A sovereign state since February 1929 and ruled by the Pope, this is the center of power for Catholics all around the world. In this state within a state you will find sights such as St. Peter’s Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and Castel Sant’ Angelo.
St. Peter’s Catholic Church
This is the center of the Roman Catholic faith, drawing pilgrims from all around the world. The dome designed by Michelangelo, though not finished in his lifetime, measures 435 feet high and gives a spectacular view of the square below. On special religious occasions, the Pope may appear on the balcony to bless the crowd.
This is the main chapel in the Vatican Palace. The frescoed paintings, which adorn the walls, were painted by some of the greatest artists of the 15 th and 16 th centuries including Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Perugino. The ceiling of this chapel was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 and includes his work ” The Creation Of Adam “. Michelangelo ‘s last work ” The Last Judgement ” completed in 1541 is the great fresco wall behind the altar.
Raphael was chosen by Pope Julius II to redecorate his private apartments. Raphael and his pupils painted over works done by better – known artist. His creations heightened his reputation as one of Rome ‘s great artists. The work took over 16 years, and Raphael himself died prior to its completion.
Castel Sant Angelo
This fortress began in AD 139 as Emperor Hadrian ‘s mausoleum. It has since been used as a citadel and prison. It has also been used as a residence of the popes in times of political unrest. It is now a museum with military relics and art works.
Commissioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian, this was once Rome ‘s greatest amphitheater. The Emperor along with wealthy citizens once staged deadly gladiator combats and wild animal fights here.
This was the center of public life in Rome and is now the ruins of temples, basilicas and more, including the Arch of Septimius Severus, the temples of Saturn, Castor, and Pollux. The temple of Caesar, which was erected at the spot where Caesar was cremated, and a reconstruction of the Curia which has been built on the site of the chamber of the # Roman Senate. Excavation of this area still continues.
Palazzo dei Conservatori
Located across from the Palazzo Nuovo, this was the former seat of the magistrates during the late Middle Ages. Its halls are still occasionally used for political meetings. The ground floor is now a municipal registry office. The museum houses mostly sculptures on the first floor and art galleries on the second floor. Some of the works here are She-Wolf, Spinario, and St. John the Baptist painted by Caravaggio.
This museum, located on Capitoline Hill across from the Palazzo dei Conservatori, is devoted mainly to sculptures. The facade of the building was designed by Michelangelo as part of the Piazza del Campidoglio renovation. Here you will find works of art such as Discobolus, Marcus Aurelius, and Dying Galatian.
This church is famous for its domed interior. The rotunda ‘s height and diameter are equal to 140 feet. The opening at the top of the dome provides the only light. Inside you will find the tomb of the artist Raphael.
Built between 1720-1726, these magnificent steps combine straight lines, curves and terraces creating one of Rome ‘s most distinctive landmarks. The steps lead up to the church of Trinita dei Monti.
Designed by Nicola Salvi, this grand fountain was completed in 1762. The central figure Neptune is flanked by two tritons; one trying to tame an unruly seahorse and the other leads a docile animal, thus depicting the two contrasting moods of the sea. It ‘s said that if you throw a coin into this fountain it guarantees your return to Rome.
Fontana dei Fiumi
Fountain of the Rivers unveiled in 1651. Each of the four figures in this fountain represents the four then known rivers. The Ganges, the Plate, the Danube, and the Nile.
Fontana delle Naiadi
Fountain of the nymphs. Opening in 1901, this sensual bronze fountain was the cause of great scandal.
Fontana delle Tartarughe
This Renaissance sculpture is one of Rome ‘s more secret fountains showing youths helping tortoises into a basin.
Galleria Doria Pamphilj
On the ground floor of this gallery are sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece as well as early masterpieces of Bernini, such as his David.
Obelisk of Piazza San Giovanni
This is the oldest obelisk in Rome and dates back to the 15. It was brought to Rome in AD 357 on the orders of Constantine II.
Obelisk of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
This Egyptian obelisk dates back to the 6. It is held up by a marble sculpted elephant by Bernini.
Museum housing art works mainly from the 13 th to the 16.
In this gallery there are works by Caravaggio, Rubens and Van Dyck. Also here is a rare portrait of the sculptor Bernini painted by Baciccia between 1639-1709.
Piazza della Bocca della Verita Fountain
18 fountain with two Tritons holding a large shell. It was built by Carlo Bizzaccheri for Pope Clement XI.
This beautiful Renaissance villa is home to many Etruscan treasures from the early history of Rome.