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Museo Nazionale del Palazzo Venezia
National Museum of Palazzo Venezia
#The Duce Palace which Became the National Museum

This palace is in the center of Rome, north of Capitoline Hill and near Vittoriano. Although the building is now a full-time museum, it hasn’t always been so. The Venice Palace used to be here, built during the Renaissance. It was the residence of the popes and later served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice in the Holy See. This is the origin of the palace’s name. Years later, it became the main headquarters of the Duce Benito Mussolini, the Italian politician who became the leader of the National Fascist Party. He would address the people from this very place.

Today there is a museum where you can see art such as pottery, jewelry, drawings and sculptures, alongside works of art and objects in permanent exhibitions. The museum is called National Museum of Palazzo Venezia (Museo Nazionale del Palazzo Venezia).

#History of Venice Palace

The Venice Palace was built in 1455. Although the tower at the top of the palace was built in a medieval style, the palace was the first Renaissance building built in Rome. The palace was built of stones from the nearby Colosseum. This was the norm in Renaissance Rome.

The palace was built for the Venetian Cardinal Pietro Barbo, later Pope Paul II, who built the palace near the nearby Via del Corso - the main street of Rome in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. At first it served as an official residence for the Popes.

During the reign of Pope Pius IV, the palace, formerly serving residential purposes, was awarded to the Republic of Venice as an embassy. During the 19th century the palace became the Embassy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the Holy See. In 1917 the ownership was transferred to the Italian government and the place became a government office.

The Duce Benito Mussolini, who was an Italian tyrant and ruler of Italy between 1922-1943, renovated the place to serve as headquarters. From the balcony facing the square he carried out his fiery speeches.
Palazzo Barberini
Barberini Palace
#About the Aristocratic Palace with Rome's typical Renaissance Style

The Barberini Palace (Palazzo Barberini) is a distinctly Renaissance-styled palace of a noble family. Upon entering the palace, one can get an impression of what life was like for wealthy families in Rome at their best. In addition, you can learn here about the power struggles which took place between various aristocratic families during the Renaissance.

Today you can see the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, which contains one of the most important collections of art in Italy.

Notice the interior of the rooms; they are adorned with paintings made by the greatest artists in the 13th and 16th centuries. An especially famous room in the palace is the bedroom of Princess Cornelia Costanza Barberini, which remains just as it was on the night of her wedding.

#History of the Palace

The Barberini family was a medieval aristocracy which ruled Rome’s economic and governmental affairs during the 17th century. The family was responsible for quite a few buildings in the city – which can be identified by the family symbol - three bees. The Barberini Palace is one of the most famous palaces of Rome.

The palace was built in 1549, originally for another family - the Sforza family. Due to financial strife, the family sold the palace in 1625 to Maffeu Barberini - Pope Urban VIII. The same Barberini employed no less than three architects in favor of renovating the palace. During construction it became a villa with a large and impressive courtyard.

Carlo Maderno, one of the three architects, began building the palace in 1627. It was completed by Bernini in 1633. After the death of Pope Urban VIII, Pope Innocent X boycotted the place. At that time the power of the Roman church was great, which was not uncommon. However, the palace was returned to the Barberini family in 1653.

A Closer Look:

San Luigi dei Francesi
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 to 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. Catholic 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 sword 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:

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 including "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...

Rome in Winter

Museo dell'Ara Pacis
Museum of the Ara Pacis
#About the Museum Built in Honor of the Roman Altar

Museum of the Ara Pacis (Museo dell'Ara Pacis) sits on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome, and is the only modern building established in the ancient area of ​​Rome since 1938. It was inaugurated in 2006 and marked a new landmark in the architectural history of this city. The construction of the museum lasted about 10 years and caused many disputes and arguments.

Many people were critical of the American architect Richard Meyer, whose vision was to bring a new design to the city through a building combining white brick and turpentine together with steel and glass. The claims were unequivocal: "Not everything that is good for the suburbs of Los Angeles is suitable for Rome," claims art critic Vittorio Zaghrabi.

This impressive museum serves as a residence for the peace altar of Emperor Augustus, the Roman ruler whose victories brought the Roman Empire 200 years of calm and stability. The altar was built in 13 BC by the Roman Senate and if you examine it closely you will notice that it is covered with many reliefs.

#The Famous Altar

The Augustus peace altar, called "Ara Pacis Augustae," is a large altar covered with reliefs, founded by the Roman Senate in 13 BC. This large altar was meant to mark the return of peace to the Roman Empire, after Emperor Augustus was victorious in his many wars. The altar is preserved and this museum is dedicated only to him. The construction of the magnificent altar took approximately three and a half years and was finally inaugurated in 9 BCE.

The altar was built in the region of Rome, known as the "Field of Mars," on the occasion of the return of Emperor Augustus from his military expeditions in Galicia and Spain. In 17 BC Emperor Augustus embarked on a long battle outside Rome to deal with the problems of the empire with the western provinces of Galicia and Spain. The Romans suffered from the rebellions of local tribes which harmed the Roman rule and resumed the obedience and payment of taxes to the empire and inhabiting these areas by the victorious Roman soldiers.

When this journey was completed and Augustus returned to Rome, the Roman Senate decided to honor the emperor by building this peace altar in his name, near the Via Flaminia - the path on which Augustus returned to Rome. Augustus himself, describing his own activities, relates that the Senate ordered that sacrifices be served on the altar on the anniversary of the date he returned to Rome.

The significance of the establishment of the "Ara Pacis" should be understood against the background of the Augustus era and the propaganda that created it. In Augustus' time, worship was born to the Goddess Pax. It is linked to the governing ideal that developed during the Augustus period, the Pax Romana, the so-called "Roman peace." This idealist propaganda presented Augustus as Rome's savior and as the man responsible for the empire. Thus, this propaganda linked the good of the emperor to the benefit of Rome. So too did they manage to convince the people that the worship of the Altar was a way of worshipping the Caesar and wishing him well.
Museo Capitolino
Capitoline Museum
#About Europe's most Ancient Museum

Surrounding the square designed by Michelangelo, on the top of Capitoline Hill, you can see all the Capitoline Museums. Among them is the Capitoline Museum (Museo Capitolino), which has existed here since 1471, which unequivocally renders it the most ancient museum in Europe.

In the 15th century the Capitoline Museum opened for the first time at Palazzo dei Conservatori. During the second half of the 16th century, a large collection of sculptures was added, and in 1654, when the construction of the "new palace," Palazzo Nuovo, was completed, the museum expanded.

There are unusual historical pieces of art here. Take a look at the interesting items: the ancient bronze sculptures that depict figures from mythology and Roman history, a collection of coins and medallions, beautiful mosaics and magnificent marble statues. There are paintings of important painters such as Caravaggio, Titian and others.

#More Cool Artworks in the Capitoline Museum

Some of the most famous Italian art were exhibited here during the museum’s first year. Here are a couple important exhibits:

The Statue of Marcus Aurelius, mounted on his horse: this is the only surviving statue from the Era of the Roman Empire, of the emperor on horseback, in particular. This is the modern source for displaying rulers on horseback.

The Statue of Emperor Constantine: the emperor best known for his part in turning the Roman Empire Christian.

The most famous item in the Capitoline Museum in Rome is probably the statue of the Capitoline she-wolf feeding Remus and Romulus, who according to legend established the city of Rome in adulthood.

The statue of the wolf itself dates back to the 5th century BC. In the 16th century, the figures of the children Romulus and Remus, suckling milk from the wolf, were added to the statue. Over the years, it became one of the symbols of the city of Rome.

A Closer Look:

Museo Ebraico di Roma
Jewish Museum in Rome
#About the Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico di Roma), which used to be a kind of "warehouse," where collections of Judaica and religious objects were collected from the old synagogues of Italy, became a museum in 2005.

As befits Jewish tradition, the museum is open only on weekdays. It describes the life of the 2,000-year-old Jewish community, one of the most ancient from around the world. The museum serves as an important source of historical material as well as a source of income for the Jewish community in Rome.

The museum was originally inaugurated in 1960, in a building adjacent to the synagogue, on the banks of the Tiber River. The museum has three rooms, each displaying a different exhibit of collections from five synagogues in the city. In the first room you can see historical documents and archeological findings. In the second room you will find religious objects and the latest Jewish artifacts.

Torah scrolls, cloths, Torah coverings, 14th century manuscripts, prayer books, Hanukkah menorahs and marble stones are just a few of the many items you can find here. The most impressive collection has items collected during the period of the ghetto of Rome, between the years 1555-1800. It remains unparalleled to this day.

Notice the two memorial tablets for those who perished in the wars of Italy and the various victims of the Holocaust, which stand at the entrance to the museum.

Many school tours are brought here from various schools in Rome. This is because it serves as a learning center for the city's public about the Jewish heritage.

A Closer Look:

Tempio Maggiore di Roma
Great Synagogue of Rome
#About the Great Synagogue in Rome

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Jews' status improved in Europe as they gained emancipation. This meant they were granted equal civil, social, and political rights. This was when one of the most important buildings for the Jews was inaugurated - the Great Synagogue of Rome, (Tempio Maggiore di Roma) just opposite St. Angelo's Church.

The large and magnificent synagogue is also called "Izraelitiko." It can accommodate more than 1,000 worshipers, which proves how great it is. Note its square aluminum roof, which makes it so unique, since there are only a few in Rome.

Today the synagogue serves as a prayer place, as well as a Jewish museum, where Jewish artifacts and archeology are displayed, as well as ancient gravestones, documents and books on Italian Jewry.

#History of the Synagogue

For hundreds of years, due to a law forbidding the construction of new synagogues, the synagogue was divided into five different sections, each pertained to a different community. When the Jews of Rome were concentrated in the ghetto, they dispersed in the synagogues in this area.

It was only after the original building burnt down that this new structure was built. It became a symbol of the new rights of Italian Jews in the early 20th century. A sign of the appreciation and excitement surrounding the synagogue's inauguration is a memorial plaque on the wall which reads: "From Igura Rama to Birka Amikta". In loose terms, this means rising from a low pit to a high peak.

The synagogue was built in 1904, on the ruins of the ghetto. It was designed by Christian architects, since at that time the Jews could not study liberal professions, such as architecture. A few weeks before its inauguration, by the way, the new synagogue was visited by the King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele III.

In 1986 there was a historic visit to the synagogue by Pope John Paul II. The Pope prayed with Rabbi Eliyahu Toaff, then Chief Rabbi of Rome. This was the first ever visit of a Pope to a synagogue. Before the visit, all the Torah scrolls were removed from the synagogue. This is due to the practice of the Jews of Italy, who claim that a synagogue without Torah scrolls in the Temple is not a holy place.

#The Synagogue's Architecture

The synagogue was built in a very impressive and massive building. It is a magnificent square structure that can be seen from a distance and certainly beyond the Tiber River, which flows on its southern side.

The style is known as "neo-classical". This means that it includes elements from the classical world, mainly Greek and Roman, but also motifs from Assyrian and Babylonian cultures. The large classical columns stand in front of it, giving it the appearance of a Roman temple. They are balanced in a square aluminum dome. This dome, of the Great Synagogue, can be seen from almost every point in Rome.

Inside the synagogue, the Holy Ark is also decorated as a small Greek temple. On either side of it, it is supported by two columns. Above the cover of the ark, stands the statues of the Tablets of the Law, and above them a seven-branched menorah.

The main prayer hall rises to a height of 46 meters and topped by the square dome. A hexagonal arched niche contains a kind of Holy Ark in a classic white and gold style.

The hall is divided by huge columns, headed by Greek titles. The walls feature numerous sculptings of lamps and a variety of medallions. The walls of the synagogue are adorned with flower-like decorations and stars on the ceiling and a variety of decorations in different colors. One cannot help but be moved by the many tablets on the walls here, which have the names of the Jewish victims who were killed or murdered in the two world wars engraved on them.

The women's section is located behind the pillars, in a gallery on the second floor. In the basement there is a synagogue for Sephardic prayers and at the separate entrance to the synagogue, on the river's side, are the offices of the Jewish community of Rome.

A small museum in the synagogue building contains about 1,000 Parochets and quite a few books and manuscripts. These documents the lives of the Jews in Italy, at different periods in history.

The building was designed by Vincenzo Costa and Oswaldo Armani. The two are not Jewish, since Jews were not allowed to study architecture at the time.

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 as 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!
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:

#About the Temple of the Roman Gods

The Pantheon is one of the symbols of the Roman Empire, so popular, in fact, that it is always immediately associated with Rome. Pantheon means "all gods," since it was dedicated to the 12 Olympian gods.

The 16 Corinthian pillars were brought directly from Egypt and weigh no less than 60 tons each. They stand at the height of 12 meters and have a 1.5 meter diameter. These columns support the triangular roof of the structure, where an inscription explains how this building was built by Marcus Agrippa.

You will also see the graves of some Italian kings and that of the artist Raffaello Sanzio.

If you want to enhance the experience, come to Pantheon when it is raining. It is special to see the water entering through the holes in the ceiling before trickling down to the center of the building. In case you were wondering what happens to the water here, the floor is slanted in such a way that the water gathers quickly in the drainage holes. Another interesting point is that on April 21, when the sun rays hit the metal plate above the door, the entrance to the temple is quite a spectacular sight.

Opposite the Pantheon stands the impressive Pantheon fountain, built by the architect Giacomo della Forte in 1575 and carved by Leonardo Sormani. Later on, pharaoh's obelisk from Egypt, dolphin carvings and a new base were added.

#The Ceiling of the Pantheon

One of the most interesting things about the Pantheon is its amazing ceiling, which is constructed as a dome on the roof of the building. Its diameter is 43 meters and at its center you will see a skylight called Okulos. Through this opening, light showers down into the building creating a beautiful atmosphere. This is the only light source in the structure and its diameter is 8 meters.

This dome of the ceiling is the largest in the world without support. Do not take it for granted, as it was a rather challenging architectural feat. Due to the massive weight of the dome, and in order to avoid its collapsing, the Roman engineers tried to make it weight as little as possible as they designed the ceiling to be higher. This was also the reason that the upper parts of the dome are made of lighter materials and have more internal spaces. Due to this interesting construction, the dome looks flatter from the outside than it really is.

#The Pantheon's History

The Pantheon was built in the year 27 AD following an order by Marcus Agrippa, commander of the Roman army and consul during the reign of Augustus. Following a fire that took place 60 years later, the building was completely burned down. It was rebuilt in 125 AD by Emperor Hadrian. The Pantheon was a temple, and in 609 it was converted to a church called Santa Maria Rotonda, though this was subsequently destroyed during the Middle Ages. It was the first time in history that a temple of idolatry became a Christian place of worship.

#What is the Pantheon? (Courtesy of Eureka.com)

The Pantheon in Rome is the most preserved building in the world, left over from the Roman period. It is the most ancient building in the world, still covered by its original ceiling and roof. This is one of the most impressive places in the city of Rome, a city with many fascinating archaeological sites.

Architecturally speaking, the Pantheon is a significant achievement in the ancient world, since the dome is made of concrete, from soil from Pozzolana. It is the largest domed structure in the ancient world and is so strong that it has survived to this day.

The word "Pantheon" means "rule of the gods" in Greek. In various ancient mythologies, such as Sumerian and Greek, this word described a temple. And indeed, the ancient Roman structure that remains intact to this day was originally used as a temple for all the gods - Pantheon.

However the Romans later changed its use to the court of the emperor, a law court, and after Christianity took over, it became a Christian church called Santa Maria Rotunda. It must be admitted that this is an interesting use of a structure originally intended for idol worship and contained a number of altars dedicated to the many gods of the ancient world.

The date of the inauguration of the Pantheon as a gift to the Pope, by Emperor Phocas, is celebrated to this day by the Christian world as "Halloween Night." Among those buried in the floor of the Pantheon is the painter Raphael and the kings of Italy.


There are guided tours of the Pantheon free of charge. There is no need to book a spot in advance.

The Pantheon is one of the most popular sites in Rome. Still, it is not very crowded here. If you want to see it in a pleasant way, it is best to arrive after 4:00 pm.

A Closer Look:

Sant Eustachio
#The Best Coffee in Rome

This café, Sant Eustachio, is said to be the best coffee place in Rome. It may seem like a casual shop, but the coffee you will order here is said to be the best by the locals. If this isn’t convincing enough, just remember that Italy is also a coffee empire.


The big line at the entrance indicates that this is a special spot. Here are some recommendations for beginners:

Order "coffee" which is actually an espresso. This is the only way to enjoy the entire aroma of the place. This is not the time for an Americano or cappuccino friends! - You have reached the temple of coffee. With the ability to order coffee comes the responsibility to order coffee ...

At Sant Eustachio Coffee they will automatically sweeten the coffee unless you say " Amarro," which indicates you want your coffee left bitter.
Basilica of San Pietro
#The Basilica of San Pietro or St. Pete

Hold tight. You stand at the doorstep of the largest church in the world and are about to see its magnificent treasures!

The Vatican Church, also known as the Basilica of San Pietro, is considered the most sacred church to the Catholics. It is so large that it can accommodate up to 60,000 worshipers at any given moment. It is located in Vatican City, the seat of the Pope. The Vatican, as we know, is a small country in itself.

The entrance is through the large and beautiful square, Piazza San Pietro. On both sides of the entrance are 288 huge columns designed by Bernini.

The church was built in the late Renaissance and Baroque styles and its large dome is one of the familiar symbols on the horizon of Rome. Beneath the dome is St. Peter, one of the apostles of Jesus, who spread Christianity in Rome and became the first Pope. Peter was executed and later buried here.

On the ceiling of the chapel you can see the "creation of man," Michelangelo's famous painting. Throughout the church you can see other amazing works - the works of young Raphael, the sculptures and the design of Bernini and other works that express the richness of the Vatican.

Do not miss the little balcony in the dome of the basilica. It is 120 meters high and in order to reach it it is necessary to combine an elevator and another 330 stairs.

#Construction of the Basilica

The truth is that the construction of this church began in the fourth century, but it was rebuilt in the 16th century. In 1506, Pope Julius appointed Donato Bramante to rebuild the building that stood in front of the present basilica, the Basilica of Constantine. The new basilica was designed as a cross with four arms.

All the popes who came after him invested a great deal of resources in the emerging basilica. They spent large sums of money and brought artists like Raphael, Baldassare Peruzzi, Antonio de Sangallo, Bernini and Michelangelo (who designed the dome) to help complete its magnificent construction. Inside the dome is Michelangelo's famous Pieta statue.

A Closer Look:

Vatican Museum
#About the Museum

For centuries, the Popes living in the Vatican compound collected works of art and ancient and expensive objects. Due to their amazing Catholic collections, the world's most important museums - the Vatican Museums - were established in the 16th century. In these museums, one can find a variety of works from ancient Egypt, the Etruscan period, the period of ancient Rome and the Renaissance.

The first public museum of the Vatican opened in the Capitolina building. A collection of personal sculptures of Pope Sixtus IV was presented. It was also Sixtus who founded the Vatican Library. His grandson Julius II donated his collection of ancient marble statues to be placed in the sculpture garden. This is where it all began.

Today these museums are full of exhibits. Due to the incredible variety and quantity of items here, you will need to plan the tour in advance and decide what you want to see.

#What Can Be Seen Here?

In the Vatican Museum one may observe the Pope's private chapel and the place where the cardinals would select his heir - the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina). Pay particular attention to the magnificent artwork on the ceiling of the chapel - a spectacular mural painted by Michelangelo depicting the creation of the world and the history of the human race. This is one of the masterpieces in art history.

The gallery has 17-rooms (Pinacoteca Vaticana). It features religious paintings from various periods, dating back to the Gothic and Baroque periods. There is a gallery of carpets which describes the fascinating life of Jesus, woven between the years 1523-1534. Make sure to visit the four rooms devoted to the amazing works of the artist Raffaello Sanzio.

Take note of the Museo Pio Clementino Museum, which has 12 rooms with spectacular and nostalgic collections from the time of Greece to ancient Rome.

A Close Look at the Vatican's Museums:

Forno Campo de Fiori
#About the Recommended Pizzeria in the Popular Market

At the edge of the Campo di Fiori Market is a pizzeria, the kind that pizza lovers remember for years. Forno Campo de Fiori makes great pizzas with a variety of toppings.

There are a variety of four types of cheese, sausages, and almost any vegetable you can put on pizza, onions, peppers, tomatoes, zucchinis and more.

The fragrant and crispy pizzas are great and the price is nothing in comparison with the enjoyment you'll have. Enjoy your meal!
#About the Pope's Ice Cream Parlor

Rome is flooded with great ice cream parlors, flavors and brands, making it difficult to choose a favorite- which also has to do with opinion! However there is one well known ice cream parlor loved by locals and tourists alike - The Giolitti Ice cream parlor. Many say it as the best ice cream parlor in Rome.

The first branch of Giolitti's ice cream shop opened in 1900. It is rumored that some of the secret recipes of the ice cream shop are kept by the owner in a safe. Regardless, it's an authentic and well-known place.

The ice cream parlor is so old and popular that it is said that even Pope John Paul II used to ask for Giolitti's chestnut ice cream. Even today quite a few celebrities and important people visit the ice cream parlor, including Michelle Obama, the wife of the president Obama, who requested ice cream from this very place.

If you want to taste one of the classic ice creams that have been served here since the 192'0s, ask for this combination: chocolate ice cream, crispy zucchini pudding with whipped cream, hazelnuts and waffle rolls. All customers recommend the luxurious addition of whipped cream.

#About Rome's Ice Cream

In Italian, ice cream is called "gelato" and it has been here since ancient Rome, though the ice cream back then was slightly different. It was a kind of mixing of soft ice with noodles. Over the years the dish was improved, adding fine rich cream and varied hand-made ice creams are produced here.

The Romans attribute so much respect to this dish, that they offer "authorized" ice cream shops, places which only deal with the preparation and production of ice cream. Note that the price here is determined by the amount of ice cream and not by the number of balls ordered.

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.