Ancient Rome, Rome
Walking around the Aurelian's will open your eyes - in many perspectives, for instance you get a (better) sense of Rome's dimensions...
With a friend I have done the walk-around-the-aurelian-wall this summer ('06). The following link will bring you to my flickr photo page where you'll find some documentation too.
Roman Goddess of the moon, free nature, wild beasts and hunting. Her cult centers were holy groves all over Italy (f.e. Capua/Aricia).
She also had a main temple in Rome on the Aventine - the statue which was kept in this temple was a copy of the Artemis of Massalia (which was a copy of the Artemis of Ephesus).
Diana was a patron of women and hunters. She was considered the protector of the lower classes, especially slaves. Her festival on August 13, in both Rome and Aricia was a holiday for slaves and on her feast day, all Romans had to give their slaves the day off. Her temple became a sanctuary for runaway slaves. The late Princess Diana comes to mind often as we read of this ancient Roman Goddess - the eulogy of her brother, Earl Charles Spencer, at the funeral of Pricess Diana noted both striking coincidences and sad similarities.
In psychotherapy and Jungian psychology, Artemis/Diana has come to represent the multifaceted, contradictory, beautiful, violent aspects of the feminine psyche. Her temple at Ephesus was one of the Wonders of the Ancient World and the site of one of Saint Paul's least-successful missions - built probably by Mario Asprucci, based of course on classical models, it is an example of a circular peripteral temple.
Photo 1 - Temple full view
Photo 2 - Ceiling detail - In the center medallion, the goddess Diana with one of her hunting dogs; the octagonal spaces are given over to hunting motifs
Photo 3 - Hunting dogs detail in octagon spaces
Not many tourists go here, but you should try 'Palatine Hill'. The entrance is 11 euro's, but you can see many of the left-overs and ruins of emperor August. Also from here you have a miraculous view at Rome & Forum Romanum.
Never miss to visit this place should you have enough time going around Rome. I suggest take the Archeobus from Termini Station (Pizza del Cinquecento) and book yourself to the next trip to Via Appia Antica. It will be a rolling trip (no stops with the guide, simply viewing while on the bus) with a bi-ligual guide (English and Italian) and you can hop on and hop off at Archeobus stops if you want to visit the museums-catacombs and the like. However, best suggested that you finish the trip (trip takes to an fro (Termini-Aquiducts-Termini) up to the Aquiducts and then hop off on your way back to sites you desire to visit. At the Roman aquiducts, you'll be given 5 minutes to get off the bus and take pictures.
The aquiducts are one of the best engineering works of the Romans that are worth a genius' mind. It used to be a water-system supplying the water needs of the Roman baths. Other than that, the place is also very, very scenic especially on a nice sunny day.
Ticket cost 8euros.
Ponte Sant' Angelo is an ancient bridge that crosses the Tiber River. It was built by Hadrian in 134 A.D. to 138 A.D. to lead from the City of Rome to his newly constructed mausoleum that is now the Castel Sant' Angelo. For many centuries the bridge was used by pilgrims to traverse the Tiber on there way to the St. Peter's Basilica. Today it is strictly a pedestrian crossing commonly used by tourists (and pilgrims still) to get to the Castel and the Vatican. The most notable feature of the bridge is the ten sculptures of angels on the flanking walls of the bridge that were commissioned by Pope Paul III in the 17th century. These execution of these sculptures was overseen by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and are quite interesting. During my visit, the annoying thing about the Ponte Sant' Angelo was the large number of hawkers selling cheap carvings and jewellary from Africa.
Just imagine one of the most important archaeological sites of Rome, you lean out to see better....and see dozens of cats! They lie lazily on the old stones and enjoy the sun, or just chase each other and have fun. They are the cats rescued by some volunteers who also take care of tem and rely on charity to go on with their work. They do a great job because not only rescue all the abandoned cats (even if it?s forbidden to abandon them, and it?s clearly stated on a poster) but give them any kind of medical treatment they would need and castrate them.
The sell small cats related items and organise guided tours of the area with info about both, the archaeological site and the cats.
Who knew you could take a guided tour of the INSIDE of the Pyramid ?
VT friend Antonio Barbieri did!
We agreed to meet in front of the huge (36 meters) pyramid 15 minutes before the scheduled Saturday morning tour. Most guide books say you can’t visit the inside – but you can when the twice monthly tour is given.
To check for the next tour when you’re in town, buy the publication “Roma C’è” at newsstands. Unfortunately, the listings are mostly in Italian – so ask your hotel to make a reservation for you. The tour of the Pyramid was given only in Italian, but interestingly enough, 2/3rds of the visitors in our group were not native speakers of Italian. The tour guide kindly spoke very slowly for us!
After the Roman conquest of Egypt, in 30BC during the reign of Augustus, tourism boomed. Rich Roman tourists were so impressed with the pyramids as burial monuments, several were built in Rome, but only this one survives. It was built, according to the Latin inscription on this marble-clad tomb, in just 330 days. Not much is known about Cestius, but the inscription says he was a praetor (magistrate).
Entrance to the burial chamber requires stooping a bit through a low door and tunnel. Like its much larger Egyptian cousins, this pyramid was broken into and robbed. The chamber is about 6 meters by 4 meters by 5 meters high. While most of the decorative fresco medallions on the white walls have been stolen (literally chiseled out of the wall) there are enough left that you can imagine the original design.
The pyramid was incorporated in the Aurelian Wall, around 271 A.D. The Pyramid is also home to one of Rome’s cat sanctuaries, like the one at Largo Argentina, but smaller.
The Pyramid of Caius Cestius (Pyramide Cestia, pronounced "peer RAH mee day CHESS tee ah) is easy to find, just a little outside of the center of Rome, south of the Aventine Hill, at the Porta Ostiense, also called the Porta San Paulo.
The Pantheon is an enormous dome that stretches 142 feet in diameter. Around the walls are beautifiul paintings and marbel. At the top of this church is a hole, and when it rains or snows the water comes striaght in and hits the marbel floor.
This is a worht while visit even if it isn't raining, however if you get caught, this is certainly worth nipping back to see!
Lovely square right outside it to for coffee (not in the rain!).
The Arch of Constantine is the largest of Rome's many arches. It was built in 315 A.D. by unknown architects. It stands 25m high, 21m wide and 11m deep. The arch was built to celebrate Emperor Constantine victory over Massenzio. Much of the marble used to construct the arch was actually removed from other Roman monuments. This is also the case with some of the decorations. It has been suggested that at the time of the Arch of Constantine's construction, that the skills to build such a monument no longer existed in Rome, hence it was necessary to recycle older sculptures. The arch was built towards the end of Rome's real power and this is quite possibly true. The reliefs featured on the arch are of victories by Mark Aurelius and Constantine. The Arch of Constantine stands roughly in between the Roman Forums(from where I took this photograph) and the Coliseum. For this reason it is easily overlooked however in most locals it would be considered an important monument.
One must to do in Rome is to put your hand in the Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth). The Bocca della Verita is located on a wall at Santa Maria in Cosmedin (one of the finest medieval churches in Rome). Legend has it that if you put your right hand into the mouth while telling a lie, it will snap shut. It was made famous in the movie -Roman Holiday.
Santa Maria in Cosmedin was built over the remains of some Roman buildings in the 6th Century. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was originally cared for by Greek monks (the term "cosmedin" derives from the Greek word for "adorn"). It is well known by its tall and beautiful bell tower, but even more so by the Mouth of Truth.
Santa Maria is located on Via dei Cerchi across the street from the Temple of Vesta.
One of the reasons why ancient Rome became famous is for the quality of its water and for its abundance. The merit goes all to the Roman architects and thir ability in construction. When the water of the wells was not sufficient any more, they found a solution in constructing aqueducts to bring water from the hills. From the IV century a.C., of the aqueducts of the underground water or "tiberine" enjoyed abundant water until the coming of the Goti in the VI century.
Water was used for the public fountains, for privates and for thermal bath. Such equipment, suitable for the idrogeological character of the hill and mountain territory around Rome, was also a direct result of the extraordinary ability acquired regarding hydraulic engineering of the Romans, using the knowledge they acquired from their teachers, the Ethruscans.
Provided with the elementary instruments, with sharp pickax and refined orientation paths, Roman engineers were sublime in conducting water to Rome, even from remote places, sometimes passing the mountains and digging valleys.
A pyramid in Rome? Yes!
Gaius Cestius Build this marble and brick tomb for himself around 1st century BC.
I think you cannot visit it.
Not worth for going there just to see the pyramid, but you can take bus 116 from catacombs to take Line B Piramide metro station and see it.
This well preserved Roman Mausoleum is on Via Salaria a few blocks south of the Villa Borghese. The site is very well preserved and unlike most of Rome its one of the sites you can have mostly to yourself.
The Circus Maximus was a track used primarily for horse-racing. Occasionally it was used on occasion for hunts or mock battles (picture a scene from the Gladiator). It had 300,000 seats and was famous throughout the ancient world. The Circus measured 600 with 200 meters and had a capacity of 320,000 spectators who watched the chariot races that were held there.
All around the city you find old pieces spread like flowers on a field after the rain. This is just found between newer buildings, just under your feet, in the middle of the street. Still under recovery... and not difficult to find: just crossing the Tiber from the Trastevere by the Tiberina island (Ponte Fabricio), walk straight ahead a few tens meters by Via del Portico d'Ottavia, and you'll find some columns on your right (just emerging from the street pavement!). Then look around, follow the column path, and voilà!