With a past spanning almost 2,800 years, this ancient city is filled with historic landmarks. A prominent world force, and former center of an empire, Rome was the point of convergence for some of the most influential figures in European history. As you walk the streets today, your imagination will be inspired by encounters with famous fountains, ruins hundreds of years old or mythological monuments.

Picture yourself sitting in the stands of the Colosseum, waiting in anticipation of the day’s entertainment: a fighting gladiator. Or conjure up the legends of Roman gods and goddesses on a tour of the Pantheon, a temple built between A.D. 118 and 125. Visitors also can marvel at the engineering prowess of Romans long ago at the aqueducts or explore the spookier side of the city in its underground burial sites, or catacombs, dating as far back as the early second century.

Vacationers don’t have to go far to find one of the Eternal City’s majestic fountains, sprinkled across the metropolis. Follow tradition and toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in Rome, to ensure that you will return someday. Or travel to the well-known Piazza Navona to gaze at Bernini’s meticulously sculpted Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Of course, a visit to the area would not be complete without a glimpse of the wonders of Vatican City. Look up at the painted dome ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and consider Michelangelo’s mastery of the paintbrush, or take an enchanted stroll through the lush greenery on winding paths in the Vatican Gardens.

Rome has hosted powerful figures from emperors and gladiators to popes and legendary artists for thousands of years, and inspiration can be found around every corner on a tour of the city’s cobblestone streets.

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