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Italian trip 2008

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Italian trip 2008 - Page Text Content

S: The Headrick's Head to Rome

BC: Made for you by Alex Headrick

FC: Italy Trip 2008 The Headrick's go to Rome

1: We had offered the newly wed Humistons to use our apartment in Italy for their honeymoon. My aunt, the ever worrier thought that we should also go and be there if they need anything, so looking at the chance to have our own second honeymoon, we headed to Rome, Italy together for the first time. | waiting for the plane to Rome...

2: Travelling | byFOOT | a | The Colosseum

3: The Foro Romano, a place once of business and trade, central to the Roman lifestyle.

4: The Colosseum is so big, it's actually hard to imagine unless you've been there. The lower part, pictured in the middle was where both the human gladiators and the animals that they fought were held. It actually still smells as if the animals had just been there. Kevin and I opted not to take a tour, but instead we popped in and out of other peoples and used our headphones. The most fascinating part was about a room called the "vomitorium" where when the Romans feasted too much, they could pick up a peacock feather, vomit it up, and eat some more! Who knew the Romans were the first bulimics! It attests to the lavishness, even in their culinary habits that they were used to! | Colosseum

5: The Arch of Constantine was erected to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD. This event is a highly important one for Christian history. According to contemporary historians, the night before the battle Constantine had a vision. He saw the symbol of chi-rho (the first letters of "Christ" in Greek) - or the cross in some accounts - in the sky with the words, "By this sign, conquer." Facing an army larger than his own, Constantine was happy to try anything. He had his soldiers carry the Christian symbol into battle, and he was victorious. So Constantine adopted Christianity for himself and declared the religion officially tolerated throughout the Roman Empire. With Constantine's conversion, Christian persecution ended and the development of Christendom began. Thus, the event celebrated by the Arch of Constantine was a major turning point in the history of the western world.

6: The Foro Romano

8: the view from Palatine Hill | seeing the city from above

9: Took us over 20 tries to get this photo, but we finally got it!

10: Palatine Hill

11: The best part about Italy is the food, from homey family owned restaurant in non touristry districts to pizzerias and rosticcerias, and of course the Gelaterias, the food made the trip.

12: The whole Colosseum area is full of things to see. Right down the street is the Vittorio Manuel monument, dedicated to the man who united Italy. It looks alot like a wedding cake and is commonly known by that name to tourists.

14: The Fountain of Trevi An old superstition says that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you'll come back to Rome someday.

15: The Vatican

16: Viva La Befana! On January 6th the Vatican has an "Epiphany" celebration for the day that the wiseman's supposedly visited the Christ child. Kevin and I stumbled on this parade accidentally but really enjoyed it. | La Befana is an old witch like Santa who was said to have been visited by the wise man. They told her where they were going but she was too busy sweeping to go with them. Later she realized what she had missed and now wonders the earth giving presents to little boys and girls in search of the Christ child. | Buon Epiphany!

18: more of the parade

19: The Inside

20: Castle De Sant'Angelo

21: The Vatican Museums

22: The Vatican Museums were full of famous and beautiful sculptures, paintings, murals, reliefs, and even a mummy! You could walk in there for hours and not see everything. The vatican has one of the most expansive collections of egyptian art, but many of the rooms are closed off for renovation at any one time.

24: The Artwork!

25: San Giovanni ~the first Vatican~

26: The history of Pantheon dates back to 27 B.C., when it was first conceived by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to the Gods (Pantheon meaning, of course, "all the gods"). Over 150 years later, emperor Hadrian oversaw its completion, and is credited with turning it into one of the most recognizable architectural works in the world. The cavernous space rises 142 feet into the air while its base measures the same - a perfect sphere astride a corresponding cylinder with an immense bronze ceiling. A hole at the dome's apex allows daylight into the majestic main room, a shifting spotlight that slowly fades into twilight and allows no defense against the rain or the occasional Roman snowfall. Pantheon history states that the interior of the roof is intended to symbolize the heavens, and the giant hole above is supposedly the eyes of the gods. | The Pantheon

27: The Mouth of Truth! | In the portico of the Paleochristian church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, at the foot of the Aventine hills, a Roman statue is conserved that has attracted the attention and curiosity of tourists from all over the world. It is the "Bocca della Verit", which in English means the Mouth of Truth, an ancient stone mask from the Classical period that represents a river god with an open mouth, wide eyes and a flowing mane of hair. The reason for its unshakable fame is a rather macabre legend associated with the mask since ancient times. If a liar puts their hand inside its mouth, they will lose it. This legend probably originates from Roman times. It is said that the rich wife of a Roman noble was accused of adultery. The woman denied the accusations, but her husband wanted to put her to the test by making her hand inside the stone mouth. Knowing perfectly well that she was lying, the woman used a very clever strategy. In front of a group of curious bystanders who had gathered around the Mouth of Truth, the man who was actually her lover embraced her and kissed her. She pretended that she didn't know him and accused him of being a madman and the crowd chased him away. When she put her hand into the mouth, the woman declared that she had never kissed any other man apart from her husband and the poor madman who had just kissed her. In this way she was certain that she hadn't lied and her hand was saved. The betrayed husband saved her honor, but the Mouth of Truth lost its credibility and it is said that since that day it no longer carried out its function as a right and unappeasable judge. The mask is so famous that even Hollywood honored it in a film about the city called Roman Holiday. In one of the most memorable scenes, Gregory Peck, in front of a terrified Audrey Hepburn, daringly challenges the mask by putting his hand inside its mouth.

28: Immediately after the Temple of Caesar, the religious area of the Forum begins with the Regia and Temple of Vesta. The Regia was originally the residence of Numa Pompilius, the Second King of Rome, but it later became the place where the highest religious authorities carried out their function The building housed a shrine to Mars and was the place where the Pontifex Maximus, the High Priest, kept the archives, the calendar and the annuals of Rome. You can see just a few columns remaining of the small circular Temple of Vesta, one of the oldest and most important holy places of Rome. This was the ancestral hearth of the Roman Nation, the place where the objects that Aeneas had bought from Troy were kept, and the temple that was guarded by the Vestal Virgins, the only female priesthood in Rome. These six maidens were the King's daughters during the archaic era, but were later chosen from among the daughters of noble families. They entered the temple at the age of 6 and, with a vow of virginity, remained a priestess for 30 years. If the vow was broken, the Vestal was buried alive and the man was flogged to death in front of the Curia. In exchange for the rigid rules that governed their lives, the Vestal Virgins enjoyed semi-divine status and many privileges: they were not responsible to their fathers' control but answered to the Pontifex Maximus alone, they had financial security and prestige, they traveled about the city in a carriage, they had reserved seats at shows and performances, they took part in all public ceremonies and they could be buried inside the city walls. You can still see the house of the Vestal Virgins just behind the Temple. This was abandoned only after 394 AD when the Emperor Theodosius abolished the pagan religion. It was then occupied by officials of the Imperial Court and later by those of the Papal Court. | House of the Vestal Virgins | Temple of Vesta

29: The Roman Circus Maximus overlooked a variety of sporting events and religions processions - but the most famous of these were the wildly popular chariot races. At the height of the Roman Empire, these races were a manifestation of the riches of the time - anywhere between 20 and 60 days a year were devoted to them. These were not simply sporting events, however. This was Rome, after all, and no one was going to accuse them of keeping things understated. From sunrise to sunset, Romans from every corner of the empire would travel to witness a combination of religious ceremonies, public gatherings and an average of 25 races per day. During breaks from the races, the arena also held a variety of religious ceremonies, boxing and wrestling matches - even the occasional gladiator exhibition found its way into the circus. It is presumed that the majority of Christian martyrdom in city also took place at the Roman Circus Maximus. | Circus Maximus

30: Baths of Caracalla

31: The Baths of Caracalla (Italian: Terme di Caracalla) in Rome, Italy were Roman public baths, or thermae, built in Rome between AD 212 and 216, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. The baths remained in use until the 6th century when the complex was sacked by the Ostrogoths during the Gothic War, destroying the hydraulic installations [1]. The extensive ruins of the baths have become a popular tourist attraction. The bath complex covered approximately 13 hectares (33 ac). The bath building was 228 meters (750 ft) long, 116 meters (380 ft) wide and 38.5 meters (125 ft) estimated height, and could hold an estimated 1,600 bathers.[2] The Caracalla bath complex of buildings was more a leisure centre than just a series of baths. The "baths" were the second to have a public library within the complex. Like other public libraries in Rome, there were two separate and equal sized rooms or buildings; one for Greek language texts and one for Latin language texts. The marble basins at the Piazza Farnese are said to be the former pools of the frigidarium of the Baths of CaracallaThe baths consisted of a central 55.7 by 24 meter (183x79 ft) frigidarium (cold room) under three 32.9 meter (108 ft) high groin vaults, a double pool tepidarium (medium), and a 35 meter (115 ft) diameter caldarium (hot room), as well as two palaestras (gyms where wrestling and boxing was practiced). The north end of the bath building contained a natatio or swimming pool. The natatio was roofless with bronze mirrors mounted overhead to direct sunlight into the pool area. The entire bath building was on a 6 meter (20 ft) high raised platform to allow for storage and furnaces under the building.[2] The libraries were located in exedrae on the east and west sides of the bath complex. The entire north wall of the complex was devoted to shops. The reservoirs on the south wall of the complex were fed with water from the Marcian Aqueduct.[2]

32: The hill was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquin the Elder. It was considered one of the largest and the most beautiful temples in the city (although little now remains) and was probably founded on an earlier Etruscan temple of Veiovis, the remains and cult statue of which survive. The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull (the word for head in Latin is caput) when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter by Tarquin's order. At this hill the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia. For this she was the first to suffer the punishment for treachery of being thrown off the steep crest of the hill to fall on the dagger-sharp Tarpeian Rocks below. When the Senones Gauls (settled in central-east Italy) raided Rome in 390 BC, after the battle of River Allia, the Capitoline Hill was the one section of the city to evade capture by the barbarians, it being fortified by the Roman defenders. The Sabines who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women settled on the Capitoline [3]. The Capitoline Hill cordonata (centre of picture) leading from Via del Teatro di Marcello to Piazza del Campidoglio.When Julius Caesar suffered an accident during his Triumph, clearly indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen (nevertheless he was murdered six months later, and Brutus and his other assassins locked themselves inside the temple afterwards).[4] Vespasian's brother and nephew were also besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors (69). The Tabularium, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state. The Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. | Capitoline Hill

34: This site was underneath a church in the Foro Romano. It is a tiny crypt and jail cell where people believed Paul and Peter were held before being martyred., which is why the cross here is upside down. | Mamertime Prison

35: Piazza Navona

36: The 28 marble stairs carefully preserved in this handsome building are traditionally the steps walked up by Christ on his way to trial before Pontius Pilate. St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, was a pioneering collector of relics, and the staircase is supposedly among her finds, brought to Rome in c.326 AD. Devout pilgrims still mount the steps on their knees, praying. The rate of progress is very slow and looks suitably punishing. Nowadays the stairs are protected by wood, although there are holes cut through above marks which are supposed to be Jesus's blood (you won't be able to see through these unless you do the kneeling). Less devout visitors can walk up the alternative staircases on each side. At the top you can see into a small and lavish private chapel which goes far back in the history of the Lateran Palace, former seat of the popes. Once this chapel, first mentioned in the eighth century and called the Sancta Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, was the private oratory of medieval popes. After earthquake damage it was redecorated with mosaic pavements by Cosmatus.

37: Who knew my name was so popular? | Above, the fountain of trevi and in the middle is a row of colorful beautiful houses in the trastevere area., | Kevin posing as Caesar | Rome loves my name!

38: My favorite scenes and memories of Rome.

39: Kevin looking coy into the camera | A quaint square in Trastevere | In front of a local church | The view of St. Peter's Basilica from the Castle De Sant'Angelo

40: While Rome entices with its extraordinary monuments, Trastevere, one of its many distinct neighborhoods, captures the traveler's heart. Trastevere, which translates literally to "across the Tiber," was once considered the outskirts of Rome. Allowed to develop its own flavor and now part of il centro storico, it's the perfect place to glimpse a bit of the old world while still enjoying the lifestyle of today's Romans. Often described as Bohemian, homes bedecked with flower boxes and clinging ivy intertwine with coffee bars, restaurants, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. Buildings in terracotta, maize, and wine cast a glow, like a daylong sunset. From the cobblestone streets to the overhanging laundry lines, senses are pleasantly awakened with every step. Trastevere is part of the old Jewish ghetto and boasts of a synagogue and Jewish museum, and many fine Jewish roman eateries. | Trastevere

41: Views of Rome

42: Pompeii

43: After thinking about it for awhile, we decided to pair up with the newlywed Humiston's and head to Pompeii as a side trip. It was an ordeal getting there. Scott left his ticket at the apartments, so he ended up having to rush home and we had to buy him a ticket and run, literally to the train way. We almost didn't make it. Heading into Naples, we had to try and navigate an odd subway system called the Herculeneam loop. Finally getting there, we got ourselves in a bit of trouble with one of the worker's for taking pictures of murals.... (that were outside! I think the sun was doing more damage than my camera flash! From looking at some pornographic murals, to intestinal trouble on our way home (via Erin's digestive tract) it was a trip to remember.

44: This is from inside of eurostar train window. Beautiful countryside on the way to Pompeii! | On the way into Pompeii. They have excavated so much more than when I was there!

45: Above: We look into a typical Pompeiian house. Kevin admires a column, and Scott gives an Oration. | Erin spies on the statues "privates" and we all explore some ruins.

46: Our life in ruins | Chillin' with the Humistons at a local eatery

47: This is all that is left of some of the people of Pompeii. They were literally preserved in the hot ash as Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Petrified literally to death. | Humbly, these "petrified" people are not uncommon and you can view them in a large storehouse in Pompeii. | Pompeii's more sobering sights

48: "Cave Canem" literally translated as "beware of dogs" was a popular mosaic in many Roman Villa's

49: One of our many adventures in Pompeii included finding ancient "porn." We stumbled onto an unearthed brothel where pornographic murals were along the sides, and beds were there etched with the numbers of men women had slept with. | The very bottom picture actually comes from the house of a rich man in Pompeii. Apparently this wasn't intended as sexual. Showing a long ___ was actually a sign of great wealth, a symbol of status, and not simply a dirty picture. | Who says Italians aren't modest?

50: Mt. Vesuvius is a majestic mountain that stands imposingly in the background of Pompeii and Herculaneum, two cities destroyed by the power she holds within. Even I was nervous looking at the mt., wondering when her next blow up would be and praying that it wasn't anytime soon. | Living around a volcanoe apparently isn't all bad. Because of the sulfur and other minerals it's prime ground for grape growing and some of Italy's finest wine is made here.

51: Enjoying the Ruins

52: One morning Kevin got up early and grabbed me a rose and some pastries. What a good hubby I have! And he ordered all by himself in Italian!

53: Saying Goodbye to Rome and Pompeii was hard. It had been our home for two weeks. We'd seen my family who still lived there, wonderful sights, good food, and had interesting adventures. But it was inevitably time to go home. As our trip came to an end I knew that since I'd once again wished on the fountain of trevi, we'd be back sometime. Hopefully it would be sooner rather than later.

54: One of the most memorable stories was our run in with the Nazi party. We were on a train, just passing the station where our apartment on Arrigo Davila was and all of a sudden swarms of Nazi clad men with swastika's and buzzed haircuts jumped on singing and shouting loudly. Erin and I looked at each other quickly and let our men know not to talk. The only thing Nazi's hated more than Jews was Americans. At least Erin and I looked European, but the men were dead give aways. After three very uncomfortable stops, they got off at San Giovanni and we rested easy. Although it explains the gas mask clad officers we saw earlier in the day. Ironically this happening was nowhere to be found on Italian TV. It was either so commonplace that it wasn't worth reporting, or they deliberately kept it off the air. Either was it made for one interesting Metro ride. One that I hope never repeats itself. | Stories to Remember

55: It had been one of those days in Pompeii where everything went wrong. Scott forgot his ticket and almost missed the train, we got lost on the Herculaneum train loop, and we almost missed our train home. But worst of all was Erin's stomach issues. If she wasn't aware of the lack of facilities, at least usable facilities in Italy, she was now. With no actual toilet seat, she squatted and ended up using a ticket to well, you know. She may hate this story being here, but it's one that I smile on fondly because I've done the same thing. Let it be known that if your GI tract acts up, your SOL in Italy. | Stories to Remember

56: After a long night of sightseeing and dinner, both the Humistons and the Headricks had come home late, long after the Metro had stopped. But we were in luck as the bus line stayed open later. Not really having ever taken the bus back to Nilde's we boarded and then stepped off where I thought we should go. Unfortunately we got hopelessly lost and I started to get worried, as some parts of Rome are not exactly safe, especially for tourists. After a few miles of walking we finally came into familiar territory and got home, but I'll never forget that long dark walk back to our apartment. Next time, we take a map! | Stories to Remember

57: The End

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alexandra headrick
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  • Title: Italian trip 2008
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