The Circus Maximus
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest circus in ancient Rome. The site is now a public park and retains little evidence of its former use. Chariot racing was the most important event at the Circus.
The Tiber Island
The Tiber Island is a boat-shaped island which has long been associated with healing. It is an ait, and the only island in the Tiber river, which runs through Rome. The island is located in the southern bend of the river and is approximately 270 m. long and 67 m. wide. It has been linked to the rest of Rome by two bridges since antiquity, and was once called Insula Inter-Duos-Pontes which means “the island between the two bridges”.
The Roman (Jewish) Ghetto
The Roman (Jewish) Ghetto was located in the rione Sant’Angelo, in the area surrounded by today’s Via del Portico d’Ottavia, Lungotevere dei Cenci, Via del Progresso and Via di Santa Maria del Pianto close to the Tiber and the Theater of Marcellus. Papal bull Cum nimis absurdum, promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1555, segregated the Jews. Though Jews had lived freely in Rome since Antiquity, they were now required to live in a walled quarter with three gates that were locked at night, and were subjected to various restrictions on their personal freedoms such as limits to allowed professions and compulsory Catholic sermons on the Jewish shbabat.
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter, officially known in Italian as the Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano, and commonly known as St. Peter’s Basilica, is located within the Vatican City. In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession.
The Mausoleum of Hadrian
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant’Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building, initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The fortress was the refuge of Pope Clement VII from the siege of Charles V’s Landsknecht during the Sack of Rome (1527), in which Benvenuto Cellini describes strolling the ramparts and shooting enemy soldiers.
Piazza Navona is a city square. It follows the plan of the 1st century Stadium of Domitian, an ancient Roman circus, where the Romans came to watch the agones (“games”). It was known as ‘Circus Agonalis’ (competition arena). It is believed that over time the name changed to ‘in agone’ to ‘Navone’ and eventually to ‘Navona’.
The Pantheon, was originally built by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome. It was rebuilt in the early 2nd century AD by Hadrian. The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment opening into the rotunda, under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) open to the sky. The Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is at the junction of three roads (tre vie) and marks the terminal point of the “modern” Acqua Vergine, the revivified Aqua Virgo, one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. The backdrop for the fountain is the Palazzo Poli, given a new facade with a giant order of Corinthian pilasters that link the two main stories.
The Imperial Forums were built in the last days of the Republic, when the Roman Forum became inadequate to accommodate the growing population. These forums added to the magnificence of the city (which now was the capital of the known world). Following Caesar, Augustus (32 bc), Vespasian ( 69 -75 ad ), Domitian ( 97 ad), Trajan (113 ad) and Hadrian added new forums.
The Colosseum, originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. One of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, manure depository, stables and a Christian shrine. It has been estimated that about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum’s games.