Monday, January 16, 2012

3 Must See, Do and Try in Rome are ...

... the Pantheon!

Yes, the Colosseum, Vatican, all the unique little piazza's and so much more were all wonderful places to visit, but the Pantheon stopped me in my tracks.

The proud, strong yet wonderfully quiet presence of historical architecture built in 118-125AD is located on the small Piazza della Rotunda.  There's a fountain in front and I was eager to walk between the columns that still stood before going into the Rotunda with its magnificent coffer ceiling.

Space is very limited in this piazza, but the mood was great.  There were two restaraunts with outdoor sitting, perfect place to sit back and enjoy the view.  It looked like the other buildings higher floors that overlooked the Pantheon were residences - how wonderful would that be to live there.

Inside was dark and spare of sculptures, but that was okay, the ceiling was where the magic was for me.  Reminded me why I love reading the ancient texts and enjoying the art.

My pictures of the Pantheon didn't turn out so I borrowed the external shot from Virgin Media and the one to the left from Italy Guides.

... the Belvedere Torso [1C BC] in the Vatican Museum.

Powerful.  That's the word that comes to mind when I walked up to this glorious figure.

He sits in the middle and center of the Room of the Muses floor with his back facing the entrance [he's missing his backside and there's a bit of a lion skin draping down the pedestal] and there's no hint of what you'll find on the other side.

I'm not someone who takes the crotch shot on purpose, but in my defense, I was so surprised he didn't have a fig leaf covering his bits and pieces, I clicked!

The Vatican Museum was full of incredible pieces, including one of Marsyas, and had gorgeous outdoor space to explore, but if asked what my favorite museum was in Rome, it would be the Galleria Borghese.  If you ever go to this wonderful city, definitely visit both of these institutions.

... the Grottee del Teatro di Pompeo.

A first stop on the day we arrived was a smallish restaurant tucked in a nook off of the bustling Corso Vittorio in the Centro Storico section and, even though their time to serve lunch was over, they still cooked for us.  We shared a bottle of their wine and prepared to see Rome.  After all the meals we shared throughout Italy, I think this one was my favorite and, unfortunately, I don't remember what it was called but I know it was some sort of gnocchi with spinach and cheese and a light sauce dribbled over the top.  Yeah, yum!

Anyway, I don't do this often but it was very handy to do so, here's a tip for someone who plans to see this large city and doesn't want to drive - no way was I going to do that!  We bought a ticket for the hop-on hop-off buses and used it like a taxi!  It was a great way to see the all the sights and not have to deal with trains or taxis.


Mary Kirkland said...

sounds like you had a good time and love the pictures.

Tilly Greene said...

It was fun, although Rome was my least favorite place. Big and noisy, but the people were so very nice :-)