Rome has shined across its Seven Hills for more than two millennia, intertwining faith, art, and politics that continue to draw people from around the world. The dramatic walls of the Colosseum continue to stand majestically. The statue of Oceanus proudly watches over the water trickling into the Trevi Fountain. The dome of the historic Pantheon has inspired architects from its inception, including Michelangelo and Brunelleschi. Your flight lands at Fiumicino Airport. Your private transfer greets you upon your arrival and escorts you to a grand hotel located in the heart of the historic city with terraces overlooking the obelisk of Piazza del Popolo and gardens of the Villa Borghese.
Restaurants hide amongst the hidden cobblestone alleys and fill the air with the aromas of fresh pasta and delectable pizzas. Gelateries offer colorful mixtures of creamy sweet treats along the roadside, accompanied by the subtle scent of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and coffee. Your guide greets you in the hotel lobby, eager to lead you on an exceptional tour of the churches of Rome, tracing the lineage of Christianity across the city center. Before reaching the crowning dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, you find the remarkable church of St. John Lateran.
The structure acted as the Papal residence before the existence of the Vatican. Your guide points to an inscription on the façade that reads in Latin, “Mother and Head of all the churches of the city and the world.” The captivating 16th and 17th-century architectural styles were built over the 4th-century foundations of an earlier church. The bronze doors decorating the façade were taken from the ancient Curia located in the Roman Forum. Copies of the original Christian mosaics decorate the apse. The sweet spice of frankincense drifts beneath the timber ceiling.
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