The seven-hill city still attracts as many art and history lovers as ever: like in the 19th century, when a trip
to Rome was as important as learning Greek and Latin to be considered a learned person. People nowadays also come to Rome to experience the city of thedolce vita
for themselves. Some also come to Rome for a pilgrimage, whether religious or symbolic, as it is the closest city to the independent state of the Vatican (the world's smallest). With a surface area of 496 sq mi, the Italian capital city is much smaller than London. This doesn't mean that it is a village though, far from it: historic Rome, built around its mythic hills (the most famous being Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Esquiline Hill and Quirinal Hill), still gives the impression of being the city of the ancient world, with countless remains, ancient temples and basilicas that have been converted into churches, with Roman-tiled roofs, high walls surrounding private gardens and colonnaded porches. Go and take a look at Rome from the Piazza di Porta Capena, where Via Appia ends (the first road built by the Romans which linked Rome to Capua, north of Naples, and then to Brindisi, on the Adriatic coast). Visit the Great Circus (Circo Massimo), with the Palatine Hill on one side (and the remains of ancient Republican Rome that go with it), the Aventine Hill further down, with a garden of Mediterranean scents, where ancient buildings resembling palaces stick out of the green vegetation. A Roman from the time of Julius Caesar would not feel disoriented in front of these landscapes
. What has changed, however, is the nightlife districts of the Eternal city - years ago, people enjoyed the dolce vita
in the taverns of the Capitol (overlooking the Forum); nowadays, people go across the nearby Tiber and wander through the Trastevere district, sure to find good food and convivial bars around one of the medieval streets.
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