Monday, September 29, 2008

Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Day 4

Welcome to Rick's Roadshow: Rome, Italy- Day 4. It was another full day of touring the city, although for this day we hired a private driver to take us all around, with any tour tickets already purchased ahead of time, which saved us time in lines dealing with the crowds of unwashed tourists. We started out quite early, wanting to see as much as possible. We were quite fortunate to have another day of perfect weather, abundant sunshine and no humidity. I'm going to use "creative blogger license" and re-order the photos the way I want to tell he story of yesterday's sight-seeing, so for any family reading this, forgive me for changing the order of what you may recall from the day! Let's start off with our trip to the Trevi Fountain, a prefect example of Baroque architecture in Rome. CLICK ON THE SMALLER PHOTOS TO BIGGIFY THEM!

above: The Trevi Fountain is so incredibly beautiful, with such exquisite detail. The water is natural spring waters from deep below Rome, and is drinkable.
above: a close up of the magnificent Trevi Fountain.
above: Within the Trevi Piazza was the building, I looked up and saw a lovely rooftop garden. click on the photo and check it out. What a great place to drink wine and relax.

above: We stopped by The Pantheon again today, and went inside. Which Angel photo do you prefer?? (er. that was a rhetorical question...)

above: The Pantheon is used today by the RC church, but of course it was originally built at a pagan temple.


above left: the dome ceiling in the Pantheon. Ancient Romans kept a flame burning in the Pantheon for the Gods; the hold in the middle was ventilation. Above right: walking out of the Pantheon, I took this photo looking out onto the Piazza.

above: At the Pantheon Piazza is this lovely building with a fresco of the Virgin Mary. Above right: In the center of the piazza is this obelisk statue. I liked the horse standing in front of it!

above left: the view of the buildings around the Pantheon Piazza.

above: The Palazzo of the (former) King of Italy, long since deposed and exiled

above: Palatine Hill, where several Emperor's had their Palazzos. The open area is the Circus Maximus, where the early Romans held Chariot races and Olympic events. There used to be stadium seating for 300,000 people that surrounded the area, but was destroyed many centuries ago.

above: The office of the Mayor of Rome. This photo above right is a close up of the statue in the center of the photo above left.

above: Giant sculpture in front of the Piazza at the Mayor's office.

above: These are great examples of the detail work on walls and columns in and around Rome.
The Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre )
A highlight of the day was visiting The Colosseum, a iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. Construction began in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD, it was originally named the Flavian Amphitheatre, and held 50,000 spectators. Admission was free, the owners made money from food and beverages sold during Gladiator performances, among other shows. Amazingly it was used as a theatre for over 500 years, but in the Medieval era it was re purposed for a variety of uses, including residences for religious clergy. Part of the structure gave way to Earthquakes, but today stands as a major tourist attraction.

above: images of the Arc of Constantine, at the entrance to the Colosseum. It is quite beautiful with all kinds of imagery around all sides.

above: the original structure had a series of underground rooms for an entrance and exit system for performers.

above: the structure had facings of travertine marble and other fine materials back in its heyday.

above: With cousin Peg, enjoying the morning in the Colosseum.

above: Images of Capital Hill ruins, it is amazing to think Ancient Romans lived and walked here.
above: some sights in Rome are expected, like this one statue to the left. But this pagan temple on the right seemed so old and out of place among more modern structures in the area.
above left: The Bellini Piazza fountain. Above right: I just liked this photo of palm trees and greenery of Rome.
above: We had lunch at a restaurant on the Appian Way called "Hostaria Antica Roma". I t was built during the Roman Empire and was used as a sepulchral (cemetary or mauseleum). If you look along the walls you may be able to see the individual niches where urns were placed with ashes of human remains. Back in 1724 excavations in the area found this structure and it was stripped of all its valuable components. after many uses, it was eventually turned into a restaurant back in 1982. Despite its morbid history, it is quite a pleasant place to relax over lunch and some wine.

above: what would lunch in Rome be like without some vino rosso? Well that's all for today's post. We're off to Vatican City, where I am sure "Il Papa" is waiting to receive "The Palm Springs Savant" in his private quarters. I'll let you know tomorrow how that goes! For those of you keeping track, this evening our cruise begins! This afternnon we head to Civitavecchia, where the Pacific Princess awaits our arrival!
-Signore Ricardo Rockhill

6 comments:

Lois Grebowski said...

I so want to go to Rome!
glad to see you're having fun.

KarmaLennon said...

I LOVE Italy!!!!! And I love your word there "biggify"! ;) The pictures are amazing, bring back fond memories. How have you been?? My blog has moved homes-did I tell you?? www.mychimericalmisenscene.blogspot.com Sorry if I'm repeating here, I can't remember if I let everyone know or not!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i am loving the rome trip with you rick but tonight is the best part! ahhh, the ship at last. we shall be on our little cruise on saturday. have fun my friend, i know you will!

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

kenju said...

You are bringing back such good memories for me! Just wait until you see the Vatican! and Saint Peter's....they are phenomenal!

Desert Songbird said...

Lovely, lovely photos. I hope your visit with the Holy See was all you wanted it to be. *wink*

Loved the fresco - truly lovely.

P.L. Frederick said...

Your photos bring back wonderful memories of my trip there in 2006. Oh, for the Roman beauty and sunlight! Did you ever see this on my blog: The S.S. Venezia? It's a surreal series of photos from Venice, taken from the Basilica de San Marco.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

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