All Roads Lead to Rome Day 2: The Pantheon & Piazza

Hello to you fellow travelers! I'd like to share the second part of the morning tour in Rome. 
What I appreciate most in Centro Storico is that it can be explored by walking.   
I highly recommend you to book your hotel within Centro Storico.  
It's very convenient to be in walking proximity to most of the major sites.  

One of the sites that I've always longed to visit was the Pantheon.  It was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a circular temple where a different god or goddess rests on each altar or apse.

Solid granite Corinthian Columns
 I stood for a few minutes while touching the column wondering how they were able to lift each massive column up there. Not to mention building the gigantic granite pediment at the portico. I was flabbergasted!

The Pantheon

The architecture was brilliant given the time there was no pre-cast concrete yet, nor modern tools to allow building a perfectly shaped dome.  The oculus (central opening to the sky) allows the light to pour in. It is the  only light source apart from the main entry in the temple. You can imagine, it is dark inside and the sun shifts the angle of the beam similar to a sundial throughout the day.   Up until today, it still is the world's largest un-reinforced concrete dome.

The first concrete dome ever built composed of coffers.
 The rectangular piazza in front of the temple is scenic, with a central fountain and obelisk. It is decorated by excited tourists with their digital cameras bordered by cafes and restaurants.

Piazza della Rotonda

Walking distance away is Piazza Colonna.  A rectangular square with a towering column of Marcus Aurelius at the center. On top of the column sits the statue of Saint Paul.  Palazzo Chigi is the official residence of the Prime Minister.

Piazza Colonna. Palazzo Chigi on the left.

A short distance away stands Piazza del Montecitorio where the Palazzo Montecitorio, the Italian Chamber of Deputies is situated behind the ornate obelisk. The palazzo was designed by Lorenzo Bernini.

Piazza Montecitorio
I think it's time for a break.  What about a dose of gelato?
Ciao!

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