Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 10 Roaming Around Ancient Rome

When you sign up for a tour, your destinations are pretty much set up.  Rome was not built in a day nor can you see it all in 48 hours.  These are the places I only got to see as I passed by in a bus. It drove me crazy. I almost got whiplash taking in all these sites. Some day I have to return to Rome and walk among these amazingly preserved historic sites.

1. Temple of Hercules Victor Dating from the later 2nd century BC, and perhaps erected by L. Mummius Achaicus, conqueror of the Achaeans and destroyer of Corinth,[2] the temple is 14.8 m in diameter and consists of a circular cella within a concentric ring of twenty Corinthian columns 10.66 m tall, resting on a tuff foundation. These elements supported an architrave and roof, which have disappeared. The original wall of the cella, built of travertine and marble blocks, and nineteen of the originally twenty columns remain but the current tile roof was added earlier.  The temple is the earliest surviving marble building in Rome.

2. National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II is a monument built to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. The monument was controversial since its construction destroyed a large area of the Capitoline Hill with a Medieval neighbourhood for its sake.

3. The Spanish Steps are a  monumental stairway of 138 steps built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below. American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan refers to the "Spanish Stairs" in his classic "When I Paint My Masterpiece" (1971). Unfortunately, I apparently do not have a picture of the Spanish step, someone was kind enough to correct me. The lower steps to the right lead to the Piazza del Campdoglio. The higher steps to the left lead to Santa Maria in Aracoeli. I would love to add a picture of the Spanish steps if anyone would like to contribute one.  This photograph was taken through the window of a bus as we drove by what I thought to be the Spanish steps.  We never stopped to climb the steps, one of my deepest regrets in Rome.I understand there is an amazing old fountain at the base as well.

 4. In Roman architecture, an insula (Latin for "island," plural insulae) was a kind of apartment building that housed most of the urban citizen population of ancient Rome, including ordinary people of lower- or middle-class status (the plebs) and all but the wealthiest from the upper-middle class (the equites). The traditional elite and the very wealthy lived in domus, large single-family residences, but the two kinds of housing were intermingled in the city and not segregated into separate neighborhoods.

5. Arch of Constaintine  is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the latest of the existing triumphal arches in Rome

6. Remains of the Imperial Palace on Palatini Hill overlooking the Circus Maximus. Rome has its origins on the Palatine. Recent excavations show that people have lived there since approximately 1000 BC. It is the origin of the word "palace".

7. This may appear to just be another walk in the park but it is indeed Circus Maximus. The Circus was Rome's largest venue for Ludi, public games connected to Roman religious festivals. Chariot races would have been viewed here. Perhaps it woud have been consider the NASCAR of its day.  A perfect forum for Ben Hur vs Tony Stewart.

8. The Castle Sant' Angelo was originally a round tomb built on the Tiber River to hold the remains of the Emperor Hadrian. The Hadrian's Mausoleum was begun by Hadrian in 130 AD and finished in 139, a year after his death. During the middle ages, Hadrian's tomb was converted into a castle to defend Rome. It was linked to the Vatican by an underground passage. Many Popes lived in this castle.

9. Bridge of Angels at night, Ponte Sant'Angelo, once the Aelian Bridge or Pons Aelius, meaning the Bridge of Hadrian, is a Roman bridge in Rome, Italy, completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian.  Here is a list of angels who appear on the bridge.

10. Theater Marcellus built in the closing years of the Roman Republic. At the theatre, locals and visitors alike were able to watch performances of drama and song.  It was named after Marcus Marcellus, Emperor Augustus's nephew, who died five years before its completion. Space for the theatre was cleared by Julius Caesar, who was murdered before it could be begun; the theatre was so far advanced by 17 BC that part of the celebration of the ludi saeculares took place within the theatre; it was completed in 13 BC and formally inaugurated in 12 BC by Augustus.

 Rome Traffic, is as modern as you can get and a good reason not to drive yourself, take the tours.

Our driver was Enzo out of Naples.  God Bless 'em.  I don't know how he did it.  You should have seen him park the bus, he was applauded often. He had the patience of Job.

Of course I am not walking around with all this knowledge in my head, all information about the above locations were found at wikipedia.  I did however search out and identify each location by following the Tiber River as well as using key landmarks that I knew we had traveled to. I put then in Google Earth and followed the roads we took and there they were. It is amazing to me how you can see and click into just about anywhere in the world but still nothing beats actually being able to go there an see for yourself.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thank you for the correction. I deleted your comment by mistake, my apologies. If you have a picture of the Spanish Steps you would like to share I would love to post it.

  3. I was able to retireve it. Thank you again.
    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Top 10 Roaming Around Ancient Rome":

    Love your picture at number 3. It's rare to see an elevational view of these. However, they (3 & 4) are mislabeled as the Spanish Steps. The lower steps to the right lead to the Piazza del Campdoglio. The higher steps to the left lead to Santa Maria in Aracoeli.

    Posted by Anonymous to Delco Daily Top Ten at January 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM