When in Rome, you couldn't get away without seeing some of the most artistic and gorgeous displays on Earth--even if you wanted to. Rome is seeping with history and some pretty amazing attractions. Some, like the Pantheon, are ancient. Others, like the Vatican Museums, are religious. Still others, like the Capuchin Cemetery, are creepily compelling. All of them will have your jaw dropping in awe.
A staple of art and architecture history books, the Pantheon was built thousands of years ago and remains one of the most impressive structures in Rome. Originally commissioned around 27 BC, it was rebuilt and expanded around 120 AD. Its awesome history is just one of it fine points. Massive, granite columns flock the entrance to the equally massive dome that contains a circular porthole at its pinnacle that represents the "eye of the heavens." Once you are done being floored by the Pantheon, meander around the nearby Piazza della Rotonda for some shopping and dining. Expect to be surrounded by tons of tourists at both the Pantheon and the plaza.
Piazza della Rotonda 00186 Rome
06 6830 0230
From Michelangelo's masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel to artifacts that date back to the first century BC, the Vatican Museums and palaces will compete with the Pantheon for instilling you with awe. In addition to works from the big name greats like Michelangelo and Raphael, the museums contain a huge array of tapestries, ceramics and miniature mosaics. The palaces, such as the Sistine Chapel, are works of art within themselves. Expect a lot of stairs and a lot of walking for this outing.
Viale Vaticano, 00165 Rome
06 6988 4676 or 06 6988 3145
Just when you thought your jaw could not open any wider, one more attraction in Rome will have it dropping to the floor. Like the city's other glorious attractions, the Capuchin Cemetery is also ornately adorned and preserved. The only difference is that it is decorated with human bones. The entire complex, which consists of four chapels and a crypt, features wall and ceiling mosaics, chandeliers and other decor made entirely out of the bones and skulls of 4,000 monks. The amazing and artistic creation took nearly 350 years to complete, with work starting in 1528 and continuing through 1870.
Via Vittorio Veneto 27, 00187 Rome
06 4871 185
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.