We asked luxury travelers to share which Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Mediterranean destination was their favorite when it comes to history and received a surge of submissions, from the famed ruins of Athens to the wondrous sites of Jerusalem and the architectural glory of Venice. However, there was one clear winner: marvelous Rome, Italy.
Wherever you go, you will walk through the pages of history. See Colle Oppio, a hill overlooking the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and continue on to The Church of St. Peter in Chains, believed to contain the saint’s prison chains. Inside you can admire Michelangelo’s statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments.
Another must-see is the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built in Rome. It was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater to honor the Royal Family Flavia, who built it. Construction started under the Emperor Vespasian in 72 A.D. and was finished during the reign of the Emperor Titus. Enter the site where Romans enjoyed spectacular shows of gladiatorial combats, fights with wild beasts and games. The amphitheater once held as many as 50,000 people, who would watch the games.
Walk through the Sacred Way, along which victorious generals marched in triumph to the Curia. Also, see the altar where the body of Julius Caesar was cremated and from which Marc Anthony made his famous speech. Explore St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica, begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such masters as Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Admire the astonishing beauty of Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, the marble Pietà, and the marvelous bronze canopy over the high altar by Bernini.
This summer, explore the colossal history in Rome with FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions on your voyage aboard Seven Seas Voyager®:
Visit the Romanesque Church of San Francesco, the largest church in Tarquinia, before seeing the Town Hall Lodge, a 14th-century building. The Cathedral with its impressive facade and the Palazzo dei Priori of a massive urban fortification was built in the first half of the 15th century by Cardinal Vitelleschi, who was a powerful plenipotentiary and supreme strategist of the Roman Curia.
Founded by King Anco Marzio around the 4th century BC, Ostia Antica was Rome’s main commercial port and military base, with a population in its peak of nearly 100,000 inhabitants. Barbarian invasions and malaria led to the decline of city and eventually all the inhabitants abandoned it. Buried for centuries by sand, the city has now been excavated and offers a remarkable picture of life in the Roman Empire.
Visit the Etruscan Necropolis, the final resting site of Etruscan royalty, and see numerous tombs with colorful paintings, which are of the utmost archaeological importance for the light they shed on Etruscan civilization. These are the only examples of painted Etruscan tombs in the world.
Share your favorite Roman site in the comments below.