Italy Tour 2014 首页 我的遊記 意大利游蹤 Italy Tour (2014年) Italy Tour 2014

 

 

Italy Tour

 

 

 

(2014)

 

 

From left to Right: Spanish Steps,Colosseum,Trevi Fountain,
St Peter Church,Pantheon,Plazza Venezia
.

 

 

(一)Rome

 

 

General Introduction

 

 

The Pantheon, Rome.

 

 

               On the 3rd day of our onshore  excursions, we went to visit Rome. Rome is the capital of Italy. With 2.9 million residents in 1,285 km2 , it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and the 4th most populas city in the European Union by population within the city limits.

     Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years,  since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe.

     In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic  and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western Civilization.

     Rome became first one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance  along with Florence, and then the birthplace of Baroque  style  architecture. Famous artists and architects, such as --- to name just a few – Donato Bramante (1444-1514), Michelangelo(1475-1564), Raphael(1483-1520) and  Bernini(1598-1680), made of the city the center of their activity, creating masterpieces like St Peter's Basilica , the Sistine Chapel , Raphael Rooms  and St Peter's Square .

     Rome has the status of a global city. In 2011, Rome was the 18th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the world's most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists a year.

     Rome enjoys a Mediterranean climate  with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. Much like the rest of Italy, Rome is predominantly Roman Catholic, and the city has been an important centre of religion and pilgrimage for centuries.

     Rome was also ranked in 2014 as 32nd in the Global Cities Index, being the highest-ranking city in Italy. Rome, on the whole, has the highest total earnings in Italy.

     According to the City Brands Index, Rome is considered the world's second most historically, educationally and culturally interesting and beautiful city.

 

 

Roman Architecture

 

 

Ancient Roman Wall

 

 

     Rome was for a period one of the world's main epicentres of classical architecture, developing new forms such as the arch, the dome and the vault.The Romanesque style in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries was also widely used in Roman architecture, and later the city became one of the main centres of Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

     One of the symbols of Rome is the Colosseum (70–80 AD), the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire. Originally capable of seating 60,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial combat. Rome was a major world centre of the Renaissance, second only to Florence, and was profoundly affected by the movement . Many of the famous city's squares – some huge, majestic and often adorned with obelisks, some small and picturesque – got their present shape during the Renaissance and Baroque

 

 

Vatican City

 

 

Vatican City, Rome.

 

 

     Rome became Christian, and the Old St. Peter's Basilica was constructed in 313 AD. Despite some interruptions ,Rome has for centuries been the home of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as the Pope. There are around 900 churches in Rome.

     According to the Lateran Treaty, certain properties of the Holy See located in Italian territory, most notably the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies.Catholics believe that the Vatican is the last resting place of St. Peter.

 

 

The Fountains Of Rome

 

 

The Fountains of Rome

 

 

     Rome is a city famous for its numerous fountains, built in all different styles, from Classical and Medieval, to Baroque and Neoclassical. The city has had fountains for more than two thousand years, and they have provided drinking water and decorated the piazzas of Rome.

     The fountains of Rome, like the paintings of Rubens, were expressions of the new style of Baroque art. They were crowded with allegorical figures, and filled with emotion and movement. In these fountains, sculpture became the principal element, and the water was used simply to animate and decorate the sculptures. They, like baroque gardens, were "a visual representation of confidence and power".

 

 

University College

 

 

Street View Rome

 

 

     Rome has a large number of universities and colleges. Its first university, La Sapienza (founded in 1303), is the largest in Europe and the second-largest in the world, with more than 140,000 students attending; it ranked as Europe's 33rd best university and currently ranks among Europe's 50 and the world's 150 best colleges.

 

 

World Tourist Destination

 

 

Roman Forums

 

 

     Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and artistic treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent "villas" (Parks).

     Rome is the third most visited city in the EU, after London and Paris, and receives an average of 7–10 million tourists a year, which sometimes doubles on holy years. The Colosseum (4 million tourists) and the Vatican Museums (4.2 million tourists) are the 39th and 37th (respectively) most visited places in the world, according to a recent study

 

 

Archaeological Hub

 

 

The colosseum at Night

 

 

     Rome is a major archaeological hub, and one of the world's main centres of archaeological research. There are numerous cultural and research institutes located in the city, such as the American Academy in Rome, and The Swedish Institute at Rome. The Colosseum, arguably one of Rome's most iconic archaeological sites, is regarded as a wonder of the world

     Rome contains a vast and impressive collection of art, sculpture, fountains, mosaics, frescos, and paintings, from all different periods.

 

 

Home Of Artists

 

 

City View, Rome.

 

 

     Rome became the home of numerous artists and architects, such as Bernini(1598-1680), Caravaggio(1571-1610), Carracci(1560-1609), Borromini (1500-1667). Today, the city is a major artistic centre, with numerous art institutes and museums.

     Rome has a growing stock of contemporary and modern art and architecture. The National Gallery of Modern Art has works by Balla(1871-1958), Morandi(1890-1964), Pirandello(1867-1936), Carrà(1881-1966), De Chirico(1888-1978), De Pisis(1896-1956), Guttuso(1911-1987), Burri(1915-1995), Mastroianni(1924-1996), Turcato(1912-1995), Kandisky(1866-1944) and Cézanne(1839-1906) on permanent exhibition.

 

 

4th World Fashion Capital

 

 

Arch of Constantine

 

 

     Rome is also widely recognised as a world fashion capital. Although not as important as Milan, Rome is the world's fourth most important center for fashion in the world, according to the 2009 Global Language Monitor after Milan, New York and Paris, and beating London.

 

 

Colosseu

 

 

The colosseum

 

 

The Largest Amphitheatre In The World

 

 

Below the ground were rooms with mechanical devices
and cages containing wild animals.

 

 

     Our first destination in Rome is the Colosseum. It is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is also the largest amphitheatre in the world. Today,this monumental structure has fallen into ruin, but it is still an imposing and beautiful sight attracting millions of visitors  every year.

     Upon arrival, we  got  down from the bus and took photos  in front of the Arch of Constantine. The Colosseum building is very near to the Arch of Constantine. Due to its fame, I was quite excited to see such a huge amphitheatre.  In 2007, the Colosseum was selected as one of the Seven Wonders of the World  comparable to the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal of India.

 

 

The Colosseum Could  Accommodate  50,000 Spectators

 

 

Above the ground are 4 stories, the upper story contained seating for lower
 classes and women. The lower story was preserved for prominent citizens.

 

 

     The Colosseum was built 1900 years ago during the reign of Flavian Dynasty. Emperors Vespasian(9-17AD) and Titus (39-81AD)were builders of the Colosseum and succeeded by King Nero(37-68AD). It is estimated that the colosseum could  hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions..etc. However, according to the Codex-Calendar of 354, the  Colosseum could accommodate 87,000 people, although modern estimates put the figure at around 50,000.

     Above the ground are 4 stories, the upper story contained seating for lower classes and women. The lower story was preserved for prominent citizens. Below the ground were rooms with mechanical devices and cages containing wild animals. The cages could be hoisted,enabling the animals to appear in the middle of the arena.

 

 

Pope Leads A Torchlit  “Way Of The Cross” Procession

 

 

Stations of the Cross at Colosseum

 

 

     Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

     A famous epigram attributed to the Venerable Bede(672-735 AD)[Note:   He was an English monk at the monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth and its companion monastery ,a Well-known author and historian.]  “As long as the Colossus stands, so shall Rome; when the Colossus falls, Rome shall fall; when Rome falls, so falls the world". This is always mistranslated to refer to the Colosseum rather the Colossus.[Note:  Colossus means a statue of gigantic size. The name was especially applied to certain famous statues in antiquity, as the Colossus of  Nero in Rome, the Colossus of Apollo at Rhodes.]

 

 

Pope  Benedict Endorsed Colosseum

A Sacred Site For Christian Martyrs

 

 

The entrance of Colosseum packed with tourists

   

 

      In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV endorsed the view that the Colosseum was a sacred site where early Christians had been martyred. He forbade the use of the Colosseum as a quarry and consecrated the building to the Passion of Christ and installed Stations of the Cross, declaring it sanctified by the blood of the Christian martyrs who perished there. However there is no historical evidence to support Benedict's claim, nor is there even any evidence that anyone prior to the 16th century suggested this might be the case.

 

 


A Symbol Of The International Campaign

Against Capital Punishment

 

 

The Colosseum today is now a major tourist attraction in Rome with
 millions of tourists each year paying to view the interior arena.

 

 

     In recent years the Colosseum has become a symbol of the international campaign against capital punishment, which was abolished in Italy in 1948. Several anti–death penalty demonstrations took place in front of the Colosseum in 2000.

     Because of the ruined state of the interior, it is impractical to use the Colosseum to host large events; only a few hundred spectators can be accommodated in temporary seating. However, much larger concerts have been held just outside, using the Colosseum as a backdrop. Performers who have played at the Colosseum in recent years have included Ray Charles (May 2002), Paul McCartney (May 2003), Elton John (September 2005), and Billy Joel (July 2006).

 

 

Emperor Trajan’s Animal Hunt Show

 

 

Ancient Roman Wall

 

 

     The Colosseum was used to host gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events.. Another popular type of show was the animal hunt .This utilized a great variety of wild beasts, mainly imported from Africa and the Middle East, and included creatures such as rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, elephants, giraffes, aurochs, wisents, Barbary lions, panthers, leopards, bears, Caspian tigers, crocodiles and ostriches. Battles and hunts were often staged amid elaborate sets with movable trees and buildings. Such events were occasionally on a huge scale;  Emperor Trajan(53-117 AD) is said to have celebrated his victories in Dacia in 107 with contests involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators over the course of 123 days.

 

 

A Major Tourist Attraction In Rome

 

 

The Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Ugly Boat)
 is a Sinking Ship Fountain at Spanish Steps, Rome.

 

 

     The Colosseum today is now a major tourist attraction in Rome with millions of tourists each year paying to view the interior arena, though entrance for citizens of the European Union (EU) is partially subsidised, and entrance is free for EU citizens under eighteen or over sixty-five years of age.

 

 

Spanish Step

 

 

Spanish Steps, Rome.(1)

 

   

     Frankly speaking, the Spanish Steps  are  not an amazing place to visit .I don’t know why we were brought here. Perhaps, this place is always among a few “must see’ list’ in Rome.

     In actual fact, this is the place where you can sit down with a few hundred unknown people on the steps and have some rest under the sun/rain  after you walked around for a few hours.

 

 

Spanish Steps, Rome.(2)

 

 

     On arrival, I saw a few hundred people, mostly tourists, just siting and chatting there ,on the numerous steps without doing anything, but have a glimpse at the activities down there from time to time. It reminds me with the American Movie in 1953 , “Roman Holidays” where Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) and Gregory Peck (1916-2003)met here. Audrey Hepburn(1929-1993)  was seen eating an ice-cream. Such a scenario made the Spanish Steps famous to the world audience.  My wife and I also had ice-cream there costing Euro$7 each. Very expensive ice-cream(compared to the  Malaysian standard) I have ever eaten so far.

 

 

Spanish Steps, Rome.(3)

 

 

     The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome. Such a monumental stairway of 138 steps was built by a French diplomat in 1723-1725, under the patronage of the Bourbon King s of France. On the top  of  the steps, there is a Holy Trinity Church.

 

 

American Movie “Roman Holidays”(1953) where Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) and Gregory Peck
 (1916-2003)met at Spanish Steps. Audrey Hepburn(1929-1993)  was seen eating an ice-cream.

 

 

     During the 18th century, the Spanish Steps became a meeting place for both artists and models. These days, located to the right at the base of the steps, is a house where the English poet John Keats(1795-1821) lived and died. The house is now a museum dedicated to his memory.

     The steps are not a place for eating lunch, because the Italian authorities, in an attempt to keep the area clean, have banned visitors from eating whilst sitting on the steps.

 

 

Trevi Fountain

 

 

Trevi Fountain at night

 

 

     The Trevi Fountain is the most famous and the most beautiful Baroque fountain in Rome.  It is also well-known to the world.The fountain has  appeared  in several notable films, including Federic Fellini’s(1920-1993) “La Dolce Vita”  , 1954 American romantic comedy film “Three Coins in the Fountain”, and Audrey Hepburn(1929-1993) and Gregory Peck’s (1916-2003) Roman Holiday”.  I  came  across to know Trevi  Fountain from the famous film “Roman Holiday” and “Three Coin in the Fountain”, particulary the latter and  songs such as “Am I That Easy to Forget”sung by Jim Reeves(1923-1964) and  “Three Coins in the Fountain” sung by Frank Sinatra(1998-).

 

 

The Legend

 

 

An obedient sea horse

 

 

     According to the Legend that in 19 BC thirsty Roman soldiers were guided by a young girl to a source of pure water thirteen kilometers from the city of Rome. The discovery of the source led Emperor Augustus(63BC-14AD) to commission the construction of a twenty-two kilometer aqueduct leading into the city, which was named Aqua Virgo, or Virgin Waters, in honour of the legendary young girl. The aqueduct served the hot Baths of Agrippa(63BC-13BC), and Rome, for over four hundred years.

 

 

The Fountain

 

 

In the Movie "Three Coins in the Fountain".

 

 

     The Trevi Fountain is situated at the end of the Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed by Agrippa(63BC-13BC), the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus(63BC-14AD). The aqueduct brings water all the way from the Salong Spring ,21 km from Rome ,and supplies the fountain in the historic centre of Rome with water.

 

 

Lovers taking honeymoon photo at Trevi Fountain.

 

 

     The  fountain, which is designed like a monumental triumphal arch, was bult against a wall of the Palazzo Poli. It measures 20m wide and 26m high and occupies more than half the square.

 

 

Triton and Hippocamp

 

 

     In the centre of the fountain is Neptune, god of the sea. He rides a shell-shaped chariot that is pulled by two sea horses. Each sea horse is guided by a Triton. One of the horse is calm and obedient, the other one restive.They symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea. The statues were sculpted by Pietro Bracci(1700-1773).

     On the left-hand side of Nepture is a statue representing “ Abundance”, the statue on the right represents “ Salubrity”. Both these statues were the work of Filippo della Valle(1698-1768).

 

 

At present the whole of the facade is obscured by scaffolding, though
 there was a bridge to get closer to the actual fountain statues.

 

 

     Above two allegorical statues are bas-relief. The one on the left shows Agrippa(63BC-13BC), the general who built the aqueduct that carries water to the fountain, he is shown explaining his plan for the aqueduct to Augustus(63BC-14AD). The bas-relief on the right captures the moment the virgin points to the source of spring. The allegorical statues on the top,in front of the attic,symbolize the four seasons. Crowning the top is the coat of arms of Pope Clement XII.

     Water flows over artificial rocks into a large semicircular basin that represents the sea. Every day some 80  million  liters of water flow through the fountain. The water is reused to supply several other Roman fountains.

 

 

Restorations

 

 

The Italian fashion company Fendi would sponsor a 20-month, 2.2-million-euro restoration
of the fountain; it will be the most thorough restoration in the fountain's history.

 

 

     On arrival, it was utterly disappointing to see that the fountain was under restorations. Having seen from web site how spectacular the fountains, we were really looking forward to seeing it. At present the whole of the facade is obscured by scaffolding, though there was a bridge to get closer to the actual fountain statues. The pool at the base of the fountain has been drained, hence visitors cannot make any wish  and  throw coins into the fountain. However, there is a sort of small bathtub set up on the pavement which is somehow supposed to be a substitute. We  had  no choice and threw the coins into the small  bathtub and made wish accordingly. I saw there were a lot of people taking pictures. Still very crowded with tourists, street vendors and opportunistic pick pockets.

 

 

Tourists packed at Trevi Fountain under restoration

 

 

     According to the Tour Guide that in January 2013, it was announced that the Italian fashion company Fendi would sponsor a 20-month, 2.2-million-euro restoration of the fountain; it will be the most thorough restoration in the fountain's history. Therefore, the Trevi Fountain is expected to remain closed until October 2015.

 

 

Coin throwing

 

 

A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain,they are ensured
a return to Rome.My wife and I threw the coinsaccordingly,hoping that
we can return to the eternal city one day.

 

 

     A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Those seeking a little romance, perhaps even an Italian love, should then toss a second, third coin to make sure wedding bells will soon be chiming. My wife and I threw the coins accordingly, hoping that we can return to the eternal city one day.

 

 

There is a small bathtub set up on the pavement which is somehow
 supposed to be a substitute of the pool for Coin-throwing.

 

 

      According to the Tour Guide, visitors should toss the coins with the right hand over the left shoulder or the left hand over the right shoulder with the back to the fountain. On tossing the coin, visitors are not allowed to look behind. Since the fountain is so large it is basically impossible to miss. This was the theme of the film in 1954 “Three Coins in the Fountain”.

     An estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy; however, it is understood that there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain.

 

 

 Vatican City

 

 

Vatican City, Rome.

 

 

The Smallest State In The World

 

 

Vatican City is a walled enclave City State within the city of Rome, with an area of
approximately 44 hectares and a population of 842,is the smallest internationally
recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

 

 

     After seeing the Colosseum, we started our Vatican tour and paid a visit to the holy land. Vatican City is a walled enclave City State within the city of Rome, with an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842,is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population. It is a sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope.

 

 

Statues of saints in the colonnade,Vatican City. Rome

 

 

      Vatican City serves as a spiritual centre for millions of practicing Roman Catholics worldwide. Pope Francis is the existing reigning pope of the Catholic Church, in which capacity he is both Bishop of Rome and absolute sovereign of the Vatican City State.

 

 

Marble Catholic Religious Statues

 

 

     The Pope is head of state  of Vatican City. The term Holy See refers not to the Vatican state but to the Pope's spiritual and pastoral governance, largely exercised through the Roman Curia. His official title with regard to Vatican City is Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City.

 

 

Along the way we saw statues and more statues.
The walls and ceiling of every hallway are
decorated differently with lots of detail.

 

 

     Vatican City is currently the only widely recognized independent state that has not become a member of the United Nations. The Holy See, which is distinct from Vatican City State, has permanent observer status with all the rights of a full member except for a vote in the UN General Assembly.

 

 

Lateran Treaty

 

 

Pope Francis (1936-) is the existing reigning pope of the
Catholic Church, in which capacity he is both Bishop
of Rome and absolute sovereign
of the Vatican City State.

 

 

      Vatican city was built over the tomb of Saint Peter. Its position as a sovereign state within a state was guaranteed by the Lateran Treaty of 1929 signed  between the Holy See and the Kingdom of  Italy. The then Prime  Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III (1869-1947)and the  Cardinal Secretary of  Vatican Pietro Gasparri (1852-1934)for Pope Pius XI (1857-1939)both signed the  treaty and reaffirmed the special status of Catholicism in Italy.

 

 

Vatican city was built over the tomb of Saint Peter.

 

 

     According to the terms of the treaty, the Holy See has "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" over the city-state.Within Vatican City are cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures.  However, these places are always crowded with visitors and tourists from all over the world.

 

 

The Vatican City

 

 

Vatican has an ATM with instructions in Latin,
possibly the only such ATM in the world.

 

 

     There are about 842 residents in Vatican City. They are made up of priests,nuns,guards, high-ranking dignitaries and of course, the Pope. More than a thousand residents are responsible for the smooth, day-to-day running of this nerve centre of official christianity, with of course the Pope at its head, all guarded by the Swiss Guards.

 

 

Sculpture and wall decorations

 

 

     There are no passport controls for visitors entering Vatican City from the surrounding Italian territory. There is free public access to Saint Peter's Square and Basilica and, on the occasion of papal general audiences, to the hall in which they are held. For these audiences and for major ceremonies in Saint Peter's Basilica and Square, tickets free of charge must be obtained beforehand.

 

 

Vatican City has no armed force of its own, the Swiss Guard being a corps
of the Holy See responsible for the personal security of the Pope.

 

 

     During World War II, German troops occupied the city of Rome. The Holy See, which ruled Vatican City, pursued a policy of neutrality and was highly respected by German and allied troops. Vatican City has no armed force of its own, the Swiss Guards being a corps of the Holy See responsible for the personal security of the Pope.

     Vatican radio station broadcasts all over the world in 29 languages, it has it's television station, the daily newspaper, post office with Vatican stamps, shops, offices and publishing house. All signposted, in highly-sophisticated system of organisation.

 

 

St. Peter's Square

 

 

St. Peter's Square is, actually, an ellipse.The obelisk in the middle
of the square was transported from Egypt to Rome in 37 A.D.

 

 

     St. Peter's Square is, actually, an ellipse. There are two stones (one on each side of the square) between the obelisk and the fountains. If you step on either of these stones, the four columns on the colonnades merge into one. The obelisk in the middle of the square was transported from Egypt to Rome in 37 A.D.

     Vatican City's climate is the same as Rome's: a temperate, Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters from September to mid-May and hot, dry summers from May to August.

 

 

Vatican City serves as a spiritual centre for millions
of practicing Roman Catholics worldwide.

 

 

     Upon arrival, I saw the  buildings of  Vatican City were renaissance and baroque styles. There are two huge colonnades, with 284 Doric  coloumns arranged in 4 rows, atop which stand 140 statues of Saints. In the centre of the square, there is one Egyptian Obelisk. The Obelisk was originally taken by Caligula(12-41) from Heliopolis, Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant.

 

 

Vatican City is currently the only widely recognized independent
state that has not become a member of the United Nations

 

 

     According to the Tour Guide, this area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. Ancient tradition holds that it was in this circus that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down.

     Thousands of guests gather in the square to hear the blessings from the Pope or to participate in masses, especially during religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

 

 

 

St Peter’s Basilica

 

 

St Peter’s Basilica, the crowning glory of Vatican City,
is the most important church in the world.

 

 

     St Peter’s Basilica, the crowning glory of Vatican City, is the most important church in the world. The magnificent altars and monuments inside the church are too numerous to mention,  I think most of the visitors like me will be wowed by what they have seen inside the church, including the works by the renowned sculptor and architect such as Gian Lorenzo Bernini(1598-1680) and Michelangelo(1475-1564).

 

 

Swiss Guards

 

 

I saw two Swiss Guards near the entrance
of the St Peter’s Church. There are
a total of 134 Guard members.

 

 

     I saw two Swiss Guards near the entrance of the St Peter’s Church. There are a total of 134 Guard members. They wear very colourful clothings, similar to the uniforms worn by Renaissance-era soldiers .Recruitment is arranged by a special agreement between the Holy See and Switzerland. All recruits must be Catholic, unmarried males with Swiss citizenship who have completed their basic training with the Swiss Army with certificates of good conduct,  between the ages of 19 and 30, and be at least 174 cm (5 ft 9 in) in height. Members are equipped with small arms and the traditional halberd (also called the Swiss voulge), and trained in bodyguarding tactics. Anyway, their job is to protect the Pope.

 

 

 

Diplomatic  Relations

 

 

Vatican City uses only Italian in its legislation and official communications.Italian
is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state.

 

 

      Vatican City State is a recognized national territory under international law, but it is the Holy See that conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf, in addition to the Holy See's own diplomacy, entering into international agreements in its regard. Vatican City thus has no diplomatic service of its own. Because of space limitations, Vatican City is one of the few countries in the world that is unable to host embassies.

 

 

Financial Positions

 

 

There are two huge colonnades, with 284 Doric coloumns arranged
in 4 rows, atop which stand 140 statues of Saints.

 

 

     The Vatican City State budget includes the Vatican Museums and Post Office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publications sales. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.  Other industries include printing, the production of mosaics, and the manufacture of staff uniforms.

      The Institute for Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, is a bank situated in the Vatican that conducts worldwide financial activities. It has an ATM with instructions in Latin, possibly the only such ATM in the world.

 

 

In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites.

 

 

     Vatican City issues its own coins. It has used the Euro as its currency since 1 January 1999, owing to a special agreement with the European Union .Euro coins and notes were introduced on 1 January 2002—the Vatican does not issue euro banknotes. Issuance of euro-denominated coins is strictly limited by treaty, though somewhat more than usual is allowed in a year in which there is a change in the papacy. Because of their rarity, Vatican Euro coins are highly sought by collectors. Until the adoption of the Euro, Vatican coinage and stamps were denominated in their own Vatican Lira currency, which was on par with the ItalianLira.

 

 


Population And Citizenship

 

 

Statues adorning the facade of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

 

 

     Although only 842  people live within Vatican City, many dignitaries, priests, nuns, guards, and 3,000 lay workers live outside the Vatican. Officially, there are about 842 citizens making it the smallest nation in demographic size on the globe. The Vatican even fields a soccer team composed of the Swiss Guards  who hold dual citizenship.

     Almost all of Vatican City's 842 citizens either live inside the Vatican's walls or serve in the Holy See's diplomatic service in embassies around the world. The Vatican citizenry consists almost entirely of two groups: clergy, most of whom work in the service of the Holy See, and a very few as officials of the state; and the Swiss Guards. Most of the 3,000 lay workers who comprise the majority of the Vatican workforce reside outside the Vatican and are citizens of Italy, while a few are citizens of other nations. As a result, all of the City's actual citizens are catholics as are all the places of worship.

 

 

Ceiling designs

 

 

     Unlike citizenship of other states, which is based either on Jus Sanguinis (birth from a citizen, even outside the state's territory) or on Jus Soli (birth within the territory of the state), citizenship of Vatican City is granted jus officii, namely on the grounds of appointment to work in a certain capacity in the service of the Holy See. It usually ceases upon cessation of the appointment. Citizenship is extended also to the spouse, parents and descendants of a citizen, provided they are living with the person who is a citizen. The Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports, whereas Vatican City State issues normal passports for its citizens.

     Anyone who loses Vatican citizenship and does not possess other citizenship automatically becomes an Italian citizen as provided in the Lateran Treaty. As of 31 December 2005, there were, apart from the Pope himself, 557 people with Vatican citizenship, while there were 246 residents in the state who did not have its citizenship.

 

 

Language  Used

 

 

Entrance of St Peter's Basilica

 

 

      Vatican City has no formally enacted official language, but, unlike the Holy See which most often uses Latin for the authoritative version of its official documents. Vatican City uses only Italian in its legislation and official communications. Italian is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state. In the Swiss Guards, German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages: German, French, Romansh or Italian

 

 

Art & Culture

 

 

Statues of Jesus and three deciples in Saint Peter's Basilica.

 

 

     Vatican Museums display works from the extensive collection of the Catholic Church.

     Vatican City is home to some of the most famous art in the world. St. Peter's Basilica, whose successive architects include  Donato Bramante(1444-1514), Michelangelo(1475-1564), Giacomo della Porta(1533-1602), Maderno(1556-1629) and Bernini(1598-1680), is a renowned work of Renaissance architecture. The Sistine Chapel is famous for its frescos, which include works by Pietro  Perugino(1446-1523), Domenico (1685-1757)Ghirlandaio(1449-1494) and Botticelli (1445-1510)as well as the ceiling and Last Judgment by Michelangelo(1475-1564). Artists who decorated the interiors of the Vatican include Raphael(1483-1520) and Fra Angelico(1395-1455).

 

 

 

Vatican displays works from the extensive collection of the Catholic Church.

 

 

     The Vatican Apostolic Library and the collections of the Vatican Museums are of the highest historical, scientific and cultural importance. In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites.

 

 

Crime

 

 

Vatican City issues its own coins. It has used the Euro as its currencysince
1 January 1999.Vatican Euro coins are highly sought by collectors.

 

 

     Crime in Vatican City consists largely of purse snatching,  pickpocketing  and shoplifting by outsiders. The tourist foot-traffic in St. Peter's Square is one of the main locations for pickpockets in Vatican City.  If crimes are committed in Saint Peter's Square, the perpetrators may be arrested and tried by the Italian authorities, since that area is normally patrolled    by Italian police

     Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty, Italy will, at the request of the Holy See, punish individuals for crimes committed within Vatican City and will itself  proceed against the person who committed the offence, if that person takes refuge in Italian territory. Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that under the treaty enjoy immunity.

 

 

 

(二)Naples

 

 

Photo taken at Naples, Italy.

 

 

New City

 

 

Postcard pictures of Naples

 

 

     Naples ,Italian: Napoli , meaning "New City", is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. There are around  960,000 people live within the city’s administrative limits. However, its urban area has a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million,  and is the 9th-most populous urban area in the European Union. We only paid  one day city tour in Naples.

 

 

Naples, Italy.

 

 

     Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. During the Neapolitan War of 1815, Naples strongly promoted Italian unification. Naples was the most-bombed Italian city during World War II. Much of the city's 20th-century periphery was constructed under Benito Mussolini's (1883-1945)fascist government, and during reconstruction efforts after World War II.

 

 

City View Naple

 

 

     In recent decades, Naples has constructed a large business district, the Centro Direzionale, and has developed an advanced transport infrastructure, including an Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno, and an expanded subway network, which is planned to eventually cover half of the region.

 

 

4th Largest Urban Economy In Italy

 

 

Street View Naples, Ita

 

 

     The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, and unemployment levels in the city and surrounding Campania have decreased since 1999. However, Naples still suffers from political and economic corruption, and unemployment levels remain high.

 

 

Visit Galleria Umberto Shopping Mall

 

 

      Naples has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan, Rome and Turin. It is the world's 103rd-richest city by purchasing power.The port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe, and has the world's second-highest level of passenger flow, after the port of Hong Kong.

 

 

Beautiful Sea View of Naples

 

 

     Naples is a major cargo terminal, and the port of Naples is one of the Mediterranean's largest and busiest. The city has experienced significant economic growth since World War II, but joblessness remains a major problem,  and the city is characterized by high levels of political corruption and organized crime.

 

 

Posillipo---A residential area in Naples

 

 

      Naples is a major national and international tourist destination, being one of Italy and Europe's top tourist cities. Tourists began visiting Naples in the 18th century, during the Grand Tour. In terms of international arrivals, Naples was the 166th-most-visited city in the world in 2008, with 381,000 visitors, coming after Lille, but overtaking York, Stuttgart, Belgrade and Dallas.

 

 

Education

 

 

Mergellina---A Holiday Resort in Naples

 

 

     Naples is noted for its numerous higher education institutes and research centres. Naples hosts what is thought to be the oldest state university in the world, in the form of the University of Naples Federico II, which was founded by Frederick II(1194-1250) in 1224. The university is among the most prominent in Italy, with around 100,000 students and over 3,000 professors in 2007.

 

Major Cultural Centre

 

 

San Carlo Theatre

 

     Naples has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment Eras. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Culinarily, Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city.

 

 

A famous monument in Naples

 

 

      Neapolitan music has furthermore been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar and the mandolin, as well as notable contributions to opera and folk standards.

 

Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte---A Palace

 

 

     By the 17th century, Naples had become Europe's 2nd largest city – second only to Paris – and the largest European Mediterranean City, with around 250,000 inhabitants The city was a major cultural centre during the Baroque era, being home to artists such as Michelangelo Merisi da  Caravaggio(1571-1610), Salvator Rosa and Bernini(1615-1673), philosophers such as Bernardino Telesio(1509-1588), Giordano Bruno(1548-1600), Tommaso Campanella(1568-1639) and Giambattista Vico(1668-1744), and writers such as Giambattista Marino(1569-1625).

 

 

Home Of Pizza

 

 

Piazza del Plebiscito

 

 

     Naples is traditionally credited as the home of pizza. This originated as a meal of the poor, but under Ferdinand IV(1751-1825) it became popular among the upper classes: famously, the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita (1851-1926) of Savoy after her visit to the city.

 

 

Historical Buildings & Churches

 

 

New Castle

 

 

     Naples' 2,800-year-history has left it with a wealth of historical buildings and monuments, from medieval castles to classical ruins. The most prominent forms of architecture visible in present-day Naples are the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque styles.  The historic centre of Naples is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage SiteNaples has a total of 448 historical churches, making it one of the most Catholic cities in the world in terms of the number of places of worship.

 

 

Egg Castle

 

 

     The main city square or piazza of the city is the Piazza del Plebiscito. Its construction was begun by the Bonapartist king Joachim Murat(1767-1815) and finished by the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV(1751-1825). The piazza bounded on the east by the Royal Palace and on the west by the church of San Francesco di Paola, with the colonnades extending on both sides. Nearby is the Teatro di San Carlo, which is the oldest opera house in Italy. Directly across from San Carlo is Galleria Umberto, a shopping centre and social hub.

 

 

Galleria Umberto I Gallery---A Shopping Mall

 

     Naples is well known for its historic castles: the ancient Castel Nuovo, also known as Maschio Angioino, is one of the city's foremost landmarks; it was built during the time of Charles I(1600-1649), the first king of Naples. Castel Nuovo has seen many notable historical events: for example, in 1294, Pope Celestine V(1215-1296) resigned as Pope in a hall of the castle, and following this Pope Boniface VIII(1235-1303) was elected pope by the cardinal collegium, before moving to Rome. The castle which Nuovo replaced in importance was the Norman-founded Castel dell'Ovo ("Egg Castle"), which was built on the tiny islet of Megarides, where the original Cumaean colonists had founded the city.

 

 

Royal Continental Hotel

 

 

     Naples is widely known for its wealth of historical museums. The Naples National Archaeological Museum is one of the city's main museums, with one of the most extensive collections of artifacts of the Roman Empire in the world . It also houses many of the antiques unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as some artifacts from the Greek and Renaissance periods.

 

 

Naples Cathedral

 

 

Insie Naples Cathedral

 

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

 

Cruise Terminal in Naples

 

 

     In 1995, the historic centre of Naples was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, a United Nations programme which aims to catalogue and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

         

                 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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