Rome, Italy

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After traversing six time zones and spending 14 hours flying, it's nice to have an Italian breakfast in the garden of the San Anselmo Hotel to start the next day. The orange juice served at the hotel is excellent and rivals that served in Bangkok. The pineapple is better than any served in the US. 

A traveler outside of the Roman Colosseum, which takes its name from the bronze statue named the Colossus of Nero. This is the largest surviving structure from Roman antiquity. 

A traveler in front of the Arch of Constantine. This is the largest and best preserved of Rome's triumphal arches. It was erected in 315 AD to celebrate the victory of Constantine over Maxentius. It was shortly after this battle that Constantine converted Rome to Christianity. 

A traveler at the entrance of the Roman Forum where Mark Antony delivered his "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" speech after Julius Caesar's assassination. 

A view of the Roman Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine from the grounds of the Roman Forum.

A view of the grounds of the Roman Forum.

Travelers on the grounds of the Roman Forum. Note the the traveler wears universal fit US Air Force sun glasses manufactured by Randolph Aviator and not the imitation Hollywood variety worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

A traveler in front of columns of the Roman Forum.

32 oz of this beer costs the equivalent of $1.50 and is clearly competitive with the Asheville Tourists thirsty Thursday's beer night.

The piramide above is near the Piramide Subway/Train Station near the Hotel San Anselmo.

View from the window at the San Anselmo Hotel Back to the Colosseum
Another traveler inside the Colosseum

The structure was begun in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian. The stadium seated 55,000 people. 

Armed combat went on for more than 500 years within the confines of the Colosseum. Criminals, slaves, and gladiators fought each other or wild animals, often to the death. Spectators exercised the power of life or death over defeated combatants by waving a handkerchief for mercy or thumbs down for death.

A view of the Roman Forum from the Colosseum
A traveler within the Colosseum

About a mile away from the Colosseum is the Roman Pantheon, shown above. Numerous beggars ply their trade near churches and in subway cars. 

The Pantheon, which was built in about 120 AD, is the largest surviving Roman structure from antiquity. 

The statues, alters, and paintings within the Pantheon and the building itself make this one of the nicest attractions in Rome.

The Pantheon is in pristine condition. A happy traveler within the Pantheon
The tomb of the painter Rafael in the Pantheon

Three coins in the Trevi Fountain, which is found about a half mile from the Pantheon.

The dome of the Pantheon has a diameter of 142 ft, which is equal to its height from the floor. The central 30 ft. oculus above lets light (and rain) into the complex. Viewed above is the morning sun entering the Pantheon. 

Navigating our way back to the hotel via subway. The subways are crowded during rush hour but less so otherwise. 

The subways are quiet, but filled with graffiti on the outside (shown above) and somewhat unkempt on the inside. Some are air-conditioned and others are not.

The remains of Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo). This former stadium was built in 326 BC and used until 549 AD. It was once used for chariot racing and was the prototype for almost all subsequent race courses. 

On the way to the Vatican Museum. The galleries within the museum extend for four miles.

Inside the Vatican Museum. 
A long corridor in the Vatican Museum. The museum can be crowded.  A traveler in front of a tapestry.
A traveler in one of the galleries Rodin's " The Thinker"

St. Peter's Basilica seen from the Vatican Museum. If you look carefully, you can see people where the dome meets the cupola. . 

A traveler in a gallery
A traveler in a gallery A traveler in front of a Matisse painting

The Spanish Steps near the center of town and the Trevi Fountain. The Spanish Steps are one of Rome's most popular meeting points. They are at the heart of Piazza di Spagna in the city's exclusive shopping districts next to Via Condotti. 

Window Shopping on Via Condotti. This street is Rome's equivalent of Fifth Avenue in New York or Main Street in Hendersonville, NC. All of the above streets have Gucci, Hermes, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo (above), Cartier, and Armani stores, to name but a few.

View of  the Hotel San Anselmo at dusk

When I (Bob) was in high school (1955), I dreamed that girls/women would someday wear mini-skirts. When I was in college at Bowling Green (1960), one coed wore mini-skirts (her name somehow escapes me). Now it's 50 years later and women in Asia, Australia, the US, and Rome (above) are wearing mini-skirts. That's real progress.

On our way to the Gallery Borghese. Unfortunately photography is forbidden. However, we saw paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyke, and several by Carravaggio. There were several paintings and scultures by Bernini, an Italian favorite. 

This accordianist played on the grounds of the Villa Borghese. One of his pieces was the Rondo alla Turca by Mozart, which he played marvelously. The grounds of the Villa, which covers 200 acres (about 200 football fields) contain five museums, gardens, lakes, fountains, and a deerpark along with numberous statues. 

A statue of the great German writer/philosopher Goethe on the grounds of the Villa Borghese

A traveler in front of the Gallery Borghese

A traveler in front of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome near the Villa Borghese

On the first floor of the National Gallery of Modern Art. The glass floor contains numerous "artistic" cracks. 

Claude Monet's "Water Lilies"

A painting by Joan Mirˇ, one of Jim and Sherryn Trescott's favorite artists. Joan Mirˇ i FerrÓ was a Spanish Catalan painter and sculptor born in 1893 and who died a century later in 1993. .

 A traveler by a work of Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter

Another traveler by a work of Vincent van Gogh, another Dutch painter

A happy traveler eating out Roman style: veal marsala (background) and pizza (foreground) with vino. Most restaurants in Rome do not open for dinner until 7:30 pm. 

In contrast to southeast Asia and Australia, most (95%) cars in Rome including the police car above and Mercedes Benz are compact.

A traveler waiting in the security line, which was a block long, before entering St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The church was designed by Bramante, da Sangallo, della Porta, Maderno, and Michelangelo and it was built in its current form in the 1450's. 

Michelangelo's Pieta  is thought to be the finest art work in St. Peter's Basilica. The statue is enclosed in glass after it was attacked by a visitor in 1972. And St. Peter's Basilica is the top tourist attraction in Rome, even for non-believers. 

A traveler in St. Peter's Basilica. As one can surmise by observation, this church is huge. It is the largest church in the world by volume (1.2 million cubic meters) and by area. The tallest church in the world is Ulm Minster, which is found in Ulm, Germany. 

Another traveler in front of an 83 ft. 13th century BC Egyptian obelisk bought to St. Peter's square in the first century AD.

The San Anselmo Hotel has glass prisms in a foyer that capture the sunlight at certain times of the day. Sir Isaac Newton made similar observations that helped elaborate the nature of light. 

The prisms resolve the light into the colors of the spectrum, which are the same as the colors of a rainbow. The above spectrum goes from highest to lowest frequency: violet, indigold, green, yellow, orange, and red. Physics textbooks generally go from lowest to highest which is opposite from that shown here.  

Dinner in Rome with veal and saffron on the left and tuna sicicilian style on the right with a nice glass of wine

On the way to the airport we see two cyclists, one with the universal mini-skirt.

Waiting for Alitalia flight 330 from Rome to Paris

A view of the coast after takeoff from the Rome Airport

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Created 9 July 2012; updated 16 July 2012

Robert Roskoski Jr. Laura Roskoski