The founding of Rome is enveloped in myth. The first city centre was built in 753 B.C. on the Palatine hill, by Romulus after he had killed his twin brother Remus. Romulus was the first of the seven kings of Rome, who started off the basic characteristics of this city that would go on to make Rome powerful throughout the ancient world.
With the arrival of the Republic, Rome increased its expansion policy and after the Punic Wars, Carthage, Corsica and Sardinia were all annexed to the Republic. The end of the Republic determined the beginning of Silla’s dictatorship (82 B.C.) The dictator Caius Julius Caesar oversaw a period of heavy expansion overseas. He was assassinated in 44 B.C. Emperor Octavius Augustus brought Rome to its “golden era”: a lengthy period of peace and stability, which was celebrated with monumental works of art. Many emperors ruled after him. Under Traianus, the empire enjoyed its period of maximum expansion reaching land that stretched from the Danube to the Nile. The city became increasingly Christian, while the empire fell into a difficult period. The Pope became more and more powerful, building the grounds for the birth of the Holy Roman Empire (800 A.D.). The catholic church’s power continued to increase and Rome became the representation of this power on earth.
The architectural marvel of antiquity and symbol of the Eternal City throughout the world, the Flavian Amphitheatre, know as the Colosseum, is the largest structure for entertainment, ever built by the Romans.
The Trevi Fountain is undoubtedly the most majestic fountain in Rome and the most famous throughout the world. It dominates a small square in the heart of Rome and entered everyone’s imagination thanks to the nighttime bathing scene with Anita Ekberg in the film "La Dolce Vita" by Fellini.
The Roman Forum was built in the 6th century B.C. on marshland that was drained by the creation of a sewer and drainage network. It rapidly became the centre of social and political life in Ancient Rome. New palaces, statues, temples and courts were added to the area century after century. From Via Salaria (parallel to Via dei Fori Imperiali) it is possible to enter this amazing archaeological site, which is almost a city within a city.
The Vatican City has been an independent sovereign state since 1929. It rises on the site where St. Peter was martyred and buried. The first Christian Emperor Constantine built a splendid basilica there in the 4th century BC that was later to be demolished and rebuilt over a period of almost 120 years (1506-1614). The greatest architects of the period, including Bramante, Michelangelo and Maderno, collaborated in the project of the new church, the largest in the world with its surface adding up to a total of 22,000 square meters. St Peter's Basilica offers one of the most impressive experiences of architectural space available anywhere.