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Analogue Adventures – Europe 1984 -Rome, Italy

All photos taken on June 27, 1984.

OK! We are noticing a trend in Italy. Most hotel breakfasts consist only of coffee and rolls.

Today was all about Rome. Our 1/2 day sightseeing tour started at Vatican City, where we walked past St. Peter’s empty plaza and headed for the Sistine Chapel.

Vatican City officially the Vatican City State is an independent city-state and enclave surrounded by Rome. The Vatican City State, also known simply as the Vatican, became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929), and it is a distinct territory under “full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction” of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity  of  international law, which maintains the city state’s temporal,  diplomatic, and spiritual  independence. With an area of 49 hectares (121 acres) and a population of about 825, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.

(Source: Wikipedia)

St. Peters Basilica and Square – largest basilica of Christianity consecrated November 16, 1626
Gardens at Vatican City, Rome

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, in Vatican City and the official residence of the pope. Originally known as the Cappella Magna (‘Great Chapel’), the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who had it built between 1473 and 1481. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescoes that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment, both by Michelangelo.

(Source: Wikipedia)

As we approached the entrance to the Sistine Chapel, we were approached by 2 young girls, one holding what appeared to be a cardboard sign. They came up and started speaking rapidly in Italian, momentarily confusing us. One held the cardboard over my wife’s purse and the other one started pinching her arm. Pat’s loud cry alerted me to what was going on and I pulled the girl’s arm away and they ran off. Hmmm, turns out this was a ring of well trained child pickpockets, chosen for this work, as they could not be prosecuted due to their age. Phewwww.

The famous painted ceilings in the Sistine Chapel (disclaimer: many of the ceiling shots were from a postcard set we purchased).

Views through the windows of the Sistine Chapel

In the courtyard of the Vatican Museum
Spiral ramp in Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel
the Swiss Guard at Vatican City – minor armed force and security guards established in 1506
crowd for Papal audience at St. Peter’s
Papal audience – you can just see the Pope at center of this photo

Castel Sant’Angelo mausoleum over Emperor Hadrian’s Tomb (slides 1-3) – founded 123 – 139, it became a papal fortress, residence and prison in turn beginning in the 14th century

Wedding Cake Building – Victor Emanuel II Building (former Papal residence) (slide 4) – built 1885-1935

Somewhere in this area, we managed a lunch of lasagne, insalata mista and beer. Pat and Ulan joined us.

And then we were off on the next leg of the tour.

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum is a rectangular forum  (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and  Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.

Founded 8th century BC to AD 608

(Source: Wikipedia)

Our next big tour was at the Roman Colosseum and we were in awe of the size of this place.

The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, just east of the Roman Forum. It is the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built, and is still the largest standing amphitheatre in the world today, despite its age. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian (r. 69–79 AD) in 72 and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir, Titus (r. 79–81). Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (r. 81–96). The three emperors that were patrons of the work are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named the Flavian Amphitheatre by later classicists and archaeologists  for its association with their family name (Flavius).

The Colosseum is built of travertine limestone, tuff (volcanic rock), and brick-faced concrete. It could hold an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators at various points in its history,  having an average audience of some 65,000; it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles  including animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Roman mythology, and briefly mock sea battles. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

Although substantially ruined because of earthquakes and stone-robbers (for spolia), the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and was listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and also has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit “Way of the Cross” procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum. The Colosseum is depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Them a short stop at Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue in Rome. In the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Dropped off back near St. Peters, we walked in to see the interior.

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican or simply Saint Peter’s Basilica is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, in the city of Rome, Italy. It was initially planned by Pope Nicholas V and then Pope Julius II to replace the aging Old St. Peter’s Basilica, which was built in the fourth century by Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.

Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world by interior measure. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome (these equivalent titles being held by the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome), St. Peter’s is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world”  and as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom.”

Catholic tradition holds that the basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus’s apostles and also the first Bishop of Rome (Pope). Saint Peter’s tomb is supposedly directly below the high altar of the basilica, also known as the Altar of the Confession. For this reason, many popes have been interred at St. Peter’s since the Early Christian period.

(Source: Wikipedia)

We wandered about downtown Rome and found ourselves at the Spanish Steps.

The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.

The monumental stairway of 135 steps (the slightly elevated drainage system is often mistaken for the first step) was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France and the Bourbon Spanish Embassy at the top of the steps to the Holy See in the Palazzo Monaldeschi at the bottom of the steps. The stairway was designed by architects  Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.

Near the Spanish Steps we stopped to toss our coins into the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is an 18th-century fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, designed by Italian  architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and several others. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

The fountain has appeared in several films, including Roman Holiday (1953), the eponymous Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), Federico Fellini’s classic La Dolce Vita (1960)Sabrina Goes to Rome (1998), and The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003).

One last shot of the Wedding Cake Building

Wow, what an exhausting sightseeing day. We would certainly be ready to just sit on a long bus ride tomorrow.

Supper consisted of 1/2 a roast chicken, pizza bianco al salame, green beans, tomatoes, with gelato and cappuccino for dessert.


Published by kagould17

Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my “to-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

14 thoughts on “Analogue Adventures – Europe 1984 -Rome, Italy

  1. I didn’t think it was possible to see so much in one day in Rome. When I went back last year, beyond the big sites, I enjoyed walking randomly through the streets of the old town and feeling the atmosphere and elegance of the ordinary buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful collection of photos of one of my favorite cities in Europe. My uncle also had trouble with pickpockets in Rome. I’ve been there five times and I was lucky I never had problems with pickpockets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Blanca. We did see a lot on that day and were glad for our time in Rome. We need to get back to reacquaint ourselves with it. The pickpockets were around most major tourist sites in 1984. We also saw them at the Louvre in Paris. But, we were prepared then. Thanks for reading Blanca. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you had an action-packed day in Rome and managed to hit up many of the main highlights. It’s so sad to hear about how children are involved in some of these scams because they can’t be prosecuted due to their age. Hopefully they didn’t steal anything from Patty’s purse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a jam packed day, including the attempted pickpocketing. We were kind of cross it off your list travelers in those days and believed in getting it done. We are slower of pace now and like to spend more time in an area, getting the feel for local life. The girls were not successful. I must admit, I was a bit harsh with the arm of the girl attempting the theft. She let go of Patty’s arm and they ran off. Thanks for reading Linda. Have a great week. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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