The old saying goes when in Rome do as the Romans
do, unfortunately we did as the tourist do on this trip, with the intentions
on going back for a second visit. There is just so much to take in that we
really didn’t have the time to get off the tourist trails. If you have
lived in Italy as I have which I’ll cover in my upcoming post you will find that
the Italian’s as in any other country are a lot more expressive in their natural
surroundings and I would suggest to anyone, many of you probably already
are aware getting to know the real people in any country it is best to get off of
the beaten path of the tourist and go to the places that the locals frequent.
I have to admit that we were not able to visit the Colosseum our lost because even
to this day its one the most talked about buildings from the Roman era. In
fact the word “Colosseum” is the most popular search term for any building on
the internet (or so Italian tourism would have us believe). You might be asking
yourself; Why was the Colosseum built? The building of the
Ancient Roman Colosseum was widely regarded as a political move of the time,
intended for entertaining and, possibly more importantly, distracting Rome’s
population from more serious issues of the time such as oligarchy, nepotism and
corruption in the senate and church (hmmm, some things don’t change).
After some schemes that fell through by previous
Popes (a wool factory for Rome’s prostitutes, and even a bull ring) Pope
Benedict XIV declared the site a place were Christians had been martyred (even
though there is no documentation of this and historians negate this supposition)
and thereby consecrated the building to the Passion of Christ
and installed the Stations of the Cross. (To this day on Easter Friday the Pope leads the Stations of the cross, and a meditation is read at each of the fourteen stages of Christ’s passion situated around the Perimeter of the Roman Colosseum.) So as you can see it is almost a must to fit this in on your trip to Rome.
The main objective of our visit was to visit Vatican City which in itself made our drive from our home in beautiful Zovencedo well worth the trip.
Once again I’ll save my hometown for future post :)
Vatican City is a day affair with so much to see, the history of Rome is beyond belief but I’ll try not to get into a history lesson but stay on the fun and excitement of just having the opportunity to visit.
The Museums alone can take you all day which also
include the Gallery of Tapestries, a collection of various 15th and 17th century
tapestries; the Gallery of Maps, decorated under the pontificate of Gregory XIII
(1572-1585) and restored by Urban VIII (1623-1644); the Sobieski Room and the
Room of the Immaculate Conception; the Raphael Stanze and the
Loggia, which were decorated by order of Julius II and Leo X (1513-1521); the
Chapel of Nicholas V (1447-1455), painted by Fra Angelico; the Sistine Chapel,
which takes the name of its founder, Pope Sixtus IV; the Borgia Apartment, where
Pope Alexander VI lived until his death (1492-1503); the Vatican Pinacoteca,
created under Pius XI (1922-1932) in a special building near the new entrance to
the Museums; the Missionary-Ethnological Museum which was founded by Pius XI in 1926, arranged on the upper floors of the Lateran Palace and later transferred, under Pope John XXIII, to the Vatican where it has been opened again to the public in the same building which housed the former Lateran collections. In 1973 the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Religious Art was added and inaugurated by Pope Paul VI (1963-1978)
in the Borgia Apartment. The Vatican Historical Museum, founded in 1973 and
transferred in 1987 to the Papal Apartment in the Lateran Palace, houses a
series of papal portraits along with objects of the past Pontifical Military
Corps and of the Pontifical Chapel and Family and historic ceremonial objects no
longer in use. The Carriage and Automobile Museum is a section of the Vatican
Historical Museum. In the year 2000, the Vatican Museums opened a new large
entrance that provides visitor information and other services; on display are
many new artworks, two of which were specially created for this grand entrance
hall. It’s hard to stay away from bring up the history of Rome as I take you
trough a tour in this post. So as not to bore you with history here are a few
pictures, a picture can be worth a thousand words !
Vatican City Guards.
Saint Peter’s Basilica.
The Atlante Star Hotel where we stayed was a
great location near Vatican City and a very reasonable price.
A view from the hotel restaurant.
The dome of St. Peter’s was designed by Michelangelo, who became chief architect in 1546. At the time of his death (1564), the dome was finished as far as the drum, the
base on which domes sit. The dome was vaulted between 1585 and 1590 by the
architect Giacomo della Porta with the assistance of Domenico Fontana, who was
probably the best engineer of the day. Fontana built the lantern the following
year, and the ball was placed in 1593. The great double dome is made of brick
and is 42.3 metres in interior diameter (almost as large as the Pantheon), rising to 120 metres above the floor. In the early 18th century cracks appeared in the dome, so four iron
chains were installed between the two shells to bind it. The four piers of the
crossing that support the dome are each 60 feet (18 meters)
across. parabola: it has a vertical thrust, which is made
more emphatic by the bold ribbing that springs from the paired Corinthian
columns, which appear to be part of the drum, but which stand away from it like
buttresses, to absorb the outward thrust of the dome’s weight. Above, the
vaulted dome rises to Fontana’s two-stage lantern, capped with a spire.
For those of you who were wanting to know
what the Pope is up to these days !
Madrid, Spain, Jul 30, 2011 / 06:26 pm (CNA).- Sixty
children dressed in the uniform of the Swiss Guards will welcome Pope Benedict
XVI during World Youth Day this August in Madrid.
The director of the group, nicknamed the “Young Swiss Guards,” told Fides news agency that the group was born out of affection for the Pope after John Paul II’s first visit to Spain in 1982.
John Paul II visited the country again in 1993 and 2003, always
accompanied by the young Swiss Guards. The group will welcome the Pope at the
airport in Barajas, Spain and will greet him there at the end of World Youth
Day. Their uniforms took about 5,000 hours of work to create and used more
than 450 meters of fabric and 4,200 meters of fabric tape.
Unlike their young imitators, the Pontifical Swiss Guards number 110 and are responsible for the Pope’s safety. They guard his home and assist him during important ceremonies
celebrated in the Vatican. The guard marked its 505th anniversary in January.
On Jan. 22, 1506, 150 Swiss soldiers entered the Vatican at the request of Pope
Julius II. It is the oldest standing army in the world.
Just “Me” loving being surrounded by so much
We were really taken with the city and the
many sites they have to offer in Roma.
As the Sun sets on the City it was time for
us to take a seat and rest awhile (below).
Such a beautiful City…
“Ok” my friends this is a very quick tour of
a must see city “PEACE.” ARRIVEDERCI ROMA !