Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hipmunk City Love: Rome's Can't-Miss Sites

Rome is a beautiful city filled with wonderful historical buildings, museums, and a history waiting to be explored. When planning a trip to Rome, be sure to add these spots to your to-do list.

Colosseum

Image via Flickr by _Pek_
You can’t visit Rome and not see the Colosseum. This historical landmark looks back into ancient Roman times when the best gladiators fought not only one another but great beasts, as well. It was an event put on by the Roman emperors that everyone wanted to be a part of - except maybe the gladiators. Today, the Colosseum is a beautiful architectural building that displays the best of Roman history and culture. The top tier and the hypogeum, the underground chambers and passageways beneath the arena floor, are open for public viewing via a guided tour. Make sure to add this to the top of your to-do list. You’ll have a perfect view of the Colosseum from your room at Radisson Blu es. Hotel, Roma.

Vatican Museums

Displaying one of the world’s greatest art collections, the Vatican Museums display exhibits along four miles of halls and corridors. Collections include Egyptian mummies, ancient busts, old masters, and modern paintings. The decorated rooms and galleries of the Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano house the museums. The complex consists of two palaces - the Vatican Palace and the Belvedere Palace. Two long galleries join the palaces. Three courtyards lay inside: the Cortile della Pigna, the Cortile della Biblioteca and, to the south, the Cortile del Belvedere. The Vatican Museums cannot be covered in just one day. You’ll want to plan your excursion wisely and perhaps add a few visits to your itinerary. The Grand Hotel Tiberio is in close proximity to the Museums, making multiple visits more convenient.

Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is the site of the Papal Conclave, the process in which a new Pope is selected. Although this ceremony fills the courtyard with tourists and residents alike waiting for the smoke to appear, the Sistine Chapel is visited regularly for what’s inside: a beautiful collection of frescoes, including Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement and, of course, The Creation of Adam, the world-famous painting on the ceiling of the Chapel. In total, there are 47 individual sections in the ceiling. The walls of the Chapel are lined with 43 individual paintings. Collections include Stories of Moses, Stories of Jesus, Resurrection of Christ, and Disputation Over the Body of Moses.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Italy’s most spectacular cathedral is St. Peter’s Basilica. It was built on top of a fourth-century church, and it took 150 years to construct. Many spectacular works of art are housed inside, including Italy’s three most celebrated masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pieta, the soaring dome, and Bernini’s baldachin. The interior is more than 613 feet long and contains many artistic masterpieces. The dome is 385 feet high. The Basilica receives 20,000 visitors a day, so be sure to check when peak visiting hours are, and plan accordingly.
These four spectacular buildings are a must-see on your trip to Rome. They will give you the best cultural and historical feel of the city and make your visit complete.