Fortunately the eternal city has a subway. We used 2 lines which brought us near the most monuments and other important places. Rome`s subway is relatively modern (compared to New York`s), fast & cheap. And I was impressed how cool the subway stations look. Some of the stations have their own style and are beautifully designed. Above you can see stations from the district EUR in the south, Piazza Bologna, central station Termini & the entrance to the Tiburtina station in the north.
Water Spewing Lions
Piazza Navona also has some funny sculptures.
Above the La Fontana Delle Tartarughe (Fountain of Turtles) followed by the Fountain of Frogs, a fountain a Piazza Barberini and a fountain in the Vatican Museums.
The Glory Of The Roman Empire
The city still shows the glory of the Roman empire. The relics of ancient Rome are spread all over the city. I was impressed that many of them are still in good shape. My favorite is the Pantheon, an the ancient Roman temple, which was completed by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD (wikipedia). The Romans build this awesome dome with concrete. It is fascinating that this construction survived over 1900 years. It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a church. So the Pantheon escaped the fate of the Colosseum and other Roman buildings which have often been used as building material.
I was impressed that the Colosseum still looks massive in spite of its enormous age. The antic amphitheater was completed in AD 80. Later the Popes - and others who ruled Rome - shamelessly used the Roman construction as building material for their cathedrals and other buildings. So we saw a mix of original Roman constructions and more recent reconstructions and repairs.
We watched a parade which celebrated Roma Natale, the city´s birthday and the glory days of the Roman empire.
wikipedia). History and World War II nixed these plans, but the district got realized in the 1950s and was used for the 1960 Olympics in Rome. EUR became a role model for an out-of-town business & residential district (satellite town) and followed by other big cities. I like the mixture of classical architecture with modern designs.
Dolci & Espresso
But we also got into a tourist trap. One morning we decided to go to St. Peter's Basilica before breakfast, but we skipped the visit because the line before the security checks seemed already too long. Hungry & thirsty we had a breakfast at the border of Vatican City. Above you can see the bill, Euro 85.50 were about $100!