Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rome: Piazza della Rotunda

 We definitely had on our list to see the Pantheon, a building that has fascinated me for a long time, while in Rome. Late one afternoon, we had some free time while walking down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, so we took a detour and sat out front of the Pantheon (I wanted to save going in until the sunlight was bright and overhead, to see it come in through the dome).

 When passing Largo di Torre Argentine on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, we turned and went up the street shown here, Via dei Cestari.

 Another shot of the same corner.

 Walking up Via dei Cestari one block and looking down the side street, we saw this - obviously a Roman ruin with buildings right up against it! In fact if you look close enough, you can see the ruin curve around and touch the street again two buildings down! Not the type of thing you see in the states.
 We also walked past this church - the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Looking rather plain, we didn't poke our head in. After returning home, I looked it up on the internet and wish we had - the interior is gorgeous.

 We approached the Pantheon from the back side, here is our first glimpse of it.

 Looking down the side of the Pantheon.

 Much of the marble is gone, but remnants can still be seen.
 There were several markers like this on the exterior of the Pantheon. Not sure what they are.

 Our first glimpse of the front.

 Here is the Piazza out front, the Piazza della Rotunda.

 We spent about a half-hour here, just watching the people.

 I'm not sure, but I think this woman may be famous or rich. Note the two men in suits behind her. They kept a close eye on things happening in her vicinity. I suspect they were bodyguards.

 A lost Roman.

Tourists taking a photo of their favorite mascot (a monkey of some sort?) in front of the Pantheon. Reminds me of the story of the family who had their yard gnome stolen about ten years ago. They received mail with photos of the gnome at various landmarks around the globe regularly since then.

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