Pantheon and Volterra, Italy


Construction of the Pantheon began in AD 114 under Emperor Trajan and it was completed in AD 118. It was a domed structure that was larger in its dimensions than any other domes built in antiquity. The pantheon was to be consecrated to all gods, the name came from the Greek and came from the words “pan – everything” and “theos – god”.

The diversity of religions

The Roman emperors thus took into account the development of the religions of Rome, which became more and more diverse. While most Romans used to be followers of the Roman-Greek gods under the “presidency” of the god Jupiter / Zeus, new religions spread from the east and south of the empire from the 1st century AD, such as the Mithras cult. Christianity, too, may have existed as an insignificant sect in the 2nd century, but its heyday did not come until 200 years later. A background idea of ​​the pantheon was to bring the different religions together and to unite them politically in order to prevent a split in Rome. It is not known exactly which gods should be worshiped here.

The history of the pantheon

Even before the Pantheon there was a temple in the same place on the Martian field, which burned down in 80 AD, was rebuilt and burned down again in 110 AD by lightning strikes. The Pantheon was then completed within just four years, who the architect was cannot be proven. The older assignment to Appolodorus of Damascus is controversial. In the 5th century at the latest, the temple operation ended and the Pantheon was empty, on May 13th 609 it was consecrated to the Catholic Church. Since then there have been some minor external renovations, but due to its status as a church, the Pantheon has been maintained. It was largely preserved in its original condition. This makes it the best preserved building from antiquity.

Fontana di Trevi (Rome)

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountain systems in the world. The Romans call it Fontana di Trevi. In the Fellini film “La Dolce Vita”, Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni can be seen taking a bath in the fountain during the night. Therefore, the Fontana di Trevi in ​​Rome is a popular destination for many travelers. The fountain was built between 1732 and 1762. The architect of the generous fountain was Nicola Salvi. Salvi mixed the late baroque and classicist architectural styles of Italy in his designs. The Trevi Fountain is 50 meters wide and 26 meters high. At night it is illuminated with a beautiful play of light. That is why guests of Rome visit the world-famous attraction around the clock.

Coins in the Trevi Fountain

According to a legend, strangers who throw a small coin into the fountain are said to keep returning to Rome as guests. The entire complex consists of a palace facade and allegorical figures from the sea who stand and sit on rocks. The water runs over these shaped rocks into the large fountain basin, which ends with a narrow rim. The craftsmen who carried out Salvis’s plans used marble from Carrara and travertine from Tivoli for the fountain. The tourists sit on the edge as well as on the stairs arranged on both sides and dream of the film scene with Anita Ekberg. The Trevi Fountain is a different sight from every perspective. Therefore, the figures look lively.

Surroundings of the Fontana di Trevi

The church of Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio is located directly opposite the Fontana di Trevi. Excavation sites from the old imperial era are also in the immediate vicinity. The Trevi Fountain and its surroundings are an ideal day trip on a round trip, which can end nicely in a trattoria or bar with a good glass of wine and fresh pasta. From dusk, a second visit to the illuminated Fontana di Trevi is worthwhile.


In the main square, the Piazza dei Priori, is the magnificent Palazzo dei Priori from the 13th century. It is the oldest structure of its kind in Tuscany. The striking, widely visible fortress of Volterra can only be viewed from the outside, as it is used as a state prison. The town center is surrounded by the city wall from the time of the Etruscans. Porta all’Arco, a city gate, has also been preserved.

There are interesting museums in Volterra. Excavations and many finds from this period can be viewed in the Etruscan Museum. Paintings await visitors in the Pinacoteca Civica. In the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, goldsmith objects and sculptures from the 13th century can be admired.

Alabaster mining and the production of the finest handicrafts have a long tradition here. There are always exhibitions, and the vases, figurines, etc. are for sale in small craft shops.

Friends of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga use a visit to Volterra to see the filming locations of a chapter. Special tours for vampire devotees are offered.

Volterra, Italy

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