The photo above was taken at the Palatine Hill.
The Hill is 230 feet above Rome; it gives magnificent views of the city and the Forum Romanum. During the 27 BC – 476 AD several emperors resided there, including Augustus (the first Emperor of Roman Empire).
Below is part of the Palace of Septimius Severus,193-211 AD. This enormous building was supported by those giant arches:
The next photo was taken in Orvieto. Orvieto was a major center of Etruscan civilization. The origins of the Etruscans were lost in prehistory; they could be originated from the Northern Italy or the Near East (Wikipedia). During the 12th century, only Orvieto and Avignon (in France) had papal palaces outside Rome.
Click here to view more.