Il Cascate del Mulino_7920
Ancient Roman Mosaic_7817
Two Towers 0383
The Asinelli Tower (97 m) and the Garisenda Tower (48 m), just visible to the lower left of the taller one, are symbols of the city of Bologna. They are located at the intersection of the roads that lead to the five gates of the old ring wall (mura dei torresotti). Their names are those of the families that built them between 1109 and 1119.
The Pantheon was commissioned by Roman statesman and architect Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD) as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome. It was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian in about 126 CE.
The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 feet). One of the best preserved of all Roman buildings, it has been in continuous use throughout its history. Since the seventh century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs and is informally known as the Santa Maria Rotonda.
The Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheater, is the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman engineering. Construction was begun in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus. Further modifications were made during Domitian’s reign (81–96). Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. Although partially ruined 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.