Given the proverb “all roads lead to Rome”, it was inevitable we’d end up in The Eternal City eventually. And what better adventure after Dan and Nicole’s wedding than a family visit to the Italian capital and former seat of the mighty Roman Empire?
The Colosseum alone is worth the trip to Rome to visit. This massive spectacle is an icon of Imperial Rome. Constructed during the Flavian Dynasty, the Amphitheatrum Flavium was completed in AD 80 and could hold between 50,000 – 80,000 spectators. The crowds weren’t bad during our visit, but plenty of people still come to the Colosseum even though there are no longer gladiators, animal hunts, executions and battle reenactments inside Trevi Fountain is a world famous Baroque fountain completed in 1762. It depicts Abundance, Salubrity and Oceanus (sea god, the middle figure) in a shell chariot guided by Tritons (mermen) taming hippocamps (sea horses) An estimated 3000€ are thrown into Trevi Fountain each day. No wonder it was so crowded! Spectacularly beautiful though, and serene despite the bustle. The Pantheon is a Roman Temple turned church dating to around 126 AD. It is one of the best preserved ancient Roman buildings because it has seen continuous use over the millennia. The current Pantheon was built on the site of an even older Roman Temple from the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The original inscription remains on the façade (visible in pic) and says “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, made this building when consul for the third time.” Still the world’s largest un-reinforced concrete dome after almost 2 millennia, the Pantheon’s interior diameter and height to the oculus (hole) are both 43 m (142 ft). Dogs can’t enter churches and it’s supposed to be silent, but there’s no stopping hoards of tourists from talking. Piazza Navona is a beautiful public space full of Baroque Roman architecture including fountains, sculptures and the Obelisk of Dometian. Jeff, Ben and Bosco in front of the Fountain of the Naiads (water nymphs) in Piazza della Repubblica. Steve, Tim, Fran and Bosco in Piazza del Quirinale, outside of Palazzo del Quirinale, one of 3 official Italian Republic presidential residences (it’s 20 times larger than USA’s the White House). Bosco checking out Trajan’s Forum, commemorating Emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian wars. A triumphal column on the right depicts the battle in spiral bas relief. The view across Piazza Venezia toward twin churches Santa Maria di Loreto and Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano and Trajan’s Column. Jeff and Bosco in front of the controversial Altar of the Fatherland, National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, first king of a unified Italy. It was completed in 1925 and destroyed a large area of Capitoline Hill and a medieval village. Many people hate it and nicknames include The Wedding Cake and The Dentures. Bosco checks out Fontana Dell’adriatico (Fountain of the Adriatic) at the base of the Altar of the Fatherland. Bosco giving Jeff some love at the Imperial Forum, an area separate from the Roman Forum that was first developed for politics, religion and economy by Julius Caesar. Bosco admires the Roman Forum, with the Colosseum visible in the background above his eyes. The forum is a huge plaza area filled with the ruins of many ancient Roman temples and government buildings. The view across the Roman Forum toward Palatine Hill. Checking out the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill from a vantage point near the Capitoline Museum on Capitoline Hill. For pictures of another beautiful Canadian dog in Rome, check out Don Bosco, head of a new mafia family? Bosco’s kindred spirit Tikka’s blog.