To quote Trip Advisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187791-Rome_Lazio-Vacations.html)
Rome can’t be toured in a day, either. The city feels like the exhibit halls of a giant outdoor museum, a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and mind-boggling historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, drop your jaw at the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and fuel up on cappuccino for an afternoon of shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Dig into a plate of fresh pasta, some succulent fried artichokes, or a tender oxtail stew for one of the best meals of your life
Rome was our second venture abroad. We chose Rome because we had read and heard about the art, architecture and history. Ever since seeing the movie Three Coins in a Fountain, I had wanted to see Trevi Fountain.
In the airport on the way to Rome, Barb made friends with a Samoan band who serenaded us and fellow travelers.
Rome was overwhelming. It was like eating at a gourmet buffet. Each dish was to be enjoyed and savored but when put together the Beef Wellington loses its flavor after sampling Thai Larb, Baked Alaska and Hungarian Chicken Paprikash. A one day tour of the Vatican can only wet your appetite. It is impossible to absorb the beauty in one day tour. I strongly recommend hiring a guide outside the Vatican. Even though we visited thye Vatican on a rainy November day, the crowd of tourists was huge.
My favorite memories of Rome were the nights. Travel by bus was economical and easy to get around. At night we loved stopping in the various Piazzas. Also, we found a favorite pizza restaurant across from the hotel that served pizza unlike any we experienced in the USA (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Albuquerque, etc.)
You can read the history and significance of the subjects of my pictures in other places (e. g. Wikipedia). I will just give a short intro to the pictures below.
“A magical space, expansive, evocative, and peaceful.”—Ann Wise, Rome-based journalist. Rome’s most intact ancient monument; a massive sphere designed as a pagan temple by Emperor Hadrian in A.D. 125; remained the world’s largest concrete dome until the 1990s; houses the tombs of painter Raphael and 19th-century Italian king Vittorio Emanuele II. Go when it’s raining to watch the drops shower through the oculus, the hole in the dome’s top. Piazza della Rotonda.
Now this is a tub!
Ancient Rome’s civic open-air theater, site of gladiator fights and other competitions. Massive structure, now a symbol of Rome.
Outside the Colosseum you will be enticed to take a souvenir photo with a Roman gladiator.
“One of the few ancient Roman sites visitors can tour for free. Start at the Capitoline Hill, for its great introductory view of this nexus of imperial Roman life.”—Ann Wise. Center of imperial Rome; remains of temples to Roman gods, public baths, imperial arches, basilicas, and Roman senate.
ARCH OF TITUS
The Arch of Titus is a 1st-century honorific arch located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Largest baroque fountain in Rome; terminal point of one of Rome’s ancient aqueducts; designed in the 18th century by Nicola Salvi, with influences from Bernini; depicts the Roman God of the Sea, Neptune, being guided by Tritons; coins in the fountain tossed by visitors heeding a maxim that throwing in a coin ensures a return to Rome; famously appears in the films Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita, and more recent When in Rome.
As usual, Barb makes friends everywhere she travels.
The Spanish Steps (Italian: Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti) are a set of steps climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe.
The monumental stairway of 135 steps (the slightly elevated drainage system is often mistaken for the first step) was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above — to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below.
“A major concentration of world art in one of the world’s smallest sovereign states; don’t miss the tomb of St. Peter, under the Basilica.”—Ann Natanson. Seat of the Catholic religion. Highlights include St. Peter’s Basilica, with its “Pietà” by Michelangelo; a lifetime’s worth of masterpieces in the Vatican Museums, from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s masterpiece The School of Athens; and papal tombs. Piazza San Pietro; 39 06 6988 5100; fee to visit museums. www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm
View from Medici home in Rome.
MISC PIAZZAS AND SIGHTS
If you read my Prague page, you know I was fascinated by the beautiful doors in Prague. Rome was no exception.
Great restaurant with excellent food, personal service and friendly atmosphere.