A September 2000 trip
to Rome by Barb B
Quote: The ancient capital of the western world and center of Christianity--filled with relics of a bygone era, yet modern day Rome is very much alive! From Trevi Fountain to the Coliseum; the forum to the Spanish Steps-- Toss your coins in the fountain because you WILLwant to return!
The Forum has more history then one can possibly absorb. These ancient ruins will captivate you.
The grandest and most celebrated monument awaits at the Colosseum.
St Peter's Basilica took more than 100 years to build and still offers insight into the birth of Christianity.
Attraction | "The Colosseum"
Situated on the Piazza del Colosseo, it is the largest structure left to us by the Romans and although it was completed in 80AD, it is still a model for current day arenas and stadiums. Here, the Gladiator fought fierce battles until the year 404 and combat between animals continued until well into the 6th century.
If you are not already part of a group tour, English speaking Guides are available near the entrance. There are also a number of individuals dressed as Roman soldiers and gladiators who, for a price, will pose with you for a photo. Rather tacky in my opinion!
If time allows, a tour of the imposing interior will point out the bronze cross in the arena that commemorates the Christian martyrs who are believed to have died here. Row upon row of marble seats, interior walkways and staircases that once accommodated some 50,000 spectators. The amphitheater was so large that it had 76 entrances. Beneath the vast arena floor, snakes a subterranean labyrinth of passages containing training rooms for the gladiators, areas for caged animals, and storerooms for instruments of the games.
I was impressed by the vastness of the interior and how well it has withstood the numerous earthquakes, fires and other disasters it has endured.
Open daily from 9am to 3pm -- In Summer from 9am to 7pm.
Trams #13, 30 and 30b as well as numerous buses serve the Colosseum
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2000
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 7004261
Attraction | "The Forum in Rome"
The ancient capital of Rome was the focal point for the world’s greatest artists, architects, philosophers and rulers. The Forum was the very pulse and heartbeat of Rome‘s religious, political and commercial life.
My husband and I signed up at our hotel for a walking tour of the Forum (Forno Romano) and took bus # 88 to meet our guide at the Arch of Septimus Servus. We especially enjoyed this tour, because it was the least crowded of all our tours. The area was open and not at all crowded as it had been with many of the other tours we had taken of churches, art galleries and museums while visiting Rome.
The forum served as the hub of the city during Republican and Imperial times, and no other part of the city brims with so much history. As we walked along, our well-informed guide (who spoke excellent English) identified points of interest: the Temple of Antonius and Faustina, built in 144 AD, and later in the 12th century converted to the church of Lorenzo. The Temple of Saturn built in 497 BC, which was destroyed several times by fire, but was repeatedly rebuilt. The majestic Arch of Septimus Severus stood, so massive and impressive with a fabulous view toward the Colosseum. Being a history buff, I was especially impressed when she pointed out the spot where Marc Anthony made his impassioned speech over the body of Julius Caesar.
The surviving remnants of the Forum cannot truly speak of the splendor of ancient Rome, but this was my favorite tour.
Uncrowded and outdoors, we were could walk freely and take photos as we pleased. Unlike many of the museums and churches where everyone was required to stay close to their guide and photos were not allowed.
The Forum is located at Via dei Fori Imperiali and you can use bus route 11, 27, 81, 85, 88 or 97 to arrive. OPEN - Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from 9am to 2pm.
Largo Romolo e Remo
Rome, Italy 00186
We, my husband and I, stepped from bus #52 near the Piazza del Popolo and quickly blended into the mass of tourists heading along Via del Corso toward the Fontana di Trevi. I’d heard the oft-told tale that if one tosses coins over their shoulder into Trevi fountain, they will one-day return. Therefore, I had set out on a mission to throw my coins. Our stay here in Rome was fast drawing to an end and I was determined to return.
Originally built by Agrippa in the first century, Trevi was reconstructed from 1732 to 1751 by the master crafter Nicolo Salvi for Pope Clement XII. The Fontana di Trevi stands 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, and is the largest fountain in Rome. Located at the rear of the Palace of the Dukes of Poli, the sea god ‘Oceanus’ is depicted standing among two horses (one wild and one tame), shells and tritons. Its waters swirl downward among the figures and artificial rocks and collect in the basin at the base of the fountain where hopeful tourists have tossed coins.
I stepped up to the fountain to take a photo and suddenly realized that THERE WAS NO WATER IN THE FOUNTAIN! There, in the basin was a work crew; four Italian men with dark curly hair picking up coins from the basin. Using the very best of my broken Italian, I turned to a nearby workmen and asked," Why is there was no water?" He looked at me for a moment and answered, "But, how did you think we got the coins out?" It took me a minute, but then we both laughed. He said, "Take a photo sensa aqua (without water) - your photo will be unique."
And so, here is my photo of Trevi Fountain -- sensa aqua. He was right, I‘ve never seen another photo like it! Later that day, when my husband and I returned, the waters once again flowed and I was able to toss my coins. That was my first trip to Rome in 1997 and I am happy to say that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy four return visits. Before you say "arevaderchi a Roma" be sure to toss three Coins into Trevi Fountain!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 19, 2000
Piazza di Trevi
Rome, Italy 00187
Attraction | "The Vatican City"
The Vatican’s Museum Complex houses one of the most impressive religious art collections in the world. The collection embraces art representations of art of every epoch and era.
Within the Sistine Chapel, we marveled at several of the masterpieces of Michelangelo, including his frescoes of the Creation,on the Ceiling and the Last Judgment, on the alter wall. A restoration of his works in 1998 once again revealed the magnificent color he used in his work.
Our guide took us to a small gift shop located just around the corner from St. Peters Square where we found some very reasonably priced religious items. Delicate rosary bracelets and tasteful leather bookmark made excellent souvenirs for our Catholic friends back home.
REMINDER: Attire which covers shoulders and knees should be worn by both men and women when visiting Vatican City. Flash photos and Video are not permitted in the Basilica, Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. Some require that cameras be checked.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2000
Attraction | "Shops of the Via Condotti"
As you walk within the graceful city of Rome, you will undoubtedly notice the 'beautiful people.' It seems that each person has been superbly coiffured, manicured, made up and dressed by a fantastic world famous designer. Rome is truly THE place to shop if you would like to be counted among the 'Beautiful People.'
Paris will always remain the fashion center of the world but the shops between Rome's Piazza di Sapana and Via del Cosro offer elegantly beautiful one of a kind items: jewelry, shoes, leather, handbags or whatever you desire! Window shopping is great, but beware--most shops can be extremely expensive, however; if you compare the quality, you will surely find a great bargain.
So, stroll along the streets, enjoy the world-renowned tourist attractions, and at least 'window shop' for some of the most beautifully crafted, hand developed and handsomely designed items to be found. The Via Condota, near the Spanish steps is an area much favored for shopping. Below, I will try to give you some of my favorites.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 22, 2000
Via dei Condotti (Via Condotti)
Via Dei Condotti
Rome, Italy 00187
Today, the Sabina DOP olive oil with its yellow color faint greenish hints when it is freshly pressed, ensure the fruitiness and velvet aroma which make for perfect cooking combinations.
When I’m in Rome, I indulge my appetite for the region’s best olive oils. We brought 4 bottles of this lovely olive home with us and the cost was only about one third of the cost at home. So on your next visit, why not benefit from two thousand years of experience?
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona