We were two kids in a candy store, surrounded by boundless treats. We grew up learning about Rome, we studied Rome in school, we were influenced by Rome; its culture, its art and its architecture. It has survived over 3000 years and was the center of civilization. There is an old saying, “all roads lead to Rome”, and we quickly saw why. Rome is grand, magnificent, a part of history; it is history. No matter where we turned, we were greeted by something amazing.
My sister and I bought a Roma Pass and that gave us front of the line pass to many popular attractions. One of them was The Mausoleum of Hadrian, also known as Castel Sant’Angelo.
To get to it, we crossed the Bridge of Angels or The Ponte Sant’Angelo. It dates back to the first century. During the medieval period, it was sometimes called the “Bridge of St. Peter” and was used by pilgrims to cross the Tiber River to get to St. Peter’s Basilica. In 17th century Pope Clement IX commissioned new statues from artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini to represent the life and death of Christ.
What can be said about Trevi Fountain…yes it’s gorgeous. But, and I say but, we were not expecting how truly magnificent this work of art truly is.
One of the sight that excited us the most was the Roman Forum.
The center of day-to-day life in Rome. This was ancient Rome, the site of public speeches, processions, trials, matches; it was simply the center of everything. Located just outside of the Colosseum it is still being excavated today. Here some of the oldest structures of the ancient city are located, including ancient royal residence, the Regia from the 8th century BC, and the Temple of Vestal Virgins from the 7th century BC.
It had to be done. Yes, the Colosseum, the most famous sight in the world. We took the public bus there, and there in the centre of the city stood this ancient engineering spectacle. Made from travertine, tuff, marble and brick-faced concrete.
Baptized in blood, Rome was established in 753 BCE by Romulus after he killed his brother Remus over a dispute. Rome over the centuries spilled more blood as it expanded. In its glory the Roman empire encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of western Asia, northern Africa and the Mediterranean islands. It saw bigger than life leaders such as Julius Cesar, Caligula, and Nero. It established civil law, the Senate; epic games. It cemented itself as the center of Christianity and inspired great works of art and architecture. As we walked the street, everywhere there were reminders of its glorious past in its glorious present.
Piazza Navona, also known as “Circus Agonalis” is a beautiful square in the center of town. It is a place where ancient Romans went to watch games, listen to some music and watch artists at work. Built in the 1st century AD, it features three amazing fountains.
One of the highlights of Rome and on our bucket list was the Pantheon. On the outside it looks like another temple, but inside, behold, it is a MASTERPIECE. The Pantheon was a former Roman temple, now a church dedicated to all gods. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian around 126 AD. It is the best preserved Ancient Roman monument.