Rome, Italy
Sunday, August 22nd
We had a very nice breakfast in our hotel and out the door we went.  We went to Piazza de Popolo.  This area is considered hip and chic.  This area was
once medieval Rome’s main entry.  It is a car-free square that has an obelisk in the center.  It was brought to Rome by Augustus after he conquered
And we walked down Via del Corso…and
visited a million shops.  

Unfortunately, the church with 4000 bones
was closed.    But the Spanish steps are
always open.  
And so are even more interesting fountains…like
Trevi Fountain.  It looks like the sculpture has
partly fallen into the fountain itself.  And of
course, its just HUGE.
But are you ready?  On to the Pantheon.  Seriously.  Is this real?  Just how large can they build things here?  It’s the greatest look at the splendor of
Rome.  It became a church dedicated to the martyrs just after the fall of Rome.  Somehow everyone left it pretty much alone and free from destruction.  
The entrance is called Rome’s umbrella.  It’s one-piece granite columns are the largest in Italy and were shipped from Egypt.  The bronze front doors are
the originals.  The dome is 142 feet high and 142 wide. No one could figure out how it was constructed.  So during the Renaissance, Brunelleschi was
given permission to cut into the dome, which is what the little square hole is.  In his analysis, he realized the concrete dome gets thinner and thinner…and
lighter…the higher it is.  The very highest part is volcanic pumice.  

And getting to eat lunch across from the Pantheon?  I’m sure!  Pinch me!
We were just about finished off by all the walking we’d been doing…5-10 miles a day.  So we took “un tassi” and went to the Borghese Gallery.  We
actually saw a new villa being built.  First one we’d seen since we’d been there.  It already looks old!