Thalia wasn't feeling too good this morning, so Ron and I took off early...like 8 a.m. and walked to the Vatican. It was a beautiful, cool morning.
I think it opened at 9 a.m. so the line wasn't too long when we got there.
Ron is a museum guy...which can just about drive a non-museum person crazy. (Like Joshua)
Ron would read every single thing if he could...which is how he started our time here. I told him if he continued at this pace, we wouldn't be half way finished by the time it closed.
These are the reliefs on some of the many sacarsophagus' the museum held.
This was so sweet!
Out in one of the courtyards...
This is the "Sphere with a sphere."
I'm not sure the significance of it, but it's beautiful!
There are so many galleries. Statues are everywhere and they're amazing!
This statue, The Laocoon and His Sons, found in 1506.
This is carved from 4 pieces of marble...you'd never know it by looking at it!
It has always been the piece of ancient sculpture most admired by artists right down to the present day. The sculpture dates from the 1st century B.C.
This is unusual to me...a sculpture of a baby!
There is a long hall of tapestries...
all with gorgeous ceilings...
This is a hall of maps...
From here, we headed into the Sistine Chapel.
There are no photographs allowed in there.
This is part of one of the paintings in the center of the ceiling. (I took it off Wikipedia)
It's the finger of God and Adam..
This is also from Wikipedia....
From there, we had a shortcut to get into St. Peter's.
Not too far inside is the Pieta...and it is nothing short of amazingly beautiful.
Michelangelo sculpted this when he was 24 years old.
If you haven't heard of the Pieta, it's Mary with the dead body of Jesus.
The inside of St. Peter's is a masterpiece.
This was carved by Bernini. It's a monument to Alexander VII.
He was 80 years old when this was finished!
St.Peter is buried directly under the high alter.
The Dome of St. Peter's.
This was designed by...Michelangelo...
The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral in Rome and the dome of our capital building in Washington, D.C. are both modeled after this one!
I was standing right outside St. Peter's when I took this of St. Peter's square. You can see they're setting up chairs for....???
The square can hold 60,000 people!
This is a member of the Swiss Guard. Their uniforms are so colorful...but this guard has on a jacket since it was pretty cold! The Swiss Guards are responsible for the safety of the Pope. They are the 'Worlds smallest army." They are the personal escorts of the Pope and they watch over Vatican City.
Bernini also designed these columns for St. Peter's square. These columns look like 2 enormous arms, welcoming people to St. Peter's Basilica.
As we were leaving Vatican City, Ron wanted me to take a picture of their telephone booths!
Back to the apartment, Thalia was feeling better, so off we went!
We decided to first head to the Pantheon!
First we walked by Piazza Navona.
Piazza Navona is an oblong shape. Originally, there was a racetrack around it that was built in the year 80!
This fountain in the Piazza is called the Four Rivers Fountain.
It was designed by Bernini.
There are 4 'river gods' on the four sides. Each one represents the four continents that were known in 1650. These are the river gods of the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube, and the Rio de la Plata of Uruguay.
Next stop: The Pantheon.
This dome is one that inspired the dome of St. Peter's!
The oculus, or this hole in the dome, is the only light source to the temple. It's completely open. Believe it or not, it is 30 feet across.
The floor is slanted toward the edge so the rainwater will drain.
The Pantheon was a Roman temple dedicated to all of the gods. "Pan" means 'all' and "theos" is 'gods.' This is about 2000 years old and has been in continuous use. After the fall of Rome, this became a Christian church.
So here we were, looking around the Pantheon, and we hear "Thalia!"
There was a friend of hers from school!
Her Papa wanted a hug...
Leaving the Pantheon, first passed an Egyptian obelisk. This was originally set up as a sundial. The building behind it is Italy's parliament.
From there, we passed through Piazza Colonna. Here is this column of Marcus Aurelius. It's been here since the year 193. On top is a statue of St. Paul. Originally, it had a statue of Aurelius on top. In 1589, the statue was replaced with one of St. Paul.
The building on the left is the home of Italy's Prime Minister.
We were following Rick Steve's guidebook and one of his walks through Rome. It led us through this shopping area as we were headed to the Trevi Fountain.
There is a legend...myth...that if you throw a coin into the fountain using your right hand and throwing it over your left shoulder, that that will insure you come back to Rome. We, of course, did it! This is my 3rd time to Rome, but I'd definitely love to come back.
I read that about 3000 Euros are thrown into the fountain every day. People try to steal coins but the money is often used to help the needy.
The fountain has been closed for awhile for renovation. We had been there about 5 minutes...and there was no water coming out of the fountains. All of a sudden, water started, people started cheering. I'm wondering if this was the first time the water had been turned back on?
From the Trevi, we took following our guide, Joshua!
We were heading toward the Spanish Steps.
This is the sign for the Spanish Steps...well, the Spanish Steps are off of this Piazza.
I was so excited for everyone to see this...another iconic landmark.
Well, it was fenced off! RATS!
This fountain is at the bottom of the steps. It's official name is Fontana della Baraccia...or The Fountain of the Ugly Boat!
We sat there for a little while and took a few pictures!
This is what they look like when they're not fenced off. I took this off Wikipedia. See the stairs on the far left side? We were able to walk up there, but it definitely didn't look like this because of all the scaffolding and fencing.
We climbed the stairs and were given great views of Rome.
We passed a park...I don't remember the name..
but there was this overlook which was also gave great views, especially with the sun starting to set.
The sun was starting to go down...and I was getting different light the differing ways I turned/used the camera.
These cobblestone streets are all over Rome. We saw them repairing some streets...and they were repairing them with more like this!
He and his Pop were deciding which way to go!
Another great day in Rome!
(Except for the Spanish Steps being blocked!)