Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna, Rome

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Piazza di Spagna is a beautiful square in Rome, the square is home to Pietro Bernini’s striking fountain. But the square is best known for the Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps consist of 135 wide steps, which lead you from Piazza di Spagna to the Trinita dei Monti church.

You may think that the Spanish Steps were created by the Spanish but it was commissioned by the French. When the steps were built in the 18th century, a Spanish Embassy was located here. Hence the name: Spanish Steps. Rome’s Spanish Steps are not that old compared to most other sights in Rome. But once at the top of the steps, you have a great view of the city of Rome. It is definitely worth a visit!  

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Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo (Angel Castle), Rome

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The Castle of the Angels (Castel Sant’Angelo) is an ancient Roman fortress near Vatican City. The fortress was built as early as the second century AD, but was not given the name Angel Castle until 590. In that year, Archangel Michael appeared and ended the plague epidemic, after which Pope Pius II had a large bronze statue of Archangel Michael placed at the top of the castle.

Later, the Castel Sant’Angelo was part of Rome’s defence line and was where the popes could take refuge, as there was an underground tunnel running between the Vatican and the Castle of the Angels.

Today, this fortress serves as a museum and most of the mausoleum’s urns were once destroyed by outside attacks. From the Castel Sant’Angelo you have the best view of the castle and the bridge with beautiful works of art. It is also possible to see the Angel Castle inside. Inside, you will find Hadrian’s tomb, the papal chambers, the fortress, the execution site and well-preserved frescoes and more.

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St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

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St Peter’s Basilica, officially ‘Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano’ is the spiritual centre of the Catholic Church and the residence of the Pope. The huge basilica, located in the self-governing state of Vatican City is on St Peter’s Square of the same name and is the second largest church in the world. You can see this extraordinary building from several places in Rome. But the very best place to see St Peter’s is through a secret keyhole. For that, you have to go to the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. To see this unique view, you might have to wait a few minutes – it’s not really a secret tip anymore – but it’s well worth it.

St Peter’s Basilica is incredibly impressive, both inside and out. Once you have seen St Peter’s Basilica inside, it is fun to go to the dome of the church. On the right side of the basilica, you can enter this dome. To get here, you first have to take a lift and then climb 323 extra steps. Once at the top, you immediately forget about the climb, as it is truly impressive!

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Pantheon, Rome

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One of the best-preserved ancient buildings from Roman times is the Pantheon. This former Roman church is hidden between the buildings of a residential area and is special because of funerary monuments (including painter Raphael and several Italian kings), a striking large and open dome (oculus). The oculus, is located in the centre of the Pantheon, it is an opening that makes the structure resistant to earthquakes. Standing exactly under this opening, it is also a place that connects heaven and earth for the faithful.

Do not hesitate to take a look inside, the visit is free and inside you can admire the huge dome (mentioned above) and the oculus that gives the courtyard a unique illumination. In the Pantheon, you can also see the tombs of Raphael (the famous artist) and of Victor Emanuel II (1st king of Italy). During your city break in Rome, this should definitely not be missing from your to do list!

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Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain, Rome

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The Trevi Fountain, right in the centre of Rome is perhaps the most famous fountain in the world and designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and several others. This Baroque fountain, located in Piazza di Trevi, is 26 metres high, 22 metres wide and was built in the 18th century. The fountain depicts Neptune (god of the sea) on his chariot towards the sea.

For the superstitious, there are two legends:

Legend 1: It is tradition to toss a coin into the water with your right hand over your left shoulder. This is supposed to bring good luck and ensure that one day you will return to Rome.
If you throw in two coins, you will return one day and find the love of your life in Rome.
If you throw in three coins, you will marry a Roman.

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Colosseum, Rome

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The must-see of Rome is The Colosseum, located in the historic centre. The Colosseum, is the largest amphitheatre in the Roman world and could seat more than 50,000 spectators. The Colosseum regularly hosted theatrical performances of gold or gladiators battling each other and wild animals. The structure no longer looks as it did in its heyday, but that doesn’t make the piece of history any less impressive. The Colosseum is on the list of the seven wonders of the world.

Through the large gate, where the gladiators also made their entrance, you can visit the stands, arena and underground areas of this largest amphitheatre of Roman times. It is very impressive to visit this structure.

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