About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Pantheon and a Walking Tour of Rome

I had intended for us to see the Pantheon yesterday, but we ran out of time and energy. So, this morning we will make our way to see it.

We had a nice breakfast in the hotel then caught the Metro and a bus to get to the Pantheon. We missed our bus stop and ended up riding the bus across town to the Vatican. Thankfully the bus returned across town on the same loop, so this time we were able to get off near the right spot, at Campo di Fiori.

With map in hand, we made our way towards the Pantheon, stopping to look in shops, piazzas and other sights.

This is Area Sacra, ruins of ancient Roman temples.

Next, we made our way to Piazza Navonna, with its street performers, artists, fountains and cafes. The piazza is shaped like a cigar, dating from the time it was a racetrack built by the emperor Domitian.

Street Performer

Artists in Piazza Navonna

Another view of busy Piazza Navonna

Piazza in front of the Pantheon

Our next stop was the Pantheon, Rome's best preserved monument. The outside of the Pantheon is not really anything to marvel at. The inside is spectacular. The dome is a marvel of Roman engineering.

The interior of the Pantheon was beautiful

The domed ceiling was amazing

Burial site of a king of Italy, inside the Pantheon

It was time for lunch, so we found a pizzeria and rested our feet for awhile.

Enjoying lunch

After lunch we continued to wander the streets of Rome with Brandon as our tour guide.

Monuments and sights along our walk through the city

Brandon bought a new cat and named it Nero

Eventually we ended up at the Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps are one of Rome's iconic sites. It's also a place for people to gather...lots of people. They are named for the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican which has existed for over 300 years.

The Spanish Steps, a very crowded place

The Trevi Fountain, a Baroque monument built in 1762, was built to celebrate the reopening of an ancient aquaduct. Tradition states that you should toss a coin over your shoulder and make a wish. Brandon tried it, but I'm not sure of the result

The Trevi Fountain

Evening was approaching. Katrina wanted to find a higher angle to take pictures of the Colosseum, so we wandered back to the Roman Forum and up to Palatine Hill.

Roman Forum

Arch of Titus

Talented artist at work

View of Colosseum from Palatine Hill

Temple of Venus and Rome - View from Palatine Hill

This evening I decided it would be fun to take a sightseeing tour of Rome. We've done this in other cities we have visited and its been fun. At first it seems very touristy, but it definitely gives you a good overview of the city.

We decided to ride the Sightseeing Rome bus this evening. It was a bit chilly!

Victor Emmanuel Monument, a tribute to Italy's first king. It was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Italy's unification in 1870.

Rome traffic

Hadrian's Tomb turned castle, prison, papal apartment and now a museum.

Evening at the Vatican

When you have a small car, you can even park perpendicular to the curb. We've seen this many times around Italy.

We walked past the Trevi Fountain to see it at night. It was not less crowded than earlier in the day.

The street that heads to the Spanish Steps is full of designer stores. I don't remember the designer, but this handbag will cost someone 1,800 euro!!

It was another great day in Rome.

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