The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four Papal Major Basilicas of Rome, together with San Pietro, San Giovanni in Laterano and San Paolo Fuori le Mura. Situated on the Esquiline Hill, it is characterized by a wonderful façade with two angels placed at the central entrance. Superb also the Romanesque-Renaissance style bell tower adorned at the top with five bells and considered to be the highest of Rome.
Piazza di Spagna is the heart of the historic center of Rome, one of the most beloved places in Rome, and surely one of the most photographed tourist attractions. Reachable from Via dei Condotti and Via del Babuino, the square opens with the spectacular Spanish Steps of the church of Trinità Dei Monti, where every day of the year thousands of tourists and citizens sit in order to breathe the unique atmosphere that only the most beautiful city of the world can offer. Today Piazza di Spagna jealously guards its seventeenth century appearance and perfectly frames the famous Fountain of the Ugly Boat, designed by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the symbols of Rome, it is a magical and romantic place famous both for its architectural beauty and for the legend of the coin, saying that if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, with your back to the fountain, that will ensure a return to Rome. Easily accessible from Via del Tritone and Via del Corso, the Trevi Fountain is known worldwide for being a famous set of one of the most popular and beloved movies in history, "La Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini, with a blonde Anita Ekberg inviting a fascinated Marcello Mastroianni to follow her into the water of the fountain.
Rione Monti is the oldest district of Rome, known as the ancient Roman Suburra. It is characterized by a latch of narrow streets and charming alleys, intertwined with each other and forming a maze of craft shops, art galleries, restaurants and nightlife: Rione Monti is today considered one of the most beautiful and evocative districts of Rome. Its vivacity makes it a fundamental step of the Capitoline vibrant nightlife, especially around Piazza Madonna dei Monti, Via Urbana and Via dei Serpenti : people simply invade Rione Monti, making it become a small, informal and lively gathering, just like a small country village.
The Colosseum is the symbol of Rome, a monumental structure commissioned by Emperor Vespasian and located in the historic center of the city, at the end of Via dei Fori Imperiali. In the past it was used for bloody battles between gladiators and animals, acclaimed by 70,000 spectators. About 52 meters high, the Colosseum of Rome is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a famous destination for tourists from all over the world and indeed the most visited monument in Italy.
Rome is not only art, culture and religion, it is also a great place for shopping. Many are, in fact, the shops of the historic center of the capital, especially those located in the famous Trident composed by Via del Corso, Via del Babuino and Via di Ripetta, arteries that are home to various shops that can meet the different needs: clothing for women or men, underwear, accessories, footwear and young and trendy fashion megastore. From here you can reach the fashionable Via dei Condotti, punctuated by major ateliers of Italian and International designers and famous jewelers. Walking towards Piazza Venezia you can stop at the Galleria Alberto Sordi, a shopping hub with plenty of shops and businesses activities. Another landmark for the shopaholics is Via Cola di Rienzo, halfway between Piazza del Popolo and the Vatican Museums. Shopping continues in other areas, such as Rione Monti, where you can find a peculiar market characterized by vintage, ethnic and up to date items. The ancient Trastevere district is a great place for shopping, as well as San Giovanni and Prati district, home to numerous businesses. Characteristic also the local market of Campo de' Fiori with its charming alleys where you can find all types of shops.
Typical Roman cuisine has a strong popular connotation, based on the choice of fresh and genuine tradition-bound products. The cuisine is highly influenced by the so-called “fifth quarter”, that is waste of animals: everything, from the tail to the legs, can be cooked. From this tradition the most famous dishes of the Roman cuisine were born, the ones that you can find in almost all the taverns and restaurants of the historic center, such as Coda alla Vaccinara (an oxtail stew), Rigatoni with Pajata (intestines of an "un-weaned" calf), Spaghetti alla Carbonara or Amatriciana, Saltimbocca Roman-style, Abbacchio allo scottadito (lamb chops) and the Trippa alla Romana (Roman-style tripe). Along with these dishes you can choose exquisite side dishes, such as Roman- style artichokes, chicory, puntarelle with garlic and anchovy. Equally good is the cuisine based on poor and less valuable fishes, such as the salted codfish and the skate, widely used to flavor soups. Special mention should be made of the unique Jewish cuisine of the Ghetto of Rome known as the "giudìa", which offers fried vegetable, felafel, soups and the famous Jewish artichokes giudìa.
Silvio Negro, a famous Italian journalist, said: "Rome, a lifetime is not enough", a concept that deeply expresses a quite spread thought. In fact, the huge size of Rome and its magnificent historical, artistic and cultural heritage makes it hard to fully and deeply comprehend this amazing city.
That’s why you need to see Rome from above, from its historic panoramic viewpoints, so to have a first glance of the city, a summary image to better understand it.