Saturday, November 16, 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

Friday, November 15, 2013

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

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


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 was a 20,000 step day, but we were

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


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

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


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, 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 among
the second fiddles 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