Rome – the Eternal City

Rome is unlike any other city in the world. Of course, one can say that about all cities, but Rome is truly different. All roads lead to

Resting in the sun

Rome, which by the way was not built in a day and also lasts forever. It is not without reason that there are several world famous sayings about Rome. To walk around in Rome is like walking around in a history book. Few cities have had such an important role in shaping our civilization. The city can be traced almost 3000 years back and the decisions made here have been the basis for the Western World as we know it today. Most people know that Rome has been the center of the Roman Empire, but not everyone knows fully the impact of the activities in Rome has had on the rest of the world. We will not go into details here, but an example is that it has been argued that Christianity would not be as widespread in Europe, and by extension North America if it was not for the fact that Emperor Constantine I of the Roman Empire choose to take the Christians under his wings about 1700 years ago and since spread Christianity around the world. This action made Christians go from being a rather small religion to being the official religion of the Rome, giving them funds and opportunities they couldn’t have dreamt of before. It was then the building of lavishly decorated, magnificent churches began in Europe. At that time the Roman Empire covered the majority of Europe, all of Northern Africa and to the eastern most end of the Middle East. When on it’s largest, around year 100AD, it contained an area that today consists of over 40 different countries.

Rome is a paradise for those interested in art, history, food, wine, and for everyone else too for that matter. The city is full of attractions that can get most people to gape. The dimensions are larger than we are used to, it’s easy to get the feeling of being a midget in Giantville. Colosseum, Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant ‘Angelo, the places are huge and you can walk around in the same places as the ancient emperors and take in the same impressions. The only difference is that we do not decide over half the world, and that we must share impressions with

Inside Pantheon

hundreds of other tourists. But it’s worth it. Especially Pantheon is great for tourists, it’s open to all, no queues and no admission fee. It’s also very well conservated, you will actually be walking around on the same tiles they did almost 1900 years ago. Another fun fact is that the Pantheons height is exactly the same as the diameter, 43,30 metres. The Colosseum is known as the ‘icon’ of Rome and usually the first thing people hear about when Rome is the topic. A grotesque, but interesting fact is that during the 100 days long opening games in year 80AD, 2000 gladiators and 9000 animals were killed. Even though these games were very brutal, the Romans also were passionate about more harmless sports. You can still see the remnants of that passion today. The ruins of Circus Maximus are today surrounded by a park, but you can still see the enourmos size of the former chariot racing stadium. It dates back to the sixt century BC and held about 150.000 spectators, making it the largest circus in the roman empire. It would actually still be one of the largest stadiums in the world today.

When it comes to culinary adventures, the Italians make pizza and pasta better than anyone else. The Calzone is also well worth a taste. If budget is an issue, I would stear away from the main tourist sights when it’s time for lunch or dinner. Piazza Navona is perhaps the most expensive place to eat. A lunch there can cost more than twice as much as it would just a few minutes away. If you are at Rome should be in addition to the “mandatory” sights take a walk on the Tiber Island. The island is situated idyllically in the river and you will find a small kiosk selling gelato there, among the old buildings. Speaking of that, no trip to Rome is complete without gelato. Our favorite place is Frigidarium, delicious ice cream for a low price, with free topping of white or dark chocolate. Heavenly!

If you want to take a walk outside the city centre, you can take a trip to the big park just north of the downtown area where you will

Piazza Navona

find Villa Borghese and Villa Medici. The Medici’s are considered by many as the ‘Godparents’ of the Renaissance. In the park there is also a zoo and bike rental. Ideal for both children and adults. The park also has an astonishing panoramic views of the city. There are two places in Rome that’s known to be very romantic, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. And we have no trouble understanding why, they’re absolutely amazing locations. The only draw back are the crowds of tourists, but it’s easy to see why ‘everyone’ wants to visit the two sites. Magical atmosphere!
It’s hard to describe Rome in a short article like this, the city must be experienced. Nice people, good food and drink, culture, world-class and superb climate almost all year round!

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Follow these links for more information about Rome:

http://www.rome.info/

http://www.italyguides.it/us/roma/rome_italy_travel.htm

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/rome

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