Rome, Italy August 2000

001_1A.JPG (55088 bytes) 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. 004_4A.JPG (88064 bytes)  

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015_15A.JPG (52388 bytes) 009_9A.JPG (76864 bytes) 005_5A.JPG (80692 bytes) 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.  008_8A.JPG (61628 bytes)
031_31A.JPG (70644 bytes) 006_5A.JPG (61720 bytes) 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!  

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034_34A.JPG (71088 bytes) 003_2A.JPG (80880 bytes) 019_18A.JPG (75244 bytes) 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. 020_19A.JPG (67420 bytes)
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028_28A.JPG (55480 bytes) 028_27A.JPG (77800 bytes) 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.  021_21A.JPG (78736 bytes)
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.
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7998_3A.jpg (70800 bytes) 022_22A.JPG (73568 bytes) 008_7A.JPG (84816 bytes) 003_3A.JPG (77804 bytes) 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.
7998_10A.jpg (46048 bytes) 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. 7998_13A.jpg (82300 bytes) 7998_16A.jpg (51640 bytes) 7998_15A.jpg (75388 bytes)