Monday, July 13, 2009
I never imagined I would miss Rome as much as I do now. In my last days before leaving the historical city I anticipated my arrival to the United States so much that I rushed through some of my last activities in Rome. I was however able to fit a few final things in as I departed from Rome and that made it worthwhile to spend an extra final weekend there, while many headed home. I am planning a backpacking trip across Europe for the Summer of 2011 with a few close friends, Rome will definitely be on our travel itinerary. I cannot wait to experience and taste the food and lifestyle again if not only once more.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I do not think I have ever been to a city with as many churches in as compact of an area. On my last day here I went through the Sistene Chapel and saw one of the most famous places in the Catholic religion. I found out that this is the very room where bishops will be locked in, at the death of a Pope. No one will be allowed to leave until one is selected, and even the food that is given is somehow brought through the windows. This room has an incredible amount of art, and it is compacted into a very small room. My favorite painting in the room is in Michaelangelo's self portrait, where a saint is holding his skin. Unfortunately do to the copyrights of a Japanese company, we were not allowed to take pictures inside.
As my last week in Rome comes to a close I find I am racing through the city trying to see every last thing that I missed. I found a pizza place that I have been trying to find for weeks, Dar Poetta. I was told by an old friend, who is from Florence, that this is the best pizza in the world. I went and tried it out and I have to say it was absolutely incredible. The menu has about thirty different kinds of pizza, and each one comes out looking delicious. The pizzas are thin, and the toppings are cooked under the cheese. I am going to have to say I agree with my friend, that this was the best pizza I have ever had, I only wish I had of found it sooner.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The Piazza Navona is one of the most popular places in Rome, I will definitely miss walking through this piazza. Whether I was going to grab a gelato, or heading up there to take some great pictures of the three fountains within, I always looked forward to it. I expect that I will mostly miss how wide open it is, and how there are always vendors with great art. Walking through one last time earlier today I purchased a few pieces myself, one of the Colosseum, and one of the Vatican City. As I left I turned back for one last glance of the grand piazza, until the next time I can grace it with my presence.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Barcelona does not feature nearly as many churches as Rome does. However, its Santa Maria del Mar is a very famous church, and is massive as well. The church is not nearly as wide as it is long, and when we entered there was even a public wedding taking place. The windows are all done with stained glass and at the top of the entrance there is a giant circular window which lets in most of the church's light. Just past the nave are roof high columns that surround the altar in this basilica style church. The walls of stone do not feature as much artwork as is featured in some Roman churches such as inthe San Ignazio.
Friday, June 19, 2009
As mentioned in a previous blog, the Fontana del Nettuno features more active sculptures. Centered by a sculpture of Neptune taking down an octopus in fight, while using his trident. Interestingly enough, contrary to what I had previously written about this fountain being more lively, it was actually once much more plain. Apparently, in order to add more symmetry to Piazza Navona's landscape, this statue of Neptune was added to the middle of the fountain. Originally the only statue that featured a struggle in Piazza Navona was in the Fontana del Moro, within which there is an Ethiopian in a struggle with a dolphin. Also later added, were the sculptures of the seahorses which surround the god Neptune. I really enjoy this fountain, mainly in part because of the sea horses, they have a lot of character.
This week on a walk through Piazza Navona I took specific notice of one fountain in particular, the Moro fountain. Its difficult to tell what the statues that line the fountain are supposed to represent, but it looks as though they are drinking out of some sort of bottle. Centering the fountain is an image of a triton who is riding a dolphin, although it more looks as more as if he is wrestling with it. The fountain is well known for the special marble with which it was made, an antique rose marble. This fountain is peaceful as compared to the Fontana di Nettuno which features a much more active portrayal.