Roma A.D. 2000

Rome is both the spiritual center of the catholic church and the secular origine of the roman empire. Is it a coincidence that related to this, the initials JC stand both for Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar? My decision to visit Rome was very spontanious, after I saw a TV report on the Holly Year. The day after, I booked the voyage and bought a book "Italian in 2 Weeks".

Basilica S. Pietro in Vaticano

Let's start the guided tour from St. Peter's Dome, most important place of the catholicism. The things in the foreground of my picture are more secular: coaches, ambulant Pizza stand, tourists and a dove. Or has the later a symbolic meaning?
Inside of the dome, below the canopy, is a crypta where St. Peter is buried.

A similar popularity has the statue of the Apostle. People pass in files to touch the foot of the statue.

S. Paolo fuori le Mura

(St. Paul's outside the city walls)
Another pilgram church, where St. Paul is buried.

S. Pietro in Vincoli

(St. Peter in chains)
Next to a science university is this church. In a shrine, it shows the iron chains in which was laid St. Peter in prison in Jerusalem and in Rome. But the church is better known for the statue of Moses with horns, that Michelangelo made for the pope Julius 2.

Colisseo

After the religious part, let's turn to the ancient Rome of Emperors. Beside St. Peter's Dome, the most famous building of Rome is the Colisseum.
View from inside.
It is reported that many cats (descendants of the formerly lions) live in the ruins. I haven't seen any, just tourists (descendants of the formerly spectators).
Scene from the film 'Gladiator'
For a piece of money, you can ask the legionary to take a picture of you, hmm... or you take a picture of him, hmm... or maybe someone else takes a picture of you both.

Pantheon

Etymologically, this word would mean that it is a temple devoted to "all the gods". There is even the anecdote, that the romans chose the globality of gods because they feared the revenge of any particular god if their forgot to name him.
Actually, the temple was (re)constructed in the second century, and was devoted to the seven planetary gods.
In the seventh century, it became a christian church. Like many churches in Rome, there is an egyptian obelisk with a cross mounted on top, in front of it.
It is impossible to make a picture of the interior that could give back the atmosphere and which is not awfully distorted.
The ceiling is made of concrete, a material that the romans invented.
The only 'window' is the hole in the middle of the ceiling, it let rain come in!
View of the piazza in front of the Pantheon, with the obelisk. On the right of the picture, there is a coach. They take tourists to most of the sites, as they can pass through streets too narrow for busses.
On the left is a house being renovated. They fixed a hood in front of it, where windows are painted on.
Some people believe that I took the picture because of the girl.

Foro Romano

This was the historical center of Rome, and is now a vast field of ruins.
The most famous view is taken from the Campidoglio (Capitol).
In the background Colosseo can be seen, to the right is Arco di Tito.

Circo Massimo

This is the place where Ben Hur used to practice.

Bocca della Verita

In the hall of the Church Santa Maria in Cosmedin, there is a figure with the mouth of truth. It is said that if unhonest people put their hand in its mouth, it bites. Here you see me proving the contrary. The face represents the God Faunus, competent for the Keeping of Promises.

Fontana di Trevi

One of the more contemporary attractions of the city.
A popular sport is to throw a coin over your shoulder in the water.
Those who don't want to throw away their money can buy from the ambulent sellers beautiful souvenirs from all Italia.

Piazza Navona

Rome has many funny fountains. This piazza has two of them.


Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti

The Spanish Stairs (named after Spanish Ambassy which is next to it), owns its construction and official name to the french church above.
The stairs are nicely decorated with flowers, many people sit on the steps.
On the top platform reigns a flair of Montmartre, with artists selling paintings and making portraits.
Downstairs, the steps lead to a quarter of shopping streets.

Scala Cordonata

Other famous stairs, planed by Michelangelo. They lead to the Capitol, museum and municipal administration.
The statues to both sides of the steps represent Castor and Pollux.

Vittoriano

Monument constructed to honour King Vittorio Emanuele 2.
This building helped me many times to locate myself in the city, as it is visible from different places. (Of cause, some cupolas could also help to orient yourself, but I couldn't distinguish them).

Museo della Civilta Romana

Outside of Rome is the quarter EUR (Esposizione Universale di Roma), that Mussolini planed in the 1940th.
On top of this building is written:
VN POPOLO DI POETI DI ARTISTI DI EROI
DI SANTI DI PENSATORI DI SCIENZIATI
DI NAVIGATORI DI TRAMIGRATORI
When leaving Rome with the airport shuttle train, it is the last monument that you will see of the city.

e-gratis , e-facile , e-galwaat ...

Some days, computers and my professional life haunt me even on holidays. This advertisement is for an internet provider, but it makes me think of something completely different. Perhaps, it is because of the ladies.

Musei Vaticani

Let's close the visit at the point where it started, with the Vatican Museums.
They contain all the stuff that popes have collected during 20 centuries,...
... like the bath tub of Julius Caesar,...
... hallways through the popal palaces, with painted ceilings and walls. Here, the room of maps.
Here is a trompe l'oeil painting of another hall. It is funny, because like a postcard of Rome, it unites the major sites: Colosseum, Forum and St. Peter's.
Stanzas de Raffael.
The pope Julius 2 asked the young paintor Raffael to paint the walls of several rooms in his palace. This one is probably the most known: the school of Athens, featuring Platon and Aristoteles.
The visit of the museums traditionally ends with the Sixtine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. I have no pics of it, as filming and talking is forbidden in there.


Created 2000-07-04 by Patrick Hahn (phahn@vo.lu)
Homepage http://www2.vo.lu/homepages/phahn