Italy

Bella Italia! Italy has Europe's richest, craziest culture. After all, this nation is the cradle of European civilization — established by the Roman Empire and carried on by the Roman Catholic Church. As you explore Italy, you'll stand face-to-face with some of the world's most iconic images from this 2,000-year history: the Colosseum of Ancient Rome, the medieval Leaning Tower of Pisa, Michelangelo's David and Botticelli's Venus, the playful Baroque exuberance of the Trevi Fountain...and the elegant decay that surrounds the canals of Venice. Beyond these famous sights, though, Italy offers Europe's richest culture. Traditions still live within a country that is vibrant and fully modern. Go with an eye open to both the Italy of the past and of the present.

Rome
Rome is magnificent and brutal at the same time. It's a showcase of Western civilization, with astonishingly ancient sights and a modern vibrancy. While Paris is an urban garden, Rome is a magnificent tangled forest. This city of beautiful chaos is Italy's political capital, the capital of Catholicism, and the center of its ancient empire, littered with evocative remains. As you peel through its fascinating and jumbled layers, you'll find Rome's buildings, cats, laundry, traffic, and 3.4 million people endlessly entertaining. Visit St. Peter's, the greatest church on earth, learn something about eternity by touring the huge Vatican Museum, do the "Caesar Shuffle" through

ancient Rome's Forum and Colosseum, savor the Borghese Gallery, and take an early evening stroll with Rome's beauty.
[hide]Climate data for Rome Ciampino Airport (altitude: 105 m sl, satellite view) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high 11.9 13.0 15.2 17.7 22.8 26.9 30.3 30.6 26.5 21.4 15.9 12.6 20.4 °C (°F) (53.4) (55.4) (59.4) (63.9) (73) (80.4) (86.5) (87.1) (79.7) (70.5) (60.6) (54.7) (68.7) Daily mean 7.5 8.2 10.2 12.6 17.2 21.1 24.1 24.5 20.8 16.4 11.4 8.4 15.2 °C (°F) (45.5) (46.8) (50.4) (54.7) (63) (70) (75.4) (76.1) (69.4) (61.5) (52.5) (47.1) (59.4) Average low 3.1 3.5 5.2 7.5 11.6 15.3 18.0 18.3 15.2 11.3 6.9 4.2 10.0 °C (°F) (37.6) (38.3) (41.4) (45.5) (52.9) (59.5) (64.4) (64.9) (59.4) (52.3) (44.4) (39.6) (50) Precipitation 66.9 73.3 57.8 80.5 52.8 34.0 19.2 36.8 73.3 113.3 115.4 81.0 804.3 mm (inches) (2.634) (2.886) (2.276) (3.169) (2.079) (1.339) (0.756) (1.449) (2.886) (4.461) (4.543) (3.189) (31.665)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)
7.0 7.6 7.6 9.2 6.2 4.3 2.1 3.3 6.2 8.2 9.7 8.0 79.4

Mean monthly 120.9 132.8 167.4 201.0 263.5 285.0 331.7 297.6 237.0 195.3 129.0 111.6 2,472.8 sunshine hours

Things to Do
1. Colosseum

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The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman

Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world

2. Trevi Fountain

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Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. Standing 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, and is a popular tourist attraction.

3. Pantheon

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The Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD.

2. St. Peter's Basilica

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St. Peter's Basilica is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the Catholic Roman Rite cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".

3. Roman Forum

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The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

4. Spanish Steps

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The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe

5. Castel Sant'Angelo

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The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The Castel was once the tallest building in Rome.

6. Circus Maximus

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The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m in length and 118 m in width, and could accommodate about 250,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.

7. Piazza Navona

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Piazza Navona is a city square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones, and hence it was known as "Circus Agonalis". It is believed that over time the name changed to in avone to navone and eventually to navona.

8. Capitoline Hill

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The Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome. It was the citadel of the earliest Romans. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium, one of the three major spurs of the Capitolinus. The English word capitol derives from Capitoline. The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo.

9. Catacombs of Rome

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The Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century AD, mainly as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land.

10.

Apostolic Palace

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The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V.

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Piazza del Popolo

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Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means "People's Square", but historically it derives from the poplars after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.

12.

Baths of Caracalla

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The Baths of Caracalla in Rome, Italy, were the second largest Roman public baths, or thermae, built in Rome between AD 212 and 216, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. Chris Scarre provides a slightly longer construction period 211-217 AD. They would have had to install over 2,000 tons of material every day for six years in order to complete it in this

time. Records show that the idea for the baths were drawn up by Septimius Severus, and merely completed or opened in the lifetime of Caracalla. This would allow for a longer construction timeframe. They are today a tourist attraction.

13.

Hadrian's Villa

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The Hadrian's Villa is a large Roman archaeological complex at Tivoli, Italy. The villa was constructed at Tibur as a retreat from Rome for Roman Emperor Hadrian during the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD. Hadrian was said to dislike the palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome, leading to the construction of the retreat. During the later years of his reign, he actually governed the empire from the villa. A large court therefore lived there permanently. The postal service kept it in contact with Rome 29 km away.

14.

Bocca della Verità

La Bocca della Verità is an image, carved from Pavonazzo marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a first-century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods, probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the 'Bocca' represents the ancient god of the river Tiber

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