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Rome 3

Adorable Chick

ITALY, GREECE & MONTENEGRO Diary : Day 15 - 16th May 2018

(Continued from ROME 2 ) Lying on the Capitoline hill, initially built and designed by Michelangelo himself, the CAMPIDOGLIO square is quite modern looking that offers central access to all the renowned museums around it, therefore making it an important place of visit all the year round. The access to it from the ROMAN FORUM felt like a secret passage and definitely took us back in time. It consists of a central structure with two similar looking palaces on its either side. What is more notable is the floral design on its central floor. The entire set up is on a terrace overlooking the road below, with a few notable sculptures decorating the enclosure. It is said that the southern cliff of this hill (referred to as the TARPEIAN rock) was utilised to carry out executions. Michelangelo wanted to actually build this square opposite to St. Peters Basilica , Vatican. This square is relatively empty and gives one more of a university campus type feeling. We took a stroll around admiring the architecture and sculpture before moving ahead.

Running down right from the Campidoglio square is the CORDONATA stairway. This is a monumental stairway known for its gradually ascending structure and picturesque landscaping. It is more like a wide, upward sloping ramp connecting the Campidoglio to the road leading to St. Marks Square and Piazza venezia. We were awestruck by its sheer size. Beautiful potted flowers adorn the sides of the stairway and make a perfect spot for “ instagrammable “ pictures. The stairway was initially built for the Kings and Knights to ascend to the hilltop , without getting off their horses. Each set of stairs is separated from the other with a mere elevation of 8-10 cm. We were fortunate to find it relatively less crowded, so were able to capture a few moments here.

Tidy Desk

We descended from the Campidoglio using the stairway to get to the adjacent church once again running upward from the Piazza di ARACOELI. Half way through it got tedious and we gave up the idea of visiting its interiors. Again, another beautiful stairway leads to the Church. The Basilica di SANTA MARIA in Aracoeli is famous for its internal frescoes. The external views of the Basilica is typically simple Italian in style. It is the last of the pictures in this particular gallery.

Overlooking the Basilica at a height, to its left, is the ALTAR OF THE FATHERLAND referred to as the ALTARE DELLA PATRIA. This imposing white marble structure is almost synonymous to the city, especially during all the celebrations of the state. It lies in the junction that is flooded by 3 famous squares, the St. Marks square, the Piazza Venezia and the Piazza di ARACOELI.

The 3 roads which root from each of these squares run in a circle and culminate to reach the foothill of this massive central piece of art. It is one of the most tastefully built, giant sized, marble structures displayed in the open. The structure sits atop a hill and is placed at a height that could be almost midway to the Basilica / Cordonata. A high risen gate blocks free access to its wide stairway. There is, however, a single point of access to it which comes in the form of a small opening in this gate. We walked up the stairs and were blown by the magnificence of the sculpted art flooding the entire exterior. The structure is split into 3 levels, each of them interconnected by stairways. The second tier has a centrally sculpted structure of a goddess , referred to as the GODDESS of ROME.

She stands overlooking the city, flanked on either side by intricately designed procession of soldiers, slaves, horses , which may be mostly depicting the erstwhile life in ROME. Above this central piece are intricately etched human figures, much of which couldn't be captured on my camera due to the height it stood at. Above all that was a black statue of an unknown soldier on a horse. This symbolises the sacrifice made by many soldiers and knights. These are not the only sculptures. The entire Altar is filled with such masterpieces, by looking into the eyes of which you can get lost in History.