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Rome maps & Attractions - Things to do in Rome


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Rome Attractions - Things to do

1. Capitoline Hill
What is it? Capitoline Hill was the original capitol of the ancient city and continues to serve as the seat of the city's government. The main feature of the area is Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio, a testimony to the superiority of Renaissance town planning. The piazza is bordered by three palaces: the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the twin structures of the Palazzo dei Senatori and Palazzo Nuovo which house the Musei Capitolini, containing the largest collection of classical statues in the world. Among the notable statues found here are the Dying Gaul and the Satyr, the Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus and the Spinario. Paths cut along the side of the hill from the Campidoglio giving way to panoramic views of the ancient sites of the Forum and Colosseum. Hours of Operation: Museums open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 8pm Phone:
2. Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
Via dei Fori Imperiali
What is it? The site of ancient Rome's commercial, political and religious centre retires in the valley between the Capitoline and Palatine hills. The Forum's main thoroughfare, Via Sacra, slices through the old market square and former civic centre. To make sense of the ruins and relics of the old Republic it is helpful to consult a map of the area. Some of the best preserved and most notable monuments include the impressive Arch of Septimus Severus - a construction designed to celebrate Roman victory over the Parthinians - and the former atrium of the House of the Vestal Virgins and Temple of Vesta. Also of note are the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, and the Arch of Titus, built to celebrate Titus' destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. To the right of the arch are stairs snaking up the Palatine hill through a series of terraces to the Farnese gardens. The scented avenue festooned with roses and orange trees gives way to a vista over the Forum. Hours of Operation: Daily 9am to 7.30pm (April to September) and 9am to 4.30pm (October to March) Phone:(06) 3996 7700
3. The Colosseum
Piazza del Colosseo
What is it? This enduring symbol of ancient Rome tenaciously clings to its foundations as the site of former gladiatorial conquests. Its architecture boasts an impressive array of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns and an underground network of cells, corridors, ramps and elevators that were used to transport animals from their cages to the arena. The magnificence of the original structure has been eroded through the years of pillaging and earthquakes so that only a skeletal framework remains. Hours of Operation: 8.30am to 7.30pm (April to August), 8.30am to 7pm (September), 8.30am to 6.30pm (October), 8.30am to 4.30pm (November to 15 February), 8.30am to 5pm (16 February to 15 March), 8.30am to 5.30pm (16 March to end March) Phone:(06) 700 4261
4. Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda
What is it? The stately Pantheon is one of the world's most inspiring architectural designs. Fittingly built as a temple to the Gods by Hadrian in 120AD, its perfectly proportioned floating dome rests seductively on sturdy marble columns. The only light source flowing through the central oculus was used by the Romans to measure time (with the aid of a sundial) and the dates of equinoxes and solstices. The south transept houses the Carafa Chapel and the tomb of Fra Angelico rests under the left side of the altar. Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday between 8.30am and 7.30pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm Phone:(06) 6830 0230
5. The Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna

What is it? The graceful steps built in 1725, elegantly curve their way from the Piazza di Spagna to the Church of Santa Trinit dei Monti, a pastel tinted neoclassical building. The shopper's paradise of Via Condotti leads back from the Spanish steps to Via del Corso, and during spring the steps are decorated with pink azaleas. At the foot of the steps lies Bernini's boat-shaped Barcaccia fountain and to the right is the unassuming Keats-Shelley Memorial House. Hours of Operation: Phone:
6. Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

What is it? The tiny Piazza di Trevi has been immortalised through this fountain built for Pope Clement XII. The statues adorning this watery display represent Abundance, Agrippa, Salubrity, the Virgin and Neptune guided by two tritons. Tossing a coin into the fountain is supposed to guarantee a return trip to Rome. Hours of Operation: Phone:
7. St Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
Piazza San Pietro
What is it? The Basilica lies above the reputed site of St. Peter's tomb. It is an overwhelming interior containing notable sculptures including Michelangelo's Pieta, which is protected by bullet-proof glass since the damaging attack on it in 1972. In the central aisle stands Arnolfo da Cambio's bronze statue of St Peter, its foot worn down by the constant flow of pilgrims' kisses. Proudly resting above the papal altar is Bernini's Throne of St Peter. The Vatican Grottoes, containing papal tombs, can be reached by steps from the statue of St Longinus. The Necropolis is located one level below the grottoes. This is the legendary site of St Peter's tomb and advance permission has to be obtained to view it. A strict dress code is in place for the Basilica and no shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts are allowed (for men and women). Hours of Operation: Daily between 7am and 7pm (April to September) and 7am to 6pm (October to March). Dome: 8am to 6pm (until 5pm in winter). Necropolis: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm Phone:(06) 6988 1662
8. The Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums
Viale Vaticano
What is it? The Sistine Chapel's famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo looms above the frescoes on the side walls that were painted by an illustrious team of artists that included Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Roselli, Pinturicchio, Signorelli and della Gatta. The altar wall is covered by Michelangelo's Last Supper, revealing the figure of Christ hovering above centre and flanked by Mary and other saintly figures. The Vatican Museums provide an inspiring visit to one of the world's greatest collections of art. The galleries stretch over four miles (6km) and include the magnificent Raphael rooms, the Etruscan Museum and the Pio-Clementino Museum, which boasts the world's largest collection of Classical statues. Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm, Saturday 8.45am to 1.45pm (8 March to 29 October and 27 December to 6 January); daily 8.45am to 1.45pm, last entry at 12.20pm (7 January to 6 March and 2 November to 24 December) Phone:(06) 6988 4947

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Transport -The historic centre of Rome is compact and manageable on foot and most of it is closed to normal traffic.


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