Last week, I posted the first installment of our recent trip to Rome, click here to read that post; today I’ll share more about this amazing city. As I mentioned last week, Rome has an overwhelming number of fascinating and historical points of interest, as well as hoards of tourists, even in November. But the crowds didn’t deter us; we hit the ground running each morning and saw many amazing sites.
The Spanish Steps were high on our list, and they also just happen to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. The steps were designed by Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, little known architects who won a competition initiated by Pope Innocent XIII. Built between 1723 and 1726 as a monument to the peace treaty between Spain and France, the steps were built to connect the Spanish Embassy with the church, Trinità dei Monti.
The steps, 135 in total, are stylish and elegant and have inspired artists, poets, and others with their elegance.
The Victor Emmanuel II Monument, built between 1885 and 1935 in honor of its namesake, the first king of unified Italy, was another stop on our adventure. It is the largest monument in Rome, and is sometimes referred to as the typewriter or wedding cake due to its shape.
As you climb the 243 steps to various sections, you’ll see statues, corinthian columns, fountains, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the goddess Roma situated near the top.
The tomb was unveiled in November, 1921 and was dedicated to lost and missing Italian soldiers. The Museum of Risorgimento is located in the building. Incidentally, it is illegal to sit on the Spanish Steps or the steps of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, and doing so could result in a hefty fine, as much as 400€!
The Porticus Octaviae was another stop on our itinerary. Built around 27 BC by Agustus for his sister Octavia, this compound has many interesting ruins including the Juno Regina and Jupiter Stayer Temples, lecture rooms, assembly hall, and a library. It was used as a fish market for many centuries beginning in medieval times. The compound was referred to as Octaviae Opera by Pliny the Elder. The remaining ruins have survived wars, fires, an earthquake, and millions of tourists, but are still standing!
We had hoped to visit the Sistine Chapel, but by the time we arrived there mid-morning, the line was at least a mile long. We’ll just have to return!
And, as always, I love wandering through neighborhoods and snapping photos of anything that catches my eye.
theTravelsketcher and I had an amazing stay in Rome, and hope to return again someday to see even more of this iconic city.
As always, I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment if you’re so inclined.
Wishing you grand adventures,