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) .
There’s a good chance that you’ll arrive in Rome via its famous train station, the Stazione de Roma Termini, often referred to simply as Termini, just across the street from the similarly named Termae, the Baths of Diocletian, to be described below. Did you expect to get off the train in Rome and not be within a hop, skip, and a jump from a historic site? The original train station was completed here in 1874. It was scheduled for replacement as part of the 1942 World’s Fair, unfortunately never held. The current building was completed in 1950 but is quite modernist. Its nickname is the Dinosaur.
Diocletian was Emperor of Rome from 284 to 305. He started his life in a modest provincial family but had a successful military career that projected him to become Emperor at age 40. His government was the largest in Roman history. He is known for persecuting the Christians and keeping the Empire from disintegrating. They tell me he had trouble with inflation, way back then. Perhaps part of the problem was his baths, the most pretentious of all Roman baths and, believe you me, he faced serious competition. These baths were able to accommodate 3 thousand people or more at a time. The baths included cold water areas, hot water areas, and perhaps surprisingly, poetry reading areas among the many, many rooms. Many of the original building materials are preserved in nearby buildings.
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs is a church built within the cold water area of the Baths of Diocletian, in part by Michelangelo. This magnificent edifice was the official state church of the Kingdom of Italy from 1870 to 1946 and hosts the tombs of the victorious Italian army and naval commanders of World War I. Make sure to see the sundial completed at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century that was designed to verify the accuracy of the Gregorian calendar.
One of the high points of the Piazza della Repubblica, one subway station northwest of the railway station, is the late Nineteenth Century Naiad fountain at its center. Decide whether or not you want the children to see the four bronze nymphs representing the lakes, the rivers, the oceans, and the underground waters.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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