Sunday, 18 January 2015

When in Rome……

Early on Saturday morning we berthed in Civitavecchia which is the closest deep water port to Rome.  After nearly missing our pre booked train (!) we got to Rome at 10 o’ clock.  The first of our three chosen points of interest, and the one nearest the train station, was the Colosseum.


The photos will do most of the talking but it was absolutely amazing.  Bigger than we’d thought and far more impressive than could ever be imagined.


Finding a ticket booth (next to the gateway to the Forum 100 yards away) we bought tickets and got straight in rather than joining the hour long queue to purchase tickets inside the Colosseum!


It’s difficult to take in that this structure is over 2000 years old.  The hypogeum (the underground bit!) has been partially covered with staging to help give some of the original effect.


The size of the arena is enormous when you look as size of the people in this pic.  The building was designed to get 50,000 to 70,000 people in and seated within a few minutes.


The corridors and rooms in the hypogeum were used to house the equipment, animals and men for the games. It had 80 winch operated lifts to raise things up and onto the stage.


This is the best external view of the Colosseum with the best remaining parts of the structure.


Walking to our second place of interest, the Trevi Fountain, we passed the Roman Forum which you pay to go into but can see quite clearly from the Via Dei Fori Imperiali.


Alas, the Trevi Fountain was covered in scaffolding and as dry as a bone!  It has been for almost a year and will be for the next year at least.


However, we threw a coin onto the concrete in order that (as the saying goes) we will return to the city again.


Not to be outdone for a good fountain we popped across to the Piazza Navona where the middle fountain of the three in the square is most impressive ……


……… and where chaps in pink shirts hang about for their photo to be taken.


Our third and final destination was St Peter’s Basilica and our first view was from the Pont St Angelo across the River Tevere.


Walking across the bridge you get a fine view of the Castel St Angelo.


St Peter’s Square and the Basilica is all that it is supposed to be (and more). We were told that the Basilica was enormous and it didn’t disappoint.


A close up of the Pope’s balcony.


Inside “breath taking” is one description but it was much more than that. The enormity of the place has to judged by the size of the people again.


The main Altar directly under the dome ……


…….. which is awesome like everything else.




Beneath the main Altar is the tomb of St Peter – shown lit down at the bottom is the Gallus Trophy and below that is the Apostle’s tomb.


Probably the most inspiring and evocative works of art in the Basilica is the marble sculpture of Mary holding the body of Christ.  It was created by Michelangelo when he was just 23 years old and is said to be the only one of his works to be signed by him.


A panorama shot inside the Basilica showing the left, central and right naves ….


……. and, to bring us down to earth, a selfie outside with St peter’s Square in the background.  Very bright sunshine!

We walked a lot of miles and had the most amazing day but we’ve only just scratched the surface of the beautiful city.  Maybe the coin in the fountain will work?

1 comment:

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