Arrivo Roma

After finally arriving in Roma via Brisbane, Singapore and no less that 124 arguments, we finally had time to argue aloud. Everyone else in Rome does it, why not us.

We had some fmailiarity to the airporto and Termini Roma and wasted no time in getting started on our walk to our digs near Piazza Popolo.

I had never heard of Piazza Popolo, but if it were in Australia, everyone would have heard of it because it is absolute huge and spectacular, but when it is surrounded by a million other monuments historical icons and basilicas, no one really notices them.

Here's what happened...

Rome

The Frog jazz band were overrated, but anything to keep you occupied between flights in SIngapore

Rome 1

In the Pantheon of great buildings, the Pantheon does rate all that highly except  that is was built in the first century AD, and as usual was looted by just about everyone who used it, more or less, as a second hand building supplies shop (more on that later). Whilst the Catholic Church was not able to save us, evidently it did save the Pantheon as it has been in use as a church for centuries which prevented terminal decline.

Rome 2

Even though this is a monument to Italy's first king (Vittoria Emauel), it does not rate in Italy. It's not even a couple of hundred years old and probably because he built it to honour himself. At the front of the monument is Piazza Venizio and very famous square, although I am not 100% certain of what it is actually famous for.

Rome 3

In Barcelona, you can take a bike off a rack and ride it somehwere. In Rome, you can take your pick of scooters.

Rome 4

Can you believe they built a set of units on top of the Colosseum. Lucky you can't - this mini Colosseo is actually is an ancient theatre, the Teatro Di Marcello, Built around 13BC it was originally a lot taller, but then later, half of the first story was buried before something of a restoration.

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Built on one of the seven hills of Rome the Campidoglio built (in part at least) by Michaelangelo to impress an English king.

 

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Tiberius, or someone similar, checking for texts on his mobile tablet at the front of the Campidoglio

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Ancient scaffolding excavated in the front of the Collesseo.

Rome 9

It's impressive I know, but believe it or not, this is the top section of a fountain.

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It may be a little more apparent now, but this is no ordinary fountain, but the Trevi. You knew of course it's called the Trevi because it is at the junction of 3 roads.

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We couldn't throw any coins in the fountain - my throw would not reach.

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Walls were built to contain the Tiber (Tevere)mainly to be able to get another row of units with a view of the river. The developers were happy at least. Anyone for rowing?

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Note the temporary steps to be used in times of flood. Special sections (which can't be clearly seen swings across to the barge)

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A view of some of the 140 figures (not including Brenda) which guard the Piazza Di San Pietra. There is a matching set on the other side.

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Nice work Michaelangelo. Basilica Di San Pietro.

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It could be a little too much? Not according to Pope Julius II who started it and a succession of other popes who simply stuffed more stuff in there.

Rome 17

Thought i might take this pic of Sicily to refer to once we get there. It just so happens you could look at any one of about 40 such maps which document the Italian land mass including all the notable islands.

The pope who commissioned this and the others also decided to build a long hall (about 100 mts long) to house them in....

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To get the job done he hired the greatest scientists, map makers and artists to not only draw  and document the maps but also "decorate" the ceiling with works of art (a la Versailles) worthy of a great pope. Good to see the donations you put on the plate at church going to a good cause.

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Not wanting to overdo the paintings on the wall, they also built cabinets whcih were 100% covered with smaller art works depicting just about every holy person who ever knelt in a church.

Brenda was impressed.

Rome 20

Don't know who designed the double helix stair/pathway, but it could easily have been Leonardo Da VInci, who has form when it comes to these things. Then again, it could have Michaelangelo who was locked in a fierce competition with Da Vinci when it came to artistic endeavours.

Rome 21

So that's how you take a selfie?! This is my first and probably the last considering I happened to photograph a couple of old fogeys, and not me and Brenda.

Whilst trying to find the Trevi fountain, we came across this delivery driver. Boy was he pissed off when I photographed his bike. Not being aware that he was actually in the shot, I took it innocently thinking I was taking a pic of a bike, but I took a pic of him as well which he took exception to. But as you can see, I didn't delete it.

Rome bike

The steps up to the Campidoglio were like ramp steps. Go up a short ramp, then there is a step etc etc. This is a common feature on Roman monuments. In Australia they probably would not allow it, but it is probably the only way you can reach that height without going up a million steps.

Rome 23

Rome is nuts! NUTS NUTS NUTS! You can use just about anything as an example, but in this case, take the Colosseo.

Built by the Flavian emporers in the 1st century AD, The outer wall was about 17 storeys high. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, a statue of Colussus, outside the venue at one stage, resulted in a name change. Around 60,000 (give or take 20k) romans could get into the place for free at any one time. If you didn't go to the seating area defined by your rank, chances were, you would end up being part of the entertainment, eg death by wild animal, or one of the many decapitations or other gruesome methods of meeting one's maker.

This was not just one glorified footy ground. Whilst in the foreground you can see a recreation of the floor that was originally there, below that said floor, covered in sand, were rooms and hallways and stage props, wild animals, gladiatiors, possibly Christians, hunters and just about everything else that you could imagine would be needed when putting on an extravaganza.

The place was in use for hundreds of years before being patrtially destroyed by an earthquake, where upon it turned, much like just about every ancient building in Rome, a second hand building materials yard. (give away prices)

Pope's were especially good at pilfering just about eveything (nothing much has changed) they wanted, using the marble and stone when building their own palazzos.

As it turned out, it was quite a neat trick that worked out well in the end. Instead of having say, maybe a hundred reasonably well preserved ancient monuments, plus maybe a couple of hundred ordinary palaces/churches/etc, we now have the aforementioned ancient monuments in  mess whcih everyone is breaking their necks to see, plus the couple of hundred aforementioned palazzos which are now extraordinary, which people are also breaking their necks to see. Two for the price of one!

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It is not possible to look anyhwere in Rome and not see something either ancient or historic.

Check out the line. They probably bought the Roma pass, just like us, which avoided the ticket line, but still got caught in the security line.

Rome 25

Is that Russel Crowe's arse I can see disappearing into the distance?

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