The Eternal City Rome, just like its namesake Constantinople that referred to as Nova Roma was founded upon seven hills. When we talk about seven hills, not possible to skip the legend about the found of city.
According to the legend, Mars the God of war and Rhea Silvia’s twin children Romulus and Remus were left in the Tiber River in a crate. When overflowing water of the river lower, the crate just at the foot of the Palatino Hill where Rome is established there. She-Wolf feeded twins who found the babies. Later a shepherd found and rose them.
On April 21, 753 BC Rome was established by Romulus and Remus where they hit the exactly coast of the Palatino Hill. Romulus would built the walls of the city around the hill, but Remus mocked with his brother by finding the walls were low.Succumbing to anger , Romulus killed Remus, took over the city and gave his name to it…
Romulus called volunteers and outlaws to Rome to expand the city, but after a while he noticed that almost no women among them. He wangled to increase the population of the city, organized festivities to celebrate Mars’s birthday, invited the Sabin’s people from neighboring Kingdom. During the feasting, when Sabin’s men drunk and dived fun, the Roman soldiers kidnapped and kept the Sabine women.Then succumbing to anger, Sabin men set up an army and they returned to Rome to save their women, they are confronted with the bitter vicissitudes of fate, because Sabin women fought on the side of the Romans in the battle by choosing their new husbands…
According to the legend, one day Romulus disappeared in a fierce storm. Romans accepted him as God, believed that he rose to the sky. Over time Rome that founded by Romulus, the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire nowadays is a capital of the Italy and according to the beliefs there will be forever.
Vatican, management center of the Catholic denominations is located in Rome as an independent state from İtaly. The smallest counrty of the world considering population and the land area Vatican is the spiritual leader of Catholics, the Pope. Vatican separated from Rome only with high walls.
Bernini’s work San Pietro Square, almost hugging the incoming people with it’s 284 columns that arranged in a half moon and 140 statues of saints that located in the hills. In the middle of the square, located an obelisk that brought from Alexandria and estimated 4,000-years-old. After a long queue at the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica, Swiss Guards welcome visitors.
From the 15th century till today, due to their loyalty, discipline and combat capabilities a group of about 100 people continues the mission of protecting the Pope. Orange, Navy blue color is predominanted of the uniforms, unfortunately, make the Swiss Guards, cute rather than scary.
Inside of the Basilica of the San Pietro is a complete visual feast. A bronze altar beneath of the dome, made by Bernini. Due to containing Pagan figures, bronze reliefs on the pediment of the Pantheon was melt and converted to the altar by ordered the Pope of that period. Baldacchino (Papal Altar) is placed on the marble floor. There is a St. Peter’s grave under the ground that name of the Basilica comes from here. St. Peter is one of the Jesus’s 12 Apostles and the first Pope of the Christianity. That’s why, it’s no surprise that the biggest church of the Christianity was dedicated to him. He was killed by crucifixion on 29 June 67, in Rome.
There is another St.Peter’s church that carved into the rock in Hatay where he spent a part of his life. This church is the privileged in Hatay, because assumed that it is the first example of church that carved into the rock and one of the pilgrimage spot for Christians. Every year on 29 June, a ceremony organized here with the participation of the Christians from various parts of the world and representatives of the Vatican.
In the Basilica, locked a door calls as ‘’the door of the heaven’’ that opened once in 25 years by the Pope. It is believed that, Jesus gave the key to heaven to St. Peter in the last supper, before he died. The symbolic key for opening the door to heaven traditionally transferred one Pope to the other. That’s why, the St. Peter and the Pope’s statues keep the key in their hands.
One of the important works of the Basilica is Michelangelo’s Pieta. Nowadays,statue has protected in a glass lantern because of suffered a vandalism attack. Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary holding the dead Jesus in her arms. In 1498, sculpture have been ordered by French Bishop Jean Bilheres for his tomb in San Pietro . Pieta is the only one work that Michelangelo signed. Artist’s signature is on the belt of Mary which holds the dress together.
It is more clearly to understand how fascinates people this spectacular wealth and glorious over the centuries at the end of tour.
To complate the tour of the Basilica by watching from the top of dome that designed by Michelangelo to Vatican and Rome, you need to climb up to the top 117-meter. One of the alternatives to use elevator or 496 stairs. As a result, the city with all its glory under your feet!
There are some museums where can be seen many of the masterpiece of artists as well as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and the famous Sistine Chapel in Vatican, . Sistine Chapel is a church where is realized significant church ceremonies and the cardinals of the churchs gathered for the selection of a new Pope. Sistine Chapel adorned by frecoes. Various scenes from the Bible From prophet Adam to prophet Noah; law given to prophet Moses and including the birth of Christ until the last Judgment is depicted in 3 section with 9 different boards.
The most known of “The Creation of Adam ” and ” Last Judgment “. Michelangelo completes his work by filling an area of 520 square meters with frescoes in about 4 years. He drawed and painted the pictures standing on the pier. He performs by extending their arms up to the ceiling.
In the fresco of “Creation of Adam” which describing the giving life to the first man Adam by God, considering that Michelangelo drawed his own face as the face of God. God’s right-hand extends to give the light of life to the Adam’s finger. God and Adam’s hands is the most important part of the detail that fresco contains. Under the left arm is depicted a woman who is considered has represent the uncreated Eve. The green ribbons stretching from woman represent human life arising from women.
According to another comment, oval portion of the fresco depicting God, actually represents the human brain and Michelangelo is trying to tell people that they create the image of God in their brain. Who knows?
“Last Judgment” fresco describes the day of end of the World. Virgin Mary accompanies with Jesus. a group is depicted that consisting of bishops, saints. Victims appears with the symbols of the victims. The point is that frescoes the way of how Michelangelo depicted female body. Maybe he haven’t seen any female body over his lifetime, that’s why he portrayed women such as muscular men.
Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of Angels) located within the boundaries of the Vatican. It can be reached through by Ponte Sant’Angelo (Bridge of Angels) that named by the same name. The bridge and the castle was ordered by the Emperor Hadrian as mausoleum for him and his family. Hadrian and his family’s ashes hiding in the Castle, in a secret room called the treasury.
Bridge of Angels, one of the most beautiful bridges of Tiber River that decorated with 10 pieces of sculpture belong to Bernini and his students. Total of 10 sculptures greet arrivals on the bridge.
The story of striking bronze statue of Michael on top is interesting. According to rumors, Archangel gives the heralds to people by sheathing his sword that battle against the plague is over. The structure has known the “Mausoleum of Hadrian” before the incident. After that date, began to called as “Castel San’t Angelo”. A little note: when plague-bearing mice arrived with merchant ships from China to Europe there was no cat that would be hunt mice. All cats have been killed by Inquisition. Because of they deemed, cats possessed by devil and represent him. The black death spread rapidly across in the Europe and caused mass deaths. Over the time, sometimes it used as a prison fortress and sometimes as castle.
Structure was used by the Vatican for a while due to a connected tunnel to the Vatican.
When we go to Rome from the Vatican,the II. Vittorio Emmanuel Monument welcomes visitors. The monument was built on behalf of Vittorio Emanuele, the first King of United Italy. It is known as the wedding cake due to made of white marble.
The Roman Forum, was the center of politics,trade and law thousands of years ago. It is one of the interesting places to see remaining of the temples, government buildings in that period. This area obtains a insight daily life in ancient Rome.
Colosseum is the source of inspiration to modern stadium nowadays. The construction was began in 72 commisioned by the Vespasyan and completed in 80 during the reign of his son Titus. According to rumors, opening games tooked for 100 days and nights. Thousands of animals and hundreds of people have been killed during the openin ceremony. And The architect of the structure has been slaughtered by wild animals as per Titus’s order. Because he wanted be uniqe with this structure and no one could be built such a magnificent structure after him.
Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the World with its four-storey structure and a capacity of about 50 – 55 thousand of people. The most ancient amphitheater in the world is in Pompeii. A structures that masterpiece of engineering was designed to evacuate crowd in five minutes with its 80 doors. When the Emperor and the nobility watched the shows in marble seats at the bottom, on the top section was planned for the public with stone seating . A structure consisting of cellar, arena and podium.
All forms of violence was presented to the public under the name of entertainment. Sometimes slaves faught with animals, sometimes gladiators faught among themselves.
Holes in the walls of the Colosseum are traces of the cursed and plundered after the adoption of Christianity. Brass and bronze artifacts removed from the walls that was adorning everwhere in Pagan period. They used for construction of Vatican. According to an ancient prophecy, Colosseum would stand as long as Rome exists, when it will destroyed, Rome will be destroyed too and the world will be destroyed after down of Roma.
No doubt that another most touristic spot in Rome is Piazza di Spagna that we know as the Spanish Steps. This steps consist of 138 stairs that made to connect the French church Trinita dei Monti, Piazza di Spagna. It named as Spanis Steps cause of the Spain Embassy that located near around the ladders. This are one of the most expensive shopping locations of Rome. The stairs that were filled by young people who want to be a model for artists in the past. Nowadays, welcomes crowd tourists who need little rest and breathe the air of the city.
Our next stop is the famous Fontain of Love (Fontana di Trevi) which has a major contribution that Rome is known as love city. Trevi means the intersection of the three road, therefore can be translated as fontain of three ways. The grandeur of the fountain and the sound of water absorbes all noise from the surrounding crowd. Nothing is border you and feels like a hypnotize by Neptune of fontain. Two triton are accompanied to the God of the sea Neptune that located in the middle of the fontain. Tritons are messengers of the sea that half human, half fish. According to rumors, cause of philosophical interpretation of these tritons, fountain identified as the Fontain of Love. The one’s with an old and bearded triton, which rides the calm and docile horse is interpreted as rational and philosophical love; and the one’s that young and beautiful triton which rides the unruly and vicious horse is interpreted as a symbol of physical and wild love. Goddess of fertility and health was depicted both side of the Neptün. The fountain was completed by Nicola Salvi in 1762, decorated by the artists from school of Bernini.
Now it’s time to famous ritual which means, you need to sacrifice a small amount of money, which makes sound in your pocket. If you want to come back to Rome, you should throw a coin into the fontain, over your left shoulder with right hand by making a wish. Speaking of wishes, rituels can be diversified by number of coins. A coin guarantees to come back Rome, two coins for to find love in Rome, three coins guarantee to get marriage with the person who you’re in love. An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day that this amount is donated to the Red Cross.
”The temple of all Gods” Panteon was dedicated to five known planets (Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus) at that time. First temple was built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa for Pagan Gods and rebuilt in 125 AD by the Emperor Hadrian. In the entrance of the Pantheon wrote in Latin “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, Consul for the third time, built this”
Pantheon is unique with its 43 meters diameter dome which is inspired other temples after itself rest of the world. The question is, how could be made with this large-scale dome of that days capability?
The dome of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Duomo in Florence and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London were built by modelling on Pantheon. It has been protected until today even though the main purpose of Pantheon is still unknown. Since the date on which the built is used as actively. Building serves as a church since the 7th century. After the Christianity adopted as official religion, all figures that related Paganism had been dismantled from here. Nowadays it is hosted Vittorio Emanuele II and Rafaella’s tombs.
Piazza Navona is the one of the most beautiful squares with its oval shape, musicians, painters, cartoonists and street fairs. La Fontana del Moro fountain is located the one end of square that symbolizes Neptune struggling with a dolphin. Fontana del Nettuno fountains is plcaed at the other end of square that symbolizes Neptune struggling with an octopus. A magnificent Fountain is placed in the middle of the square with its all mysteries. The Fontain of Four Rivers, (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi). For sculptures represent four major rivers of the four continents. The Ganges represents Asia, that carries a long oar, representing the river’s navigability. The Nile’s head is draped with a loose piece of cloth, meaning that no one at that time knew exactly where the Nile’s source was. The Nile represents Africa. The Danube represents Europe The Danube that touches the Pope’s personal coat of arms, since it is the large river closest to Rome and the Rio de la Plata represents America that is sitting on a pile of coins, a symbol of the riches America could offer to Europe (the word plata means “silver” in Spanish). Also, the Rio de la Plata looks scared by a snake, showing rich men’s fear that their money could be stolen.
The Fountain of the Naiads which is located right in front of the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Agnel one of the hidden beauty. Each four water nymphs are depicted with the animals that represent their respective environments. Nymph with swan represents the Naiad of the Lakes, nymph which lying over the beast represents the Naiad of the Rivers, nymph which riding a horse represent the Naiad of the Oceans, nymph which is lying over a a mysterious monster represents the Naiad of the Underground Waters. Many argument has been risen about the fontain due to its unusual design. It took time to accept by public.
Felice Fontana Dell’Acqua – Fountain of Moses is located with all it’s majesty just a little away in the corner.
The Quattro Fontane (the Four Fountains) one of the impressive examples of late Renaissance period that were designed as a part of the buildings at the intersection of two ways of Via delle Quattro and Via del Quirinale. Four fontain are facing each other but looks like they don’t care each other on the four different building. The figure of one fountain is said to represent the River Tiber, in front of an oak-tree; a she-wolf, the symbol of Rome. A second fountain that figure is lying in front of reeds represents the River Aniene. The other two fountains feature female figures believed to represent the Goddess Diana; the symbol of Chastity; and the Goddess Juno, the symbol of Strength, but it is possible that they may also represent rivers.
Fontana del Tritone – Triton fountain is located in Piazza Barberini that designed by Bernini for Barberini family. Bernini depisted the Poseidon’s son Triton with his work. Triton is king of the sea that upper body of a human and the tail of a fish. The fountain has a base of four dolphins. Bees in the tails symbolizes the Papacy. Triton blow out a conch with his lips and water rises other side of conch.
Rome is a city of squares and fountains. These beautiful squares and fountains are decorated with by Bernini and students from his school. Bernini known as a sculptor, painter that he gained Papal artist status cause of his skills and Cardinal patronaged him. Due to his position, many of works signed by him in Rome and Vatican.
Italians deserves a real appreciation for all effort to protect their values. It is not possible to affected with the history and art. This impression turns into a fairy tale at nights with the lighting. The city that attracts people all around the world with Italian lifestyle and delicious sample of cuisine, not only the history and art Works.
As Romans say, all roads lead to Rome.