How strange is that comparison? I was introduced to Pinterest a few months ago and keep thinking how it reminds me of my visit to the Vatican museums. The museums are filled (and I mean FILLED to overflowing) with works of art. Various mediums are present --- a wide variety of artists, styles, interests, etc. There are 9 miles (yes, nine miles) of art to view. I read an account that says if you look at each item for 1 minute, it would take 4 years. I'm not sure if they took potty breaks or sleepy time, but it's interesting nevertheless. My time in the Vatican museums was not my favorite Roman experience - that's such a sad confession for me but it was sensory overload to the extreme. I began to feel guilty for hurrying past spectacular pieces just to get to the end. The rooms crowded with people, sculptures, paintings, tapestry, maps and frescoes began to run together in a blurr. I wasn't prepared, I guess. Not my best hour.
Pinterest is like that. Not to say that it is filled with fabulous works of art, but it can cause sensory overload. Page after page of interesting sayings, great do-it-yourself projects, recipes galore, home decor ideas, etc., etc., etc. I have found some gems, though. I'm learning to refinish furniture and I can do some great things with empty toilet paper rolls.
Ponte Sant'Angelo (Bridge of Hadrian) is a pedestrian bridge crossing the Tiber from Rome's city center to the Castel Sant'Angelo. The bridge is flanked on both sides by a total of 10 angels and was traversed by untold numbers of pilgrims on their way to St. Peter's Basilica. As you walk across the bridge, the Castel greats you directly in front while, by glancing to your left, you see St. Peter's.
The name, Castel Sant Angelo dates back to when Pope Gregory the Great, during a procession to plead for the end of a plague, saw an angel standing on the top of the castle sheathing its sword. This was interpreted as being a heavenly sight that the plague was about to end. Henceforth, it became known as Castel Sant Angelo. A small chapel was built on top the castle at the spot where the angel was supposed to have appeared. The event is commemorated by a magnificent eighteenth century statue, created by the Flemish artist Werschaffeltof, of the angel sheathing its sword.
We're taking a short trip from Rome to Siena to visit their cathedral.
The beautiful cathedral in Siena is, in my opinon, somewhat similar to the duomo in Orvieto in that the facade glistens with gold mosaic that captures your attention as you approach. It was built between 1215 and 1263, but the facade's upper half was added in the 14th century. An expansion project was begun in 1339, but in 1348 the eighty percent of the city's population succumbed to the black death and the cathedral was never completed. The golden mosaics were added to the facade in the 19th century.
One of the most unique features of this cathedral is the pavement inside which features 59 etched and inlaid marble panels. I hadn't heard about them beforehand and was just overjoyed to walk around looking at them. My photos are totally unable to capture their beauty because they were taken by holding the camera parallel to the floor and blindly shooting the scenes. I did get a couple that come close to capturing what it looked like, but it's something that must be seen in person to grasp just how cool they are. Keep in mind, this is the floor.
Since I've been focusing on Rome's beautiful churches, I think this post fits.
Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli is one of my favorite churches here in Rome. It's beautiful, spacious, and they usually have some sort of interesting exhibit inside. I had been admiring a sculpture by Ernesto Lamagna and was sitting in a pew translating the inscription I had copied, when I noticed that a wedding was about to take place. In the public church. Full of tourists. With no attempt to get rid of us. There was a small section roped off with beautiful flowers. Traditional music began playing and.................. Here comes the bride!
Followed by her attendants.
You gotta love it.
So, I had just visited Santa Maria in Trastevere, watched the art students working away inside, took some pictures of the mosaics, and was sitting by the fountain outside reading the newspaper (or trying to) and listening to this man playing beautiful music on his accordian.
When along comes this guy on his motorcycle. He stops in front of the musician, hums a tune to request a special song, and drops a few coins into the tip box.
Oh, Rome. How wonderful you are.
I know it's been a while since I've posted here. My return to the states and back to my everyday responsibilities has kept me from writing. Alas, though money is practically
nonexistent, I cannot stay away and will be returning to Rome in 3 weeks for a short, 10 day visit. She calls to me in the night and will not allow me to rest peacefully until I commiy to popping in on her once again.
Because my favorite apartment in Trastevere ( www.alportoncino.it ) isn't available, I've rented a place nearer Borghese park. http://www.vrbo.com/385745 It seems nice, but,
as always, we'll see when I get there.
My computer crashed last weekend, so I'm not sure I'll be taking one with me. If not, I'll take lots of pictures and catch you up when I get home.
Came across this in my meanderings. If the bent, flat tire didn't guarantee its safety, the chain will do the trick.
And then.... The next day I saw another one! Chained up for safety. Because you never know who might want this fine mode of transportation.
While wandering around Piazza del Popolo, I happened upon a wonderful exhibit celebrating the Genius of Leonardo Da Vinci. The exhibit consists of a movie depicting Da Vinci as he comes up with some of his most interesting inventions and paintings. Though it was in italian, I was able to get the gist of most of it and found it quite interesting. There were also about 50 machines built to scale from his original drawings and notes. For 7 euro I spent a couple of hours learning much about this amazing man's thought process. The exhibit is from May 4, 2011 until April 4, 2012. If you have the opportunity to take it in, I wholeheartedly recommend it.