- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
A look at Rome’s architecture is like a look into more than two thousand years of innovative designs now familiar all over the world. The Romans are credited with developing architectural structures such as arched construction and aqueducts. Examples of Roman influence in other parts of the world include Paris’ Arch of Triumph, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, New York Public Library and Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village.
Each year, millions of people from all over the world flock to Vatican City to see one of the holiest sites of the Christian religion and, upon occasion, the Pope. St. Peter’s Basilica is considered to be the world’s largest church and along with its massive square and other buildings, comprises the smallest country in the world. There is no admission fee to enter St. Peter’s Basilica but visitors are advised to act and dress properly. Once inside, visitors will get a better feel of the sheer enormity of the church, with its towering arched ceilings, meticulously crafted mosaics and priceless artwork and sculptures such as Michelangelo’s “Pietà.”
Although there is no admission fee to enter St. Peter’s Basilica, there are fees to visit other sections of Vatican City. For many visitors to Rome, the Sistine Chapel is the ultimate highlight of their trip, with a chance to gaze at the ceiling artwork by Michelangelo, with nine scenes from the Book of Genesis including one of the world’s most famous paintings – “The Creation of Adam.” The famous chapel is located within the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope.
Completed in 1762, Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque-style fountain in Rome. Also one of the world’s most famous fountains, Trevi Fountain has been featured in several movies, including “La Dolce Vita,” “Roman Holiday” and “Three Coins in the Fountain.” Visitors to the fountain can toss a coin into the fountain over their shoulder, signifying a return trip to the Eternal City.
Completed in the year 128, the Pantheon is one of the world’s most famous churches and considered a precursor to modern places of worship. Originally built as a temple to all gods, it is also one of the best preserved buildings of Ancient Rome. The nearly two thousand-year-old structure is believed to be the site where Romulus, the founder of Rome, ascended to heaven. The Pantheon’s dome is the world’s largest dome made of unreinforced concrete.