All roads lead to Rome


Wherever I go, my roads lead to the ice cream shop. When I unpacked and left my hotel room on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, I walked to the Colosseum, keeping my eye on the shop windows – and there it was! Via Leonina 18, Cafe Ciuri Ciuri, my personal discovery, Sicilian gelateria-pasticceria, paradise of sugar- and calories-packed deliciousness and the best Sicilian style gelato in Rome. In the photograph, I immortalized my first one, the pistachio-ricotta gelato, creamy, with the unique taste of roasted pistachios. I won’t write about the pastries. It is sufficient to tell that I ate them twice a day. They are that good. Never forgotten.

( Edit: Forgot to mention another Ciuri Ciuri close to Colosseum: Via Labicana 126. The same great food)

I saw the Colosseum from the airplane window and couldn’t wait to visit the ancient monument. I knew about the free admission to the gladiator games in ancient Rome, and was surprised to learn that the times have changed. So I got a combined ticked for several attractions, and my historical holidays began.

I posted some street scenes from my Rome trip in my blog post People in the streets, and probably in some other blogs too.

Shadowless afternoon, amazing quality of light. I don’t know what these ruins are. The place is situated above the Forum. I was trying to find more images like mine, but there was only one, taken in May 2010. Perhaps, the place is closed for excavations?


The broken side of the Colosseum. Over the centuries, it was shaken and damaged by many earthquakes ( the most devastating ones in 847 and 1231), and also struck by lightening and damaged by fires. All the valuable materials were taken away and re-used.


Glimpse of Roman centurions’ life.


There is what it looks like inside the amphitheatre. Construction of the Colosseum began in 72 AD, and was completed in 80 AD.  This place has seen the most horrible scenes of bloodshed and slaughter. The advent of Christianity changed Roman culture, morals, principles and values. The last gladiator game took place in 404 AD when an Egyptian monk Telemachus came to Rome, visited Colosseum, and shouted for the gladiator game to cease in the name of Christ. He was stoned to death, but after a few days the Emperor issued a decree that the games were to stop.  Centuries later, when the Colosseum was in danger of demolition, Christians  saved it as a site of martyrdom .


Evening light, at about 6pm. I took pictures of Colosseum every day on my way from hotel and back.


River Tiber. I enjoyed the light in Rome, so different from where I live.


St Peter’s Basilica. In my blog Make it light I posted a picture of the interior.


This is a picture I got from Google Earth, just to show the Basilica and the grounds.


This is the dome I climbed 🙂 I intentionally left all these picture icons. The rule is that people who upload their images for Google Earth, have to map them properly – in exact place where the picture was taken from. I doubt that any picture was taken from the top of the tree …

I used a lift ( 170 steps?) and climbed the remaining 320. With my walking stick. With my claustrophobia.


The lift took me to the roof ( the level behind the statues of the saints, the base of the dome). The roof looks like a small town with buildings and bridges. I walked around, even looked down inside the basilica below my feet, and up to the ceiling.


The climb is scary, definitely not for the faint of heart ( I overestimated myself, but there is no turning back, by the way). The staircase is getting very narrow as you climb. It is slanted, and curves up between the outer and inner walls of the dome (1m? less?).


As you can see, the windows are scarce, but there are windowsills. The temperature wasn’t too bad in March, but I would NEVER go there in summer. When there is no one around you, it is OK, but seeing people who actually take all the space of the staircase makes you panic. And I did panic, but at the last moment I saw the window, and I climbed some more steps and fell on the windowsill, almost in coma 🙂 When the others cleared off, I quickly finished the climb.

And this was my reward 🙂


I think this is the residence of the Pope.


On my way back I took a picture of these fine guards, and ate a gelato to restore my shaken health.


Here are some more pictures.


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I still miss Rome.

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful Sunday!


  1. Fabulous images Inese.
    I love Rome.., I love the faded orange walls through out Rome. There’s so much beauty and history there… Looking at your photos, my memories of Rome have come alive again…
    Thank you!!

    Vivienne X

    1. Thank you Vivienne! My memories of Paris are colored in silvery gray. My memories of Rome – in terracotta. Glad you like the photos! 🙂

  2. Gorgeous pictures! Like a true photographer you did what you must to capture the image you wanted. I’ve always wanted to travel to Rome. This post made me want it even more. 😀

  3. Ooo…. That pistachio-ricotta gelato along with your words… Drool!

    Wonderful photography. While I loved the Coliseum shot, your capture of the guards was real nice. Good job!

  4. Hi Inesephoto,
    1. You visited my site today. Thank you for liking my post about the Secret Tip.
    2. 774 people clicked Like on your About page! That’s crazy high! Congratulations on having such an engaged community.
    3. In response to your post, I have been to Rome and the Coliseum twice. I teach about Rome to 7th graders. Visiting the Coliseum was one of the highlights of my life.

    1. I am delighted you had such an amazing experience, especially because of your knowledge of history. It is much more interesting to visit places you know about.

  5. My wife and I went to Rome twenty or so years ago on our “official” honeymoon. We hadn’t been able to go anywhere exotic at the time of our wedding because of lack of money. I remember we walked through the streets from our hotel on the first evening with no real idea of where we were going and stumbled upon the Colosseum!

    We also went to St. Peter’s a day or two later, but I don’t remember climbing the dome. I’ll have to ask my wife if we did. She often seems to act as my memory for me these days.

    1. Oh that’s so cool! Honeymoon in Rome! I cannot imagine a better place for having a honeymoon. As to climbing St. Peter’s – I wouldn’t be surprised if your brain just refused to keep this horror as a memory.
      Thank you for commenting! Have a good week, no stress and all

  6. Hi there dear Inese… This is such an impressive post… I truly like the photographs, your and the travel stories here… not to mention the fact that you also made reference to the historic background concerning the Coliseum…
    (I think there is a little mistake, When you mention that the The last gladiator game took place in 404 AD. I think it is just 404 (meaning after Christ), and that keeping in mind when it was built)…
    Excellent account my friend… Many hugs and all my best wishes. Aquileana ⭐

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, dear Aquileana! Yes, it is what they say, on the 1st of January 404 AD. 320-330 years after it was built. No mistake, at least it is what Wikipedia says, because I am not a historian myself 🙂
      Many hugs! xx

      1. Yes, You are right… I thought that maybe It should have been earlier… My mistake 😌 Many Hugs and happy weekend. Aquileana. ⭐️

        1. Oh, that’s ok, no worries. I am getting my information from the internet and you know how trustworthy it is 😉 Have a wonderful weekend you too! xx

  7. Rome seens like a beautiful place, full of history. The architecture is incredible. I’m going to Italy in a few days (to venice and cinque terre) and I really look forward to it as I’ve never been to Italy before !

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