Honeymoon in Rome

25th September 2012: An afternoon getting a feel for the city

Our hotel was the ‘San Anselmo‘ in the quiet residential area of the Aventine Hill just south of Circus Maximus.  We wanted to make best use of the afternoon so took a stopping off along some wonderful reminders of Rome’s glorious history.

IMG_0015
Roman buildings on Palatine Hill overlooking Circus Maximus

 

IMG_0021
The remains of the Temple of Saturn within the Forum at the foot of the Capitoline Hill
IMG_0036
Trajan’s Column – built in 133 AD to commemorate the Emperor’s victory in the Dacian Wars
IMG_0038
The Trevi Fountain, built in 1629 and designed by Nicola Salvi

After a very enjoyable walk getting a feel for the streets and sights of Rome – we enjoyed a lovely romantic meal in a small restaurant to celebrate our honeymoon.

IMG_0050

26th September 2012: St Peter’s Basilica to the Pantheon

A taxi dropped us off near St Peter’s Square and we made our way through the crowds to get to St Peter’s Basilica.  The front area is protected by railings which was great since kept the crowds off the steps for better photos!  We were only here to look around the Basilica itself (which is free entry) and we saved the Vatican for an early start tomorrow.

St. Peter's Square
The front of St Peter’s Basilica

The inside of the Basilica is huge with beauty everywhere in the paintings, statues and reliefs everywhere.  Michelangelo’s La Pieta was probably my favourite individual piece but the overall collection was incredible.

La Pieta
La Pieta by Michelangelo
Statue of St. Peter
A pilgrim touching the foot of the Statue of St Peter to thank him for such an amazing husband

I wanted to travel up inside the huge dome to get a view over Rome.  There stairway was very narrow and was actually between the inner and outer walls of the dome itself.  The top did provide an amazing view although I didn’t realise the stairs down where in a different place to the stairs up so I lost Rach for a while having to travel all the way down to the ground floor and then back up to the insides of the dome again!

IMG_0096
View of Rome from the Dome

After we’d finished exploring St Peter’s Basilica, we left via the large colonnaded St Peter’s Square and followed the road straight, until we reached the Tiber river.  To the left was the large round fortress like building of Castel Sant’Angelo but we crossed over the river via the bridge of the same name.

IMG_0109-2
St Peter’s Basilica in the distance seen from Ponte Sant’Angelo
IMG_0110-2
View of Castel Sant’Angelo from Ponte Sant’Angelo

We explored some of the backstreets and meandered across the lively square of Piazza Navona with its fountains and many cafes and through to the architecturally splendid Pantheon.  Built in around 120 AD, it is approaching 2,000 years old and its dome is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world (perhaps because no one ever since has been silly enough to not reinforce concrete?).  The inside of the building is very impressive with autumn coloured hues of marble paving and statues underneath the great dome.

The Pantheon
The front of the Pantheon

We found a cosy restaurant to have an evening meal before retiring for an enjoyable evening making best use of the bar back at our hotel.  Rach even managed to convince the night porter to open the bar especially for us to get another bottle of wine!

27th September 2012: The Vatican Museum

An early taxi took us back to the Vatican area where we joined the already long queue to get in.  Once inside, the museum is a vast collection of statues, paintings, frescoes, reliefs, mosaics, carvings and whatever else you can think of.  There is so much to take in even though many people rush straight for the Sistine Chapel.

IMG_0143-2
The Round Room with a bronze statue of Hercules at the back
IMG_0130
Rach taking in the serious cultural education that the Vatican Museums have to offer
IMG_0145-2
One of the amazing ceilings in the long hallways of the museum
Sistene Chapel
No photos are allowed in the Sistine Chapel but I had to grab a quick souvenir
IMG_0169
Rach and I taking a breather from the museum.  The dome of St Peter’s Basilica in the background.

After almost a full day just exploring the Vatican museums, we were exhausted but had a lovely dinner at a fine food restaurant which Rach had booked for us.

28th September 2012: The Colosseum and the Forum

Today’s adventure would be focused on the Colosseum and Forum areas.  We walked to the area from the hotel and after a few photos at the Colosseum, entered the Forum via the ‘Sacred Road’.  The Forum the centre of where Rome once stood and it is fascinating to walk around since you get the best sense of how ancient Rome might have been.  It is rare that you can get a feel of the building proportions to each other and how the roads wound between them.  Much has fallen down but the archaeologists are slowly rebuilding it piece by piece.

IMG_0184
The Colosseum needs no introduction
IMG_0198
Rach and me in front of the Arch of Constantine
IMG_0200-2.jpg
Part of the forum area where archaeologists are piecing together the buildings

After finishing up at the Forum, we took a long walk heading north to explore the Spanish Steps, the Piazza del Popolo and the park of Villa Borghese.  It was a lovely day and we just wandered the streets relaxing at various points and watching Roman life go by.

IMG_0228-2
The Spanish Steps

Finally, it was time to head back to the hotel and nearby we found a local restaurant which served a delicious pasta meal before our last night and a flight home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s