The Vatican Museums,founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th contain one of the world's greatest art collections in the world. Exhibits range from Egyptian mummies and Etruscan bronzes to ancient busts, old masters and modern paintings.
Known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Roman Colosseum is one of the capital's most remarkable monuments. Every year over 6 million people visit it.
The Colosseum is the main symbol of Rome. It is an imposing construction that, with almost 2,000 years of history, will bring you back in time to discover the way of life in the Roman Empire. The construction of the Colosseum began in the year 72 under the empire of Vespasian and was finished in the year 80 during the rule of the emperor Titus. After completion, the Colosseum became the greatest Roman amphitheatre, measuring 188 meters in length, 156 meters in width and 57 meters in height.
During the Roman Empire and under the motto of "Bread and Circuses" the Roman Colosseum (known then as Flavian Amphitheatre) allowed more than 50,000 people to enjoy its finest spectacles. The exhibitions of exotic animals, executions of prisoners, recreations of battles and gladiator fights kept the Roman people entertained for years.
The Colosseum remained active for over 500 years. The last recorded games in history were celebrated in the 6th century. Since the 6th century the Colosseum has suffered lootings, earthquakes and even bombings during World War Two. Demonstrating a great survival instinct, the Colosseum was used for decades as a storehouse, church, cemetery and even a castle for nobility.
At present the Colosseum is, along with the Vatican City, Rome's greatest tourist attraction. Each year 6 million tourists visit it. On 7 July 2007 the Colosseum became one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Situated on Via dei Fori Imperiali, Trajan's Market is an archaeological complex that currently holds the Museum of Imperial Forums (Museo dei Fori Imperiali). It is considered to be Rome’s first “shopping center”. The complex, made of red brick and concrete, had six levels in which there was once up to 150 different shops and apartments.
When you visit the Imperial Forum Museum, you can stroll through Mercati di Traiano's various levels, as well as admiring several exhibitions that show the Imperial Forums' different aspects. The exhibitions are comprised of models and videos that accompany the various remains that are left from the Imperial Forums to try to transport visitors to classical Roman times.
Although it does not enjoy as much fame as the Colosseum, Trajan's Market maintains an important part of its original appearance and offers a really interesting visit.
Located 40 meters above the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill is the most central of the seven hills of Rome and forms one of the oldest parts of the city.
The Palatine Hill is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian capital and is believed to have been inhabited since the year 1000 B.C. During the Republican Period Roman citizens belonging to the upper class settled in the Palatine Hill and built sumptuous palaces, of which important traces are still preserved. n the Palatine Hill you can see hundreds of ruins of the imposing buildings that were created for high Roman society in ancient times. Although the whole scene is impressive, these are some of the points that deserve special attention: Domus Flavia, House of Livia, House of Augustus, Farnese Gardens, Hippodrome of Domitian and Palatine museum.
The Palatine Hill is a very pleasant place for a quiet stroll under the shadow of the trees while passing many of the preserved corners of ancient Rome.
The Roman Forum was where religious and public life in ancient Rome took place. The Forum is, along with the Colosseum, the greatest sign of the splendour of the Roman Empire that can be seen today.
After the fall of the Empire, the Roman Forum was forgotten and little by little it was buried under the earth. Although in the 16th century the existence and location of the Forum was already known, it was not until the 20th century that excavations were carried out.
Interestingly, the place where the Forum was built was originally a marshy area. In the 6th century B.C. the area was drained by means of the Cloaca Maxima, one of the first sewer systems in the world.
The Pantheon, completed in 126 AD, was a Roman temple with a surprising oculus that is the building's main source of natural light.
The Pantheon of Agrippa, also known as the Roman Pantheon, is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Italian capital. It is the best preserved building from ancient Rome.
The construction of the current Pantheon was carried out during the reign of Hadrian, in the year 126 A.D. The name of Agrippa comes from the place in which the current building is built, which was previously occupied by the Pantheon of Agrippa, built in the year 27 B.C and that was destroyed in a fire in the year 80 A.D.
At the beginning of the 7th century the building was donated to the Pope Boniface IV, who transformed it into a church, in which function it currently finds itself in a perfect state of preservation.
In the interior of the Pantheon the tombs of numerous Italian kings and a multitude of art works are found. The best-known person who can be found buried in the Pantheon is without doubt the painter and Renaissance architect Raphael. The outskirts of the Pantheon are usually full of people at all hours, either photographing the imposing building or having a traditional supper in some of the terraces of the Piazza della Rotonda while they enjoy the shows put on by different street artists.
Known as Hadrian's Tomb, the Castel Sant'Angelo is a fortress located on the right bank of the Tiber, a short distance from the Vatican City.
Construction of the building began in the year 135 under the direction of the Emperor Hadrian, who intended to use it as mausoleum for himself and his family. It was finished in the year 139 and a short time later, it became a military building, which in the year 403 would be integrated to the Aurelian Walls.
The Castel Sant'Angelo is split into five floors which can be reached by a spiral ramp that first reaches the chamber of ashes and subsequently the cells in which a number of historical figures were incarcerated.
Advancing toward the upper part of the castle you will find different rooms that functioned as a Papal residence, decorated with perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period, besides the extensive collection of weapons.
In the upper floor there is a large terrace where you can take amazing photographs of the city from above. Advancing toward the upper part of the castle you will find different rooms that functioned as a Papal residence, decorated with perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period, besides the extensive collection of weapons. In the upper floor there is a large terrace where you can take amazing photographs of the city from above.
The Catacombs of Rome are former underground burial grounds that date from the second to the fifth century and were principally used by Christians and Jews.
The catacombs possess a huge number of subterranean passageways that form real labyrinths that are several kilometres long, along which rows of rectangular niches were dug out. Roman law at the time prohibited the burial of the deceased in the interior of the city, for which reason all of the catacombs were located outside of the walls. These separated and hidden places below ground constituted the perfect refuge in which the Christians could bury their own, freely using Christian symbols.
The catacombs of Rome offer a very special visit in which the funeral remains of those buried many centuries ago can be seen. It is fascinating to travel through the dark and damp passageways, where you can see, in addition to the niches, some inscriptions with the names of the people that once occupied them.
Due to the high infant mortality at that time, you can see a large quantity of spaces prepared for these children, alongside some larger graves in which the whole family was buried.
During the visit, a guide who is specialized in the topic gives the visitors several interesting facts relating to the catacombs and the period in which they were operating.
The first nucleus, a collection of ancient sculptures, was constituted by Julius II (1503-13) but the idea of the museum was born with Clement XIII (1758-69), who with the assistance of Winckelmann had the Museo Profano exhibiting set up Greek and Roman sculptures. With Clement XIV (1769-74) and Pius VI (1775-99) the Museo Pio Clementino was born, which brings together the most famous examples of ancient sculpture such as the Apollo del Belvedere, the Laooconte group and the Torso del Belvedere, while in 1807 -10, under Pius VII, the Chiaramonti Museum is set up by Canova, which houses Roman sculptures.
In 1822 the Braccio Nuovo is opened with over 150 sculptures including statues such as the wounded Amazon, the Doryphoros, the enormous statue of the Nile, the Augustus of Prima Porta. With Gregory XVI the Gregorian Etruscan Museum was opened in 1837 , with finds coming mostly from the nineteenth-century excavations carried out in southern Etruria, and in 1839 the Egyptian Gregorian collecting a series of statues depicting deities or characters of the royal family, sarcophagi, mummies and elements of funerary furniture. In 1844 he opened the Lateran Profane Museum (today Gregoriano Profano) and later the Pio Cristiano which collected materials from excavations in the Roman catacombs including numerous sarcophagi.
The Museo Civico, the city museum of Siena is situated at the heart of the city, in the first floor of the city hall known as Palazzo Pubblico in the main square of Piazza del Campo. Palazzo Pubblico is still used for its original function, for the municipal offices of Siena.
Originally the museum was an horse riding school, then the location of the University. The Archeological Museum was inaugurated in 1816 and nowadays it’s one of the most important museums of the world because of the quality and quantity of works exposed.
The Sansevero Chapel Museum in the historic heart of Naples is a jewel of the world’s artistic heritage. Here, baroque creativity, dynastic pride, beauty and mystery blend to create a unique and almost timeless atmosphere.
With its masterpieces such as the famous Veiled Christ, renowned world over for the remarkable tissue-like quality of the marble, feats of virtuosity such as Disillusion, and enigmatic creations such as the Anatomical Machines, the Sansevero Chapel is one of the most impressive monuments that the human mind has ever conceived.
A noble mausoleum, a temple of initiation, which admirably reflects the multi-faceted personality of its ingenious architect, Raimondo di Sangro, seventh Prince of Sansevero.
Near the Gesú Nuovo church, there is the monumental complex of Santa Chiara, one of the most important buildings commissioned by the French Kingdom of Anjou for the Franciscan order. Built in 1340, it is a rare example of Medieval architecture in Napoli. The convent was to accommodate both monks and nuns in two separate buildings but at the same time depending on the same church. The church was then built in a simple Gothic style, with the typical Neapolitan yellow tufa. Unfortunately, the church has been reconstructed changing the original features into the Baroque style with marbles, polychrome stuccos and exorbitant decorative elements by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro between 1742 and 1769. Sadly, in 1943 the church was partially bombed during the second world war. It was decided that it would be rebuilt in its original Gothic style. It was reopened in 1953. Most of the antiques sculptures have returned to their original location, including the splendid tombs of the member of the Anjou family, like the monumental tomb of Robert of Anjou dated 1343, the tomb of Mary Valois, second wife of Robert, and his son's tomb. A small part of a fresco still remains from the medieval decoration attributed to Giotto (who stayed in Napoli between 1328 and 1333) and his workshop.
The fine cloister outside the church is richly decorated with majolica tiles and it is a pure gem of the eighteenth century, designed by Domenico Antionio Vaccaro. He left the original medieval plan of the cloister but redesigning parts of it, adding two wide paths in the middle, the fine majolica decorations on the pillars with motif of vine shoots and wisteria twisting up, flowers, lemons while the seats are decorated with scenes of the city and country life in the eighteenth century.
Ercolano, known to many as Herculaneum, is just a few miles from Pompeii and 150 miles south of Rome, close to Naples.
In many respects Ercolano is a smaller version of Pompeii, both are buried Roman cities that have been remarkably preserved when excavated.
A lot of people prefer Ercolano to Pompeii as it is a much more compact size and has significantly less visitors. Both sites are managed by the same people and it is easy to visit both in one day using a combined ticket and the local train which connects both.
Both sites are managed by the same people and it is easy to visit both in one day using a combined ticket and the local train which connects both.
Pompeii was probably founded by the Oscans around the 8th century BC. This ancient Italic people settled on the southern slopes of Mount Vesuvius along the banks of the Sarno River, which was navigable at the time. Pompeii became an important commercial center early on, catching the interest of the invading Greeks and Etruscans. The Etruscans were conquered on the waters off Cuma, and the city came under domination by the Samnites in the 5th century BC
Among the first towns where it was discovered in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the existence of the paper, if you want to take for granted the information contained in notarial deeds discussing of the existence of paper products, while not specifying whether these were imported from other places and traded in the above-mentioned places, there were the territories of the Maritime Republics: Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice who had warehouses both in Syria, both on the coast of Palestine, where they were precisely located the major centres for the production of paper.
These republics also had intense trade relations with the East and they could learn from the Eastern art of making paper without too much difficulty, or it is possible that on board the galleys, which in medieval times shuttled between our coasts and the Holy Land to transport crusaders and merchandises, they are embarked "Magisters in art cartarum" which as skilled labour have introduced this type of work.
Amalfi is the oldest of the Maritime Republics, as early as the ninth century had its warehouses in Palermo and Messina and Syracuse, where the Amalfitana is still present in local place names. Age-old remains the question on the primacy of paper in Italy and then in Europe and in contention are mainly Amalfi and Fabriano.
Built in the 11th century with support from the Rufolo family, the Duomo is a combination of Baroque and Romanesque styles. Dedicated to St. Pantaleone, the church has undergone extensive modifications and restorations over the past 900 years. The Duomo’s shining white façade dates back to the last major restoration in 1931. The Duomo’s bell tower, which dates back to the 13th century, shows Moorish and Byzantine influence.
Today, the Duomo is primarily remembered for five attractions:
The first is the bronze door, which was temporarily removed for restoration in 2010. Constructed in 1179 by Barisano da Trani, the door is of special interest because fewer than two dozen bronze church doors are still extant in Italy, three of them by Trani.
The second item of special note is the pulpit, which is supported by six spiraled columns sitting atop marble lions. Across from the pulpit, to the left, is the Ambo of the Epistles that boasts two wonderful mosaics of Jonah and the Whale.
The fourth area of special interest is the Chapel of St. Pantaleone the Healer, a 3rd century physician who was beheaded, on orders of the Emperor Diocletian, after he converted to Christianity. The Chapel has a small ampoule of the saint’s blood, which is said to liquefy every year on July 27th, the anniversary of his martyrdom. The chapel also has a silver bust of the town’s venerated saint.
The final attraction is the cathedral's museum, which is accessible through a side entrance on the Via Richard Wagner.
This enormous palace is one of Florence's largest architectural monuments. The original palazzo was built for the Pitti family in 1457, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and built by his pupil Luca Fancelli. The original construction consisted of only the middle cube of the present building. In 1549, the property was sold to the Medicis and became the primary residence of the grand ducal family. The palace was then enlarged and altered; from 1560, Bartolomeo Ammannati designed and added the grandiose courtyard and two lateral wings.
Today, the Pitti Palace houses some of the most important museums in Florence: on the first floor is the Palatine Gallery, containing a broad collection 16th and 17th century paintings (including works by Raphael), and the Royal Apartments, containing furnishings from a remodeling done in the 19th century.
On the ground floor and mezzanine is the Treasury of the Grand Dukes (formerly known as the the Silver Museum or Museo degli Argenti) displaying a vast collection of Medici household treasures, from table silverware to precious stone vases, rock crystals and precious jewelry.
The Gallery of Modern Art is on the top floor, holding a collection of mostly Tuscan 19th and 20th century paintings.
Like a very precious treasure chest, the Uffizi Gallery will grant itself to visitors just a little bit at a time: from the initial uncertainty on where to get tickets, getting through lines to get inside and at the metal detector, then taking two flights of Renaissance-era stairs before you arrive at the actual entrance to the museum.
Palazzo Vecchio offers Roman ruins, a Medieval fortress and amazing Renaissance chambers and paintings. A microcosm where art and history have been indissolubly bound for centuries.
Palazzo Vecchio is the main symbol of civil power for the city of Florence, whose original project is attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. Construction on the solid fortress began in 1299 above the ruins of the destroyed Uberti Ghibelline towers, testimony of the final victory of the Guelph faction.
The entire construction also rests on top of the ancient theater of the Roman colony of Florentia (dating back to the first century A.D.), whose ruins can be admired in the underground level. This area can be visited with a separate ticket or a combination ticket which includes the Palazzo Vecchio Museum and the Archaeological site. The area is suggestive organized with information and an interesting film to help you understand exactly what you are looking at underground.
Visiting the Galleria dell’Accademia, you're most likely target are the magnificent giant marble sculptures created by Michelangelo, and above all, the glorious David. If you explore the museum with a bit more time, the Accademia will offer you much more in the less crowded halls, satisfying any curiosity for botany, music, art symbols and painting techniques.
The Accademia welcomes the visitor in the Hall of the Colossus, name taken from the huge models of the Dioscuri of Montecavallo which were displayed in this large hall in the 19th century. It now hosts in the center the plaster model for the stunning marble sculpture of Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women. Giambologna prepared the model as an exercise in creating a tightly-knit group of three figures from just one large block of marble. He did not actually name the sculpture, it was meant to be as a “simple” exercise of skill and it became the first example of such magnificent talent.
As you exit the main highway at Cascina on the east to west road called the FI-PI-LI and start to drive towards the Apuane Alps, you slowly shake off the busy industrial sensations and start to ease yourself into the quiet and tranquility that first drew the Carthusian monks to this area.
The Cemetery is the last monument on Piazza del Duomo, its long marble wall flanking the northern boundary and completing its shape. It was founded in 1277 to accommodate the graves that until then were scattered all around the Cathedral. Archbishop Federico Visconti wanted the building to be a “large and dignified, secluded and enclosed place”. This is how one of the oldest Christian Medieval architectures for the devotion of the dead came into being.
The National Archaeological Museum of Olbia is one of the places to see in the Sardinian commune. The exhibition area illustrates the history of the city of Olbia, the "happy city" of the Greeks, crossed by different civilizations, from the Phoenician, to the Greek, to the Roman.
On the glass face of the Archeological Museum in Zadar, you can see the reflection of the Forum and Saint Donatus, with which the Museum is unbreakably connected. Since 1880 works of protection and restoration have been done in Saint-Donat with the idea to place the Archeological Museum in it.
The Archeological Museum is the oldest museum in Zadar and the second oldest in Croatia. It was founded in 1832., and today it keeps more than 100.000 archaeological objects from all the cultural and historical periods from the Paleolithic to the end of 11th century.
The museum has its journal and for almost 60 years in a preparatory workshop, it has been producing hand-made souvenirs- amphoras, recipients, fibulas (brooches), jewellery and other valuable museum material.
Zadar City Museum was founded in 1960 and in 1962 it was integrated into the National Museum Zadar under the name the Cultural-Historical Department. Zadar City Museum is located in the building which up to the time of Napoleon was the monastery of St. Krševan.
In the near future, the International Centre for Underwater Archeology Zadar will have a Museum of underwater archaeology that will be collecting, preserving, keeping, elaborating and exposing this attractive museum material.
The International Centre for Underwater Archeology in Zadar has the status of a UNESCO centre of the second category, with the prospect of preservation and promotion of the underwater cultural heritage of Croatia, the Mediterranean and Europe. The centre has several departments – like the departments for education, conservation, restoration, presentation, underwater heritage and other- that are located at the spot of the former convent of Saint Nicholas where the remains of the medieval church of the same name can be found.
Everything that ever mattered in Zadar, since the medieval period, happened or was heard of on the People's Square. It is the centre of urban life, a source that sucks you in with its energy and beauty, and then leaves the people passing-by to some of the other urban sensations.
The People's Square in Zadar is the medieval Platea Magna, the centre of life and nowadays centre of town administration together with the City Loggia. From the People's square all the ways lead in all directions; to the Kalelarga, the Waterfront, the Five Wells Square or to the market and fish market. In The City Loggia on People's Square, that was built already in the 13th century, Zadar inhabitants have been gathering and have been discussing the most important city matters, while on the other side can be found the City Guard from the second half of the 16th century with a watch on a tower that has been in function incessantly since 1803.
The Museum of Illusions in Zadar possesses a kaleidoscope, the illusion of the chair, optical illusions, holograms, the illusion of the dented face, the table of clones, tricky rings, head on the table, gramophones, the whole with no end, room of mirrors and other visual illusions.
In Zadar's Museum of Illusions, nothing is as it seems to be. In the crooked room it defies gravity, while in the room of mirrors you are being narrowed and widened. Holograms, optical illusions, kaleidoscope, dented faces, table of clones and other illusions, are part of that tricky word. Climbing the ceiling is part of the museum's attractions.
The Museum of ancient glass in Zadar has a souvenir shop with a very rich offer in which one can buy publications and especially souvenirs like replicas of ancient glass made in glassmaking museum workshops with the method of hand blowing.
The Museum of Ancient Glass is a contemporary and unique cultural institution in the world, and it has a specialized archaeological collection of more than 5.000 glass objects from the period of Antiquity from the first century B.C. do the 5th century A.D. in its possession. It has a permanent display and an attractive glassmaking workshop in which by manual blowing technique replicas of ancient glass are made.
The Sibenik City Museum was founded in 1925 and is located in the immediate vicinity of the Cathedral, in the former Prince's Palace.
Between it and the Bishop's Palace, the Renaissance one can find the preserved city gate from the 16th century. Along the center of the ground floor in the southern wing of the Prince's Palace is a gothic passage with the city gate on which the city coat of arms can be found with an image of its patron, St. Michael.
The Sibenik City Museum consists of archaeological, cultural-historical and ethnographic departments. Its duties consist of collecting, taking care of, elaborating and presenting the cultural-historical heritage of the Šibenik region. Its collections consist of a number of valuable items significant for the study of Šibenik history, from the oldest times until present days.
The Museum of St. Francis is a museum in the monastery of St. Francis in Šibenik, monks of Franciscan Conventuals, who prove their presence for several centuries in the city of Šibenik through a rich collection of valuable works of art.
This modern interactive show is of educational and informative nature, and visitors are guided through the contents of the monastery library, one of the five most valuable heritage libraries in Croatia. It keeps a large number of incunabula and codices, parchments and other valuable and rare books, among which the „Šibenik prayer“, one of the oldest Croatian language and literary tributes were written in Latin script around 1375.