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3000 years in 90 minutes

creato da Dario Morgante ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:10

Help! Your holiday plans have gone terribly wrong and you've only got an hour and a half to see Rome. Don't worry - just step on the 110 and set off on your very own magical mystery tour of the Eternal City.

Number 110 busDisaster has struck! The travel agent's made a mess of your holiday plans and you've only got 90 minutes in Rome! To top things off it's started raining and your umbrella's stuck in your case at the airport. Despair not, you can still 'do' Rome and stay dry to boot! Just buy a ticket and step on to the number 110 bus for a journey through 3000 years of history of this fascinating city. What are you waiting for? Forget about queues and step on board and watch Rome unfold before your eyes.

- Baths, baroque and bones
- The marvels of ancient Rome
- Michelangelo's masterpieces

Baths, baroque and bones
The journey begins in Piazza dei Cinquecento, just beside Termini Station. Just in front are the Terme di Diocleziano (Diocletian Baths), a magnificent complex of thermal baths which was the largest of its kind in ancient Rome. The complex also houses the Museo Nazionale Romano with its collection of ancient Greek and Roman art, a must for those of you who have time on your side. The bus then crosses Piazza della Repubblica, where ancient Romans would gather to catch up on the latest news and gossip. Look out for Santa Maria della Vittoria on your way to Piazza Barberini with its spectacular Triton Fountain by Bernini. Leaving the square you'll pass Via Vittorio Veneto, immortalised by Fellini in his masterpiece "La Dolce Vita" and still one of Rome's most fashionable streets. Further down the street is Santa Maria della Concezione, famous for a bizarre underground cemetery which is decorated with the skulls and bones of some 5000 monks.

The marvels of ancient Rome
Your route now takes you past Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to Largo di Torre Argentina, a sacred place in ancient Roman times with four temples from the Republican period- one round and three rectangular - which were brought to light between 1626 and 1630. Other important buildings in the area include the Curia, where Julius Caesar was reportedly killed in 44 BC. Now you're off along Via di Torre Argentina, with the next stop in Piazza del Pantheon, home of the eponymous temple. Built by Agrippa in 27 BC and dedicated to the planetary gods, the Pantheon was consecrated by the Church in 609 AD. The Pantheon's bronze roof tiles and ceiling were removed and melted down throughout the ages to make, among other things, the canopy over the main altar in Saint Peter's and the 80 cannons for Castel Sant'Angelo. The artist Raphael and kings Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I are buried inside. Time is ticking by so its off down Via delle Botteghe Oscure and then past Chiesa del Gesù, distinguished for being the first Jesuit church in Rome as well as being one of the city's gaudiest. The church was later to become a prototype for Baroque churches in the capital.

Piazza del CampidoglioMichelangelo's masterpieces
You're now in Piazza d'Aracoeli, look behind to see the Vittoriano, the site of a bustling market in ancient times. Moving on you step back into Rome's glorious past as you reach the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) the political and religious hub of ancient Rome and now seat of Rome's city council. Piazza del Campidoglio was the first modern square in Rome and was designed by Michelangelo. For maximum effect go up to the square from Michelangelo's cordonata, a stepped ramp not unlike a pedestal around the square. The bronze equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius dominates the centre of the square while the Capitoline Museums - Palazzo dei Conservatori on the right and the Museo Capitolino on the left - line its sides. At the far end of the square you'll see Palazzo Senatorio with its magnificent staircase designed, once more, by Michelangelo. You now jump through time to Piazza Venezia, with its magnificent Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) built to commemorate the Unification of Italy. And this is where our journey ends - 3000 years in 90 minutes. Who knows . . . if the 110 had been running all those years ago maybe Rome could have been built in a day.

Santa Maria della Vittoria
Atac Roma - -Atac is Rome's public transport system. Contains information on routes and timetables as well as a collection of photos and interesting facts.
The Capitoline Hill - - An impressive photographic site dedicated to the Capitoline Hill.

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