Every now and then, it's worth taking some time to ponder the past that brought us to where we are today. Rome, Italy, is a great place for just such a reverie amid ruins, palaces and towering churches.

Among Rome's most iconic landmarks is the Colosseum, where ancient Romans gathered to watch brutal battles between man and beast. Another sporting venue, Circus Maximus, still awes visitors with its massive oval where chariots once raced.

Immediately outside the Colosseum are more ruins of Rome's former glory, from the Arch of Constantine to the Roman Forum, where the Arch of Titus sits. Above the Colosseum rises Palatine Hill, a fashionable address in Roman times and now an extensive archaeological park.

Not everything of Rome's past is in ruins. The Pantheon, a temple to many Roman gods, remains standing much as it did nearly two millennia ago. Bridges dating to the first century A.D. still cross the Tiber River and connect to Tiber Island. Castel Sant'Angelo Bridge was built by Roman emperor Hadrian just a century later.

Christian history is also prominently featured throughout Rome, from its elaborate churches to the independent theocracy of Vatican City, where the tallest Renaissance structure in the world, St. Peter's Basilica, towers over Vatican grounds and museums.

Many visitors so love Rome, they toss a coin into the elaborate Trevi Fountain, an act rumored to ensure their return to the city. Then it's time to head to the Spanish Steps for one last look over the city that has captured the world's imagination for millennia.

Though its days as capital of the western world are long faded into the annals of history, Rome remains a cultural force as one of Europe's largest cities. Until you can walk along its ancient roads, take a moment to experience Rome through this desktop getaway.

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