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From the World Heritage inscription for the Historic Centre of Rome:
Founded, according to legend, by Romulus and Remus in 753 BC, Rome was first the center of the Roman Republic, then of the Roman Empire, and it became the capital of the Christian world in the 4th century. The World Heritage site, extended in 1990 to the walls of Urban VIII, includes some of the major monuments of antiquity such as the Forums, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, as well as the religious and public buildings of papal Rome.
The Historic Center of Rome is probably one of the most significant, historical, and impressive world heritage sites in the world. Like sites I’ve seen in Kyoto, Jerusalem or Angkor, there is a whole city of sites which could be world heritage sites on their own. The most significant and recognizable location in Rome is the Colosseum which was recently named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Italy has the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. There are 51 sites in total recognized by UNESCO within Italy. One of these sites is the Historic Centre of Rome and the Holy See. This property comprises the Vatican and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
The history of Rome has existed since the 4th or 5th century BC. To this day, you will see the remains and ruins of monuments from the period of the Classical Roman Empire. Some of these monuments include the famed Colosseum and the Forum Romanum.
The property was added to the UNESCO list in 1980; however, it was extended in 1990 to include the properties of the Holy See such as the Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura.
Getting to Historic Centre of Rome
If you want to go to the Historic Centre of Rome, you can travel via plane (for international tourists). There are two international airports in Rome: Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicio International Airport or GB Pastine/Ciampino International Airport. From the airport, you can settle a private transfer to your hotel. Once in Rome, you will find a wide range of transportation options such as taxis or via railway to get to the historic center of Rome.
If you are coming from other parts of Italy, you can travel via train to get to the Historic Centre of Rome. Roma Termini is the main railway station of Rome. Hence, you must travel via this station. There are also several other railway stations to choose from in Rome. Finally, you can also drive to Rome from other parts of Italy. Driving to Rome is relatively easy.
Plan on visiting the Historic Center of Rome? Here are the top sites, attractions or monuments that you must see:
The Pantheon is one of the most notable tourist destinations in the historic center of Rome. It was a former Roman temple but is now converted into a church. The Pantheon’s construction was commissioned for by Augustus during his reign. However, it was Emperor Hadrian who saw the completion of the Pantheon.
This Roman triumphal column is another important structure within the Historic Centre of Rome. The column was built to commemorate the victory of Roman Emperor Trajan in the Dacian wars. This freestanding column was completed in AD 113.
Campo de’ Fiori
This rectangular square is one of the most notable squares in Rome, Italy. At the center of the square is the statue of Giordano Bruno. The name of the square literally translates to “field of flowers”, which is derived from the fact that the square was once a meadow.
Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
This famous attraction in Rome, Italy consists of the monumental 153 stairway steps. The stairway is a work of architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi. The steps were constructed in the early 18th century and officially opened in 1725.
Papal Rome Structures
There are also several religious buildings that belong to the Papal Rome that is part of the UNESCO site. These sites and monuments sit outside of the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See. These monumental structures include the following: St Paul’s Outside the Walls, Santa Maria Maggiore, and the San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran).
View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy.
View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vatican City.
View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.