Greetings from Rome. Home of the Pope and the Italian people. A place many of you have either visited or would like to visit. I am writing this blog to inspire you to continue desiring to visit this place. It will be worth it. A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes, people-watching on pretty piazzas – these are all an integral part of the Roman experience.
The tempo rises as the heat of the day gives way to the evening cool and the fashionably dressed aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks) crowd descends on the city’s bars and cafes. Restaurants and trattorias hum with activity and cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to cocktail bars and late-night clubs.
Rome’s great gladiatorial arena is the most thrilling of the city’s ancient sights. Inaugurated in AD 80, the 50,000-seat Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was clad in travertine and covered by a huge canvas awning held aloft by 240 masts. Inside, tiered seating encircled the arena, itself built over an underground complex (the hypogeum) where animals were caged and stage sets prepared. Games involved gladiators fighting wild animals or each other.
To enter, we cross the pronaos with its imposing granite column forest. There are sixteen, monoliths, more than 14 metres high, some grey others in pink granite from Aswan, the latter brought from ancient Egypt by transport that would be considered exceptional even today.
The Bronze door at the end of the columns is just as impressive in size, 7 metres high, a real record for the times.
Rome could not be imagined without the remarkable counterpoint of its squares and fountains. Enclosed in the fabric of the renaissance and baroque districts or designed as a spectacular backdrop for the most important roads, the squares of Rome scatter the city with numerous points of historical, architectural and tourist interest.
And there is not a square in Rome without a fountain. Water flows plentifully in the subsoil and gushes forth from the hundreds of small and large fountains, each with its own artistic value and history.
St.Peter’s Basilica, this is a journey into the heart of Christianity where spiritual and artistic excellence is exemplified in the masterpieces of renowned artists such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Raphael.