Thursday, March 31, 2011


Rome (Part 1)

Completed part 2 of my homework - finding out the places to visit in Rome... total of 7 die die must visit places.... share with u the top 3 first.... all info from lonely planet (heavily reduced content) ...else very tedious to read la.... and pictures from anywhere and everywhere in the net.... hahaha....

(1) Pantheon
Address - Piazza della Rotonda
Transport - Largo di Torre Argentina Phone - 06 683 00 230
Price - admission free, audioguide €4
Hours - 8.30am-7.30pm Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm Sun

It's a 2000-year-old temple, now a church. It is in its current form and dates to around AD 120. It was dedicated to the classical gods – hence the name Pantheon, a derivation of the Greek words pan (all) and theos (god) – but in AD 608 it was consecrated as a Christian church.
We will be able to see the tomb of Raphael, kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I in there. The dome of this church was the largest in the world until the 15th century and is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built. Its harmonious appearance is due to a precisely callibrated symmetry – the diameter is exactly equal to the Pantheon’s interior height of 43.3m. Light enters through the oculus, an 8.7m opening in the dome that also served as a symbolic connection between the temple and the gods. Rainwater enters but drains away through 22 almost-invisible holes in the sloping marble floor.

(2) St Peter’s Basilica
Address - Piazza San Pietro Transport -
Ottaviano-San Pietro Website -
Phone - 06 698 83 731
Price - admission free, audioguides €5
Hours - 7am-7pm Apr-Sep

It's Italy’s biggest, richest and most spectacular church. A monument to centuries of artistic genius. On peak days it can attract more than 20, 000 visitors. If you want to get in remember to dress appropriately – that means no shorts, miniskirts or bare shoulders. The first basilica was built by Constantine in the 4th century. Standing on the site of Nero’s stadium, the Ager Vaticanus, where St Peter is said to have been buried, it was consecrated in AD 326. It took more than 150 years to complete the new basilica.

Free English-language guided tours of the basilica are run from the Vatican tourist office, the Centro Servizi Pellegrini e Turisti ), at 9.45am on Tuesday and Thursday and at 2.15pm every afternoon between Monday and Friday.

(3) Colosseum
Address - Piazza del Colosseo
Transport -
Website -
Phone - 06 399 67 700
Price - admission incl Palatino & Roman Forum, €13.50, audioguides €4.50, videoguides €5.50
Hours - 8.30am-6.15pm Apr-Aug

English guides for individuals 10.15 am, 11.15 am, 12.30 pm, 3pm, 4.15 pm, 5.15pm., buy & print tickets online

Labelled the most thrilling of Rome’s ancient sights. It was here that gladiators met in mortal combat, and condemned prisoners faced wild beasts, in front of baying, bloodthirsty crowds. Two thousand years on and it is Italy’s top tourist attraction, which means lengthy queues and long waits.

Built by Vespasian (r AD 69–79) in the grounds of Nero’s vast Domus Aurea complex, the Colosseum was inaugurated in AD 80. To mark the occasion, Vespasian’s son and successor Titus (r AD 79–81) staged games that lasted 100 days and nights, during which some 5000 animals were slaughtered.
Trajan (r 98–117) later topped this, holding a marathon 117-day killing spree involving 9000 gladiators and 10, 000 animals.

The name Colosseum, when introduced in medieval times, was not a reference to its size but to the Colosso di Nerone, a giant statue of Nero that stood nearby. The outer walls have three levels of arches, articulated by Ionic, Doric and Corinthian columns. They were originally covered in travertine, and marble statues once filled the niches on the 2nd and 3rd storeys. The upper level had supports for 240 masts that held up a canvas awning over the arena. The 80 entrance arches, known as vomitoria, allowed the spectators to enter and be seated in a matter of minutes. The interior was divided into the arena, cavea and podium. The arena had a wooden floor covered in sand to prevent the combatants from slipping and to soak up the blood. It could also be flooded for mock sea battles. Trapdoors led down to underground chambers beneath the arena floor. Animals in cages and sets for the various battles were hoisted onto the arena by a complex system of pulleys.

The cavea, for spectator seating, was divided into three tiers: magistrates and senior officials sat in the lowest tier, wealthy citizens in the middle and the plebs in the highest tier. Women (except for vestal virgins) were relegated to the cheapest sections at the top. The podium, a broad terrace in front of the tiers of seats, was reserved for emperors, senators and VIPs.

With the fall of the Roman empire in the 6th century, the Colosseum was abandoned and gradually became overgrown. In the Middle Ages it became a fortress, occupied by two of the city’s warrior families, the Frangipani and the Annibaldi. It was later used as a quarry for travertine and marble for Palazzo Venezia, Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Cancelleria, among other buildings.


Rome is all about buildings and structures and more buildings and structures and of cos the rich history.... will I be able to fully appreciate it??? even if i will i will be able to appreciate it on the first few days, will i still be able to appreciate them on the 3rd and the 4th day???? or will i just say silly things like, " this dome looks like the dome we visited just now what... can we stop walking so much to just look at domes and churches... =(....

out of the top 3 places to visit in rome as stated above... i am more interested in no. 3 - Colosseum, would love to stand in the arena (if it's possible) and imagine how a gladiators, amidst the 9000 of them will feel like being surround by 5000-10000 ferocious animals.... oh mine, i think i m sick in the brain lo.....hahahaha....

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