Rome Map - Rome visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Rome Map' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Roma.
The Rome Map - High quality 360° panoramas of the sights and attraction in Rome linked to an interactive map. Zoom in the Google map, change to satellite images of Rome, explore this famous city on this interactive virtual tour of Rome. Each panoramic photograph is accompanied with a local description and there may be other reviews and comments.
Welcome to Rome
Rome is steeped in history as almost no other City. From here the Roman Empire controlled vast expanses of the earth for hundreds of years, built huge monuments like the Colosseum (Coliseum), Circus Maximus and large public squares and forums (like the Roman Forum). Here early Christians hid in catacombs during various persecutions under the Roman Emperors. Rome was burnt down by Emperor Nero in a fit of madness. After the reign of Constantine, Rome subsequently became, and remains, the focal point for the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican with St. Peter's Basilica. What follows is a brief description of the various areas featured.
The Vatican, St.Peter's.
The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world, and one of the most visited places on earth. It forms the seat of power for the Roman Catholic Church. Central to the area is St. Peter's Basilica. St. Peter's is approached from the Via della Conciliazione, through the Piazza Pio XII and then the Piazza S. Pietro (St. Peter's Square). This latter square, designed by Bernini, is so designed that the Pope is visible from both the loggia and the window of his private apartment to the crowds gathered below.
The approach to St. Peter's is impressive, and purposely designed so, to remind the visitor of the status of this church in the Roman Catholic world. The visitor passes through security checks and along the colonnades of St. Peter's Square up the staircase at the end to the façade in front of the Basilica, which is topped by statues of all the Apostles and John the Baptist with Christ at the centre. Today the Basilica is almost as much a museum as a church - there are over 400 statues and artifacts installed at various locations inside. The building contains 50 chapels and is so well proportioned that it is easy to forget its immense size. Some of the highlights include the Chapel of the Crucifix, Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, Monument to Gregory XIII and the Throne of St. Peter.
The Basilica is topped by a huge dome. Each of the 4 pillars supporting it are about 71m in perimeter, and hung with artifacts representing the 4 Evangelists who wrote the Gospels. The dome is decorated with beautiful mosaics. Unfortunately, the view of the Basilica from the interior of the Dome is marred by a fine wire fence. From the Cupola at the top of the dome outside you get fantastic views over St. Peter's Square and the rest of both the Vatican and Rome.
The Vatican was linked to the Castel Sant'Angelo to provide a fortress for the armies of the Pope in times of trouble. The fortress now is open to the public as a museum and contains large numbers of frescos and other artifacts worth seeing. From the roof of the Castel is another inspiring view of Rome.
Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums
The Sistine Chapel is accessed via the Vatican Museums, whose entrance lies a quarter of mile away. Both the Sistine Chapel and the Museums are worth a visit in their own right. Opening times vary, but the huge number of artifacts in the Vatican Museum collections would take months to view properly. Most people skim past them and head for the Sistine Chapel itself to view the paintings and frescos created by the likes of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Signorelli. The most famous of these include the ceiling frescos on the origin of Man, the World and Evil, and the Last Judgment. The frescos on the side walls include scenes from the life of Moses, the Exodus from Egypt and travels through the wilderness on the left, and various scenes from the life of Jesus Christ on the right.
Roman Forum, Coliseum, Paltine Hill and More
Rome is full of ancient ruins, none more famous than the Coliseum (also called the Colosseum). The Coliseum was built by the Flavians, with work starting in AD72 and finishing in AD82. The inauguration of Titus in AD80 saw over 5000 wild animals and 2000 gladiators slain in during a 100 day festival. In the Middle Ages, the stones of the Coliseum were plundered for other buildings. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level. From these a vast canopy could be extended to cover the whole amphitheatre if needed. It was used for the re-enactment of famous Roman battles.
(The most common spelling is "Colosseum", but search will quickly show that it seems that no two places spell it the same. Other common variants include 'Coloseum, Colisseum, Colliseum, Colleseum, Colossium and Colissium'. However it is spelt, the intention is the same.)
To the south of the forum lies Palatine Hill (il Palatino). The area became a home to the Roman ruling class during the Republic. Caesar Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, lived here. Entrance to this area is via the Clivus Palatinus to the right of the Arch of Titus. Aside from offering fantastic views over the Forum, il Palatino is also home of the Casa di Livia, Domus Augustana and a large Stadio (Stadium of Domitian). The hill backs onto the Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus).
Pantheon, Font di Trevi, Piazza Navona.
The Pantheon is arguably the most beautiful and best preserved of Rome's ancient monuments. Built by Agrippa between 27-25BC and then restored by Domitian after the fire in 80AD. In 609 Pope Boniface IV converted the temple into a church. Pope Urban VIII plundered the Pantheon in the 17th century to provide Bernini with some of the building materials for the baldachin at St. Peter's. - giving rise to the comment 'What the barbarians failed to do the Barberini have done'.
Nearby is the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) named for the 3 streets (tre vie) which meet in front of it. In the other direction is the Piazza Navona, one of the most famous squares in the world. Here is located the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, whose 4 statues represent 4 great rivers of 4 continents (Danube for Europe, Rio de la Plata for America, Ganges for Asia and the Nile for Africa). The piazza also contains a statue of Neptune in another fountain at one of the ends.
Churches of Rome.
Rome has nearly 1000 different churches. Many are fabulously and ostentatiously decorated. A small sample of some of the better known buildings are featured on this tour. These include various churches of S. Maria as well as S. Maria Maggiore and S. Maria degli Angeli (on the Piazza de Repubblica). We have also covered the Church of the Gesù, S. Giovanni in Laterano, S. Maria della Vittoria and S Susanna. The full list of churches in Rome can be found in our Roman Location Index.
Rome - Hotels and Flights
Some travel tips for visiting Rome:
There are hundreds of hotels in Rome suitable for all budgets and tastes from budget hotels, through to high end luxury hotels with all the services you could wish for.
Numerous companies offer cheap holidays to Rome while others offer simply flights to Rome, landing at one of two airports near Rome.
Apartments offer many advantages over hotels. You can cook for yourself, mingle with the locals and relax in your own private corner of the city. So why not consider a Rome apartment on your next visit?
Panoramicearth.com would like to thank William J. 'Bill' McCalpin of second-language.com for his help in editing this page.
Rome Tourist Information Centre Via Parigi 11 00185 Rome Phone: 0039 06 48 89 91 Email: [email protected]
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Flight: Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Giovan Battista Pastine Airport (in Ciampino) Trains: National and International trains from Roma Termini Station. Car: As is said, 'all roads lead to Rome' and this is never truer than when in Italy (eventually).