Rome, the Eternal City, is romantic, mysterious and unforgettable — the splash of a thousand fountains, the slow and silent flow of the Tiber, the scent of old stone in the ruins — yet it is also a modern, bustling metropolis. No place blends old and new like Roma!
Today it is the third most visited city in the EU and, having escaped the bombings of World War II somewhat unscathed, the historic center – defined by the traditional "Seven Hills of Rome" and the Tiber River – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Legend has it that Rome was founded by the feral twins Romulus and Remus in the 8th century BC. The timing, at least, is supported by some archeological evidence. The city grew and developed into the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and finally the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC.
Perfectly placed between Italy's North and South, Rome is perhaps the perfect capital for modern Italy. Once the seat of a great empire, and later the home of the papacy, it's still seen as different, and yet it’s quintessentially Italian.
For the visitor, the most astonishing thing about Rome is the sheer weight of history that the city supports. There is an almost uninterrupted sequence of monuments, from ancient Roman ruins, early Christian basilicas, Romanesque churches and Renaissance palaces, to the Baroque fountains and churches, ponderous, post-Unification Neoclassical architecture and even contemporary buildings by architects like Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Paolo Portoghesi. And it’s all built one century on top of the other.
Important sights of Rome include the Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, National Museum of Rome, the Borghese Villa and Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art and, of course, The Vatican.