Ancient Rome is such a powerful symbol, visually and aesthetically, as well as in terms of ideas, its battles and wars, the powerful personalities that blasted their thoughts across the centuries. Remember I spent hours with ancient Roman marble busts from the Vatican, just like with old friends. Here is Caesar's marble bust ( all photographs in this post I took during a Christmas in Rome ), video by Khan Academy :
The walls of this gallery at the Vatican are lined with marble busts:
Visited the Colosseum in the evening on Christmas day and it was absolutely a solitary and beautiful experience, with a bit of drizzle and without a single living soul in sight.