Piazza Navona to Colosseum
Meeting point: Piazza Navona.
Start time: 5 pm summer, 4 pm March April October, 3 pm winter.
Main points of interest:- Piazza Navona - Pantheon - Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva and Bernini's Elephant statue - Ghetto - Campidoglio and view of the Forum - Colosseum.
First built by Agrippa in 27 BC and dedicated to all the Olympian gods. After it burnt down in 80 and again in 110 A.D. Hadrian had it redesigned and rebuilt in 118 AD. The entrance is under a porch supported by sixteen monolithic granite columns brought over from Egypt. The height to the oculus is exactly the same as the internal diameter, 43.3 metres, conferring on it a sense of equilibrium and stability. Even today its famous roof is still the largest self supporting concrete roof in the world. After the ascent of Christianity to the position as the official religion the Pantheon like other pagan temples was closed, until in 609 the visiting Byzantine Emperor Phocas donated the temple to Pope Boniface IV who consequently converted it into a church. The Pantheon was described by a visiting English 16th century historian as “perfectest of all the antiquities.” Light streaming in from the oculus in the summer illuminates the polychromatic marble flooring creating an incredible contrast against the enshadowed interior.
Duration 4 hours. Approximate walking distance 3 Kms
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