Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day…

People all over the world use the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” to remind each other to be patient — that it takes a lot longer to build something as incredible as The Eternal City. This saying began as a French proverb dating back to the 12th century and it found its way into the English language over 300 years later. With so many amazing Rome tours here at Gray Line Rome, we thought it might be interesting to write a blog looking at how long it took to build many of Rome’s most famous buildings, and to give you a little background about them!

How Long Did it Take to Build the Galleria Borghese

The Galleria Borghese

This beautiful art gallery is famous for housing an impressive array of Caravaggio’s artworks along with work by Rubens, Raphael, and Titian. For some, the building itself is the most beautiful piece of art in the gallery and it took only three years to build after it was commissioned in 1613 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. This incredible gallery is one of Rome’s most beautiful buildings and it’s worth visiting if you’re interested in sampling some of Italy’s greatest artworks.

How Long Did it Take to Build The Pantheon

The Pantheon

We mentioned the Pantheon in our blog about Ancient Rome last month. It is an incredible sight, and its position in the heart of the city makes it an absolute must-see for anyone visitors. The Pantheon as we know it today, is actually the third version of the structure as the first two buildings burnt down. It took around five years to build the main rotunda section of the building and a further 5 years to build the dome, which was completed in 126 AD. To this day, the Pantheon’s dome remains the largest unreinforced dome in the world and it was the largest brick structure in the world for over 1,000 years. The Pantheon is free to enter and it’s where you’ll meet your guide if you decide to take Gray Line Rome’s Gourmet Dinner and Wine tour.

How Long Did it Take to Build St Peter’s Basilica

 St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica is one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world, and its grandeur feels appropriate for the main basilica in Vatican City! There was an original St Peter’s Basilica before the one we know today and the current building began construction on the 18th of April, 1506 and was completed on the 18th of November, 1626, so it took a little over 120 years to build. Take our skip-the-line Vatican Museum tour for the complete Vatican experience, including a long visit to St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. 

On the topic of the Sistine Chapel… It took Michelangelo nine years in total to paint the incredible frescos on the Sistine Chapel: the first four years were spent working on the famous ceiling and then a further five years, 26 years later, when he was asked to paint ‘The Last Judgement’ fresco behind the alter. 

How Long Did it Take to Build The Colosseum?

The Colosseum 

Rome’s Colosseum is one of the most famous structures in the world and there is so much history behind this incredible building. Even though the Colosseum is the oldest building mentioned in this blog, it was built relatively quickly. In fact, it took between six and eight years to build. The Romans were excellent builders and the Colosseum was built by Emperor Vespasian in his mission to glorify Rome. The building was finished in 80 AD and it is a must-see location for anyone visiting the city. Take a look at our Colosseum and Roman Forum tours page to find your perfect tour.

But How Long has it Taken to Build Rome?

The answer to this depends on your interpretation of the question, as Rome has been built and sacked several times. You could work out the finite existence of each version of Rome and come up with a solid number. Or you could consider Rome as a city that is always being built since it was founded on the 21st of April, 753 BCE. This means that that Rome was built, so far, in approximately 1,010,450 days…

If you have any questions about any of the Rome locations or our range of tours, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Plan your next big adventure with Gray Line Rome!