|A view of the Roman Forum from the Palatine Hill includes the Arch of Septimus Severus beside the Curia Julia (Senate House built in 44 BC by Julius Caesar) on the left side.|
|Another view of the Roman Forum with the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the center and the ruins of the Atrium Vestae (House of the Vestal Virgins) in the foreground, including the Temple of Vesta on the bottom left|
|The three arches are from the northern aisle and the only remains of the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine|
|Another view of the Roman Forum includes the Colosseum|
|The floor of the Curia Julia is an example of the Roman technique called opus sectile.|
|The headless porphyry statue (possibly of the Emperor Trajan) inside the Curia Julia was dug up behind the building.|
|The remains of the Temple of Saturn (the eight columns on the left) sit on the western end of the Capitoline Hill in the Roman Forum.|
|Another view includes the remains of the Temple of Castor and Pollux (the three columns) and the Palatine Hill overlooking the Forum in the background.|
|Audunn at Caesar's altar, the location of his funeral pyre|
The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, named after the family name of the two Roman emperors credited with its construction, Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Vespasian) and Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Titus).
|Audunn outside the Colosseum|
|Audunn inside the Colosseum|
|The wooden floor of the Colosseum arena is long gone, exposing the hypogeum, "a two-level subterranean network of tunnels and cages beneath the arena where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. Eighty vertical shafts provided instant access to the arena for caged animals and scenery pieces concealed underneath; larger hinged platforms, called hegmata, provided access for elephants and the like." (from Amanda Claridge's Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide)|
|Marie and a view of the Arch of Constantine from the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill in the distance|
|The Arch of Constantine sits between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill.|
|The remains of Pompey's Theater, the sight of Julius Caesar's assassination, and four Roman temples can be found at Largo di Torre Argentina.|
|Another view of the Largo di Torre Argentina|
|The Largo di Torre Argentina now serves as a no-kill cat sanctuary for homeless cats.|
Audunn drinking from one of the many public fountains throughout Rome
SPQR is an acronym for Senatus Populusque Romanus ("The Senate and People of Rome"), which refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. Today it's used as an official signature of the government in dedications of monuments and public works.
|Marie at the Trevi Fountain, along with about a million other tourists|
|Our tour of the Vatican with Andrea from 7 Hills Tours was AMAZING! He was so knowledgeable about the art and history and made the entire tour incredibly fun and entertaining.|
|The Laocoön and His Sons at the Vatican Museum probably served as an inspiration for Michelangelo's Jesus in The Last Judgment in the Sistene Chapel.|
|The dome of St. Peter's Basilica was redesigned by Michelangelo, but he died before its completion. It was finally completed by Giacomo della Porta who was assisted by Domenico Fontana.|
|The Baldacchino, located directly under Michelangelo's dome in St. Peter's Basilica, is an elaborate bronze canopy that was designed and sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the leading sculptor of his time and a prominent architect.|
|Another view of the Baldacchino looking at the apse at the end of the central nave, which is illuminated by the Gloria, an alabaster window designed by Bernini with the Holy Spirit represented by a dove.|
|Bernini also designed the gilded bronze casing for the Cathedra Petri (Chair of St. Peter) below the Gloria, along with four gilded bronze statues of the Doctors of the Church: St. Ambrose, St. Anthanasius (left) and St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine (right).|
|Bernini also designed the Monument to Pope Alexander VII inside St. Peter's Basilica|
|Bernini also designed St. Peter's Square with its four rows of collosal Tuscan collonades and an Egyptian obelisk at the center.|
|A closer view of the collonnades shows a statue of a saint above each row of columns and the building with the pope's apartments. He usually makes appearances from the second window from the right on the top floor.|
|Marie and Gudrun in St. Peter's Square|
|St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square|
The Passetto (or Passetto di Borgo) is a an elevated passage that links Vatican City with the Castel Sant'Angelo. Also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the building was initially commissioned by Emperor Hadrian to serve as a mauseleum for him and his family, but it later became a fortress and castle for popes and now serves as a museum.
|The Ponte Sant'Angelo spans the Tiber to connect the city center with the Castel Sant'Angelo. One of Bernini's last major programs was designing ten angels, each carrying an instrument of the Passion, to flank both sides of the bridge. He was only able to finish two of the ten.|
|The Castel Sant'Angelo and the Ponte Sant'Angelo|
Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) in front of Francesco Borromini's church of Sant'Agnese in Agone in Piazza Navona
The fountain depicts a god representing each of the four rivers, which in turn represent the four corners of the known world at the time.
The Ganges is depicted holding an oar to represent the river's navigability.
|The Nile is represented with its head covered by a loose cloth, signifying the unknown origin of the Nile at the time.|
|The Río de la Plata sits on a pile of coins, representing the riches that the Americas offer Europe.|
Another angle shows that the Río de la Plata is scared by a snake, perhaps symbolizing fear that riches can be stolen.
Also note the prickly pear cactus at his feet, which can be found in the American Southwest.
Audunn among the artists at the Piazza Navona
Notice on the fountain behind him, the last river is the Danube, depicted as a god touching the papal coat of arms, representing the river's close proximity to Rome.
|Audunn at the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Navona|
Simon Schama's Power of Art about Bernini provides an interesting and entertaining look at the life and work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
|Bernini's Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain) in the Piazza Barberini|
|An incredibly detailed sculpture by Pierre Legros of Saint Stanislaus Kostka in polychrome marble can be found in the novitiate beside the Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale (Saint Andrew's at the Quirinal) designed by Bernini.|
|The Calling of St. Matthew in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi (St. Louis of the French) is one of the masterpieces by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.|
Caravaggio's Martyrdom of St. Matthew is also in the same church.
Simon Schama's Power of Art about Caravaggio is also quite interesting and entertaining.
In addition, a few of Caravaggio's other famous pieces are also in the Borghese Gallery, including David with the Head of Goliath, which is a self portrait in which Caravaggio casts himself as the monster Goliath.