Ready to start the adventure! Emily, Robin, Colette, and me!
One of those men turned out to be quite useful though because we weren’t aware we had to switch trains so he helped take us to where we needed to be. I wish we had him on the way back. It was a COMPLETE disaster. More about that later.
First stop in Roma was the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria where Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa resides. I just saw Angels and Demons before I left for
Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa up close!! I lit an eletric candle for her :-)
The yummiest caramel gelato in a chocolate and coconut cone outside of the Vatican...at 9:30 AM! Hey, a girl's gotta eat!
Next we were off to the
Raphael's School of Athens. LOVE THIS ONE!
This was the Bellini I absolutely loved. Random, I know. But Jesus looks so realistic here! The emotion this painting depicts and the emotion it can ellicit are remarkable! To think all of this was accomplished with a flat surface and a bunch of colors put together...very moving!
View of the dome out of the window of the museum
And of COURSE I went and saw the Sistine Chapel….3 times! Though they say no pictures and no talking, they absolutely did not regulate that whatsoever the first time, so I got plenty of awesome pictures. It’s fairly amazing in real life. They even left a little square of it unrestored so we could see how dark it had gotten over the centuries. Very cool!
A bad picutre, but proof I was in the Capella Sistina! And testament to the thick crowd of people. I have a billion plus pictures in here, including close ups of EVERYTHING! I figured as long as I wasn't using a flash and no one was yelling at me, I should sneak in as many details as I could! I have some great ones of the Last Judgement too. Ask if you'd like to see!
Here's the sample that wasn't restored. See the blackish square? That shows how much muck accumulated over the years on this masterpiece! After taking my Conservation class, I look at every work of art with new eyes now. I spotted this immediately. How cool is that? The whole restoration was very controversial because it revealed that the ceiling is painted in more of a Mannerist palette when Michelangelo was supposed to be the epitome of High Renaissance.
Anyways, this is our cool story of why we had to walk the 4 mile-ish route through the museum 3 times. First was the guided tour group, where our guide was adorable and very informative. Since the
Jesus was here.
Dipping into the holy water at St. Peters. I betcha it came straight out of the sink!
I just thought these light rays were awesome
Up inside the dome looking down on mass. Is this how God feels?
On the roof in front of the dome! I'm so small, but there I am!
Mailing some post cards from the dome at the top of St. Peters!!
At the very top of the dome with Emily
Best picture ever! Check out the dome roof, the shadow, and the square!!
Afterwards we found some gelato that was supposed to be amazing (it was the second time I'd had gelato that day, and it wasn't as good as the first place right across from the Vatican!) and tried to get a taxi back to the train station. Let’s just say we spent 20 euros driving in circles. There was a gay pride parade that had us blocked in!!! We ended up getting out and walking, when we got sidetracked by the Spanish Steps, and some excellent shopping. By the way, if you go to the good shopping district near the park with the Borghese Gallery to the right of the Spanish Steps…Via Veneto I believe…they have a row of 5 star hotels across from the US Embassy. Use the restrooms there!!! They are SUPER nice! You just walk in like you own the place, go down the stairs past the spa (I don’t remember the name of this one in particular) and do your thing. Then leave your bags at the front desk and say you are checking in later, have the concierge give you a map and directions to where you need to go, and they’ll call you a taxi outside. It was amazing! You don’t even have to say anything. Just walk in like you own the place.
Well, due to many ridiculous circumstances I won’t go into, we ended up missing the train and getting SUPER confused, had to take a metro, find a late train, and didn’t get back to Orte until nearly midnight…we had been trying to get back since about 6:30! When we get to Orte, they are having a huge rock concert with some Italian rock idol that apparently could be compared to Bob Dylan. We enjoyed some music before calling our official ARCA chauffeur to take us on the 20 min ride back to Amelia. I was EXHAUSTED and passed out immediately. I’ve never walked so much in my life!!!
How we felt after our day...and this is being generous to our true feelings at this point.
The pictures are only a sampling. I have a bunch more up on facebook (or I will soon) and I have even more that won’t make it to the internet. Feel free to scope them out sometime!