5 Wonders of Ancient Rome | KCET
5 Wonders of Ancient Rome
Time travel may not be physically possible, but a visit to the ancient metropolis and Italian capital of Rome might just be the closest thing to it. Its rich culture and layers of history are ever present today.
In the first of three episodes dedicated to this magnificent city, travel show host Rick Steves explores the ancient wonders of this "Eternal City" and helps us envision what Rome was like during its peak. Here's a recap of some of the amazing sights he visited. You can also get more details on Rome and travel ideas by watching the full episode here.
Continue to live vicariously through Steves' European travels with episodes airing every weeknight at 7:30 p.m.
1. The Roman Forum
Here's an excellent starting point for your tour of ancient Roman artifacts. The Roman Forum, located in the valley of the city's seven hills, is essentially a plaza lined with ancient landmarks. Rome's main street, the Via Sacra, passes through the forum and leads the way through sights like the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Curia, and more. Even if you're not a history buff, you'll be amazed by this sprawl of ruins.
Just as the name suggests, this ancient amphitheater was, and still is, colossal. Built around 72 AD, the Colossuem was the spot where Romans came to unwind, watch Gladiator fights, and cheer on gory animal slaughters.
Today, for a small fee, visitors can enter the theater, walk through the aisles, and imagine the place in action. It's one of the city's most thrilling sights and one of the greatest examples of Roman engineering. Needless to say, a trip to Rome simply wouldn't be complete without visiting this glorious structure.
3. The Appian Way
Starting just two miles south of the Colosseum, this road has been Rome's gateway to the East for centuries. During its heyday, it was the greatest and fastest road, stretching 400 miles and connecting Rome with Capua (near Naples).
Nowadays, it's fun to explore on bike. As you make your way along the Appian Way, you can take in more incredible ancient marvels, such as the old catacombs and Rome's beautiful Aqueduct Park -- yet another awe-inspiring sample of Roman engineering.
With its massive granite columns and striking façade, this 2,000-year-old temple is the best preserved of Rome's ancient monuments. It's still used today as a Christian church and open to the public. As you go inside, you can admire the brilliant construction -- from its vast bronze doors to its incredible concrete dome -- that has inspired architects for years.
5. The Capitoline Hill
This is one of Rome's seven hills and has long been home to the city's government. It's also home to the Capitoline Museums, which showcase the finest collection of classical paintings and sculptures. The hill's original staircase, designed by Michelangelo during the Renaissance, is displayed at the museum. A replica of the statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius stands in the middle of the square and is also worth seeing.
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Read our ancient Rome travel guide.
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