Roma

Source: Internet

The Fontana di Trevi or Trevi Fountain is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. This impressive monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district.

The central figure of the fountain, in front of a large niche, is Neptune, God of the Sea. He is riding a chariot in the shape of a shell, pulled by two sea horses. Each sea horse is guided by a Triton. One of the horses is calm and obedient, the other one restive. They symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea.

Trevi Trivia

The Fontana di Trevi is the ‘Three Coins in the Fountain‘ fountain, the one that drenched Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini‘s La Dolce Vita. Among those who are unaware that the “three coins’ were thrown by three individuals, a current legend is reported that it is lucky to throw coins with one’s right hand over one’s right shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. Throwing one coin in will ensure that the thrower will return to Rome. Throwing two coins ensures that the thrower will fall in love with a beautiful Roman girl (or handsome boy), and throwing three coins now ensures that the thrower will marry that girl or boy in Rome.

Source: My travelogue

My hubbie and I went to Italy to celebrate our first wedding anniversary – and we threw just one coin each (we already fell in love and got married, so why waste 2 coins, eh?) So..we’re going back some day to Rome!!

I just happened to see the pic on my desktop wallpaper and it brought back a whole lot of memories about our visit. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth (to the extent, the week after I came back, I actually looked up some career opportunities in Rome – found it was very difficult to get visas to work there! **sob sob**). The thing about Rome is that every nook and cranny in the city is filled with so much of history and art. The architecture is uniform throughout the city – be it old or new!

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And Vatican City – whoa! There’s a reason why they call it the City of God (apart from the main reason that it is the seat of the Holy Father). We were lucky (really really lucky) enough to meet Pope John Paul II (hubbie got to touch His hand – biggest blessing every!) – even rock-stars would feel like a nobody if they see the kind of love the people showed towards the late Pope. There were bands and people clapping shouting ‘Giovanni Paolo’ in a rhythm for the entire 3 hours!

The pic above is St.Peter’s Basilica – rumor has it that all the churches in the world will fit inside this basilica! All the churches in the world! It looks normal in the picture, but just see the size of the people around and you realize how big it is. The statues on top are the Apostles – small? Well, if you stood next to it, you would be as tall as the statue’s toe. I’m not kidding.

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The above is Michelangelo’s Pieta – that’s Mary holding Jesus on her lap after his crucifixion. The thing to notice in that is, nowhere does Mary actually touch Christ! Amazing, isn’t it?! This is inside the St.Peter’s Basilica (that you saw above).

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The above is a picture of the Vatican Gardens. What’s the big deal? Well, whenever the Pope visits another country, He gets gifts of plants – and every single one of ’em is planted in this garden – so you’ll kinda find plants from all over the world here! And it’s beautiful beyond words folks, with natural water springs and fountains that would look best in a museum! And talking about museums…

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This is a hallway in the Vatican Museum – that’s gold you see on the pillars. 🙂 Rich, eh? The museum is rich – it contains the Sistine Chapel inside it, so you can imagine. It takes more than a month to do full justice to the museum and its art – we had to adjust with one day 😦

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And what’s Vatican City without the Swiss Guard! The uniform was designed by Michelangelo himself – if you’ve read Angels and Demons, in Langdon’s words – ‘Not one of Michelangelo’s best works’ 😉 And hey, don’t feel bad for these guys – some of ’em drive around in a Ferrari! Vatican better pay them well for wearing that, right?!

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These are called ‘Sacred Steps’ (Scala Santa in Italian) – supposedly the staircase from Pontius Pilate’s mansion on which Christ was made to walk on his knees, carrying the cross. People still walk on their knees on those 30 odd steps as a mark of Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind. And there are 4 places on the stairs that are encased in gold-framed glass – supposed to be places where drops of Jesus’ blood fell. Arun and I walked up on our knees too. I cannot describe how it felt. If you’re wondering how Pilate’s staircase came to Rome – it did, thanks to the mother of Emperor Constantine, Helen who brought it from wherever-it-was. (FYI: Constantine was the Roman emperor who made Rome a christian state – till then it was a pagan state worshipping Roman pagan gods)

Enough for today eh? There’s a lot more we saw, lot more we did..lot lot more that we experienced. And what I say to you: Go to Rome atleast once in your life. You will never find another place that has so much history and art in everyday life. There’s no other city where you can walk on the same roads on which Caeser’s chariots used to rumble on. Ofcourse, while you’re at it, pay a visit to Florence, Venice and Pisa too – it’s amazing! 🙂

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