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Giovanni Paolo Pannini:Saint Peter's

The best way to experience Rome is to live amidst the citys  treasures and to surround yourself with the people who know it the best. I now realize all the dreams of my youth exclaimed Goethe when he arrived in Rome.

Rome has always inspired wonder and awe in its visitors. A vibrant, chaotic and fascinating city steeped in history and culture, it never seizes to capture your imagination.

History is ever present in Rome where successive ages have layered the present on top of the past and 2700 years of history is overlapping to offer an unique and intensely varied urban landscape.

At  the heart of Rome, you will  find its ancient core centred around The Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill. From here grew the medieval Rome that  stretches from the Tiber towards the Vatican and beyond the river to Trastevere. Here there are an uninterrupted  sequence of monuments from the early Christian basilicas, Romanesque churches, Renaissance palaces, the glorious fountains and churches of the Baroque to the ponderous Neo classical architecture of the post-Unification period and  the selfpublicizing buildings of the Mussolini years. You will find the different layers of time crowded upon each other. Houses and apartment buildings with fragments of Roman columns and carvings incorporated into each other or medieval churches on top of ancient basilicas and Roman palaces and piazzas following the outline of ancient  stadiums; The Basilica of Saint Peter stands on the site of an earlier basilica built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century over the necropolis where Saint Peter was buried. Piazza Navona is built on the ruins of Emperor Domitians stadium. The tomb of Emperor Hadrian, Castel Sant Angelo, was converted to a fortress that served to protect various popes from the nearby Vatican. Pantheon, constructed in the reign of Hadrian,  virtually the only monument to survive intact from antiquity, was converted into a church in 609. A few examples of its varied history. Rome is the only city where the changing cityscape is  constantly renewed, not by new buildings only, but by unearthing the past and incorporating it into the future.