Monday, April 23, 2012

Rome

Our last stop for the trip, Rome.
How i miss that beautiful place!
everywhere we went, we were greeted by yet another beautiful statue, fountain , preserved ruins, reconstructed ancient buildings.
living in that city is like living in a city of old and new.
when you are in a nostalgic mood, the settings are all there for you to play Juliet but when you want to shop the 2012 way, the shopping streets are there, in all its glory so i made sure that i tossed my coin into the Trevi fountain as there is a saying that when you do that, you will return to Rome one day :)

at this moment, i wish to return to Rome immediately!!!!
dreamer....

we stayed at Hotel Eden which is 10 minutes walk to the main shopping belt and we got an upgrade into a junior suite :)

i love living among the pinks in the suite! looks like the designer was very much a lady's man for he sure knows the taste of women very well.
Chandeliers, Maroon striped walls, lots of whites and gold, i would have that look for my home in a heartbeat.

The living area.
my cup of tea - gold chandeliers




The doorway to the bedroom

Love the mirror.

We changed and made our way to the main shopping belt of Rome.
One thing that is very evident of Italy is how narrow the roads are but here, you can see that there is actually space for 3 lanes of cars and this is not common.
the roads in Rome, in general are more generous than the ones in florence.

Most of the streets we saw in Florence only had space for 1 car and if you happen to be driving a big car, chances are that you have to be very very careful even when you are driving along a straight road.
Someone was a little stressed about it when we were driving around in Florence.

Rome is.... spacious. This is my best way of describing it.
there are lots of big spaces for people to hang around and do nothing. This is one of the thing i love most about Rome because hanging around doing nothing is how i roll.

Struggling to wear his shoes. haha.
at the Fontana della Barcaccia ("Fountain of the Old Boat") , which is at the bottom of the famous Spanish Steps.

The famous Spanish Steps which is the longest and widest staircase in Europe.
at the top of it is the  Trinità dei Monti Church and the steps is always full of people, sitting around and having a good time and because Rome is really a tourist spot, everywhere we go, there are various tourist services being offered.
eg: people who would take pictures for you for a fee, or people peddling soft drinks, beer while you sit at the spanish steps. it reminds me of when there would always be people on the streets peddling umbrellas the moment it started to rain in New York.
these little trades are very useful if you don't mind paying slightly higher for drinks or for umbrellas that don't really last.
i don't mind and love the convenience :) ( not the photo taking though.... )


Can you spot me??

The beautiful Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and it is known as the most beautiful fountain in the world.
it really is.
it is magnificent! Set against the blue sky, with its light green water, and the spot lights at night, i think it is the most beautiful thing which i've seen this trip.
Lots of people gather there just to watch the fountain while sharing a little chitchat and then we have the coins tossers :)



Not far away from the Trevi fountain, we spotted this queer looking building with its exteriors all covered by what looks like vines from trees.
it is actually a hotel and from what we could see, it looked very modern inside. I guess it just wanted to make a statement with this outlook and it sure stood out among all other buildings and I'm sure its not going to be easy being dilapidated for real in the heart of Rome.


The next morning, we had an early breakfast at the hotel before setting off for the Colosseum.

The view from the terrace where you could catch a glimpse of the Vatican city.


we took the city hop-on-hop-off bus and this is something i would recommend to everyone who goes to city that offers this service.
the HOHO bus always brings you to the most popular places in the cities and my favorite part have to be the commentary that comes with it.
along the way and at every stop, you would hear about the history of the places and what makes it the most interesting is having the object right in front of you when you are hearing about it.
sight-seeing makes more sense like this.
i mean, whats the point in traveling miles and miles to see something which everyone does when you know almost nothing about it right?
i am the kind who would read more about the places which i visit but thats just the bookworm me :)
you can choose to hop off the bus at any point which interests you and then hop on again on another bus to bring you to the other spots.
its the most convenient way of sightseeing.

we checked out the Roman Forum and this is the Arch of Septimius Severus.
Archs with the 3 barrels like this one are the Victory archs which the romans built to show off their winnings at wars and the archs were named for the conquering rulers.
in the olden days, when the victorious armies return home, they will march through the archs to cheers by the citizens.
on the attic will mark the records of the deeds done.


The ancient Roman Forum was the business district and civic centre for the Romans.
it used to house temples, senate house and law courts until they were forgotten and used as cattle pastures when the roman empire fell.
i imagined it to be like our cbd area now, just maybe, more village-like.

many of the buildings which we see now used the stone blocks from the places of ruins and the buildings are huge so i can totally imagine how much we are missing out when we are looking at the ruins now.
the Colosseum, for example, had large amount of its materials taken away to build the newer buildings which we can still see now.
The roman forum also had most of its materials removed to build other buildings.



Almost emptied.

Buildings today







And then..... The Colosseum right ahead!! :)
before visiting rome, the colosseum was simply the colosseum. 
apart from knowing that it is a very famous building, i had no idea what it really was. i know, bimbo alert. 
anyhow, better late than never ;)

The colosseum was built in the Flavian Dynasty and it was the Flavian Amphitheater.
it could accommodate 55000 spectators and it had 80 entrances to which the spectators would enter from.
the important people would sit at the lowest tiers while the least important people would sit at the top tiers and in the past, there was actually a cover over the colosseum which would be manually opened and closed by the slaves.

the colosseum was used mainly for the gladiator fights, religious purposes, executions etc and during the fights which were always gruesome, without proper ventilation, everyone would be grossed out by the odour of the blood thus the reason for the opening and closing of the cover.

we were also told by the guide that the colosseum wasn't always this dark color and that it is supposed to be pure white. 
but years of no up keeping resulted in it being this color now.





we decided to take the guided tour which was money very well spent as we learnt so much more about the colosseum and the guide was really humorous!

we were wondering if the gladiators in the past looked really like that? but they were cute nevertheless :)




as you can see from the picture, under ground are rooms and in the past, it was also where the animals are kept in cages and with the mechanical devices, the cages would rise above the ground where they will fight with either another animal or a gladiator.
they would appear via the 36 trap doors on the arena without any warning! 

the most ferocious animals are always kept at the bottom of the cages with the tamer ones on the top tiers and they were stacked in tiers.
To ensure that the audience had a good show, they were always starved first.

The arena where the gladiators fought was covered with sand to absorb the blood and the sand was constantly renewed. the effort that went into it was amazing.

that broken part of the colosseum was caused by a great earthquake.
Look how deep into the ground it runs.






At the colosseum were the gates of life and the gates of death.
basically, the winners will emerge from the gates of life while the dead ones who got killed will leave via the gates of death.

where the cross is at was where the emperor used to sit.

 G at the gate of life :)



you would see some holes on the wall of the colosseum. 
during troubled times, the romans would dig out the metal bars from the colosseum to sell for money, to trade or to use for their own buildings and this explains why throughout the entire colosseum, there were all these holes which are about the size of half a football. 

i hope you enjoyed reading about the colosseum. i never used to like history when i was younger but now, i am learning to appreciate it and i can't get enough of it. 
its always intriguing and it fascinates me to no ends. 
next up will be the mysterious Vatican city.


2 comments:

Jasmine of ❤AdamAlexMommy❤ said...

wow, looks like you had an amazing time, and love all of these pics! your chanel is amazing. :) enjoyed your blog, and i am now following! hope we can connect. :) cheers!
xoxo
jasmine
AdamAlexMommy

Zerohearts said...

Thank you so much Jasmine :)
is that your baby girl? such a little fashionista !!
yes i want to connect with you and am following your amazing blog now!