Sunday, November 26, 2017


With Le Duc safely stored at Prato Smeraldo, Giovanni drove us to Villa Rosita in Fiumicino, thus positioned for an early flight from Rome to Munich. November 14th was not one of our best flying days, however. Thick, all-day fog at Munich caused us to miss our connection both there and at O'Hare, and we wound up spending the night at a 2 star motel in Chicago before proceeding on to Knoxille the next morning. But the flight over northern Italy and the Alps was pretty neat...

Leaving Rome an hour late


Venice lagoon?


The Sasso Lungo group, on which I climbed in 2011?

Now over the bigger Alps, proper

Straining to see Hohenschwangau or Neuschwanstein...

About to dive into the fog bank; note plane's shadow

On the ground, but late for our connection

Another late departure, chasing the sunset across Europe and
then the Atlantic

At length we made it to Chicago and then the next day, tired
puppies, to Knoxville and some rest

St. Paul Without The Walls, 2017

We visited St. Paul Without The Walls for the first time in 2013, and I was very much impressed, as my posts from then suggest:, and It is the fourth of the four papal churches in Rome, and, despite its relative age and grandeur, probably the least visited. Our departure packing was going well, so we took off a little time to visit it once more.

Portraits of the popes adorn the walls above the arches

Huge beautiful alabaster windows

Room only for six more popes...

After Francis

The giant Pantokrator msaic

Starboard altar

Ceiling in the transepts

Beautiful marquetry

Looking astern from abaft the beam

Starboard aisle

Most helpful model ever, so far

You can walk through it

We tarried and then stayed for an organ recital by a young
Vietnamese sister; a nice finish to Rome for 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Vatican Museum, 2017

One of the great museums, a bit biased in some ways, perhaps, the Vatican Museum is something we have not yet gotten tired of, after perhaps five visits. The posts on this blog concerning the Vatican Museum are:

all from 2011 and 2013. For balanced coverage of the place, I don't think I can surpass the 2011 posts. For unbalanced coverage, see the 2013 out-takes. Our 2017 visit was mostly about just seeing the place again, and the associated learning, and the pix I'll post below are largely of the new/improved or out-take variety.
We went to the Sistine Chapel twice and thus passed through
the Rafael (and Borgia) rooms twice; above, Rafael's School
of Athens

Parthian shot of the Sistine Chapel; we went there twice, mostly
to look at the Botticellis

Thus, his Temptations of Christ; I am so over Mr. Twisty...

Worst museum meal ever, so far: if you reserve a "traditional
Italian luncheon" at the restaurant, you can get early admission
to the museum plus no standing in lines outside; it's probably
worth it, but don't expect a great repast, much less something
identifiably Italian

Decapitated putti

Important learning experience: we had never seen a late Medieval/
International Gothic painting with someone wearing spectacles;
this side-bar item was dated 1495; very suspicious...since I'd
always associated glasses with Kepler and maybe the 17th century;
but NO, glasses were invented in Pisa at the end of the 13th century
and were in production there, for export, not much later

Can't resist re-posting my favorite Matthew...
Guido Reni's

"Someone help me get out of here!"

Eyesore across the River

"You want a toe?"

"I can get you a toe, believe me, there are ways, Dude"

"Pick a card, any card..."

Extreme star fort in the map hall

The very famous double helix staircase, designed in 1932 by
Giuseppe Momo, but named for Bramante and his 16th century

Getting much better at selfies

Roamin' And Meanderin' To And From The Pantheon

My favorite building is the Pantheon, and so we had to see it, again, walking across the River, getting lost, having a fine Roman lunch, wandering through a variety of piazzas, until it finally appeared out of the darkening 4PM mist. Still a thrill.
One advantage of getting lost is that your chances of wandering
into a neighborhood restaurant, as opposed to a tourist one, are
vastly improved; the one we wandered into even had a sense of humor

We couldn't find the one we were looking for, all the directions
we got misfired, and so, with the rain getting worse, we ducked
into La Monte Carlo; I've become quite fond of the Napoli,
tomato, cheese and anchovies

Vicki's standard sausage and mushroom; Neapolitan style, very
thin crust; yum

Also a fun place

Wandering in the rain

Piazza Navona

Wait a second! Isn't that Aunt Jemima? 

Poster in a bookstore: apart from the US, Rome
has the most anemic of all subway systems for
a city its size--two lines, a third to open a bit in
December--understandably, digging in this, one
of history's greatest cities, is slow going...

Bookish fountain

Backside of Pantheon, where, at the top, you can see a bit of the
brick (!) structure; the arches

Never fails to knock me out

Moving right along, in the direction of the Metro:
Marcus Aurelius Column (I think), in Piazza
Colonna (I think)

No room for a real IKEA in downtown Rome, so it's just a kitchen

Slippery Spanish Steps

Among the best of all cities to wander in...