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Kids Europe Trips Through Triumphal Arches
Plan Your Summer Travels Now


In This Issue


  Arch of Constantine

  Arch of Titus

Arch of Janus

Arch of Gingerbread

 Who Invented the Arch?

 Three Warriors Against 90,000!

News from Kids Europe

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Dear Pat,

Here are some great sites for families to visit in Rome. There is so much to see there, you may actually overlook the massive triumphal Roman arches that have survived for two thousand years! There aren't very many; just four are left standing alone. There are two more that are partially incorporated into buildings and somewhat hidden and there are traces of several more. When you visit Rome, you can see several of them pretty easily. So, learn a bit more to make your trip to Rome more interesting.

Arch of Constantine


Hard to Miss - Right Next to the Coliseum
Arch of Constantine Rome

Arch of Constantine stands right beside the Coliseum. It was erected CE 312-315 to celebrate Constantine’s victory over local and pagan rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. Note, this was not a foreign victory but a battle fought within Rome between political rivals.

The Arch of Septimus Severus was built before the above; commemorating Septimus' victory over the Parthians in 198CE. Now, there's a tangent: who were the formidable Parthians? That arch stands in the Roman Forum. You'll find more information here.

Wikipedia Article about the Arch of Constantine

Arch of Titus


Celebrates the Defeat and Sacking of Jerusaluem

The Arch of Titus was erected in honor of Titus’ defeat and sack of Jerusalem in CE 70 and it is the oldest such arch in the world. On the inside of the arch are two famous reliefs, one of the menorah, silver trumpets and the golden table of showbread being carried in triumph into the city. Opposite it is Titus riding in a four horse chariot led by the female symbol Roma and the goddess Victory crowns him as he passes through an arch (this arch is an image of an older arch that has disappeared). Look up to see a relief of Titus being carried up to heaven by an eagle.

Until the creation of the State of Israel, Jews refused to walk under this arch. Now they walk under it, heading away from Rome.

This arch is also easy to see, being near the Forum in Rome that is also near to the Coliseum.

Wikipedia Article on the Arch of Titus

Arch of Janus


Mysterious and Massive

The Arch of Janus is a very unique structure, with two intersecting arches. It was probably built between 300 and 400 CE, during the reign of Constantine. You can see the niches that used to hold statues.

This one is also in a popular location being near the Church of the Mouth of Truth, la Bocca della Verita.

Here is an activity that could be great fun for artistically inclined, draw the Arch of Janus decorating it as you would like.

More on the Arch of Janus...

Arch of Gingerbread


With a Gummi Bear Army

Every Christmas season, I make a gingerbread structure. Rome has been an inspiration for several years and this year the structure was fairly easy, the Arch of Constantine. It is pretty much to scale. I iced it to give it the look of marble. The theme of the decorations is bears; there are Gummi Bear statues all over it, Teddy Graham cookies dipped in diluted icing serve as bas reliefs, and an army of Gummi Bears with Fruity Pebbles cereal shields and toothpick lances.

Last Year's Gingerbread Arena

Who Invented the Arch?


Quick, what civilization do you think invented the arch? Is it fair to just leave this out there for you to figure out? Hmmm, yes. First, consider your best idea, then use the link below to lead you to the answer.

Find the answer here...

Three Warriors Against 90,000!


An Epic Battle Worthy of a Video Game

Constantine's victory at the Milvian Bridge reminded me of a rousing poem about an epic battle -- 3 men against 90,000 -- that my Grandfather "Toad" Rowan could recite from memory: Horatio at the Bridge.

The poem is about a legendary fight at the same bridge as Constantine's battle, but about 1000 years before his. The two battles at the Ponte Milvio (Milvian Bridge) bracket the history of Rome. The first, Horatio's, took place in the very early days of Rome when they were trying to take away the territory of their neighbors the Etruscans. And Constantine's victory was during the declining days of the Empire.

I'm no scholar of Roman history but the old Roman Ponte Milvio is still there and I remember it well from my high school days. We lived on the outskirts of Rome and every time we wanted to go shopping in the city, we would take one bus to the Ponte Milvio and connect to another bus into the city. If we had to wait between buses, we could visit a wonderful gelateria in the piazza there. No wonder I can remember it!

Back to Horatio who held the bridge, together with two companions, against the 90,000 strong Etruscan army. The poem that memorializes the event is really exiting and easy to read. Although it is a long poem, it is fun to read out loud, acting out the various parts. As an interesting project, I would suggest that you read the poem out loud with family or friends, perhaps taking on different roles. For further interest, get out a map of Italy and using the notes to the poem, find the locations mentioned in the poem. Here is an article with a map that shows many of the locations. And then have a gelato, of course.

Read Horatio at the Bridge

News from Kids Europe


We now have two books -- Italy and Great Britain and have just published the eBook version for Great Britain. Be sure to order your copy!

Now on Amazon, too. We are happy to market our books on Amazon, although you will find a little less expensive shipping through our website. I do have a request of happy customers: would you be able to write a favorable review of our books on Amazon? Just follow these links and scroll down to where you can link to write a customer review.

Review the Great Britain Discovery Journal

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My "day job" is to find great vacation rentals in Italy for traveling families. In recent trips, I revisited several favorite properties, inspected a number of new ones and have selected to offer several of them. (Yes, even with good advance research, I do see places that I decline to represent for failing to meet my standards.)

I'd be delighted to help you with your vacation plans by matching you with lovely accommodations. I offer properties from value to luxury. My guests benefit by working with my company, Excellent Europe:

  • I'm easy to reach at a US phone number: 781.275.1055,
  • We speak English,
  • We price rentals in familiar dollars and accept checks and credit cards,
  • We are up front and inclusive of most costs and don't tack on lots of little fees and charges,
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  • The Excellent Europe website listings are exceptionally well documented and detailed,
  • We provide our guests with a great deal of helpful information about traveling in Italy,
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Call or email me now about your travel plans.

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I'd appreciate feedback on this newsletter and am happy to see your Kids Europe Orders and Excellent Europe vacation rental business.


Pat Byrne

Kids Europe


Phone: 781.275.1055


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