La Pieta is now guarded off because some wacko tried to chisel the nose off of Mary.
The Sistine Chapel. It would be best to travel alone. It is a worldwide attraction, I understand. But you will need to find enough air to breathe, let alone a place to stand.
But each and every section of this wonder, is just spectacular. Aside from the obvious time and detail that was put into the Last Judgment, the colors that were created included a shining gold. Aside from the creation of these illuminating colors, was the shading and contrast, the appearance of shadow and light. And again, DETAIL.
Unfortunately for this blog, but fortunately for those who still hold some things sacred, there were “No Fotografias!” allowed. The poor security guards had their work cut out for them, because in just the few minutes I got to spend in there, at least five people got kicked for ignoring these rules.
A believer in underground societies and corrupt governments, I do like to question everything that is that monumental and beautiful. It is a shame my skepticism of this world can’t allow my brain to just accept something that is that monumental and beautiful. But it can’t.
Vatican City is separate from Italy, it has its own country, its own rules, and its own postal stamp.
That in itself unveils a whole slew of questions. Why does it need to be a separate government?
A little light research and a tour guide will tell you it is because of spiritual reasons, and being the most powerful spiritual center of the world would definitely qualify for its own rules.
Such a place is filled with endless underground secrets, that will never be answered but peaks my curiosity (perhaps planted by Dan Brown’s genius).
New popes are elected in the Sistine Chapel in a secret cardinal-only meeting. The world knows when a new pope has been elected, by billowing smoke from the chimney.
Secrets of the Vatican, the subject of many documentaries, perhaps an idea for a new blog?
If there is any place though for a magical, religious experience, even if you aren’t religious, I feel the Vatican would accelerate even the lightest of pulses.
Hitting the streets of other parts of Rome in the evening again, means, yes, shopping, or, window –shopping for those like me who can’t afford a Gucci, Prada, or Versace, it is nice to visit such fashion entities in the motherland that circle the Spanish Steps.
To wrap up Rome, I would mention the Pantheon, the “keyhole” and various obelisks around the city.
The Pantheon, like a lot of structure in Italy (especially Southern Italy) has a strong Greek influence. It is a “house of Gods,” with sculptures, including my favorite God-dess, the Virgin Mary, and beholder of Raphael’s tomb.
The keyhole is another of Italy’s optical illusion, with a peak through of the Aventine Keyhole, you can see clear to St. Peter’s Dome, of which I tried to get a good shot of the view, but couldn’t.
I didn’t get to stick my hand in La Bocca Della Vertia like Audrey Hepburn did in Roman Holiday, and I didn’t get to even see water in the Trevi Fountain let alone jump in like Anita Ekberg did in La Dolce Vita, as there was extensive scaffolding and encasements for the latter.
But I did learn the obelisks placed around the city were Egyptian, and that Cleopatra herself, although infamous ruler and seductress, was not Egyptian herself, she was Greek. Either way, girl, whatever you had you had great, whether or not your influence was positive, making those men Caesar and Mark Antony, ultimately change history, loving you more than the city. What power!
And finally, I learned the origination of Cappuccino. At Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, there was a display of artifacts from those who follow Capuchin order. And the name Cappuccino, was derived from the color of the habit the monks used to wear.
The morbid part, in the lower level is the final resting place for thousands of Capuchin friars, though I’m not sure how restful it is for them. Their bones are on display, not just full bodied, but several grouped jawlines, spinal cords, etc. all designed into some kind of art display. It ranges from children to adults, whose smiling skulls unknowingly greet many per day.
The church is so sacred that no photography is allowed and I had to cover up my shoulders. Good thing my tenacious mother did my research for me ahead of time, because in the scorching July heat of Rome, would never have thought to bring a cardigan.
There were several sights left unseen but with only two full days in Rome I’d say we’d captured many memorable sights. I fell in love with the city, the feeling there was as homey as Mongrassano. And it was a city, in which people knew how to relax. This took a lot of patience for a New Yorker, dinner would typically be at least a two hour sitting, and people took their time helping you, but they were happier, it seemed. And that was comforting.