Our first full day in Rome!!
We start out early walking, since old town Rome is not that big. We walk toward The Spanish Steps down Via Condotti. This street has stores of all the famous Italian fashion designers. Prices are out of this world.
We arrive at the Spanish Steps.
The monumental stairway of 174 steps was built when a French diplomat gave money to have them built in order to link the Spanish Embassy with the French Church. Of course there is much more to the story, but suffice it to say they could have been called the French Steps. They have long been a meeting place for people.
Then we walk to the Trevi Fountain.
This is probably most recognizable landmark of Rome. It has been the backdrop of many, many films, both Italian and American - Three Coins in the Fountain, etc. The tradition is that a small coin held in the right hand and thrown over the left shoulder means you will return to Rome. It worked for Doug and I. We were here about 30 years ago. It is estimated that 3000 Euros are thrown in the fountain every day. In 2016, an estimated 1.4 million (US$1.5 million) was thrown into the fountain. The Vatican regularly cleans out the coins and gives them to charity.
Next is the Pantheon.
It was a pagan temple built in 29 BC. It had columns for 12 pagan gods. Then it became a Christian Church so all the pagan gods were replaced by Christian figures. It is a beautiful round structure with a hole in the ceiling open to the heavens. When it rains, the floor has holes where the water drains away.
Then we visited the Fountain of the Four Rivers in the Piazza Navona.
The four rivers represent major rivers of the continents of the known world: the Nile representing Africa, the Danube representing Europe, the Ganges representing Asia, and the Rio de la Plata representing the Americas.
Last of a wonderful day, we visited the Castle of Saint Angelo.
It was built to house the burial place of Hadrian, one of the Emperors of Rome, between AD 134 and 139. The popes converted the structure into a castle beginning in the 14th century. It was decommissioned in 1901 and became a museum.
I'm having a little trouble with this program uploading all of our photos so I can't show you the hundreds of other pictures Doug has taken. But hopefully you can still get a feeling for all of the wonderful things we are seeing.