26 March, 2009

Skywatch Friday-Scenes from the Roman Forum

My SKYWATCH entries today are two photographs from along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way) in the Roman Forum area in Rome, Italy. I was in Italy the last two weeks of February.

These colums are part of what used to be the courtyard/loggia of The Temple of Venus and Rome circa AD 135 and designed by the Emperor Hadrian. I have provided links for you to click through should you want a little more detail on a particular item.

Be sure to check out all the SKYWATCH ENTRIES today, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

22 March, 2009

My World-Orvieto, Italy February 2009

For My World today we are off to Orvieto, Italy. Orvieto is approximately 60 miles north of Rome and is easily reached by an Intercity train. Cost to travel round trip is approximately 15 euro and the trip takes about an hour. Please click on photos to enlarge (most will).

Upon arriving, we head out of the Rail Station and walk across the Piazza to the Funicolare. Cost to travel one-way is 1 euro.

A funicular, also known as a funicular railway, incline, inclined railway, inclined plane, or cliff railway, is a type of self-contained cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a very steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other.

After disembarking the funicular, and exiting the Station, I walked over to the area known as Fortezza del' Albornoz. The fort was began in 1353 near the town's cemetary. It was built to provide the church a secure site within the City. The Fort was originally known as the Rocca di San Martino. The view of the valley below and beyond is absolutely spectacular.

The Duomo of Orvieto is a jewel atop the hill and is reached by a small public shuttle bus or by walking up a long path to the top of the hill from where you are left off at the funicular. Traffic is restricted in the historic area to minimize congestion and damage to the historic structures. The Duomo took almost 4 centuries to be completed. The facade is embellished with mosaics that sparkle in the sunlight.

Off to the left of the Duomo is the Torre di Maurizo. The bell tower was built in 1351. It is known for its unusual bell and bell ringer that sit atop the tower.The tower you see in the rear of the photograph is the Torre del Moro or del Saracino (Moor or Saracen) The bell for this tower was cast in 1316 and bears the coats of arms of the 24 guilds who paid for it. It is 148 feet in height and was used as a look-out for Orvietan territory.

Located off to the right of the Duomo is the Museo Claudio Faina e Mueso Civico. It houses a nice collection of Etruscan items.
The Church of Saint Andrew is located in the Piazza della Repubblica. It's orgins date back to the 500sThere is a dodecagonal campanile adjacent to it on the right. The church adjoins the Palazzo Comunale and fronts the Piazza della Repubblica.

There is a flower market under the arched portico to the left of the main Church building.

The Palazzo del Captiano del Popolo was built in 1157 as a palace for Pope Hadrian IV and has been remodeled over the years and served many different functions and presently it is a Conference Center. Popes were frequent residents in their Orvieto palaces as it was a safer place than Rome.
There are frescos on two of the arched windows.

After a few hours of exploring Orvieto, it was time for a break in the Piazza behind the Palazzo.

Be sure to visit other participants in the weekly meme My World . You won't believe all of the wonderful places that participants share through photographs.