Ah, Rome… the place that will put its spell on you, seduce you with its art, sunsets, ancient architecture, romantic bridges and gardens, fashion, style, la Dolce Vita… and make you come back again and again…
Why eternal, you may ask? Well, its earliest origins can be traced back at least 2,700 years, but some claim it goes much further than that. In any case, the history of this grandiose city is awe-inspiring, and not many places in the world can compare.
The legend says that two brothers, Romulus and Remus, after being abandoned to die as newborns at the river Tiber, were adopted by the she-wolf who nurtured them and helped them grow and, eventually, kill each other.
Romulus killed Remus, and hence the name Rome. (Not a great parenting job, she-wolf.)
The Ancient Colosseum in Rome
At the height of the Roman Empire, around 3rd century BC, the ancient Rome had more than 1 million inhabitants, and has rightly been called The Capital of the World in those ancient times.
Its Empire was so vast that it had to be divided first into two, and then four parts, finally settling into Western and Eastern Roman Empires.
Its long history has been marked by larger-than-life Emperors, Caesars, long wars, invasion from Huns to Ostrogoths – basically lots of blood, treason and greatness.
After the decline of the Western Roman Empire by the 5th century AD the city shrank to under 100,000 inhabitants, and was weakened, attacked and sacked repeatedly.
St. Peter’s Square in Rome
Eastern Roman Empire continued and flourished until the 16th century, with Constantinople as its capital.
So many ancient buildings can be found in Rome, with the Colosseum as the prime example, but the city lived through a fantastic period of Renaissance in the 16th century, when Rome became the world’s capital of art, architecture, baroque and decadence.
It is during this period that some of the most spectacular parts of the city have been built, or renovated and developed. Sistine Chapel was famously painted by Michelangelo. St Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt.
Bernini built hundreds of sculptures. Rafael gave its painting talent to the world. And, of course, Trevi Fountain, the baroque masterpiece, was built.
Since the Renaissance times Rome has seen continuous growth through centuries (with wars, attacks, sacks in between) to reach the grandeur it boasts today.
Ever the center of Christianity, the Papal rein dates back hundreds of years, and has resulted in some unmatched grandeur, such as St Peter’s square in the Vatican City, or St. Peter’s Basilica.
The city has so many churches and places of worship, and after Den Brown’s Angels and Demons book there are guided tours to uncover the secrets of the times long gone.
It has also long been the center of Catholic church, and millions of people come here on a pilgrimage each year.
Rome is a treat for your eyes in so many respects. Its architecture is unparalleled, its sculptures unmatched (Michelangelo, Bernini), its paintings jaw-dropping (Rafael, Michelangelo), its squares and bridges and skylines and avenues most romantic.
Yes, you’ve heard about all these treasures, and yes, you’ll prepare a careful list what to see and visit… but Rome is a place from another planet. You have to walk its streets, smell its atmosphere, watch its people… feel it.
You’ll be overwhelmed by this city’s grandeur and charm, and you’ll be back for more!
Where is Rome?
- 49.7 miles/ 80 km from Civitavecchia, Italy
- 175.8 miles/ 283 km from Florence, Italy
- 140.4 miles/ 226 km from Naples, Italy
- 188.2 miles/ 303 km from Ancona, Italy
- 201.3 miles/ 324 km from Livorno, Italy
- 17.3 miles/ 28 km from Rome Fiumicino Airport, Italy
- 9.9 miles/ 16 km from Rome Ciampino Airport, Italy
- 136.7 miles/ 220 km from Naples International Airport, Italy
- 187 miles/ 301 km from Florence Airport, Peretola, Italy
Things to See
- The Colosseum
- The Pantheon
- Trevi Fountain
- The Spanish Steps
- Chiesa del Gesu
- Castle Sant’ Angelo
- The Imperial Forums
- Vittorio Emanuele Monument
- Galleria Borghese
- Ostia Lido beach
- Santa Marinella beach
- Spelonga beach
Cruise and Stay Holidays in Rome
Being the departure point or a must-see destination for many cruise ships (via the port of Civitavecchia which is one hour by train/car away on the coast), Rome is a prime destination for cruise and stay holidays, either before or after your Mediterranean cruise.
You’ll do yourself a great disservice if you just fly in, embark, disembark 10 days later, and fly out. Don’t do that, please!
Book a hotel for at least a couple of days in this eternal place, either before or after your cruise, and take it all in.
There is so much to see, do, enjoy, shop, visit, you’ll be amazed. You’ll take so many memories with you, and will feel changed by this city from another dimension.
It’s absolutely worth it!
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!