Rome has one of Italy’s most visually and historically fascinating cityscapes, and no trip to the city would be complete without taking in the amazing art and architecture of the city streets, both above and below ground. When you plan your trip to Rome, make sure to schedule a walking, biking, or Segway tour to experience the city’s street level wonders and schedule acatacomb tour to see the city’s underground treasures.
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The fountains in Rome are not only beautiful pieces of artwork, they are also part of Rome’s history. The largest, most famous fountain is the Baroque style Trevi Fountain that was featured in the 1960 Fellini movie La Dolce Vita. It was completed in 1762 after years of delays. You will be awed when you see it in person. Another famous fountain is Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain). It was designed and sculpted in 1643 by Bernini (notable as his first public commission). Rome actually has more than 2,000 fountains that each have their own history and artful splendor.
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Obelisks - Egyptian and Roman
Rome has more obelisks than any other city, and many are Egyptian. You might be wondering why. It is because they were transported to Rome after the Romans conquered Egypt. Rome’s oldest and tallest obelisk is Egyptian and was brought to Rome in 357. It was originally built for Egyptian pharaohs in the 15th century B.C. and is now located in Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano. The tallest obelisk made in Rome actually sits atop of one of Rome’s famous fountains, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, in the Piazza Navona.
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Talking Statues of Rome
When the pope governed Rome’s citizens in the 1500’s, they took to using statues as an outlet for posting anonymous criticisms. People would glue pieces of paper to the statues, so it was as if the statues were talking. Pasquino, a male torso, was the original talking statue. He was joined by Marforio, Madama Lucrezia, and Babuino to name a few. The fascinating statues are all around the city. Some are full bodies, and some are torsos. They are each a sight worth seeing.
Art history buffs will love the catacombs that contain several genres of early Christian art. Catacombe di San Callisto is the largest of the catacombs and was Rome’s official Christian cemetery. Nine third-century popes were buried there. You’ll see their crypts, as well as many paintings, frescoes, and sculptures. Catacombe di San Sebastiano is smaller, but contains impressive early Christian mosaics and graffiti. The oldest catacombs are Catacombe di San Domitilla. You enter these catacombs through a fourth century church and get to see a second century fresco of the Last Supper.
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There are fountains and statues and amazements around every corner in this historic city. Plan to stay in one of the centrally located hotels in Rome, and you will be surrounded by the aesthetics of Rome’s cityscape day and night.
This post was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.