What can I say about Tuscany, or what can be said about Tuscany that hasn’t been said already; it is the epitome of a romantic getaway. You’ll fall in love with the warm rolling hills full of vines, the olive trees, the warm-hearted people, the stone cobbled streets and the wine.
One of the most iconic landmarks in the world is the Colosseum of Rome. Even with all of the amazing buildings in Rome the Colosseum embodies the Roman Empire and culture better than any other. Walking the ancient corridors where gladiators fought their epic battles is definitely a bucket-list activity. We got our chance to step back into time and explore the arena with Viator on their Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour. In addition to the Colosseum we also toured the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the House of the Vestal Virgins.
The circus in ancient Rome was a site for public entertainment, and although they varied in size they were all shaped essentially the same – like a long, oval track. The largest circus in the Roman Empire was known as the Circus Maximus, or Circo Massimo in Italian, and you can still see its remains in Rome.
I resolved to go on the food tour of Rome’s Jewish area as well as the buzzing area of Trastevere (which literally means “across the Tiber,” the river that goes through the city).
Of Rome’s famous seven hills, perhaps none is more central to Rome’s story – let alone its geography – than the Palatine Hill. It is literally the central hill in the historic center of Rome, and the site for the city’s origin story.
We all know about St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in Christendom and headquarters of the Roman Catholic church. This massive church in Vatican City is clearly related to the pope – this is, after all, where he gives mass on a regular basis, and where the very first pope (St. Peter) is buried. But did you know there are three Papal Basilicas in Rome that are not in Vatican City?
In many Italian cities, the open spaces are just as worthy of your itinerary as the buildings and what’s inside them. Rome’s public squares are historic, beautiful, and often great for people-watching. In the case of the Piazza del Popolo, you’ll also be able to visit three churches without leaving the square.
Rome is a city built on seven hills, and while most of them are natural there’s one hill in the southern part of the historic city that’s man-made. This hill, the Monte Testaccio, gives its name to the historically gritty Testaccio neighborhood that’s more recently coming into its own as a tourist destination.
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The Villa Borghese and its expansive gardens were once the private home and property of Scipione Borghese – a cardinal, a pope’s nephew, and an avid art collector. The villa was built first, and Borghese later decided to expand what had been his private vineyard into a much larger formal garden. This became the Villa Borghese Gardens.