S: Part one - Rome
BC: Hope you enjoyed Rome...now buckle your seat belts, it's time to explore Tuscany!!!
FC: 2 tickets to travel Italy! September 2011 | ROME
1: What an amazing view! | our penthouse!
2: Just a block from our flat... | This was our homing device when the map failed...which was about every day! | The Famous Trevi Fountain
5: Making the famous coin toss ....wishing to make it back to Italy!
6: We had such beautiful days...
8: The Pantheon
9: Best preserved and most elegant ancient building in the city!
13: The Pantheon's perfect concrete dome has an oculus, a hole in the top of the dome used as a light source for the interior. Yes, rain and snow occasionally fall through it, but the floor is slanted and drains cleverly remove the water if it manages to hit the floor.
14: Cool dudes that looked like statues!
17: Rome is filled with beautiful churches on every corner! This is one we stumbled into close to the Pantheon!
19: Piazza Navona with Bernini's fantastic fountain of Four Rivers
21: Built on the site of an ancient athletic arena where they held chariot races.
22: Bernini's grandiose 1651 fountains...AMAZING!
23: Famous artists of the beautiful canvas painting we bought.... Love the red pants!
24: We spent a few days just wandering the picturesque squares and alleys...
25: Via dei Coronari - charming little street lined with antique shops, hidden trattorias and artists' studios
26: Ancient Rome
29: There were actually ruts in the road where the chariots had been driven...and this massive door was still on its original hinges! | The towering brick and crumbling marble were awe-inspiring! We were actually walking where Julius Cesar once walked!
30: Arch of Titus
31: Sculptural reliefs on the inside of this arch marks the entrance to the Roman Forum.
32: Arch of Constantine | The Roman Forum Here people carried out their daily religious, political, and commercial activities in the temples, basilicas, and markets.
33: Ancient Romans believed these temples were where their Gods lived...this one is the Temple of Saturn
34: The ruins of an ancient palace
35: Some of the wealthiest Romans lived here. | Palatine Hill
36: Our first glimpse of the impressive amphitheater, with Roman guards! | The Colosseum
37: One of 80 entrance passageways leading to the games!
38: This theater of slaughter could seat 65,000 Romans! | The most extreme sport happened here...gory contests between men and animals!
39: The seats have all been removed, but they were on all the slanted areas.
40: We were able to go underground, where gladiators and animals awaited their death.
41: Below was an ingenious system of elevator shafts and trapdoors to keep the action constant.
43: We were in awe standing in this place... imagining the sounds of slashing swords, roaring lions, and cheering spectators!
45: Definitely a highlight of our trip!
46: A fortress with angels by Bernini guarding the bridge over the Tiber River. | Castel Sant'Angelo
50: Heading up into the castle...a mystery to behold!
51: A castle bedroom...not very luxurious!!
52: Views from the top!
53: On the very top! | St. Peter's in the background.
55: We enjoyed lunch here atop the castle.... spectacular views!
56: There was a castle wall around the city! | Vatican City
57: Entrance to the Vatican
58: The court yard outside of the Vatican museum
59: Entering the masterpiece -packed halls of the museum
62: The richest museum of ancient and Renaissance art in the world
64: The Belvedere Torso, Michelangelo's rendering of Christ.
66: Unbelievable ceilings!
67: The walls of tapestries were beautiful
69: Gallery of the Maps Each map depicted a region of Italy.
72: Shhhh, stepping into the Sistine Chapel... On the ceiling, the stories of creation with Adam and Eve and Noah are told. On the altar wall, the swirling Last Judgment is much more fire-and-brimstone!
81: My favorite....the heaven scene!
82: Piazza San Pietro | Piazza San Pietro
83: A real Vatican guard...even with a hint of a smile!
84: Entering St Peter's Basilica...our jaws both dropped!
89: Taking steps in one of the holiest sites in Christianity... breathtaking!
90: Found another beautiful church...
91: 12 curving flights of steps! An Egyptian obelisk marks the center of Piazza del Papolo. | Spanish Steps
92: The stairs are of varying width...you'll trip if you don't watch out! | View from the top is exhilarating!
93: One of the most famous meeting places in Rome! | Upscale stores like Gucci and Prada lined this street!
95: Inside the Trinit dei Monti ...the French church at the top of the steps
96: Galleria Borghese One of the world's most outstanding small museums.
98: This is Rome's Central Park! | We went for a motorized bike-ride after we saw others panting up the hills! What fun!!!
99: This was the most relaxing day of our trip!
100: Stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe, and the Harley Shop...had to do a few American traditions! | Planning for our drive to Tuscany....Rich is confident he can handle the 6 lane round-abouts!!
101: With traffic like this...it's going to be hairy!! | With traffic like this, it's going to be hairy!!