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5 Must-See Rome Sights

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    Places to Visit in Rome

    Italy's charismatic capital was the hub of the ancient Roman Empire and overflows with great Renaissance and Baroque art. Rome is also a living, breathing movie set, where la dolce vita carries on. But where should you visit no matter what? Here are five of Rome's best sights.

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    Vatican City

    The world's smallest state has a population of just over 800 — few of whom live here permanently. Its most important resident, the Pope, gives an audience on Wednesday mornings in St. Peter's Square, dominated by the famous basilica named for the same saint. In the Sistine Chapel, which is part of the Vatican Museum; gaze up at Michelangelo's 16th-century biblical frescoes, including The Last Judgment.

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    The Colosseum

    The ancient city comes to the fore as the most iconic of Rome’s sights. The circular, three-tiered archaeological landmark is amazingly intact after almost 2,000 years. Up to 50,000 Romans could congregate here to watch bloody gladiatorial contest and wild-animal hunts. There are no such dramas today, but it isn’t hard to imagine those of past millennia.

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    Trevi Fountain

    Nicola Salvi’s 85-foot-high, 18th-century fountain – filled with baroque sea gods and horses – epitomizes passion and romance. This is where Anita Ekberg bathed in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film classic La Dolce Vita. It’s also where young secretaries searched for love in the 1954 American movie Three Coins in the Fountain. According to local legend, if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, a wish for a return visit to Rome will come true.

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    Galleria Borghese

    Set in the 17th-century Villa Borghese, this gallery houses the astounding collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V and a patron of great artists such as Caravaggio and Bernini. Stroll the grounds, with their lake and English-style gardens, before heading inside to see Titian's allegorical Sacred and Profane Love and Raphael's powerful Deposition, among many other paintings.

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    Campo de' Fiori

    This centro ‘storico (historic center) piazza dates from the Renaissance, and its busy morning market has been operating since the 19th century. Colorful stalls burst with local vegetables and slender bottles of limoncello and olive oil. Trattorias with outdoor tables surrounding the piazza are lively places to people-watch — perhaps in the evening, while sipping chilled prosecco.

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    Also of Interest

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