Rome “caput mundi”
Fifteen square kilometers and twenty-fivethousand attractions: Rome’s historic centre has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1980. A symbol among symbols and the most widely photographed monument in the world, the Colosseum is considered one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. The memory of its performances – gladiators, wild animals and naval battles re-enacted in the arena – have always fueled the fantasy of history and film buffs. However, unknown to most, its amphitheatre is also studied by botanists, who have isolated 350 species, several of inexplicable origin that grow spontaneously among its ruins. Unlike that phenomenon, everyone is aware of what happened to the 100,000 cubic metres of shining white marble that originally covered the Colosseum. They were ‘recycled’ to build several historic Roman buildings including the Basilica of St. Peter’s and Palazzo Barberini.