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Rome, Italy

A renaissance fort, completed by Michelangelo in 1557, guards the harbor of Civitavecchia. When you disembark here, you're a short drive away from Rome, one of the world's great cities. As rich as legend and as ancient as time, Rome invites you to visit its fantastic historical monuments, ruins, art and buildings.

The famed ruins of the Forum, once the civic heart of ancient Rome, is also where Marc Antony made his impassioned speech over the slain body of Julius Caesar. As a gathering place, the Forum was simultaneously a market, a center for political debate and decisions, and a religious hub where the temples of the chief Roman gods were clustered.

The Pantheon, one of the most significant ancient monuments, was built in the first century. A cylindrical building with sixteen mighty columns supporting the portico and an enormous dome, Italian kings are buried here along with the painter Raphael. This is one of the most well preserved monuments of antiquity and was once called, "Temple to All the Gods."

St. Peter's Square forms the heart of Vatican City, the world's smallest sovereign state. St. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest church and a stunning achievement of the Renaissance. Below the main floor lie the tombs of St. Peter and many revered and departed popes. Decorated by many priceless treasures, the Vatican's museum complex houses one of the most impressive collections in the world, embracing the art of every epoch, and includes Michelangelo's masterpieces Pieta, Creation and the Last Judgment. The Sistine Chapel is arguably Michelangelo's magnum opus, and draws thousand of visitors a week.

The remarkable Colosseum still stands as a reminder of the mighty Roman Empire. Seating 50,000, the arena was flooded for naval battles, then dried and sanded in just a few hours for the gladiators to clash against animals and each other. The grandest and most celebrated of Rome's monuments, this was the site of many competitions and religious persecutions.

In order to have fuel for sightseeing, fill up on the wonderful delicacies that have ruled Rome since the early Republic: fish, bread, olives, and, of course, wine. As for shopping, high quality goods and designer clothes dominate the street markets at Via Cola di Rienzo and Via Borgognona, and art and antiques can be found at Via dei Coronari, Via dei Cappellari, Via Margutta and Via del Babuino.
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