|Ruins in this row, right pic is of columns which the church tried for hundreds of years to bring down. Most of Vatican City is built with marble from the Temples of the Roman Empire. Guess they finally gave up.|
|Colosseum pics to the left. Little introduction necessary. Stunning that a 2000 year old stadium stands tall while ours are lucky to see 30 years.|
|The Pantheon! Built in early Rome, this architectural marvel buggered engineers for centuries, not because they were amazed the Romans could do it, rather because they couldn't do it themselves! Western Civilization lost the knowledge of how to build domes for over a thousand years after the fall of Rome. Oops!|
|Back outside to the famous Spanish Steps and the omnipresent Egyptian obelisks, taken as treasure from Egypt during the peak of the Empire. The spires are all over Rome--twelve of them--more than remain in Egypt.|
|Plazas and cafes around the Piazza de Firori. Restaurant in the far right picture has the best Italian food in the world. Family owned and operated. The only English the husband knows he uses to tell Americans like me: "No-a choice. Fixed-a menu." Trust me, you won't mind.||
Communist Party is more of a novelty than anything else. Now that the average Italian makes more than the average Englishman, they've embraced capitalism whole-heartedly.
|Picture to the left is a stunning, golden hallway in the Vatican Museum, along with the interior of St. Peters to the left of that. Outside the cathedral, a long procession of clergy leaves Mass. 2000 was a Jubilee year for the Catholic Church, bringing millions of pilgrims from around the world to Rome.|
|Beautiful Rome calms down around dusk with a glass of wine and a stroll through the small shops around the piazzas. A very different way of life.|