italy

Pantheon

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The Pantheon is a remarkable building. It was completed by the Emperor Hadrian around 126AD, and has been in continues use ever since.

The dome starts at about 6m thick, and narrow to about 1.5m at the top (that’s 4535 metric tons). The dome is 43m in diameter and staggering to look up at. It is a remarkable piece of engineering, especially considering that it was build almost 2000 years ago.

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PS: It’s free to visit.

Anybody for coffee?

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One of the many coffee bars in Italy; you find them all over the county. Many are just a bar counter where you order a quick yet most excellent expresso on your commute. This particular coffee bar was at the Napoli railway station.

Tuscan Villa

I found this lovely Italian villa in Langebaan of all places when out on a training run. One of the great things about running is that you see so much more of the world around you, so when I finished my run I grabben my camera and went straight out to take this shot.

I still find it a little strange seing such an Italin looking house in the middle of the west-coast fishing village of Langebaan.

Tuscan Villa in Langebaan

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the commercial hub of the ancient Roman world. This was where you would go to do anything from buying a few pigs, to visiting the Senate House to file a legal document. This is where the center of Roman Law was debated, and where citizens could petition Caesar.

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The Forum was also the home of many temples paying homage to the various gods, and where the famous Vestal Virgins kept their eternal flame burning (of course they were beaten if they let it go out!).

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It is also where Julius Caesar was killed, the spot is marked by a small grave, and to this day is covered with notes and flowers.

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Trevi Fountain, Rome

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The famous Trevi Fountain in Rome. Although the fountain is really beautiful, this is the part of Rome that made me feel most uncomfortable. There were hordes of people in a rather confined area, and far to many shady vendors walking around. It just felt like a ripe place for some pick-pocketing.

Having said all that, we didn’t have any problems. The fountain is very beautiful, made up of water gushing over wonderfully carved marble statues and figures, creating both a soothing and cooling effect.

The popular story has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain, your return to Rome is assured. Although I did not throw a coin into the fountain, I certainly plan to be go back to Rome.

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