Rome - Where History Is Worth It
Written By: In Collaboration With Sprinkles of Style
A lot of people who enjoy traveling around the world really love to take in history. At virtually every significant destination there is some form of history to be taken in, whether it be in the form of man-made buildings, natural phenomena, cultural remnants, or anything else.
As fascinating as it all is though, not all of it makes for the best travel activity. That is, sometimes you might go out of your way and spend the bulk of a precious day abroad seeing what ends up being a shabby, nondescript ruin or a bland old temple that happens to have cultural relevance. In these cases, only the true history buffs will really be impressed.
In other cases however, the most noteworthy historical attractions are every bit as worthwhile as any other landmarks or activities and Rome, in this regard, just about tops the worldwide travel list.
Yes, it's generally a beautiful and romantic place and by now there are countless great restaurants, bars, and ordinary modern attractions you can enjoy there but as you tour around Rome - it's the history which stands out.
You can't find a much more amazing historical landmark than The Pantheon - which is largely because it's not entirely historical. That is to say, The Pantheon is still an active Christian church, and has been in near-continuous use since Hadriana's reconstruction (which was in 118 CE).
It's still in near-perfect condition, with stout Corinthian columns and a famously spectacular dome, making it all the more amazing.
When you think about it, the fact that this is still a church in use is almost like if the Colosseum (which we'll get to in a moment) still housed sporting events.
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum completes the unofficial trifecta of the best remnants of the ancient empire.
Alongside the Colosseum and the Pantheon, it's by far the one of the most incredible standing depiction of ancient days. The forum was essentially a place of gathering and political discourse in its day, and while it's in worse condition than the other landmarks, it's arguably more revealing of what ancient Rome might have looked and felt like.
This is because it's essentially an area rather than a single building and you can really get a feel for the layout of multiple old buildings and monuments in the area.
The Colosseum is another spectacularly well-preserved structure from Ancient Rome and in fact dates back to before the construction of the Pantheon - at least by a little bit.
It has its own interesting history as well, even beyond being the world's central hub for gladiator spectacles.
Like so many other Roman monuments, the Colosseum was something of an imperial vanity project, to the point that the Emperor Augustus is known to have created a lottery to fund its construction.
Various similar efforts have kept it in good shape over the years, even to this day when wealthy donors assist in restoration. All of this benefits travelers tremendously though, because we can now see the Colosseum much as it would have been 2,000 years ago.
St. Peter's Basilica
One of the best ways to get a sense of just how extensive the history of Rome is is to tour St. Peter's Basilica and consider that it's some 15 centuries newer than the Colosseum and yet - it's also 500 years old.
St. Peter's is emblematic of another era of Roman history, and world history for that matter, and still stands as perhaps the finest Renaissance church in the world.
While it remains the functional head and heart of Vatican City, and by extension the entire Catholic Church worldwide, it's also a sort of museum unto itself.
There aren't many more spectacular or interesting buildings in the entire world.
The Trevi Fountain is the youngest landmark on this list, having been completed in 1762.
Though for perspective, that still makes it older than the nation of the United States.
Built in the Baroque style, it's one of Europe's larger public fountains and is built as a monument to Roman Mythology.
There's no doubt that it's a wonder to look at however there are also a lot of interesting things to learn about it. For instance, despite its relatively recent construction, the actual site of the fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome - dating back to 19 BC.
Little factoids like this make it all the more awe-inspiring to see.
Sprinkles of Style