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No city in the world equals the history of the Eternal City. Founded 2700 years ago, Rome long reigned as Caput Mundi, or Capital of the World.
Monumental buildings such as the Colosseum are reminiscent of the era when emperors like Nero and Trajan ruled the Roman Empire.
But today's Rome owes much of its attractiveness to the Renaissance period when new squares such as the Piazza del Campidoglio were created and new buildings were constructed including the world's largest church, the Saint Peter's Basilica.
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As the de facto heart of Ancient Rome, the Forum boasted plenty of temples, arches and basilicas. Most are now reduced to rubble but with some imagination you can see the Roman Empire come back to life.
This elliptical piazza was created in the 17th century by the renowned sculptor and architect Bernini as a grand entrance to the St. Peter's Basilica. The Egyptian obelisk at the center of the square was installed earlier, in 1586.
What was started by Caesar as an extension of the Roman Forum became the city's most important political and economical center with temples, public squares, libraries, markets and a basilica.
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