After landing in the morning and enjoying our first, authentic meal in Rome — pasta, of course — we let the kids pick our starting point for exploring the city. Considering that our stroll was not planned out in minute detail as is my usual modus operandi, we see a breadth of sites in one afternoon. Perhaps it's because in Rome, you can't go wrong. Anywhere you turn, there's something to see.
|Light streams in from the hole in the Pantheon's domed ceiling.|
First up was The Pantheon. My daughter has been intrigued by it ever since reading Lonely Planet Not-for-Parents: Rome that's aimed at kids. From the outside, this two thousand year old building looks like a Greek temple. Eight grand columns hold up a triangular pediment. Step inside, and what immediately grabs your attention is the massive dome which happens to be the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. With all the marvels of modern engineering, I'm amazed that the record has yet to be broken. The only light inside the building streams down from the 8 meter (26 foot) wide oculus or hole in the center of the dome. At mid-day with the sun nearly overhead, the large room is flooded with light. Small holes in the floor drain off any rainwater that falls in through the hole.