Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chapter 9 - Rome, The Eternal City

Roma is grand indeed. Everything here was built to impress and that is exactly what they do! The heart of Italy, the Roman Empire, it all begins here in Roma.

There is so much to be impressed by, the first monument that we come across is the Vittoriano.
My eyes were like saucers and WOW escapes from my lips. What is this Ad? Because he has been once I am sure he must know all of the monuments, but as I am soon to discover you would need to spend alot of time here to know (and see) them all.

As it turns out this is a baby of a monument here in Rome. It was built in 1901 and houses the tomb of the unknown soldier. It is so grand, and is funny to read that the Italians refer to this monument as the wedding cake or type writer. I love it.

We head down the road past many Roman ruins to the Colosseum. As we are walking towards it, it just suddenly pops up into your line of vision. I am jumping again, Ad look the Colosseum! He smiles. I just want to run and touch it, it is a truly amazing sight. Amidst the daily traffic and daily life is this amazing structure that has stood for so many years.

Before we head to the Colosseum we decide to stop for lunch. Ad needs a Chinese fix. So here we are in Rome, a stones throw from the Colosseum in a Chinese restaurant.....

'While the Colosseum stands, Rome shall stand,

but when the Colosseum falls, Rome shall fall

and when Rome falls the world will end' - Bede

The Colosseum has an eerie and magnificent aura to it. If ever there was a monument to make you stop and think that yes life goes on, this has to be up there!

The past will always haunt her, the past has made her (as life often goes!). We cannot change what has happened but we can learn. We can embrace the good bits, grit our teeth and learn from the bad bits and move forward knowing that this life makes us who we are. We are stronger, we are more knowledgeable and we can weather the storm. There is no greater sense of this than in Rome!

The cross at the Colosseum symbolises the many lives lost but also hope, retribution, forgiveness, sorrow and shame. It symbolises life.

The ruins around the Palatine, Capitoline Hill and the Roman Forum are just beautiful. The proportions of these structures add to the wow factor.

Agrippa's Pantheon. This structure is the best preserved building and has been standing for nearly 2000 years! This is the largest masonry vault ever built and was dedicated to the classical Gods.......I love Italy

Inside the Pantheon the dome has a 9mtr opening to allow light in and the marble floor has 22 small holes to allow any rain that enters to drain away. It has such an ethereal feel to it. The beautiful light streaming into the structure, it lights up the inside perfectly. You don't get better lighting than this!
We visited the Pantheon on a Sunday and what I love so much about these churches is that they are real 'working' churches. We just made it before they were going to close if off for Mass. On a Sunday in Rome all churches have Mass no matter how old or how many tourists want to have a look at it!
I didn't realise how much I loved sculpture until my trip to Italia. These beautiful structures line the bridges on our walk to Vatican City. Those bridges are like the one below that links you to Castel Sant'Angelo (the structure on the left). I didn't get a chance to see the Castel but will next time.....


  1. Wow I love all the photos, I feel the same passion for photography. I can't explain it! Looks like a pretty spectacular trip. Now I need a moment to read it all. I had to explain to my kids the story of Romeo & Juliet. Pretty cool.