Monday, December 21, 2009

Rome - Day 2

Due to the excellent curtains in the Mariott hotels....we woke up this morning about 10:45 - awesome but kind of annoying. We really got our money's worth out of that hotel - thanks Jason for hooking us up!

First stop today was Vatican city. This was my third time seeing the Sistine Chaple - still stunning. We did finally find the Raphael rooms in the maze of that huge museum. This is one of his most famous paintings "The School of Athens" Raphael is said to have painted every great Greek philosopher of his time in this painting. Socrates, Leonardo DaVinchi, Plato and he is even featured. Very cool to see that in real life.

Next stop was St. Peters basilica. Largest church in the world - every time I walk it it's sheer size is absolutly amazing.

This "baldacchino" was built over the tomb of St. Peter by Bernini. It is over 30 meters tall, which puts the height of the dome into perspective. We went into the crypt as well and saw St. Peter's tomb as well - which brings to light an interesting contradiction since I believe that he has been resurrected to bring about the restoration of the Latter day chruch. What's in that box?

This photo does not even begin to capture the immensity of the church, very stunning. I have realized that the ancient romans were all about big! Everything in Rome is grandiose.

Rome also does an excellent job of decorating its beautiful ancient streets for the holidays.

Next stop was the Spanish Steps. They are the longest and widest steps in europe.

Then off to anther piece of magnificient grandiosity....the Fontana Trevi. It is HUGE! This is another work of Bernini and marks the terminal point of an ancient aquaduct that supplied water to the city of Rome.
The theme of the fountain is "taming the waters" which makes me want to believe that the main figure is King Triton....but that might just be my Little Mermaid background coming through.

Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the Trevi that you are ensured to Rome - well it worked the last two times, why not... It also happens to be an excellent money making venture. They make about 3000 euros annually - which is used to feed the needy in Rome.
From here we headed back to pick up the Panda and head north to Switzerland!

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