Monday, November 13, 2017

Italia 2017 - Roma!!!!

Wow only a week until the latest adventure is over. When we start it always seems like we are going to be gone for such a long time. And then it seems, suddenly, that we are in fact just about over. Anyway, we are finishing up with bang with 6 days in the Eternal City -Rome. I was last in Rome around 48 years ago as a college student and wife has never been there. We arrived in Rome on Friday night. We've a lovely apartment that is smack dab in the center of things and yet is on a quiet street. Saturday we slept in late and did a bunch of laundry. We were really hungry so we grabbed some pizza as soon as things opened up at Noon. Then we decided to go and walk around to figure out where things were and how far away they were. We really didn't have a plan per se.

YAH We're in ROME Baby!
What says Rome?
How about old stuff and lots of guys with machine guns
How about old stuff next to older stuff with lots of tourists and obnoxious people selling things to tourist
How about old stuff next to new stuff
As we are right by the section of ancient Rome we started our walk going by lots and lots of really old stuff
(We are going to do a tour of this on Thursday so I am not even going to try and explain all this other than it is just part of the really old stuff)

Ah Hah! 
I will tell you about this though. It's Trajan's Column. I know about it because I was reading a book about the Roman military system just before we left and it referenced the Column extensively

It documents the Emperor Trajan's conquest of Dacia (now in Hungary) and has incredible detail showing battles, fighting technique, logistical technique, gear that was worn, etc. Here are just a few examples

This beast is the building Romans love to hate
It is called the Vittoriano and it commemorates the unifying of Italy into a single state in the 1870's
  We continued our wandering and headed toward the famous Trevi Fountain. 
A lovely tranquil building near the fountain
With a billion tourists
An attempt to photograph the fountain through the mass of tourists 
(Hard to take this after having Albania and the Salento pretty much to ourselves)
But as our Airbnb host told us, if you just walk around, even if you aren't trying to go anywhere, you are going to run into more art than you can shake a stick at in Rome. So we did.
We headed to the Triton Fountain - not as spectacular as the Trevi but at least we could see it.
Just an interesting door I saw

And a few interesting figures on a statue that was not mentioned in either our book or on the map we got from our apartment host

"Um Sir. You realize you are eating two sandwiches at once don't you?"
"This is what I think of your critique of my sandwich eating!"
This not particularly good picture is here because it is part of a story
We came upon this building at an intersection 
Again there was no reference in either of our sources
In fact the stature that is on the corner is part of four statues, one on each corner of the intersection. They are clearly connected and some kind of allegory. However with my newly awakened eye of what the artist or artists might be saying that is not the 'official story'. So let me take you through the four. 
This first one is just to my right across the street from where I was standing and the one in the picture above
I call her Bored
Directly behind me is one I called Annoyed 
The one in the first picture I have entitled Interested
And on the remaining corner is one I have named Besotted
Now if you haven't figured this out yet, Interested and Besotted are actually gazing across the street right at each other. Not at the women. At each other. You fill in the blanks

Moving on we came to a church. Yet another church with no reference. It had some very interesting art
I really don't know who this is. Doesn't seem to fit any of the major Catholic themes but may be some saint??
There was a very, very cool (at least I think it is cool) Madonna with new born Christ painting
I love that the artist gave Mary such a happy look and the others in the picture look like they are taken from real life.
Then there was this fresco on the ceiling - you have to pay attention to ceilings to get some of the interesting stuff I tell you
We have saint being ascending to heaven and there are lots of cherubs and angels. Now remember this is way up on the ceiling. There was one image that jumped out at me
This gal with the blonde hair piled on top of her head and bare back
Don't know...just doesn't look all that angelic to me

Moving on we actually came to a place that was on the map, the Quirinal Palace where the President of Italy resides with of course mandatory majestic sculpture

If you remember my images of the hero of Albania, Skanderbeg and how grim they all were, compare these images.

And we got a view of St. Peter's Basilica
The last experience of the day was a run in with a street demonstration
We were trying to get to a grocery store only to be blocked off by this

Fortunately we were able to make our way through a gap and get to the store
By the time the shopping was done there was no sign of the demonstration


Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

I think you have a promising career as a sandwich paparazzi.

alexis said...

perhaps next trip start with the busy A-list stuff when you're fresh and the crowds won't bother so much?

de-I said...

Alexis, I don't think it makes any difference when in the cycle you run into them...I just hate being in places where there are overwhelming masses of people.