ROME

Ancient Rome.  Perhaps the most famous structure in the world is the Coliseum in the ancient center of Rome.

Nearby are the remains of the enormous Circus Maximus Hippodrome (horse racing track) and other ruins.   

Augustus as Ruler of Rome. 

The Oculus of the Pantheon.  This is undoubtedly the most perfectly preserved structure of its age - over 2000 years - in the world.

Santa Maria in Trastevere. The oldest Christian church in Rome - dating back to 350.

Spanish Steps

The Vatican.

The Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's famous ceiling fresco.

We stayed at the grand Parc du Principi hotel, which we liked because it is in a quiet neighborhood across the street from the beautiful Borghese Park and very close to the center of Rome.

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After walking through the Borghese Park you find your self overlooking the Piazza Populi.

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Strolling through the Piazza and on your way toward the Vatican, you may come across a street opera singer, gathering donations in her umbrella.

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Next thing you know, you are in Vatican Square.

Everywhere you turn in Rome you encounter treasured ruins, monuments, cathedrals, archeological excavations and such.  Here is one of the dozen beautiful squares we happened upon.  Even our hotel had archaeological ruins on its grounds.

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In the popular Trastavere neighborhood we popped into this cute little trattoria for a great lunch.

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Don't forget to leave some time to relax after your exploration of Rome.  The hotel pool is a nice way to do that.

That's our quick report on Rome - there is obviously FAR more to see and do in the Eternal City.  You may also like to see our Northern Italy report - covering Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Bellagio/Lake Como.  Also take a look at the Naples and Pompei report, the Amalfi Coast report, and the Capri report.  Finally, check out our Sicily and Panarea reports.