|Castel St. Angelo. Two thousand years
of Roman history are contained in this fortress/castle,
originally the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian. The circular
corridor inside and the 360 degree view of the city are
pleasantly disorienting. Admission fee. Lungotevere Castello.
|The Pantheon. The most intact building
from antiquity in the world, an architectural wonder set
right on the heart of the centro storico, the historical
center. Try to go in when it's raining -- you'll be amazed.
Piazza della Rotonda.
|The Vatican -- St. Peter's Basilica and
the Museums. Visit the Sistine Chapel, the Michelangelo
masterpiece that many consider to be the greatest work
of art ever created. Feast your eyes in the map room,
the Raphael rooms, the Nicolina chapel, and Bernini's
altar in the Basilica. Museum: admission fee, Viale Vaticano;
Basilica: Piazza San Pietro.
|Palatine Hill. An irresistibly tranquil
setting. Not only are you at the very source of the Eternal
City, walking on the same ground as Romulus walked, you
feel -- amid the grass, trees, gardens, open spaces, views,
and incomparable ruins -- as if you were in the open country.
Admission fee. Via di San Gregorio.
|Church of San Clemente. Step back
into the many layers of Roman history -- the first evidence
of the Italian language, an altar of the secret cult of
Mithras, an actual ancient alley of the city. Via San
Giovanni in Laterano.
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