Rome – what an amazing city.

Rome - Trevi Fountain

I had previously been to Rome in 2005 for a few days with my family and loved the sights and sounds of the city. So, Rob and I booked an apartment for a week and packed a summer wardrobe – it was going to be 30 degrees everyday. Awesome.

Liz at the Trevi Fountain Rob at the Trevi Fountain

We did a lot of walking all over the city, and saw so many beautiful and surprising sights. On the way to the Sistine Chapel, we went past the Piazza Colonna, the huge marble Column of Marcus Aurelius (an adopted son of Hadrian) which has stood there since 193 AD. A very impressive monument with such a detailed relief that has survived the weather for centuries.

Piazza Colonna

We wandered past the Pantheon, which we later revisited for more photos. Built by Hadrian where Marcus Agrippa’s original temple (27BC) stood, this temple-turned-church has been hanging around since 120 AD.

Rome - Pantheon

The dome of the church is truly stunning though, a perfect semisphere and the ancient Roman’s finest architectural feat.

Inside the Pantheon

Of course, the Pantheon is also a movie location from Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks. Tom comes here to find Raphael’s tomb (back left corner) where another person has been killed. Or something grisly.

Piazza Navona is still a stunning sight with its beautiful fountains. The baroque square used to be an ancient stadium of Domiziano built in 86 AD. These days the centrepiece of the piazza is Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (completed 1651), depicting the rivers Nile, Ganges, Danube and Plata.

Fontana dei Fiumi

Also, this was the fountain from Angels and Demons, where a man was chained and tossed into the fountain to drown. I forget the details, but we were there!

In our wanderings, we also learnt a little of Roman politics, maybe. Approximate translation: Something about Berlusconi and hallucinogenic mushrooms. 🙂

Roman tags - Berlusconi hallucinogenic mushroom

We found our way to the Spanish Steps where there were so many salesmen trying to force roses and umbrellas into your hands. But the stairs are still pretty, and it was a nice day to chill out.

Spanish Steps

There are ruins everywhere in Rome, though. Left from Roman times, with barely any acknowledgement, the ruins are just there – In public parks, next to shopping centers, partially used as museums, and partially just ruins. They’re everywhere. It was so bizarre and amazing. Like these aquaducts we found further out from town. Just sitting there.

Roman Aquaduct Roman Aquaduct

We had an amazing week in Rome, and this is just the introduction. We’ve got a few blog posts coming up (with a few more references to Angels and Demons), but look out for the Colosseum and the Vatican posts. Some pretty amazing sights.

In Rome

Please note the lack of glasses in this photo. My lasered eyes are working great, and surgery was done just in time for Rome. Whoop whoop!

Until next time.

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