Your Roman Guide
Rome is an amazing historic city. In many ways, Rome was the center of the world for centuries and even today it is a very important city geopolitically. Rome is also the center of the Catholic Church, which the Roman Empire did much to popularize and defend.
History of the Roman Empire
Rome, the "City on Seven Hills", began as a small collection of farming and livestock herding communities. These communities, located amongst the hills of Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal, became a massive city that controlled the Mediterranean region for centuries. The founders of Rome, in Roman myth, are Romulus and Remus, sons of the Roman deity Mars. Rome experienced very distinct periods. Early Rome was a pagan state based around mythology very similar to that of their neighbors the Greeks. The Roman Emperor Constantine removed laws restricting Christianity and moved the empire's capital to Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). Religious differences caused a split within what had become the Byzantine Empire leaving the western half to become the Holy Roman Empire.
Ancient History of Rome - Information on ancient Rome's history, laws, provinces, and more
Romulus & Remus - Founders of Rome
The Holy Roman Empire - A timeline
Famous Roman Emperors
There are several notable emperors of Rome. The first Roman emperor was Augustus, grandnephew of Julius Cesar whose name came to be synonymous with emperor even outside of Rome. Nero is one of the most infamous Roman Emperors. He is arguably one of the first ruthless dictators and vilified in Judeo-Christian as well as Roman literature. Constantine set the stage for the Holy Roman Empire when after experiencing a vision of a cross on the battlefield, he took it as his symbol and removed laws preventing the practice of Christianity as well as laws forcing Christians to work during Christian holy days.
Augustus - First Emperor of Rome
Nero - A history and biography
Constantine - A biography of the Emperor and his sons
Today Rome, the city, is capital of Italy. The Vatican, which was a sovereign state itself during the Imperial times of Rome, remains so today though it is located within the city of Rome. Due to its extensive history, Rome celebrates many festivals. Capodanno is a New Years Eve festival celebrated with fireworks. Estate Romana is a modern festival in Rome which lasts from June through September and celebrates a variety of music. Roman weather, though slightly chilly compared with other Mediterranean areas, is generally mild year round. Typically tourism is highest in late summer and autumn.
Saturnalia - A famous Roman festival
The Vatican - The history of the Vatican
Visiting Rome - Suggested packing tips
Historically and today, Rome is known for its architectural accomplishments. The arch was pioneered and perfected by the Roman Empire. Roman engineers created the earliest domes, which even today serve as an inspiration in architecture. Roman bridges and aqueducts, dominated Europe and are still in use today.
Roman Architecture - An overview of many Roman architectural innovations
Architecture of Rome - A chronological guide
Hagia Sophia - One of the largest early examples of domes in architecture
What to Know When Visiting
A general concern when visiting major European cities is pick pocketing. It is not an uncommon practice to conceal one's wallet and have a fake one to prevent theft. Be especially cautious when using public transportation and sight seeing. Visiting Rome after August can be troublesome because Mediterranean Rome is chilly in autumn and there is less to do. However, fewer crowds could make visiting major attractions easier. Rome, like most of Europe today, utilizes extensive mass transportation such as buses, subway systems, and taxi services, that are very affordable.
Rome FAQ - Tips on what to wear, applying for a Visa, etc.
Traveling to Rome - Advice when visiting Rome
The Vatican - History and travel information regarding the Vatican