P I A Z Z A  V E N E Z I A

Due to its central location, we passed by Piazza Venezia all days. That's why there are so many photos of it :) The primadonna here is the Vittoriano (the huge monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of Italy).


Well... unfortunately we didn't manage to catch the Colosseum by daylight (not without rain at least) nor to enter it, so you'll enjoy some less typical night & dusk shots of the ancient theater which became possibly the most known monument, if not even the symbol of Rome itself.
The Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.
Its construction started in 72 A.D. under Emperor Vespasian, and was terminated under Emperor Titus in 80 A.D. (continues in the album comments).
Nearby you can also enjoy the view of the very well preserved Constantine Arch.


The Forum area is located near the central Piazza Venezia, on the south edge of Campidoglio hill, east to the Palatino hill. It's divided into Imperial Forums, where the main political activities took place during the republican and imperial era, and the Roman Forum, where the commerce and imperial justice activities took place instead.
The Imperial Forums are divided into Forum of Caesars, Forum of August, Forum of Trajan, Nerva Forum, the Templum Pacis.

S A N  P I E T R O

The Basilica of Saint Peter is the biggest christian church building in the world. It is the burial site of Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostoles of Jesus, and was buried here after he was crucified under the Emperor Nero, in his circus which was located here as well.
Today's basilica was built over the old Constanitnian Saint Peter Basilica (built in 4th century). The construction of the new building started in 1508, under pope Jules II, and was completed in 1626.
The original project was lead by the architect Donato Bramante, who realized the grandest application of the theoretical studies done by Leonardo Da Vinci. Bramante proposed a revolutionary scheme in the shape of a fully symmetrical greek cross, with a big hemispheric dome in the center, inspired by the Pantheon. When Bramante died in 1514, his place was taken by Raffaello Sanzio and Baldassarre Peruzzi. Raffaello proposed a modification to the project, going back to a more traditional scheme with a longitudinal section divided into three main corridors, while Peruzzi was stuck on the Bramante original idea. When Raffaello died in 1520 and after the Sack of Rome in 1527, Antonio da Sangallo took over. He died in 1546 and then it was Michelangelo Buonarroti's turn, who modified the project in order to enhance the dome. He went back to the original project, but breaking the perfect omnidirectional symmetry that Bramante suggested, by adding a longer side on the east. The dome designed by Michelangelo was completed by Giacomo della Porta (1590) once Michelangelo had died. In 1602, Carlo Maderno was assigned to finish the construction, and he added a further longitudinal part to the front, furtherly lenghtening the church's main body and "pushing backwards" the dome, giving the building a "latin cross" section. Although the Vatican basilica is not the Pope's official seat (Saint John Lateran), it is most certainly his principal church, as most Papal ceremonies take place at St. Peter's due to its size, proximity to the Papal residence, and location within the Vatican City walls.
The majestic facade faces Piazza San Pietro, which was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and which construction took place from 1656 to 1667.


A few photos taken on the Gianicolo hill, located west to the center right behind the S.Pietro church.
You'll enjoy a night landscape of the city center and the Fountain of Acqua Paola (always referred to by the people of Rome as Fontanone, i.e. the Big Fountain).

C I R C O  M A S S I M O

The Circus Maximus used to be a hippodrome and mass entertainment venue, located in the south west part of the city, directly facing the Palatine hill (where the government and then imperial palaces where located).
Originally built during the Etruscan kindom of rome, the circus was then expanded in 50 bC by Julius Caesar and later on by the Emperor Trajan. In its final form, it was the largest circus in Rome, hosting more than 250000 spectators.
Today not much is leff of it, it's basically a park with a few ruins, but preserving the basic shape and size.


The Campidoglio (Capitoline) hill is the most central hill in Rome, located south to Piazza Venezia and north to the Forum area.
During the imperial age it hosted the temple of Capitoline Triad, considered at that time one of the largest and most beautiful temples in the city.
Today the main attraction is the Piazza del Campidoglio, originally designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti. At the center of the Piazza there is the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelios, the philosopher emperor. On the sides, there are the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Palazzo Senatorio and Palazzo Nuovo.


The Pantheon temple, originally the "temple of all gods", was originally built by the statesman and general Marcus Agrippa in 27 b.C., and it was later destroyed by a fire in 80 A.D. The current building dates from about 125 A.D., during the reign of Emperor Adrian.
In 609, Pope Boniface IV converted the temple into a Christian church and consacrated it to Santa Maria dei Martiri. This helped the builting to be saved from destruction and spoliation.
Since the Renaissance, the Pantheon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painters Raphael and Annibale Caracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. In the 15th century, the Pantheon was adorned with paintings: the best-known is the Annunciation by Melozzo da Forlì. Architects, like Brunelleschi, who used the Pantheon as help when designing the Cathedral of Florence's dome, looked to the Pantheon as inspiration for their works.

S .  M A R I A   I N  C O S M E D I N

Santa Maria in Cosmedin is not the most famous church in Rome, but it's still worth a visit. It's probably well known for hosting the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth), a renowned image, carved from marble, of a man-like face with open mouth and located in the portico of the church.
Since middle age, it was believed that if one told a lie with his hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. This belief was brought up again lately by the movies Roman Holiday (1953) and its japanese parody Sleeping Bride (2000), that's why today you can see many visitors (japanese especially...) lining up in the church portico to test their trueness.
Anyway, the basilica was built in 6th century, in roman style, and substantially restored in 1118-24. In 1718 the church was brought up to a Baroque style, mainly in the facade.

W A L K I N G  A R O U N D

All the other photos are here! Amongst various subjects, you can also find views from Piazza Navona (covered by a "clumsy" christmas market, though), Campo dei Fiori, Piazza del Popolo and others.