A view of my world in Central Illinois and places we go.

Trajan’s Column and Nearby Rome

After spending the morning, first at Santa Maria della Vittoria and the Forum (more about these on future blogs!), we found ourselves a bit spent, thirsty, and hungry. Walking around in the Forum on a warm day can take its toll even on those in the best shape, so we were in need of respite. Our original plan included mounting the Capitoline Hill for a view over the Forum, a visit in the Musei Capitolini which are reported to contain eating accommodations. However, it became quickly apparent that a walk up the Hill and/or finding a taxi to get our elder friend Harry up there was more than we were prepared for at that moment. As we worked our way along the Via dei Fori Imperiali toward the Vittorio Emanuele Monument, looking for a taxi stand, I spotted a sign way across the Via for a “ristorante.” The awning looked inviting and we made our way. After we crossed the Via, I suddenly realized we were virtually in the shadow of Trajan’s Column.

Trajan’s Column flanked by S. Maria di Loreto (l) and SS. Nome di Maria (r)

That’s one thing about Rome, you are always bumping into antiquity. One moment we are gazing at the Roman Forum and the next we are looking down into what I now know are the Imperial Forums (Caesar’s, Augustus’ and Nerva’s). These were built to replace and/or enlarge the existing Forum and created a vast public complex. These forums were subsequently abandoned and buried, only to be discovered when Mussolini ordered construction of the grand Via dei Fori Imperiali.

The 130-foot Trajan’s Column, topped by a statue of St. Peter

I could not say lunch was exceptional, but it was justifiably acceptable, especially accompanied by a large draft of Peroni (and a bathroom!). But, the view from our table under under an open-air awning across to what I believe to be the remains of Trajan’s Markets and the Basilica Ulpia was.

The view from our lunch table

We left refreshed and with enough energy to scale the Capitoline Hill for a view of the Forum. Along the way we passed closer to the Column, and turned to face the grand Monument del Vittorio Emanuel II (sometimes derogatorily called the “typewriter”  and the “wedding cake”).

Detail of the bas-reliefs on Trajan’s Column

The reliefs on the column document Emperor Trajan’s victories over the Dacians (107 AD). Unfolded, the “scroll” is 656 feet long. A spiral staircase ascends within and is lit by 45 “loopholes”, a couple of which can be seen in the photo above.

The Column from the Via dei Fori Imperiali

Trajan’s Column with the S. Maria di Loreto and SS. Nome di Maria on a beautiful Roman afternoon

The Victor Emmanuel II Monument, in honor of Italy’s first king

Ascending a relatively steep street on the left of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, we arrived at the top of the Capitoline Hill. As much as I wanted to enter the museums up there, I was not willing to take the time and to pay the entrance fee. So, I satisfied myself with a glorious view of the Forum spread out below us. Click on these photos to enlarge and click again to get superb detail.

Panoramic view as we ascend the Capitoline Hill

The Roman Forum from Capitoline Hill (with the Colosseum in the far background)

All photos shot with a Canon 7D with a 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens. Also a circular polarizing filter – gotta love those blue skies!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s