Rome, Italy

Rome The Eternal City, walking in ancient Rome at night is pretty wondrous, the place geographically is very small so you can see all the great sites without taking buses or trains. I parked my car where I could, close to the Forum, made a note of where I was and headed out.

  • The Trevi Fountain, was started in 1732
  • The town is best known for Tiberius’ Grotto
  • Constantine’s Arch, The largest triumphant arch ever built commemorating Emperor Constantine’s victory

The whole place fills you with wonder at how these two thousand year old buildings have survived. Rome was sacked a few times but these beautiful buildings stayed standing. The Trevi Fountain, was started in 1732 and marks where one of the original aqueducts that fed Rome in 19BC entered the city. The Roman Forum, The Pantheon, St. Peters, The Castel ‘Angelo and Altare Della Patria are all outstanding at night.

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After a night of Rome I headed out of town to visit a place from my early twenties. The town of Sperlonga. My parents had a weekender here and many a fun time was had on the beach and in the Piazza at night. I don’t think I can remember a better Pizza and Vino that one could eat and drink in the summer nights here. The town is best known for Tiberius’ Grotto. In my day it was just there and you could walk into the Grotto and explore the ruins of the Villa. It was a summer retreat for the Emperor Tiberius. It is now all set up with a museum and a directed walk. The town, perched on a hill with its castle at San Magno built to defend the City from Saracen Pirates, is a medieval town with charming pathways climbing through the town from the beach to the main Piazza.

With his victory Constantine unified the Western and Eastern empires. Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Constantinople, the birth of the Byzantine Empire, Holy Roman Empire and later to become the Ottoman city of Istanbul. Rome’s supreme court building, Corte di Cassazione adorned with the great Bronze Quadriga sits adjacent to the Colosseum.

The next day I got up early to catch the dawns early light over the Colosseum, a spectacular example of Roman architecture and engineering. Constantine’s Arch, The largest triumphant arch ever built commemorating Emperor Constantine’s victory over the tyrant Maxentius in 312AD. It was built in 315AD. With this victory Constantine unified the Western and Eastern empires. Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Constantinople, the birth of the Byzantine Empire, Holy Roman Empire and later to become the Ottoman city of Istanbul. Rome’s supreme court building, Corte di Cassazione adorned with the great Bronze Quadriga sits adjacent to the Colosseum. St Peter’s Basilica from the River Tiber and the beautiful bridges over the river, with their statues, add to the ancient beauty of this great city.

If you still need more marvels of ancient Rome take a quick afternoon trip to Ostia Antica. Ostia was ancient Rome’s port and if you have an idea of the size of the Roman Empire you will understand the significance of this port. It was built where the Tiber River meets the Tyrrhenian Sea and fed Rome for centuries, but with the decline of Rome the entrance to the port became silted up and fell into decay. It was eventually abandoned in the ninth century after repeated battles with pirates and now sits two miles from the sea. It is very preserved and the mosaics and buildings, some several stories high, again show the brilliance of those Romans.

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