Rome: Visit Once, You're Bound To Return
Posted by Ryan J. Beard on Aug 22, 2012 - 1:56:14 PM
ROME, ITALY—Rome, where narrow cobble stone streets lead past cracked and withered brick
buildings dating through the centuries, where string quartets play in open
courtyards as their music rings over crashing fountains and falls upon the ears
of unassuming Italians and fascinated tourists, and where a sea of red tile roof
shingles weave and intertwine across hills extending to the horizon, Rome truly
is the city of love.
Rome has many historical
attractions, and one could not possibly see them all in a short vacation. If
you are in Rome on a limited time frame, here are a few of the city’s
highlights that should not be missed.
The Vatican: This is an obvious
tourist attraction, however, much more than the Pope resides within the Vatican.
An amazing collection of art decorates the halls of the Vatican and paints the
ceilings. Among the most famous are Michelangelo’s murals within the Sistine
Chapel. Michelangelo painted the breathtaking mural on the ceiling in his
thirties. Years later, Pope Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to paint the
massive wall behind the altar. Amazingly, Michelangelo completed the daunting
mural depicting the last judgment in his early sixties. Also within the
Vatican’s walls are Rafael’s The School of Athens, and the enormous St. Peter’s
Basilica. When in St. Peter’s Basilica, find the mural of the scribe King
Solomon. To comprehend the size of the Basilica, recognize that the pen King
Solomon holds is nearly 9 feet long.
The Pantheon: One of the
best-preserved buildings in Rome, the Pantheon, dates back to 126 A.D. It
was originally built in honor of the gods of Ancient Rome. It has been in
continuous use, and since the 7th century has been used as a Roman
Catholic Church. The Pantheon is massive; its dome continues to be the world’s
largest unreinforced concrete dome nearly two thousand years after it was
built. On the Pantheon’s porch stand 16 immense columns with an amazing story
of passage. The columns were quarried in Egypt. These 16 columns, each 39 feet
tall, with a circumference larger than the wingspan of three men and weighing 60
tons, were dragged more than 60 miles to the Nile River where they were floated
by barge and transferred to Roman vessels waiting on the Mediterranean's shores. Once across the
Mediterranean, they were then transferred back onto barges and pulled up the
Tiber River to Rome.
The Trevi Fountain: A short walk
from the Pantheon is the Trevi Fountain. This magnificent fountain is one of
the most famous fountains in the world. While there, don’t forget to throw a
coin into the fountain's pool. Legend has it that doing so will ensure a
future return Rome.