Courtesy of My Husband
|My cousin Leia was going with her husband to Rome in January of 2006. She was planning on having to go through the city by herself since her husband was going to be working during the days. She mentioned to me that she wished that I could go to keep her company, so I told my husband that is all that I wanted for Christmas. Well, ask and ye shall receive!
Rome was absolutely amazing. I kept a journal of our travels through Rome on another page so I am not going to narrate here. Here are some of the things that I found really impressive or interesting. Click here to see the full library of pictures. Oh, and just as a side note the background of this page was a pic I took at the Vatican.
|This picture of the Pantheon (right) does not give an accurate depiction of how enormous the structure is not to mention the architectural genious that went into the construction of the dome is just amazing! It is an absolute must-see of ancient Roman architecture.|
|Going with the theme of gigantic buildings is the Vatican. Being the epicenter of Catholic society, they do everything on a grand scale that can't be understood until you are standing in the middle of St. Peter's Basillica or in the Sistine Chapel. The Rafael Rooms (left) are amazing and the detail in the pictures is so perfect that one just wants to stand there for hours taking it all in. The Piazza San Pietro, St. Peter's Square, (below) is simply amazing. At Christmas time, there is a life sized nativity scene in the middle of the Square that is dwarfed by the magnitude of the Square itself.|
|On the mandatory list of things that you absolutely have to see while in Rome is the Colosseum. Having seen so many movies where they "redo" the structure cannot prepare you for the reality of the things that they did in the Colosseum. Not only did they cover the whole structure with a huge canopy to shade themselves from the hot sun, there were aquaducts that ran through into the Colosseum so that they could flood it to have armada battles! And we thought having a skating rink and a basketball court in the same arena was impressive. We have nothing on the ancient Romans in the arena department!|
|Some how I thought that the Forum (below) would be larger, and yet, it really is huge but because most of it lay in ruins, it is hard to picture the buildings as they once stood. The Senate has been reconstructed as it once stood, and as everything else in Rome, it is enormous. However, it does give you a sense of what it was like to be in Rome during its height as center of the "modern" world.|
|I think one of the things that so impressed me about Rome was how their history dwarfs that of the United States. Having celebrated the 250th anniversary of the town I live in is nothing compared to the history of Rome. 250 years is a drop in the bucket and yet their government appreciates the need to keep their history alive by preserving it. This can be evidenced through out Rome. You will be walking down the street and turn a corner and you run into the|
|Pantheon or some unnamed ruin. While I am not sure what the name of the building above is, it really impressed upon me how the old, the middle ages and the modern all coalesce into the same time period all over Rome. You can see the far left of the building is quite new and the far right is quite old with an intermittent period of developement in the middle. Having grown up on the west coast of the United States where they believe in tearing down prior to rebuilding, I really can appreciate how well preserved Rome is for as long as it has been standing.
All in all, if you plan on going to Rome, make sure you spend several days there. I was there for eight days and could go for eight days for several more years and not take in all the wonders that Rome has to offer.