Monday, August 25, 2014

Things to Do While in Rome: The Pantheon

“The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.” Dalai Lama XIV

Despite the quote above, Romans did build big temples to their Gods, and the best preserved temple around Rome is the Pantheon.  The word "Pantheon" in greek means temple of all Gods and as such, it was built in the years 25-27 B.C.  and reconstructed by Emperor Hadrian during 118-125 A.C.  It only became a Catholic church in the year 609 when it was renamed as the Church of Saint Mary of the Martyrs.

The #Pantheon's magnificent architecture alone, is enough to make it a stop on your itinerary.  The building, apart from its front portico, is circular and its dome has a nine meter oculus that lets the sunshine (and  rain, and rose's petals on Pentecost's mass) in.   

The Pantheon is on the south side of the "Piazza della Rotonda", which is a city square with a fountain with an obelisk at its center, and restaurants and shops all around.  You'll arrive there by navigating the narrow cobble stone streets of downtown Rome, it's all of Rome in one place: ancient architecture, ambiance and great food.

Talking about food, I had a great fish dinner at Hostaria De Pastini, steps away from the Pantheon.  And if you are more of a meat lover, you should definitively try Maxela, with a butcher's counter at the entrance of the restaurant, you will surely get a nice cut, cooked to perfection.  The portions are a bit smaller compared to its American counterparts, but that is not a problem because a few steps from the restaurant you'll find Gelateria Della Palma, with more that 150 flavors of gelato, you will certainly find one or two, or three, for your perfect italian desert.

And that my friends is a suggestion for a perfect night stroll in good ole #Rome.


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