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Trevi Fountain – Rome – Italy

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The city of Rome in Italy is a tourist’s paradise and amongst its varied architectural beauties is also the Trevi Fountain which is a famous fountain of Baroque style in the Trevi district of Rome. Architect Nicola Salvi, who was of Italian origin, was the first creative genius behind the fountain and the construction of the structure was later done by Pietro Bracci.

The Trevi Fountain, which is also known as the Fontana di Trevi, has a height of 26.3 metres and a width of 49.15 metres. The earliest date of its completion is in the year 1762 and marked the terminal of Aqua Virgo which was an aqueduct which supplied water to the city of Rome. In times before this, it is known that trace of this pure water was given to the technicians by a virgin and water from here was used by Rome for 400 years after which the aqueducts got cut.

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The process of reviving the Aqua Virgo and to convert it in to the current state Acqua Vergine was taken by Pope Urban VIII. Though, the process came to a halt after his death but again got revived under Pope Clement XII and it was then that Salvi took up the job which ended with the placing of the Oceanus created by Bracci in the centre of the structure. The last renovation project on the Trevi Fountain is known to have happened in 1998 when the cracks were repaired and some other damages were corrected too. As per a recent announcement of 2013, it is sad that Fendi, which is an Italian fashion brand, has offered a 2.2 million euro restoration plan for the Trevi Fountain.

The Trevi Fountain is known to be depicting and celebrating the various moods of sea and the ever changing form of water. The sculptures of the fountain are known to depict the sea in two opposite moods. There are two Tritons on either side of the sea God, one of which is trying to tame an unruly “sea horse�? while the other is with a much passive animal. The complete look of the Trevi Fountains appears similar to a scene on a stage and sound of the gushing water can be heard also from the surrounding streets. The structure of Neptun is shown inside a shell shaped chariot and the two statues are those of Abundance and Salubrity. The water flowing in Trevi Fountain is either called Virgin Waters or Trevi.

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Being unique in its appearance, the Trevi Fountain has featured in a number of movies like Roman Holidays, La Dolce Vita, and so on. It is also famous for the coin throwing tradition as per which throwing a coin in to the fountain with the right hand over the left shoulder is supposed to bring you back to Rome once again. Going by this tradition it is said that about 3,000 Euros are found in the Trevi Fountain every day. The best way to reach the Trevi Fountain is by walking from either the Spanish Steps or from Piazza Navona.

St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City

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The centre of Christianity in world is also the largest church of the world which stands on the Vatican hill near to the city of Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica is ideally a renaissance church which took hundred years to get completed and also involved some phenomenal architects of renaissance origin. St. Peter’s Basilica Church which stands next to the Tiber River is considered one of the most sacred sites in the Christian religion as it is here that the main apostle Saint Peter breathed his last.

It is from the St. Peter’s Basilica that the pope administrates the rest of the Roman Catholic fraternity of the world. The earliest date of construction of the church goes back to 319 AD when the ruler of Rome was Emperor Constantine who was incidentally also a Christian. While at that time the idea was only to build a small shrine, renovations and restorations were further made when St. Peter’s Basilica was ruining out during the time of Nicolas V. As at that time the work again came to a halt following the death of Nicolas V, it got restarted under Julius II who proposed the creation of an entirely new structure under the architectural guidance of Donato Bramante.

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The structure suggested by Bramante had much of a Greek influence with a hug dome at the top. The dome was built at a height of 136 metres from the ground and had a diameter of 42 metres. Ever since then, one architect was succeeded by another with all of them making some or the other significant impact to the plan. Amongst all of them the influence which seems to be most striking is known to have come from Michelangelo and also to a part from Rafael.

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The final consecration of St. Peter’s Basilica happened in 1626 post which it has been a major religious site for people across the world. Currently standing over an area of 22000 sq metres, figures that it has the capacity for twenty thousand worshipers to pray in the church. This remarkable work of art is therefore known to be visited by nearly 15,000 to 80,000 people throughout the year who go to attend the various services conducted by the Pope. In the current times, it is known that the actual tomb of St. Peter lies just below the main altar of the church.

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While accessing the main St. Peter’s Basilica, the visitors have to pass through the huge open space which is known as St. Peter’s Square. It is elliptical in shape and is known to have 140 statues which were the creations of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. There is also a fountain in the square which is known to have come to Rome in 37 AD. The structure of the actual building of St. Peter’s Basilica has a front facade, five entrances and interior which is richly adorned with artistic attributes of the 16th and 17th century artists.

St. Peter’s Basilica is open for tourists during particular times of the day and has strict dress codes which need to be followed.

Colosseum – Rome – Italy

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It is now an accepted fact that the specialness of the ancient architecture lies in their strength of endurance despite of all the neglects they go through. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the famous Colosseum of Rome, Italy is a glaring example of that. Even after 2,000 years of its existence, it stands tall and strong.

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Past of the Colosseum

Started in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian, it is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre after the three emperors of the Flavian dynasty who completed it. It still remains the biggest amphitheatre of the world which till this day stands as an ambassador of Rome. One of the few surviving pieces of actual Roman architecture, the Colosseum is made of stone and concrete and is known to have had a capacity of seating 50,000 to 80,000 people in a tiered seating plan. It is elliptical in shape with a length of 188metres and a width of 156metres.

The motivation behind the creation of the Colosseum was extremely political so as to remove the traces of the castle of Emperor Nero and substitute it with a gift to the Roman people where they could come and enjoy watching circuses and wild animal fights for amusement. The Colosseum shows signs of the Greek architectural styles and was the first amphitheatre with a retractable roof.

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Colosseum in the Medieval Ages

After serving the Roman population as an entertainment ground for about 450 years, the Colosseum, in 10th century AD, faced a lot of neglect as houses and shops came up with in the premises and many of them stole the stones and concrete of the structure for personal use. During the ages of Renaissance the degeneration of the Colosseum reached its peak which then got reduced with finally the start of the Restoration period in the 18th century.

Till this day, though nobody has even thought of taking the initiative of rebuilding the Colosseum in entirety, the maintenance certainly takes place to preserve whatever is left of it. The last restoration project which happened on it costed €20m and finally got complete in the year 2000.

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Colosseum mesmerizing tourists

The ancient building of Colosseum still continues to attract and entertain tourists with the lights which beautify it at night. Usually, every year, thousands of tourists pay a visit to the Colosseum from across the European Union to catch a glimpse of the ancient Rome. While most of the Colosseum is accessible to people, including those on wheelchairs, there are lifts to a couple of upper floors. A museum of Eros has now been started in the upper floors and the flooring of some part of the arena has been reconstructed. The underground passageway of the Colosseum which earlier was used for passing animals is now open to public during summers.

The Colosseum still bears its strong connections with the Roman Catholic Church which is why Every Good Friday the torch lit procession is started from the Colosseum by the Pope.