Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roman Holiday...

Here are some of the more famous sites around Rome that I visited...

These are some pictures of the Colosseum in Rome. It is so huge and really magnificent! It is an elliptical amphitheater built between 70-80 AD. We didn't go inside because it was hot and there were a million people. Seeing the outside was sufficient for me.

All over Rome are people dressed up, wanting you to pay to have your picture taken with them. When we started to approach the Colosseum, I saw these Roman soldiers in the distance. I teased that if I was going to pay for anyone to get a picture with, it would be them for sure. However, as I got closer to this one, and saw his looks, I didn't think it was worth 5 euros (about $9). I loved how he was so little that the armor was falling off. I am so sad that his teeth were not showing in this picture...they were the worst teeth I have ever seen. Pretty funny for sure!

The area surrounding the Colosseum is called The Roman Forum. It is the ancient city of Rome. I was really wishing Rick had been with me to enjoy it. I don't know enough history to understand the significance of some of these ruins. I bet he could tell me stories about each and every ruin. That is the advantage, he would say, of watching the History Channel 24/7.

The only one that I know for sure is this one, it is the Temple of Castor and Pollux. The original temple was constructed in 484 BC.

I couldn't believe how many excavators still work within the Roman Forums. It's amazing to think that things are still buried in Rome, just waiting to be found. This is probably the greatest job in the world for some, but it looks super boring and tedious to me!

This is what is left of the Circus Maximus. Rick really wanted me to take a picture of it for him. Below is a picture of the Flaminio Obelisk that was removed from the Circus in the 16th century and placed here, in the Piazza del Popolo.

Within the Piazza del Popolo, there are twin churches. We went into the one on the left and found beautiful treasures inside. It amazes me that you can walk into any cathedral in Rome and see some of the most unreal artwork in the world.

This statue was called the Virgin of Betharram. It was one of my favorites of the whole trip.

And, amongst all of the exquisite statues, frescos and paintings, here we find a statue of a skeleton behind bars. Weird. This is for the boys.

The Pantheon was really amazing. It was built as a temple to all Gods originally. I don't know what year it was built, but it was re-done in 125 AD. It is thought to be the most well-preserved building left in the world.

The Il Vittoriano was a monument built to honor Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is a very large white building that you can not miss.

It has a tomb of an unknown soldier that has two eternal flames burning and is guarded by two soldiers. It was so funny, because a third soldier walks around in front of the tomb. When I was taking pictures of the tomb, he asked if I wanted my picture taken with him. What do you say to that? No? He asked everyone who came by. It was hilarious, like he just wanted to be in everyone's pictures. At least he was free!

I ran up the stairs to get a better view of Rome. Many of the pictures I took were from the top of this building.

The Spanish steps were much busier when we came back. This is much more typical for the crowds. Karen said that there has been a bunch of scaffolding on the building behind. It apparently has been there for almost 2 years. She was so excited when we visited that it was gone now. We lucked out, I guess.

The Trevi Fountain was so much larger than I had imagined. It was beautiful, but so hard to photograph. There were hundreds of people around it and it was in the middle of a city block. There wasn't a way, with my camera lens, to get the whole fountain in one shot. So, there is one picture that I took from the internet, so that I could show the entire fountain. I read about the Trevi fountain, after visiting, that if you throw a coin it that you are sure to return to Rome. I forgot to throw one in...dang-it. It says that they collect over 3,000 euros each night. That would get me back to Rome for sure. I should have stayed until dark and collected all of them.