Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, returns to transport viewers to the continent's bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque countryside. I assume if I had good luck in the past with eating at a restaurant that I saw on Anthony's show (Bouchon in Vegas), then I probably can't go wrong with Osteria dal 1931 and Trattoria a Morgana. And the pope's apartments tell Christian history — this is the battle in which Emperor Constantine was led by angels and a holy cross both to a key military victory and to his own religious conversion. The Vatican "military" is made up of the Swiss Guard. Further along the Appian Way is Rome's Aqueduct Park, offeringa chance to see how the ancient city got its water. And they still seem to gallop, as they did 2,000 years ago, into Rome. These ingenious aqueducts carried a steady stream from distant mountains into the city. Like the obelisks, its massive oneâpiece granite columns were shipped from Egypt. These passageways underneath the arena were covered by a wooden floor. In fact, in the third century, 16 emperors were assassinated in a 50-year period. Used as a venue for entertaining the masses, this colossal, functional stadium is one of Europe's most recognizable landmarks. Apollo — happily wounded by Cupid's arrow — chases Daphne, who's saved by turning into a tree. They're huge. Though large, it's designed like a saucer, a little higher around the edges, so that even when full of crowds (as it often is), it allows those on the periphery to see above the throngs. After years of searching out my favorite European restaurants, I've found a few universal indicators for a great eating value. In the seventh season of Rick Steves' Europe, Rick rediscovers Rome, Florence, Paris, London, England's Lake District and â¦ Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. Rome Travel Guide by Rick Steves For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . Rome's various triumphal arches — named after the emperors who built them — functioned as public-relations tools. For over 200 years romantics have gathered here to enjoy a little dolce vita with their sightseeing. The scale of this monument is over-the-top: 200 feet high, 500 feet wide. Romantic Age tourists on the "Grand Tour" visited by candlelight and legends grew about Christians hiding out to escape persecution. On weekend nights, when the Campo is packed with beer-drinking kids, the medieval square is transformed into one vast Roman street party. From gates like this, grand roads fanned out to connect the city with its empire. Romans liked to think of themselves as somehow living parallel with the gods. It was a spiritual menagerie where the many gods of the empire were worshipped. The final stop on our nighttime walk is back where we started: at the ever-popular Spanish Steps. But the pope held out. Then we'll head out on a bike ride along the ancient Appian Way and take in nearby marvels of Roman engineering. Bypass the long ticket lines by reserving an entry time online. As everywhere, eat with the season. For added entertainment during the games, Christians were executed here. Rome is the birthplace of the Baroque style and Gian Lorenzo Bernini — who lived and worked here in the 17th century — is considered its father. We're here in the springtime — it's much more comfortable. Francesca: Oh yes. The art of imperial Rome almost always carried a message. Built in 312 BC, it connected Rome with Capua (near Naples), running in a straight line for much of the way, ignoring the natural contour of the land. And these rooms celebrate pre-Christian philosophy. It looms high above our 21st century, as if aching to tell its story — 2,000 years of Roman history. This vast oval square marks the traditional north entrance to Rome. And this procession shows a populace thankful for its emperor. The scene is always lively, with lucky Romeos clutching dates while unlucky suitors clutch beers. At the altar, in the center of the starburst, is an icon of the Virgin Mary, considered miraculous for the military victories attributed to it during the Thirty Years' War (early 1600s). From $9.99 to buy season. For the greatest look at the splendor of Rome, antiquity's best-preserved interior is a must. The Colosseum reminds us of ancient pageantry and gladiators. As just about anything important that happened in ancient Rome happened here, it's arguably the most important piece of real estate in Western civilization. Step inside to enjoy the finest look anywhere at the splendor of ancient Rome. Built by Constantine, the first Christian emperor, this was Rome's most important church through medieval times. And several are open to the public. Friendly Manuela and her staff welcome eaters with fine wine at a third of the price you'd pay in normal restaurants. While it dates from the first century BC, we still remember her to this day...so apparently the investment paid off. After the fall of Rome in the fifth century, the city of Rome eventually came under control of the pope. This fountain was built to celebrate the reopening of several of ancient Rome's aqueducts in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Rome's subway system, while not extensive, is easy to use. Hiking through the Cumbrian Lake District - England's green and pristine mountain playground - we'll admire idyllic lakes, discover misty waterfalls, tour a slate mine, and conquer stony summits. There's history everywhere here in the city of the Caesars. Whether you're playing gladiator or simply marveling at the remarkable ancient design and construction, the Colosseum gets a unanimous thumbs-up. For 250 years Christians worshipped quietly at his tomb. Colosseo — that's our stop. The gates of imperial Rome are a two-mile chariot ride this way. Save up to 50% storewide on travel bags, accessories, guidebooks, maps and DVDs. Built two millennia ago, this influential domed temple served as the model for Michelangelo's dome of St. Peter's and many others. So they buried their dead in mass underground necropoli — or catacombs — dug beneath the property of the few fellow Christians who did own land. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. Take advantage of public transport. And, a visit to the National Museum at the Palazzo Massimo helps humanize the empire. The board lists daily specials (gnocchi on Thursday, fish on Friday, and so on). Vatican City may be the world's smallest independent country, with just a thousand inhabitants, but it's the spiritual capital of hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics. Like so many classical statues, this is a 2,000-year-old Roman copy of a 2,500-year-old Greek original. She brought home wagonloads of relics including these stairs — believed to be from the palace of Pontius Pilate. The first episode in this three-part mini-series distills Rick Steves' 30 years of travel experience into 30 minutes of practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable, and culturally broadening trip to Europe. A morning spent wandering is filled with surprises. The Vatican is ruled — both politically and religiously — by the pope. People who spoke Latin or Greek were considered civilized, part of the empire. When Europeans go out for dinner, it's generally the event of the evening. Peruse the photos of their famous visitors — everyone from Muammar Gaddafi and Prince Charles to Bill Clinton are pictured with the late Signore Fortunato, who started this restaurant in 1975 and was a master of simple edible elegance. Early birds can even enjoy the generally packed Pantheon nearly all to themselves. In fact, in the sixth century, the barbarians did just that. Explore. For a dressy night out, this is a reliable and surprisingly reasonable choice — reserve ahead. This scene, showing Peter looking after early Christians, while centuries old, looks almost new. But at the same time I experienced such delight that I wished it would last forever.". Stand under the Pantheon's solemn dome to gain a new appreciation for the sophistication of these ancient people. It served the needs of the divine monarchs and of the Church. Terms of Service | Privacy, Rome, Italy: Spanish Steps and Campo de' Fiori. Allow two hours for a quick visit, three or four hours for enough time to enjoy it. Woman: I'm doing well! It's been the hangout of countless romantics over the years — and, I hope, someday soon, that includes you. Rick Steves' Europe is an American travel documentary television series created and hosted by Rick Steves.In each episode, he travels to the continent of Europe, documenting his experiences along the way.. After dinner, we'll take a nighttime stroll, lacing together the city's piazzas and fountains. The story of ancient Rome can be overwhelming. These frescoes — a rare surviving example of Roman painting — bring color to our image of daily life back then. The museum helps you imagine life before the fall of Rome. A determined cherub rips pages from a Protestant book. But the Romans also pioneered a totally new form of art — sculpting painfully realistic portraits of emperors and important citizens. To celebrate the Colosseum's grand opening, Romans were treated to the slaughter of 5,000 animals. Halls and courtyards are littered with ancient Greek and Roman masterpieces — like the Laocoön…so inspirational to the great masters of the Renaissance. "Pan-theon" means "all gods." See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. Everyone else...barbarian. Rick: Let's go for a walk. There is no doubt: This is the richest and grandest church on earth. Focusing on the grandeur of classical Rome, we'll admire the groundbreaking architecture at the Colosseum and Pantheon, and the empire's exquisite art at the Capitoline Museum. Without water, Rome basically shriveled up. This sprawling, evocative park is a favorite these days with Roman joggers, picnickers, and anyone looking for a break from the big city. Getting one's easy — just a phone call or visit the website, and you get an entry time. Exploring Rome on foot, you alternate between peaceful back lanes and busy arterials. These reliefs show Marcus Aurelius performing the various duties of an emperor: Here, as the chief priest, or "pontifex maximus," he prepares to sacrifice a bull. And this painted garden — wallpapering a Roman villa — showed an appreciation for nature while creating an atmosphere of serenity. Starring: Rick Steves Directed by: Simon Griffith Rick Steves Rome 2020 (Rick Steves Travel Guide) Part of: Rick Steves Travel Guide (32 Books) | by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw | Oct 29, 2019. But the Republic was finished and Rome became the grand capital of a grand empire. In this video, the great Rick Steves takes us through the heart of Rome, to admire breathtaking Baroque art and architecture, and also to mix and mingle with the Romans. With Rick Steves. These are the original stones. Upon entering, your first impression is: It's huge…600 feet long, bathed in sunbeams. Its dimensions are classic — based on a perfect circle, as wide as it is tall: 140 feet. Largo Argentina is a modern transportation hub, with traffic roaring all around some of the Rome's oldest temples. Its noble ruins tell a tale of power, politics, and imperial egos; of pagan gods now forgotten; of public art on a grand scale; and of enduring engineering feats. We're in eternally entertaining Rome. Many aspects of Roman life are represented. After a lifetime of exploring Europe - and inspiring Americans to see Europe as the springboard for world exploration - Rick Steves shares his reasons why. In ancient times, the "Field of Flowers" was an open meadow. Or $0.00 with a Prime membership. The little-visited Museum of the Risorgimento fills several floors with displays on the movement and war that led to the unification of Italy in 1870. And the angel struggles with the evil serpent of heresy. This one's open weekday lunches only. Don't miss Michelangelo's Pietà (behind bulletproof glass) to the right of the entrance. The hill overlooking the Forum is jam-packed with history — "the huts of Romulus," the huge Imperial Palace, a view of the Circus Maximus — but only the barest skeleton of rubble is left to tell the story. In typical Baroque style, Bernini captures the instant when, just as Apollo's about to catch Daphne, her fingers turn to leaves, her toes sprout roots…and Apollo's in for one rude surprise. Others then carved out niches nearby to bury their loved ones close to these early Christian heroes. At its peak in the 1600s, these "Papal States," as they were called, encompassed much of the Italian peninsula. By pulling emotional strings, it convinced people to obey. I'm in Rome, and this is the ancient Appian Way — Europe's first super-highway. Downtown Rome is a kind of architectural time warp. To call it vast is like calling Einstein smart. For instance, when Rome went to the races, it came here — the Circus Maximus. Centuries later they were rediscovered. This second of three episodes on Rome reveals a city busy with life and bursting with Baroque. With Rick Steves. Sicily serves up a full-bodied and tasty travel experience. Then we go offbeat by bicycle to see the Appian Way and marvels of Roman engineering. Towering above the traffic stands Il Gesù, the leading church of the Jesuit order. Admiring the artifacts of Rome's elite, from exquisite jewelry to this delicate golden hairnet, we can only marvel at "lifestyles of the rich and Roman.". But the Christians who had a single — and very jealous — God were the exception. S11 Ep1106 | 26m 15s Riding the elevator to the top of the monument, we enjoy a sweeping view of the Eternal City. You can hear the excitement as you draw near, and then — bam! Video: Watch Rome: Back Street Riches, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. [€9.20] Today the square, known for its symmetrical design and its art-filled churches, is the starting point for the city's evening passeggiata. Besides the catacombs themselves, there's a historic fourth-century basilica with the relics of St. Sebastian, the (supposedly) original Quo Vadis footprints of Christ, and an exquisite Bernini statue. Simon's the hardest-working producer in television — look at him right now. Reliefs decorating the various arches show how war and expansion were the business of state. Rick: Trevi Fountain! Rome: Baroque Brilliance #702. The first half was the Republic — ruled by elected senators; the last half was the Empire — ruled by unelected emperors. Rick: Ciao, grazie. Mussolini gathered the altar's scattered parts and reconstructed them in a building here in 1938. It's the Curia. Statues show how Emperors were worshipped as gods on earth. Rick: Check out who's with who, who's wearing what. Follow signs to discover the park's cafés, fountains, statues, lake, great viewpoint over Piazza del Popolo, and prime picnic spots. And from the window of the cab we enjoy another lively look at the city. Romans filled and emptied the Colosseum's 50,000 seats as quickly and efficiently as we do our superâstadiums today. The view from the top is unrivaled: both of Rome in general, and the Vatican grounds. Here the 25-year-old Michelangelo makes the theological message very clear: Jesus — once alive but now dead — gave his life for our salvation. Birds roost inside, and thousands of people wander about, heads craned heavenward, hardly noticing each other. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Every inch is slathered with ornamentation — oh-wow spiral columns framing scenes that almost come to life; cupids doing flip-flops, and ceilings open into the heavens. But for over three million people, it's also simply home. Occasionally I'll splurge in a restaurant like this, where you can let the meal unfold in all its many layers. This church houses Bernini's best-known statue, the swooning St. Teresa in Ecstasy. Our focus in this episode: Classical Rome, once the capital of the Western world. This is a copy. Length: 56 minutes. Travel with Rick on this video guide to the Baroque sights of Rome, Italy and find out what to do on your next trip. With history, art, and people perpetually partying under the stars, it's no wonder people come here in droves for the promise that a coin tossed over the shoulder will assure their return to this Eternal City. The church is filled with symbols of Christianity's triumph over pagan Rome: For instance, tradition says these gilded bronze columns once stood in pagan Rome's holiest temple. I think the passeggiata is a wonderful way of living in the city. Thankfully no one cannibalized the magnificent Pantheon, the best-preserved temple from ancient Rome. But the grandeur of the Roman Empire lived on in the Roman Church. This is one of Europe's top three or four houses of art. This second of three shows on Rome reveals a city busy with life and bursting with Baroque. And this is one of three episodes we dedicate to the Eternal City. It's a story of colossal achievement and monumental failure. Tonight we said, "Bring on whatever's fresh." Seemingly insignificant churches, like Santa Maria della Vittoria, come with lavish interiors. In its glory days, the word "Rome" meant not the just city but what Romans considered the entire civilized world. The magic of the square is enhanced by the fact that no streets directly approach it. Its centerpiece: St. Peter's Basilica. The museum features art from every age. Rick: Grazie. Join Rick as he experiences the local culture, cuisine, and fun along with some powerful lessons that only travel can teach. Today, visitors to Rome find fascinating layers of history and culture: early Christian, Baroque, and modern. Of course, there's much more as we've just scratched the surface of this vast collection. War and expansion were the Achilles ' heel of Rome where early Christians were here... 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