Friday, November 15, 2013

Arrivaderci, Roma...Italia...Europa, 2013

So here we are, in our room at the Villa Rosita, a B&B perhaps a mile from Fiumicino. Today, Saturday, our European travels done for a bit, we'll jet back to the States on the friendly but greedy skies of Lufthansa, first to Menlo Park and grand-daughter Penelope and her parents for a couple weeks, then to DC and daughter Rachel and her husband Will for the balance of December and early January. Rebecca and Jeremy and Penelope will come to DC for Xmas too. As the astute reader will have noticed, we sold the Grey Wanderer to fellow Americans and world travelers Jan and Richard. They are experienced RVers and sailors and are no strangers to Europe, so we know they will have great times traveling here like we did. In January we'll fly to New Zealand for three months there, then back to Menlo Park, then on to Ft. Lauderdale with my sister Carole and her family, then a re-positioning cruise with Norm and Marie from Miami to Barcelona, then three months in an apartment in Paris, returning again to Menlo Park in August. After that we have no plans...but stay tuned.
Penelope, Grandma, and Grandpa enjoying their first tea
party together, back in Menlo Park

Roman Out-Takes, 2013

Just a few from the Eternal City...perhaps I'll add some more later...
Dorothy Parker would have loved it--always 5 o'clock here on
the Via Trieste















Tight fit














Just doesn't seem right...














Ancient Roman cell tower


















What would Michaelangelo have thought?














"Fashion is that which is so reprehensibly
ugly that it needs to be changed every six
months"; or "Snot-green is the new [orange]
[lime] [teal] [whatever]"





















Vicki said be sure to take a picture of a Roman pizzeria...














From our campsite at Prato Smeraldo...within Rome's city
limits















Richard and Jan, new owners of the Grey Wanderer 

Monday, November 11, 2013

St. John Lateran

We trudged on, determined to see St. John Lateran, which we had visited many years before. It is first among the Papal churches of Rome, the seat of the Bishop of Rome, dating from the mid 4th century. Alas, although huge, majestic, etc., it is no match, aesthetically, for St. Paul's or Santa Maria Maggiore. But still worth one more visit.
The usual obelisk, proclaiming victory over
the pagans



















Interior view














Altar, dome, mosaic; mass is about to begin


















Vault


















Part of the half dome mosaic














OK, not us














Nave view














Out on the huge porch


















Our Patron (Constantine); curious they never
made him a saint...



















Facade of St. John Lateran














Left-over for next time: the Sacred Steps (to Pilate's Palace),
which Constantine's mom, St. Helen, brought back from
the Holy Land (also the True Cross, etc.); tired puppies,
we headed for the nearest metro and the ride home

Santa Maria Maggiore

We proceeded on, tired, museumed-out, but,
hey, this was possibly our last tourist day in
Rome for a while; here we are passing 1/4
of the Four Fountains, still in the Quirinal,
I think






















Passing by the Allegory of the Bank of Italy (1921); a lot of
water has passed under that bridge...















We thought we might follow the brothers to
McDonald's



















Or even dinner at Diocletian's Baths; but we
were too tired for watered down wine



















Walked past symphony hall and Nero...it was a 20,000 step
day, but we were determined















And ended up at Santa Maria Maggiore, another of the
Papal churches Vicki wanted to see, with its 5th century
mosaics
















Thus; darkly














Another great mosaic arch














Detail














Silver-covered Crib of Jesus down there, they say














Elevation and mosaics, looking astern














'Atta Girl, Mom





















Barberini Palace and Gallery

So we walked from the Piazza del Populi














Walked down the Via del Corso, admiring the
pretty shops



















Had lunch near Augustus' mausoleum














Crossed over some more swanky streets and then climbed
the Spanish Steps















And, at length, after more fountains under renovation, found
the Palazzo Barberini, a major national art museum















Dueling staircases: this one Bernini's


















This one Boromini's














Boromini won


















  
The Barberini has lots of paintings, mostly
by Bee-list painters, although there are a
couple Caravaggios and other biggies;
anyhow, the above is the Barberini's emblem
piece, so to speak, Raphael's Fornarina,
thought to be his mistress, Margherita Luti























Ceiling in the grand hall, thought to be the
largest frescoed ceiling in any non-religious
building




















Lots of bees














Barberini Bees














Huge Domenichino Madonna con Bambino
with St. John the Evangelist and St. Petronius



















And Corradini's nice La Velata; overall, we
gave the Barberini a B




















Santa Maria del Popolo

The church of Santa Maria del Popolo is in the Piazza del Populi, near the portal itself. It is a relatively small church, by Roman standards, but is so studded with great art that it is difficult to notice the church itself.
St. Peter crucifixion, a more characteristic
work by Michaelangelo Merisi, known as
Caravaggio, also known as Mr. Fruity Butt
Pants; St. Paul's conversion, featuring a
horse's butt, is across the small but now
well-lit (when you pay a euro) chapel






















Over on the starboard side, the Rovere
chapel features a number of gorgeous
Pinturicchio frescoes




















Thus


















Some were done by a "Helper of Pinturicchio"
who was also pretty darn good



















But it's the Chigi chapel (Mr. Chigi was banker
to Popes Julius II and Leo X) that gets most
attention (after Mr. Fruity Butt Pants), with
its two Berninis...here, Daniel





















And here, Habukkak (it's a long story)


















And dome, designed by Raphael














Up closer: God, signifying that the Chigis have SCORED!














Other items of interest include this bony inlay, designed
to drive away the ghost of Nero, who was said to have
inhabited the precincts; it worked: he is now in the string
section at symphony hall

















"Don't tread on me"


















And this hole in the thinner-than-you'd-think stone floor... 














Revealing the nicely-tiled floor below; nothing escapes my
practiced eye...















The rest of the church is totally Baroque..."if it ain't Baroque,
don't fix it," we have come to say