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Travel Article on Rome Italy
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Travel Article on Rome Italy - Rome Italy Hotels

A Remarkable European City - Rome, Italy

by Wade Rowland - Part 1

Author Wade Rowland spent several weeks in Rome researching his most recent book, Galileo's Mistake, on the seventeenth-century confrontation between Galileo and the Church, led by Pope Urban VIII. In this excerpt from Galileo's Mistake, he offers some reflections in the magnificence of Rome and on the virtues of travel.

I left St. Peter's feeling this was a lucky day for me and headed in the direction of the Capitoline museums in the centre of the Rome. There, I knew, I could find another statue of Urban VIII, also by Bernini.

Ponte St. Angelo
with Bernini scuptures
Rome, Italy

I crossed the Tiber on the venerable Ponte St. Angelo, although it was slightly out of my way, just to see Bernini's eight wonderful wind-blown angels once again. From there I threaded my way though the endlessly fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and tiny piazzas, poking my nose into antique shops and used book stores and bakeries and wine and oil cellars, to the Piazza Navona.

There I paused to admire the glorious Fountain of the Rivers by the ubiquitous Bernini before continuing my circuitous path east past the Pantheon, down Via della Minerva, where I treated myself to a chocolate-and-pistachio gelato, past the storied Santa Maria sopre Minerva, south from there across the noisy, smelly and congested Corso Immanuel II and into another rabbit's warren of medieval streets and alleyways where I happily resumed my browsing.

I was soon at the Piazza Aracoeli, from where it is just a short, death-defying sprint across the shooting gallery known as Via dei Teatro di Marcello to Michelangelo's stately staircase mounting to the top of the Capitoline, my destination.

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