Where else besides Las Vegas can you find gladiators dressed in full gear in the middle of a crowded center? Well, it would be the Piazza della Rotonda, a square in front of the Pantheon:
And like Vegas, most of Rome is a tourist trap, but it wouldn’t be right to come here without touring one of its most famous buildings. A large circular building, the Pantheon is most notably known for having the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome:
Since the 7th century it has been used as a Catholic church (when it’s not mobbed by tourists like yours truly):
Speaking of churches, one of my favorite places in Rome is the Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio (St. Ignatius of Loyola), where you can find the most incredible frescoed ceiling by Andrea Pozzo, a Jesuit brother. The fresco of course alludes to biblical references, but what I love most is its representation of the four continents. You could look at the ceiling forever and still not be able to see everything…
So my neck hurts a little from all that craning at St. Ignatius and the Pantheon. I think it’s time to go eat. Let’s see what other culinary delights await us in the next entry!