Saturday, December 12, 2015


Rather than a writing as usual about Rome, this post is mostly just pictures showing the places we saw. Rome is, after all, the "Eternal City" and well known everywhere. So, here goes.

Our apartment was on this square with a turtle fountain
A kitchen fire in this restaurant two doors down from our apartment
we had to drag our luggage completely around the block.
No terrorist involved, just a careless chef or a loose wire.

On our first night we visited three of the biggies, the Victor Emanuel II Monument, built to memorialize the unification of Italy in the late 19th century. Built on an ancient Roman scale it honors the first king of a united Italy. From there we walked to the Trevi Fountain and threw in our coins to assure our return. A short walk further took us to the Pantheon, the only Roman structure still standing as it was in Roman times. The dome was unequaled until the Renaissance when the Duomo in Florence and St. Peter's in Rome were built.

I took this picture from St. Peters.
From there you can see its epic scale.
Easily one of the most beautiful fountains in the world.
I had just reopened for us after an 18 month repair job.
The Pantheon is not particularly interesting from the outside.
Inside the pantheon
The dome
These men are guarding the tomb of the last king.
They hope his descendants may return to rule one day.
Day two was devoted to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Cathedral.

The Laocoon Group, an ancient Roman statue unearthed in 1506
is one of the highlights of the Vatican Museum
As are the many tapestries
I expected the Map Room to be maps, but not like this.
These are maps Italy painted on the walls. This one is of the Cinque Terre area.
Michaelangelo's Pieta sits behind a glass wall
after being attacked in 1972 by a man claiming to be Jesus
The alter is about six stories tall
Raphael's School of Athens
A modern crucifix
St. Peter. Note the hand on his foot. I'm not sure why
but this is a traditional thing to do
Michelangelo's Done
View from the dome of the plaza
These doors are only opened for Holy Years which come every 25
Unless the Pope declares a special one
Our new Pope has declared next year to the a Holy Year of Mercy

Day three was devoted to Ancient Rome

Three huge arches dominate the landscape
One of the Vestal Virgins who had to stay pure and keep the fire lit
Failure to keep the fire lit meant the end of Rome.
Failure to remain a virgin meant an ugly death
Success meant a life of luxury and happy marriage in their thirties.

Forty Christians waiting to be executed.
One recanted to save his life so a guard claimed he was Christian
This kept the number at the auspicious 40.
One of the Forty

These ruins are near the Pantheon.
Julius Caesar was killed here.
The Coloseum

Rooms under the floor of the arena for the gladiators and the animals
Other sites of interest

The Spanish Steps under repair
The church, St. Peter in Chains has the chains used to shackle Peter before he was crucified.
For me this is the real reason to visit St. Peter in Chains
Michelangelo planned a massive tomb for Pope Julius II
Then Julius died and other priorities took over
What was to include 18 statues was reduced to this.
Only Moses was completed by Michelangelo
Although the statues on either side were done by his students. 
Santa Maria Maggiore
A rather imposing facade
The Pope in prayer
Ceiling in the crypt

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