Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ROME PART II


Our days in Rome were filled with fascination,
fuelled by good coffee... 




At Piazza Navona we enjoyed the Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Bernini.


The shape of the Piazza is the clue to its origins.
It was the site of the Stadium of Domitian, 1st century AD, a place where ancient Romans came to watch games, competitions in athletics and even Latin poetry.  It was abandoned in the 4th century, used for building materials, and the cavea (seating section) built over, but retaining the shape of the arena.



Nearby, we found an archeological site. 
In 1936, during demolition of some houses by the stadium, it became possible to uncover a portion of the cavea,  which has been retained as a museum.  Many sculpture fragments have been found and are displayed, now joined by relics found in other basements around the Piazza.



Model of the stadium as it would have been in Domitian's day..


I am normally extremely careful not to touch any displayed work,
but here it seemed OK to put my hand on the ancient wall -
and feel a link to the past..


Yes, we are Australians, but we are of European origin, our forebears coming here in the 19th century.
Now we walked in the steps of our classical ancestors...






Don't think we didn't have an Italian horse and buggy ride...


We chose to have a private tour on our final day in Rome...


The Colosseum, aka the Flavian Amphitheatre..


nearby the Arch of Constantine..

Our excellent guide, Alessandra, is a BA (Art History), just like me!
We certainly enjoyed her company, and had a wonderful three hours at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.





Gladiators in combat..


A model of the underfloor 'backstage' area, showing the mechanism for the 80 lifts which brought men and animals up to the arena.
300 slaves worked down there, in the dark and heat...


A section of floor has been replaced, to give an idea of how it would have been.


We walked away, on the Via Sacra:


I was enthralled to know these are the very stones on the road where ancient heros rode in Triumphal procession...



This temple is the site to which the body of Julius Caesar was brought for cremation.




And here is a rare sighting of the man who made it all possible:


Mr C, my husband and very best friend, pondering on the soul of Rome.

Arrivederci Roma!

XXXXX

33 comments:

  1. Dear Patricia,
    What a wonderful holiday you had indeed. Italy is a wonderful country.
    This post of Rome brought back memories for me. My time in Rome, when I went was limited .. I was staying with a niece. I also have a cousin who lives there. And my daughter worked in Rome for 3 years.
    It has so much to see. I did not get to see as much as you did.. what wonderful photos you have taken. You have shown us so much.
    We were both doing ancient history and visiting museums during summer. I saw things in Lisbon , I have never seen. Amazing, and I live here.
    Most enjoyable. looking forward to more.. big hugs val xxxx

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    1. Thank you Val. Rome does have much to see, and we of course only had a few days. We did other things as well, of course. I will do more posts, but not sure where to go with that! That is fun that we both did the ancient history at the same time - we both have enquiring minds, Val. I am sure I would enjoy Lisbon very much too. big hugs for you too xxxx

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  2. You have awoken my memories of Rome - a wonderful celestial city with something for everyone - history, antiquity, palaces, churches, architecture, gardens, sculpture, food - perfecto.
    There is never enough time to do everything that Rome has to offer, but it looks as if you made a very good job of covering much of it.
    A stand out moment for me will always be the Pantheon because of its supberb dome which 2000 years later is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome - how amazing were the Romans.

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  3. I am glad to bring back your Roman memories, Rosemary. Yes, there is much to see in Rome, and we tried to at least have a taste of everything. Not everything can make it into the blog, and we did go to the Pantheon and admire that astonishing dome from the street outside. However the crowd was so overwhelming that day that we moved on to the Piazza Navona. We are proud of ourselves that we made it through the trip, despite some physical and health issues which made the going difficult. It was the trip of a lifetime, for us.

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  4. Patricia, I did not know about the underground museum at the Piazza Navona...more proof that I have to go back to Rome. The past feels so accessible all through the historic centre, like one could step back onto it. Wonderful post!

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    1. The coins say: you must go back, Val.
      I loved the feel of the accessible past, if fact I felt I was in a time machine sometimes. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Rome - The Eternal City!
    There is something about being in Rome, apart from the ancient ruins and archaeology.
    Like you Patricia I thought how fortunate I was to walk the same paths and feel the greatness of Rome - imagining it in it's heyday.
    The Forum and the Colosseum really made me shiver thinking of the scheming and plotting that went on in the former and the sheer brutality of the latter.
    Our last time there was for New Year and there was a very different atmosphere. It was winter and families had arrived from all over Italy to be with family in Rome - it was special. On one particular day having lunch at a nice restaurant, people at the next table asked where we came from. We said New Zealand and as it happened the men were keen rugby enthusiasts and loved the All Blacks, they shared their home made Lemoncello with us to celebrate!!!

    I will always have a longing to go back!
    As they say 'All Roads lead to Rome!
    Arrivederci Patricia!
    Hugs
    Shane

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience of Rome, Shane. I think it would be very nice to go in winter, as it was extremely hot when we were there (34 deg). Football unites, doesn't it...Mr C is wearing the cap of his team, as is his habit when travelling, and always some Aussie guy comes up (it happened at the Colosseum, I think) and instantly they are back home talking about the game.
      I can understand your longing to go back, and suspect we will be the same. hugs across the ditch
      P.

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  6. When I first visited Rome I had a Eurail Pass and all summer to travel. There were so many times that I made my way to the train station, just to change my mind and return to that Roman camping ground. As an Accounting Major, (having switched from Chemical Engineering because in those days females were seldom hired and always paid less) I had none of the background. I just knew that it "blew my mind" as I have always told my children. When I took my daughter a few years ago as a break to her studies in Paris, she shared my excitement. (She almost changed to studying Italian.) Thank you so much for the more educated response to what is such an awesome place. I feel as if I'm there all over again.

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    1. How wonderful to have been in Italy all summer as a young woman, Beryl. I'm sure my reaction would have been the same at that age.
      How I would like to have had my daughter along too, that must have been a fun trip too. Thank you for calling my post an educated response....but you might have to look away when I move on to the trival aspects, he he

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  7. Oh Patricia!!! It is all so amazing and beautiful, the history, the buildings, everything. I am so pleased for you that you got to go and that you enjoyed it so much. Loved the picture with the "romans" just hanging out too! Fantastic!!!! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy. We are so pleased that we did it all, and came home in one piece! I was amused by the costumed romans too, but our guide said they are tricksters who offer to pose with you for photos, after which they demand a lot of money. So I just took their picture while pretending it was the colosseum I was really after... All part of the fun.xx

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  8. Have been enjoying your trip through your photo's. You certainly packed a lot in. I think the private tour of Rome is a genius idea. There is just so much to see and so much to take in.

    Darla

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    1. Thank you Darla, and what a shame we only had the private tour on our very last day! We will do more of it in future.
      My brain is still trying to process everything we saw - I am now having dreams about ancient sites of my own creation...

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  9. Thank you I have enjoyed your holiday ,I really want to visit now it looks so spectacular

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    1. It is thoroughly recommended to take a holiday on the opposite side of the world, Heldasland!
      Thank you for your comment.

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  10. Hi Patricia,

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog! Your photo's of Rome look impressive. I would have loved to accompany you ;-) Never been there myself!

    Have a lovely day!

    Madelief x

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    1. Thank you also, Madelief. I am sure you would have loved Rome too. Next time we must go further north, perhaps to The Netherlands? xx

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  11. Beautiful photos Trish! What a wonderful tour you had. It must feel amazing treading on such ancient ground. Oh my I could have reached in and had a sip of that delicious looking cup of coffee xx

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    1. Thank you Michelle, Yes, it was a wonderful tour, and at our own pace (ie, slow). That was delicious coffee from Antico Caffe Della Pace, a lovely and well-known old cafe near Piazza Navona. xx

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  12. Your pictures are beautiful and show so much for us. Thank you ! Are you sure you had enough leisure time for yourself?
    I´ve never made it to Rome yet. Maybe, maybe some day. Now who was it who said: To see Rome and die..? Somehow it just occurred to me..
    I gather that by now you are safely back home : )!

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    1. Thank you Mette, we did take a rest day in each city, and we certainly needed it: slept in, did some laundry, short walk, sleep again...
      Yes, who did say that re Rome? Anyone?? Hope we don't die now..
      We are home now, and find we are still tired though the jet lag has dissipated. I'm thinking of a few posts reviewing aspects of the trip. Might as well make the most of it, eh?

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  13. Patricia,what memories your beautiful photos have brought back,I was 16 on my first visit to Rome (have visited many times since) the atmosphere was like going back in time totally overwhelming to the senses!! Thank you for sharing your holiday.

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    1. Lucky you Judith, to have visited Rome many times. We really only saw such a small piece of the Roman experience, and would love to return some day. Certainly overwhelming is a good description. Thank you for your comment.

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  14. What a wonderful trip! It will take you time to absorb everything you've seen and experienced. Thank heavens for photos to help nurture those memories. What a place Rome is! So much history it's almost overwhelming!

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  15. Hi Val, yes, a wonderful trip. You are absolutely correct that it takes time to absorb, and I am going through the photos which thankfully fill in the information for me. Yes, the history was probably all we really saw, feeling as if in a time machine, despite the fact we already knew it very well in an academic way. I would like to go back, stay longer...

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  16. I've just been browsing through all your photos in Blogger's Lightbox, which really shows them off to the best advantage, Patricia. I loved the Forum, with all the remains of shops, houses, law courts and temples. One could really imagine Roman daily life going on there. Have you ever read Lindsey Davis' Falco novels, set in Imperial Rome? They bring the archaeology vividly to life.

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    1. Dear Perpetua, What is this Blogger Lightbox of which thee speak?
      You really are a source of technological inspiration...
      I so agree about the Forum, which I also found very exciting. While I have not read Lindsey Davis Falco (but must rectify soon), I certainly felt the presence of the ancients. Studying ancient Roman history was my very first University subject, and I loved it!

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    2. It's a feature of Blogger which you have enabled, Patricia. Just double-click (sometimes even treble-click) on the photos in your post and you'll see them enlarged on a black background which really enhances them and helps you see the details.

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  17. Beautiful pictures from a beautiful town! Rome is really fantastic...
    Have a great weekend.
    Titti

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    1. Thank you Titti, and welcome to my blog. Rome certainly was fantastic, we loved it all!

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  18. ahhh la città eterna !
    Rome, is always Romer, I hope you enjoy your time while there !
    saluti and arrivederci :-)

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    1. We had the most fabulous time in the eternal city, thank you. I sang Arrivederci Roma in my mind as we flew away, home to Australia.
      We have precious special memories of our time in Italy.

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