As one of the world's most historic and ancient cities, Rome attracts millions of tourists every year. From the old world opulence of the Roman Forum and the Catacombs to the serene natural beauty of Villa Borghese, Rome's main sites are appreciated by crowds of travellers from around the world. However, in order to gain some true insight into the historic heritage of Rome and its ancestors, it's crucial to appreciate the tradition of luxury and grandeur afforded by the old city sights.
The Colosseum, for instance, is a reigning symbol of Ancient Rome and one of the city's flagship monuments. But it's crucial to view the Colosseum not just as a hallmark specimen of Roman architectural prowess, but also as the venue of lavish public spectacles and gladiatorial combat. For nearly 500 years, the Colosseum was used as the site of gladiatorial games, mock sea battles, animal hunts, dramas based on Classical mythology and executions - maintaining its status as a prime feature of the greatness of the Roman Empire and an enduring symbol of the power of the Emperor.
Another Roman ruin that draws the fascination of thousands of tourists every year is the Baths of Caracalla. The baths incorporate a complex that covers approximately 13 hectares and could accommodate up to 1600 bathers in its prime - more of a luxury leisure complex than a simple series of baths. As well as a range of temperature controlled bathing rooms and pool areas, the Baths of Caracalla also incorporates a public library and a shopping centre - indicative of the Baths’ status as one of Rome's most indulgent hotspots.
The abundance of Renaissance and Baroque architecture in Rome is also a prominent indicator of its affluent heritage, with the Piazza del Campidoglio often cited as the most impressive example of Renaissance creation in the city. Designed by Michelangelo, the piazza was initially constructed as a symbol of the new Rome in 1538, in order to impress Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor.
Other marks of Rome's grand Renaissance period include the Palazzo del Quirinale (now the seat of the President of Italy) the Palazzo Venezia and the Palazzo Farnese - all of which were opulent palaces built by Rome's most famous aristocratic families. Additionally, the Fontana di Trevi acts as Rome's most enduring representation of Baroque architecture, and is one of the city's most cherished monuments by residents and travellers alike.
If you're planning to stay in Rome for a true taste of the city's grandeur and luxurious past, keep in mind that you'll be able to find a range of apartments in Rome that are located in the heart of its UNESCO protected historic district. This way, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of high quality accommodation while exploring the magnificence of the city's most famous sights at the same time - the perfect recipe for a true understanding of Roman luxury!
Adam Singleton is an online, freelance journalist and keen amateur photographer. His portfolio, called Capquest Photography is available to view online.