The standard itinerary for the first time traveler to Italy is probably Rome, Florence and Venice. I did my homework by watching Rick Steve’s Europe. However, only when I hit the ground did the differences between these three magnificent cities become apparent.
Rome is big, but entirely walkable. In fact, I think traveling by foot is preferable to the bus or taxi, unless you are in a rush. Besides the big sights (St. Peter’s Basilica, Pantheon, Colosseum, Forum, etc.), there are a number of smaller places that are worth a 10-15 minute pause.
On the way to the Colosseum on morning, I passed by Emperor Trajan and his market.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm, ISO 100, 32mm, f/22
Expose for Trajan and the morning sky turns white. Expose for the sky and Trajan is pitch black. So, I took three shots at 1/10s, 1/2s, and 1/1.6s, and handed them off to Photomatix Pro to do its HDR magic.
Here’s a different shot Emperor Trajan.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm, ISO 100, 27mm, f/8, 1/10s
Exposed to maintain the color of the sky, but adjusted Shadows/Highlights in Photoshop to lighten the statue. I like the first one better.
Anyways, Rome is filled with places like this throughout the city. Every few blocks, you will see a building from Imperial Rome, an excavated site, or a Roman temple converted to a modern day church. Zip through Rome in a car and you miss all of this. The real excitement of Rome is the serendipity of encountering all these wonderful sites while on the way to some place else.