now for something completely different, the Pantheon.
massive, hulking place of worship for over two thousand years,
the Pantheon started life as a Pagan temple built in 27 BC
by Agrippa, upgraded by Emperor Hadrian in 128 AD, then converted
to a Christian church in 609 AD - Santa Maria ad Martyres.
Pantheon is a superb engineering feat and supported the world's
largest dome (43m/142ft in both diameter and height) until
overtaken by the English town of Buxton (Buxton beats Rome?)
The top centre of the dome has a 9m/30ft diameter
hole that lets in light and rain while letting out prayers
and meditative views of the heavens.
Colosseum, with hideous, inappropriate fencing and screens.
The Colosseum's interior is impressively large but poorly organised and
displayed though recently Romans have upped their game and improved the experience, we believe.
There are usually long lines to get in so avoid queues by buying a combined ticket with the adjacent Palatine Hill, a lush and lovely green space that doesn't have lines. More
of Rome's joys is the number of fountains great and small around
the city centre, from which overheated tourists can drink, refill
their water bottles, or soak their heads. The water is perfectly
potable and brought to Rome via an aqueduct built by Agrippa
in 19 BC.
Trevi's name is derived from tre vie, the three roads
that met at the fountain, was commissioned by Pope Clement and
finished in 1762. These days there are five very small streets
leading to the fountain so the first sight of the gushing waters
has a big impact. Tourists wishing to return to Rome throw coins
into the waters.
Rome's ancient Forum
favourite view of Rome, the Forum view looking towards the Colosseum from the top of the white 'Wedding Cake', otherwise known as
Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (the last king of Italy).
central section of the victory column in Parliament Square.
Rome's triumphal arches but less extravagant, victory columns celebrated
martial success. Built from Carrara marble this one shows war
scenes in a continuous 30m spiral.
rule in Rome.
not so much to heavy traffic as very limited parking space scooters
are transport du jour but the ubiquitous cobblestones are extremely
slippery when wet.
The centre of the city appears to have neither underground car
parks (afraid of what they might find down there?) nor multistorey
or even old style surface parks though a few small, expensive
indoor parks exist.
Since 'imaginative' street parking is thus sine qua non the fashionistas have taken to short-ass Smart cars, so, for
example, the Trastevere bistro area that gets packed at night
sees a huge ratio of Smarts over regular motors, mostly parked
nose-in to the kerb.
have no documented evidence what this unpleasant lighting-support
critter is but Starcraft game players are of the opinion that
it's a deformed infant mutalisk.
in Rome, expensive? Not compared to Paris or London, yet excellent
quality, dramatic colours and unique Italian designs.
Spanish Steps, looking down to the Piazza di Spagna and a fountain
in the form of a leaking boat.
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