Still on our first full day in Rome (05Sep2011), after visiting the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Venezia, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums… there was still more to see of Rome. If I have to give just one advice when visiting Rome – make sure you have a good map. If you’re used to the grid system of streets like those of Toronto, it’s easy to get lost in Rome (even with a map – no kidding!). Here are a few of the sites we visited:
I think I’ve mentioned before that I had taken an Italian culture and civilization course many years ago in university. One piece of information that stuck with me about the Pantheon is that if the dome was flipped upside down, it would fit perfectly inside. Thus, if you trace the outline of the dome you can continue and sketch out a perfect sphere that would fit inside this building – something never before seen at the time it was built around 118 and 125 AD.
When you visit The Pantheon, be mindful of the fact that it’s a church. There were no official sushers in here, just a recording. It’s unusual for sure, but it’s been used as a church since 608 AD when it was given to Pope Boniface by Byzantine emperor Phocas.
The Pantheon is also the site of some famous tombs – the Renaissance painter Raphael and his fiancée,
together with the Italian kings Vittorio Emmanuel II and Umberto I.
And the answer is yes, the oculus is open. It is 27 feet in diameter.
Those walls are 25 feet thick and those doors weigh 20 tons each!
Piazza Navona is famous for its baroque masterpieces which include the magnificent “Fountain of Four Rivers” by Bernini. The four sculptures represent the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and Rio de la Plata. There is a wonderful 360 view of the piazza on this site: http://bit.ly/ub5JBv. Above the sculptures is a giant Egyptian obelisk.
The other dominating feature of the piazza is the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone designed by Borromini. I’ve been to this piazza a few times but have never gone inside the church. Another 360 view and additional info here: http://bit.ly/uTVBlC.
Around the piazza are open-air cafes and fairs from time to time (http://bit.ly/vuLs4Z)… Perfect place to sit back, catch your breath and soak it all in.
Piazza di Spagna
Have you ever revisited a place and because you’ve been there before forgot to take photos?! That’s what happened to me at Piazza di Spagna where the Spanish Steps are located. Thankful to Gary B. for providing this photo. We sat on the left side and yes, there’s always this many people on the steps – crazy!
You know what I took a photo of? The most expensive street in Rome… haha!
Anyway, if you want to find out more about Piazza di Spagna, here’s a link for you: http://bit.ly/v7nc1R