Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Roman walk

The best way to feel the pulse of the city is to go for a walk. And that is exactly what we did in Rome. We went on a walking tour of Rome. It was amazing. It was a free walk and we could tip the guide at the end of the tour if we were happy.


The tour started in the evening at the 'The Spanish Steps' between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe!


In the Piazza di Spagna at the base is the Early Baroque fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia ("Fountain of the ugly Boat"), built in 1627-29. According to a legend, Pope Urban VIII had the fountain installed after he had been impressed by a boat brought here by a flood of the Tiber River. Here we were informed that we could safely drink water from any of the numerous fountains in Rome!


In the piazza there is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821; it is now a museum dedicated to his memory.


As we walk down a few steps we come across The Column of the Immaculate Conception, a nineteenth-century monument in central Rome, located in what is called Piazza Mignanelli. The column was dedicated on December 8, 1857. Atop the column is a bronze statue of the Virgin Mary, sculpted by Giuseppe Obici.


Further down the road we were shown the street where the local Romans did their classy shopping.


And then again another water fountain which was not only meant for humans but also animals!


We were taken aback when we were introduced to Galleria Alberto Sordi, a shopping arcade named after the actor Alberto Sordi. What a marvellous structure! It was built in 1914 on the site of Palazzo Piombino.


And on we marched to The Column of Marcus Aurelius, a Roman victory column in Piazza Colonna. It is a Doric column featuring a spiral relief: it was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and modelled on Trajan's Column. The spiral picture relief tells the story of Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian or Marcomannic wars, waged by him from 166 to his death. The carvings are amazing!


Then it was The Palazzo Chigi that is the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Italian Republic.


The Temple of Hadrian is a temple to the deified Hadrian on the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy, built by his adoptive son and successor Antoninus Pius in 145 and now incorporated into a later building in the Piazza di Pietra (Piazza of Stone - derived from use of the temple's stones to build the piazza).


Now it was time for some excellent Italian coffee! It was aromatic and delicious. Now I know why Italians


love their coffee!


The Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at Campus is a Roman Catholic titular church dedicated to Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. This is absolutely amazing. This is a must see church.


The art inside is spellbinding!

The Pantheon was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD.


The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria della Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.


Our last stop was The Trevi Fountain. Standing 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is believed that if one tosses a coin over ones shoulder in the fountain one’s wish will be realised or at least you will come back to visit Rome yet again!

Our Free walking tour of Rome operator was New Rome Do check them out if you visit Rome. We loved it!

27 comments:

  1. European buildings never fail to excite :) wonderful captures bhai !!

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  2. Hari Om
    Stunning shots as always, Deepak-ji! I particularly love the exterior night shot of the Church of St Ignatius with the moon up high and that last night shot of the Trevi is impressive!!

    I agree totally about the walking of the streets to get the 'feel' and you successfully convey some of that here. Thank you once again! YAM xx

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  3. For me the TRAJAN Column and the Trevi fountain looked very interesting. Can you also elaborate on Baroque architecture ? Because I came across this both in Austria and Norway but they looked different. As I understand, they came up during renaissance period but still were in sync with some religious tradition of that time which clashed with Renaissance.

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    1. Regarding Baroque architecture, I cannot elaborate as have not studied it. This is what Wiki has to say 'The Baroque is a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance and music. The style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe.
      The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement. The aristocracy also saw the dramatic style of Baroque architecture and art as a means of impressing visitors and expressing triumphant, power and control. Baroque palaces are built around an entrance of courts, grand staircases and reception rooms of sequentially increasing opulence.'
      Hope this helps. Thank you Nandan.

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  4. Love all the pics. Lucky you to walk among such beauty. :)

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  5. Like all the pictures that depict the place in proper perspective.

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  6. What a Beautiful Place it is..
    Lovely Captures Deepak.. :-)

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  7. almost reminded me Dan Brown’s novels… so lovely.. I was in Europe last year but missed Italy!! but through your blog I can now visit it too!!

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  8. almost reminded me of Dan Brown’s novels… so lovely.. I was in Europe last year but missed Italy!! but through your blog I can now visit it too!!

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  9. okay, this is one of your most charming posts...this city is such a lure...hope i can go there some day...thanks for sharing these wonderful pics...ur narration was as good as that of a guide. haha

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    1. Thank you Ritesh. See, you can get a free guided tour on my blog! :)

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  10. If I have an oppotunity in life, I would surely visit this place.

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  11. Love your pics man !!! Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you Anupam. Pleasure to share

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  12. Thanks for the tip. I intend traveling to Rome and will definitely walk my way through......there's really nothing like walking to get a feel of a place.

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  13. Photographs are brilliant--now I so long to visit Italy. And mmmm for the coffee shots!

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  14. Ha ha ... the same touristy walk! Instead of coffee I was taken to a gelato shop!

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