In one of the most amazing cities in the world, an equally amazing work of art. This is the Lateran Obelisk, and, weighing in at 450 tons, the largest Egyptian obelisk in the world. That's right, Egyptian. This obelisk originally came from the Temple of Amun in Karnak, and was designed by pharaoh Thutmose III. It was shipped to Alexandria over the Nile by Constantine II in the 4th century, where it sat for several years. It didn't make it to Rome until 357 AD, when the Emperor made his first visit to the city. It eventually found a home at the Circus Maximus, where it stood for centuries, and over time fell apart. All the pieces were located, then excavated at the request of Pope Sixtus V, and reconstructed, four meters shorter than the original, by the architect Domenico Fontana. It now stands at the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, a decent, but not too distant walk from the Colosseum. And if you have been living under the mistaken impression that no chunk of hand-hewn stone could ever make you feel humble, you need to pay a visit. This thing is just shy of 150 feet tall. It's hard to get context from a photograph because you practically have to eliminate every thing surrounding the stele to fit it in (or frame the shot from so far away that you make it look like a pencil). But it is big, beyond astonishing, and ancient. I know that combination is the order of the day in la città eternale, but this monument is undeniably impressive, even for Rome.