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From Ciampino Airport motorists should head for the city via the Greater Ring Road (GRA = the Grande Raccordo Anulare), the A90/E80 motorway that surrounds central Rome.
One would be hard pressed to name another city with so many tourist attractions. Rome simply takes one’s breath away. There are the ancient Roman foundations on the city’s famous seven hills Aventine, Capitoline, Caelian, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal Hill, from where visitors can enjoy some of the finest cityscape views anywhere in Europe.
There are the imposing Castel Sant’Angelo and the Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura and the Pantheon, the Palazzo del Quirinale, where the President of the Italian Republic resides and the Palazzo Venezia, the Palazzo Chigi, where the Italian Prime Minister has his official residence and the Piazza del Campidoglio, where just one of the thousands of Rome tourist attractions, the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Arelius, can be admired.
From the Colosseum to the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II or the Piazza del Popolo to the Palazzo Madama, where the Italian Senate is now at home, Rome tourist attractions range from ancient heritage to Romanesque, from Renaissance to Baroque, from neo-classical to ultra modern. Rome’s medieval heart is most prominently displayed in the 900 or so churches, temples and basilicas. Some of the finest examples include the Santa Maria Maggiore and San Paolo Fuori le Mura basilicas, both of which house 4th century mosaics and date back to the Paleochristian period.
Perhaps ranking as one of Rome’s, if not the world’s, most famous sights, the Trevi Fountain draws thousands of tourists every year. Made even more famous by the 1960s film La Dolce Vita and the “impromptu” bath one of its stars, namely the actress Anita Eckberg, had in the fountain, the Trevi Fountain also provided the backdrop for another famous film, the Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the 1950s.
At 26 metres (85.3 feet) height and 20 metres (65.6 feet) width, the Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. Marking one of the spots where an ancient Roman aqueduct once fed the population’s need for water, the fountain is lit up at night to the delight of tourists.
Rome Ciampino train station provides a link from the airport to the mainline train station and destinations within the city. Public transport is plentiful and buses typically run from 5.30 am onwards until midnight with some additional night services. The metro lines A and B are the central Rome’s main routes and bus lines 40N as well as 55N mimic their routes. Tram services also cover city centre highlights.
Rome tourist attractions naturally include Michelangelo’s famous painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and his stunning design of the Renaissance Piazza del Campidoglio. A visit to Vatican City on Mons Vaticanus, where St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace and the Sistine Chapel are located, is an absolute highlight on the itinerary of every visitor to Rome. At the Sistine Chapel, one of Rome’s most visited tourist attraction, the frescoed ceiling and walls were decorated by artists like Michelangelo, Botticelli and Perugino and Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement is simply awe-inspiring.
Often overlooked but worth a visit is the Palazzo Senatorio, which serves as Rome’ city Hall. The Palazzo is located on Capitoline Hill, the historic seat of Rome’s government. For a little spine tingling thrill, why not go underground to visit a Rome tourist attraction that’s certainly got an edge to it? The forty (or so far discovered) Catacombs of Rome run underneath the famous piazzas above and date back to the 2nd century. Their early Christian and Jewish art in the form of frescoes and sculptures dates back to around 400 AD, with many kilometres of tunnels displaying thousands of burials from several centuries.