Our last day in Rome. So many things yet to see, but one in particular we really had on the agenda, The Pantheon. So off we go, walking, because we always find the most interesting things off the tourist route.
But first, coffee, we needed coffee. And where else to get coffee in the morning, why McDonalds of course. Even McDonalds has outdoor cafe seating.
As we looked at the map for a route down to the Pantheon, we passed this cathedral and stopped to check it out. This was one of my favorites of the entire trip. It may not be much on the outside, but St. Andrews Cathedral in the Quirinale was beautiful inside.
Not as ornate as some, it had its share of large marble columns and paintings, but something about this cathedral caught my attention as none others had.
Not sure what the red carpet was all about though.
Across the street was the Piazza del Quirinale, the President's Palace.
We saw a lot of commotion so we hung around. And yes, after a short period of time out came a motorcade escorted heavily. Not sure, but maybe Italy's president was in the motorcade.
On down the hill we didn't know what was in front of us, but it looked old. We found it was the Trajan Market and Imperial Forum. Both were built around the time of the Roman Forum and included the Forum of Augustus, the Forum of Caesar, Forum of Peace, the Forum of Trajan and many others. It was used for administrative and judicial activities as well as celebrations.
Looking down on the Temple of Augustus and the Temple of Caesar.
Looking across to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Unlike the Roman Forum, the Trajan Market was in continuous use throughout the centuries, having been built over at least 3 different times. They are just starting some of the excavation work to uncover the earlier buildings.
One of the remaining columns.
Each column was carved in intricate detail.
The church at the Piazza del S. Ignazio. Also a very impressive church. St. Ignatius is considered to be the founder of the Jesuits.
This was one of the most beautiful painted ceilings I saw in Italy, even better than the Sistine Chapel in my opinion. But then, I never claimed to be an art person, I just know what I like.
One of the altars.
On we headed towards the Pantheon when I spotted Duff beer in one of the stores. Well, we had to stop and check it out. I mean, Duff beer? You didn't see much beer in Italy, it's too well known for its wine. Actually it wasn't bad.
Finally, we arrive at the Pantheon and guess what, they are doing maintenance on it. Couldn't get any good pictures outside because it was surrounded by scaffolding.
Across the plaza was this little deli which looked interesting.
All sorts of meats....
as well as squid and a variety of olives......
and of course, cheese.....
But inside the Pantheon we found this sculpted dome made from concrete. It was the largest domed building until St. Peter's Basilica was built. The earliest building here was in 25 B.C., dedicated to Venus, Mars and the divine Julius. The building as you see it today was rebuilt by Emporer Hadrian in 126 A.D., and was later was turned into a Christian Church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs. But even 2000 years after it was first built it is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
Today it is most commonly called Santa Maria Rotunda.
The large bronze doors to the Pantheon.
I haven't said much about it, but we did sample the gelato often. Here we are getting our last taste of true Italian gelato.
We are now at the Piazza Colonna. It is now the house of Italy's Parliment and security was pretty tight.
One more church we passed on our way back to our hostel.
We pass by the Trevi Fountain one last time.
This is the end of my blog on the trip to Italy. I have posted only a fraction of the more than 4000 photos taken between Max and I, and I have only blogged about the highlights of the trip. Anyway, the trip is over and it was great. Hope you enjoyed sharing it with me.