Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO with 51 sites plus 2 of Vatican City situated within Rome, followed by China (50), Spain (45), France (42), Germany (41), India (35) and Mexico (34).
Even if Rome today is facing a decadent period where political crisis are commonplace from the point of view of the tourism it remains an authentic Italian gem thanks to its vast heritage built in centuries. Rome’s history spans more than two and a half thousand years. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at only around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. Firstly, center of the Roman Empire and later, from the 4th century, of the Christian world is home to a large number of major monuments of antiquity.
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Mausoleum of Hadrian
Initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family, was erected between 134 and 139 AD. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The Castle was once the tallest building in Rome.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” (Latin: Santa Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda”. The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. The site was built in Old Kingdom era and is now a public park.
The massive stone amphitheater known as the Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the magnificent arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains a popular tourist destination, as well as an iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.