Our day in Roma was very full! We saw so much. Here is the wrap up!
First, I just have to give you another picture of creative parking because I love it so much!
Have a look at this clock. Is there something different than you expect? We saw this iteration many times.
We drove by Circus Maximus where chariot races were held. Circus Maximus was also involved in a post Julius Caesar power struggle.
Brutus had been instrumental in Julius Caesar’s murder in 44 BC and tried to control the narrative that Caesar was bad so killing him was justified.
Mark Antony had been Caesar’s second in command and had a different perspective. Thus, there was a power struggle between Mark Antony and Brutus because both saw themselves as the next leader of Rome.
Caesar’s heir, teen-aged Octavian saw himself as relevant. He came back and met with Antony who didn’t take him seriously. Antony accommodated Octavian hoping that he would battle Brutus.
The battle was for public opinion. Brutus orchestrated great games held at Circus Maximus including theater, chariot races and wild beasts.
Octavian countered with his own games and had the good fortune to have a comet streak across the sky while they were in progress. Octavian used the comet as a sign that Caesar approved of him as the next leader.
Brutus tried to take over by military force and failed. So did Mark Antony who then went off with Cleopatra.
Octavian became Augustus Caesar in 43 BC and was the first emperor of ancient Rome.
These old palace ruins were where most emperors lived.
This is the Pantheon. Actually it is the third Pantheon, built on the same site as two earlier versions. The first was destroyed by fire in 80 AD and the second was struck by lightning in 110 AD and burned.
This Pantheon is the oldest building in the world that is still in use.
Built in 125 AD, it was a Roman temple. It has served as a Roman Catholic Church since the 7th century.
The pantheon had the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome and no one built a larger dome for over 1000 years. Research about the history and present status of “largest domes” was a rabbit hole I entered but chose to exit quickly. I am satisfied that the dome at the pantheon was unique, for at least a significantly long time, and very impressive.
There is a nine meter wide hold in the roof by design – saving weight at a vulnerable point. It was raining the day we were there and the floor has a drainage system.
We visited the Piazza Navona and it looked similar to many piazzas we saw with great historic architecture surrounding open space with eateries on the perimeter and artisans in the middle.
The Fountain of the Four Rivers is a centerpiece topped by the obelisk of Domitian (that Domitian we learned about in the Colosseum post).
The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch – that being a freestanding arch generally over a road or walkway. This was was dedicated to Emperor Constantine the Great to commemorate victory over Maxentius in 312 AD.
We visited the Trevi Fountain, the largest baroque fountain in Europe and one of the most famous in the world. It was built at the end point of three roads, thus the name Trevi.
The fountain uses one of oldest water sources, once used for Roman baths. In modern day, 2,848,800 gallons of water are recycled daily.
A proper Trevi coin toss is done using your right hand to throw the coin over your left shoulder. Thrown coins are collected daily used for upkeep and charity. The reason to toss a coin is that doing so will bring you back to Roma!
Although we saw most of the major sites, we did missed the Spanish Steps. We’d come again!
At the conclusion of our very long, exhausting, wonderful day in Roma, we still had our group dinner. The food was good, the entertainment was fine but it was just too much. As I wrote earlier, we went to every included and optional excursion and meal on our entire Best of Italy Tour. This is absolutely the only thing we would do differently. We were just too tired to enjoy anything.
Next up: Pompeii!