Rome's Colosseum was built in the first century A.D., holding an estimated 80,000 spectators for gladiator flights, war reenactment and other entertainment events. On a cold January night nearly 2,000 years later, just a few of us sat along the stone rail at the end of Via Del Serpenti to enjoy the architectural marvel in all its splendor.
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Day 1: Benvenuto a Roma

It took 17 hours to leave the bone-chilling cold wave in Tokyo behind. After a brief layover in Doha, Qatar, we arrived in Rome to get our 40-something day adventure through Europe underway. And we wasted no time in getting started!

Rome’s Colosseum was built in the first century A.D., holding an estimated 80,000 spectators for gladiator flights, war reenactment and other entertainment events. On a cold January night nearly 2,000 years later, just a few of us sat along the stone rail at the end of Via Del Serpenti to enjoy the architectural marvel in all its splendor.


The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of Rome's oldest churches. The public square in front of the church is one of the charming Trastevere districts liveliest community spaces.

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of Rome’s oldest churches. The public square in front of the church is one of the charming Trastevere districts liveliest community spaces.


The afternoon sun made the bright earth tones of Rome's buildings glow as we crossed the Ponte Sisto bridge. I especially liked the cast of the long shadows, including the "BAR" sign on the wall opposite the alley.

The afternoon sun made the bright earth tones of Rome’s buildings glow as we crossed the Ponte Sisto bridge. I especially liked the cast of the long shadows, including the “BAR” sign on the wall opposite the alley.


The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers) stands at the middle of Piazza Navona, a 15th century public square. Sant'Agnese in Agone, a 17th century Baroque church, soaks up the setting sun in the background.

The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers) stands at the middle of Piazza Navona, a 15th century public square. Sant’Agnese in Agone, a 17th century Baroque church, soaks up the setting sun in the background.


The Pantheon is one of Rome's most famous architectural masterpieces... and that's saying something for a city full of them. It's been in continuous use since its completion in 128 A.D., serving as a Catholic Church since the seventh century and still holding regular services today. The rotunda is its most recognizable feature and is the largest I reinforced concrete dome in the world.

The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most famous architectural masterpieces… and that’s saying something for a city full of them. It’s been in continuous use since its completion in 128 A.D., serving as a Catholic Church since the seventh century and still holding regular services today. The rotunda is its most recognizable feature and is the largest I reinforced concrete dome in the world.


More Photo of the Day posts from our January-March 2016 trip to Europe

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