26
Aug
18

Italy: Roaming ‘Round Rome


Coming from Italy’s stunning north where we stopped for a few days in the usually frequented cities by travelers like Venice, Pisa and Florence, we disembarked from our late afternoon train ride from Florence in Rome’s central train station. Just as we stepped outside the train station, the area was reeking of urine smell worthy of a vomit.  I then realized we were entering the real, current Rome beneath the old glory of the powerful center of the great Roman Empire. Aside from that smelly experience, I enjoyed Rome with all those classic sights and great food. Here are the places we visited.

 

THE COLOSSEUM

DSC_2284Located in the center of the city of Roma and east of the Roman Forum is the Colosseum which is the largest amphitheatre ever built. We stayed the whole afternoon until after sunset to get snapshots taken during different times of the day.

 

 

COLOSSEUMHalfway circling the compound counterclockwise past the entrance to the Roman Forum we chanced upon a hill overlooking the colosseum.  And this jump shot was made.

 

 

CSC_2350We rested, hydrated ourselves, people-watched and circled the colosseum compound trying to find the best vantage point for the sunset shot.

 

CSC_2383We finally settled on a hilly area outside of the colosseum compound but just right across the street.

 

 

DSC_2403Sunset came and I waited for that moment after sunset that the blue hue of the sky would be very prominent in photos. Amid the blue sky the lighted colosseum appeared majestic.

 

 

CSC_2455 2Just the street below separated me and the colosseum.

 

 

DSC_2413One last round and one last shot of the colosseum and we called it a day.

 

 

THE PANTHEON

CSC_0889Part of Rome’s historic center is the Pantheon with its dome still considered as the world’s  largest unreinforced concrete dome.

 

 

DSC_0874As you can see on the left side of the photo there is the circular part of which above it is the dome which is not seen from ground level.

 

 

DSC_0875This is the dome taken from inside. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 142 feet or 43 m.

 

 

CSC_0881The Pantheon was originally built as a Roman temple.

 

 

DSC_0882 It is now a church.

 

 

DSC_2446For me, the Pantheon is more beautiful at night (I love night photography).

 

 

DSC_2449 2There are still a lot of people in front of the Pantheon taking photos in the evening and you just have to get the right timing to get solo photos when there is no one around you.

 

 

DSC_2441The small piazza in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.

 

 

DSC_2451The piazza is surrounded by restaurants and bars that are very much alive until late.

 

 

THE ROMAN FORUM & PALATINE HILL

DSC_2286Just next to the Colosseum, is the Roman Forum which was the political, administrative and religious center of  ancient Rome.

 

 

DSC_2421Foro (Forum)  was the name that the Romans gave to the central square of the urban settlement. There were a lot of temples inside the forum but not all were dedicated for the gods but to people too.  The Romans believed that by building a temple and dedicating it to themselves they became deity.

 

 

DSC_2422Shown here is what remains of the Tempio dei Castori.

 

 

THE TREVI FOUNTAIN

CSC_0840Good for us that our lodging was just a few steps away that every morning and every night we would pass by the famous Trevi Fountain. It is always crowded so it is rather difficult too to get a good snapshot of yourself with everyone wanting that photo memoir.

 

 

DSC_2470The Trevi Fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome dating back to ancient Roman times, since the construction of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct in 19 B.C. that provided water to the Roman baths and the fountains of central Rome. As you can see, in the centre of the fountain is a statue of Oceanus, standing under a triumphal arch. His chariot is being pulled by two sea horses, one wild and one docile, representing the opposing moods of the sea.

 

 

 

THE SPANISH STEPS

CSC_0848 2From our hotel we just walked for less than thirty minutes to another famous place in Rome, the Spanish Steps, which are a series of 135 steps from its base at the Piazza di Spagna to the top where a church is located. Again it was almost a perfect shot with only one person on the side of the stairs I was sitting on.

 

 

II VITTORIANO

DSC_0926Il Vittoriano is located in Piazza Venezia and was only built between 1885 – 1925 to honor Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.

 

 

DSC_2432Dubbed “The Wedding Cake” for its gleaning white marble and tiered levels, this large altar was built. Replete with stairs, columns, fountains and sculptures, it was controversial because it destroyed the area of the Capitoline Hill and dominates the skyline.

 

DSC_2431Nevertheless, it lies at the heart of Rome and is a focal point of the city.

 

 

ST. PETER’S SQUARE AND BASILICA

DSC_0960We arrived in St. Peter’s Square in the morning of our last day in Rome.  The line going inside St. Peter’s Basilica, one of Catholic’s holiest site, was expectedly long but it moved fast.

 

 

DSC_0942 2Before lining up we checked the square grounds and took photos like this.

 

 

CSC_0996That is St. Peter’s Basilica from afar near the entrance to the square. The dome designed by Michelangelo was inspired by the Pantheon and the Duomo of Florence.

 

 

DSC_0994Looking up close to the columns lining up around the square.

 

 

DSC_0972Entering the basilica, we were stunned by the magnificence of the structure and intricate details of the interior.

 

 

DSC_0979People, probably not all of them Catholics, were all over the inside of the basilica most of them looking up.

 

 

DSC_0976 2Moving closer to the altar we found something very weird and eerie.  That dark brown thingie jutting upwards. The basilica was actually built on top of the burial site of Peter the Apostle of which the dark brown thingie marks.

 

 

DSC_0981Moving past the dark brown thingie we moved closer to the altar.

 

 

DSC_0967After a while, we decided to leave the basilica.

 

 

PIAZZA NAVONA

CSC_0905Piazza Navona is part of Rome’s historic center together with the Pantheon, a few blocks away.

 

 

CSC_0908Piazza Navona is the place that has the three Bernini fountains.

 

 

DSC_0896A closer look at one of the fountains.

 

 

DSC_0918At the plaza center is a stretch of art works and souvenirs for sale.

 

 

DSC_2457Day and night, the restaurants and bars are filled with mostly tourists. I have been warned that it is not practical to dine in this area as food and drinks are overly priced. One night as we were leaving Piazza Navona, we walked back three blocks toward Pantheon and we found a good restaurant where we tasted, what else but Italian food.

 

 

PIAZZA DEL POPOLO

DSC_0864Piazza del Popolo is a large urban square in the center of Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means “People’s Square”, but historically it derives from the  poplars after which the church of  Santa Maria del Popolo in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.

 

 

CSC_0863The entrance of the Tridente from Piazza del Popolo, defined by the “twin” churches of Santa Maria in Montesano (left, built 1662-75) and Santa Maria dei Miracoli (right, built 1675-79). The Via del Corso exits between the two churches which we came from coming in to the piazza.

 

 

 

DSC_0859An Egyptian obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis stands in the center of the piazza.

 

 

 

A DINING EXPERIENCE 

DSC_0919We skipped Piazza Navona area for dining as we were advised and walked a few blocks going to the Pantheon. We passed by this tiny restaurant offering, what else but Italian food.  We decided to try it.

 

DSC_0921 2

An Italian rose wine was paired with…..

 

 

DSC_0925…lasagna and…

 

 

DSC_0924….spaghetti in tomato sauce.  We enjoyed the great, inexpensive food.

 

 

MORE AROUND ROME

DSC_0844As we roamed around the city we passed by colorful alleys…

 

DSC_0858…tricycles….

 

 

DSC_0853 2…more alleys….

 

 

DSC_2263….restaurants with alfresco dining…..

 

 

DSC_0891….guards of government buildings….

 

 

DSC_2462…..more alleys at night…..

 

 

DSC_0856….Manila-named places…..

 

 

DSC_0843…and more authentic local ristorante.

 

 

WHERE WE STAYED

We stayed in Cenci Bed & Breakfast just a few steps from the Trevi. Fountain A very reasonably-priced bed and breakfast with very accommodating owner and pleasant staff.  The website is http://www.cencibedandbreakfast.it/#home.

 

 

camere-cencibb-28camere-cencibb-10Included in the room rates is a light breakfast in a tiny dining area.  Juices, coffee, breads, boiled eggs, pastries and fresh fruits are offered. My stay in this place has been one of my most cost effective travel experiences ever. We were out all day and a part of the night when we were not sleeping so we did not need a luxurious and expensive hotel in Rome.  Yes I am a frugal traveler.

 

DSC_0942 2Bye for now Rome!

 


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