Fri. 12 Dec. 2014 Weather:-12 Degrees/Sunny
In our travels of the last few days we were again fortunate to see the Pantheon. While in Rome this is a monument that should not be missed. It is the Roman monument with the greatest number of records: the best preserved, with the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture and is considered the forerunner of all modern places of worship. It is the most copied and imitated of all ancient works. Michelangelo felt it was the work of angels, not men. Where it stands was not chosen by chance, but is a legendary place in the city's history. According to Roman legend, it is the place where the founder of Rome, Romulus, at his death was seized by an eagle and taken off into the skies with the Gods. Before you come to Rome you should do some research into its’ history, it really enhances your appreciation of all around you. It is wondrous to find out how these early builders managed to pour the concrete dome in one piece so that it has not cracked in all these centuries, a skill that was lost for many hundreds of years afterwards. It truly is a wonder of this world.
Piazza Navona in Rome is not far from our lodgings, it is known as a beautiful and charming square lined with restaurants and open-air cafes, once the site of sporting events at Domitian's stadium in A.D. 89 this square contains 3 fountains, the largest and most memorable is Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers with each of the 4 statues representing a river from different continents but today one of the statues was under threat---the bridge of its nose was in direct line to the pooping machine of one of these exotic birds that roam all over the world, I felt sorry for the statue but did not have enough time to wait and see the outcome, as you can imagine it is not a good idea to stand still around here for very long.
Onward we marched to the Vatican Museum; by this time it was just about lunch time and we had been told by our hoteliers that this is the best time to go as everyone turns up early in the morning, guess what, No Line Up, we walked straight in. Wandering around it is sad to see that most people do not look at what they are walking on top off, even in our little hotel room the floor is a masterpiece of art. There are the most intricate of mosaic floors wherever you go and most eyes are on the walls and ceilings ‘missing out’ is what I call it. This time while in the Sistine Chapel we were not chased out, time of the year, I expect, I managed to sneak some photos with my camera in my lap, even though there were lots of guards and my conclusion is again ‘with all this fantastic art on this side of the world why is the Sistine Chapel the most famous?” I still prefer the ‘Hall of the Senate’ in Palazzo Ducale, Venice.
There is so much to see and do in Rome that it would take a year of writing, others have done it, but to really appreciate Rome you have to come and see, give yourself lots of time and you will see why the Italians have a little chip on their shoulders, they have earned it!!!! I love it here but I love HOME better....and it is time to go there tonight.
PS Kate and Eddie, Will give you a ring when we are on the train to Varsity Lakes—Hope all is good with you
Love H & J