Vittorio Emanuele monument and Roman Forum

The Vittorio Emanuele Monument in Piazza Venezia was erected to commemorate the unification of Italy and to honour the first king, Vittorio Emanuele, who was annointed in 1862.

The unification covered all regions although initially Venetia was held by the Austrians until 1871. The Vatican still remains outside the union.
The monument is Romes most flaboyant landmark. It was built in the late 1800’s and is often described as the wedding cake or typewriter.
You must go to the top of the monument (7 Euro) to see the spectacular views over Roma
Looking down Via Corso to Piazza dei Popolo from the top of the monument
And from the other side of the Vittorio Emanuele monument viewing platform toward to Roman Forum
Roman forum
Roman forum
Roman forum
Roman forum
Note St Peters top left in this photo and the Pantheon (round dome centre right). The Pantheon was a pagan temple which preceded christianity in Rome
On top of each side of the monument are statues representing liberty and unity.
and finally the truth comes out………yes we are tourists

Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily

Villa Romana del Casale is a Roman villa built in the fourth century and located about 5 km outside the town of Piazza Armerina in the south east of Sicily.
It was hidden under mud for 700 years until excavations began in 1950.
It contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world. It is one of 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy.
The Villa was the centre of a large agricultural estate. It was abandoned in the 12th century AD when a landslide covered the villa.
The Villa was almost entirely forgotten until the late 19th century when some excavation work was carried out.
The first professional excavations were carried out in 1929 but the true extent was not discovered until 1950.
The Villa owner was probably a member of the Roman senatorial class if not the imperial family itself.
The Villa appears to have served several purposes including residential, administrative and official.
In 1959 a floor area was excavated now called “Chamber of the ten maidens” or Coronation of the winner. The young women perform sports including weight lifting, discuss throwing, running and ball games. The maiden with the crown is the perceived winner of the games.
And we thought the bikini was a modern day invention!
Amazing quality of tiles considering they are over 1600 years old. Being covered by the mud slide for a considerable time helped to preserve the tiles.
It is thought that this Villa was also a staging post between North Africa and Rome for capturing and transporting wild animals from North Africa back to Rome for “the games” at the Colosseum and other like places.
The following floor tiles depict various scenes of the hunt, the capture, animal traders and animal pictures.
Quite remarkable and……
..the restoration and excavation continues meticulously.
An amazing experience and site to visit.