The Vittoriano or Monument to Victor Emanuel II (the first king of united Italy) in Rome. This grandiose structure is 200 feet high and 500 feet wide and is the biggest and whitest monument in Rome. Romans refer to it as "the wedding cake," "the typewriter," or "the dentures."

Ascending Michelangelo's magnificent cordonata stairway to the Campidoglio or Capitol Hill. It is flanked at the top by two mammoth statues of Castor and Pollux.

Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio with the mayor's palace or Palazzo Senatorio. Capitol Hill, now the the seat of the city's municipal authorities, was the center of government in ancient Rome and is the geographical center of the modern city.

Closeup of river god statue in front of Palazzo Senatorio.

Behind the Piazza del Campdidoglio we came upon a great overlook of the Roman Forum. Built over 900 years, the Foro Romano was the commercial, political and religious center of ancient Rome.

The Arch of Constantine next to the Colosseum. Erected hastily to celebrate Constantine's victory over Maxentius, it incorporates sculptures from many earlier buildings. After the battle, Constantine became emperor of Rome and legalized Christianity.

Construction of the Colosseum was begun sometime between 70 and 72 AD during the reign of Vespasian; the structure was officially dedicated in 80 AD by Titus in a ceremony that included 100 days of games. Later, in 82 AD, Domitian completed the work by adding the uppermost story. Unlike earlier amphitheatres, which were nearly all dug into convenient hillsides for extra support, the Colosseum is a freestanding structure of stone and concrete, measuring 620 by 513 feet overall and seating some 50,000 spectators. It was the scene of thousands of hand-to-hand combats between gladiators, of contests between men and animals, and of many larger combats, including mock naval engagements.

These guys hang out in front of the Colosseum and will pose for pictures for a price. I covertly snapped this one taking a cigarette break.

Part of the remaining wall of the old city of Rome.