Once the heart of a far-reaching empire, today Rome is a heady juxtaposition of ancient ruins, gleaming galleries, ornate piazzas and stylish shopping streets, innovative eateries and rustic farmers’ markets. The city’s rich and turbulent history is evidenced by the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be found both within the capital and the surrounding region of Lazio.
The grandest and most complex site is the entire historic centre of Rome and The Holy See, encompassing everything within the ancient Aurelian city walls. The buildings, monuments and ruins within are some of the world’s most important and tell the tale of the rise and fall of a vast empire, of transformative movements including the Renaissance and of the evolution of Christianity. Highlights include the great Forum, the beating heart of Imperial Rome; the mighty Colosseum, once the setting for dramatic battles before roaring crowds; the Vatican, home of Popes, frescos, art and mystery; and the grand Spanish Steps, connecting Hotel de la Ville to Hotel de Russie.
Leaving the city, a short drive to the east of Rome is Tivoli, home to two UNESCO sites: the first is Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa). This picturesque estate houses an ornate complex of 30 beautifully preserved, classical built by the great emperor in the 2nd century as a retreat from Rome, influenced by his travels to Greece, Egypt and beyond. The site includes the remains of baths, temples, libraries and the Maritime Theatre, set on a man-made island. Down the hill from Villa Adriana, is the wonderful Villa d’Este, a 16th century palace with water gardens which embody the innovative beauty of the Renaissance at its height. The reflecting pools, towering fountains, hanging gardens, elegant waterfalls and stunning statuaries are mirrored in the imposing gilded interiors of the villa.
Just north of Rome on the border of Lazio and Tuscany, is the Etruscan Necropolis of Cerveteri in Tuscia, where over 6,000 tombs dot the serene 400-hectare site built by the ancient Etruscans. The Etruscans had a profound influence on Roman culture and here their culture is clearly displayed through the carved monuments and gold ornaments buried alongside their dead. Not far from Cerveteri is Tarquinia, another significant Etruscan site, where the unique tombs are painted with scenes of hunting and rituals, providing an insight into the society of one of the great ancient peoples of Europe.
Delve into one or more of these sites of world-renowned significance with a bespoke excursion from Hotel de Russie or Hotel de la Ville.
or calling +39 06 32 888 830.
or calling +39 06 32 888 880.