TOUR D) WATER (3h, on foot, by private car or public transport)
1. The Pantheon
“The Pantheon is a single room. A circular cell made of stone and
cement. It has one entrance. No windows. One narrow entrance”.
“The dimensions of the Pantheon’s main chamber were a tribute to Gaea –
the goddess of the Earth. The proportions were so exact that a giant
spherical globe could fit perfectly inside the building with less than a
millimetre to spare”.
The huge temple devoted to all pagan gods and goddesses that became a
It is covered by the largest dome ever built in ancient times.
The secrets (still unsolved) of its construction (2nd cent. A.D.).
The mysterious oculus (famous circular opening) at the top of the
tremendous cupola, the subject of sinister folk stories.
2. Piazza Navona
Once a stadium built by order of Emperor Domitian, now one of the most
peculiar Roman squares. In the middle, the famous
3. The fountain of the Four Rivers
“A flawless tribute to water, Bernini’s fountain glorified the four
major rivers, one of his most celebrated sculptures. Everyone who came
to Rome went to see it”.
“The fountain’s most arresting quality was its height. The central core
alone was over twenty feet tall – a rugged mountain of travertine marble
riddled with caves and grottoes through which the water churned”.
The four colossal male figures around portray the four continents:
America, Africa, Asia and Europe and, of course, the four most important
rivers of the Old World, i. e. the Rio della Plata, the Nile, Ganges and
Danube. In the middle, the obelisk with the dove atop. Again, Bernini.
4. The church of St. Agnes in Agone
Very much celebrated baroque church designed by great Francesco
Borromini, Bernini’s friend and rival, in honor of St. Agnes, “a
ravishing teenage virgin banished to a life of sexual slavery for
refusing to renounce her faith”.
4. St. Peter’s Church
“Crossing the open expanse of St.Peter’s square he sensed Bernini’s
piazza having the exact effect the artist had been
commissioned to create – that of humbling all those who entered”.
The largest Christian church in the world, mother to all Catholic
churches and also known as the “museum church”.
The Swiss guards
The papal altar “the golden coffer surrounded by ninety-nine glowing oil
lamps. It was said they would burn until the end of time.”
The baldachin (or canopy) covering the very tomb of St.Peter and hiding
place of the anti-matter canister.
The grand staircase.