Rome: “The Eternal City” and Vatican City
Rome: Birthplace of Western Civilization
Rome is one of the world’s most recognizable and remarkable cities in the world. Home to the Roman Republic that became one of, if not, the most famous empires in the history of mankind this city was at the center of Western civilization for over a millennium. For nearly 2,000 years it has also been the home of the Papacy, one of the most populous and influential churches on earth. Currently, Rome is amongst the most visited cities in the world.
Ancient Rome is one of the highlights that captivates visitors. The incomparable Roman Colosseum is one of the most recognizable, and oldest, man-made structures on the planet. Neighboring the Colosseum is the Roman Forum and its Seven Hills overlooking what was the the center-point of civilization – governing, economics, philosophy and arts – for centuries. Excavation efforts are continual in this area and city as we continue to uncover the history that has contributed to who we are today. Other architectural marvels include the engineering masterpiece that is the Pantheon dating back to the 1st century, Trajan’s Column, imposing Castel Sant’Angelo, Trevi Fountain and countless other sites.
Other beautiful highlights allowing citizens of Rome and visitors alike to enjoy the beauty and ambiance of Italy include Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna (The Spanish Steps), Piazza Venezia and Villa Borghese. Walking the streets of Rome one will marvel and be awed at its inspiring sense of history.
Located within the city of Rome is Vatican City, established in 1929 as a separate state and the smallest independent state in the world. The Bishop of Rome – also the Pope – rules Vatican City where the highest functionaries of the expansive Catholic church conduct their governing and business. The Papacy has been located on these grounds since leaving Avignon in 1377.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. By Catholic tradition, Saint Peter, disciple to Jesus and the first Pope and Bishop of Rome, is buried beneath the alter. Though there has been a church on these grounds since the 4th century, St Peter’s was completed in November 1626 after construction had started in April 1506.
St. Peter’s and the adjoining Vatican Museums host some of the most significant art in the world including the renowned Sistine Chapel. St. Peter’s Square hosts significant social gatherings numerous times every year.