Rome Journals

Renaissance Rome

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A June 2006 trip to Rome by phileasfogg

Vatican Museums Photo, Rome, Italy More Photos
Quote: Rome is a city of many faces, ancient, medieval, and modern. And its medieval side—both secular and staunchly Catholic—can be mesmerising.

Pantheon

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Attraction | "Santa Maria ad Martyres (the Pantheon)"

Pantheon Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The Pantheon—or to give its official name, the church of Santa Maria ad Martyres- is one of those very old and very unusual buildings that span the gap between faiths, cultures, and centuries. Before I’d seen it, I’d always imagined it to be just another interesting Roman ruin. But it isn’t. Firstly, it’s not a ruin. Secondly, it’s not just a reminder of ancient Rome- it’s also very Renaissance.The Pantheon is old. Really, really old. Originally a temple to the seven deities of ancient Rome, it was built in about 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa (who, not a modest man, had this achievement etched in large letters across the front of the building, above the portico). Agrippa’s temple survived only till abou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 30, 2006

Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 0668300230

Santa Maria Maggiore

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Attraction

Santa Maria Maggiore Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We’d spent about five minutes standing across the road and admiring the façade of Santa Maria Maggiore, and a further five minutes taking photographs, before we walked over to the church and looked about for the entrance. And it took us another couple of minutes to discover that what we’d been admiring was the back of the church.Which just goes to show how impressive the Church of Saint Mary Major- or Santa Maria Maggiore- is. Bluish grey twin domes rise up on either side above a building of pale golden-beige. An obelisk stands tall in the square behind, and the wide steps leading up to the church are perfect for sitting down and resting a while. The front of the church, also with wide steps, but w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 30, 2006

Santa Maria Maggiore
42Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore
Rome, Italy 00185
+39 06 44 65 836

Vatican Museums

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Attraction | "Musei Vaticani and Capella Sistina"

Vatican Museums Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The best time to visit the Musei Vaticani is in the afternoon, the closer to 1pm (which is lunchtime), the better. We tried it, and were inside the museums, clutching our tickets (€12 per person), within 10 minutes of having joined the queue.Someone estimated that if you spent 8 hours everyday at the Musei Vaticani, with a minute at each exhibit and one hour off for lunch, it would take you 12 years to complete the circuit. That should give you an idea of how vast this collection is. It exemplifies the grandeur and the wealth of the Vatican, actually, which is mirrored in the Basilica next door. But for those who can’t afford to spend 12 years seeing the Musei Vaticani, there’s a shor...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 30, 2006

Vatican Museums
Viale Vaticano
Rome, Italy 00165
0039 06 69884676

Basilica di San Pietro

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Story/Tip

The dome of San Pietro Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The world’s largest church sprawls in the heart of the world’s smallest country. The Basilica di San Pietro is the pride and joy of the Vatican, and is impressive enough to stun most visitors into an awed silence. The open `arms’ of the church stretch on either side in the form of a colonnade that’s topped with the statues of 140 saints. The central dome soars heavenward; and the piazza in front, paved and vast, is perfect for standing and gaping at the panorama. A divinity seemed to guide our steps from the very moment we got off the Metro and headed for the Basilica, for we reached at about 11.45 and joined the long queue of people lining up to enter the Basilica. 11.45, as we realised, was the...Read More

The Genius of Bernini

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
When I first began thinking over what I’d write in my journals on Rome, I’d decided I just had to write an article in praise of Piazzas—of which Rome has plenty. Cool, vast, lovely piazzas; small, comfortable, comforting piazzas; piazzas with statues, piazzas with fountains—Rome is replete with them. And then came another thought: that the piazzas, or at least many of them, share something else in common: they invariably showcase the genius of a man who left his mark all across Rome, Gian Lorenzo Bernini.Born in Naples to a Florentine family (his father, Pietro Bernini, was a fine sculptor in his own right), Gian Lorenzo came to Rome when he was just seven years old. He was already a child prodigy;...Read More