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St Peter's Basilica

The basilica of Saint Peters, to the Italians known as Basilica Di San Pietreo In Vatican City, is possibly the largest church under Christianity in the world, covering 5.7 acres, and with a capacity of 60,000. Saint Peter was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, and its him who gives the basilica its namesake. The tradition is that all of the popes to serve the Vatican are buried in the catacombs underneath the basilica. St Peter's is erected at the site of Peter's crucifixion, and beneath the main alter, there is a shrine, purely dedicated to Peter. The dome on top of the basilica was designed by Michelangelo and rises to the point of 120 meters above the floor.

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The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the innermost area of early Rome, the area in which the rest of the city was built from. It has been described as a centre for commerce, business, prostitution, cult, and the administration of justice. Before its development, it was said to have been a rather marshy, uninhabited ground, but it was drained by the Tarquins, and the final stage of the 'travertine' paving is still to be seen today, and dates from way back into the reign of Augustus. Over time, and as Rome as a city, and its empire expanded, lots of monuments and works of great construction were erected from the many temples, such as Saturn and Vesta, to the Basilicas of Aemilia and Julia. The forum is also the famous site of Julius Caesar's tomb, and to this day, visitors leave wreaths and flowers in his memorial.

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The Pantheon

The Pantheon means "Shrine of all the Gods", and was built as a place of worship to the various deities of the planets in the state religion of ancient Rome. However, it has been used as a Christian church since the 7th century. The roof has been designed to symbolise the heavens, complete with its great eye. The great eye is a hole in the roof that looks straight out towards the sky. It is 27 feet across, and is at the top of the dome, allowing light to pour into the Pantheon. The hole in the roof is not only for decorative reasons, but it also makes the already weighty roof lighter!

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The Piazza Navona

The piazza novona followed the plan of an ancient roman circus, but nowadays takes the form of a square found in the centre of Rome. The square is now the pride of Baroque Rome, and has several sculptural and architectural pieces, from the famous fountain of the four rivers, and the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone. The squares traditional role is to house theatrical shows.

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