I took a week off from posting. Just needed to take a break. There is no better place to take a break than being at home here in Cuenca. Getting some dental work behind me has helped to put me in a better mood for posting.
After two great weeks in Verona, taking day trips to other places in northern Italy, it was time to move on.
We left Verona a couple of days before we were to embark on our cruise. The ship left out of Civitavecchia, which is the cruise port for Rome.
We left Verona a little early because Jim had never been to Rome. We spent a couple of nights in Rome before going to the port to get on our cruise ship.
To be honest, by now I was ready to get on the ship so I could have a little down time. There is a lot to see and do in Rome and to be quite honest, we were all needing some down time. We decided our best option was to see Rome sitting on top of a tour bus rather than on foot.
This was the third trip to Rome for Chuck and I so we felt quite comfortable just taking a sight seeing bus to see the highlights of Rome. It seemed to meet Audrey's and Jim's approval also.
Most of the pictures I have to share with you were taken from the top of the moving bus. Not the best advantage point but yet some photos came out pretty good.
After boarding the bus, the first sight we passed is one of the most famous sites in Rome....the colosseum. The colosseum was constructed between the years 72 and 80 AD. It has suffered some damage from earth quakes and stone robbers, but has held up remarkably well to be 2,000 years old. It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world.
Tourists were visiting it by the thousands. When we were here before, there were tourists but it was nothing like this. So many more people are traveling now.
Of course the vendors love the crowds.
Next to the colosseum stands the Arch of Constantine. It was constructed between 312 and 315 AD. As many monuments of the world are, this one was constructed to honor a military victory.
To the left of this arch lies the Palatine Hill. The Palatine Hill is the center-most of the Seven Hills of Rome. The significance of Palatine Hill is that it was here that Rome was founded under the direction of Romulus. It is the site of the Lupercal Cave where folklore says the twins Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf Lupa and raised by her.
In later years, the hill became a residential district attracting the nobility. The nobility believed that the air was cleaner at the top of the hill, and they were less likely to catch the diseases of of the poorer classes at the bottom.
This is the entrance to Palatine Hill.
Another photo of some of the ruins of Palatine Hill that over looks Circus Maximus.
I took this picture from the tour bus. Not sure what the building is, but it is part of Palatine Hill.
As our tour bus made its way through Rome, we passed this familiar site. Altare della Patria (Alter to the Fatherland). It is one of the newer sites of Rome. Construction began in 1885, it was inaugurated in 1911 and fully completed in 1935.
With the rise of Fascism in 1922, it became the site of military parades of the regime headed by Mussolini. The monument, largest in Rome, has been controversial since its construction destroyed Medieval homes.
Some of the locals kiddingly refer to it as the "wedding cake," "dentures," or "the typewriter."
Nearby is the church, Santa Maria di Loreto, a 16th century church.
Here is a picture of an ancient Roman obelisk as well as Chuck's hat. Behind the obelisk is the church, Santa Maria Maggiore.
This is a picture of the Moses Fountain. This fountain was built in 1585 to celebrate the completion of an aqueduct. Moses is in the center and is striking a rock from which water is flowing.
Below is a picture of the Supreme Court of Italy. Built between 1888 and 1910. This picture is of the front of the building.
Here it is from the back. I thought it was an impressive building.
The closest we got to the Vatican was this bridge where I captured the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the distance.
This is just a random shot of Rome from the top of the tour bus.
This picture is from the front of a calendar for sale in a tourist shop. The calendar has pictures of cats in Rome. Didn't buy the calendar, but glad I got the picture.
The only place we got off the tour bus was a nice restaurant we saw. We had a lovely lunch together and then finished our tour.
I will share about our cruise ports on future posts.