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«Yes, I have finally arrived to this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life... Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.» Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Rome, the cradle of civilization, Rome caput mundi, or simply Rome, the city of a thousand faces. Seat of the Papacy, its current countenance is the result of innumerable urbanistic and architectonic modifications that run through its layers and through the millennia. 
Rome, Imperial Forums

Imperial Rome is certainly that which is best-known. The splendors of Antiquity are living and visible in the Capital today: from the Colosseum to the Imperial Forums, the Domus Aurea, the Pantheon and Circus Maximus.

At the end of the 1400s, the great Florentine Renaissance moved to Rome, where the Popes had become the important patrons of art, thus summoning the best artists to bedeck and embellish the city. Rome appeared as if it were one great construction site: churches began to proliferate (e.g. San Pietro in Montorio and its Tempietto del Bramante, or Santa Maria della Pace and its frescoes by Raphael) and already-existing churches were restructured and newly-decorated - think Santa Maria in Aracoeli, where Pinturicchio and Donatello worked their magic.
Royal palaces were built or at least adorned, among which Palazzo Farnese, Palazzo della Cancelleria, and Villa Farnesina stand out from some of the city’s most important piazzas, for example the Campidoglio, one of several of Michelangelo's masterpieces. 

Then, the Baroque in Rome thrived from the 1600s on, and was dominated by architects like Bernini and Borromini. This is the Rome of Palazzo del Quirinale, current residence of the President of the Republic; of Piazza Navona with its Four Rivers Fountain; and of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza and Palazzo Spada.
During this period, Caravaggio was the indisputable genius in town, and he bequeathed to it countless invaluable works. 
In the transition from Baroque to Neoclassicism, Rome began to show off new sites such as Piazza del Popolo, and then the Vittorio Emanuele II monument (inaugurated in 1911 but finished only in 1925), known as Il Vittoriano).

The first decades of the 1900s were characterized by the creation of two very particular zones of Rome: the Coppedè Quarter, containing the splendid Villino delle Fate, and EUR, with its famous “rationalist” structures. 
The Art Nouveau period can also be seen in places like Ostia, with its homes and buildings in the style that the Italians call “Liberty” (Ostia is especially appreciated for its ancient seaport ruins). 
Of course, Christian Rome is comprises the the Vatican City, the Patriarchal Basilicas – San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul Outside the Walls – and the Catacombs. 
On the southern bank of the Tiber River of northern Rome lies the area of Ponte Milvio and the newest bridge, Ponte della Musica, uniting the Flaminio Quarter - where Renzo Piano’s Auditorium Parco della Musica reigns - to the MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art (designed by internationally-renowned Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid). Nearby are the Palazzetto dello Sport and the Flaminio Stadium (or Stadio di Nervi, work of the architect Pier Luigi Nervi), as well as the Vittorie neighborhood, the Italic Forum and the Olympic Stadium. 

The Capital is not only a city of monuments, but a city alive with cultural centers and events: permanent and temporary exhibits, and both ancient and contemporary artworks abound in its innumerable museums: the Borghese Gallery, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, GNAM, the Macro, Scuderie del Quirinale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Chiostro del Bramante, Villa Giulia, the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Barberini, Palazzo Massimo, and Trajan’s Markets.
Rome’s ample cultural offering can also be found in its theatres: the Teatro dell'Opera’s summer season takes place at the Caracalla Baths; the National Academy of Santa Cecilia features a renowned orchestra; the Teatro Brancaccio and Teatro Sistina are Italy’s hubs for the musicals generated by Broadway and the West End (while many spectators flock to the Teatro Argentina and Teatro Eliseo for plays); and finally, the works of Shakespeare find their (summer) home in Villa Borghese’s Globe Theatre.

Take Another Look

A Brief History of Rome

Visiting Rome

Ancient Rome, Imperial Rome

The Colosseum

The Roman Forum

Rome: The Roman Forum

Museums of Rome

Castel Sant' Angelo

Capitoline Museums

The Borghese Gallery

Christian Rome

The Vatican City

St. Peter's Basilica

The Catacombs

Virtual Tour

Virtual Tours of Rome

Useful Information

Tourism, Commune of Rome 

Museums and Palazzi
Musei in comune
Doria Pamphilj 
Borghese Gallery/ Palazzo Spada/ National Gallery for Ancient Art 

Chiostro del Bramante    

Auditorium Parco della Musica 
MAXXI National Museum of Art for the 21st Century   

Palazzo Altemps 

Palazzo del Quirinale  

Villa Medici 

Villa Farnesina   
Teatro dell'Opera 

Teatro Brancaccio 

Teatro Sistina 

Teatro Eliseo   

Teatro Argentina/ Teatro India