The next stop on our cruise was Rome, the eternal city. We docked in Civitavecchia and took a tour bus to the Capital. I’ve always wanted to see the Pantheon. Rome is a remarkable city. It did feel like we were power walking the city instead of visiting, though. I signed up for a 9 hour tour without realizing how many places we were going to see. The first thing that happened when I stepped off the buss was a guy came up and tried to give me three roses! How nice! After telling him no several times, he tucked them in my camera bag strap. He followed me over to the ledge and asked for 3 Euro. I told him that I only had 2, so he took a rose back. Since I believe in recycling, I left the roses on the ledge when we went down the Spanish steps.
At the bottom of the Spanish steps is the Fountain of the Virgin.It’s still used to provide fresh water to the citizens of Rome. the fellow on the right was standing in the same place an ancient roman might have. Of course, Plebius probably didn’t have Evian bottles to fill up. The guide came over right after I took this picture to collect me. the group was already a block away, power walking to their next destination.
The Pantheon. In Roman times, it was a shrine to pagan gods. To me, it is the oldest example of a dome placed onto a square building. It’s an astounding feat of architecture, especially considering that it was constructed more than two thousand years ago. The Hagia Sophia is also a square building and round dome, but more than a thousand years later. The irony of this pagan building is that it was saved by the christian church. All of the pagan symbols were removed, and replaced by crosses, and eventually mausoleums of Prominent Italians. Mass is still held every week in this odd church.