was under restoration, but the Sant Agnese in Agone dominates the view behind it. At the north end we soaked in the sun before heading to the Pantheon. WOW! The granite columns and gigantic dome jump right out at you when you get around the corner! The domed roof is 142ft high and 142ft wide with a hole in the middle providing the only light for the building, designed in the 2nd century. The marble floor is the original from the Romans, and the walls are lined with tombs and shrines to kings of Italy and Raphael.
Behind the Pantheon we went in the Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Another Bernini sculpture is in front, its an elephant with an obelisk on top of it. The church is Gothic architecture from the 13th century and has a brightly painted and vaulted ceiling. More amazing paintings and art everywhere as well as another Michelangelo statue of the Risen Christ, and tombs of several famous Italians.
On the way to the Trevi fountain, we stopped in.... you guessed it... another church! The Sant Ignazio di Loyola. Around the corner is the most famous fountain in all of Rome... the Trevi Fountain. It takes up the entire front of a building and is incredibly detailed. Neptune is in the center and flanked by two Tritons and their sea-horses. This fountain was created in the 18th century, but stands on the place where a Roman aqueduct terminated in 19 BC. We did the traditional toss a coin over left shoulder with right hand, to ensure a return trip to Rome, then stopped for some gelato. YUM! Heading north past a Burger King (d'oh!) we went inside the Sang Andrea delle Fratte to see another Bernini angel, but a Mass service had just started. This church used to be the northern-most point of Rome!
The Spanish Steps were our next stop, passing by the Colonna dell Immacolata. This is one of the happenin' places in Rome for hanging out and watching life go by. We took a quick look in the Trinta dei Monti at the top of the steps. It started to drizzle on our way to the Triton Fountain in the Piazza Barberini. It is dolphins on their heads supporting the sea god Triton kneeling on a shell and blowing through a conch shell. COOL! Onwards to the Santa Maria della Vittoria to see one of the coolest sculptures ever... Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa. Amazing detail and life-like figures of St Teresa in a robe lying on a cloud with an angel over her with an arrow in her hand. Bronze divine light comes down from above. Who ever thought I would like stuff like this?! Mass was about to start so we hustled out and saw the Moses Fountain.
Some more panini sandwiches and espressos while the rain let up, then we retraced our steps back towards the Piazza Navona for dinner. We had a fancy (and quite expensive) Italian dinner just like you would imagine in Rome. That's all the energy we had for the day so we made our way back to the hotel sad that we had to leave on Monday, but chock-full of culture and eye-candy!