Ara Pacis Museum
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The Ara As It Was
- Audio guide in English and 4 other languages
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About: Ara Pacis Museum
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The Colosseum is a massive ancient amphitheater in the center of Rome. Picked apart by scavengers and ravaged by earthquakes and time, the Colosseum still stands as an impressive symbol of life in Ancient Rome. It showcases the power of past emperors and the durability of the Eternal City. This huge, marble and limestone structure was built to hold more than 50,000 spectators, all there to revel in the various forms of (mostly violent) entertainment, such as hunts, gladiator battles, and executions.
The Renaissance-era St Peter's Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world (and the home-church of the Pope). Highlights include the dome (the biggest in the world), Bernini's Baldacchino (the centerpiece of the church), and Michelangelo's Pietà (the only artwork he ever signed). For both the pious and the casual visitor, a trip to St. Peter's is an awe-inspiring trip into the heart of Vatican City.
Built between 1609 and 1613, this opulent structure - fountains, gardens, pink marble walls, frescoed ceilings - seems ideally suited to house one of the world's best collections of art. And that was exactly what it was built for. Architect Flaminio Ponzio designed it for the cardinal and art collector Scipione Borghese, who wanted a party villa on the edge of town where he could house his enormous collection of priceless art. In 1901, the collection (and the gallery, and the park that surrounds it) was acquired by the Italian government, and opened to the public. As a museum, Galleria Borghese punches well above its weight with an impressive hit rate of masterpieces. Sculptures by Bernini and Canova, paintings, by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian... the list goes on.
The towering cylinder of Castel Sant'Angelo, and its statue of Archangel Michael, is an instantly recognizable silhouette on the banks of the Tiber. Initially built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and his family, its purpose has changed many times over the years, from a fortress, a residence, a prison, and now a museum.
Bioparco di Roma is an open-air zoological garden and biopark located on the original Villa Borghese estate in Rome. There are 1,114 animals of 222 species, spread across 17 hectares of gardens and enclosures.