Rome, Italy I

Rome, the capital city of Italy.  It is the oldest continuous inhabited site in Europe even though history can only be traced back to the beginning of Rome around 753 BC.  It is the birthplace of western civilization and claims the be the “eternal city”.  This historic center is on the UNESCO list as the World Heritage Site.  Under the city of Rome has many layers of cities from pre-historic Roman times.  The city itself is a big archeology site. 

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The Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of Holy Angel) in Parco Adriano was first built by Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Since it was the tallest building at that time, the Popes took over and made it a fortress/residence. Ashes of the emperors were scattered and the valuable materials and decorations were removed and brought over for the use of building St. Peter’s Basilica. The building was also used as a prison. Executions were done at the inner courtyard. On top is the statue of Archangel Michael for ending the plague of 590. Today it is a museum.
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Ponte Saint’Angelo bridge, a Roman bridge built in 134 AD. This pedestrian bridge crosses over the Tiber River and leads into the Castel Sant’Angelo on the right bank of Tiber River. In 1669, Pope Clement IX commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini for the sculptures of Angels symbolizing the stories of the crucifixion sufferings of Jesus Christ.
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The angels on the bridge were designed by Bernini but finished by his successor. He was able to finish two which is the angel with the Crown of Thorns and angel with the Superscription. These are the Angel with the Cross and Angel with the Superscription. This is a copy of the original by Bernini and his son Paolo. The original along with the Angel with the Crown of Thorns is in the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte.
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Via della Conciliazione heading away from St. Peter’s Basilica towards Ponte Sant’Angelo. This road is a major throughway ordered by Benita Mussolini to connect the Vatican to the heart of Rome.
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Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge designed in 1886 by Ennio De Rossi. The bridge crosses the Tiber, the river known as the birthplace of Rome, to connect the historic city of Rome to the Vatican City.
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In Piazza Navona the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers-the four figures represent the Niles, Ganges, Danube, and Rio della Plata) with the Egyptian obelisk in the middle. On top is a dove, a symbol of Pamphili’s family. 1651 by Gia Lorenzo Bernini
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Fontana del Moro is a fountain located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona in Rome. The dolphin and the four Tritons were by Giacomo della Porta in 1575. The Moor or the Ethiopian out of the conch were added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1653. 1874 during the restoration of the fountain, the original sculptures were removed to the Galleria Borghese. The building behind is Palazzo Pamphilj built in 1644 and 1650. In 1920 it was purchased by Brazil and became the Brazilian embassy in Italy.
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Sant’Agnese in Piazza Navona is a 17th-century Baroque church. This is where the early Christian Saint Agnese was martyred in the Roman Stadium Domitian upon which the Piazza Navona was built on.
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Trevi Fountain designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini. It is the largest and most famous Baroque fountain found in Italy. The fountain was built at the end of the 19th-century, Aqua Virgo aqueduct to bring in water from the Salone Springs that is 14 miles away to supply the Roman Baths. The statue in the middle is Ocean on a chariot pulled by a docile horse and a restless horse indicating the ocean as sometimes peaceful and sometimes forceful. Guided by two Triton. One is young and the other elderly holding a horn announcing the arrival of Ocean. On Ocean’s left is the statue of Health and on his right is Abundance
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The Spanish steps, a set of steps built in the 17th century to connect from the lower Piazza di Spagna to the Piazza Trinità dei Monti, on the top where we see the Trinità dei Monti church. Because the 135 steps were irregular consists of straight and curve flights as well as terraces were unique and elegant inspired many artists, painters, and poets. Many beautiful women gathered here in hopes to model for artists. They, in turn, attracted many rich Romans and travelers here. Eventually, it became a preferred meeting place.
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Capitoline Museums, at Capitoline Hill. Designed by Michelangelo is the first museum in the world opened in 1734. The mounted rider in the front is Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
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Vittorio Emanuele II Monument or Altare della Patria. monument in honor of Vittorio Emauele II, the first king of a unified Italy. The statues on the rooftop are goddess Victoria on a chariot pulled by 4 horses.
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The Pantheon, a 2,000-year-old architectural wonder of the Romans. Was built to honor all Gods but later turned into a church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs. The 16 Corinthian columns supporting the portico weights 60 tons each and was from a quarry in Egypt. It was floated on wooden barges down the River Nile in spring when the water level was high and then shipped across the Mediterranean to Roman port of Ostia then pulled up the Tiber River on wooden barges to Rome.
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The dome of the Pantheon is the largest unsupported dome in the world for 1300 years. Its top has an opening, the “Oculus” which is the only opening to bring in natural light into the Pantheon. At mid-day on April 21st, the light will shine in and strike the metal grille above the door reflected light up the front courtyard. The tombs of many Italian kings and poets including the famous artist, Raphael is placed here.

 

 

 

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