Remember your first trip to Rome? How could you forget falling for one of the most romantic, sophisticated and yet historically significant cities in the world. Here at the Spanish Steps quite some time ago it was just delightful to hang about – considering it was my first European trip. However on this occasion, the area adjacent to the Steps were just being transformed and not yet complete … So I’ll have to show you around some other favourite spots of mine.
Running shoes on and about to revisit one of my most-loved cities in Continental Europe.
Undoubtedly, one of the big favourites – Trevi Fountain was designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it’s the largest baroque fountain in the city and in fact one of the most famous in the world. It’s appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre within the centre of Rome, built of concrete and sand it’s the largest ever built. A must see …
Just situated just east of the Roman Forum, it could hold up to 80,000 spectators in its day and used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles and dramas based on classical mythology.
Not too far away is the Vespa Museum – Free Entry! Worthy of a visit.
And you have the chance to view Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck on their Vespa from the movie Roman Holiday. The Mouth of Truth can be located at the church known as Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs, Michelangelo achieved an unexampled sequence of shaped architectural spaces with few precedents or followers. There is no true façade – the simple entrance is set within one of the coved apses of a main space of the thermae.
Additionally, this Basilica is used for many ceremonies including the funeral of soldiers killed abroad.
Dedicated to the Christian martyrs – both known and unknown.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II) is a remarkably large building made of white marble. Although not having towers in its general design, the medieval structure still attracts attention from almost all parts of Rome because its colour stands out in an array of other earth-coloured buildings. It is situated between the Capitoline Hill and Piazza Venezia and features some statues, columns and grand stairways.
Basilica of St John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano), the present structure of the Basilica resembles the St Peter’s Basilica and the ancient church was residence of the popes until the coming back from the exile in Avignone (1377), when it was moved to the Vatican.
The central bronze doors are Roman originals from the Curia (Senate House) in the Imperial Forum.
Well, I’m just a tiny bit short these days from 183 cm/6′ tall, so you can imagine the height and weight of this pair of metallic slammers …
It’s for real. And not being used to seeing historical artefacts on display whilst walking around the streets, I’m thinking it’s not at all like my usual neighbourhood’s street art at home … Pleasantly surprised of course.
Time for a snack, hot-roasted chestnuts this time.
Followed by a proper Italian lunch of pasta, I just have to choose my sauce.
Not forgetting to call into the entrance of the Vatican City to check there’s still a ticket available for the Papal Audience which is held on a Wednesday morning in front of the Basilica. If you need less than 10 tickets you can normally pick them up without a reservation from the Swiss Guards at the “Bronze Doors” located just after security at St Peter’s Basilica.
For tickets and information see website http://www.papalaudience.org/tickets
Just checking the seating arrangements this time around as it’s been busy in the past, especially when it used to be inside the Basilica. I just happened to be lucky enough on my first visit to be in the front rows with Pope John Paul II officiating.
At the end of the day it’s time to go home and rest up. I’ve decided to stay an extra couple of nights now I’ve my ticket to the see the Papal Mass for the People.
Happy to have my ticket on show and looking forward to attending once again.
More of Rome to follow …