Rome: 10 Things to Do

7. Gianicolo

rome Franz-Marc Frei / Corbis
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This is known as the city of seven hills, but actually Rome has more than that. Indeed, the Gianicolo (or Janiculum), the hill that affords the best view of Rome, is west of the Tiber and outside the ancient city, so it's not counted among the ancient seven. Still, it's close to the historic center, just above the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood — and the panorama (not to mention the silence) from the top takes your breath away. At noon, the quiet is momentarily broken by the single shot of a cannon, to mark the exact time, a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.

Besides a stunning view of Rome's ancient landmarks, the Gianicolo gives you a quick and slightly more modern history lesson on the Italian Risorgimento, the 19th-century movement (and wars) that unified modern Italy. Busts of the heroes are scattered along the pathways, and looming over everything is a gigantic statue of the great bearded hero Giuseppe Garibaldi on horseback. Viva Italia!

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