Audunn and Marie in Rome (September 2010)

Roman Forum from Palatine Hill 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.
Roman forum from Palatine Hill 2 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
More Roman Forum The three arches are from the northern aisle and the only remains of the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
Roman Forum and Colliseum Another view of the Roman Forum includes the Colosseum
Curia Julia and Arch of Septimus Severus

A closer view of the Arch of Septimus Severus (AD 203) beside the Curia Julia (Senate House), the construction of which was started by Julius Caesar in 44 BC and completed by Octavian in 29 BC

Note that Julius Caesar was killed at Pompey's Theater, which is where the Roman Senate met while the Curia Julia was under construction at the time of Caesar's assassination.

Inside the Curia Julia The floor of the Curia Julia is an example of the Roman technique called opus sectile.
Inside the Curia Julia 2 The headless porphyry statue (possibly of the Emperor Trajan) inside the Curia Julia was dug up behind the building.
Forum 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.
Temple of Castor and Pollux 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.
Ara de Cesare 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 outside the Colosseum
Audunn in the Colosseum Audunn inside the Colosseum
Colosseum floor 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 the Arch of Constantine Marie and a view of the Arch of Constantine from the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill in the distance
Arch of Constantine The Arch of Constantine sits between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill.
Area Sacre 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.
Area Sacre Another view of the Largo di Torre Argentina
Area Sacre Cats 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.

Trevi Fountain Marie at the Trevi Fountain, along with about a million other tourists
Vatican with Andreas 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.
Laocoon 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.
Michelangelo's Dome 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.
Baldocchino 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.
Baldacchino 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.
Cathedra Petri 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).
Pope Alexander VII Monument Bernini also designed the Monument to Pope Alexander VII inside St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican Collonade and Obelisk Bernini also designed St. Peter's Square with its four rows of collosal Tuscan collonades and an Egyptian obelisk at the center.
Pope's apartments 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.
St. Peter's Square Marie and Gudrun in St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Basilica 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.
Castel Sant'Angelo and Ponte Sant'Angelo The Castel Sant'Angelo and the Ponte Sant'Angelo
Fountain of the Four Rivers

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.

Ganges River

The Ganges is depicted holding an oar to represent the river's navigability.

Nile River The Nile is represented with its head covered by a loose cloth, signifying the unknown origin of the Nile at the time.
Rio de la Plata The Río de la Plata sits on a pile of coins, representing the riches that the Americas offer Europe.
Rio de la Plata 2

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.

Among the artists at Piazza Navona

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.

Piazza Navona Audunn at the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Navona
Ecstasy of St. Theresa

Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa is considered to be one of the sculptural masterpieces of the High Roman Baroque.

Simon Schama's Power of Art about Bernini provides an interesting and entertaining look at the life and work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

In addition, many of Bernini's masterpieces are in the Borghese Gallery, which requires reservations and does not allow photos to be taken. Our favorites were his David and Apollo and Daphne.


Bernini's Neptune Fountain Bernini's Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain) in the Piazza Barberini
St Stanislaus 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.
Calling of St. Matthew 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.
Martyrdom of St. Matthew

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.