Visiting Rome, it’s hard to say what you’ll find most breathtaking about the Eternal City – the arrogant opulence of the Vatican, the timelessness of the Forum, the top speed of a Fiat Bambino, the gory resonance of the Coliseum, trying to cross a major intersection, or the bill for your caffe latte. Let’s start with the gladiator himself:

The founding of Rome is enveloped in myth: the story goes that the first city centre sprang up in 753 B.C. on the Palatine hill, built by Romulus after he had killed his twin brother Remus.
Romulus was the first of the seven kings of Rome, who started off the basic characteristics of this city that would go on to make Rome powerful throughout the ancient world: public works, institutional reforms, aqueducts.
With the arrival of the Republic, Rome increased its expansion policy and after the Punic Wars, Carthage, Corsica and Sardinia were all annexed to the Republic.
The end of the Republic determined the beginning of Silla’s dictatorship (82 B.C.)
The dictator Caius Julius Caesar oversaw a period of heavy expansion overseas. He was assassinated in 44 B.C.
The Emperor Octavius Augustus brought Rome to its “golden era”: a lengthy period of peace and stability, which was celebrated with monumental works of art. Todays attraction will be: Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Steps:


Upstairs – Downstairs

Piazza at the foot of the Spanish Steps, “Scalla di Spagna”, also known as the “Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti”. Design of the steps finished by Francesco de Sanctis after generations of controversy. The church at the top of the Steps is the Trinita dei Monti, founded by the French in 1495.

The fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps, in the shape of a boat, is known at the “Barcaccia”. It is said that Pietro Bernini, Gian Lorenzo’s father, who created the fountain in 1627-29, got the idea when the Tiber overflowed its banks and a boat was stranded in the square.

As I started; it’s hard to say what is the most breathtaking about Rome. As you walk around you see beautiful places and sceneries or other candy for the eyes:


From the intimate detail to the great city:-)


From the efficient to the extravagant

Let me end this guided tour for all readers and especially the Lifecruisers Cyber Cruise with a gastronomic excitement – an Italian delicacy:

Open your suitcases and bring home some cheese, sausages, pasta or whatever – it’s irresistible. I knew it would make you hungry, and of course we’ll have a dinner later on tonight before we leave Rome. So stay tuned – come back – for a sensational dinner with wine from the district of Lazio!

24 Comments

  1. Wonderful pictures, Renny.

    Now that food shop…I could really spend some time and money in there! LOL!

    I’m anxious to see what’s on your menu. :-)

  2. Thanks for that great tour Renny ! Believe it or not but I have never been to Rome. Italy is the country I know the best I have travelled from top (Milano) to bottom (Messina) of the “boot” as they say, because Italy has the form of a boot. I have never been there for the simple reason that I needed mored than one day and each time we drove nearby we didn’t have enough time. But it’s not to late ! Fortunately I don’t have to buy food on the ship, Mr. Gattino is on the Waterloo market and buys as every week the whole stand of his Italian buddy (giggles*) and as a brave Italian housewife, Italian cooking is here everydays food !
    Don’t forget that today it’s the 50th anniversary of Europe and as a terrible European nationalist I have to remind that to all of my European compatriotes ! If that hadn’t been created, I probably would sit somewhere in Germany as a widow with 10 grandchildren and a husband who died of a nervous brakedown !

  3. wow i have been always dreaming to travel to italy. See Rome, Venice and then Tuscany! I hope i can do it this coming summer.

    Lovely pics!

  4. Rome is a really beautiful city and I love Roman culture!

  5. Marvelous!

    Don’t you just love golden eras that are capable of peace & stability? I hope the whole world finds that one day and it lasts for a very long time. {sighs}

    The bread in the delicatessan caught my attention atm as it would’ve gone down really well with the Bengali curry i made for dinner tonight.

    The efficient cars also gave me a good laugh (thanks!), as i could certainly do with one of those instead of the giant gass guzzling “boat” we have.

    Wishing you fine dining & looking forward to Lazio! ;)

  6. Irish Church Lady :)

    Ah, mi amore

    Sono nell’amore con il vostro
    punto di vista della città.

    (Gotta love that Google translator~!!!) he he

    The Spanish steps!! I recognize them from many movies. I think the last one I remember seeing with them was “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. Am I right peoples?

    What a great job you did with explaining the history and timelines! Though I know there is so much more, even, a bit, for those of us who have never been, is enough to whet our appetite and want to see it in person.

    Now you didn’t have any run ins with the gladiator or the Polizia Municipale that I saw in some of those photos did you? *ridere*

    Perhaps when you tried to get away without paying for your expensive latte? ROL It was so expensive you thought it was someone else’s bill, right? Pictures of a jail cell for the next Cyber Cruise port?? hmmmmmm…..

    We’re starting to see some of those little short stubby cars around here. I think they’re cute but they probably don’t handle our Canadian winters well.

    The window baskets with the ‘fiores’ are lovely in that shot of the Notary Public. (Thanks again Google Translator).

    I’m all hawt now talking Italian and such! It was Cap’n Lifecruiser aboard the principe azzuro with all her “ti amo” and “bacios” that started it!

    (abbraccio) tesoro!

    Until we ballare un lento!!

    Arrivederci

  7. Wonderful, Renny! I really enjoyed this. The pictures were great!

  8. My first (of the few) blog hops after my long absence and again, you never failed to awe me with a fantastic write-up, capturing your visit not only in still fantastic photos but with words as well.

    I’m planning on going to england next month, but because of this entry, I want to go to Italia instead.

    Hello Renny! :-)

  9. that frolicsome kid

    Hey! I didn’t know “gladiators” still exist to this modern day. Boy, they’re much more friendlier today compared to those in the Mediaeval Times. =D

    Rome has a very rich history. It’s too bad it wasn’t covered in the History syllabus when I was in junior high (and I do not take it now). Still, whoever hasn’t heard of the great Roman leaders like Caesar and Augustus?

    It’s a tough time to climb up the Spanish Steps. Hahahaha, a boat which used to be stranded in the square was an inspiration? =O

    I want to see more of beautiful Rome, but we can only cover so much on one day. I shall add that to “Must Visit Places Before I Die” list. *grin*

    I’m so going to buy that red Ferrari/Porsche and import it into my country. I don’t think it’s sold back there. ;)

    Thanks for the trip! =D

  10. Linguist-in-Waiting

    The Spanish Steps!

    Hehe, that is one of the places I haven’t been to when I was there. After all, 4 days isn’t enough to cover the city. I’ve seen the Colosseo, the Appian Way, the Vatican City, the Foro Romano, but not the Steps. Good thing you took photos.

    You are right in that there are plenty of eye candy in Rome. I like that city because there isn’t a place where there is a modern buzz, everything seems to be trapped in time, be it the cobblestoned alleys of Trastevere, or the large piazzas and fountains like the Trevi.

    Oh, and if you brought home cheese and sausage, guess what I brought home two years ago? I large box of tiramisu!

  11. Before I shut down (not my mouth but my computer) I wanted to have a look on the promised plates, or did I misunderstand (that’s one of my “qualities”) See you tomorrow at the Domenican Republic, now I shut the door of my cabine ! (somebody in the house is hungry)

  12. Captain Salsiccie Lifecruiser

    Amo il traduttore di Google ugualmente: -) Ci avete indicato il necessario di Roma e particolarmente della fontana e dell’alimento…. Sono ancora stucked in quella squisitezza per essere onesto. sono un monster affamato come potete sapere ed adore appena il *lol* di queste salsiccie…

    Translation to those who hasn’t adopted to the Italian yet:

    I love the Google translator too :-) You have shown us the essentials of Rome and especially the fountain and the food…. I am still stucked in that delicacy to be honest. I am a hungry monster as you may know and I just adore these sausages… *lol*

    Ti amo Roma!!!!

    I’ll be back soon again :-)

  13. Captain Penthouse Lifecruiser

    I would want to stay at the hotel Hassler. A room costs about 3000-5000 Swedish crowns = about $430-$715. The suite at the top is about 20.000 Swedish crowns $2860 but you’re getting your own terrass then. The hotel is to the right of the church and is private owned since the end of 19th century.

    In the elevator up there – which btw has Romas most beautiful view – you have to get used to mingle with celebritys and royalties from the whole world.

    Even the Swedish Royal family is spotted there sometimes.

    Now, can I have a Bellini (champagne and strawberry lemonade) please.

    Have a look at the Penthouse Suite

    Ciao amici :-)

  14. Captain Penthouse Lifecruiser

    You do know what I’d be doing up there on the large outdoor terrace…? *giggles*

  15. @Diane: Thanks for your compliments! Dinner will be served in a couple of hours:-)

    @Gattina: All Italy is wonderful I think. Glad you finally made it to Rome then!
    I haven’t forgotten EU’s birthday – a happy one to all European!

    @Charles: Have a great trip is so and keep us posted!

    @Caledonia: Me too!

    @aka R’acquel: Glad you liked the stay!
    Yes the small cars (lots of them!) are called Smart – an appropriate name I think:-)
    Dinner will soon be served:-)

    @IrishChurchLady: I think your right about the movie, yes!
    The gladiator was friendly and the police only helpful:-)
    Smart cars can operate fine in winters – we have some in Norway too!
    Your Italian is great:-)

    @Maribeth: Thanks for the compliments!

    @Thess: Glad the hops took you to Rome then and of course your welcome back and join our cruise!

    @that frolicsome kid: I’m glad you liked the tour and learned some new.
    I would have liked to have that Ferrari too you know:-)

    @Linguist-in-Waiting: Glad I could show you something new then!
    Tiramisu, the most heavenly Italian dessert:-)

    @Gattina: Sorry you where a bit late for the dinner then, but you can sit in when you are back tomorrow. It will be served in a couple of hours.

    @Captain Salsiccie Lifecruiser: Ohhh Captain – I can see the amorous Italian temperament in your eyes!
    My wife loves those sausages too hmmm:-)
    —–
    Your taste for places to relax is wonderful. What a great idea to mingle with royalties – cruisers, let’s go! I would say a Bellini would be perfect as an aperitif before dinner!
    ——-
    What you do on the terrace: something to do with champagne and sausages? LoL

  16. That is an elucidating post. I am fascinated by the story of Rome but too lazy to get into it unless History Channel is having a special. They did quite a wonderful job with the Emperors series.

    I want to see Rome someday, preferably not riding that teeny-tiny car. Seems unsafe and scary.

  17. I can never get enough of Rome. we are going back there in July, but first – Venice, in two weeks.

  18. Rome is on my list of places I want to visit someday :)

  19. I LOVE that place! I want to go so badly! :-) Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. The little cars are adorable. I’ll have a Bellini too. It sounds so good!

  20. oh, i’d love to see rome someday, the architecture and art…i just can’t imagine… thanks for the little glimpse

  21. Ohhhhh my gosh! This is fabulous! Such beauty! I never heard of those steps … but they are beautiful! And HOW in the WORLD do those cars get UNparked when they are packed in like that??? I guess once you are parked you stay the whole day! LOL! Thanks again, for this GRAND tour of Rome!!!

  22. As you often do, Renny, you’ve brought back many wonderful memories of a few years back when we were there for a week. What a city! We will be there again for a day in October. I can hardly wait. I wonder what we’ll choose to go see!!

  23. some wonderful pics even with a slightly rainy looking day…

    Beautiful for sure and a place I want to visit dearly!

  24. Nice to be back on the cruise again. And to Rome with Renny as guide. What can be better. It’s amazing what you can tell from a busy trip to the eternal city. And as allways, impressing photos.

    I’ve only been to Rome once (4pm-11pm).

    PS: The great thing with this cyber cruise is it works like a Time Machine;)) So, you know what: I jump directly to the meal.

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