might be. As part of Vatican City, the Basilica is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes all extraterritorial properties of the Holy See in Rome …

» Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla)

Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla), Rome

Thermae Antoninianae, as per their Roman name, are, simply put, one of the largest and best preserved ancient thermal complexes in the world, and second largest in Rome itself. Built in 212 AD during the reign of the notoriously spiteful Emperor Caracalla, the complex was built as part of a political propaganda but had the particularity of being open to Romans from all social classes, as it was completely free of charge; the public opinion's regarding the emperor was drastically improved in the following years …

» Blue Grotto of Capri

Blue Grotto of Capri, Rome

The island of Capri, offshore from Naples and the towns along the Amalfi Coast, has long been a popular retreat - there are Roman ruins on the island to prove it. But one geologic feature in particular - the Blue Grotto - draws just as many visitors as the beaches and boutiques. The Blue Grotto is a sea cave that, because of the way the light flows into the cave, appears to glow a bright blue inside. There is a tiny opening at the water level, through which you can actually enter the grotto …

» Borghese Gallery

Borghese Gallery, Rome

The Borghese Gallery boasts the most famous art of Baroque Rome. Among the collection are several paintings by Raphael, Titian & Caravaggio. The immense property holds the grand palace where Cardinal Scipione Borghese lived with his famed art collection as well as Rome's most beautiful park, the Borghese Gardens. Here see Bernini's famous statues of Apollo and Daphne, David, the Rape of Proserpine & Canova's reclining nude of Paulina Borghese …

» Bramante Staircase

Bramante Staircase, Rome

Upon exiting the Vatican Museums, visitors have the opportunity to wind their way down the impressive 1930s double-helix staircase designed by Guiseppe Momo, but don't mistake these steps for the iconic Bramante Staircase of 1512, designed by the innovative Donato Bramante, who lays claim to an immense amount of the Vatican's architecture. This set spins down and out of the Pio-Clementine Museum. This staircase is only visited by tourists on specialized tours …

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Visit the city of Rome and experience the amazing history it has to offer. Admire the architecture and soak up the culture as you explore the Eternal city. Or venture out of Rome to discover the magic of Rome, the spectacular island of Capri in the Bay of Naples, Pompeii and many more magical destinations …

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Rome, the Eternal City, is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region: it is the famed city of the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita, the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Situated on the River Tiber, between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Eternal City was once the center of the mighty Roman Empire …

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