RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Rome vacations"

Piazza Navona, Rome

Navona holds one of the finest examples of Bernini’s fountain work: the Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) built in 1651. Arrayed around the central rocky mass supporting the almost-obligatory obelisk are four large sculptures executed by his students. One of them, the Ganges, was sculpted by Claude Poussin who would later become a master under his own name.

Villa Borghese, Rome

Located north of the Spanish Steps, the entrances are above the Piazza del Poppolo and the Porta Pinciana. Villa Borghese is 80 hectares of greenery containing aviaries, museums and a stunning artificial lake. A vineyard in the 16th century, Cardinal Borghese had it transformed into a park with geometric landscaping ala Versailles.

Fountains in Rome

The Trevi is unquestionably the most famous, but it has many competitors for the attention of Rome’s many visitors. The Fountain of Triton (Fontana del Tritone) is just one stellar example. Designed by the renowned Bernini in 1642, it is a masterpiece in the Baroque style.

Domus Aurea, Rome

The original palace and related structures covered 350 acres that included a man-made lake, vineyards and the house itself. Terming the villa a house, however, is misleading. It contained 300 rooms, but is thought to have had no sleeping quarters. None that were intentional, at least. No doubt many passed out where they were during the parties for which Nero was famed.

The Pantheon in Rome

Nearly two thousand years after its birth the Pantheon in Rome is as stable today as when it was first built. Yet it was constructed without the benefit of machines or modern tools. Nor did the Pantheon engineers have the advantage of modern transportation methods. All the materials were floated down the Tiber and moved to the site by man and animal on carts of the period.

Forum Romanum in Rome

Composed of a dozen temples, arches and other structures, it was rightly called the Forum Magnum (the Great Forum) by those who had many to choose from. Built on drained marsh land, it provided a focal point for commerce, legal administration and social interaction for the citizens and rulers of Rome.

Vatican Museums in Rome

The Etruscan Museum, founded in 1837 is one of the later additions, holding many excavated samples of ancient works unearthed in southern Etruria and elsewhere. It is nearby the mosaics and ancient sarcophagi from the glory days of the Roman Empire held in the Egyptian Museum, which it resembles.

There is the Gallery of Tapestries, a collection of wall coverings from the 15th through the 17th centuries. First exhibited in 1814 these extraordinary weaves would be welcomed in any of the major museums of the world.

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

The building is high for the period, over 135m (445ft) from floor level to the top of the cross, topped by the famous dome. The dome, which is an important element of the skyline of Rome, is an architectural marvel inside and out. Designed by the great Renaissance artist and chief architect Michaelangelo, it was adapted from a double-shell design by San Gallo.

Sistine Chapel in Rome

The chapel itself is on the small side, only 41m (135 ft) by 13.4m (44ft). But within these walls are works of art that would happily be acquired by any of the major art museums in the world. All have benefited from a large restoration project carried out from 1979 to 1999.

Many famous names are represented and many others that should be better known. There are several Botticelli works here, including the 1482 Life of Moses and The Punishment of Korah. Alongside and nearby are Perugino, Ghirlandaio and Rosselli, master artists of the period.

Colosseum in Rome

Looking over the huge arena from atop its 48m (157ft) height, it isn’t difficult to imagine the show below as if it had happened only yesterday. True, the red brick arches are crumbling and the slaves and lions are long gone. But this popular Roman site remains alive with the ghosts of battles past and the many tourists in its present.

Spanish Steps in Rome

Spanish Steps or Scalinata di Spagna were constructed between 1723 and 1725 and are 137 steps arrayed near the Piazza di Spagna. It’ among Rome’s most frequently visited tourist attractions.

Italy vacation ideas

The highlight of Tuscany is probably Florence, which is dominated by its outstanding cathedral. The Duomo towers over the city, having a massive impact.