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Rome, the present day capital of Italy, has been a significant city ever since the days of ancient rome and it is this important historical and cultural heritage that attracts tourists to rome hotels and other tourist attractions.  In this article, I will be completing a brief overview of Rome and its attractions.  This includes a look at Ancient Rome and the history of the city up to the present day, a focus upon Vatican City as an important and unusual tourist attraction and some general comments about the importance of Rome as a tourist destination for the modern traveller.


Ancient Rome and History


Famously, rome italy was founded in myth by two twins: Romulus and Remus.  Currently it is thought that the founding of Rome dates back to the 8th century BC.  What later became the Roman Empire started as little more than an important city state, ruled by a series of kings before become the Roman Republic with its associated Senate.  However, it was only with the rise of the empire that the name of this capital rose to prominence.  Through a series of military campaigns, Ancient Rome was able to expand its territory into the Mediterranean and much of Europe.  At the utmost span of its territory it reached into present day Britain and as a result of this cultural inheritance the founding myths of Britain saw the British peoples as extending back into the classical age, making them its inheritors.  


Just as famous as the Roman Empire at its high is the Roman Empires decline and fall in the middle ages.  At this time the Empire was already Christianized and as such it was the main vehicle for extension of corporeal power by the church.  However, it was the many sacks of Rome (the first occurring in 410) by the Germanic peoples that truly marked the decline of this once great civilization.


More recently, Rome was the capital of Italy under Mussolini who ruled Italy as a fascist state in the early 20th century.  After being defeated along with the other Axis powers in the Second World War, Rome saw a massive population growth which was unfortunately coupled with a lack of capacity to deal with such population growth.  The insufficient infrastructure that plagued the city after the war has to this day not been entirely sufficiently remedied.  Presently Rome is one of the cultural and political centres of the European Union, playing host to a number of treaties and many vibrant cultural industries such as the film industry.


Vatican City


Many tourists choose to visit Vatican City, which itself is surrounded by the city of Roman and remains to this day the Papal seat of the Catholic Church.  Vatican City is named after the hill upon which it was built, known in Latin as Mons Vaticanus, or Vatican Hill.  It includes a number of very important cultural attractions including the Sistine Chapel (most noted for its painted ceiling) and St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square.  As one might expect, Vatican City, for those visiting Rome who are Catholic is also a popular spiritual and pilgrimage destination.  Other interesting facts about Vatican include the fact that its army is Swiss, known as the Swiss Guard and is the oldest standard army in the world.  In addition, many go to see the Pope.  The current Pope is known as Pope Benedict the sixteenth, who was elected as the 265th Pope in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul the Second.  A segment of the Catholic going public had hoped that after the death of Pope John Paul the Second that the Catholic church would elect a reformist Pope who might bring the religious organization through a further modernizing process given its increasing antiquation in a changing world.  However, this was not to be the case as was proved when the latest Pope, a staunch conservative was elected.  Since his election he has continued to uphold the Catholic Church’s traditions in a forthright and very conservative manner.  At times, this manner has renewed frictions between the Catholic Church and other religions, such as Islam, that Pope John Paul the Second had attempted to alleviate.  Despite these political notes, Vatican City remains to this day an architecturally beautiful and unique city not only in Europe, but the entire world.



Rome continues to be a popular tourist destination for many people from all over the world.  Increasingly, due to a decrease in airfares rome has become an affordable destination.  It is because of these cheap flights rome can now be considered to be one of the foremost tourist attractions in the world.  As you might expect, when in rome you will have the ability to take in not only the important historical and cultural points of interest, but there are also a number of modern and present day attractions for the modern day travelling Romeo.  Importantly, given that Italy is part of the European Union the ability for travellers to move between countries within the European Union is much less difficult than crossing borders between other nations.  What this means for travellers is that should they choose to visit a number of countries within Europe, that travelling to Italy has never been easier.  Many in fact choose to purchase rail passes to travel through Europe.


For the modern traveller, Rome is also a very modern city that offers an unparalleled level of shopping experiences for the interested purchaser.  Fashion has always been one of Italy’s staple contributions to world culture and Rome is an important centre in the Italian fashion industry.  Should you be interested in visiting Rome, I hope that this article has provided an important starting point in your research.  As always, when travelling it is important to be travelling in an informed and conscientious manner and it is hoped that this article has contributed to the information you have amassed.  There are many things to consider when planning a trip including insurance, vaccinations and language barriers that sometimes go unconsidered when focussing on attractions, but are all part of the process of research that must go into any successful vacation plan.