For twenty-eight centuries, the capital of Italy has extended its cultural and political influence over the Mediterranean. To run in Rome is to wander through nearly three millennia of architecture. You will discover its magnificently preserved ancient vestiges, alongside baroque monuments and beautiful plazas, since Rome is the home of the Italian Renaissance.
"He who has seen it has seen everything," said
Goethe, the famous German poet, of the Italian capital. Founded, according to legend, in 753 B.C., Rome is one of the few mega-cities that has been continuously inhabited for nearly three millennia. It has one of the largest preserved ancient cities in the world.
During your visit to Rome, you will discover a true architectural museum in the open air.
The Palatin Hill
The Colosseum stands in its center, not far from the Tiber. From there, despite the electric atmosphere that reigns in the city until nightfall, the impression of serenity left by the countless ancient monuments will accompany you during your run. From the Circus Maximus and the Baths of Caracalla to the Temple of Apollo on Mount Palatine, you will find unforgettable views and splendid buildings. You will discover the remains of the Domus Aurea, the palace from which Nero watched the capital burn. But also the house of the Vestals, these sacred priestesses who took a vow of chastity. Legend has it that one of them, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the future founder of Rome.
Finally, you can't miss the Pantheon, a building dating back to the first century AD, which supports the largest dome in antiquity. This one, which is almost 45 meters in diameter, has the particularity of being the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. An engineering marvel that has, despite telluric movements and armed conflicts, survived the centuries.
Built on the eponymous hill, the city-state of the Vatican took the name of an ancient Etruscan city, Vaticum. St. Peter's Basilica is built on the site of the cemetery where St. Peter was buried. The Vatican Hill is not one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome.
In fact, it was only included in the city limits of Rome during the reign of Pope Leo VI, who enlarged the walls of the Leonine City in the 9th century in order to protect it from Muslim incursions.
During your walk in Rome, you can cross St. Peter's square and visit the basilica for free. If you go there on Sunday at noon, you should know that the pope offers his blessing there every week. So you might run into a crowd... In addition, there are several museums in the Vatican itself, which house many works of art and archaeological remains. For example, the Holy See has a complete Egyptian collection, with steles, canopic vases and mummies.
From the Renaissance to the Baroque
Rome was a major cultural center during the Renaissance, and commissions from the popes attracted many artists to the city. Michelangelo created the Capitoline square, which includes the Palazzo Senatorio, the seat of government of the city. But also the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The painter even included pagan references in the decor, despite the provenance of his funds!
Baroque art was also born in Rome in the 17th century. As a result, large theatrical squares, adorned with fountains or obelisks, dot the city. The most famous is probably Piazza Navona, located near the Pantheon. Based on the ruins of an ancient stadium, it retains its shape. You will admire three majestic fountains, including that of the Four Rivers, which represents the four parts of the world known in the 17th century.
The famous Trevi Fountain is also representative of this trend, once again propelled by the will of successive popes who called upon the most talented artists in Italy to embellish the city. Later, during the Mussolini era, many neoclassical buildings were added to the rich Roman panorama.
Beyond its architecture, Rome is a city in constant turmoil. One of the world's film capitals, with its own complex of film studios, it is also the motherland of sacred music, and has one of the most important music complexes in the world. For this reason, almost every month, several festivals or competitions animate the city. In February the Carnival is held, on April 21 the birth of the city is celebrated...
Therefore, no matter when you visit Rome, you will be enchanted.
Discover the monuments of the Eternal City on the run!