ROMA ANTICA – EN
Colle Oppio is one of the heights on the Esquiline, one of the seven hills of Rome. Today it houses an archaeological park where you can admire the remains of the Baths of Trajan, one of the three largest public baths built during the imperial age. Hidden under the Colle Oppio park there are still the remains of the Domus Aurea, the famous villa of Nero.
Built in the 1st century AD, the Colosseum (or Amphitheatrum Flavium) at the behest of the emperor Vespasian is the largest and most impressive amphitheater ever built in the world, and every year, the it is visited by more than 7 million people. Some of the most popular and followed games took place in the Amphitheater, such as the famous encounters between gladiators, the fights with ferocious animals, and almost certainly naumachies (naval battles). This majestic monument completely leaves the tourist and the natives of the eternal city, literally speechless.
Even if today only a few archaeological leftovers remain of the Circus Maximus, it is still possible to imagine its vastness and grandeur. 600 meters long by 140 meters wide, practically as long as five soccer fields and as wide as two. If you think that it was probably created in the 6th century BC, we can already imagine the effect it will have on seeing it live. It is in fact the largest stadium for sports and games ever built in history, and in all probability the valley where its remains are situated today was the first place used by the Romans for various types of games, the chariot races were considered the most popular and spectacular.
Located directly on the banks of the Tiber and close to the ancient port, the Forum Boarium in Roman times was the place where the cattle market took place. Here you can also admire the beautiful temple of Hercules Victor (120 BC) and the famous Mouth of Truth. Since the Middle Ages the legend has been circulating that anyone who puts their hand into the Mouth of Truth after telling a lie will have their hand bitten off by it. This ritual was particularly popular for recognizing adulterers. Today, however, curious tourists have to expect a long line before they can convince themselves of the truth of this legend.
Campidoglio or Monte Capitolino is one of the seven hills of Rome. It is the place where in antiquity some of the most important temples such as the one dedicated to the Capitoline Triad were located. From this hill you can enjoy a wonderful view over the entire Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum. One of the most spectacular views in the world, where you can see from above several Roman eras in a short distance from each other. The Piazza del Campidoglio, was entirely rearranged by Michelangelo in the 16th century, however, it includes many sculptures from ancient Rome. Of particular note are two statues now replaced by copies, the equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and the Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus (founders of Rome).
Built between 46 B.C. and 113 A.D. the Imperial Forums are monumental squares built by Julius Caesar and the emperors Augustus, Nerva and Trajan. They served as an extension of the public area next to the Roman Forum, and contained temples, libraries and courthouses. But the Forums were also thought of as a place of propaganda. To date, the Trajan’s Column can be admired on the Trajan’s Forum. It is a triumphal column that celebrated the conquest of Dacia.
Mausoleum of Augustus and Ara Pacis
The family tomb of the first Roman emperor built at the end of the 1st century BC today is in a state of ruin. Despite having been reused in different ways throughout its history, the typical shape of the Roman mausoleums can still be recognized at first glance. On the same square there is also the Ara Pacis, the best preserved Roman altar ever found. Entirely carved in marble, this altar was built by the emperor Augustus and dedicated to Peace.
Built as a Roman temple in the 2nd century AD under the reign of the emperor Hadrian, it was soon reused as a Christian church, and it is also for this reason that today it is the most well-preserved Roman monument in the eternal city. It is one of the most spectacular monuments in the world, and is famous above all for its immense dome, up to the present day the largest ever built in Rome. The Pantheon still remains wrapped in mysteries for its construction to the greatest scholars of history and art.
Piazza Navona with the remains of the Stadium of Domitian
What is now known as the most beautiful Roman square was originally a stadium built under the reign of Emperor Domitian in the late 1st century AD. It was the first Roman stadium entirely built in masonry, and could host approx. 30,000 spectators. Here, athletic and fighting games took place. With the fall of the empire the use of the stadium ceased, and starting from the Middle Ages, buildings were erected above the stands. What was the track at the time, today is Piazza Navona.
CasteSant'Angelo - Castel of the Holy Angel
Due to its proximity to the Vatican, this building has been used for many centuries as a personal fortress of the Popes. Today it is also well known for its former use as a prison. On closer inspection, however, it can be seen that it does not have the typical architecture of a castle. This is because, as so often in Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo was originally something completely different – Hadrian’s Mausoleum. He had it built in the first half of the second century AD, inspired by the Mausoleum of Augustus. Only over the centuries did the funeral monument change little by little until it reached its present appearance in the 17th century.