We hope that you are enjoying our series of articles and guest articles on Italian tourist attractions, covering the entire country except for its major cities. In a sense we have left the best for last. We will describe what to see in Italy’s great cities neighborhood by neighborhood. You may not realize it, but Rome is divided into 20 districts. And each and every one of these districts boasts its own sightseeing attractions. If you have time, visit them all. In any case, read these articles to help plan your trip to The Eternal City. You may be in for some real surprises. Roma, Non Basta una Vita (Rome, a Lifetime is not Enough) .
The Colosseo (Colosseum) located in south-central Rome has been a symbol of The Eternal City since its creation in 80 AD. This is the largest Roman Amphitheater, built to hold 50 thousand spectators in great comfort as they watched the slaughter of gladiators and wild beasts. It is said that 5 animals died the day (and night) that this monument to human cruelty opened. But you shouldn’t go to Rome without visiting. After the gladiator combats ended early in the Fifth Century the site served as a quarry for building materials found in Renaissance palaces and churches including St. Peter’s Basilica. Let your imagination run wild and decide whether you want to be photographed with a costumed gladiator who will demand money for the privilege. You won’t have to pay anything for the kitty cats that have replaced the lions.
To the west of the Colosseum is the Arco di Costantino (Arch of Constantine) at about 70 feet high, 85 feet long, and 23 feet wide (about 21 by 26 by 7 meters), the largest and incidentally best-preserved of the Roman triumphal arches. This one built in 315 AD marks the victory of Emperor Constantine over his co-emperor Maxentius. Just before the battle Constantine has a vision of a cross in the heavens and subsequently legalized Christianity in his empire.
Northeast of the Colosseum lies the Domus Aurea (Golden House) that once belonged to that great fiddler, Nero. This palace, still viewable in part, occupied more than a third of the city, a monument to greed. It actually disappeared for centuries. The great painter Raphael worked on its restoration. Don’t expect to see everything as it was, but this is one great, or should we say disgusting, monument to unbridled luxury.And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Latium or other Italian wines.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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