Now Reading


View Gallery

The immediately noticeable contrast between Rome, Italy, and most of the places I have visited in America is the prominence of preserved history. As the cab drove me from the airport to my hotel, we passed the Colosseum. It looked precisely the way I had seen it in pictures. I stared in awe as we proceeded along the road that curved around it and the arch of Constantine that stood nearby. I had arrived in a city that was like no other.

Once I arrived at my room in the Santa Costanza Hotel and settled in, I decided to take a walk and explore the neighborhood. It was only a short distance from the gardens of Villa Torlonic, featuring the catacombs of Mausoleo di Santa Costanza, the Casina della Civette, and the adjacent church of Sant’ Agnese.

Trevi Fountain

I experienced my first European breakfast the following day, compliments of the hotel. Romans eat for fuel, it seems, with carbs, hard-boiled eggs, and coffee. It was not the sit-down meal Westerners are accustomed to.

With only a six-night stay, my challenge was to see as much of Rome as possible in a short amount of time. I bought a ticket to ride a hop-on, hop-off bus. Armed with my camera and zoom lens, I went to the top of the bus and never sat down. There was a piece of history on every street—fantastic architecture, well-preserved ruins, and an ancient wall that surrounded the center of the city.

I got off the bus to step into some of the most famous places on earth. St Peter’s Basilica, located in Vatican City with its arches, sculptures, stained glass, and domes, was a breathtaking architectural masterpiece. It is said to be the largest church in the world and is recognized as one of the holiest sites in Christendom. It is a treasure trove of works by great artists and sculptors, including Gianlorenzo Bernini and Michelangelo. One of Michelangelo’s first major works, ‘La Pietà,’ is displayed in the first chapel to the right of the entrance. It could be that Bernini’s most impressive contribution to the basilica is the colonnade he built in the piazza outside the church with its two rows of massive outstretched columns.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Scroll To Top