Having now left the Trajan’s Market area to where the old and Ancient edge of Capitoline Hill meets modern and yet still political, controversial Victor Emmanuel II monument controversial since it’s construction, a large area of Capitoline Hill a medieval Roman social neighbourhood had to be destroyed for it to be.
My view was it’s quite an impressive building and in keeping with it’s surroundings we were given to understand by our tour guide, it had many nicknames such as “the wedding cake” and many Romans referred to it as “the typewriter” what ever it’s termed it’s certainly modernistic and unique much like the MI6 building in London England. We had no opportunity to visit the interior of the building and could only view and gaze from the walk by, on our way to “The Trevi Fountain” our next port of call.
Leaving the Trajan Market area behind us we cross the very busy Via Del Fori Imperiali Main Road between Colosseum and the Vittoriano (typewriter) and on to Trevi Fountain, legend has it, if a visitor to Rome throws a coin into the fountain it ensures his or her revisit to the City. Agrippa brought “Acqua Vergine” to Rome by an Aqueduct in the first Century BC, His soldiers had been searching for water in the countryside and a maiden showed them this sauce of spring water, from then on it’s been known as Acqua Vergine (Virgin Water). On The fountain’s center piece stands a Sea God standing on a shell shaped charriot pulled by winged horses, Built by Nicola Salvi (1735) set against a large building and decorated in bass-reliefs by followers of Bernini, standing on Huge rocks with water gushing from within.
We have now left the Trevi Fountain which, like the Piazza Della Signoria in Florence had just appeared before our eyes like a mirage in a desert when we exited a simple city street, and there was the Fountain in all it’s glory, what a wonderful sight surrounded by hundreds of people gazing at the spectacle, not believing quite what they are seeing, we are now moving on walking through a nearby shopping Moll, a short cut to the totally amazing.
“TRAGAN’S COLUMN” completed in 113AD a freestanding column of around 36 metres high and almost 4 metres in diameter, it has a bass relief frieze winding 23 times round the structure amounting to 190 metres containing bass relief carved storyboards of the Dacian Wars, which it commemorates the Triumph of. It is made up of 20 marble bobbins one on the other and weighing in at around 32 tons each. It’s interior contains a spiral staircase of 185 steps surmounted by a capital weighing in at 53½ ton with a viewing platform. The whole thing is surmounted by a bronze statue of St Peter and the whole structure would have been painted when originally erected.
Moving on now to the only architecturally medieval intact roman monument from classical times “THE PANTHEON” built by Agrippa in 27BC dedicated to the Gods and later in 80ad after a severe fire destroyed it, it was redesigned by Hadrian and further restored in the third century ad by Caracalla. Originally a pagan temple it was Pope Boniface IV who with the permission of the emperor changed it to a Christian church by bringing Christian bones from the catacombs dedicating it to St Mary of the Markers, preserving it’s preservation.The portico has 16 monolithic columns holding a ceiling which was originally covered with almost 500,000 pound Of bronze but removed by Pope Urban VIII and was used by Bernini whilst building the Baldacchino canopy of St Peters in the Vatican (1623-1634)
The interior, a large circular space measuring 43.4 metres in diameter and in height, the dome having an Oculus (Latin meaning “eye”) measuring almost 9 metres diameter and open to the elements. The sun really makes it’s mark within as can be seen in the image on page 147,148 and 149. The perimeter has around it seven niches some containing Gods and others famous Emperors such as Julius Caesar, within the spaces between the niches, more Gods and heroes, some of Italy’s most famous Kings and artists are buried here including the remains of Raphael and some of his best assistants. Outside on the piazza Rotunda the Fontana del Pantheon completed in 1575 designed by Giacomo Della Porta, and sculpted out of Marble by Leonardo Sormadi.
From here we move on to the “Piazza Navona” built over the site of “Stadium of Domitian” and one of the largest squares in Rome.
The book related to this series can be purchased or pre-viewed at BLURB BOOKS http://store.blurb.co.uk/my/books/3240593-italia in book form or E-Book