Monday, September 19, 2011

Rome, Italy

Janelle came back to Europe to attend a wedding in Slovakia. So we decided to take a trip to Rome with Liz and Eiko (the Bratsville chicas). What a great idea!! I figured that I would like Rome. That's an understatement. Rome was awesome!! You've got to love a city where every time you turn around you see something that's +2,000 years old.

Rome is Italy's largest city with 2.7 million people, as well as, home to Vatican City. Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire and the city's history covers 2.5 thousand years. Again, every where you look you will find something historic. There are lots of monuments, museums and the center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Colosseum is incredible!!
It's in the city center and by far the city's biggest attraction.

It was the largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire. Built between 72 - 80 AD, the Colosseum was where gladiators battled to the death and where up to 70,000 people could watch.

The place was designed so that there really wasn't a bad seat in the house.

Between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum is the Arch of Constantine. Dedicated in 315 AD, it is the newest of the triumphal arches in Rome. It was built to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius in 312 AD. You know the stuff is old when you need to write "AD" as part of the date.

Il Foro Romano (the Roman Forum) was the center of commerce, politics and social life in the Roman Empire. Here are ruins and archeological excavations that go back over 2,000 years.

The 17th century Spanish Steps are at Piazza di Spagna and lead up to a beautiful 16th century church, Trinità dei Monti, that has a great view of the city. The Spanish Steps are the widest staircase in Europe.

The Pantheon was a temple for worshiping all of the Roman gods. The building was designed to support the weight of the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture. A hole in the dome's center is the only light source. Today there are a few famous people entombed there including the artist Raphael.

La Bocca della Verità (the Mouth of Truth) is a marble carving that is believed to be either part of a 1st century fountain or a manhole cover. Many think that the image represents the ancient god of the Tiber River. From the Middle Ages, people thought that if one told a lie while one's hand was in the sculpture's mouth then it would be bitten off. Perhaps the world's first lie detector?

One of my favorite things about Roma was the Trevi Fountain. It is simply gorgeous. I just don't know if it is prettier during the day or at night. The Neptune statute was added in 1762. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city (and Rome has plenty of them). The legend goes that if you throw a coin in to the fountain then you are fated to return to Rome. You can be sure that we all tossed in our coins.

This is a great city. We spent 3.5 days here, did things from early morning until late in the evening, and we only scratched the surface what the city has to offer. I could go back for two weeks and still probably not get to see and experience everything. Those coins in the fountain had better work. If not, then at least I've got a few photos to remember Roma by. Well...between the four of us there are over 2,300 photos and videos out on Flickr.

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