Memories of Rome Part III

11.04.2009

Buon giorno!! How is November going for everyone so far? I can't say I'm loving how dark it is now when I leave the office and walk to the train station:(


{strolling through the Villa Borghese park}


Thanks for coming along on my trip down memory lane. Its been fun for me to relook at all my photographs from my trip to Rome this time last year with my sister (and remember all the good times we had). So glad I took the time when we got back to label all the pics, otherwise I would have not remembered half of the names of the various plazas and monuments we were at!!! If you missed my first 2 posts, check them out here and here.

First stop today...the Pantheon! The funniest thing about this place is how you just randomly stumble on it as you turn a corner into the Piazza della Rotunda...its tucked among restaurants, fountains and other much taller buildings...I guess the city just grew up around it. See it there, just poking out? (The thing with all the columns, people!!!)




It's been there for thousands of years (circa 25 BC)!!! Originally built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, its been used as a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century. What really hit me about this place though is how much of an architectural marvel it is. It's still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. And the diameter of the rotunda is the exact same as the height of the dome. The 9 m diameter oculus (hole) in the top is the only "window" and its completely open, so even the rain gets in (the floor is slanted down so that the water flows to a central drain). Watching the play of light through the oculus was pretty fascinating.



Ok, let's head across the river to Vatican City (maybe just a quick gelato first?!). We signed up for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, I would highly recommend this. The collections here are ridiculous, I especially loved seeing Raphael's masterpiece The School of Athens in person. And of course, the tour culminated with the Sistine Chapel.



Then we went into St. Peter's Basilica (on our own), which has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It was really beautiful. You pretty much just walk around in hushed awe.


On a spur of the moment whim, we climbed to the top of the cupola at the top of the dome (you can walk all the way up or you can ride an elevator part way and walk the rest). The view is spectacular:)


{the cupola}


{St. Peter's Square from the cupola}


I'll leave you with some shots from our travels around the city (we walked everywhere). Someday I'll go back and show P around:)



{Piazza del Popolo}



7 comments:

  1. These photos are so beautiful I have to admit I'm a smidge jealous. :-) Sounds like it must have been a great trip!

    pk @ Room Remix

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  2. Loved these posts and all your beautiful photos. What a fantastic experience. It's almost too much to comprehend that some of the structures you show are thosands of years old and people just walk around them as part of their everyday cityscape.

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  3. gorgeous images! I really want to plan a trip now. ;-)

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  4. Lovely photos and sounds like a really wonderful time! Thanks for sharing!

    Janet

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  5. I found your blog a few months ago and really enjoy your posts. I love your Italy photos! My sister and I have traveled to Italy together twice and we are completely obsessed. Italy is magical!

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  6. Went to Roma in 2002 and am still dying to go back (this time with the hubby in tow). We're talking about taking a Big Trip next May...Dave wants to go to Scotland. I want to go to Rome. Maybe if I send him this post I can convince him that he really wants to go to Italy? :)

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  7. The hubby and I were in Rome 5years ago, and ever since I've wanted to go back.........your pics brought back some great memories (looks like we did the same tour). And boy was that gelato YUMMY!!!

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