cruise:11 ROME


August 1, 2006 - Rome, Italy

Our port of call was Civitavecchia, Italy.

Notice the man on the motorcycle in a suit. The temperature was easily over 100 degrees. The motorcycle is a popular mode of transportation.

After about an hour drive from Civitavecchia (nap time) we arrive in Rome. This is the top of St. Peter's Basilica.

We are on the outskirts of St. Peter's Square heading in! Ahh, our tour guide Aldo!

Entering the square!

It is set up for an appearance by the Pope later that afternoon.

Notice the statues above the columns surrounding the square.

The Bascilica! The canopy is where the Pope will be addressing the crowd from.

St. Peter's Basilica, in the Vatican, stands on the site of the Circus of Nero.

It is the largest Catholic church ever built, consecrated in 1626 after many years of construction under the direction of several famouns architects.

Some of these architects consisted of Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

Among the chief ojrcts of interest are the 5th century bronze statue of St. Peter, the tomb of Peter under the altar,and Michelangelo's Pieta.

Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter's Square) is the most popular in Rome and is said to hold 400,000 people.

Vatican City is a tiny soverign state, little more than 100 acres, that contains the residence of the Pope, the world's largest church and most famous square and many art treasures.

It has its own post office and postage stamps.

It is governed politically by the Pope and protected by a small army of Swiss Guards.

The window from where the Pope always appears.

The square is surrounded by 284 doric columns designed by Bernini.

St. Peter (or Paul)

This line is already long at 9AM to enter the Basilica.

St. Paul (or Peter)

At the top center of the Basilica.

Below the clock.

Mike's favorite rule! (expecially when it's over 100 degrees) They actually had plastic pants you could purchase!

A beautiful shot from the center stairs of the Basilica.

The Tiber River is just beyond.

Above the entrance. Notice the ceiling!

We are now in the foyer area of the Basilisa. (Not actually inside yet)

This is a caption that will appear under the phot

As we look to the left we catch a glimpse of a statue.

The statur close up.

We now enter the main door and catch a glimpse of the massive center altar.

The central ceiling of the Basilica.

Michelangelo's Pieta. A marble sculpture of the Virgin and the dead christ. He was somewhere around the age of 21 when he sculpted the piece.

Another view of the Pieta.

The artwork lining the walls is amazing.

Separate chapels line the central hallway of the Basilica on either side with the Pope's altar at the far end in the center of the central hallway.

Looking up the dome. Notice the iron railings for people to walk.

The Pope's pulpit carved by Bernini.

The ceiling of the Pope's altar.

The caticombs.

One of the many chapels lining both sides of the central hall.


One of the guards as we left the Basilica.

This building housed the Popes before the current the Vatican was built.

According to legend, Romulus and Remus, twin sons of the War God Mars and Rhea, a Vestal Virgin, were abandoned as babies and brought up by a She-Wolf.

They grew up to lead a band of outlaws and adventurers before Romulus killed his brother and founded Rome in 753 B.C.

From 800 to 600 B.C. Rome was ruled by seven Latin and Etruscan Kings, but in 509 B.C. the Romans revolted against the Etruscans and established a Republic.

Soon its influence spread and the entire Italian Peninsula, Spain, Gaul and the Mediterranean fell under its domain.

A long periond of civil war ended with Julius Caesar's defeat of Pompeii in 48 B.C.

In 27 B.C. Octavius Augustus, Caesar's nephew, became Rome's first Emperor, during whose reign many famous buildings were erected.

Some of Rome's most spectacular structures were built during the Flavian Dynasty, including the colosseum, the Arch of Titus and the Forum of Trajan.

Rome was gradually transformed to Christianity duringt the 4th century, causing much social turmoil. The Papacy developed into the Supreme Ecclesiastical Power of the West.

Eventually Rome's over-extended empire became top heavy with its own bureaucracy and in 395 A.D. the Empire was split in two and soon fell into decline.

By the 5th century A.D. Rome's grandeur had long past and the Dark Ages dexcended upon Rome, with invasions by Goths, Lombards and Franks.

It wasn't until the 15th century that a resurgence took place and Roome progeresses rapidly.

In 1814 it was annexed to the French Empire by Napoleon, but in 1870 Italian troops recaptured the City and restored it to the Kingdom of Italy.

A year later the Capital was moved from Florence to Rome.

In 1922 Mussolini began the Fascist Regime that lasted 20 years.

At its fall Rome was occupied by the Germans until liberated by the Allies in 1944.

In 1946 italy was declared a Republic by referendum.

Many Romans today are employed in tourist related industries, as well as in government, film-making and some other small scale industries.

The citizens of Rome still enjoy a relaxed way of life, and live and love life to the fullest.

It is believed locally that on the last day of the world the Romans will throw a great farewell party, a gastronomic feast with wine flowing from the City's many fountains - La Dolce Vita!

Rome is unique because of its many fine buildings that span so many centuries of history and it's richer in masterpieces, both architectural and artistic, than most any other city in the world.

The Fontana di Trevi!

The Trevi Fountain located on Via Della Muratte is one of the most famous of Rome's fountains.

Completed in the 1700s the fountain combines mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water.

Legend has it that one must throw a coin into the water to ensure a return trip to Rome.

The square around the fountain is crowded!

The crowd surrounding the fountain.

Look, it's the colosseum through the alley!

Looking over towards the Forum next to the Colosseum.

The Colosseum (72 A.D.) at Piazzale del Colosseo is Ancient Rome's best known monument.

A masterpiece of classical architecture, the Colosseum is an enormous ampitheater where gladiators, Christians, and wild beasts once battled to death.

It was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and had bathrooms.

Only about 1/3 of the original building remains.

It was faced with marble and decorated with stuccos.

Much of the marble was stolen during times of unrest.

Awnings provided shade for the 50,000 spectators.

The outer hallway inside the Colosseum.

From the outer hallway looking into the center.

A wooden floor was placed over the underground rooms/cages.

Animals were caged under the flooring. Performers/gladiators could cross underneath the floor.

They would often flood this area and have ships in the colosseum.

The Arch of Constantine, next to the Colosseum, was erected in 315 A.D.

The Arch honored the Emperor's victory over Pagan forces and Rome's conversion to Christianity as a result of Constantine's battlefield vision of a cross.

Ruins of the Forum.

The absolute HOTTEST day on earth EVER!!


Buildings outside the Colosseum.

Arch of Constantine

Close ups of the Arch

Ruins of the forum.

The Sacred Way was the route followed by religious and triumphal processions.

We follow the Sacred Way towards the central area of the Forum.

The Arch of Titus was erected in AD 81 by the Emperor Domitian in honor of the victories in battle of his brother and father in Judea.

Underneath the arch.

Close ups of the artwork.

The Roman Forum was the heart of Ancient Rome.

It was once the political, commercial and social center of Rome.

There were public meeting halls, shops, and Temples. Today its just a mass of ruins which began deteriorating as Rome declined.

Did we mention it was HOT?!

Part of the Senate building.

Remains of the Senate building.

At one point Italy owned everything in white.

A surprise in the cabin!

A nice Italian sunset after a long hot day.

A bit windy!

The moon.

Goodnight sun.

Album created by album tool a MarginalHack by Dave Madison on Mon Mar 19 18:01:34 2007