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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rome - Day 2

Breakfast is a rather sparse affair and the less said about it the better.

On our way to the bus stop we take the opportunity to walk around the Colosseum

Colosseum

It is quite an inspiring sight, with the combination of age and size.

Colosseum

There is already quite a crowd here and we make the decision to visit tomorrow as soon as it opens, unfortunately it means we will have to miss breakfast ;)

Arch of Constantine

The bus conveniently arrives without much of a wait and it delivers us to the main station where we hop onto another bus to take us to St Peters

st peters

and by the size of the queue it seems everyone else has decided to visit St Peters! What you see aren't just people randomly positioned on the piazza, that is the queue and it's not even the end of the queue. It snakes its way from the doors of the church in the distance.

We quickly decide that we'll have to come back another day and come back early - it won't be tomorrow because it is Sunday and we're going to the Colosseum. No, it will have to be Monday and another missed breakfast to get here on time ;)

For today I have to satisfy myself with taking in the exterior

St Peters

From left to right: St Philip, St Thomas, St James the Elder, St John the Baptist, Christ the Redeemer, St Andrew, St John the Evangelist, St James the Younger

The facade was designed by Carlo Maderno, it is 116 meters wide and 53 meters high. It was built between 1608-1614. The inscription is in 1 meter high letters and reads:
"Paul V Borghese, Roman, Pontiff, in the year 1613, the seventh of his pontificate, erected in honour of the Prince of Apostles"

St Peters

St Philip standing before Michelangelo's dome. It was completed after his death. The vaulted dome is topped by a two-stage lantern and capped with a spire. You can probably see people standing by the railings near the top of the dome - there are 323 steps to get there but that is only counting from the base of the dome!

St Peters

From left to right: St John the Baptist, Christ the Redeemer and St Andrew

The statues are made from travertine and Christ the Redeemer is 19 feet high.

St Peter

Statue of St Peter stands 5.5 meters high on a 5 meter high pedestal. Sculpted by Giuseppe De Fabris and placed here on Easter 1847.


apostolic palace

The Apostolic Palace houses the Papal Apartment which occupies the top floor.

St Peters

The Left Clock tower, designed by Giuseppe Valadier shows Rome Time and is called the Italian Clock. St Thaddeus stands on the left and St Matthew on the right.

clock tower

The Right Clock tower shows European mean time and is called the Oltramontano clock. St Simon stands to the left and St Matthias on the right.

left colonnade right colonnades

The Colonnades surround the circular piazza - they are constructed from 284 Doric columns and are surmounted by 140 statues. On the left side you can also see the Coat of Arms of Alexander VII.

colannades colannades

colannades


St Peters

While we were here we thought we might check out the Vatican Museums. Good idea but if we thought this line was long, we had to readjust our idea of long after seeing the queue for the Museums.

Another destination added for another day with an early start.

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