Celebrating 50 Years | 1967 - 2017
Escorted Tours & Cruise Vacations

Rome lives up to the hype

September 6, 2011 - 2:25am
Rome lives up to the hype
Once home to one of the greatest civilizations in history, Rome has become a staple on any cruise to Italy. The influences of the Roman Empire are visible around every corner, making the Italian capital one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

It's almost impossible to discuss Rome without turning one's attention toward the remains of ancient architecture. Not only does ancient history have a significant influence on the buildings of today, but much of it is still present throughout the city. Nowhere is this truer than at the Roman Forum. Located in the center of the city, this large collection of ruins offers a look into a centuries-old civilization.

At the western end of the Roman Forum is the Temple of Saturn. Although time and wear have left nothing but several pillars standing, the temple remains one of the best representations of Roman architecture. Built in 497 BC, the temple served a dual purpose by acting as a place to pay tribute to Saturn as well as a treasury for the republic.

The Roman Forum is certainly a highlight of any visit to Rome, but the Colosseum may be the most well-known landmark. The immense building attracts around 4 million visitors each year, and stands as a testament to the innovation of the Roman civilization. Completed in 80 AD, the amphitheatre was able to hold 50,000 spectators and hosted everything from gladiatorial events to simulated sea battles.

Though it is flush with ancient history and landmarks, Rome is also well-known for its numerous museums. In particular, the Vatican Museums are some of the most popular destinations for visitors. Established in 1506 by Pope Julius II, the museums are visited by more than 4 million people each year and house some of the most important works in art history, including the Stefaneschi Triptych, Raphael's Madonna of Foligno and Da Vinci's St. Jerome in the Wilderness.

Rome also benefits from having a large array of parks for tourists to visit, including the Villa Borghese gardens. Constructed in the early 17th century, the 148-acre park includes a number of places of interest, such as its water clock and the Temple of Aesculapius.