I (heart) Rome

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Here come two lovely Roma cards from my pen pal Katharina. ❤

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Rome is a city and special comune in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the omonymous metropolitan city and of the region of Lazio. With 2.9 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 it is also the country’s largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of Tiber river. Vatican City is an independent country within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Rome’s history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as “The Eternal City” (Latin: Roma Aeterna)  and “Caput Mundi” (English: Capital of the World), two central notions in ancient Roman culture. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

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Pontifical Swiss Guard

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This one comes from Natalya from Russia. 🙂

The Pontifical Swiss guard is a group of Swiss Guards that have the specific task of guarding the Vatican City State and the Pope. Therefore a Pontifical Swiss guard is sometimes referred to as a Vatican Swiss guard. They are known for their helmets and unique striped uniforms and they have become one of the symbols of the Vatican.

Following an alliance with the Swiss confederation the first group of the Pontifical Swiss guards was welcomed into Vatican City on the 22nd  of January, 1506 by Pope Julius II. The group contained 150 guards. These guards were commanded by Captain Kasparvon Silenen. Ever since, the Swiss guards have served as the Vatican police force.

The Vatican Swiss guards have official uniforms of blue, red, orange and yellow colors. The uniforms are tailored inside the Pontifical Swiss Guard barracks. The guards also have some equipment: both traditional and modern arms including a sword, command baton, flamberge, partisan, cuirass with spaudlers, etc.

St. Peter’s Square

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This card, my first one from Vatican City, comes from Nimfa who lives in Rome. 🙂

St. Peter’s Square is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave surrounded by Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. At the centre of the square is a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1568. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square almost 100 years later, including the massive Tuscan colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church.” A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno dating to 1613.