Rome Journals

Glimpsing Rome

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A March 2007 trip to Rome by rufusni

The Colosseum/Coliseum Photo, Rome, Italy More Photos
Quote: Naming Rome the Eternal City reveals just how long it would take to explore this glorious city.

Glimpsing Rome

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Overview

Spring in Rome Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Why would you not want to visit this city? So many layers of history and culture exist side by side, never mind the incredible food. The narrow streets are a web of interesting finds waiting to be discovered, whether incredible churches or divine ice-cream. The main tourist sites will be extremely busy, but it's worth wandering to feel the city. Yes it's worth seeing the main sights - you can't miss seeing the Colosseum and St Peters, however, there are many more interesting sights such as San Clemente with three layers of history or the incredible mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore. Then again drinking coffee in a square or eat slices of pizza at lunchtime are much more enjoyable without hor...Read More

Domus Nova Bethlem

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Hotel

Domus Nova Bethlem Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This hotel is part of a convent but is professionally run and the staff are helpful. However there are many reminders of this in the decoration with many religious paintings and religious books in the rooms. The rooms are simple - a firm bed, desk, and chair with a tiled floor but are a reasonable size and are very clean. The breakfast is adequate and the breakfast room pleasant - however the tea should be avoided. One downside is that the hotel is on a busy road and it can be noisy if you are in one of the rooms at the front - however do ask as if possible they will move you. However, its location is great as its close to Santa Maria Maggiorre on Via Cavour, and easily accessible from Cavo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 15, 2007

Domus Nova Bethlem
Via Cavour 85/A
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 47824414

The Colosseum/Coliseum

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Attraction | "Colosseum (The)"

The Colosseum/Coliseum Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
One of the most recognisable sites of Rome is the Flavian Amphitheatre, or now as its known - the Colosseum. It is a feat of engineering and architecture especially as it was built in the first century. This arena is amazing enough on the exterior especially when lit up at night, yet take the opportunity to see the interior also. Part of the distinctive architecture of the arena is the three levels of arches - each of a different style- Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian- which give a sense of the grandeur of the structure. Despite having been abandoned and stripped of many of its assets to be used in other buildings including much of its marble cladding, it still remains impressive - its size, d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2007

The Colosseum/Coliseum
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 7004261

Trevi Fountain

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Attraction | "Fontana di Trevi"

Trevi Fountain Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This fountain is built on the back of a Renaissance palace, with water tumbling over rocks with various statues into a pool. It was started in 1732 to the design of Niccola Salvi but took several decades to complete the work. The central figure is Neptune in his chariot with a Triumph arch symbolising the taming of water. Above are bas-reliefs depicting the origins of the aqueduct - the Romans had a tradition of building fountains at the end of aqueducts - and close to this was the terminus of the Acqua Vergine and its fountain it was badly damaged and was later restored in the 15th century and a new fountain was built. However, Pope Urban VIII wanted some more dramatic and had a fountain built on ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2007

Trevi Fountain
Piazza di Trevi
Rome, Italy 00187

Santa Pudenziana

Attraction

Santa Pudenziana Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This church is a little off the beaten track but has incredible fourth century mosaics, some of the earliest in Rome. It is tucked on a side street close to Santa Maria Maggiore, and is below street level and is quite small and quiet with a pleasant courtyard. However how the church became called Santa Pudenziana is a mystery with the story of a woman called Pudenziana - with the Roman Catholic church rejecting that Pudenziana existed and declaring her invalid, though the church retained the name. One alternate story is that it is a derivation from Pudens who is mentioned in the New Testament as a Christina in Rome and that he lived in this area of Rome, but that this connection was later ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 18, 2007

Santa Pudenziana
Via Urbana, 160
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 064814622

San Clemente

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Attraction

San Clemente Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This is a fascinating find that is not on the major tourist sight list. There is a 12th century church named after Clement, a 1st century church leader in Rome (who is acclaimed as the third pope), which is pleasant, but it is part of the latest layer of the history of the site which is now administered by Irish Dominicans. It was the Irish Dominicans who discovered that there was an earlier church on the site and started excavations, and discovered not only a 4th century church, but a deeper earlier layer also. The church is lovely with 6th century marble choir section that was originally in the earlier church and then moved here and simply looks elegant. Also there is an incredible golden...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2007

San Clemente
Via Labicana, 95
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 0670451018

Scavi Tour

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Attraction

Spring in Rome Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
I was fortunate to get tickets to the excavations under St Peter's - the Scavi - as only 120 visitors are allowed down each day, and tickets have to be applied for in advance. The tickets cost 10 euros but no under 12s are permitted. You will be allocated a set time to arrive and taken down in a group of 12 by a guide. No backpacks are permitted and must be left in the office, nor is photography permitted. Once in the excavations the atmosphere is dusty, hot and humid and with the narrow corridors it is not the most pleasant environment. The guides are well informed and give detailed information as you are lead around the excavations. The excavations under St Peter's discovered a necropolis...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2007

Scavi Tour

Rome, Italy

St. Peter's Basilica

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Attraction

Pope Mania Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The Vatican and St Peter's is the centre of Roman Catholicism, and St Peter's architectural matches its re-position. Its dome is one of the key features of the Rome skyline and it can be seen from many places across the city. Its grandeur is enhanced by the large Piazza that is in front on the Basilica, and is edged with a covered colonnade. At the centre of the piazza is a obelisk that is 13th century BCE and was moved to Rome in Nero's reign as emperor and later placed here. The emperor Constantine had a church built here in around 330, but this was replaced as work began on the new basilica in 1506 and completed in 1623 with several architects, including Michelangelo being involved in it...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 27, 2007

St. Peter's Basilica
Piazza San Pietro
Vatican City, Rome 00193
+39 0669883462

Pantheon

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Attraction

Pantheon Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This is one of the few buildings that have survived fairly intact from ancient Rome dating from 125 A.D., although was an earlier pantheon here from 27 B.C. Its name implies that this was a temple to many gods, but it isn't clear how it was used for worship. However, in 609 A.D. it was consecrated as a Christian church and dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres. This conversion into a church is the reason that the building has been maintained, and it is still used now with mass said on Sundays at the altar. Much of the building's lavish decoration has been removed over the years including stripping the bronze roof. However, it is the architecture of this building that is breathtaking. You wander...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 1, 2007

Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 0668300230

Santa Costanza

Attraction

Santa Costanza Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This was built by the emperor Constantine, who declared Christianity legal, as a mausoleum for his daughter Constantina (Constanza being the Italian form) who seems to have been a Christian. It was built in a cemetary in the style of a round Roman masoleum but it had distinctive Christian elements. It wasn't intended to be a place for Christian worship, but a Christian masoleum. However, it was later consecrated as a church in 1256, as Constanza became venerated as a saint and so the church was dedicated to her. The building has a central domed space that is surrounded by circular barrel-vaulted ambulatory. The ceiling is ornately decorated with mosaics that use traditional Roman scenes but wi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 1, 2007

Santa Costanza
Via Nomentana, 349
Rome, Italy 00162
+39 068610840

Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura

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Attraction

Quote:
Although the church dates back to Pope Honorius I in the 7th century, it was altered later with a Baroque style. The original structure of the basilica remains as well as a mosiac in the apse which depicts Saint Agnes with the pope who is holding a model of the church. The church is dedicated to saint Agnes who is said to be a 13 year old martyred in 303 A.D. in persecutions of Christians by the emperor Diocletian. She was buried in the catacombs here with an enlarged space in front of it.The catacombs were burial places that were cut into the soft rock outside the walls of the city. Many Christians were buried in the catacombs because of beliefs in bodily resurrection. The cataco...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2007

Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura
Via Nomentana, 349
Rome, Italy 00162
+39 068610840

Palatine (The)

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Attraction

Palatine (The) Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This hill was the home of many of the greats of Ancient Rome including many of the emperors. The hill is scattered with the remains of grand villas, their extravagence shown in the marble pillars scattering the site with a few still standing and some small sections of remaining floor mosaics that are incredible in detail and colour. The hill is quite pleasant with a garden area, and lots of shady trees. It also provides a great respite from the heat, dust and busy streets of Rome, with its green sereneness and the cool breeze that fans the hillside. You are also provided with great views across much of Rome, ancient and modern.If you buy a ticket for the Colosseum, entrance to...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 28, 2007

Palatine (The)
Via di San Gregorio 30
Rome

About the Writer

rufusni

rufusni
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom