How about the expensive museum? On the Rough Guide's Top 10 Rome sights -- the Ara Pacis. The rather large monument to Augustan Peace was originally built in 13 BC at the height of the reign of Emperor Augustus, and is a big carving featuring his family.
|A large block of marble|
|His family and friends|
Also potentially interesting is the fact that the monument was built a couple of hundred meters from where it currently sits. But it was built in a marshy area, and over the centuries was mostly ignored and almost sank out of sight. Getting it out involved freezing the ground with liquid nitrogen in the 1930's and digging it up. The famous Mr. Mussolini did this, and unveiled it to his friend Mr. Hitler with much fanfare (Mussolini believed he was a descendant of Emperor Augustus). Mussolini put it where it currently sits, but only built a temporary structure around it, which fell apart through neglect -- as did the Ara Pacis.
Leading to the next potentially interesting thing: in the '70s, they commissioned a New York architect to design a new building to house it. While he succeeded in building a nice, airy building that is soundproof and protects the thing, and perhaps in Calgary would fit in well with the skyline, the building has no business being here.
But the only thing in the building is the Ara Pacis, and it's an expensive museum to go into. A one-hit wonder. And I disagree with the Rough Guide. It's not worth seeing.
The first church we went into that wasn't worth seeing was the Saint Ambrogio e Carlo, a Rough Guide "essential sight" in the area and the official church of Milan in Rome. The second largest dome in the city, and not a bad facade...
|A big church on a narrow street|
|Some striking colour|
A second we hit was San Silvestro in Capite. Two things stand out here: it's a baroque church that's busy with interior decoration...
|Typical Baroque, but not really over the top|
And finally, we got into Santa Maria del Popolo. It's a renaissance church with rather beautiful paintings by Caravaggio that you can't take photos of, and carvings by Bernini.
|Part of Daniel and the Lions|
|One of two matching pyramids|
|Just kinda sitting on the wall|
|Sitting underneath a statue.|
|The price tag. Yes, €9,296|
Next up: The Colosseum and the Forum. Because you've probably never seen those, being uninteresting and out of the way.