Friday, December 16, 2011
Rome City Tour
After a visit to the Vatican City, our group was ready to have a tour about the city of Rome. Our local tour guide gave us insights to the history of Rome.
This amphitheatre was inaugurated by Emperor Titus in 80 CE. I was all ready to visit the Colosseum. However, there was a protest that was to take place near the Colosseum on 15 Oct 2011. As such, the Colosseum was closed to visitors since that morning. To ensure the safety of the members of the public and the tourists, roads leading to the Colosseum was closed in the afternoon.
Thankfully, the tour bus got our group a good glance of the Colosseum from the tour bus in the late morning. In the afternoon (during our free time), together with my accompanying friend and one of the tour-mates, we attempted to make our way to the Colosseum only to be disappointed that the roads were sealed. The best that we could see was smoke coming from nearby the Colosseum.
Victor Emmanuel II Monument
This monument was built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. The monument looked very grand and lavish.
The tour-bus drove the group about Piazza Venezia several times so that we can enjoy the sights of the Piazza from the bus. Due to the anticipation of the protests, the tour-bus did not stop anywhere nearby the Piazza. Nearby is the Victor Emmanuel II Monument.
Castle of Angels
This castle looking building was originally the massive circular tomb of the Roman emperor, Hadrian. It was erected on the right bank of the river Tiber.
Trevi Fountain (photo stop)
A beautiful fountain that will delight. In a 1960 comedy-drama film, La Dolce Vita, one of the protagonists threw three coins backwards over the shoulder to ensure a return visit to Rome. Our guide gave us a different interpretation to the coin throwing game. The method of throwing the coins remain the same. However, the instructions were to make three wishes and then throw the coin into the fountain.
Spanish Steps (photo stop)
My friend and I counted that there were 132 steps to the third tier of the Spanish Steps. I saw that by the late afternoon and evening, people will sit on the steps of this Rococo-style staircase watching the world go by. The Spanish Steps reminded me of a part of my Secondary School's building where students would sit down on the steps of the stairways waiting for the flag-rising ceremony to begin.
I read that Francesco De Sanctis designed the steps in 1723-6 for King Louis XV, and the Italian name is Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti, after the church at the top. The nearby hourglass-shaped square is known as Piazza di Spagna.
I could only say that there are so many interesting and beautiful buildings and monuments to see in Rome that I felt pretty overwhelmed in a positive way. I was also happy that I chose to explore parts of Rome instead of spend the time shopping during the allocated free time.
I hope to visit Rome again. May my wish be realized by the Trevi Fountain.
DK Eyewitness Top 10 Rome.