Monday, June 13, 2016

Traveling in Beautiful Rome, Italy. Part 2

Hello again and thanks for coming back (I hope you're a repeat reader) to read part two of me traveling in beautiful Rome, Italy. If you missed the first part, Traveling in Beautiful Rome, Italy Part 1,  you can read it by clicking this link.

Last time I had covered the Colosseum and was moving on to the Roman Forum. I even gave a little teaser photo at the end. So let's get right into it. 

I was astounded by the sheer enormity of everything in the Roman Forum. The place itself is much larger than you think and the buildings just dwarf you. There honestly isn't a good way to depict the scale in photos. You really must stand there and feel it. That said: *I'm still working to find a new layout, right now the image you see at the top of this post is supposed to appear under here. 

Photo of the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

There, I tried to show you the size. This isn't all of it. It's maybe half. I took this photo from Palatine Hill. Palatine Hill is a giant park, some of which overlooks the Forum. For one low price you can get a ticket that grants you admission to the Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum and is good for 48 hours. Seriously, doing all three of these places in one day is possible, because they are all right next to each other but either make that your entire day or break it up into two days. I did the hill and the Forum in the same day and was totally rushed though Palatine Hill worried that the Forum would close before I got to see it. The first time I saw the Forum it was closed, but I tried to walk up the hill behind it anyway. 

Photo of Church of San Sebastiano al Palatino on Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy

It was the same night I took the photo of the Colosseum you can see in part one. As you can see, I maybe should have waited at the Colosseum for the sky to look like this. I got restless what can I say. Above is the gate to the Church of San Sebastiano al Palatino. I don't know much else about it, but it did make for a pretty photograph and according to Wikipedia it qualifies as being on Palatine Hill. 

Photo of Palatine Hill from the Forum in Rome, Italy

A few days later I finally made it into the Forum. Above you can see the view of a tiny tiny part of Palatine Hill from the Forum. The hill is huge with orchards and churches and ruins of aqueducts and all sorts of goodies even amazing views. It is one of the Seven Hills of Rome and where Romulus founded the original city of Rome.

Ruins atop Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy

If you search around on the Internet for like 5 seconds this photo will come up. Well, probably not this exact photo because I took it and don't have much luck getting into the top search results, but anyway a photo of this place on the hill. 

View of San Gregorio al Celio from Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy

Up next here we have an example of one of the amazing view from the hill. I really wish I could remember the name of this church and might do a Google Image search later to find the name. It was framed so well in the trees and made for a gorgeous view. I think it's the San Gregorio al Celio. Pretty much all the views from the hill were breathtaking, except for the Circus Maximus. I don't know why, but I just really didn't like the Circus Maximus at all, like not even a little bit. It just felt bad to be there. 

Building atop Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy

At the top of Palatine Hill there are a few buildings. I really enjoyed the shadow of the lamp on this one and that is why you are looking at a photo of it now. Otherwise, there isn't much else to say about this photo. As I said, I started to rush through the hill because I was afraid that I would not be able to see all of the Forum. 

Arch of Titus at the Forum in Rome, Italy

Easily the first big thing you see when entering this place is the Arch of Titus. You can't miss it and it is impressive. It's supposed to be. When you kick a lot of ass and your brother is the Emperor of Rome he builds you an arch to remember you victories after you die. There are a lot of arches in what I would call a relatively small area in Rome. 

Arch of Septimus Severus at the Forum in Rome, Italy

The Arch of Septimus Severus is just a little ways away from the Arch of Titus, which is just a little ways from the Arch of Constantine. The cool thing about the Severus arch is that one brother had the other brother's records scratched out after assassinating his brother, brutal. I suppose when your history is carved in marble the only solution to rewrite it is to scratch it out. You look at things like this and then reflect on Shakespeare's plays and think, "wow, he was pretty tame in his portrayals." Or at least I do. 

Ruins at the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

Hey look!! A cool column head, or base, photo. This is for sure much better than the one I took at the Colosseum and didn't include in my last post, the snail photo I did include is actually pretty cool. You can see a fair bit of the stuff aroud the Forum. The intersting thing is that this place was a big swamp for a few hundred years and was essentially "rediscovered." People always knew it was there, it just seems like interest was low. As an example, only the top portion of the Severus Arch was visible when the place was "rediscovered."

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and Temple of Vesta at the Roman Forum in Rome,Italy

In this photo you can easily see the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina on the left. I completely fell in awestruck love with this temple. It is by far my favorite structure at the Forum. I don't know why, nor do I care. It so much larger than this photo can even begin to show. It seemed like each step up to the place was six feet tall. It is a building truly larger than life, right there before your eyes making you feel like an insignificant dwarf of a being. On the right is the Temple of Vesta. It is cool too, but in the "also ran" category for me compared to the Temple of Antoninus. 

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and House of the Vestal Virgins at the Roman Forum in Rome,Italy

Behind the Temple of Vesta is the House of the Vestal Virgins. It was once an impressive building, built by Septimus Severus of surviving-son-assassinating-and-scratching-out-his-brother's-legacy fame. There are many statues in a row in this place. I think only one still has her head and you see her above. So, while these Vestal Virgins may have kept their flowers, all but one lost her head. They didn't all die virgins, after their term of service was over they were allowed to marry and it was a big deal to marry one. 

Photo of the Roman Forum at night

The thing about the Roman Forum is that it is drastically less crowded at night -- because it's closed and all. If you do some internet searching you will see a lot of photos from this perspective. It's not a surprise, it's a good angle and view if you look really close in the background you can see the Colosseum and get a descent idea of scale. When I was visiting the Forum I saw people standing in this spot outside and was desparate to find it. I did -- duh. I even had to walk past the Arch of Janus to get here. The Arch of Janus is by far my favorite and I don't have a single photo I like of it, since it's basically in a parking lot. 

Photo of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy at night

Moving on from the Roman Forum I've kicked in a photo of the Pantheon. It is also quite impressive and the inside is more moving that the outside. This is a lot like the Trevi Fountain in the the sqaure in front was so insanely crowded that I had to return at night to get a photo with less that 10,000 people in it. The funny thing about the inside is that people can't quite grasp that it is a church so they make a ton of noise, like they are at a baseball game or something. As a result every once in a while a loud tone sounds and there is a voice shushes everyone and reminds the disrespectful heathens  that they are in a church. Raphael is buried at the Pantheon and that is very cool. 

Photo of the Villa del Priorato di Maltain Rome, Italy

Now we're moving on to a few more random images while I get ready to tease the last installement of Traveling in Beautiful Rome, Italy Part 2. What you see above appears confusingly random and I think it pretty much is. It is the Villa del Priorato di Malta and this line of people is waiting for a chance to peek though the freaking mail slot in the front gate. It's so popular that there is a food cart there. Honestly, I can only attribute this behaviour to the fact that there is a guide book entry describing how the garden of the Priorato is beautiful. Come on people. If there is any consolation whatsoever it is that the Priorato is on Aventine Hill

Rowers rowing under Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy

While Rome is famous of its seven hills, and agreeable quite a lot more things, it also has its fair share of bridges which span the disgustingly green waters of the River Tiber, it really does look nasty. The teaser photo above shows a very important bridge that I will talk about it part three. The thing you will never get from this photo is that the guy in the single skull was being serenaded by the coxwain in the eight oar shell to 'O sole mio. Classic Italy. Until next time... .

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