Tag Archives: Civitavecchia

6 May 2018:
An Expanded Welcome from Civitavecchia, Italy:
A Renewed Spirit Returns

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard the Silver Spirit, fresh from one of the most spectacular renovations in luxury cruise ship history.

I think the hyperbole is warranted.

Silver Spirit entered a drydock in Palermo at the start of March as a handsome ship of 195.8 meters (642.4 feet), and emerged in early May stretching 210.7 meters (691 feet).

Photo courtesy Silversea Cruises.

How did they do that? It was not a stretch but rather a matter of cutting and pasting.

Shipyard workers cut the ship into two pieces in the drydock and then carefully maneuvered a 15-meter or 49-foot-long new section into place.

There followed weeks of welding, reattachment of cables and pipes, and a stem-to-stern refresh of the interior decor and amenities.

All this for a ship that before the operation was already one of the most luxurious and attractive vessels in service, first put into service in 2009.

Here’s a photo I took of the ship from across the Golden Horn in Istanbul a few years ago:

Silver Spirit now has 34 more suites, several more restaurants, a larger pool and spa.

And later today, we sail will from Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, on her first cruise in her new configuration. We’ll cross over to Porto-Vecchio on the island of Corsica, then back to the mainland of Italy for Livorno and Portofino. From there to Cannes and Marseille, France and in a week’s time pull into a 49-foot-longer parking space in Barcelona.

Here’s our plan:

I hope you’ll join me here for details.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

4 Oct 2016
Civitavecchia, Port of Rome, Italy:
Shipping Out Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived at the ancient port of Rome early this morning. Civitavecchia, as in Ancient City.

To guests leaving us here, we wish you arrivederci. Until we meet again. And welcome aboard to guests signing on for a voyage scheduled to head down the length of Italy, through the Strait of Messina, and a very tight squeeze through the Corinth Canal at the top of Pelopennisia in Greece.

From there we are due to call at the picture-perfect Greek island of Santorini before entering into the Aegean Sea.

Our cruise continues on to a few more perfect pictures of Greek islands: Patmos and Mykonos, before concluding in Piraeus, the port of Athens.

Here’s our plan:

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A ROMAN ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

29 April 2016
From Civitavecchia to Venice: A Journey Between Empires

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

To guests leaving us today,  we wish safe travels and arrivederci.  And welcome aboard to new fellow travelers.

We sail out of Civitavecchia–the ancient port of Rome built by the Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century and now one of the busiest modern ports of the Mediterranean for cruise ships, ferries, and cargo–and we are headed down and around the toe and heel of Italy.

Our goal is the seat of another great empire of Europe: Venice. As we pass east of the heel of Italy into the Adriatic Sea, we will sail through a large part of the thassalocracy of Venice: a dominion over water and ports.

Our itinerary takes us from Civitavecchia to Sorrento (gateway to Pompeii on the mainland and the enchanted isle of Capri) and then through the Strait of Messina to Taormina on Sicily.

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From there we head to Brindisi on the heel of Italy and then Dubrovnik and Rijeka in resurgent Croatia.

I hope you’ll join me here.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Hudson Book Cover

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

8 April 2016
Ciao e benvenuto from Civitavecchia

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We bid arrivederci to friends from our cruise from Barcelona, and prepare to set off on a new adventure.

Sailing from Civitavecchia, the ancient and modern port of Rome, we’re off on a cruise to some classic Italian ports, a quick jaunt to Malta, and then back to the mainland of France.

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We sail south to lovely Sorrento, where we can go ashore there to explore that city or head to always-intriguing Pompeii or Herculaneum in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

Or we can cross over by ferry to enchanting Capri.

From Sorrento we continue south between Scylla and Charybdis into the Strait of Messina and on to a port call at Taormina on the island of Sicily, the football kicked by the toe of Italy.

On Monday we are due to visit the spectacular city of Valletta on the island of Malta.

From there we will head north for a stop at Trapani in Sicily, and then to Olbia on the Italian island of Sardinia, and then Calvi on the French island of Corsica.

This cruise will conclude on the mainland of France at Nice.

I hope you’ll join me here for photos and observations.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Hudson Book Cover

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

11 September 2015
Civitavecchia, Italy: Treasures of the Med

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Two ships in one day, with an airplane flight in between. We started the day in Lisbon at the end of a wondrous cruise from Southampton to Normandy, Asturias, and Portugal.

We bade arrivederci to Silver Cloud, hopped a flight east across Europe to Rome, and have met up with sister ship Silver Wind on a journey that will take us through the west coast of Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, Cannes, and on to the Oz world of Monte Carlo.

I would have much preferred to sail down and around; airplanes are so déclassé.

So here we are on Silver Wind.

On this cruise we’re going to go just about every direction we can:

West from Civitavecchia through the Tyrrhenian Sea to Olbia on the Italian island of Sardinia.

North and then west through the Strait of Bonifacio before going north again to Calvi on the French island of Corsica.

North to the mainland of Europe and the fine port of Portofino in Italy.

Southeast along the Riviera di Levante to Livorno, the port for Florence in Italy.

Then west across the Ligurian Sea to Cannes, France.

And then finally, northeast to Monte Carlo in the Principality of Monaco.

Here’s our plan:

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Copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

 

 

2-3 July 2015
 Venice, Italy: Another Sigh

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have returned to the serene city of Venice, arriving in high style aboard the lovely Silver Spirit, passing in front of St. Mark’s Square in the early morning light.

The most famous transport in Venice, of course, is the Gondola, although they’re almost exclusively used for short rides for tourists.

They’ve been around for about a thousand years, although the design as we see them now dates only to about 1825. There once were perhaps 10,000 in use; today only about 500 are in service.

If you’re in the market for one of your own, a basic hand-crafted model sells for at least 20,000 Euros. That’s before you add floormats.

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On the Piazetta, just outside the main Piazza, is the pink-and-white Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s Palace.

This was a residence as well as the seat of government. It was also used as a torture chamber and prison and Senate—which in today’s world may seem to be the same thing.

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Crossing a small canal—the Rio di Palazzo—into the Doge’s Palace is the Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs. It was built in 1602.

The view from the bridge was the last view of Venice seen by convicts before they entered the prison.

It received its evocative nickname in the 19th century by Lord Byron who suggested that prisoners would sigh at the final view before being shuttered away.

Well, Byron was a poet and is entitled to an imagination; the fact is that by the 19th century the cells in the palace were used only for petty criminals on short sentences, and in any case it is difficult to see anything at all while crossing the bridge because stone grills cover the windows.

Today, it is mostly sighs of a different type. There is a belief that those who kiss beneath the bridge will enjoy a love that lasts forever.

It’s worked for us.

We are headed home for a vacation; we’ll be back at the end of August on Silversea Silver Cloud from Southampton to Lisbon with stops in Bordeaux, Bilbao, and Porto.

And then we’ll hop over to Rome to join Silversea Silver Wind in the Mediterranean in September. I hope to see you here (or there).

Text and images copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

9-10 June 2015
 Venice, Italy: La Dominante, La Serenissima

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Venice, the Dominant, the Serene, is one of the most extraordinary places on earth.

A city afloat. The grand remnants of a once-great Republic.

The City of Water. The City of Bridges. The City of Canals.

Depending who is doing the counting and sometimes on how high the water rises, modern Venice consists of about 124 islands that sit in the shallow and marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy between the mouths of the Po River to the south and the Piave to the north.

A VENICE ALBUM

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Photos by Corey Sandler

It was during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance that the Republic of Venice rose to become a major maritime power, along with Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi.

At its peak, in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Venetian Republic eliminated the pirates along the Dalmatian Coast, acquired control of most of the islands in the Aegean, including Cyprus and Crete, seized and sacked Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, establishing the Latin Empire in the process and became a major power-broker, trading with Western Europe as well as continuing to deal with the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.

By the late thirteenth century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. At the peak of its power and wealth, it had 36,000 sailors operating 3,300 ships, dominating Mediterranean commerce.

From the 13th through 17th centuries, Venice’s leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and support the work of the greatest and most talented artists.

Six hundred years ago, Venetians protected themselves from land-based attacks by diverting all the major rivers flowing into the lagoon and thus preventing sediment from filling the area around the city.

During the 20th century, when many artesian wells were sunk into the periphery of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to subside.

The city is still threatened by frequent low-level floods (called Acqua alta, “high water”) that splash over the walls. Saint Mark’s Square floods more than 50 times a year.

THE VIEW FROM THE TOP

One of my favorite parts of my job is giving commentary from the ship’s navigational bridge as we sail in or out of some of the planet’s most beautiful ports.

Among them is Venice,  and I was up top early on 9 June to help guests understand the great city.

Here are some photos from Venice,  starting with the view from the bridge:

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Photos by Corey Sandler 

To those guests leaving us here in Venice, safe travels and arrivederci: Until we meet again.

And for those joining us for the next adventure, welcome aboard.

Here’s our plan for the next cruise, from Venice to Istanbul.

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Text and images copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams cover

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

31 May 2015
 Civitavechia to Venice

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard.

We are embarked on a voyage that circles down and around Italy, from the ancient port of Rome on the Tyrrhenian Sea through the Strait of Messina to Corfu in the Ionian Sea and then north into the Adriatic Sea.

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This cruise ends in Venice, once one of the world’s most dominant military, economic, and political powers, a thalassocracy of maritime colonies and trading partners that includes much of our itinerary as well as further east into the Aegean Sea to Constantinople, today’s Istanbul.

Here’s our plan:

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I’ll be posting stories and photos from each port.

I hope you’ll follow along on our voyage.

Text and images copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

12 November 2014
 Out of the Mediterranean from Civitavecchia

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We begin now a journey from Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, toward the Pillars of Hercules between Africa and Europe and beyond.

Welcome aboard to new guests.

We have ahead of us the glories of Naples, Sorrento, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, and so much more. Then down to Trapani on ever-fascinating Sicily, and on to Valletta on timeless Malta.

We continue moving outward bound with a scheduled port call at La Goulette, the port of Tunis in Tunisia in North Africa. And then we hop back to Europe for resplendent Cartagena and Malaga in Spain.

This cruise will conclude at the lush island of Madeira, an offshore island of Portugal. Here’s the plan:

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A ROMAN HOLIDAY

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All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

 

3 October 2014
 Civitavechia, Italy. A Voyage of Bookends: From the Port of Rome to the Wonders of Istanbul

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived in Civitavecchia, the Old City, the ancient port of Rome. Some of our guests will leave here, and we wish them safe travels.

To guests just joining us, welcome aboard. And for those who have been with us since Monte Carlo, prepare for a change of view: from elegant or gaudy modernity to classic Greek, Roman, and Ottoman culture and history. Add to the mix the Venetians and the Crusaders.

We are sailing first to Sorrento, from where we can see Mount Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum in one direction and the lovely island of Capri in the other. There is so much to see and do here: add to the mix Naples to the north, the Amalfi Drive to the south. And for the adventurous: Paestum.

Continuing down the coast we arrive at Trapani on Sicily, the largest island of the Mediterranean. And then Valletta on much smaller Malta; smaller but of unmeasurable fascination.

We round the corner and head to two of the best-known of the Greek Isles: Mykonos and Santorini. The first a pleasant place of windmills and beaches. The second, a handsome setting atop a ticking time bomb, the site of one of the largest volcanic explosions of our planet.

And then Kusadasi, a Turkish delight and gateway to the spectacular ruins of Ephesus. Once a seaport and an important Greek and then Roman holy site, it became one of the foundational churches of early Christianity.

We end with a passage through the Dardanelles, alongside the trenches of Gallipoli, one of the most horrific killing fields of World War I, and then arrive at Istanbul.

I’ve sailed this itinerary many times and happily do it again; it is like floating through a course in ancient history…done in fine style.

Here is our scheduled itinerary:

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10 April 2014: Civitavecchia, the Port of Rome

By Corey Sandler, Silversea Destination Consultant

Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with Civitavecchia, but most people make it their goal to get out of town.

It’s actually an interesting small city with an old fortress, an impoverished but rich cathedral, and a history that includes the Emperor Trajan and a sculptor and designer named Michelangelo.[whohit]-10APR2014 CIVITAVECCHIA ROME-[/whohit]

Civitavecchia—the name means ancient town—is the port of Rome, about 50 miles away.

The modern city of Civitavecchia was built over an ancient Etruscan settlement. The port was developed by the Emperor Trajan at the beginning of the 2nd century.

The original town was called Centum Cellae, which may have been a reference to the centum (“hundred”) cellae (cells or halls) of the villa of the emperor.

Centum Callae was a Byzantine stronghold in the Middle Ages, then captured by the Saracens in 828. Later it came under control of the Papal States.

In 1696 it became a free port under Pope Innocent XII and soon the main port of Rome.

In the modern era, an event of great importance was the inauguration of the Rome and Civitavecchia Railroad in 1859; today’s track pretty much follows the same route.

During World War II, Civitavecchia was heavily bombed by the Allies to hinder use of the port for supplies and military purposes.

Civitavecchia’s massive Forte Michelangelo is impossible to miss. The designer Donato Bramante was commissioned by Pope Julius II about 1500.

Bramante also produced the original designs for the rebuilding of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. That job was ultimately completed by Michelangelo.

In Civitavecchia, the same thing happened. The maschio or “male” tower was begun by Bramante, but the upper part was finished by Michelangelo and he’s the one who gets the credit.

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The Pines of Rome, near the Vatican. Photo by Corey Sandler

The fortress was built over an ancient Roman structure, probably the barracks for the Imperial Fleet.  The old bronze chain to raise the drawbridge is still there; on the side jamb the carved words “LEAVE YOUR WEAPONS” are still visible.

The small Cathedral of Civitavecchia, dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, was built at the site of a seventeenth century Franciscan church.

Less than an hour away is Tarquinia, an ancient city even by Italian, Greek, or Etruscan standards, dating back at least 1,500 years B.C.

Many of the great families and royalty of ancient Rome came from there.

Etruscan necropolises hold some 6,000 tombs and 200 of wall paintings.

Venimus, vidimus, vicimus: Rome

We came, we saw, we conquered…and shopped, toured, and ate in Rome: one of the most stirring, culturally grand, and chaotic cities in the world.

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Castel Sant Angelo, also known as Hadrian’s Tomb in Rome. Photo By Corey Sandler

A grandiose name for Rome is The Eternal City. Another nickname, Caput Mundi (Latin for “Capital of the World”) has a history of about 2,500 years.

Neither goes back to the dawn of time, but this is nevertheless a place of great antiquity.

Rome was one of the few major European cities not heavily damaged during World War II, with most of its ancient, Renaissance, and Baroque structures surviving. Allied raids avoided Vatican City and most of the great treasures of Rome, concentrating on the San Lorenzo steelyards, military installations, and outlying areas.

As ground troops advanced toward Rome in June 1944, the Germans declared it an “open city” and there was no significant further fighting as the Allies came in and the Germans retreated.

The Roman Colosseum is near the center of Rome, just east of the Roman Forum. One of the greatest works of ancient Roman architecture, construction began between 70 and 72 AD under Emperor Vespasian, completed in 80 AD under Titus.

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Inside Saint Peter’s Basilica, dominated by Bernini’s altar. Photos by Corey Sandler

 

The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles, although not all of the images we have in our mind of these events have been verified.

There were hunts of captured wild animals, re-enactments of famous land and sea battles, dramas based on classical mythology, and more than a few executions.

The elliptical amphitheater could seat at least 50,000 spectators. Today’s huge football or baseball stadiums are not much different in concept.

It even had a retractable roof—a bit of canvas awning to shield the most favored from the sun and the elements.

The sovereign city-state of Vatican City is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It occupies 110 acres, less than half a square kilometer, across the Tiber from the ancient city of Rome.

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The Vatican Museum is one of the most spectacula (and crowded) museums in the world, receiving 25,000 visitors on an ordinary day. Photos by Corey Sandler

The only way to be a citizen of the Vatican is to get yourself elected Pope or be one of the 800 or so people (and their families) who work for him or the church.

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Inside the Vatican Museum, and outside on Saint Peter’s Square where the chairs were already in place for Palm Sunday. Photos by Corey Sandler