Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rome: Hotel Forum Views

 So what did the view from our room look like? Funny you should ask, because we just happen to have some photos! Standing in the middle of the room looking out, this is what we saw. I'll give details about that building further down in this post.

 Walk a little to the left edge of the room, though, and we could see bits and pieces of the Roman Forum. It felt very strange being that close to the center of Roman civilization, where all the famous leaders of that era once walked.

 Caesar, Augustus, Constantine, Caligula.

 Looking down Via Tor de' Conti towards Via Cavour.

 Even fire trucks came down our tiny street at rush hour.

 A typical rush hour scene.

 Notice the green guard shack on the island? That was used by the police during rush hour. They would stand at most corners of the city, blowing their whistle and waiving their arms. Even if the intersection had traffic signals.

 A close up of the ruins on the edge of the hotel.

 There was a complimentary continental breakfast at the rooftop restaurant each morning. Consisting of breads, muffins, and fruit, we ate there a couple of times. Here is the view from there - Palantine Hill...

 ...the Roman Forum....

 ...more of the Roman Forum...

 ...the backside of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II...

 ...the Tower of Conti with the Basilica of Constantine peeking through...

...and if we peeked down a side street, we could even get a glimpse of the Colosseum.

 Now let's people-watch for a minute! Look at the various groups of folks who passed our window while we were in Rome...and I'll tell you more about the hotel.

 One of the best things about the hotel was the staff - they were first rate, very courteous and would go out of their way to help. I give them high marks.

 Another great thing about the hotel was the location. Very easy access to many of the major sites.

 A third great thing about the hotel was the views. Where else can you see the Roman Forum, Palantine Hill, and sometimes the Colosseum from your hotel?

 ...and of course, a flock of nuns...
 Now about the Tower of Conti. We had no idea what this building was while we were in Rome, but I have researched it now that we are home.

 This tower was built in 1238 and I've read various accounts, some saying it was built by Pope Innocent II and some saying it was built by the Conti family. In any case, it was originally 60 meters high - roughly twice it's current height - and was coated in travertine.

 This coating was removed in the sixteenth century and used to construct Porta Pia.

 Several earthquakes affected the building, and one in 1348 made the tower uninhabitable. It was abandoned until 1620 when it was rebuilt.

 Other earthquakes in 1630 and 1644 further damaged the building.

Another look at the Roman Forum from our window.
And now, a few videos of the view.

The first two are typical scenes out the window:

Here, I show a close-up of the Roman Forum, the Tower of Conti, we hear the horns of motorists upset with each other, and we hear the construction of the grandstands for the July 3 military parade:

Lastly, one morning the Italian military decided to test the loudspeakers in preparation for the parade. Here is what we heard for a few hours:

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