Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Whirlwind tour of Rome

Yesterday we went on a whirlwind tour of Rome with our friend Pietro. We met Pietro three years ago when we were here last, and have stayed in contact with him since. He had the day free so he took Alex, Andrew, and me around all of Rome. We didn't see anything in depth, just spent the whole (beautiful) day exploring the city.
Our first stop was the Porta San Paulo, one of the gates in the Aurelian Wall, built in the 3rd century by Marcus Aurelius to stop the invading Goths.
Then we walked to the Circus Maximus. The Circus has a long history that dates back to games being held on the site by the Etruscans. Julius Ceasar built the structure circa 50 BC, which could hold approximately 250,000 spectators. The area is now a park where the track used to be, in the midst of the old ruins of the stands.
The Circus is a short walk from the Forum. The massiveness and extent of the Forum can't be appreciated until viewed. The area was originally a marsh, which the Romans drained and turned into the center of political and social activity. The arch pictured is the massive arch of Septimus Severus, which was built in 205.
Another picture of the Forum.
Then we walked to the Victor Emmanuel monument. We toured the inside, which is a museum to the history of Italy from its unification. The front is currently covered in scaffolding but you can still get some excellent views from the middle levels. Here is a view of the Coliseum, with St. John Lateran in the background.

In the museum were various artifacts of interest, including this helmet of Pius IX's personal guards.
This is a group shot of Pietro, Alex, and myself on the monument.
A shot of Alex near the Forum.

We also stopped in the church of Sant' Andrea della Fratte. Look at this beautiful altar.
Pietro was tired so we headed to the Spanish Steps to take a break. The crowds were really large in this part of town, compared with the rest of the city.

Near the Quirinal Palace is Trajan's column. It is made of 400 tons of marble, and 125 feet high. There is a spiral staircase inside you can climb to the platform to get a view from the top.

On our way home we passed by the Circus, where some columns were alongside the road. I couldn't resist climbing on top of this centuries-old piece of history.....


Mary Ann said...

Great photos.. are you going to ba a journalist or something?.hmmm

DelGrosso said...

What an awesome day! Thank you for posting these spectacular sites and descriptions. This is really great to view. What history and beauty!!

Laura said...

ciao antony, ieri sera ho provato a mandarvi le foto di Pasqua ma ho avuto un piccolo problema con il computer, ve le mando al piĆ¹ presto

Anthony said...

Ciao Laura, - Grazie per l'informazione. Se posso aiutare con it tuo computer, dimi. Avevi una buona Pasquetta? Hai il mio email per mandare le foto, vero? Se no...ecco. anthony@seramas.com

Laura said...

Goodness Alex, you look like you're about to kill somone in that group shot.... :) Haha

L. Edwards said...

Hi Anthony!

We just recently learned that you're in Rome ~ what a WONDERFUL opportunity! I am so envious!! :)

Please continue to share your adventures on here. It's so much fun to see a familiar face at these locations as opposed to looking at the photos in our World History books! Your descriptions bring everything to life. Keep sharing and have a great time! :)

Linda (Jason's Mom)

Jordanus said...

thats crazy that those ruins are still just standing there

Aunt Pat said...

Ohhhhh Alex, you are the new Roman god... what a great looking guy with the city at his feet!
Love you all

Aggie said...

Have you or are you planning to climb the Trajan column?