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Rome
Rome
Even if nowadays not all roads lead to Rome, it is still the poster for the good life. Here there is a perfect combination between the ancient world, its ruins, its impressive antiquities, incredible archeology, and a modern, vibrant, fashionable and tasteful city. There are narrow alleyways and broad avenues in this city, beautiful squares, magnificent churches and fantastic houses, alongside amazing ancient sites, museums full of artifacts and many wonderful monuments.

In Rome there are fascinating combinations between an ancient and more recent history, and a rhythm of contemporary life. From here the Roman emperors ruled the entire ancient world. Here Christianity was persecuted until the emperor turned it into the religion of the empire and persecuted all who did not accept it. Here the Pope acted and controlled the entire Catholic world. Here the dictator Mussolini spoke and tried to establish a new empire and ended up hanging in the streets like a fool.

However Rome is also Italy of the Renaissance and the Baroque, of the sublime art of Raphael and Michelangelo. Rome experienced in real time the inventions and discoveries of Leonardo de Vinci, one of the geniuses of mankind. In Rome, high-quality cinema was born, created by an Italian neo-realism. About cinema, "La Dolce Vita," the sweet life, is in Rome. In the city where the heart grew, also grew the pizza, the Italian ice cream, the pasta, the sounds of the Italian opera, the Italian design and fashion, the beautiful and incredibly fast cars of Italy, the handsome young men and of course the Italian women, from the abundant "mamas" that adorn you from delicacies to the beautiful women, who are dressed in the best of fashion and walk around soaring high above.

Rome is a cheeky and provocative candy. Visit to enjoy it!



#Accommodation
Staying around the Trevi Fountain and Via del Corso are mainly popular, comfortable and fun.



#Must See
Want to see the most popular destinations? - Click on the tag "Must see in Rome".



#With children
A trip for the whole family? - Click on the tag "Attractions for children in Rome".


#Food
There is no doubt that in Rome the pasta and pizza will be key players on your tables, especially if you are with children, but not necessarily. It is worth remembering the excellent Italian ice cream, which many consider the best in the world. As for coffee, of course, in Rome there is Italian coffee - definitely from the top line in the world. So enjoy your meals and check out the tag "Must eat in Rome".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS-QfEfRnGo


#Shopping

The best time to shop in Rome is during the SALDI seasons (sales). There begin in Italy around January until February. Of course the easiest to get to are the summer sales that go on for most of August.

Do your shopping in the expensive Via Veneto, or the elegant and expensive Via di Condotti that connects the Spanish Steps to the Via del Corso. Here are much more reasonable prices for Italian designers and famous brands like Benetton, Sisley, Zara, and Pull and Bear.

Continue from here, through the Piaza del Popolo, to Via Cola di Rancho, near the Vatican. Here you can continue your shopping, with excellent brands and designers. Other streets around Piaza del Popolo are Via del Babuino and Via di Ripetta.

Italian fashion in reasonable prices you can find at Viale Marconi, in a simple neighborhood, a little far away from the city center.

With the best designer stock, leading brands and big discounts, Teichner Outlet is one of the best known stores in Rome. Every day from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm, 4 floors will wait for you with unbelievable prices, brands like GUESS, Armani, Patricia Pepe. The address is Via Appia Nuova 2.


#Saving
In the Penny Market chain spread throughout Italy prices are cheap. Even the supermarket chain commonly used, Coop, prices are not expensive.

If you came for some serious shopping, try getting to the big outlets outside the city, where you will find much cheaper prices.

Be careful of pickpockets in the city market.


#Tip
In Italian restaurants and cafés, there is no need to add tip to a check, since is already included in the price (servizio include).


#Entertainment
You will want to spend the evenings in Rome's entertainment district, the Trastevere district across the Tiber river.


#Interests
Interested in certain things? - Click on the tag "Interests".


#Italy Country Code
+39


#Shopping
See link below for recommendations.


#Entertainment and Clubs
To drink? - In the San Lorenzo district next to the university, you can enjoy along with some students, bars and clubs that are young and inexpensive. Marmo is one of the popular bars here and you can meet many local young people and students.
Piazzale del Verano 71.

Dancing? - The former workers' suburb, the Via del Pignetto, has recently become Rome's unofficial hipster stronghold. Apart from many restaurants, there are popular bars and concert halls. At the Fanfulla Club you will find good DJ's, great performances, in variety of styles - dance, rock, funk, and electronic music.
Via Fanfulla da Lodi, 5.


#Electric Outlets
Possible plugs to use are Type F and Type L (see link below with photos).


A Taste of the Upcoming Trip? - Here's a video That Will Show you the City in All its Beauty:

https://youtu.be/y_4p6_KsqoE


A Bit From the Local Kitchen:

https://youtu.be/c7TbpsRGCCI
Rome
Museo Delle Carrozze D'epoca
#About the Museum that Displays Historical Carriages

If you are looking for a light attraction in Rome, combining intriguing antiquities for both children and adults, this is the perfect museum.
Here you will find more than 300 antique carriages, decorated and stylized, collected here from all over Italy.

In addition to the wide variety of carriages, there are also weapons and other antiques. The toys from different periods are of special interest to children. They give a lot of pleasure and enjoyment to children and those young in their hearts –adults with a nostalgia for the toys of old.

Pay particular attention to the chariots in the museum that have appeared in the films, such as those used to film the movie Gladiator.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/7XQojXljcFo
Fontana Delle Tartarughe
Turtle Fountain
#About the Turtle Fountain

Rome is full of various fountains. In almost every square you reach, you will find another impressive fountain. The fact that they were designed and built by the greatest architects and sculptors, turns wandering in Rome into an adventure.

The Turtle Fountain (Fontana Delle Tartarughe) in Little Mattei Square, a square built by the wealthy Mattei family, is located in the Jewish ghetto of Rome. In contrast to the statues which characterize Rome, which are often made of marble, this one is made of high-quality bronze.

Its construction was completed in 1588. Originally, the statue depicted four young men leaning on dolphins at the bottom of the fountain and sending their hands up to support other dolphins above.

Some 70 years after the completion of the construction of the fountain, the upper dolphins were replaced by small tortoises made by the sculptor and architect Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini. This remains the statue to this day, so the name of the fountain is Turtle Fountain.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Fiumi Fountain
#The Four River Fountain

The Fountain of Four Rivers, Fiumi Fountain (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi), located at the center of Rome, was designed by one of the most important Baroque sculptors - Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini. This fountain was built as part of the design of the square where it is placed - Piazza Navona.

The fountain is made of unprocessed stone and incorporates several materials: marble, stone and water. In the center of the fountain stands a powerful obelisk, symbolizing the church's victory over paganism The fountain's pool has spectacular dolphin statues.

The four largest rivers in the world - the Nile (in Africa), the Danube (in Europe), the Ganges (in Asia) and Rio de la Plata (America) are part of the design of the fountain. Each of the gods in the fountain is shaped in an authentic style of the inhabitants from its continent. They sit on a rock from which one of the rivers flows. Each river represents a continent which the pope wishes to rule.

The message of the fountain of the four rivers is clear - Rome is the source from which all the rivers flow.

Rome

Capitoline Hill
Capitoline Hill
#About the Hill Overlooking Rome

In the past, Rome was situated atop only one hill, called Palatino Hill. However over the years the territory of the city sprawled out over six other hills in the area. One of the most well-known ones is in the heart of ancient Rome - Capitoline Hill, which is considered to be the highest of the hills of Rome, along with its neighbor Palatine Hill.

It is impossible to overlook the stunning view from this hill. It is located between the Forum and the Field of Mars, two important points in ancient Rome.

At the top of the hill are two interesting and important religious and political centers:

The first is the most important temple of ancient Rome, dedicated to the Capitolians. In this temple they worshiped the family of Gods composed of Jupiter (King of the Gods), Juno (queen of the gods and patron of Rome) and Minerva (their daughter, goddess of wisdom and spirit) - all three were called the Capricorn Trinity. The temple was large and very impressive.

The second is Asylum, a refuge area used in ancient times by criminals who fled the law. Among them, by the way, were also the murderers of Julius Caesar.

Today you can see the remains of the temple and its reconstruction on the hill.



#The View from the Hill

The buildings surrounding the hill were designed by one of the most famous Renaissance artists - Michelangelo. He built a lot of buildings on Capitoline Hill, which became very significant over the years. Among them were the palaces of Campidoglio, facing the Old City, the Capitol Square with its wide and spectacular stairways and the Vatican compound, the World Center of Catholic Christianity. Dating back to the Renaissance Era the hill had the Capitoline Museum, the National Museum holding classical works of art, archeology and science.

Another interesting place on the hill is the Capitoline Jupiter Temple, the most important and impressive temple of ancient Rome. A lot of stories have been told about this place, stories of murders, betrayals, wars, politics and inheritance.
Quirinale
Quirinale
#The Quirinale Palace

You have reached the official residence of the President of Italy. The palace is located on Palazzo del Quirinale atop the highest hill in Rome. Built in 1573 by Pope Gregory XIII, it served as a summer palace for the Popes. Ceremonies took place here, especially those known as “Conclaves.” the election ceremonies of a new pope in the Catholic Church.

In 1870, when the Papal State was conquered, it became the official residence of the kings of Italy. Although they didn’t actually live there, the royal offices were located in the palace. With the abolition of the monarchy in 1948, the palace became the residence of the President.

On Sundays you can enter the palace and see the frescoes of the Baroque artist Pietro da Cortona in one of the palace galleries.

The place is guarded by soldiers. There is a Change of the Guard ceremony at 4:00 pm, where the soldiers march to the sound of a military band.



#The Quirinale Museum

The gallery Scuderie del Quirinale was built at Quirinale Square, beside the Quirinale Palace. This complex contains two floors where the works of great and world-renowned artists are displayed. In contrast to other museums and galleries, the exhibits here are planned three years in advance, ensuring their quality. Impressive events are held here as well.

One of the most spectacular displays which stood here was the 2006 of Antonello Da Messina. Another was the Spring retrospective, which covered the works of Giovanni Bellini.



#Piazza del Quirinale

The square where these buildings are located is called the Piazza del Quirinale. Another palace at the square is Palazzo della Consulta, home to the Supreme Court of the Italian Republic.

At the corner of the piazza is an exhibition space, Scuderie del Quirinale.

A large fountain from the 19th century stands at the palazzo. It depicts the twins from the thousands of horses from the Greek mythology - Castor and Pollux. At the center of the fountain is an obelisk brought here from the tomb of Augustus.



#Tips

It is worth going with the children to the Change of the Guard ceremony at the President's Palace. It takes place daily at 3:00 pm. It was a little early to get there, to get a good spot for observation.
Santa Maria in Trastevere
Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere
#About the Church

One of the most ancient important churches in Rome is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere (Santa Maria in Trastevere). The meaning of the name is "Saint Mary of Trastevere." It is located in the Trastevere district, built around the year 340 AD and was the first to have Christian religious ceremonies and open mass ceremonies held inside it.

The current structure was built in the 12th century. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times before. Therefore, it is possible to see elements from different periods in this stunning building. The Popes invested in it quite a lot and transferred many art objects, such as columns from the baths of Caracalla.

The statue of Madonna and Baby is in the Church on top of the tower, as well as fresco drawings on the wall - these are impressive frescoes.

Pay particular attention to mosaics located in various places in the church. On the one side of the basilica there are mosaics from the 13th and 14th centuries, depicting Mary's life. There are those in Apsis during the years 1140 to 1143, and those on the top of the window under Apsis include " Scenes from the life of Mary" telling the story of the Holy Trinity by the painter Pietro Cavallini dating to 1291.

Pay attention to the inscription on the "Bishop's Chair." This inscription indicates that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary. However this fact is historically wrong - the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which was also dedicated to Mary, was established before this one...
Piazza del Campidoglio
Campidoglio Square
#About the Piazza

Campidoglio Square (Piazza del Campidoglio) is located on Capitoline Hill and is considered an architectural gem.

The square was planned by none other than the famous artist Michelangelo in the 16th century. He was the one who gave the piazza the look you see now - a trapezoid square surrounded by three magnificent palaces. On the fourth edge is a wide staircase designed by Michelangelo in order to allow the nobles of Rome to ascend these steps riding on their horses.

Notice the special flooring from which the square was built. Despite the brilliant design, Michelangelo did not live to enjoy his work, for he passed away some time before the construction was completed.

In the three palaces surrounding the square are the Capitolini museums, where marble statues and paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque era are exhibited.

In the center of the square you can see the bronze statue of the Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius. This is only a reconstruction of the original statue which is located inside the museum.

Although not particularly crowded, there is no doubt that this square is one of the most popular and touristy spots in Rome.


Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
#The Mausoleum

In the vicinity of the Vatican, on the banks of the Tiber River, stands a huge and majestic fortress - Castel Sant'Angelo, meaning "Castle of the Holy Angel." It was originally built as a mausoleum by the royal emperor Hadrian and his family in 123 AD. The mausoleum of Sant'Angelo was built over the walls of Rome and had quite a few underground passages leading directly to the Vatican. Hadrian later ordered the construction of a bridge leading from the city to the building.

Later, the burial structure was given the name Sant'Angelo along with the adjacent bridge. There are chilling stories regarding the terrible crowds on the bridge, when people fell off and into the water below, and were killed.

After his death, as Emperor Hadrian had requested, his ashes, his wife's, and his adopted son's are buried in the treasury, the main room in the building. He was followed by other emperors, the last of whom was Caracalla, who was buried there in 217 AD.

In 1277 the fortress became church property and a papal fortress. By connecting the fortress to the Vatican (to the Church of St. Peter) in a fortified passage, it was used a closed escape and thus served as a stronghold castle that managed to protect Rome and the Vatican during their many wars.

In 1688 Bernini upgraded the Sant'Angelo Bridge - he decorated the parapets with 12 statues of kings symbolizing the Passion of Christ.

Today you can see the National Museum of Museo Nazinale di Castel Sant'Angelo. It features sculptures, paintings and pottery. The weapon collection from the 15th to 19th centuries is particularly interesting, which certainly fits the theme of the fortress. During the summer months, lovely concerts are held here.



#The Flight of Pope Clement VII

The period following the appointment of Pope Clement was characterized by political unrest and instability in Italy, which influenced the messianic undertones (even among the Jewish community).

In 1527, a revolt took place within the Vatican due to the political intrigue caused by Pope Clement. That year, Cardinal Pompeo Colonna's troops occupied Rome and besieged the Vatican. Rome was already under attack and the smell of smoke had spread to many parts in the city. Clement realized that he had to flee for his life and so he began to urge his entourage. Carl V, the Holy Roman Emperor, arrived with his army of mercenaries to the gates of the Vatican and tried to assassinate him. Clement and his men began to escape through the secret passage that led to Castel Sant'Angelo. It is the very place where you are standing now. This secret passage, also known as Passetto (Fausto), was built in 1277. It was the fortress outside the Vatican walls. Pope Clement had managed to reach the bridge, which had been rising in the last few seconds and had managed to shut himself up in the fortress.



#The Passetto's Uses

The secret passage from the Vatican into the fortress, the Passetto, was not only an escape route in moments of crisis and war. It was also a path where beautiful girls from Rome were snuck out to spend time with the Church's leaders when they were not working. The fourth floor was set up especially for these purposes. Today one can still see the erotic paintings on the walls and on the floors.

Another attraction in this fortress is the conclave ceiling which creates an acoustic wonder: people can talk to each other without other people eavesdropping. It was an anti-wiretapping mechanism that was critical for the pope's court, where quite a few conspiracies took form.

This passage was neglected for years and no visitors were allowed. A little before the beginning of the 2000's renovations began and it was later opened to the general public. However, it is open only three weeks a year - from mid-August to early September, late in the evening.
An interesting detail about the transition: it is said that those who suffer from male impotence, should go through the passage 77 times in a row - 800 meters in each direction. Legend has it that whoever succeeds in finishing the entire course, over 61 kilometers, will regain his masculinity!
Palatine Hill
#About Rome's Ancient Hill

Palatine Hill is the most ancient hill of the seven hills of Rome. Its height reaches 70 meters and it is located between the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum. If you were looking for a spectacular view of all of Rome – you have arrived at the correct place.

Legend has it that the roots of the city of Rome are located on this hill. Indeed, the earliest buildings of Rome were built right here - the first citadel of the city, the "Institute," the most symbolic building called mundus and the square around it.

The Emperors came here to build their own palaces, the ruins of which are scattered on this hill. In the year 1000, monasteries were established in this place. Today, couples arrive to be photographed on their wedding day.

Notice the interesting shape of the hill, which resembles an incomplete square. This was also the reason the hill was called "Square Rome."

Today there is a museum open to the public on the hill.



#The Legend of the Founding of Rome

The twin brothers Remus and Romulus were tiny babies when a she-wolf suckled them and took them under her wing. After a while, their foster father, Faustulus, found and raised them together with his wife. As they grew older, the two decided to establish Rome. They resolved the bitter competition between them over control of the region in a painful way: One day, Romulus killed Remus in cold blood. Rome got its name from the first syllable of Romulus' name.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbU07sv6fCo
Venice Square
#The Square Where Mussolini Made his Speeches

Venice Square (Piazza Venezia) is located at the foot of Capitoline Hill, near the Roman Forum. To this day, it is considered the main square of modern Rome.

Once, the "Field of Mars," was located here. This was the place for military training of the Roman army. The palace was built in the 15th century and was the first great Renaissance building of Rome.

During the reign of Mussolini, who lived in the palace of Venice, it served as a meeting place, a place for gathering the people and giving passionate speeches. The speeches delivered by dictator Mussolini in the square were then transmitted all over Italy by radio and loud speakers in other squares. This was also a departure point for parades such as the Blackshirts, the military wing of the Fascist Party.

The office used by Mussolini is closed to tourists today, except for occasional tours. Its name originated from the palace beside it - Venice Palace.

Although the square is located at the center of major transportation routes, private transportation is limited and there are no traffic lights. That's why during the rush hours, you can see a policeman on a stand at the center of the square, directing the traffic just like the road. His movements are theatrical but amusing, making order in the midst of the commotion. You are invited to photograph it.

Today there is also the Palazzo Venezia, a museum in the square with medieval works of art.
Campo de' Fiori
#The Market Square that Perpetuates the Sacred of Science

Campo de' Fiori is a rectangular square in Rome, a cultural and business center in the city. Located in the Christian part of Rome, it dates back to the Middle Ages. Today it contains a vibrant food market. This region is colorful and rich, full of fruits, vegetables, colorful pastas, organic honey, spices, cheeses and more. There are plenty of different stands here. Around the square are shopping streets with great prices and cafes, which offer mostly free wireless internet.

In the square is the Giordano Bruno Monument, the scientist who preceded his time and the church which executed him for his ideas in relation to the location and importance of the Earth in the solar system. Note also the iron plaque next to the monument, which is intended to commemorate the books of the Talmud that were burned in this very square.

The name of the square means "field of flowers" ("Fiori" in Italian is a flower). It is assumed that in the past there was an open field with beautiful blossoms and hence the origin of the name. If you inquire on the subject, you will also learn about a rumor that perhaps the square is named after Flora, Pompey's lover - it is unclear whether she was an existing woman or literary fiction.



#Campo de' Fiori Square for Tourists

This is a spot for early risers in Rome. The square of Campo de' Fiori has stand owners who arrive early in the morning to settle into their permanent spots. This is one of the points you will not want to miss if you come to Rome, at least to visit once.

The first tourists arrive at 8:00 am. By 12:00 pm the place is bustling and full. The afternoon will be the most calm time of day. However, do not be mistaken - the day is not yet over and at 8:00 pm the square will wake up again, this time for its night tour and will provide entertainment venues, varied bars and even a nightclub.



#History of the Square

Though today the square is inviting, full of attractions and colors, it was not always so. During the Roman Empire, the river would occasionally flood this square, along with other parts of the city. The area is dried for good only at the beginning of the first century AD. This was when the construction began in the area. Nevertheless, it was still relatively abandoned and served as an insignificant "field of flowers".

The real interest in the area began in the 15th century, when the Popes wanted to use it to demonstrate their wealth and power. Pope Boniface arrived here to build the Church of Santa Brigida. Today, in its place, stands the French Embassy. Next came the third Pope, Calligraphy, who demanded that the square be paved. A few years later, Palazzo della Cancelleria and the Orsini family's palace were built.

In time the square became a local market. Horses and other products were sold and the crowds began to stroll through. However it was not used solely for trading. During the Inquisition, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the square was a central place for the execution of criminals and heretics. One of the most famous executions was of Giordano Bruno.



#Who was Giordano Bruno- A Man the Church Executed for his Astronomical Dreams

Many see him as the "martyr of science". The story of the Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno is a tragic story of a scientist who was ahead of his time and paid dearly for his theories and beliefs. It would only be later that generations would catch up with him.

Among the well-known, Bruno was considered "the first martyr of the world of science." In contrast to Copernicus, who said similar things and proved them mathematically, not many in the general public know Bruno's name, who preceded everyone in understanding the universe and our place in it - or simply - that the earth is not the center of the world and that the universe is infinite.

Bruno, from Naples, is the first cosmological theorist to sacrifice his life in the name of science. Bruno was executed for his "space dreams." It all began when he read a book by Lucretius, a Roman poet who wrote 1500 years ago that the universe is infinite. Bruno had dreamed of a universe where man and the earth took up very little space.

Bruno began to spread his ideas about the vast universe, where there are many more planets like ours. He came to the conclusion that the stars shining in the sky were actually suns very far away, which had their own stars around them. In the eyes of his contemporaries, who believe in the centrality of the earth in the universe, this was hallucination. All the different movements in the Church boycotted Bruno and his arguments and regarded him as a heretic. In England, where he traveled to lecture on his ideas, the scientists of the time scorned him. Not long after he returned to Italy, he was imprisoned because of his "foolish ideas." Giordano Bruno was tortured by the the Inquisition for eight years but refused to deny his ideas. It was to this end that Giordano Bruno was executed by the church.

Ten years after his death, Galileo will first create the telescope and join Bruno's ideas, which proved to be accurate. Gradually, the scientific world would come to similar conclusions and at a later stage, the church as well, that the earth is far from being the center of the universe and that Bruno was right. Today there are universities named after him as well as research institutes.



#Tips

Visit the market as soon as possible. Beyond the brand new merchandise, the crowds are thin and the atmosphere is enormously pleasant. You can even start your day there and enjoy breakfast in the market.
Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola
#The Church with the 3D Illusion

We would not invite you to join us for another church tour, if it were not for the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola (Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola), a vastly different church than any other in Rome. Beyond the traditional lines and crowds, especially during the tourist season in Rome, this church is a truly charming spot.

It is a beautiful baroque church. Built in the 17th century, it is especially famous for its beautiful frescoes painted on its walls.

Pay particular attention to the painting on the ceiling which plays a trick on the mind and creates an optical illusion that the shape of the Church roof is a dome, whereas in fact it is a flat roof that the artist managed to create an illusion of depth. This also proves that optical illusions are nothing new.

The Church of St Ignatius is not far from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. Come and visit here!



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/BxPEp7r9MWs
Church of St. Louis of the French
#The French Church of Rome

It looks relatively modest on the outside, but very impressive inside - the Church of St. Louis of the French (San Luigi de Francesi). It is located near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Denis and the King of France, Louis IX, the patron saint of the Catholic Church.

In the church you can see statues and paintings of national heroes and saints such as Charlemagne, King Clovis, Saint Clotilde and more.

The church was built between 1518 and 1589. In 1527 the construction was put on hold due to a crisis in Rome, but it was eventually completed by the Queen of France Caterina de Medici and her generous financial aid.



#The Artwork in the Church

In the fifth chapel, also known as the Cappella Contarelli, you can see the three famous works of the painter Caravaggio, who was a prominent artist during the Renaissance Era. Despite his turbulent life and being the murderous painter of art history, Caravaggio, who in 1906 escaped from Rome after killing a man in a fight, left his artwork in the city and fled.

In the three works on the walls of the church painted between 1598 and 1601, you will learn about the life of Saint Matteo. Above the altar is the work "The Muse of St. Matthew" and on the wall you can see the "Martyrdom of St. Matthew."

The works are characterized by many colors, detailed realism, a play between light and shadow which was innovative at the time. These artworks also created some resistance, for church leaders thought that the realism of the works indicated a lack of respect for the religion.

Apart from Caravaggio, you can also see works by other artists: Cavalier d'Arpino and more.

A recommended continuation route from the church is a visit the famous square of Rome, Piazza Navona, the bustling square of the city.



#About Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the Murderer Artist

Yes, he was a revolutionary artist, one of the most talented painters in history, a genius with an innovative and groundbreaking artistic conception and yet ... a murderer.

Caravaggio was a man of many components and faces. On the one hand he was a violent character, a chronic drinker and drunk, who eventually murdered someone. However on the other hand, he was one of the greatest artists, a man of strong religious faith, whose paintings express an unprecedented emotion, a painter of incredibly precise detail, whose groundbreaking art depicted biblical scenes and stories of Christian saints drawn in the form of ordinary people.

Caravaggio painted his paintings on large, impressive canvases. The church did not really like his paintings, especially the religious paintings. However, wealthy Italians loved and acquired his powerful and polished paintings, which showed a great deal of passion.

In his paintings "The Call to Matthew" and the "Crucifixion of St. Peter," one can see its prominent characteristics: sharp realism, games and contrasts of light and shadow, as well as the genius of using color and placing figures and objects in space. Caravaggio chose carefully what details to emphasize in the light in his paintings and unique models.

Although he died in 1610 and at the young age of 39 years old, his influence on the history of art is enormous. Not many painters have influenced, for so long, the art of painting. Many artists have been influenced by him. Catholics painters from Utrecht in the Netherlands, who in the 17th century went to study in Rome and were known as "Caravagists of Utrecht", admired him along with the great masters such as Rubens, Vermeer, Velazquez and Rembrandt.

In 1606, at the height of his career in Rome, Caravaggio was involved in a fight and killed a man. He ran quickly to found a new patron in Naples and later in Malta. Two years later, he was thrown out of there as well because of his involvements in more fights. After Malta he moved to Sicily and his paintings, like his life, became gradually darker and more shadowed. His moods worsened, he even used a swords to slash paintings that received negative feedback.

The researchers estimate that when he returned to Naples, he was apparently the victim of an attack that injured him and caused severe infection. He must have tried to return to Tuscany, in order to gain forgiveness for his crimes in Rome. It is not clear exactly when and where his life was abruptly put to an end.

It is not only the life story of the "killer painter" that caused great controversy and curiosity; his death was also a mystery. His turbulent character, evident in his paintings, often entangled him in fights, and in the end, perhaps led to his death.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, named after his hometown in Italy, was considered the pioneer of the baroque style which developed in Europe in the period following his death. He was a genius who was ahead of his time and even hundreds of years after his death. He continued to influence great painters, but inside was a man who was haunted, violent, psychotic, perverse and complicated.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4oGQlR293U
Caracalla Spa
#About the Caracalla Baths

Once, in the place where you stand now there were luxurious baths used by Rome’s elite class. This huge public baths was almost 40 meters high and one hundred meters wide. The entire structure was magnificent, as parts of it were covered with marble, sculptures and decorations made of silver and gold.

An underground heating system of the water served as the heating for the building, which operated by burning coal. Though it’s hard to believe, this successful system operated from the time of the Romans until the middle of the 19th century.

In the various compounds of the baths were hot and cold baths, shops, brothels and a library. It became a popular location for wealthy citizens of the city, due to its huge size which enabled thousands of people to enjoy the luxurious experience. The green areas added to the pastoral atmosphere of the place.

Over the years, the baths underwent the usual wear and tear, similarly to most buildings in Rome. Earthquakes, such as the most recent one in 2009, also hit a place that has become a historic ruin.

Today the entire area serves as an amphitheater. Sometimes, when the weather is nice, concerts are held there.



#The Rivalry between the Caracalla Brothers which led to Blood Baths

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, known as Caracalla, was one of the most corrupt and controversial emperors.

When the preceding emperor, Septimius Severus, died in 211 AD, the brothers Caracalla and Publicus Septimius Geta ascended to power together. They took various actions to strengthen the Roman Empire, but beneath the surface there was a hidden competition between the brothers. It was a competition for control.

One day, Caracalla invited his brother Geta in the guise of reconciliation. In the middle of the conversation he sent his men to murder him in cold blood. Thus Caracalla became the single ruling emperor. Caracalla then took measures to ensure his status and popularity. One of the measures was establishing the baths in Rome.



#What did the Compound look like in Ancient Times?

During ancient times, the bath complex was 225 meters long and 185 meters wide. Experts estimate that the height of the building was about 38.5 meters.

The bath complex had a special channel that transported water. The baths themselves had a frigidarium (cold room), a tepidarium (a lukewarm room) and a calderium (hot room). In addition, the bathers were offered two options- a gyms or a boxing room.

However the baths didn’t only serve for bathing purposes. They filled the function of a resort and cultural center that included a public library of two rooms, as was customary at the time. One of them had Greek texts and the other Latin.



Here are the Pools Today:

https://youtu.be/SFr0UWUM_iQ



What the Pools Might Have Looked Like this in the Past:

https://youtu.be/pjLiQdI0U9I
Baths of Diocletian
#Baths of Diocletian

The luxurious Baths of Diocletian (Thermae Diocletiani) were built for the Caesars of the Roman Empire, at the request of the Roman Emperor Maximilian in the fall of 298. They were inaugurated in 306 by Emperor Diocletian and are the most luxurious and beautiful of all the baths.

In order to take advantage of solar energy and warm the caldarium, the baths face south-west. The caldarium was a warm room with a "floating" floor; the floor was elevated on pillars, with the space under the floor used as a heating well. It was in this way that the room can be warmed up. The caldarium in all the baths worked alongside the Frigidarium, the cold room, where the pool of cold water is located.

The Roman bathhouses were based on water brought to them via aqueducts. Roman aqueducts are artificial channels whose function was to transfer water from one place to another. In 537, the Goths destroyed the aqueducts that flowed to the baths causing them to cease functioning.

An interesting fact is that the ame of the railway station in Rome, Roma Termini station got its name from the baths.



#What Can be Seen in the Baths Today?

There was once a tepid water room, the tepidarium, which today is the Basilica of Santa Maria.

One of the two towers of the baths is the church of San Bernardo alle Terme. One of the buildings of the National Museum of Rome is located in what was once the foyer of the bathhouse.



#Overview on Roman Baths

There are several luxury spas to enjoy in the heart of Rome. They were built for the Caesars of the Roman Empire. These baths are among the finest Roman works of the empire and they helped the emperors introduce hygiene into the Roman agenda. The baths were aesthetic and ornate places which provided an enjoyable and refreshing experience.

The baths were very popular in the rich and progressive empire of those days. Rome's elite class used to build baths in their homes and villas. Private initiators built public baths in the city's neighborhoods. These were established for business purposes and had entrance fees. In 33 BC there were no less than 170 baths in Rome, a number that has grown over the years.

Initially, these baths were a luxury that was only available to the rich, but there were attempts to make these sites accessible to those who did not have the financial means to gain access to the baths. This was the historical role of Marcus Agrippa, the Roman general who became the vicar of Augustus Caesar and became a governmental superintendent of Rome and an innovator. Among other things, he took care to supervise the public baths, inspect their heating facilities and ensure their order and cleanliness.

When Agrippa was rich and wise later on, he made an amazing gesture. He took upon himself the cost of the entrance fee to all the baths for the period of his supervision. He did it to let everyone in - both the rich and the poor. Later he also built the free baths that bore his name - the Agrippa Baths. This noble attitude towards the masses was unusual in the imperial days and made him a popular figure in the empire. A good shower was considered of great importance in those days!
Trevi Fountain
#About the Trevi Fountain or Fontana di Trevi

The largest and most nostalgic of European fountains is undoubtedly the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi). No matter what time you arrive here, in the bright morning or in the middle of the night, there are many people milling about. During the evening and through the night there are spectacular lights illuminating the entire area, the fountain in particular. A beautiful sight worth seeing ...

In the fountain you'll see Neptune, the God of the sea, riding a chariot in the shape of a shell. His statue is located in the center of the fountain in an alcove. Beside this statue there are other statues depicting marine creatures that help him "tame the water." On both sides of Neptune you will see two other niches, one of which is a statue of the god of abundance and the other of health.

The fountain was built by the architect Nicola Salvi and was designed by several artists from the Bernini School. The title was given to it because of the adjacent neighborhood "Trevi" (the phrase Tre vie), indicating that this is the nexus between three main roads of the city. The tourists gave it the nickname "Fountain of Wishes."

There are quite a few strange customs associated with this fountain, the familiar among them is the tossing of coins by tourists, which will ensure the fulfillment of their wishes. It is rumored that these wishes will be fulfilled by drinking the water of the fountain, although we absolutely do not recommend it.



#History of the Fountain

This is the point where one of Rome's canals ended which brought water to the city from 20 kilometers away, built in 19 BC. This aqueduct
was called Virgin River, after the young Virgin Trevi, who showed the Roman soldiers to this stream of water.

By the way, the construction of fountains at the point where the aqueducts ended (aqueducts) was a well-known custom of the Romans. In 1453 the pool was added to the fountain by Pope Nicholas V.

Nearly 200 years later, in 1629, Pope Urban VIII invited Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, the great Baroque architect, to plan a renovation of the fountain and the pool, wanting it to be more grandiose. Although these plans didn't come to fruition, it inspired future plans.

Indeed, about 100 years later, Pope Clemens initiated a massive renovation of the fountain by the architect Nicola Salvi. The works began in 1732 and ended in 1762, after the two died - both the Pope and the architect ...



#Tossing Coins into the Fountain

Legend has it that tossing a coin into the fountain will ensure the return of those who had thrown them back to Rome. It also ensures the fulfillment of the wishes of the coin tossers. You're probably asking yourself where this strange legend came from. Well, the source is probably a book written by John Hermes Scondari in 1952 called "Coins in the Fountain." The book tells of three figures who throw coins into the fountain and then find themselves in more or less positive romantic situations. This led, among other things, to the rumor that throwing three coins into a fountain would guarantee marriage - or divorce.

Every night, the fountain floor is estimated to be worth about three thousand euros. This is despite the fact that the value of each coin is not high, but their quantity reaches this value. These coins are collected by the City of Rome. The municipality itself uses them to finance a supermarket that provides free products to the needy.

Do not try to get coins from here. From time to time Rome's police stop private people trying to pluck coins from the floor of the pool.


Arch of Titus
#About the Ancient Arch that Depicts the Exile of Israel and Plunder of the Temple

The remains of the Roman Forum still stands in Rome, where the arch of victory can be seen today. The Arch of Titus (Arco de Tito) was dedicated by Emperor Domitian to his brother Titus who died in 81 AD. The arch was erected to commemorate Titus' successes in the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Titus' great honor is expressed in ancient inscriptions on the arch, in imprinted writing and sculptures, which document the entry of the convoy of captives and conductors at the arch of Rome. The inscriptions were designed under Greek influence, as did many of the Roman buildings.

The arch has been here for nearly 2,000 years, carefully rehabilitated and maintained since 1936. This occurred during the time of the Italian Fascists, under the dictator Mussolini. They tried to relive and revive the glory of the Roman Empire

It is hard to miss the inscription of time that can be seen in the crumbling limestone, the material of the arch.

Notice the crown of the arch. It contains a carving depicting the treasures from the looting of the Temple, including the seven-branched Menorah that was in the Temple and which, with the establishment of the State, became the official symbol of the State of Israel.

This impressive arch is one of Rome's most famous symbols today, notable for its beauty and spectacular design. Simultaneously, it’s hard to ignore that it depicts the downfall of the Jewish nation and the exile they suffered for nearly 2,000 years.



#What is Depicted on the Arch of Titus?

The Arch of Titus is a gateway built by Emperor Domitian, dedicated to his brother Titus in honor of his victory over the Jews and the suppression of the Great Revolt in the Land of Israel in 70 AD. When Titus destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, he exiled tens of thousands of Jews to Rome as captives and slaves.

The Arch of Titus, built as an arch of triumph and glorifying Titus' victory, presents, among other things, engravings which convey the story of the Roman victory. Among other things, it depicts the ravaging of Jerusalem after the destruction of the Second Temple and the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans. If anyone has any doubt, the Latin inscription reads: "Details from the Arch of Titus describing the plunder and the loot from Jerusalem."

However, a very special fact about the Arch of Titus is that it constitutes the only clue as to the fate of the menorah of the Jewish Temple. The pictures on the stone are of Jewish prisoners, led to Rome, carrying the Menorah of the Temple, the Golden Altar and even musical instruments - all from the Temple in Jerusalem.

For centuries, the Jews of Rome did not pass under this gate, a remnant of the shame of exile and the Jewish destruction. Only in the first half of the 20th century, in Italy's Fascist era, did Italian dictator Mussolini order it to be done. As someone who saw Titus' victory gate as part of the greatness of the Italian people and the glory of the Roman Empire that preceded him, he wanted the gate to glorify Fascist Rome and have the glory of the past project onto it.



#How the Design of the Menorah from the Arch of Titus Became an Inspiration to the Jews

With the establishment of the State of Israel, the Chief Rabbi of Israel of that time decided to adopt the Menorah from the Arch of Titus as the symbol for the State, a national symbol for all of Israel. Over the years there has been much criticism over this decision. Many scholars argued that although the Menorah in the painting has seven branches, and its base is reminiscent of ascending stairs, which, according to Jewish belief were used by the high priest to light the candles. However, they maintain that the Menorah in the Roman Arch contains problematic details that cannot possibly be identified as the Jewish Menorah. For example, the octagonal base of the Menorah that was probably designed by a Roman or Greek artist. In short, the design does not uphold the style of the Menorah that is described in Jewish law. Another source of criticism on the authenticity of the Menorah in the Arch is the decoration of the animals which appear on it. It is impossible, researchers say, that animals such as lions, dragons, and sea animals, which are illuminated by the menorah, are of Jewish origin. According to Jewish law, such paintings are idol worshipping, and their placement on the Temple Menorah is unfathomable.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/vMZHIyIy_aY
Planetarium and Astronomical Museum
#About the Planetarium

If you've been looking for some attractions for kids - you've come to the right place. The Planetarium and Astronomical Museum (Planetario e Museo Astronomico) allows children to have a fascinating experience stargazing, including interesting tours of a variety of exhibitions which display information about the stars and space. Here you can even listen to music concerts with the backdrop of stars.

Here you will also find the Museum of Italian Civilization (Museo della Civilta Romana), where you can see a huge model of Rome during the Empire Era.

It is important to emphasize that the explanations are given here only in Italian and English.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/4e8Kr59epxs
Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano
#About the Impressive Roman Basilica

Welcome to the most ancient church in Rome. Of the four patriarchal basilicas in the city, this is the most dated one. It is also the central church of the Catholic Church.

Emperor Constantine built the church, and here it has been for over 1,500 years. This church survived extreme disasters: fires, looting and earthquakes. It was destroyed twice and then restored. Today it is the second largest church in Rome, after the Church of San Pietro.

Today a magnificent church stands here, however it was not always so. Once, two important buildings stood here during the Roman Empire. One was the new fortress of the Praetorian Guard, an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperors. The fortress was destroyed in 312 and its remains are located just below the basilica, the central space of the church.

The second building was the first Laterano palace, which belonged to a family called "Lateranus." This palace was also destroyed and the basilica became the cathedral of Rome. Popes lived here for almost 1,000 years.

Though the structure looks simple and modest, the truth is that the interior of the church is magnificent and prestigious and is an example of magnificent Roman construction. Notice the decorations made of pure gold, cartography, delicate handicraft and sparkling gems.

The church also has an original obelisk from Egypt. There are many statues of the Christian saints in front of the church, and two bell towers flank the impressive building.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/8_C-r9CP_Ks
Colosseum
#The Largest Amphitheater in the World

This huge amphitheater was built nearly two centuries ago by three Roman emperors. It included an arena providing amusement to the people, or in other words, the gladiators’ arena. There were performances financed by private individuals, mainly in order to demonstrate their wealth and amuse the people.

Take a good look at the exterior wall of this amazing amphitheater. It is part of the same grand structure that has existed here since the time of the Roman Empire.

This complex was chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.



#The Colosseum's Functions

The primary purpose of the Colosseum was to serve as a place for gladiator battles. These were the “reality shows” of that time - they were intended to create sympathy among the viewers towards the ruler and provide them entertainment during their leisurely hours. Prisoners who were sentenced to death and crucified or burnt at the stake could be seen here. Sometimes there was a story plot added for the benefit of the masses- which made the act of execution part of a journey of the protagonist - whose tragic end was known in advance. The hero would count the seconds back when a wild beast of prey would chase him in the ring and devour him in front of everyone. The gladiators who were forced to participate in these battles were slaves or prisoners of war.

Another particularly popular show were the hunting games. This was where exotic animals from all over the empire tried to survive the hunters who would hunt them for entertainment. In case there was any concern for the viewers in the front row, it was stationed two meters above the arena to ensure their safety. Thousands of gladiators and more than a million animals have been killed here.

The first hundred days of inauguration were filled with such entertainment.

In the year 404 AD the last gladiator battle took place, since the Romans no longer viewed these acts of murder as amusement. In the fifth and sixth centuries, at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, the inhabitants of Rome didn’t remember the original purpose of this m onumental structure. Some thought it was an imperial palace and some thought it was a temple to the sun god.



#The Architecture of the Colosseum

The Colosseum is built in an elliptical shape, with a length of 189 meters, a width of 156 meters and a height of almost 50 meters.

It is said that the Colosseum was the first structure built with concrete, a new invention in those days. Of course it was not really the first, but perhaps the first of those which survived the test of time and still stands today.

It is no small feat for an anonymous architect who planned the building to enable a crowd of 50,000 people to enter and leave the compound without long queues. He found an excellent practical solution - to the Colosseum, 80 entrances were built that led to a special systems of corridors that surrounded the amphitheater. Each floor had openings that led directly to the chairs and the stands.

One can’t overlook the quality of construction and planning during the Roman Empire, since this enormous structure still stands here after 2,000 years of earthquakes and man-made damage.




#The History of the Colosseum

This huge amphitheater was built almost 2,000 years ago in the city of Rome. It was built by three Roman emperors of the Flavian dynasty. Its original name was "The Flavian Amphitheater," named after the same line of emperors, though the name was later changed in the Middle Ages.

In 72 AD the construction of the amphitheater began. Emperor Vespasian, the initiator of the idea, didn’t live to see the building finished as he died before its completion. His son Titus completed the mission. It is surprising that although the construction of the Colosseum took less than ten years, Titus was unable to complete it and the person who inaugurated the amphitheater in 80 AD was Titus' brother, Emperor Domitian.

It was built on top of remains from Nero’s palace, a brutal and loathsome ruler in Rome. From the moment the ruler came to power in 54 AD, many nobles and merchants quarreled with him because he was constantly trying to take over new lands and build more palaces for himself. When a huge fire broke out in Rome in 64 AD, which destroyed entire parts of the city, quite a few thought that the ruler was responsible for the terrible arson. Not only that, they claimed that he had relished the moment by playing the violin on the roof of his palace while the fire was spreading all over Rome.

Although it is possible that Nero wasn’t directly responsible for the Great Fire, he made no efforts to mitigate the damage. However it aided him it gaining control of the city where he built his magnificent palace - the Golden Palace. In case you were curious as to his fate, citizens of the city revolted against him four years later and he was forced to flee for his life.

The emperor who replaced Nero was Vespasian. He wanted to strengthen the people's trust in the government and decided to return expansive lands to the citizens. On the ruins of the palace he established what would be the largest amphitheater in the world, the Colosseum.

Right beside the nostalgic palace, stands an impressive statue of Nero, whose name was Colossus. This is where the building gets its name - the Colosseum.



#The Colosseum Crowd

Upon entering the compound, the viewer would receive a special entrance ticket: a piece of pottery with the number of the gallery and the row in which he was to sit. The places were reserved in advance and reflected the hierarchical structure of Roman society.

The lowest seats around the arena were reserved for distinguished people of high status - senators, dignitaries, the emperor and his entourage. Above them sat the rich soldiers and merchants. As the rows rose, the status of the population diminished- all the way to ordinary citizens. There were spots in the Colosseum where it was impossible to sit and there was only standing room. This is where the women and the slaves stood, who were the two lowest classes of Roman society. The gravediggers and theater actors weren’t allowed in at all. This reflects the status and classes in society, which played a central role in Ancient Rome.



Here is the Colosseum During a Walking Tour:

https://youtu.be/hxpBPStoIZ8



A View from Above

https://youtu.be/B4GvcCWzZZg
Roman Forum
Mouth of Truth
National Museum of Palazzo Venezia
Tiber Island
Pantheon