Came across this statue of another Italy-tourist from Germany in the gardens of Villa Borghese; in my estimation the most beautiful public park in Rome.
Often cities located on rivers will have promenades or otherwise put their waterfronts to good use. In Rome, however, there is pretty much nothing located on the banks of the Tiber. Despite the fact that someone went to great lengths to create these murals.
The tower of Rome’s Fiumicino airport features a fascinatingly complex upper structure.
With a few hours left before I had to head back to the airport, I went to the rose garden overlooking Circus Maximus. They have speakers installed there, so as I was sitting back, eating my packed lunch, classical music was playing in the background. It was the perfect conclusion to a wonderful vacation.
When you’re standing outside the Forum Romanum it doesn’t look like much: a bunch of rocks and a few columns.
But once you’re inside standing amidst the ruins, you get a sense of what this place must have looked like when all those buildings were still standing.
And you can’t help but wonder what an impact it must have had on the people walking in between these buildings. At the platform above the forum there are these illustrations showing what the buildings probably looked like and how they evolved over the centuries as the Roman Republic/Empire itself also evolved.
Looking towards St. Peter’s Basilica, which I would visit the following day.
I don’t know where this gate leads to, but found it interesting with how much effort it had been decorated.
Over the centuries, the buildings now housing the Vatican Museums have been torn down, rebuilt and remodeled over and over again, sometimes in different architectural styles or with different building materials, thus creating buildings such as these that look like a bit foreign in their surroundings; almost like afterthought.
Having been in Paris last year, I must say that the inside of these buildings feels very similar to the palace in Versailles. Essentially they are ways for their respective inhabitants to show off their power to others. The Gallery of Maps.
St. Peter’s Basilica
I was lucky to get into St. Peter’s Basilica, because on my way there I overheard several people talking about how it was currently closed. Our tour-guide, however, told us that sometimes between 1pm and 2pm the small door in the far right corner of the Sistine Chapel will be opened, giving direct access to the basilica.
No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Colosseum. But even though it is an impressive looking structure, I got the feeling that you’ve seen it all pretty quickly. What I didn’t know beforehand was that only certain tours allow you to get to the upper and the underground levels. So maybe I missed out on a few things because I only got a regular ticket.
Speaking of tickets: the same ticket is valid for the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum right across the street. However, the lines in front of the latter are usually much shorter. And once you bought your ticket there you can go right through security at the Colosseum which is a much shorter wait than the ticket line there.
The first day was pretty sunny until suddenly storm clouds darkened the sky making for some interesting lighting effects.
The remaining photos are from day three when it was more overcast.
View from inside the Colosseum towards Forum Romanum.
Detail showing the three classic types of columns used at the tree levels of the Colosseum’s exterior (from top to bottom): Corinthian, Ionic and Doric.
Fun Fact: Recycle bins inside the Colosseum are also Colosseum-shaped.
I have recently had the good fortune to escape my cold and cloudy hometown and spent a few days in wonderfully warm Rome. While I of course went to see the major sights (Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Vatican), just walking through the streets of Rome was probably my favorite part of the trip.
As you’re walking through Rome, you get a sense that most buildings here could (at the very least) use a fresh coat of paint. Still, the city never seems dirty, so it is all actually quite charming in a way.
And just a few streets further, there these really beautiful little alleys and piazzas with lush greens. This really is my favorite sight in Rome.
And of course there is the more than 2000 years old S.P.Q.R. which still adorns pretty much everything belonging to the city of Rome: ancient fountains (OK, that’s not that surprising) and also modern manhole covers, signs and the Roma Capitale letter head.
I’ve often walked by the impressive looking new Derendorf Campus of Düsseldorf’s University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Düsseldorf), but never had a chance to take a closer look. So today, even though the weather wasn’t great, I went to check it out.