Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

March 2006 : Rome

It hardly seems possible that, prior to this weekend trip, it had been over 20 years since my one previous visit to Rome. Although the weather was decidedly poor for March, the city confirmed itself as one of the most fascinating, interest-packed destinations anywhere - and now with the added bonus of Italy's brand new anti-smoking laws

Castel Sant'Angelo

'Il Vittoriano'

Trevi Fountain & Piazza Navona

The Colosseum

You cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer size of the Colosseum's remains, although I also found it a chilling reminder of the institutionalised barbarism that once took place there.

Santa Maria Maggiore

The basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most visited of the 250 or so churches in central Rome, and with good reason. Apart from the Sistine Chapel, it was the only one that officially had an outright ban on photography. However this was so widely and openly flouted that I finally decided not to be the odd one out and took a picture of the impressive dome. (At least I didn't use flash, unlike most people!)

San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni in Laterano, and not St Peter's, is the cathedral church of the Pope in his capacity as Bishop of Rome. (Not a lot of people know that!) I really liked this church, due to its open and airy feel, the relaxed attitude towards responsible photographers and its maze of side chapels, each of which seemed more impressive than the last. Highly recommended!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is the best preserved of all ancient Roman monuments. Originally a temple of all the gods, its survival was assured through conversion into a Christian church. The dome is reckoned to be an amazing feat of engineering and the famous 'eye' means that it is open to the elements! As with so many churches in Rome, the entrance features an Egyptian obelisk.

Base : InterContinental de la Ville-Roma

Linked reports from same trip :-

Vatican City