Rome is a city of extremely reach history whit numerous monuments that testify about its ancient past. The eternal city was once considered the most developed city in the whole world because of the breathtaking places, colossal architectural achievements, aqueducts, fountains as well as developed politics, institutions etc. Rome and the ancient Roman Empire are considered to have laid the foundations for the creation of all of the modern western societies. Rome was also the cradle of the Catholic Church, which for centuries played a crucial role in the political life and in most unrests and conflicts on the European continent.
Nowadays, Rome is a modern city and the capital of Italy, with the population of 3 million (4.3 Metropolitan area). Even though Rome is a modern city, while walking down the streets of Rome, remember that in this city every stone has its own story and it is a part of history that in large part marked the human existence.
History of Rome
According to the legend, the city was founded by Romulus, the first king of Rome, around 753 BC. Afterwards, 7 kings ruled the city, when in 509BC Romans exiled the last king and declared it a Republic. Historically, this period is characterized by expansion of the republic that occupied the Italian peninsula (the conquest of Sicily, Sardinia, Spain, Macedonia, Greece, North Africa etc.), but also by political unrests and civil wars. Caesar was the first to interfere with the Republican society; he fought a civil war against the senate and won. Nevertheless, only his heir Augustus managed to establish the line of successors and the kind of monarchy (27AD). The Empire progressed for centuries, reached its peak and slowly began to decline. The 5th century saw the end of the Western Roman Empire, which for many historians marked the beginning of the Middle Ages.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Popes started beginning more and more powerful. Throughout the Middle Ages, there were three parties that tried to hold the power in the city: the Popes, the nobles and the people. This whole period was characterized by political unrest and fights in which these three forces tried to gain the universal power. Fights and unrests continued till the 15th century, when peace and progress began. This period marks the origins of Italian Renaissance in Rome, during which popes tried to build as much as possible in order to make Rome one of the cultural centers of the World.
Popes’ rule in Rome was interrupted in 1798 and 1848 by the formation of “short-lived” Republics. Since Rome was under French protection till 1870, the city was ruled by the Popes and was out of reach for the unified Kingdom of Italy. After French protection ceased, Italian troops were able to enter the city and conquer it, proclaiming it the capital of the Kingdom of Italy in 1871.
Did you know?
-According to the legend, Rome was founded by Romulus, the first ruler of Rome. The twins, Romulus and Remus, were the sons of Rhea and were conceived by the God of War (Mars). Rhea’s father Numitor, the ruler of Alba Longa, was overthrown by Amulius who left the twins to die next to a river. Miraculously, the river carried them to safety where they were discovered by a female wolf that fed them. Afterwards, when they discovered their true identity, they overthrew Amulius and went to found a new city, the city of Rome. This is the reason why visitor may see numerous symbols in the city that represent the figure of a female wolf.
-Rome is considered to be the birthplace of Baroque style. Since Popes were trying to make Rome a world cultural and architectural center from the 15th century onwards, they financed massive projects, therefore creating Rome one of important centers of Italian Renaissance and the birthplace of Baroque style.
-Ancient Rome occupied the largest territory under the imperator Trajan in the 2nd century AD. The occupied territory had an area of around 6.5 million km2 including North Africa, Middle East, Most of Europe and a part of the Great Britain.
-During the reign of Augusts (who ruled from 27 BC till 14 AD), the first Imperator of Rome, the population of the city was around 1 million, making it the largest city in the world. Just for comparison, 19th century London had the same population and at that time, London was the largest city in the World. Over time, the population fell to 50,000 people. It took centuries for Rome to regain 1 million residents, which happened only in the 1930s.
The city of canals and alleyways, numerous islands and bridges, the city of gondolas and wondrous vistas, jaw dropping architecture, postcard - perfect palaces, the city of the carnival and the masks, in a nut shell – a city one can fall in love with quite easily. All of these words seem to describe Venice as one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world. Venice offers loads to visitors: stunningly beautiful palaces and superb buildings that will take you on a trip through the rich history of this unique city, numerous canals to cross either on foot or by a gondola, a number of islands that still seem to stay hidden to most tourists, as well as a huge number of tourist sights and museums. As the saying goes, even the Venetians get lost in Venice.
The eternal city, a city of glorious past, a city of chequered history, the cradle of Roman Catholic Church - are just some attributes that distinguish Rome from other popular tourist destinations. Tourists will be able to take a peek at the beauty and glory of once the most important city in the world and to enjoy its more modern architectural marvels, mostly built by a number of different popes in quick or slow succession. Don’t just visit Colosseum and Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Rome has so much more to offer.
Ravenna is a city of history, numerous monuments that stand in silent testimony of its turbulent past as well as its fame and glory as the capital city of many an empire and kingdom. The main attractions of Ravenna are certainly its churches and mosaics that all date back to the 5th and 6th century and the early Christian societies in Europe. The scale and splendour of colorful Byzantine mosaics, their historical significance as well as monuments that date back to the Ostrogoths were even recognized by UNESCO who included eight sites in this small city on their World Heritage list. Ravenna is a city which lets its visitors to embark on a journey through history and especially through the history of Byzantine, from the civilization of which only but a faint remnant has survived throughout the world.
Milano is a city of fashion, a city fascinated with the idea of beauty, a city of stunningly beautiful Gothic architecture, a city of compelling culture, a city of the young, city of fabulous fairs and architectural accomplishments. All of these attributes seem to describe Milan, which is the business capital of Italy, which oozes its charm to its visitors in a matter of seconds. To a contemporary tourist Milan offers grand, awe inspiring buildings, a multitude of museums, riveting religious buildings, its culture as a mixture of the modern trends and the tradition that goes all the way back to the Roman Empire, glitz and glamour of its shopping malls and different nightlife zones that will appeal to the tastes of all visitors.
This is the page dedicated to Lake Garda on which you can find a complete tourist guide and suggestions about what to visit while planning your trip to the lake. Lake Garda is one of three great lakes in the northern Italy. Its lovely little towns on the shores of the lake draw an incredible number of tourists each year, who flock there for its mild and mellow climate, strolls on the lake shores, traditional Italian cuisine and of course to stand in awe before the heritage of this region laid bare for us to gaze at in a host of castles, wondrous villas and picturesque villages and dainty little towns.
The city of Pisa rises above the docks of Arno river. Pisa is one of the most important cities in Tuscany and it is well known in the world thanks to the city’s famous symbol, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We could say that Pisa is both, an ancient city, proud of it’s middle ages past, when Pisa was one of the leading naval force in Europe, and a modern city, full of positive energy that comes from its numerous students, as Pisa has three of the most important universities in Italy. Even if most famous monument in Pisa is the leaning Tower, it is not the only one in this city. Bell Tower of San Nicola Church and the church of San Michele of Scalzi are the other two leaning towers in Pisa.
With its gardens with a riot of colour, wonderful villas and splendid panoramic views Lake Como has become one of the most visited tourist places in Italy. The compellingly beautiful Lake Como seems to have enchanted artists and travelers for centuries: from famous Giuseppe Verdi and Vicenzo Bellini who apparently wrote his opera “Norma” here, to Gioacchino Rossini and a French writer Flaubert.
Lake Maggiore represents the most beautiful jewel of Piemonte region in Italy. Located between mountains and valleys, Lago Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy (after Lago di Garda), covering the surface of 212km². Almost 80% of the lake’s surface is located on Italian territory, between regions Piemonte and Lombardy, while the remaining 20% belongs to Switzerland. Here, you will have a chance to enjoy such artistic landscapes that everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. Between the emerald green vegetation and the shining blue sky stand numerous castles, sumptuous palaces and prestigious Italian gardens. These monuments testify about the link between the two noble families, which, for years, marked the history of the lake: families Visconti and Borromeo.
The city of Palermo was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians. They named the city Zyz, after a flower, dedicated to the beauty of this area surrounded by mountains and four rivers: Kemania, Oreto, Pannaria and Papireto. Later on, the Greeks tried several times to conquer the city, but all their attempts were thwarted. Finally, only the Romans succeeded to occupy Palermo, during the First Punic War in the 3rd century BC.
Florence is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany, a city of over 400 thousand inhabitants. This city is famous for its art, its priceless and unique art heritage, which includes cultural monuments of various styles, rich museums such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, as well as magnificent villas, most of which used to belong to the famous Florence Medici family.