|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|
|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.
Day three was devoted to Ancient Rome
|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
|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
|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.
|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.|
Santa Maria Maggiore
|A rather imposing facade|
|The Pope in prayer|
|Ceiling in the crypt|