Seventeen students from across year groups 7 – 10 visited Rome with three members of staff and Father Martin from Monday 29th May – Thursday 1st June 2017. We have seen some amazing sights whilst there. Some of these are below:-
The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps were built in 1723-1725 and were designed by architect Francesco de Sanctis. The unique design and elegance of the steps make it a popular place for artists, poets and painters who were attracted to the place which inspired them in return. The artist’s presence attracted many beautiful women to the area, hoping to be taken as models. This in turn, attracted rich Romans and travelers. After a short time, the steps were crowded with people of all kinds of backgrounds. This tradition, of the Spanish Steps as a meeting place, has lived on ever since.
The Trevi Fountain is situated at the end of the Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed in 19 BC by Agrippa, the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus. The Trevi Fountain, or Fontana di Trevi in Italian, is Italy’s largest and most famous Baroque fountain, standing 85 feet high and 65 feet across. The central figure of the fountain, standing in a large niche, is Neptune, god of the sea. The fountain took 30 years to build upon completion in 1762. It replaced a previous less glamorous fountain in its place. The tossing of a coin into the Trevi Fountain has pagan origins, that the tossed coin is an offer to the Goddess of the Waters, to please her begging the Goddess to support them, to make their vessels return safely home, to protect a relative during his/her journey by sea.
The Colosseum is an elliptical building measuring 189 meters long and 156 meters wide with a base area of 24,000 m² with a height of more than 48 meters. The Colosseum has over 80 entrances and can accommodate about 50,000 spectators. It is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the Colosseum. There were 36 trap doors in the Arena allowing for elaborate special effects. All Ancient Romans had free entry to the Colosseum for events, and were also fed throughout the spectacles. Festivals as well as games could last up to 100 days in the Colosseum. The Ancient Romans would sometimes flood the Colosseum and have miniature ship naval battles inside as a way of entertainment. The Colosseum only took 10 years to build starting in 70 AD and was completed in 80 AD using over 60,000 Jewish slaves.
St Peter’s Square
The Church of St Peter with its Greek-cross plan, accounts for an astronomical 22,300 sq m (or around 240,000 sq ft) – which makes it the largest church in the world in terms of area with a capacity for 60,000 people (though there might be larger churches in terms of overall volume). This main basilica structure is fronted by a gargantuan elliptical-shaped entrance space (or piazza), whose oval scope designed by Bernini, measures 340 by 240 m (1,115 by 787 ft). After the passing of Bramante and Raphael, Michelangelo took up the grand project at a ripe old age of 71. According to his own words, the inspiration came “for the love of God, the Blessed Virgin, and St. Peter”. But beyond just poetic words, the ‘Il Divino‘ had his task cut out for him, and he boldly retorted by dismissing the Latin Cross plan initiated by the great Raphael, and reverting to the Greek Cross.
The Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, which house a vast collection of artistic masterpieces gathered by the Popes throughout the centuries. The museums display some of the most important works of art in the world; for this reason, they are among Rome’s most popular attractions. The Sistine Chapel, or Cappella Sistina in Italian, is named after Sixtus IV, the pope who commissioned it in the 1470s. “Sixtus” in Italian translates as “Sisto.” He hired painters of the caliber of Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Pinturicchio to fresco the two long walls of the chapel: the biblical story of Moses on the left wall, the story of Christ on the right. Even though the Sistine Chapel is mainly known for Michelangelo’s frescoes, it is important to note that this group of artists introduced the early Renaissance into Rome and their paintings do represent one of the world’s greatest fresco cycles. They were completed in 1482, and, on 15 August 1483, on the Feast Day of the Assumption, Sixtus IV consecrated and dedicated the Sistine Chapel to the Virgin Mary, while celebrating the first Mass there.
All the staff and students had a wonderful time in Rome and the staff would especially like to thank all the students for their impeccable behaviour throughout the trip.Tweets about @stmrome