Near the Colosseum, sitting almost on a level with the Colosseum, is the Roman Temple of Venus, commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian in 2AD.
Hadrian knew a thing or two about love – he was married to Sabina, but had a longstanding lover – a beauteous young man called Antinous, who tragically drowned in the River Nile on a sortie with Hadrian, leaving the emperor desolate.
Venus also knew a thing two about love, obviously – but curiously enough chose a husband not for his looks but his other skills. At the other end of the Forum is the Altar of the Roman God of Fire, Vulcan – who, despite his failings in the looks department, managed to bag Venus, goddess of love and beauty, as his wife. Presumably she took one look and felt the heat.
The Temple of Venus recently underwent a 26-year renovation, which was completed in 2010.
The nave of the temple was originally flanked by 50-foot white marble columns, although these are now somewhat diminished – and at the end of the nave was a vaulted ceiling, which can be seen in the main image. The temple originally housed a statue to Venus and another dedicated to the goddess of the city of Rome – Roma.
There is also an ornate floor – the temple is now open to the elements, but the scale of it would have made it one of the most impressive structures in the Forum.
The Temple of Venus is also on a hill and you will have a wonderful view of the Colosseum from there – making the huge amphitheatre appear almost on the same level. Great for photo opportunities and selfies!
You can use Google maps to find your way around the Forum.
All images except feature image, bust of Antinous and Google map copyright A. Meredith 2018
Main image: Temple of Venus, Roman Forum, image by Anthony Majanlahti
Want to go to Rome now?
Download ROME ALONE and ROME AGAIN free at Kindle Unlimited or for £2.40 each – and set off to the Eternal City for a weekend of surprises, as unhappy housewife Bee and newly-divorced Alzheimer’s expert Dr Neil McCarthy leave from opposite ends of the country for a mini-break full of the unexpected that will change their lives forever. Return to Rome with them three years later and discover the forces at work which they never suspected on their first trip.
ROME ALONE was short-listed for the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook’s New Novel Centenary Award.
Both books contain sexual content, adult themes and dark humour which some might find upsetting. Also scenes of shopping, gelati, vino rosso, amore and Rome.
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Catch up with the story in VERONA ALONE, when the action shifts to the ancient city of Verona, when former cellist Moira marks her divorce by fulfilling a girlhood dream of visiting the city during the annual opera season. There she is taken under the wing of a generous and quirky American, who appears to have a secret.
VERONA AGAIN sees three couples fight to save their relations – who will succeed, who will fail and who will lose the love of their life?
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