A while back, I compiled a massive photo essay from my spring getaway to Rome, which did surprisingly well. Lesson learned: People love photos from Italy — especially when these photos include a ridiculous amount of food and gelato images.
I sure love those classic Italy impressions as well: When I go to a city like Rome I enjoy those little winding cobbled lanes, gelato and pasta, and every little bit of Italian cuteness, but to be honest: That’s not what I travel to Rome for: I come for art, history and architecture. Because no matter if you want to understand antique or baroque architecture, no matter if you discuss the history of frescoes or sculptures: All (art historical) roads lead to Rome. Always Rome. Without this city, our world’s art and architecture would not be the same.
And all these art historical features of Rome were not included in my last photo essay from Rome, because I felt like they deserve their own space. So to complete the true idea of Rome — despite all the piazzas and great espressos — here is a collection of my favorite photos from Rome from an art historian in love with the Eternal City. It’s only the tiniest selection of what the city truly has to offer when it comes to art and architecture, but I hope these photos will make you fall in love over and over again — just like they do for me.
Ancient reliefs at the Via Alessandrina
The Spanish Steps and Trinità dei Monti Church
Piazza Navona and Bernini’s famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
One of the most important churches in Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore
Light and tiles and shadows inside Santa Maria Maggiore
The world’s most famous church: St. Peter’s Basilica. Built and planned for centuries by all the famous names out there: Bramante, Michelangelo, Bernini, and many more.
The world’s largest church dome (Vatican City only does superlatives!)
The maps gallery inside the Vatican Museums
The School of Athens — Rafael’s most famous fresco
Mary’s pain has not been depicted more beautifully ever since Micheangelo’s Pietà
The view of light beams through St. Peter’s Baldachin by Bernini
St. Peter’s Basilica is the church with the world’s most perfect light
The adorable Bernini elephant in front of Santa Maria sopra Minerva
One of the very first Christian churches, dating back to the 5th century — and one of my all-time favorite places in Rome: Santa Sabina all’Aventino
Which photo from art historical and archeological Rome is your favorite?