Millions of travelers come to Rome every year to experience 26 centuries of history, art, architecture, the triumph of power and the agony of downfall. Then there's all the glamour of La Dolce Vita, so enticingly portrayed by Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastrioanni, Anita Ekberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and scores of Hollywood stars. But we must never forget that while all this mega-galactic activity was taking place, Rome was also a real metropolis -- already home to over a million people by the time Christ was born. For millennia, folks have crossed its length and breadth barefoot, in sandals, in Manolo Blahniks, on donkeyback, on horseback, on Vespas, in carts, chariots, carriages, trams, electric buses and Ferraris. As you trace their paths, you'll see buildings and artworks from the Republic, the Empire, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque and Rococo periods…. You'll see fewer modern edifices than in any other major capital on earth…. And you'll see some of the darnedest things too! Here are just a few of the sights that Romans take for granted in their amazing home town.
Much of the pavement in central Rome is a unique kind of
cobblestone known as sanpietrini (a reference to the city's most
famous martyr, St. Peter). Not the best thing for those
Manolo Blahniks, ladies!
Roman residents are split right down the middle into
anti-sanpietrini and pro-sanpietrini camps
The pros say they are an integral part of local history
The cons say they destroy tires and wreak havoc with the traffic
and cost a fortune to keep in repair.
The sanpietrini controversy is the Eternal City's Eternal Battle!
The Annual Rome City Bike Ride
Free bikes are available at 19 stands throughout the city;
They cost nothing for the first half hour of use