We had a relaxing start to the day. After lunch and siesta at the apartment we headed to the Pantheon. There was quite a line but it wasn't moving. Come to find out it was closed for a service. Once the service was over the line moved quite quickly.
What a beautiful church. The Pantheon as it stands today was built by Emperor Hadrian in 120 BC. The original Pantheon was built in 27 BC by Emperor Augustus' son-in-law, Marcus Agrippa. The original temple was destroyed by fire. It was a Roman temple dedicated to all (pan) gods (theos). After the fall of Rome it became a Christian church.
The columns on the outside in front are massive. They are each 40' tall and 15' around and made of 1 piece of marble. How did they ever erect each of them? Once inside, the dome steals the show. It was the first of its kind and became the model for the dome at St. Peter's built by Michelangelo and the Duomo in Florence built by Brunelleschi. The Pantheon dome is possibly the most influential architectural design in art history. The mathematical equations that had to be used to make it so it didn't collapse are unimaginable. There are many impressive statues, sculptures & paintings inside as well. The floors are also works of art.
The grand buildings and monuments bring about mixed feelings. They are awe inspiring but then you think about the money spent to create them and how much good it could have done elsewhere. Those that were very wealthy and powerful proved their status by building grande and glorious buildings. It is hard to believe that the Pantheon, along with the other grand buildings in Italy have remained intact for all these centuries.
For dinner we went to Seminario's, a place we saw last night on our walk, it was on Seminario which is the street a Seminary is on. Dinner was ok but not great. An interesting thing-I asked if I could take the rest of mine. The waitress took my plate but didn't bring back my food. We finally decided she thought I wanted her to take my plate away-oh well! When she brought our bill she also brought the rest of my pasta in a small container. We are both enjoying the homemade pasta but there doesn't seem to be much flavor in the sauces or other dishes. We are surprised at the lack of spices in the dishes. Bruschetta equals a piece of toasted bread with olive oil on it. You have to order the toppings separate.
We walked to the Victor Emmanuel Monument on the way home & climbed what we thought was the Michelangelo steps but when we got to the top we couldn't get to Capitoline Hill. Oh Well! We still had a nice view of Rome and a good work out!
After a day in the city and seeing the sites, we sure enjoy the quiet of our balcony.