Rome – The Colosseum: To the People Restored

We passed the Colosseum on the way to our hotel, and found it even more impressive than any images could convey.  The following day, with the sun high in the sky, I made my way past the Forum and over to the Colosseum to see it properly in daylight. When …

The Roman Forum at a Glance

I first saw the ancient Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) from a Segway bike. I looked up from the cobblestones as our tour guide gathered us together, and there it was – the scene so often painted by Grand Tour visitors from the C17th and C18th. Stretching out beneath us, stood …

Why Seneca hated Diocletian’s Baths

At the T-junction of the present-day Via Nazionale and the Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando in Rome, lies the Piazza della Republica. Glancing up from your Café Latte you will see a large but somewhat nondescript Romanesque building – part ruin, part cathedral and part museum. This is what remains of the …

Cassini – Science the Church and a Gnomon

As the Cassini Saturn probe prepares for its final few orbits before being de-orbited into the planet, it’s worth considering who it was named for – the C16th Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini. These days the Vatican collaborates with the European Space Agency and NASA on space science. Even the Vatican Library …