Published On: 2014/07/30

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.

Rome, Italy

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.

Via Alessandrina, Rome, Italy
Ancient reliefs at the Via Alessandrina

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy
The Spanish Steps and Trinità dei Monti Church

Piazza del Popolo, Rome,, ItalyPiazza del Popolo

Piazza Navona, Rome, ItalyPiazza Navona and Bernini’s famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

Foro Romano, Rome, ItalyThe Foro Romano

Foro Romano, Rome, ItalyColumn heaven at the Foro

Coliseum, Rome, ItalyThe majestic Coliseum

The Coliseum, Rome, Italy

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, ItalyOne of the most important churches in Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, ItalyLight and tiles and shadows inside Santa Maria Maggiore

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
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. 

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, ItalyThe world’s largest church dome (Vatican City only does superlatives!)

Vatican Museums, Rome, ItalyThe maps gallery inside the Vatican Museums

Stanze di Raffaello, Rome, ItalyThe School of Athens — Rafael’s most famous fresco

Micheangelo's Pietà, Rome, ItalyMary’s pain has not been depicted more beautifully ever since Micheangelo’s Pietà

St. Peter's Baldachin, Rome, ItalyThe view of light beams through St. Peter’s Baldachin by Bernini

Inside St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
StPeter’s Basilica is the church with the world’s most perfect light

Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome, Italy
Ponte Sant’Angelo 

Elephant and Obelisk, Rome, ItalyThe adorable Bernini elephant in front of Santa Maria sopra Minerva

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy
Fontana di Trevi

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy

Santa Sabina all'Aventino, Rome, ItalyOne 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?