The zzzland Times

Our travel

                                               Rome, Italy

Updated  October 2020

  • Added videos and pictures

The white marble Arch of Septimius Severus at the northeast end of the Roman Forum is a triumphal arch dedicated in AD 203 to commemorate the Parthian victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in the two campaigns against the Parthians of 194-195 and 197-199.

I ate all this history up... I remember the day I took this picture... A very hot day. There wasn't much shade around. And yes, there was a lot of people on the site. Continuous streams our tours... You had to put yourself in a a little bubble not to feel overwhelmed by the crowds. 




The House of the Vestal Virgins  was the place where Vestal Virgins lived. It was located just behind their circular Temple of Vesta at the eastern edge of the Roman Forum, between the Regia and the Palatine Hill. The domus publicae where the Pontifex Maximus dwelled, was located near the Atrium until that role was taken up by the emperors.

(Latin: Atrium Vestae See diagram below. You can find it on the above diagram 4pm)

The Roman Forum, sometimes known by its original Latin title, is located between the Palatine Hill and the Capatoline Hilll. It is the central area around which the ancient Roman civilization developed. Citizens referred to the location as the "Forum Magnum" or just the "Forum".  


The Arch of Titus is a marble triumphal arch with a single arched opening, located on the Via Sacra just to the south-east of the Forum. It was constructed by the emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus, commemorating the capture and  sack of Jerusalem in 70, which effectively terminated the Jewish War begun in 66 (although the Romans did not achieve complete victory until the fall of Masda in 73). 


San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) is a basiillica, best known for being the home of Michelangelo's magnificent statue of Moses. (see below)

Reliquary containing the chains of St. Peter.   

The Palazzo dei Conservatori was built in the Middle Ages for the local magistrate on top of a sixth century BC temple dedicated to Jupiter "Maximus Capitolinus". It was the first use of a giant order that spanned two storeys, here with a range of Cornthean pilasters and subsidiary Ionic columns flanking the ground-floorloggia openings and the second-floor windows. Another giant order would serve later for the exterior of St-Peter's Basilica. Its facade was updated by Michelangelo in the
and again later numerous times 1530s.


The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935. Romans like to nickname it: the wedding cake.

Mussolini (IL Deuce to most) gave his famous speeches from this balcony.Not one joke was ever cracked during his speeches. (I doubt that anyone ever said to him... Hey Il Deuce, lighten up!) It is well known fact that dictators lack a sense of humour.  Food for thought. 


Babington's tea room

The tea room itself was founded by two young English ladies who arrived in Rome in 1893. They were Isabel Cargill, daughter of Captain Cargill, founder of the city of Dunedin in New Zealand and Anna Maria Babington, descendant of Antony Babington who was hanged in 1586 for conspiring against Elizabeth I. 

The two young women decided to invest their savings by opening a tearoom and reading room in the capital for the Anglo-Saxon .The company at the time involved considerable risks, above all because in Italy it was not common to drink tea, which was sold only in pharmacies. 

The Babington's tea room was an immediate success both because Italy was the destination of the Grand Tour for the English and because it was part of a Rome that celebrated the Jubilee and the silver wedding of the royals Umberto and Margherita.

The Spanish Steps climb a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinita dei Monti, dominated by the Trinita dei Monti church at the top.

The monumental stairway of 135 steps was built linking the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France and the Bourbon Spanish Embassy at the top of the steps to the Holy See in the Palazzo Monaldeschi at the bottom of the steps. 

                                    Vatican City


Saint Peter's Basilica   

The Pope gives his weekly blessings from this balcony.

Swiss Guards or Schweizergarde is the name given to the Swiss soldiers who have served as bodyguards, ceremonial guards, and palace guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century.



Where the Apostle Peter is buried (He was the first Pope)  


 The bronze statue of Saint Peter, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. 

The Last Judgment is a canonical fresco by Michelangelo executed on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. The work took four years to complete and was done between 1536 and 1541 (preparation of the altar wall began in 1535.) Michelangelo began working on it some twenty years after having finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

The Vatican and the Castel Saint Angelo.

(The castle is located beside the bridge)





 Part of a Roman warship



Rome's subway system: Not very extensive, but it gets you to all the main spots in the city. 




More Castel Saint Angelo.

The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The structure was once the tallest building in Rome.

The popes converted the structure into a castle, beginning in the 14th century; Pope Nicholas III  connected the castle to St- Peter's Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo.  

The Papal state also used Sant'Angelo as a prison. Executions were performed in the small inner courtyard. As a prison, it was also the setting for the third act of Puccini's 1900 opera TOSCA; the eponymous heroine leaps to her death from the Castel's ramparts.

Beautiful room decorated with frescoes

At the top of the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Archangel Michael stands mighty and proud, sheathing his sword

The bronze statue was created by the Flemish sculptor Pieter Van Verschaffelt in 1798.

Legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared atop the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590, thus lending the castle its present name.

Michelangelo's Cloister

The cloister of the charterhouse of the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, this is often referred to as "Michelangelo's Cloister" as he was tasked by the Pope with transforming the Baths into a church and chapterhouse. However, it is more likely that Michelangelo just came up with the layout and that a pupil of his, Giacomo del Duca, was responsible for most of the actual architecture, at least in the initial phase of construction. 

The cloister was built only after Michelangelo's death in 1564. Construction began in 1565 but took at least until 1600. The upper floor was finished in 1676 and the central fountain dates to 1695.

We visited this site in August, 2015.
Inside the square of the cloister, a 16th-century garden features outdoor displays of altars and funerary sculpture and inscriptions. These notably include some colossal animal heads, several of which date from Antiquity and were found near Trajan's Column in 1586.
Just click on one of the pictures below to open the picture gallery

Here are some short videos

Video of our tour of ROME

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